Friday 15 December 2017
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(APA 09/07/17)
Some 3,178, 663 people have been cleared to vote in next year’s elections in Sierra Leone, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced. NEC, in a statement publishing its final voter register Wednesday evening, also admitted to reports of missing data which had sparked concern among political parties and their supporters. The electoral commission was reported to have failed to account for data for hundreds of voters, a situation attributed to faulty registration machines. But the Commission in its statement said all the details were within its system and that it only needed to recapture them. In the statement signed by the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed N’fa Alie Conteh
(APA 09/07/17)
Sierra Leone’s Ombudsman has ruled against some students, who were challenging the decision of the country’s Law School not to admit them. In a report marking the conclusion of the five months of investigation, the Ombudsman found the administration of the Law School of Sierra Leone not wanting in the allegations levied against it by the group of 50 students, who were denied admission after completing their Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) with the hope of being called to the Bar. As an academic routine, after the four-year degree programme, successful candidates, who want to become practicing lawyers, go through a year-long intensive training at the Law School as a prerequisite to be called to the Bar. This case in...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(APA 09/06/17)
The Sierra Leonean Government said on Tuesday that it was set to deploy an anti-Cholera vaccine as part of efforts to prevent a looming threat of the outbreak of infectious diseases in the aftermath of last month’s deadly mudslide and flooding disasters. Some 500, 000 people will benefit from the vaccine that will be administered orally in a mass Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign later this month. The August 14 flooding, which also led to a mudslide in Regent Village in the outskirts of the city, directly affected about a dozen communities in the capital Freetown and its outskirts. About 1000 lives have been reported lost and over 1000 displaced. Health ministry officials said on Tuesday the flood had left many...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Daily Trust 09/04/17)
First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited and its subsidiaries, have initiated a fund-raising drive across its staff as part of the FirstBank Employee Volunteering Scheme, to provide humanitarian service to the victims of the mudslides and floods that devastated parts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. The initiative which is part of its commitment to drive the sustainable development of the communities in which it does business, will see staff members collectively render succour and hope to the needy and the funds raised will complement the bank’s corporate donation to the victims of the disaster. The bank has also implored its customers and members of the public to join in the cause of providing succour to victims of this tragedy. A...
(Dw-World 09/04/17)
Sierra Leone opposition leader Mohammed Kamarainba Mansaray's has seen his party office go up in flames, been arrested on several occasions and charged in court. Mohammed Kamarainba Mansaray is now considered by experts to be a major challenger to the ruling party, All People's Congress (APC). In the months since he announced his presidential candidacy for elections in March 2018, Mansaray has openly criticized incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma, who is not seeking a new term. Mansaray's outspokenness has earned him enemies. Earlier this week, fire broke out in the offices of his party, the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), in downtown Freetown. The young politician has said that he is very suspicious about the causes of the fire. The police...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Authorities in Guinea said Tuesday that they had found at least 19 bodies believed to have washed up from neighbouring Sierra Leone following catastrophic flooding and mudslides there. Some 500 people died and more than 800 were reported missing after the disaster that struck Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on August 13-14, when heavy rains swept away everything in their path. Two weeks later, officials in Guinea said bodies had washed up as far away as the capital Conakry, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) from Freetown, as well as further down the coast at the ports of Koba and Kakossa and off the island of Kabak. "Since the catastrophe in Freetown we have recovered a total of 19 bodies off our...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - The bodies of 19 people thought to have perished in a mudslide in Sierra Leone more than a fortnight ago have washed up on Guinea’s shores, the government in Conakry said on Wednesday. The Aug. 14 mudslide at Freetown’s crowded Mount Sugar Loaf killed an estimated 500 people, but hundreds of others are still missing. Sporadic downpours have continued since, flooding parts of the coastal city and washing away more mud containing unrecovered human remains. “The bodies in all likelihood come from Sierra Leone since there have been no alerts about boats that have capsized,” said Guinea government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara. Most of them were in an advanced state of decomposition and were found by fisherman...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(The Associated Press 08/28/17)
More than 1,000 people have died from the mudslide and flood that hit Sierra Leone's capital nearly two weeks ago, a local leader and a minister said Sunday during services honoring the disaster's victims. The government had earlier put the death toll for the Aug. 14 mudslide at 450 dead, while rescuers and aid groups warned that many of the more than 600 people missing would likely not survive. "Over 1,000 perished in the mudslide and flood disaster, and we will never know the exact number now," Elenoroh Jokomie Metzger, the head of the women of Regent, said. Regent is an area on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, where the mudslide hit. Hundreds of burials have taken place,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(Voice of America 08/25/17)
Patients who survive infection with the Ebola virus often continue to face numerous health problems. New research finds 80 percent of Ebola survivors suffer disabilities one year after being discharged from the hospital. Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016; tens of thousands more who were infected survived. Of those survivors, many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months. Researchers at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are studying what's called post-Ebola syndrome. One of the senior authors of the study, Dr. Janet Scott, says researchers are unsure why survivors experience such disabilities. "I'm not sure we've quite gotten to the bottom of it...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(AFP (eng) 08/22/17)
Authorities in Sierra Leone on Tuesday warned tourists and locals against swimming in the capital's waters after 60 bodies washed up following deadly flooding and mudslides in Freetown last week. "I would advise not to go and start to swim until we feel it is safe and reasonable enough," Yassin Kargbo, the director general of the city's tourism office, told reporters in Freetown. He said the city put out the advisory "because of the different debris that came into the water and the likelihood that you (could) get yourself hurt or contaminated by the water". Kargbo said authorities had discovered 60 bodies on the shore and one survivor, a week after the city was struck by flooding and mudslides that...

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