Tuesday 24 April 2018
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
A week after a mudslide killed hundreds of people in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, some relief agencies said the likelihood of finding more survivors is so slim that rescuers should halt digging. Thick mud and a lack of equipment are hampering search operations and may expose rescue workers to diseases, Idalia Amaya, an emergency response coordinator for Catholic Relief Services, said by phone from Freetown. Some relief agencies proposed that the government turn the areas where bodies are trapped into memorial sites, she said. “Because it’s still the rainy season, it’s going to be dangerous to continue to be digging if you don’t have the proper equipment,” she said. “It’s a high risk.” August is the peak of the rainy...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
Gathered in a Freetown church, worshippers struggled Sunday to come to terms with the devastation wrought by the flooding and mudslide that struck the Sierra Leone capital six days ago, as the arduous search for bodies continued. "I just close my eyes and imagine, I say, 'It could have been me'," says Angela Johnson, one of about 50 parishioners at St Paul's Catholic Church in Regent, the hilltop community that bore the brunt of the catastrophe. "When I wake up to get up from my bed, I see darkness. It could have been me buried in that rubble, oh my God." Outside, the hill that was once covered with trees bears the red-orange scar of the mudslide which struck last...
(The Associated Press 08/21/17)
Churches across Sierra Leone held special services Sunday in memory of those killed in mudslides and flooding earlier this week, as hospital officials announced the toll had risen to nearly 500 bodies collected. More than 600 people remain missing and rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day. The death toll earlier stood at 450. The Inter-Religious Council called for the services to be held Sunday in honor of the deceased, as special prayers and recitals were offered in mosques Friday and Sunday. The preacher at Buxton Memorial Methodist Church in Freetown, the capital, offered a sermon that looked at mankind's contribution to the disaster, as a gospel band rendered the song "Papa God...
(Xinhuanet 08/21/17)
Bodies recovered from the mudslide and flooding on Aug. 14 in Sierra Leone have totalled 499, local media reported on Sunday. Victims included 162 male, 163 female, 70 boys and 86 girls and an additional 18, Awoko Newspaper reported. The side of a hill collapsed in heavy rains in the early hours of Aug. 14, killing residents and destroying homes near or on the outskirts of Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, and leaving more than 2,000 others homeless. Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday declared seven days of mourning across the country with immediate effect. Humanitarian aids are coming in from countries including China and Ghana for the people affected by the disaster. According to the Chinese Embassy...
(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 Management. “Smaller towers can run...

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