| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 03/30/17)
Sierra Leonean farmer Bockarie Swaray was sitting on his porch one morning when he heard a deep whirring noise and jumped up to see a bulldozer fell his banana, oil palm and kola nut trees. "There was nothing I could do," he said, slumped on a plastic chair with a frown on his thin, lined face. "I just prayed to almighty God to help me." Swaray said his 11 acres (4 hectares) of land, in Sierra Leone's southern Pujehun province, was taken to become part of a 45,000 acre (18,200 hectares) palm oil plantation run by international agro-investor Socfin. But Socfin, which runs rubber and oil plantations in six African countries, maintains it respected all terms of an agreement with...
(The East African 03/30/17)
Freetown — Sierra Leone's parliamentary majority leader has been sacked in the latest episode of a power struggle in the governing All People's Congress (APC). Ibrahim Bundu was replaced by his deputy in an announcement yesterday by Speaker Sheku Dumbuya. Dumbuya said he was acting "on the instruction" of President Ernest Bai Koroma. The Speaker said the President acted in his capacity as "leader and chairman" of the party and had found that Bundu could no longer be fair in his role as head of the House. Majority Leader in parliament since 2014, Bundu was one of the over a dozen aspirants for the APC's presidential ticket in next year
(Gouvernement 03/30/17)
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma Thursday 23 March 2017 launched the National Land Policy at State House in Freetown. The lack of a National Land Policy over the years has contributed significantly to the current chaotic situation of poor land management, land grabbing and increased land litigations one of the key priorities of the Government of Sierra Leone in the Agenda for Prosperity has been the effective and efficient management of land as the aspiration of the policy is to move towards a clearer, more effective and just land tenure system as a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development and poverty alleviation. In a brief statement following the launching of the policy, President Koroma said the policy will address ownership, access...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh prayed for five years that he would discover the diamond he needed to pull his family out of poverty in eastern Sierra Leone. The 39-year-old pastor obtained his first mining licence in 2012 when the paltry income he received from the Deeper Life Church in Kono, the country's key mining district, was stretched too thin for his growing family. Momoh went on to build a small business of 18 employees, digging and sifting through gravel with pickaxes and hoes day after day, never finding gems larger than a speck in the dirt. "Diamonds are extremely hard to find on the ground, it requires patience, hard work and prayers," Momoh told AFP by telephone in Freetown, where...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(Gouvernement 03/23/17)
On Wednesday March 22nd 2017, the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development signed a loan agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) in Freetown to provide a loan of USD$17 million for the construction of the Lumley-Tokeh road. According to the head of the Kuwaiti delegation, Mr Ghanem Al-Ghenaiman, this is the ninth project supported by the fund in Sierra Leone, saying that "Sierra Leone is the first country to be supported twice in a single financial year." He acknowledged the good working rapport between the GoSL and the Kuwaiti Fund as he looked forward to signing additional agreements. In a brief statement following the signing ceremony, President Koroma thanked the Kuwaiti Fund for another support in charting the...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
Nationwide voter/civil registration began in Sierra Leone on Monday for the 2018 elections, with President Ernest Bai Koroma and the First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma leading as examples. After he finished the process at the NIBATT 13 Godereich Community Primary School, Western Rural in Freetown, Koroma called on all citizens to come out in their numbers and register for the 2018 local council, parliamentary and presidential elections. According to Chairman of the National Electoral Commission Mohamed N'fa Alie, people who registered would be issued a multipurpose identity card that would be used not only for the elections
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
A pastor working in the mines of eastern Sierra Leone has unearthed a 706-carat diamond, the government said Thursday, pledging to hold a transparent auction for the gem in a nation once tainted by "blood diamonds". The huge diamond was discovered by pastor Emmanuel Momoh, one of thousands who seek their fortunes in the informal mining sector that dominates the diamond-rich Kono region, the government said in a statement. "A 706-carat diamond was presented to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday evening," the president's office said Thursday. "Receiving the diamond President Koroma thanked the chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country," it added, referring to the Tankoro chiefdom where Momoh uncovered the gem. It...
(APA 03/16/17)
Sierra Leone has announced the discovery of 706 carats of diamond, which officials say is the largest diamond discovery in the country in over 40 years. The diamond was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday, a day after it was discovered by an artisanal miner in the eastern diamond rich Kono District. It is ranked the third largest diamond ever discovered in the country. The largest diamond in record to have been discovered in the country in 1972 was also from Kono and it weighed 968.9 carats and was sold for US$2.5m. In a brief ceremony at the State House in Freetown, President Koroma assured the owners of the latest find of fair play in the sale of...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...

Pages