Saturday 24 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
Rwanda President Paul Kagame has called on the country's army to provide security guarantee and protect territorial integrity for building well-off society. He made the remarks on Thursday while presiding over the pass-out ceremony 478 Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) officer cadets who successfully completed a one-year military training course at the Rwanda Military Academy (RMA) in Gako, Bugesera district, Eastern Province. Among the new cadet officers, 68 are women. Kagame underscored the need to engage the sense of responsibility of security organs as a whole to participate in building and strengthening national defense.
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
East African Community (EAC) member states are fast tracking a comprehensive review of the Common External Tariff (CET) in order to protect infant industries, officials said on Friday. Kenya's Ministry of EAC Affairs, Labour and Social Protection Permanent Secretary Betty Maina said the EAC will review the criteria used in classifying goods that enter the EAC. "The intention of the review is to make the rules of trade facility as well as attract investments into the region," Maina said during the third EAC manufacturers' network meeting. "The review will also include reforms of duty remissions and exemptions schemes in order to create a fair play ground for manufacturers in the EAC partner states," she added. The two-day event brought together...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(Xinhuanet 02/16/17)
Former Rwanda's state minister for mining Wednesday appeared in court where he was charged with favoritism and falsifying official documents. Evode Imena appeared before Nyarugenge High Court in Kigali. Imena, who was arrested last January after being fired from cabinet, is accused together with two former officials who worked in former Rwanda Natural Resources Authority. Prosecution alleges that the trio hastily registered a company which was fraudulently awarded a license to conduct mining in Nduba mines on the outskirts of Kigali. Later, the company which prosecution named JDJ fraudulently sold its concession to another company called KNM at 20,000 U.S.dollars with the approval of the minister, according to the prosecution. The charges were committed between 2013 and 2014, prosecution claims...
(Xinhuanet 02/16/17)
The trial of 41 Rwandan Muslims suspected of involvement in terrorism crimes resumed Wednesday at the High Court in Kigali with prosecution praying for the hearing to be conducted in camera over security concerns. The suspects, including five women are accused of multiple counts, including belonging to a terrorist organization, complicity in a terrorist act, formation of a criminal gang and financing terrorism. Prosecution alleges that the suspects committed the crimes in different areas of Rwanda. Defense lawyers however asked court to disregard the prosecution request for the trial to be conducted in camera, arguing the public had right to follow the proceedings. The High Court set March 15 to announce its decision on prosecution request before hearing can continue...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
More than two decades after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has kicked off the preservation of clothing worn by genocide victims. The activity is part of the commission to ensure proper conservation of remains of genocide victims and the history of the 1994 tragedy that claimed more than a million lives. CNLG this week started conserving clothing worn by genocide victims at the Nyamata genocide memorial site in Bugesera District, Eastern Province. Most of the costumes are strewn with blood of the victims. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr. Jean Damascène Bizimana, CNLG Executive Secretary said that the genocide Artifact Conservation Project intends to preserve clothing from the remains of 45,000 genocide victims...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(The New Times 02/09/17)
The US federal judge ruled that Gervais "Ken" Ngombwa, a Rwandan national, participated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that left over a million people dead. According to media reports, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade on Wednesday ruled that Ngombwa, 56, was a leader of MDR-Power, an extremist political party that encouraged members to exterminate Tutsis in 1994. Ngombwa, who was already facing charges related to immigration fraud, faces more than 10 years based on evidence of genocide involvement, according to the Judge. Last year in May Ngombwa was convicted for having falsified
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
Rwanda has announced plans to start feeding more than a million most vulnerable people with fortified foods across the country, in a bid to eradicate malnutrition especially among children. The campaign to produce foods with essential nutrients to fight malnutrition has been backed by the establishment of food fortification processing firm Africa Improved Foods (AIF) Rwanda, based at Kigali Special Economic Zone, in Gasabo district, Kigali City. Fortification deals with the addition of micronutrients to improve nutritional quality of food supply that will assist human beings in enjoying optimal metabolism and normal growth.
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...

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