Thursday 21 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/22/17)
Senegalese rapper and DJ Louis Bernard Diedhiou was just a young teenager on the day in 2001 when his love of megastar musician Youssou N'Dour nearly killed him. Hailing from Casamance, a southern region of Senegal that has suffered on-off conflict for more than three decades, Diedhiou was shaking branches for mangoes to sell so he could buy an N'Dour concert ticket. But he stepped on a mine, a legacy of long-running conflict between the Senegalese army and separatist rebels of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), in an accident that could have left him dependent on his family for life. "The mine got me in both legs and both hands," he recalled. "I couldn't go back to...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Senegal's Supreme Court rejected bail for Dakar's popular mayor on Thursday, preventing him from campaigning in upcoming legislative elections and likely sparking further tensions with supporters of his rival, President Macky Sall. Mayor Khalifa Sall (no relation) was arrested more than four months ago on corruption charges and has been serially denied bail, but is at the top of a list of opposition coalition candidates vying for 165 seats in the July 30 vote. The mayor has not exhausted his appeals in the case and another bail request is pending before a Senegalese court. His lawyer told AFP the mayor was being "deprived of his political right to solicit votes from fellow citizens" as well as "his own right to...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
In Senegal's southern Casamance region, new houses dot a landscape once dominated by abandoned ruins full of bullet holes, though the spectre of a 35-year conflict still haunts its villages. Separatist rebels of the Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de Casamance (MFDC) began fighting for independence more than three decades ago but have long ceased once frequent attacks on the Senegalese army, which retains a visible presence in the area. As residents return to previously unsafe areas, many are asking when a conflict that is technically ongoing
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(AFP (eng) 07/18/17)
Senegalese prosecutors on Monday announced the opening of a judicial enquiry into a stadium tragedy, as a local team whose fans were accused of triggering a deadly stampede were suspended from the country's football federation. Multiple witnesses told AFP that US Ouakam fans threw stones and other objects at Stade de Mbour supporters when Mbour scored a goal to take a 2-1 lead in extra time during Senegal's League Cup final on Saturday. A wall collapsed onto fans as they fled the stadium to escape the hail of projectiles, while others were crushed in the panic. State prosecutor Serigne Bassirou Gueye announced an investigation into what he called "ignoble acts", adding the perpetrators would be "brought to justice" for the...
(Voice of America 07/18/17)
Foreign fishing vessels, many from China, prowl the waters off West Africa every day. They capture millions of fish — catches that used to go to local boats. The fish are then shipped to China, Europe and the United States, satisfying a global demand for seafood and fueling a multibillion-dollar industry. Foreign trawlers from Asia and Europe have cost West Africa's economy 300,000 jobs and $2 billion in income, according to John Hocevar, a marine biologist with Greenpeace. However, what to do about the problem — and possible damage to regional fish populations — has eluded experts and officials. Chinese presence Exact numbers are difficult to come
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
At least eight people were killed on Saturday in a stampede in a soccer stadium in the Senegalese capital Dakar during a match between two local teams, the sports minister said. A fight broke out between fans of rivals US Ouakam and Stade de Mbour and police fired tear gas to break it up. The resulting confusion triggered the stampede, Sports Minister Matar Ba told Reuters by telephone. Deadly stampedes at soccer matches have been common in Africa, where safety standards are low. At least 17 people died and scores were injured in a stampede in a match in Angola in February, when hundreds of supporters
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
Senegal's US Ouakam team was suspended from the country's football federation on Monday after accusations its supporters threw projectiles at rival fans triggering a stampede that left eight dead. Multiple witnesses told AFP that Ouakam fans threw stones and other objects at Stade de Mbour supporters when Mbour scored a goal to take a 2-1 lead in extra time during Senegal's League Cup final on Saturday. "Union Sportive de Ouakam are temporarily suspended," the Senegalese Football Federation announced in a statement, given "the loss of lives...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
Senegal on Sunday suspended all sports and cultural events until elections at the end of the month, a day after eight people died in a football stadium disaster. Legislative elections are due on July 30 and tensions are running high with prominent opposition leader and Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall campaigning from jail. "All sporting and cultural activities are banned across the national territory for the rest of the electoral campaign," Seydou Gueye, a spokesman for the prime minister, said. A judicial inquiry will be opened to investigate the tragedy and determine who was responsible for Saturday's incident, he said. A wall collapsed in a Dakar stadium during extra time at the League Cup final between Stade de Mbour and US...
(APA 07/17/17)
Consumer prices in Senegal declined by 1 percent in April 2017 compared with the previous month, according to data from the Directorate of Forecasting and Economic Studies (DPEE). “This is mainly explained by lower prices for healthcare (less 1.1 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (less 2.4 percent),” the Dakar-based body noted. However, on an annual basis, the general level of consumer prices rose by 2.1 percent during the period under review, mainly as a result of food and non-alcoholic beverages (plus 5.9 percent), unprocessed cereals (plus 7.9 percent), beef (plus 3.6 percent) and fresh fish (plus 24.9 percent). Underlying inflation (excluding fresh and energy products) was at 0 percent monthly and 0.8 percent year-on-year. In terms of origin, the...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Voice of America 07/13/17)
Senegal’s former president, Abdoulaye Wade, is making a comeback. The 91-year-old politician returned to Senegal this week for the second time since his 2012 defeat, and will be on the campaign trail for the next two weeks [until July 28], traveling around the country to boost his party’s chances in the legislative elections at the end of this month. Thousands gathered at Dakar’s international airport to welcome the former leader. “Gorgui is great,” chanted the crowds as Wade made his way through the city. Gorgui is a term of endearment, meaning "old man" in the Wolof language. One supporter, Cheikh Baye Mbour, says, “You know today is a work day but everyone is here and more people will come.” Wade's...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Hundreds of people filled the streets of Dakar outside the airport Monday to welcome former Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade, who has returned to lead his party into legislative elections after spending years abroad following a failed bid for a third term in office. The 91-year-old flew into Dakar Monday from Paris, accompanied by his wife Viviane. He retains a strong support base in Senegal, which is holding legislative elections July 30. Wade has returned to head up the list of candidates for his opposition Senegalese Democratic Party. He is also heading up other opposition parties who are coming together
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
Senegal kicked off campaigning Sunday for parliamentary elections later this month, with a record number of candidates vying to weaken President Macky Sall -- including 91-year-old ex-leader Abdoulaye Wade. Wade, president from 2000 to 2012, has been living in France for the past several months, but was expected to return to Dakar on Monday to lead the campaign for his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS). "I will campaign, but not the same way as when I was young," he told a local television station Friday. A parliamentary victory for the opposition

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