Thursday 25 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/19/16)
British energy major BP on Monday ramped up its presence in Africa with the purchase of stakes in gas projects in Mauritania and Senegal. BP said in a statement that it has agreed to acquire holdings in licenses held by Kosmos Energy for a total of $916 million (876 million euros). The London-listed group will buy a 62-percent interest in Kosmos' exploration blocks in Mauritania and a 32.49-percent share in its Senegal exploration blocks. "BP's entry into Mauritania and Senegal represents an exciting strategic opportunity to work with Kosmos Energy in an emerging world-class hydrocarbon basin," said Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley. The announcement came two days after BP bought a 10-percent share in an onshore oil concession in Abu...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/16)
Senegal on Saturday called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council after Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh announced he was rejecting the results of a Dec. 1 election which he lost to President-elect Adama Barrow. Senegal's Foreign Minister, Mankeur Ndiaye, speaking on television station TFM, also asked Jammeh to respect the election verdict and "solemnly" warned him not to harm Senegal's interests or its citizens in the West African country. Senegal is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council. (Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, G Crosse)
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/16)
Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow, one of the giants of African art, was laid to rest in Dakar on Tuesday, five days after he died at the age of 81. President Macky Sall was among those paying tribute to Sow before his funeral, attended by politicians and artistic leaders as well as his loved ones. "The man we are accompanying today to his final resting place was a great man of Senegal," Sall said, cited by the official APS news agency, also calling him "a world-renowned artist" and a "resolute humanist". Sow, who died last Thursday, "will remain an upstanding monument in the pantheon of great creators...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/16)
African stars Yaya Toure of Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City and Sadio Mane of Liverpool suffered English Premier League misery at the weekend. Ivorian Toure came off the bench as City fell 3-1 at home to leaders Chelsea, five days after he was charged with drink driving. Algerian Mahrez was substituted in an embarrassing 2-1 defeat for Leicester at Sunderland while Senegalese Mane scored before being taken off as Liverpool crumbled to a shock 4-3 loss at Bournemouth. ENGLAND YAYA TOURE (Manchester City) The Ivory Coast midfielder endured a frustrating end to a bad week as City were beaten 3-1 by title rivals Chelsea. Toure came on as a 76th-minute substitute with City trailing 2-1 and was unable...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming home fans. Desire slotted in from close range after a beautiful lob from team mate Ngozi Okobi hit a Cameroonian defender and fell on her path with six minutes to the end of the game. The remaining duration and three...
(Voice of America 12/02/16)
Activists are using the women's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon to campaign for the protection of the continent's forests and animal species. The campaign, called “Sports for Nature," is spearheaded by conservationist groups who say some of Africa's natural resources are on the verge of going extinct. In Yaounde, birds sing at a makeshift park near the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, one of the sites of the 2016 women's football African Cup of Nations. Conservationist Nevielle Tanyi points toward a crocodile walking nearby and describes the danger it poses to workers trying to maintain a pond. "When we provoke the crocodile to leave the pond area, it goes toward the side where there is no water and it normally...
(Xinhuanet 11/30/16)
Over 250 women security officers from 37 countries across Africa attending Africa Regional Convention of Women in Security Organs here vowed to step up efforts to stamp out gender-based violence (GBV) in the continent. The convention, organized according to the Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD), was designed to redraw strategies for women officers to play their role in the fight against crimes, especially child abuse and violence against women and girls. At the two-day event that opened Monday, the women officers from police, military and prison services called for more workshops and regular conferences and establishing anti-GBV centers in all member countries of KICD. They also called for prioritizing countries that need more attention in fighting violence against women and...
(Xinhuanet 11/29/16)
Experts in capital markets are advocating the acceleration of the bourses markets across Africa in order to drive economic growth on the continent. Speaking at the opening of Africa securities exchanges conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, experts emphasized that capital markets are becoming more important to African economies because they help raise funds for long term investment which will drive Africa into middle income status. Rwanda hosts the 20th African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) annual conference from November 27 to 29 dubbed: "The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the Real Economy." The three-day meeting has brought together more than 300 global and regional experts and stakeholders in capital markets, regulators, law firms...
(Washington Post 11/28/16)
Following his release after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela made sure one of his first trips abroad was to Havana. There, in the Cuban capital in 1991, Mandela lavished his host, Fidel Castro, with appreciation. Castro, said Mandela, was a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” The scene might seem paradoxical in some corners of the West. How could the global symbol of African liberation and democracy say such a thing about a man whose death last Friday provoked exiles who fled repressive Cuban rule to dance in Miami's streets? How could Mandela — imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid rulers — find common ground with Castro, who cleared his way to absolute power in Cuba by jailing untold...
(AFP (eng) 11/26/16)
Back in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War, the small Caribbean nation of Cuba went to war thousands of miles away in the battlefields of Angola and Ethiopia, leaving thousands dead. Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died late Friday, was convinced that the global stage for the "world revolution" was happening in Africa -- and thus Cuba became the first Latin American nation to go to war outside its own continent. Angola and Ethiopia soon became symbols of the "regional conflicts" of the Cold War, in which Washington and Moscow battled for ideological supremacy and power through proxy wars. But Havana's involvement in the fighting fields far from home was to cost it dear. Some 4,300 Cubans...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/16)
The wanted son of ousted international athletics president Lamine Diack took millions of euros from Russian competitors in return for "total protection" from failed doping tests, a new investigation said Friday. Germany's ARD television and France's Le Monde newspaper said six athletes each paid between 300,000 and 700,000 euros ($318,000-$740,000) to top officials including Papa Massata Diack who is wanted by French authorities but in hiding in his native Senegal. His father, Lamine Diack, is under house arrest in France. "The organised cover-up of suspected doping in the world of track and field has as such assumed a previously unimagined scale," said ARD.
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
To conserve biodiversity and enhance socio-economic growth, governments of sub-Saharan Africa must consider a priority the management of their land resources, said environmental experts at the end of the 10th meeting of ministers of natural resources of East and Southern countries in Kigali on November 21 and 22. “The two-day ministerial conference provided a platform for engagement among government officials in the Eastern and Southern African region involved in land administration and spatial planning on challenges and opportunities in land, urban and territorial planning,” Xinhua reported. The forum which focused on identifying means to integrate technologies in land management in order to boost economy, protect the environment and efficiently manage lands in the region, was a wake-up call for officials...
(APA 11/24/16)
Senegalese President Macky Sall has instructed his government to adopt a draft law on internal security (LOSI), a cabinet statement said. According to President Sall quoted by the official document copied to APA on Thursday, it is “imperative to proceed with the adoption of a draft bill governing internal security (LOSI)” to face insecurity resurgence in Senegal. “Macky Sall evoked the establishment of departmental committees for the prevention of juvenile delinquency. He invited each regional governor to do a local diagnosis of the security situation at their regional level”, the statement added. Macky Sall also stressed “the imperative to strengthen the population’s safety and the urgency to take all the necessary preventive and coercive measures, in particular by the police...

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