Wednesday 21 February 2018
(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...
(Voice of America 07/28/17)
Senegal is wrapping up a heated campaign season ahead of Sunday’s legislative polls. Tear gas filled the air in Dakar’s city center this week as police dispersed an opposition demonstration called by former president Abdoulaye Wade to denounce the organization of the upcoming election. Wade’s return to the country to lead the main opposition coalition has been just one spark raising the temperature during this campaign period. Another key political figure, the mayor of Dakar, is leading his "Manko Taxanu Senegal" coalition from prison. Khalifa Sall was arrested in March and charged with embezzling public funds. He demanded temporary release during the campaign period, but his request was rejected by the Supreme Court. Supporters waited for the verdict outside the...
(Andalou Agency 07/28/17)
Court approves president’s demands. The country’s Constitutional Court approved Thursday President Macky Sall’s move to allow voters to use passports and driver’s licenses. Sall urged the court Monday to allow those without voter ID cards, to cast ballots with national documents. “In the withdrawal of biometric identity cards, the President of the Republic submitted to the Constitutional Council … that voters 'having been able to withdraw their cards can vote in the legislative elections of 30 July 2017,” he wrote in a letter to the court. “Those without can use … A digitized national identity card, an old voter card, a passport, and a driving license”. But opposition coalition members opposed the directive, claiming it as a slap to democracy...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Dawn has barely broken as three of Senegal's estimated 50,000 child beggars dart through the capital's streets, hoping for a bag of sugar or a few coins to hand over to their teachers. Senegal's "talibes" -- children as young as four sent to Islamic boarding schools by their parents, then forced to earn their keep by begging -- are out in force every day in Dakar, despite a government crackdown on the practice. Child specialists say a spike in numbers at dedicated reception centres left them struggling to house so many children as they sifted through individual cases...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(Agence Ecofin 07/25/17)
In Senegal, Prime Minister Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, announced that President Macky Sall will give today 366 land titles to residents of Tobago. Evicted from their homes in mid-2015, during works at the Léopold Sédar Senghor airport of Dakar, the beneficiaries filed actin to have their rights restored. “The 366 victims will today receive, as a symbolic gesture, at the Presidential palace, from the President of the Republic. The families will be represented by a select committee,” local press reports. The government is trying here to calm the people of Tobago angered by the expropriation that caused all but six buildings in the area to destructed, on the order of June 4, 2015, by President Sall himself. Souha Touré
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Senior politicians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday called for measures to cut the birth rate in the region in order to bring the population explosion there under control. Deputies of ECOWAS, Mauritania and Chad should be aiming to cut back the birth rate to three children per woman, said Salifou Diallo, Burkina Faso's speaker of parliament. The idea, he said, was to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that has the highest fertility rates in the world. He called for countries to adopt measures including universal access to family planning, improved education for women and better health care of children, to bring about "a rapid, voluntary decline" in the...
(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

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