| Africatime
Thursday 23 February 2017
(AFP (eng) 09/09/16)
Sierra Leone's top football official is on bail following police questioning related to allegations by the country's anti-graft body that $3.5 million in FIFA and government funds were misused, her lawyer said Friday. Police arrested Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen, her vice-president Brima Kamara and secretary-general Chris Kamara on Wednesday night, and drove them to the headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Freetown before they were taken into custody. Their lawyer told AFP Johansen was bailed on Thursday evening but the two others remained in custody for a second night after failing to meet the required bail conditions. None have been charged. ACC chief Ady Macauley told AFP their arrests related to "discrepancies in the financial...
(Voice of America 09/09/16)
The organizers of this week's Africa Green Revolution Forum in Kenya say the continent is well on its way to an agricultural renaissance. The forum is wrapping up with a significant boost toward that goal: a pledge of $30 billion during the next 10 years to support smallholder farmers and local African agribusinesses. The donors include African governments, businesses and development partners, many of whom have been present for the Nairobi forum. But significant challenges remain for the continent, and experts have many theories about what it will take to make Africa’s green revolution a reality. Country manager James Craske of Yara, a leading fertilizer manufacturing company in Africa, said quality seeds and fertilizer would make a difference. “I think...
(AFP (eng) 09/08/16)
Three of Sierra Leone's top football officials were arrested and detained overnight over alleged corruption offences, the head of the country's anti-graft agency told AFP Thursday. Police picked up the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president, Isha Johansen, her vice-president Brima Kamara and secretary-general Chris Kamara on Wednesday night, and drove them to the headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Freetown before they were taken into custody. ACC chief Ady Macauley told AFP their arrests related to "discrepancies in the financial statement of the SLFA relating to donor and public funds to the amount of $3.5 million," since Johansen assumed office in 2013. Macauley said Johansen, Kamara and Kamara had been invited to speak to the ACC on several...
(AFP (eng) 09/04/16)
As Gabon is rocked by violence following the contested re-election of President Ali Bongo, experts says electoral fraud in Africa is becoming harder, thanks to civil society vigilance and spread of mobile technology. Opposition leader Jean Ping on Friday declared himself the rightful president of Gabon and called for a recount, following Bongo’s claim of victory with a razor-thin margin of just under 6,000 votes in the August 27 election. But recent elections in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin and Burkina Faso have all been held largely without dispute, overseen by engaged citizens who assured careful monitoring of the process, said Mathias Hounkpe...
(AFP (eng) 08/27/16)
Japan will pour $30 billion (27 billion euros) in investment in Africa by 2018, including $10 billion in infrastructure development, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday at a summit in Nairobi. "When combined with the investment from the private sector I expect the total real amount to be $30 billion," Abe said at the opening of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). "This is an investment that has faith in Africa's future," he said. Abe will use the conference to meet dozens of leaders from across Africa, among them Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa's Jacob Zuma. It is the first time that the TICAD conference is being held in Africa, with all five previous events...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/16)
A teenage girl died after undergoing a botched female circumcision in Sierra Leone, police said Thursday, just days after the death of a 10-year-old girl in Guinea. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is widespread in the neighbouring west African countries, with about 90 percent of women in both countries undergoing circumcision. Teenager Fatmata Turay died after she was circumcised in an initiation ceremony in the village of Mabolleh in north Sierra Leone and three women involved, including the girl's aunt, have been arrested, police said. "There will be an investigation into the circumstances...
