Tuesday 27 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(APA 04/04/17)
Low iron ore export and the decline in donor support have resulted in the widening of Sierra Leone’s current account deficit, the IMF has said. According to a statement published at the conclusion of the IMF Mission to the country, talks between the IMF and the government over the possibility for a new programme would commence. A 2013-2016 loan facility granted to Sierra Leone under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility expired at the end of last year. And since then, the country has had no programme with the IMF. The IMF statement said that a team led by its senior official, John Wakeman-Linn, was in the country between March 14 and 28 to commence negotiations for a new arrangement. According...
(APA 04/04/17)
A coalition of civil society organizations monitoring Sierra Leone’s electoral process on Monday raised concern over the possibility for the timely conclusion of the ongoing voter registration process. The Standing Together for Democracy Consortium, comprising the membership of seven CSOs and NGOs, fear that a motion being debated in the country’s Parliament, coupled with ceaseless reports of delay at the registration centres, could prevent the conclusion of the registration with less than a year before the general elections. According to Sierra Leone’s constitution, the voter register must be ready within a particular period of time prior to elections for it to be valid. Last week, the Parliament introduced a motion challenging the National Electoral Commission for embarking on the registration...
(APA 04/04/17)
The lecturers of the beleaguered Njala University in Sierra Leone have demanded investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds by the institution’s management. The call made on Monday comes on the same day the lectures resumed in the university after a three- month strike action ended, following fetal clashes between the students and the police late last month. The lecturers were protesting against unpaid benefits and allowances. The refusal of the government to heed to their demand led to the street protests by the students. One student was killed when the police opened fire on them in the southern city of Bo. Amira Alghali Kaitibi, Deputy Secretary General of the Academic Staff Association of Njala University, was quoted as saying that...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Daily Nation 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.
(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...

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