Tuesday 23 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
A desert warfare specialist, Chad's Hissene Habre seized power in 1982 and quickly embraced the role of ruthless dictator, with brutal atrocities the hallmark of his eight-year reign of terror. Often dressed in combat fatigues that complemented his "desert fighter" nickname, Habre fled to Senegal after he was ousted by current Chadian President Idriss Deby in 1990. Habre will now serve the rest of his life behind bars after judges in Dakar Thursday upheld his sentence for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture, quashing the appeal attempt by his court-appointed lawyers, though a rape conviction was overturned. Habre was first sentenced by the Extraordinary African Chambers in May last year, setting a global precedent for the first time a...
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
The West African bloc is seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector in health service delivery in the sub-region as financing sources become increasingly difficult, Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), disclosed here on Monday. He explained that, for the sub-region to be able to attain its health targets, both public and private sector support would be critical in financing the health delivery needs of the countries. Dr. Crespin emphasized this during the opening of a day’s sub-regional meeting for both public and private sectors organized by WAHO here to develop a strategic framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the health sector. “We cannot really continue to do ‘Business as Usual’. It...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
At least 20 people, the vast majority of them women, were killed when a wooden boat capsized off the coast of central Senegal in a delta region popular with tourists, firefighters told AFP on Tuesday. A traditional wooden boat overturned near the coastal town of Bettenty on Monday night, with 72 on board, all except two of them women, said Commander Oumar Kane, a senior official with Senegal's national firefighters. "Unfortunately, we have 20 dead bodies and one missing," Kane told AFP on Tuesday. "The search is ongoing" though 51 people had been saved so far, he added. The women are believed to have been on their way to look for seafood in a coastal area well known for delicacies...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Chad's former president Hissene Habre will Thursday hear the final decision on an appeal against a life sentence for war crimes, crimes against humanity and rape, following his landmark conviction last year. The Extraordinary African Chambers, a body created by Senegal and the African Union (AU), sentenced Habre last May to life behind bars, an unprecedented ruling seen as a blow to the impunity long enjoyed by repressive rulers. In July, the court further ruled that Habre should give up to 30,000 euros ($33,000) to each victim of abuses committed during his 1982-1990 rule, as well as to their relatives. Expected to begin at 1000 GMT on Thursday, the appeal verdict will be "definitive and irrevocable," the special court's spokesman...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(AfricaNews 04/20/17)
Senegalese skipper and Liverpool midfielder, Sadio Mane, has been named in the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) Premier League (PL) Team of the Year. The 25-year-old was the only African player to make the list, the recognition also comes despite a premature end to his season. “Mane’s season was ended prematurely by a knee injury sustained during the 3-1 victory over Everton on April 1, but his impressive performances throughout the majority of 2016-17 have earned recognition from his peers,” his club’s website said. ... his impressive performances throughout the majority of 2016-17 have earned recognition from his peers. Before his injury, Mane had scored 13 goals and given five assists in 27 PL appearances during his debut campaign at Mersey...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/15/17)
Senegal announced three days of mourning on Friday for the victims of a massive fire at a Muslim religious retreat this week, as the death toll from the catastrophe rose to 25. The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon as worshippers belonging to the Tijaniyya Muslim group gathered near the town of Medina Gounass in southeastern Senegal, engulfing straw shelters erected for the pilgrims. President Macky Sall visited the site on Friday and confirmed that Gambians and Mauritanians were also among the victims in footage broadcast on Senegal's RTS television. "Taking account of the number of victims, as this morning another has passed away, we now have 25 dead and I have decided to announce today three days of national...
(AFP (eng) 04/14/17)
A fire tore through makeshift straw shelters at a Muslim religious retreat in Senegal, killing at least 22 people and triggering a stampede, firefighters and local media said Thursday. The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon as worshippers gathered near the town of Medina Gounass in the southeastern region of Tambacounda, a senior official with the firefighting service told AFP. The cause is as yet unknown. After the official said 22 people were killed and 87 injured on Thursday morning, local media later reported one of the injured had died in hospital, which was not officially confirmed.
(Xinhuanet 04/13/17)
At least 20 people were killed and about 100 wounded in a fire on Wednesday at a Muslim religious gathering in southeastern Senegal's Medina Gounass, local media reported on Thursday. The gathering, called "Daaka", is a spiritual retreat that attracts thousands of pilgrims every year from Senegal and several countries of the sub region. It took place in the middle of the bush, under the temporary shelters of straw. The cause of the fire which also ravaged sheds where goods and vehicles were parked has not been determined. The 2017 edition of Daaka kicked off on Saturday and will continue until April
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/12/17)
Senegalese police said on Tuesday that they had arrested three suspected foreign jihadists in the capital Dakar, the second such series of arrests this year. Two Moroccans were taken into custody on March 29 for alleged ties to Islamic State, the police said in a statement, while a Nigerian was arrested on April 1 as he left the Nigerian embassy, on suspicion of recruiting for Boko Haram. The Nigerian had recently arrived in Senegal after two months in neighboring Mauritania, the statement said. It added that the men, whose names were not provided, were being detained while a prosecutor examines the evidence against them. Authorities arrested two suspected jihadists from Mali and Mauritania in February. Police said the Malian had...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(AFP (eng) 04/08/17)
Thousands of people took to the streets of the Senegalese capital Dakar on Friday to protest against President Macky Sall and call for the release of political opponents. The protesters, many dressed in black, demanded the release of Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, who had been seen as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. He has been held in preventive detention since March 7, facing charges of fraud, misappropriation of public funds, criminal conspiracy and money laundering. As police stood by to maintain order, the crowd chanted slogans calling for those charges to be dropped. "We do not accept that Senegal can be turned into a plaything.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...

Pages