Tuesday 22 August 2017
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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
(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...
(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...
(News24 07/10/17)
Senegal kicked off campaigning on 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 on Friday. A parliamentary...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/07/17)
Chinese and French companies are bidding to help Gambia build up its Atlantic port Banjul to be what industry sources say could be a rival to neighboring Senegal's Dakar. It would be one of the first major structural changes in Gambia following the end of President Yahya Jammeh's more than 20-year rule in January. State-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) (601800.SS) says one of its subsidiaries has made a bid for a 140 million euro ($159.91 million) contract Gambia has...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/24/17)
Air Senegal SA has ordered two ATR 72-600 aircraft in a 50 million euro ($56 million) deal as the new flagship carrier seeks to build up a fleet ahead of its launch later this year, the ministry of tourism and air transportation said on Thursday. Toulouse, France-based ATR, a partnership between Airbus and Italy's Leonardo, will deliver the two turboprop planes in November, the ministry said. Air Senegal was formed in April 2016 with 40 billion CFA francs ($68 million)...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(RFI(EN) 06/12/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron was to meet Côte d'Ivoire's President Alassane Ouattara on Sunday and Senegal's President Macky Sall on Monday, the first African heads of state to visit the Elysée presidential palace since his election last month. As French voters cast their ballots in the first round of a parliamentary election on Sunday, Macron will welcome Ouattara to the Elysée for a meeting and press conference. The Ivorian president has enjoyed warm relations with France for years, leading his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, to accuse the French of helping Ouattara topple him following 2010's disputed election. He will be the first African president to visit the Elysée...
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
It was almost sunset as fishermen guided their boats back onto the beach at Joal, Senegal, after a long day at sea. At first glance, it looks as though they'd collected a good day's haul, but their nets were full of small sardinella, known locally as yaabooy. Fisherman Mamdou Lamine had caught just one bucket of mackerel. He held one up next to a yaabooy to show how much bigger it was — and there are many more yaabooy than...

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