| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(The Associated Press 01/10/17)
The appeal of former Chad president Hissene Habre against his life sentence for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture began Monday by the Extraordinary African Chambers, marking the final stage in a landmark case pursued by victims for more than 15 years. Habre's conviction was the first of a former head of state by an African court for crimes against humanity. It also was the first time a former dictator was found personally guilty of rape by an international court. The Extraordinary African Chambers, created by the African Union and Senegal, found Habre guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Chad's former president Hissene Habre was to begin an appeal Monday against his life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity after his conviction was hailed as a landmark for Africa. The Extraordinary African Chambers, a body created by Senegal and the African Union, sentenced Habre in May to life behind bars, an unprecedented ruling that was seen as a blow to the impunity long enjoyed by repressive rulers. In July, Habre was further ordered to pay up to 30,000 euros ($33,000) to each victim who suffered rape, arbitrary detention and imprisonment during his rule, as well as to their relatives. The 74-year-old has refused to recognise the court's authority but his court-appointed lawyers requested an appeal on his...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(AfricaNews 01/06/17)
Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, has recalled his ambassador to neighbouring Dakar, the Jeune Afrique news portal reports. The note terminating his appointment as diplomat was sent on 27 December last year and he should by now have handed over to the embassy’s general secretary. Momodou Pa Njie becomes the second Gambian ambassador recalled from service for impressing on Jammeh to accept his loss in the December 1 presidential elections. On 19 December 2016, Jammeh recalled the ambassador to the United States for the same reason. In conclusion Your Excellency, we once again implore you to consider our plea which is ailed at achieving the greater good
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
The head of Gambia's electoral commission has fled to neighbouring Senegal fearing a plot against him, a month after declaring President Yahya Jammeh lost elections following 22 years in power, one of his relatives said. Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairman Alieu Momar Njie "fled to Senegal after he got information that the Gambian authorities were plotting against him and his team" one of his relatives told AFP late Tuesday. "Some of his team members have also left for Senegal," the relative said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The relative did not elaborate on how Njie fled or say who had gone with him. There was no immediate comment from Senegalese authorities. Njie had declared opposition candidate Adama Barrow the winner...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Representatives from Senegal's diaspora will be granted almost 10 percent of seats in parliament, lawmakers said Tuesday, underlining the key role that migrants play in the west African nation's economy. More than half a million Senegalese live outside their homeland, sending back more than $1.64 billion a year in remittances to their families, according to International Organization for Migration (IOM) figures. Senegal is home to 13 million people, but France, Italy and Spain are popular choices for legal and illegal migrants. Moustapha Diakhate, an MP with the country's ruling coalition of parties, told AFP the parliament had passed a bill Monday increasing the number of lawmakers by 15 to 165 (9.1 percent of seats), who would be elected to serve...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Sadio Mane believes he is leaving Liverpool in good shape as he prepares to spearhead Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations challenge. The 24-year-old -- whose goal in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland on Monday was his ninth for Liverpool since his £34million ($41.7m, 40.1m euros) move from Southampton -- says the squad is strong enough to make up for him playing at African football's showpiece tournament in Gabon. Mane leaves Liverpool in second position in the table, five points adrift of leaders Chelsea, who can go eight points clear if they beat Spurs on Wednesday. "It won't be easy for me to leave because I would like to help them until the end of the season," he told LFCTV. "But...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(APA 12/28/16)
Among the events that dominated the Senegalese news of the year 2016 was the life sentence imprisonment imposed on 30 May on former Chadian President Hissène Habré by the Assize Court of the Extraordinary African Chambers (CAE). At the end of a lengthy trial that began on 20 July 2015, in which 96 victims were heard, a 5,600 page report with 56 constitutive evidence were examined, and the Court sentenced Habré to life imprisonment for crimes of torture, crimes against humanity, rape and forced slavery and some other war crimes. After the announcement of the verdict, human rights defenders and the victims described the trial as “historic for Africa”. In July 2016, Hissène Habré was sentenced to pay between CFA...
(APA 12/28/16)
Le Sénégal a exprimé son souhait de bénéficier de l’expérience et du modèle de gestion marocains dans le domaine de la couverture médicale, a affirmé le Président du Conseil d’Administration de la Mutuelle de Santé des agents de l’Etat au Sénégal, Babacar Ngom. « Nous souhaitons s’inspirer du modèle de gestion marocain en matière de couverture médicale et de s’enquérir des produits qu’offre la Mutuelle au Maroc à ses adhérents dans la perspective de moderniser et de rénover les outils de gestion au sein de la Mutuelle de Santé au Sénégal », a-t-il déclaré à APA à l’issue d’une rencontre, ce lundi à Rabat, avec le Président de la Mutuelle Générale du Personnel des Administrations Publiques (MGPAP), Abdelmoula Abdelmoumni. Selon...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...

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