| Africatime
Monday 27 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/08/17)
Senegalese authorities have arrested the mayor of the capital Dakar, a potential rival to President Macky Sall in elections expected in 2019, on suspicion of embezzling 1.8 billion CFA francs ($2.87 million), his lawyer said on Wednesday. Last week a public prosecutor summoned the mayor, Khalifa Sall, who is no relation to the president, to give evidence on how he spent the money between 2011 and 2015. The mayor, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested late on Tuesday, the lawyer said. Khalifa Sall's socialist party is part of a coalition backing the president, but he has since distanced himself. He has not publicly announced he plans to run against Sall, but has been tipped by his supporters. "This arrest was...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Senegalese authorities have blankly refused to allow French judges to question Papa Massata Diack as part of a corruption probe into his father, disgraced former IAAF chief Lamine Diack, judicial sources said on Tuesday. Both Papa Massata Diack and his 83-year-old father face charges in France over millions of dollars paid to cover up doping failures by Russian athletes. Lamine Diack is barred from leaving France, while Papa Massata Diack has been in hiding in Dakar where Senegalese authorities have refused to extradite him. Also implicated in possible corruption over the awarding of the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio, Papa Massata Diack has slammed the French investigation as a "witch hunt" against him. "They should come to Senegal to investigate...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Eighteen people were killed when a bus collided with a tanker truck in northern Senegal, two days after a road accident that claimed 12 lives, the media reported Monday. The accident happened late Sunday on a highway near the town of Saint-Louis, when the bus burst a front tyre, smashed into the truck and then caught fire. Fifteen people died on the spot and eight were taken to hospital with injuries, three of whom died on Monday, the state television RTS and the Senegalese Presse Agency (APS) said. On Friday, 12 people were killed when a bus and a minibus collided in the central region of Kaolack. On January 26, 17 people were killed when a minibus collided with a...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/17)
"Felicite," a tale about a nightclub singer who has to scrape together funds to pay for her son's treatment after a road accident, scooped the top prize on Saturday at Africa's top cinema festival. The film won the Golden Stallion award at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, held in the capital of Burkina Faso. The prize adds to the Silver Bear jury prize awarded to the film two weeks earlier at the Berlin Film Festival. The film is directed by Senegalese-French Alain Gomis, who in 2013 was praised for "Tey" (in French, "Aujourd'hui," or "Today) -- a story about a young Senegalese who knows he is about to die, and looks at his life through new eyes...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
The mayor of Senegal's capital is facing a judicial probe into the disappearance of 1.83 billion CFA francs ($2.85 million) in city funds, the country's top prosecutor said Friday. Khalifa Sall, a member of the coalition of ruling parties, has run Dakar since 2009 and has been seen as a probable contender in the 2019 presidential elections. His office was unable to show receipts proving that funds earmarked for purchasing rice and millet for the city's population had been spent correctly, chief prosecutor Serigne Bassirou Gueye said. "Next week I will refer to the judge of the court the case of Dakar city council regarding misappropriation of public funds, forgery and the use of forged documents," he said, before naming...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
The Gambia's President Adama Barrow on Thursday arrived in Senegal, which played a key role in his rise to power by helping force his predecessor Yahya Jammeh from office, an AFP journalist said. The visit, which is due to run until Saturday, is Barrow's first official trip abroad as president. Barrow won his nation's presidential election in December, but for six weeks Jammeh refused to concede defeat following 22 years of rule. Fearing for his safety, Barrow took refuge in Dakar from January 15, as Senegal and west African regional bloc ECOWAS launched a diplomatic and military drive aimed at ensuring that Jammeh would step down. Barrow was then sworn in as The Gambia's president at his tiny nation's embassy...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
Senegalese police have arrested two Malians suspected of involvement in a jihadist attack on an Ivory Coast beach resort last year that killed 19 people. More than 10 suspects have already been detained in relation to the March 13 assault, when assailants armed with grenades and assault rifles stormed three hotels in Grand-Bassam, a beachside resort popular with foreigners 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Abidjan. The attack, the first of its kind in the Ivory Coast, was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has also carried out assaults on tourist hotspots in Mali and Burkina Faso.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/24/17)
Senegalese authorities have arrested two suspected foreign jihadists in Dakar, including one who had been in contact with the mastermind of an attack on an Ivory Coast hotel a year ago. Police spokesman Henry Cisse said an operation in Dakar on Thursday had led to the arrest of Ould Sidy Mohamed Dina, a Malian, as he was trying to leave his home. He had been in Senegal for a month, he said. Another suspected jihadist, whom he did not name, from Mauritania, had been arrested trying to board a bus to Gambia. The suspects have not yet been charged.
(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,...
(AL Jazeera 02/16/17)
Patients have nowhere to turn after the country's only radiation therapy machine stopped functioning in 2016. Senegal's solitary radiotherapy machine broke on December 28 last year, leaving the country's only radiation therapist and small team of technicians idly waiting as patients were turned away or offered alternative treatments. The machine uses radioactive cobalt-60 to produce gamma rays that halt tumors in organs near the skin. Installed in 1989, it is from a generation of devices that are completely phased out in most developed countries. The machine has broken down many times before.

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