| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 09/04/16)
As Gabon is rocked by violence following the contested re-election of President Ali Bongo, experts says electoral fraud in Africa is becoming harder, thanks to civil society vigilance and spread of mobile technology. Opposition leader Jean Ping on Friday declared himself the rightful president of Gabon and called for a recount, following Bongo’s claim of victory with a razor-thin margin of just under 6,000 votes in the August 27 election. But recent elections in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin and Burkina Faso have all been held largely without dispute, overseen by engaged citizens who assured careful monitoring of the process, said Mathias Hounkpe...
(AFP (eng) 08/27/16)
Japan will pour $30 billion (27 billion euros) in investment in Africa by 2018, including $10 billion in infrastructure development, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday at a summit in Nairobi. "When combined with the investment from the private sector I expect the total real amount to be $30 billion," Abe said at the opening of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). "This is an investment that has faith in Africa's future," he said. Abe will use the conference to meet dozens of leaders from across Africa, among them Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa's Jacob Zuma. It is the first time that the TICAD conference is being held in Africa, with all five previous events...
(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/16)
The prime minister of Sao Tome and Principe on Tuesday said his country had entered an era of stronger governance after his ally Evaristo Carvalho was elected president. "This is a new moment ... the end of cohabitation," Patrice Trovoada said on national television, referring to the often-fractious tradition of power-sharing. "The conditions are now ripe for greater cohesion in government and for better institutional relations," said Trovoada, who predicted parliament and the judiciary would also benefit from the change. Africa's second smallest state, Sao Tome and Principe is a tiny archipelago off the coast of Gabon. Although considered a beacon for democracy in West Africa, the former Portuguese colony has also been riven by turf wars between the prime...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/09/16)
Former prime minister Evaristo Carvalho has been elected president of Sao Tome and Principe, the election commission said on Monday, after incumbent Manuel Pinto da Costa dropped out of the race citing voting irregularities in the first round. Carvalho won 42,058 votes in Sunday's poll, the National Electoral Commission (CEN) said, announcing provisional results. Only 46 percent of voters voted and of those 18 percent turned in blank or invalid ballots, said CEN chairman Alberto Pereira. Vice president of the ruling ADI party, Carvalho was guaranteed victory in Sunday's run-off after Pinto da Costa quit alleging irregularities in the first round on July 17, which Carvalho led with 49.88 percent of the vote to Pinto da Costa's 24.83 percent. Located...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(AFP (eng) 08/07/16)
Sao Tome and Principe votes Sunday to elect the next president of the small west African archipelago, but only one candidate is standing in the second-round runoff after the incumbent boycotted the vote as fraudulent. Held up as a model of democracy in the region, the country is in the grip of a political crisis unprecedented in the 25 years of its multiparty system following the initial July 17 vote. Some 111,000 voters had been due to choose between Evaristo Carvalho, who won 49.8 percent in the first round, and President Manuel Pinto da Costa, who took 24.83 percent, according to official results published by the Constitutional Tribunal. Former prime minister Carvalho, the ruling party candidate, initially appeared to have...
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/16)
In an expanse of sand 60 miles (100 km) north of Senegal's capital, two men set to work digging up tree stumps to clear space for what could soon be the biggest solar plant in West Africa. In less than a year, says developer Senergy PV SA, this shrubby lot will be covered with 96,000 gleaming solar panels from China, injecting up to 30 megawatts into the grid. It is an attractive prospect for a nation with a dire power deficit, and which currently meets most of its needs by burning imported oil in hugely inefficient diesel generators. "The context is favorable," Karim Ndiaye, investment director at French private equity firm Meridiam, which bought out the original Senergy company in...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Barclays is expected to sell more of its stake in its African subsidiary in the coming weeks to take its holding in the business to less than 50% and strengthen the UK parent bank's capital. A lock-up period following a previous share sale expires on Tuesday, and Barclays is expected to sell more stock in Barclays Africa as part of its plan to deconsolidate the business. Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who took over a year ago, decided in March to sell down the stake in its African operations because the bank's 62% ownership meant it had to fully allocate capital to the business, but got less than two-thirds of its profits. The bank sold a 12.2% stake on May 4,...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/16)
The president of the west African state of Sao Tome and Principe, attacking the country's elections for head of state as fraudulent, says he will not take part in next Saturday's runoff vote. In a letter published Tuesday by the Constitutional Tribunal, the country's top court, 78-year-old president Manuel Pinto da Costa said he refused to participate in the second round of voting. "To continue to take part in a process of this kind would be tantamount to approving it. I will not do so as a candidate, and even less so as president of the republic," Pinto da Costa said in the letter, dated August 1. "No one can be a candidate in the presidential election against his will."...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/16)
Cooperation among China, the United States and Africa can effectively fight maritime piracy in Africa, a UN senior official said here on Wednesday. UN General Secretary special representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the remarks on the sidelines of the two-day meeting which kicked off on Wednesday. About thirty diplomats and experts from Africa, China and the United States discussed collective strategies to address maritime security, protect the blue economy in the Gulf of Guinea and promote peace in the Sahel region. The first day of trilateral consultation among Africa, China and the United States has laid the ground for further cooperation on fight against maritime piracy in Africa, he said. "China and U.S., two world powers and members of the...
