Tuesday 20 February 2018
(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...
(APA 07/19/17)
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) of Sierra Leone has certified five new political parties ahead of next year's general elections. The PPRC in a statement on Wednesday said it has handed over provisional registration as political parties to the National Democratic Movement for Development (NDMD), Peoples Democratic League (PDL), Republican National Independent (ReNIP), the Unity Movement (UM) and the National Grand Coalition Movement (NGCM). The five are part of 13 movements which were recently given approval to serve as movement. In Sierra Leone the relevant laws requires political groups seeking to form political parties to go through such steps. Justice Patrick O. Hamilton, Chairman of PPRC, however said in the statement that the five groups need to pass one...
(APA 07/19/17)
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone has announced plans to conduct mobile complaints hearing to encourage the participation of citizens in the rights reporting system. According to a statement released on Monday, the commission said the upcoming exercises will be held in the northern Koinadugu district, running from July 20th- 22nd. The commission is conducting the mobile hearing in selected rural communities in the country, after the pilot phase was held in the southern Pujehun District from 22nd-23rd May 2017. "The main purpose of these exercises is to provide the opportunity to people living in these communities to submit in person their complaints of alleged human rights violations to the commission," the statement reads in part. It adds that...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(APA 07/17/17)
Sierra Leone's Health Ministry has declared eight districts as having contained the spread of Neglected Tropical Diseases prevalent to the country. An official said Monday focus is now being directed to five remaining districts known to be having active transmission of the illnesses. Soil-transmmitted helmintha, Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis and Yaws are said to be the most common Neglected Tropical Diseases in the country. Repeated mass drug administration over the years, with the help of donor funding, led to the reduction of cases in the eight districts of Bo, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bonthe, Kono, Kambia, Tonkolili, and Port Loko, says Dr Yankuba Madina Bah, Manager, Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Programme in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. "We have done a survey...
(APA 07/17/17)
The Sierra Leone Police intends to use an emergency alert system to facilitate rapid response to crime, a senior police officer disclosed on Monday. Al Sheikh Kamara, Director of Operation at the Sierra Leone Police, said the Inspector General of Police had just signed a contract for the provision of 112 as a free toll through which citizens can reach the police to report crime so that law enforcement officers can deploy in timely manner. Kamara, who has the title of Assistant Inspector General, said the move is part of the police's strategy to curb rising rate of crime in the country. He added that the emergency line will cut down on response time. Kamara said most of the time...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(BBC News Africa 07/11/17)
The football crisis in Sierra Leone has deepened after the annual congress of the country's football governing body -- scheduled for Friday to pave the way for elections next month -- was suspended by football’s world governing body, FIFA. The term of office of the current Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) led by Isha Johansen, comes to an end on August 3. FIFA says the Congress is postponed indefinitely until a task force can be sent to Freetown to sort out issues at the SLFA relating to integrity checks. FIFA took the decision based on recommendations by its member associations committee of which
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(APA 07/10/17)
The world football governing body, FIFA, has ordered the suspension of the much anticipated Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) congress slated for this Friday, APA learnt on Monday. FIFA, according to the FA, cited unresolved issues relating to dispute between the current FA executive and its opponents. FIFA said in a letter to the FA that Congress must be delayed until a task force it has assigned embarks on a mission of integrity check. The SLFA Congress was to pave the way for its election as the term of office of the current FA President Aisha Johansen expires on August 3. Fifa said it took the decision based on recommendations by its member associations committee. Last year FIFA Secretary General,...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
Women from Sierra Leone can now pass on their nationality to their children, following the passage of what women's rights groups said Friday was a landmark change in the law for gender equality. Until the new Citizenship Amendment Act was passed on Wednesday, Sierra Leonean women were denied the right to hand down citizenship to their children born abroad, causing problems for the diaspora community and exacerbating statelessness. "The new law shows that Sierra Leone is gradually getting to having gender parity like other countries around the world," said Fatou Taqi of the women's rights group 50/50. "Several Sierra Leonean women living in the diaspora married and unmarried with children had been disadvantaged over the years," she added. "We are...
(APA 07/07/17)
About 60 community health administrators on Thursday began a three-day training on data collection in the northern town of Makeni, as part of a government initiative to digitalize data collection in health facilities and enhance the provision of healthcare services. Officials say the current mode of data collection involves a lot of paper work, which consumes time with a high risk of error. This training was made possible by a UK funded initiative designed to strengthen Sierra Leone's health sector, which is reeling from the effect of the devastating Ebola epidemic. The UK's international development arm, DFID, is funding the initiative, which is implemented through a consortium of local and international NGOs called 'CHANGES'. Its main goal is to arrest...

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