Sunday 10 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
The echo of Koranic verse from a religious school in Senegal's Saint-Louis is familiar, but just metres down the beach classes have fallen silent in another building abandoned to the ravages of climate change. Listed in 2000 as a UNESCO world heritage site, Saint Louis has fallen into disrepair, and without urgent intervention more than 300 years of colonial history could be lost. Beautifully coloured buildings with colonial facades line the streets of the city, once known as "Africa's Venice", but on closer inspection many are crumbling. Others that look on to the beach succumb to Atlantic waves. And at the cathedral, large sections of plaster peel from the walls and float to the earth. "It's dramatic and it could...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
Senegal vowed Monday it would introduce a long-delayed points system for its drivers after more than 50 people died on the roads during a week of Muslim pilgrimage to a holy Sufi site. Transport Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo told journalists in northwestern city Saint-Louis that the application of the law was "irreversible" and would be enforced from 2018, though it had initially been announced to start this year. Diallo was attending a memorial for 25 victims of a single accident in northern Senegal after a minibus packed with pilgrims heading to the central city of Touba collided with a bus on November 6. The Mourides, a Sufi Muslim brotherhood, gather annually in Touba for the Magal ceremony. Many Senegalese are...
(APA 11/14/17)
The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, on Monday urged an integrated security strategy to fight terrorism in Africa and beyond. “International cooperation is essential to achieve an integrated security that seeks to assess situations according to the contexts of the threat,” Parly told the fourth International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa being held in Senegal. Integrated security is an approach that combines “security, defense and development,” she posited. The theme of the forum is “Current security challenges in Africa: Searching for integrated solutions.” Chad’s Prime Minister, Albert Mahimi Padake stressed that security challenges are common to all African countries, but none of these nations taken individually can overcome this scourge. He therefore urged states to...
(APA 11/14/17)
Senegalese leader Macky Sall has outlined four security challenges which Africa must tackle to ensure peace and security. Speaking at an international security conference which opened in the town of Diamniadio, 40 km east of Dakaron Monday, President Sall said the first of such challenges involve intelligence-sharing as a starting point. “Intelligence is the business of professionals that requires rigor and discretion” he told the 4th International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa. The meeting is being held under the theme: “Current Security Challenges in Africa: Looking for Integrated Solutions.” The other challenge, according to President Sall, is risk integration associated with failed states, which are themselves at the mercy of all subterranean networks, thanks to the absence of...
(APA 11/14/17)
Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde dominate the West African hotel pipeline with 77 percent of the total planned hotel rooms. W Hospitality Group’s 2017 Hotel Chains Pipeline report shows that hotel groups need tackle lengthy development periods in West Africa, according to a press release issued by API Events and seen by APA Tuesday. West Africa has been at the heart of the continent’s growth and economic transformation in recent years. Notwithstanding the sharp slowdown experienced in 2016 and 2017, the region’s economy is expected to rebound in 2017 onwards. Commodity-based economies, like Nigeria, are slowly recovering from the fall in oil prices and oil production, while countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal have shown economic resilience and sustained...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
African leaders on Monday used a regional forum to call for extra support as the continent moves to assure its own security after years of Western interventions. The annual Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security this year brings together the presidents of Mali, Rwanda and hosts Senegal along with military officials and experts to discuss the continent's serious challenges in the sector. The vast Sahel region, stretching from Senegal to Sudan, has turned into a hotbed of lawlessness since chaos engulfed Libya in 2011, Islamists overran northern Mali in 2012 and Boko Haram rose up in northern Nigeria. In an opening address, Senegal's President Macky Sall told the forum a "military response must be comprehensive, and one of solidarity,...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
English Premier League pair Diafra Sakho and Sadio Mane played key roles as Senegal defeated South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane Friday to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. West Ham striker Sakho opened the scoring off a pass from Liverpool attacker Mane and both were involved in the move that led to a Thamsanqa Mkhize own-goal before half-time. Victory gave Senegal an uncatchable five-point lead over Burkina Faso and Cape Verde in Group D with one round left. The only previous World Cup appearance by Senegal was in 2002 when current coach Aliou Cisse captained a team that reached the quarter-finals in South Korea and Japan. Bottom-of-the-table South Africa lie seven ponts behind Senegal ahead of a return match in...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Twenty-five people were killed on Monday when a packed minibus and a bus collided in northern Senegal, emergency services said. The minibus had been heading to the central city of Touba, taking people to an annual pilgrimage of the Mourides, a Sufi Muslim brotherhood. The vehicle had an official capacity of 14 people but was carrying 27 at the time, 24 of whom were killed. The 25th fatality was the driver of the bus. The state-run news agency APS, quoting hospital sources, said "at least" 25 people had died.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Hundreds of supporters of high-profile Senegalese mayor Khalifa Sall called for his release on Saturday as prosecutors asked parliament to lift his immunity from prosecution on graft charges. Dressed in items of red clothing, activists called for Dakar mayor Sall to be released after serving more than seven months in pre-trial detention on what they say are politically-motivated embezzlement charges. "Free Khalifa!" and "Khalifa until we die!" chanted around 300 people, many of them women and young people, after gathering a roundabout in the city's Medina district. Rappers dished out insults against Senegal's President Macky Sall (no relation), and many sported t-shirts with Mayor Sall's face accompanied by the phrase "Dafa doy" or "that's enough" in the local Wolof language...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...

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