(Business Day 07/27/16)
The rapid uptake of digital services across the continent requires that the region’s governments urgently release more spectrum for mobile broadband services. This is according to a report by global mobile network operators association GSMA, which was released on Tuesday. The lack of spectrum has hampered the rapid deployment of faster wireless network infrastructure in many parts of Africa, including SA. At the end of 2015, the continent had 557-million unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to 46% of its population. This has made Africa the second-largest, but least penetrated, market in the world. Africa’s three largest national markets — Egypt, Nigeria and SA — together account for around a third of the total subscriber base. However, Africa is barely scratching the...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/16)
The small African state of Sao Tome and Principe remains in political limbo after a refusal by the head of state Manuel Pinto da Costa to run in a second presidential election run-off round. The president qualified for the final round between the top two candidates, winning 24.83 percent of votes in the first mid-July round. The other finalist is Evaristo Carvalho, an ally of Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada, who won 49.8 percent, according to definitive results published late Monday by the Constitutional Tribunal. But Pinto da Costa and the candidate in third place, Maria das Neves, have jointly alleged fraud in the July 17 vote in the twin Atlantic archipelagos off equatorial Africa's coast. "To continue taking part in...
(Macauhub 07/26/16)
Sao Tome and Principe travel agency JBC Travel and Tours on 30 August is due to start flights between São Tomé and Lisbon, Portugal, via Johannesburg, South Africa, the company’s managing director, Bilssen Coelho said on Monday. The flights, which will be offered three times a week, Coelho said, will use an Airbus aircraft with a capacity of up to 150 passengers. In addition to the São Tomé/Johannesburg/Lisbon connection and return flights, “where ticket prices are affordable, especially for tourists”, the company plans in a second phase to start flying to Accra (Ghana), Douala (Cameroon) and Lagos (Nigeria). This project involves travel agency JBC Travel and Tours, a company based in Sao Tome and other foreign companies in direct partnership...
(Xinhuanet 07/26/16)
Despite Africa's slowdown, property developers and private equity funds continue to pour investment into the continent, but with more focused strategies, organizers of the upcoming Africa Property Investment (API) Summit said on Monday. "Over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars has been raised and allocated to real estate investment in Africa over the past year and we expect this trend to continue," said Kfir Rusin, General Manager of APIS. This year's summit, scheduled for August 18-19 in Johannesburg, will feature various discussions on innovative strategies and collaboration, as well as showcasing new real estate opportunities and projects across Africa. Commenting on the global capital flows making their mark on African real estate, Peter Welborn, Chairman of Knight Franks' Africa business, said the...
(AfricaNews 07/25/16)
A Sao Tome and Principe court on Sunday ruled that the island nation ‘s presidential election will go to a second round between incumbent Manuel Pinto da Costa and ex-speaker of parliament Evaristo Carvalho. In the provisional results from elections held last Sunday, Carvalho looked to have won with 50.1 percent of votes, and De Costa coming second with 24.8 percent. But the supreme court overturned the result, saying the electoral commission should have waited for results from Maria Louise , a town that voted on Wednesday and results from the diaspora. The run-off is scheduled to take place on August 7. The small Island nation located in the Gulf of Guinea is a former colony of Portugal and has...

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