| Africatime
Wednesday 26 April 2017
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(Bloomberg 12/29/16)
Rwanda’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in two-and-a-half years to support flagging economic growth as inflation eased in the East African nation. The Monetary Policy Committee reduced the key repo rate to 6.25 percent from 6.5 percent, after leaving it unchanged since June 2014. The lowering of the key repo rate is to signal the banks to increase lending to the private sector and support growth,” Governor John Rwangombwa told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Kigali. The central bank forecasts the inflation rate at about 6 percent by the end of 2016 after it slowed to 6.4 percent in November from 7.4 percent in the previous month. Economic growth may also decelerate to 6...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(African Review 12/28/16)
Rwandan opposition politician Frank Habineza has been week nominated by his Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) to challenge President Paul Kagame for the presidency in the 2017 election. By this action, the party has abandoned its earlier threat to boycott the election after its demands for electoral reforms were snubbed by the government. Explaining the change of tact, the party said participation was more beneficial than a boycott. The move hardly elicited political excitement in a country where the major opposition parties have cast their lot with the incumbent. This largely sets the tone for the poll slated for August 3-4, 2017. Fall from heaven The Green Party became the first opposition party to name a presidential aspirant, and...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(APA 12/22/16)
Rwandan top government officials who leave their positions and take up new jobs will no longer earn their post-duty benefits and allowances, APA learns here Thursday. This follows the Rwandan Senate’s approval of amendments to the law determining allowances and fringe benefits for senior government officials. The new amendments will also affect those dismissed with pending court cases. By approving proposed amendments to the Organic Law, senators made it possible for the government to stop paying its former top officials their post-duty benefits if they get other jobs in the private sector or in government.
(APA 12/22/16)
German carmaker Volkswagen is set to open up an assembly plant in Rwanda in 2017 following an agreement signing between the Rwandan government and the firm. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) chief executive Francis Gatare, and Thomas Schäfer, the chief executive of Volkswagen South Africa. Speaking after the agreement signing, Schäfer told journalists that the firm will have accomplished its market research in Rwanda by May next year following which an assembly plant producing at least 5,000 vehicles per year could be set up in Kigali by the end of 2017.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(APA 12/21/16)
The Rwandan government has announced that Rwandans living in foreign countries as refugees will lose their refugee status at the end of next year and they should use the remaining time to plan their relocation or get proper documentation from their host countries. The announcement was made, Tuesday by the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, and Saber Azam, the country representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The officials warned Rwandan refugees in different countries across the world that they won’t be considered as refugees any more by December 31, 2017, and they should tap into the available resources earmarked by UNHCR and the government to support returnees. “By December 31, 2017, any...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(APA 12/20/16)
Rwanda has condemned the early release of two genocide convicts, reports said on Tuesday. Last week on Wednesday, Judge Theodor Meron, the current president of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals – which replaced International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), granted early release to two convicts of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Rwandan President Paul Kagame led the way by terming the releasing of Genocide convicts before serving out their full sentences as ‘dubious’ as due procedure is not adhered to. The convicts, Ferdinand Nahimana and Emmanuel Rukundo
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(APA 12/16/16)
The Rwandan government has promised that all citizens living in the Diaspora will be able to take part in 2017 presidential elections scheduled for August next year, a top government official said on Friday. The Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs who doubles up as the government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo said that Rwandans in Diaspora to have increased polling stations during next year’s presidential elections. She was speaking during the 14th National Dialogue following concerns raided by Diaspora members that they face complications during elections. John Kijuli, one of Rwandans living in West Canada asked facilities during elections because they didn’t have chance to vote in the last year’s referendum elections.
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...

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