Saturday 19 August 2017
(APA 08/08/17)
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of environmentally-sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes is due in Sierra Leone next week. The government has announced that Baskut Tuncak is to embark on a week-long visit to enable him gain first-hand understanding of human rights and their connection with the issue of the handling and disposal of toxic and other hazardous substances. Mr Tuncak is scheduled to arrive in Freetown on Monday 14 August and depart Friday 25 August, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.
(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...
(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,...
(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)
Street jogging with your chums is a sport enjoyed by millions around the world -- but not by police in Sierra Leone, who have just outlawed the practice. To the dismay of fun-runners, police in the west African state have banned group jogging in the street on the grounds that it encourages disruptive behaviour. "Police headquarters has observed with dismay that people are in the habit of jogging in large numbers along the streets with a hint of menace, raining insults, obstructing traffic, pounding on vehicles, playing loud music, and snatching property from other members of the public," the police announced. Their letter, dated July 27, said an "immediate ban on such activities" was being enforced "in line with the...
(The Guardian 07/28/17)
Abortion is illegal in Sierra Leone, with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the world. Attitudes need to change to save the lives of young girls. I recently saw a girl in clinic with terrible complications following a caesarean section. The operation had been botched and she had an infection around her uterus. She was in terrible pain and critically unwell. This was in the children’s clinic; the girl was 14 years old. This scenario is all too common. She is just one of the thousands of adolescent girls estimated to have become pregnant this year in Sierra Leone. In 2013 the country had the 7th highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world, 38% of women aged...
(APA 07/28/17)
Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma will on Friday commission a landmark solar energy project of the Ministry of Energy Rural Renewable Electrification Project and funded by the UK. The Energy ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the project, which involved the installation of Solar Mini Grids in 54 Community Health Centres across the country, was part of a larger project designed to benefit over half a million Sierra Leoneans. Electrification of community health facilities is crucial in the efforts by the government and its partners to salvage the country's decrepit health sector. This renewable energy electrification project is being implemented by the United Nations Operations Services. Under it 50 more units are set for installation by 2020...
(APA 07/28/17)
The NGO Defence for Children International Sierra Leone (DCI-SL) on Thursday organized training for Paramount Chiefs and members of the Family Support Units (FSU) within the Sierra Leone Police in a bid to bridge a collaboration gap in the effort to prosecute sexual violence cases. The training was organized in the southern Moyamba District, one of the districts highly affected by this epidemic of sexual violence in Sierra Leone. A statement from the campaign group said the purpose of the training was to strengthen the relationship between Paramount Chiefs and FSU, which is responsible for handling gender and sexual based violence issues in the police. The participants were engaged on the management of their involvement in the investigation and prosecution...
(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...
(APA 07/28/17)
The President of the Football Association of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Isha Johansen, says she is ending her four years term with the football sector better than she inherited it. "It has been an eventful four years in my life to say the least and one that will no doubt leave lasting memories in not just the lives and homes of people I hope I have brought meaningful and positive changes to, but it will mark the day when four years ago the first woman in the history of Sierra Leone was elected to lead a male-dominated industry in Sierra Leone- football," she told a news conference in Freetown on Thursday. "This is a feat very few are able to achieve...
(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.
(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...
(APA 07/21/17)
One of Sierra Leone’s leading presidential aspirants, Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, has dismissed a list circulating on social media and purported to contain names of his proposed choice of cabinet members. The list was also published by the daily Independent Observe Newspaper under the title: "Maada Bio's 2018 Cabinet Leaked". Bio, a former military head of state, who lost to President Ernest Bai Koroma during the 2012 elections, is seeking to run again next year. But his candidature has been the source of a major division with the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). The alleged list contained names of his allies in the party and the media. Bio responded to the list through his media and communication team, which...
(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...
(The Guardian 07/20/17)
I recently saw a girl in clinic with terrible complications following a caesarean section. The operation had been botched and she had an infection around her uterus. She was in terrible pain and critically unwell. This was in the children’s clinic; the girl was 14 years old. This scenario is all too common. She is just one of the thousands of adolescent girls estimated to have become pregnant this year in Sierra Leone. In 2013 the country had the 7th highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world, 38% of women aged 20-24 had their first baby before the age of 18. Sierra Leone is by no means an exception.
(Others 07/20/17)
Freetown City Council, on Wednesday, held a meeting at their Wallace Johnson Street office, with bike riders, tribal heads, Trader’s Union, representatives from the Nigerian and Indian communities. The meeting was to discuss tax collection. The Acting Chief Administrator, Mohamed Koroma, said, “We need money to clean the city.” People are obliged to pay the local tax of Le5,000. Koroma appealed for help to get people to pay the local tax. The 1975 Local Tax Act, dictates that every citizen, who is 18-years and above, must pay tax. He furthered that during the rainy season, Council is faced with lot of challenges, adding that they need money to surmount those challenges. It was suggested that City Council should be collecting...
(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,...
(APA 07/19/17)
The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday ratified a $30 million Financing Agreement meant to improve and strengthen the country’s economy in the context of the twin-shocks of Ebola and the drop in the prices of iron ore, its major export. The ‘Productivity and Transparency Support Credit’ from the International Development Association is inclusive of $22 Million Grant and $8 Million Loan, repayable within the next 32 years with 6 years grace period, the parliament said in a statement on Wednesday. The agreement was presented before lawmakers by a representative of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development who said it was meant to unlock inclusive growth and scaling up...

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