Wednesday 22 November 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(APA 08/17/17)
Senegal has donated $100 000 to bolster the humanitarian operation taking place in Freetown after floods and mudslides that have so far claimed over 400 lives swept through Sierra Leone’s capital city on Monday. Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Senegal, Mrs. Ebun Strasser-King, on Wednesday night wrote on her Facebook page that “we want to thank in particular the government of Senegal who sent high powered delegation to Freetown and made a contribution of $100 000.” She said it was “a great sadness and disbelief that we received news of the mudslides that hit Regent in the early hours of 14th August and other areas of the city Freetown.” Mrs. Strasser-King added that a book of condolence had been opened at...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/10/17)
The leader of Senegal's main opposition group said on Wednesday it would not participate in any future elections because the parliamentary polls that delivered a large majority to the ruling coalition were a "masquerade". President Macky Sall's coalition took 125 seats in the 165-seat National Assembly after winning nearly half the vote, according to the results announced last on Friday. The coalition of 91-year-old former president Abdoulaye Wade, whom Sall defeated in a 2012 presidential election, won 19 seats. Another led by Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall, who has been detained in a corruption probe for the past six months that his supporters say is politically motivated, won seven seats.
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
A Senegalese singer was formally charged with "offending the head of state and broadcasting fake news", her lawyer told AFP Wednesday, after audio of her lashing out at President Macky Sall went viral. Amy Colle Dieng, 39, was arrested on August 3 after unleashing a social media storm with a recording shared via the WhatsApp messaging service and then uploaded to YouTube. "She was charged on Tuesday night," and will be kept in detention until her trial, said her lawyer Boubacar Barro. A separate source said a second person who administrated the WhatsApp group concerned had also been charged. If convicted, they risk prison sentences of up to three years on the charge of distributing fake news, and up to...
(AFP 08/09/17)
A Senegalese singer was formally charged with "offending the head of state and broadcasting fake news", her lawyer told AFP Wednesday, after audio of her lashing out at President Macky Sall went viral. Amy Colle Dieng, 39, was arrested on August 3 after unleashing a social media storm with a recording shared via the WhatsApp messaging service and then uploaded to YouTube. "She was charged on Tuesday night," and will be kept in detention until her trial, said her lawyer Boubacar Barro.
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/05/17)
Senegal's ruling coalition will take 125 of 165 seats in parliament, the body counting votes said Saturday, confirming an expected landslide for supporters of President Macky Sall ahead of a 2019 re-election bid. The results of the July 30 legislative elections were published by the National Vote Counting Commission (CNRV) through the public APS news agency, and though official still need to be validated by the country's constitutional council. The presidential coalition Benno Bokk Yaakaar (BBY) took 49.48 percent of votes in Senegal's list system, while the coalitions of ex-president Abdoulaye Wade and Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall trailed massively, delivering them 19 seats and seven seats respectively. Fourteen parties will be represented in the national parliament, where for the first...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
A popular Senegalese singer is in police detention over "offensive" remarks widely shared online attacking President Macky Sall and the organisation of recent elections, police and local media said Friday. Amy Colle Dieng, a popular "Mbalax" artist, was arrested on Thursday, a police source confirmed to AFP without specifying why. But audio of her lashing out at the president has been creating a social media storm in recent days. Dieng is also heard declaring her support for ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, who stood as an opposition candidate in last Sunday's legislative...
(APA 08/03/17)
The ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) Coalition has won the legislative elections in the department of Dakar, with 114,603 votes against 111,849 votes for the Manko Taxawu Senegaal (MTS) Coaltion, the Department’s Vote Counting Commission announced Thursday. As a result, the winning BBY Coalition takes all the seven parliamentary seats assigned to the Department of Dakar, in line with the country’s election law. So far, both the Benno Coalition led by Prime Minister Mahammad Dionne and the Manko Taxawu Senegaal Coalition of jailed Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall have been claiming victory in the Senegalese capital. According to figures released by the department’s ballot counting commission, the Wattu Senegaal Coalition of former President Abdoulaye Wade completes the top three winners with...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
Senegal’s tech scene has been slow to get off the ground due to a lack of qualified coders. But a locally run company is trying to change that, while also helping young people find jobs. Local tech start-ups are tackling day-to-day conveniences in the capital, Dakar. Firefly, a digital advertising company, places TV screens in public buses, but has struggled to find qualified web and mobile app developers in Senegal. "They are trained in technologies we do not work with," explains Mafal Lo, the co-founder of Firefly. "For example, all engineering schools in Dakar work in Java.
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
The ruling coalition of Senegal's President Macky Sall won a widely expected landslide in a legislative election, his prime minister said Monday, bolstering Sall's prospects for re-election in 2019. The Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition swept all except three of the country's 45 electoral departments, said Prime Minister Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, speaking to the public Senegalese press agency APS ahead of the official release of results. The ruling coalition "emerged victorious" following the vote on Sunday, Dionne said, while the turnout was 54 percent among Senegal's 6.2 million...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/17)
At least hundreds of Senegalese voters were prevented from casting their ballots in parliamentary elections on Sunday because of delays in issuing identity cards, voters and officials said. In an embarrassing turn for one of West Africa's most stable democracies, voters were left off voting lists at polling stations or told they did not have the right documents to vote. Opposition leaders have criticized President Macky Sall for trying to stamp out political opposition in a contentious campaign. Political demonstrations in Dakar are routinely halted by a heavy police presence and the liberal use of tear gas. And Khalifa Sall, the popular mayor of the capital, Dakar, and one of Sall's main competitors, was jailed in March for embezzling public...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/17)
Senegal holds a legislative election on Sunday following a campaign gripped by tension between the rival coalitions of President Macky Sall, the former president Abdoulaye Wade and Dakar's mayor, Khalifa Sall. Campaigning ends Friday, with the first results known in the early hours of Monday. Polling will take place between 8am and 6pm (0800 to 1800 GMT) Sunday in what is seen as a crucial test of support ahead of a presidential vote in 2019. Police have fired tear gas and arrested dozens during campaigning as supporters of President Sall clashed with those of Mayor Sall (no relation) for keeping him in preventive detention as he awaits trial for embezzlement charges. The other thorn in President Sall's side is 91-year-old...

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