(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/16)
A secondary school student and a street seller were shot dead by security forces in northern Sierra Leone Tuesday during a demonstration by youths angered by the relocation of a job training centre. Police in Kabala, Koinadugu district, said youth activists set fire to homes, burning two to the ground, while the protesters spoke of a peaceful rally attended by dozens that was fatally halted by bullets fired into the crowd. Nurses treating the wounded at a nearby hospital confirmed to AFP they had seen two dead bodies and were treating at least 15 injured people. The victims, whose identities have not been disclosed, were shot in the head and the back, according to protesters and a resident reached by...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/16)
West African troops who have provided security to the unstable west African state of Guinea-Bissau will pull out within a year, a top official for the ECOWAS regional bloc said Monday. The troops were deployed in May 2012 following one of the nation's many coups and have since served with a mandate to protect public figures and institutions. "That's four years now. The contingent cannot stay in Guinea-Bissau forever. It's costing us a lot, and more and more often the head of state has asked me to organise the demobilisation," said Marcel Alain De Souza, the head of the ECOWAS Commission. "That's what we are working on, to extend our stay for a year so that the security situation can...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/16)
Sierra Leone and Liberia risk new deadly epidemics akin to the impact of the Ebola virus due to lack of clean water and hygienic conditions in most homes, an NGO warned Tuesday. WaterAid said the two provisions were the "first line of defence" against infectious diseases but needed to be put into place before outbreaks began. In Sierra Leone, more than 37 percent of people do not have access to clean water, the British-based group said in a statement. In Liberia, the figure is 24.5 percent. When it comes to basic sanitation, WaterAid said the figures were even higher -- 86.7 percent of people in Sierra Leone and just over 83 percent in Liberia live without access to it. "The...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(APA 08/05/16)
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday signed the 2016 Performance Contract Agreement (POA) with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amidst warning against poor performance in delivery. He said for any government agency to be provided with money, they must have a workable plan that's in tune with the government's development agenda. The heads of about 90 state run corporations and enterprises the signed agreements binding them to meet a set target of achievements within their mandates. The PCA is an assessment model aimed at ensuring timely and quality delivery by government departments. It began in 2008 with 22 agencies as a pilot project.
(APA 08/05/16)
The umbrella body of pig and poultry breeders in Sierra Leone has blamed the government for the low level of consumption of local produce, especially meat and chicken products. The Pig and Poultry Farmers Association of Sierra Leone (PPFA-SL) said the low consumption level of locally produced products was the result of lack of adequate local livestock, which was in turn due to inadequate support from the government. “Most of the livestock farms are moribund due to the lack of initiatives to promote agriculture as a business,” Emil Kargbo, President of PPFA – SL, said Friday. Kargbo was speaking in the context of an ongoing public debate sparked by the discovery of three 40ft containers of spoiled chickens which were...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/16)
In an expanse of sand 60 miles (100 km) north of Senegal's capital, two men set to work digging up tree stumps to clear space for what could soon be the biggest solar plant in West Africa. In less than a year, says developer Senergy PV SA, this shrubby lot will be covered with 96,000 gleaming solar panels from China, injecting up to 30 megawatts into the grid. It is an attractive prospect for a nation with a dire power deficit, and which currently meets most of its needs by burning imported oil in hugely inefficient diesel generators. "The context is favorable," Karim Ndiaye, investment director at French private equity firm Meridiam, which bought out the original Senergy company in...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Farmers in West Africa still reeling from the impact of Ebola, urgently need help or they could be forced to leave their farms to seek work elsewhere, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on Wednesday. During the epidemic, many farmers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were unable to grow or sell their crops because of measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions, border closures and quarantines, as well as fear of infection. Rice, cassava and other crops went unharvested. Food production in Sierra Leone's bread basket and epicenter of the epidemic stalled, and weekly markets ceased trading because there was nothing to sell, according to the World Bank. Although the epidemic has ended officially, experts are...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Barclays is expected to sell more of its stake in its African subsidiary in the coming weeks to take its holding in the business to less than 50% and strengthen the UK parent bank's capital. A lock-up period following a previous share sale expires on Tuesday, and Barclays is expected to sell more stock in Barclays Africa as part of its plan to deconsolidate the business. Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who took over a year ago, decided in March to sell down the stake in its African operations because the bank's 62% ownership meant it had to fully allocate capital to the business, but got less than two-thirds of its profits. The bank sold a 12.2% stake on May 4,...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...

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