| Africatime
Saturday 25 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 09/17/16)
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has reiterated its commitment to continue supporting African countries to boost the number of tourist arrivals so as to spur economic growth and job creation on the continent. Elcia Grandcourt, UNWTO Programme Director for Africa, told Xinhua Friday at an ongoing three-day workshop in Addis Ababa that UNWTO is also committed to helping African countries address the challenges in tourism sector. "Today and yesterday, we talked about the issues of travel facilitation, for example, accessibility, visa facilitation, the right and appropriate infrastructure, the right policy framework-- these are all the challenges that are there," she said. "We work with our members to try and see how progressively we can have to address these issues."...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/16)
Major private equity firms have seen a number of top management departures in Africa, individuals familiar with the matter said, as the funds grapple with investments hurt by a weak economy. U.S. firm Carlyle (CG.O), Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and emerging market-focused Actis have all seen a change of top executives at their Africa funds, according to these six individuals. Once seen as a beacon of growth, private equity firms expanded their business in the region just before the financial crash. A weak economy and falling currencies have now taken the gloss off a decade of 'Africa rising' optimism. Some investments by these companies have struggled in the downturn. The changes at these groups, which pool the money of pension funds...
(BBC News Africa 09/15/16)
Swiss firms have been criticised in a report for their links to the African trade in diesel with toxin levels that are illegal in Europe. Campaign group Public Eye says retailers are exploiting weak regulatory standards. Vitol, Trafigura, Addax & Oryx and Lynx Energy have been named because they are shareholders of the fuel retailers. Trafigura and Vitol say the report is misconceived and retailers work within legal limits enforced in the countries. Three of the distribution companies mentioned in the report have responded by saying that they meet the regulatory requirements of the market and have no vested interest in keeping sulphur levels higher than they need to be. Although this is within the limits set by national governments,...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/13/16)
Beaten at home by her parents and unable to go to school due to the Ebola outbreak which devastated Sierra Leone, 15-year-old Rugiatu Conteh had nowhere to go, and no one she could turn to. Until she met Abdul, a charming man in his early twenties. "He was kind and helped me to get by, at first," she said. "But he changed when he learned I'd got belly (become pregnant). Then he disappeared," Conteh, now 17, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the northern district of Kambia. Struggling to survive without Abdul, or her parents who had died of Ebola, the pregnant teenager took solace in resuming her education
(Voice of America 09/13/16)
Representatives of 30 African countries have been working this week to map out ways to stop the continent’s mass rural exodus at the Forum on Rural Development in Yaounde. Emmanuel Afessi works on his desk top at Odja center in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, where he is training 30 youths on information technologies at the center he created when he returned from the United States a year ago. "Africa needs to produce its own knowledge, its own equipment and that is why we want to train people within the continent," he said. "ICTs help close the gap between the developed and the developing world much faster than any technology including the motor vehicles. It is a large contributor to most African...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity of films, documentaries and other forms of audiovisual productions and create market channels for selling the films. The funding plan is one of the key planks of the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival (AASFF) to be held in Nairobi from...
(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...

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