Tuesday 24 April 2018

Sierra Leone

(AFP (eng) 03/31/18)
Voting began Saturday in Sierra Leone in the final round of a delayed run-off presidential election after a campaign marked by verbal sparring, sporadic violence and a last-minute legal battle. A wafer-thin margin separated the two frontrunners after the first round on March 7, adding to tensions in the West African country where political loyalties are often divided along ethnic lines and traumatic memories of civil war run deep. Opposition challenger Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) had a narrow edge over Samura Kamara of the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC), in a ballot with a turnout of more than 80 percent. "So far this morning, everything is normal, it is...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Sierra Leone chooses a new president on Saturday following a delay caused by a ruling party-backed court case over alleged electoral fraud, spiking tensions following an already fractious campaign. The West African nation's 3.1 million voters will choose between the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC) candidate Samura Kamara and opposition challenger Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). Bio, a former junta leader, won by just 15,000 votes in the March 7 first round, but failed to attain the 55 percent of ballots needed to win outright, triggering a runoff. Turnout was over 80 percent.
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Julius Maada Bio, 53, a former coup-maker who once apologised for exactions carried out by his comrades, is taking a second stab at leading Sierra Leone as a civilian. The straight-talking retired brigadier, who briefly led a junta in 1996, is hoping to end a decade in power for the All Peoples' Congress (APC) with Saturday's runoff presidential election. A member of the Mende people who traditionally lend strong support to the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), Bio was...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Veteran politician Samura Kamara, seen as a shrewd political operator, hopes to take up the mantle of outgoing president Ernest Bai Koroma as his hand-picked successor. An economist by training, the 66-year-old Kamara was foreign minister until last year when he stepped down to pursue the presidency under the flag of the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC), an announcement that came as a surprise to many. A Catholic in a majority Muslim nation, Kamara is known for his ready smile...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
The West African nation of Sierra Leone, among the world's poorest countries despite significant mineral wealth, has been scarred by a brutal civil war and the deadly Ebola virus. Here is some background as Freetown prepares to hold a delayed presidential runoff on Saturday to replace Ernest Bai Koroma, who is stepping down after two terms. - Brutal civil war - Founded by Britain in 1787 for freed slaves evacuated from the Caribbean, Sierra Leone was a British colony until...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
Sierra Leone's electoral body announced on the eve of a presidential run-off on Monday that the vote would be delayed until Saturday after losing days of preparation due to a court order. The country's High Court had earlier lifted an injunction imposed on Saturday that halted the runoff until further notice, after considering a fraud complaint filed by a lawyer linked to the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC). The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said more time was needed "due to...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Sierra Leone's High Court on Monday lifted an order that had halted the country's presidential runoff because of a complaint of electoral fraud backed by the ruling party. The order that the electoral commission should be "restrained" from conducting Tuesday's vote is no longer in force, the court in Freetown said. The High Court had issued an order on Saturday to halt preparations for the vote, following a complaint filed by a lawyer linked to the ruling All Peoples' Congress...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Sierra Leone's opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio on Sunday accused outgoing leader Ernest Bai Koroma of attempting to derail Tuesday's presidential run-off through the courts to keep his party in power. The High Court on Saturday ordered the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to halt preparations for the vote until an election fraud complaint lodged by a lawyer linked to the ruling party is resolved. Bio, who won the March 7 first round by a slim margin for the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), is due to run against Koroma's hand-picked successor, Samura Kamara, who will represent the ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC). "The motivation behind the APC injunction is very clear: they do not want a runoff presidential...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
For a musician used to receiving personal insults from the president and anonymous death threats with the release of every new single, Emmerson Bockarie laughs a lot. The Sierra Leonean popstar, a thorn in the side of successive governments over his 15-year career, chuckles as he recalls the countless times politicians have sought to dampen his appeal, and the countless times they have failed. "Politicians make mentions of my music on TV and radio. That means they hear the songs...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Sierra Leone's police on Thursday dismissed accusations by the election commission that officers were disrupting its activities ahead of a March 27 presidential run-off, bringing the force's impartiality into question. Tensions are high ahead of the vote with a campaign marked by violent attacks and intimidation against politicians and supporters, along with an increase in inflammatory tribal rhetoric. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said in a statement late Wednesday the police had "unwarrantedly entered NEC premises, unannounced and at random,...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
A key third party in Sierra Leone announced Wednesday it would not ask supporters to back either contender in a March 27 presidential run-off, after police warned violence has plagued campaigning. With the margin between the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples' Party (SLPP) and ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC) on a knife-edge, tensions are high in the West African nation. The National Grand Coalition (NGC), which took 6.9 percent of votes in the March 7 first round with an issues-focused platform,...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Sierra Leone's electoral commission sounded the alarm on Saturday over a wave of violence between rival groups ahead of a run-off presidential vote later this month. Opposition leader Julius Maada Bio, from the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), took 43.3 percent of votes in the first round on March 7, while Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7 percent. Violence was reported between SLPP and APC supporters in the southern city of Bo, as well as...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Two upstart Sierra Leone political parties said Wednesday they had filed complaints over this month's elections after failing to make the cut for the second round of the presidential ballot. The National Grand Coalition (NGC) took 6.9 percent of votes in the March 7 elections to the presidency while the Coalition for Change (C4C) garnered 3.5 percent. The results left them far behind the two frontrunners, who go into a deciding round on March 27. The NGC -- whose rise...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Sierra Leone will hold a run-off vote for president on March 27, the election commission said Tuesday, after the country's main opposition finished slightly ahead of the ruling party in the first round of voting. Opposition leader Julius Maada Bio, from the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), took 43.3 percent of votes in the March 7 election, while Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7 percent, the commission said. The threshold to win in the first...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Sierra Leone will hold a run-off vote for president on March 27, the election commission said Tuesday, after the country's main opposition finished slightly ahead of the ruling party in the first round of voting. Opposition leader Julius Maada Bio, from the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), took 43.3 percent of votes in the March 7 election, while Samura Kamara of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) took 42.7 percent, the commission said. Turnout appeared to be around 85 percent...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Sierra Leone elects a new president in a March 27 run-off to replace Ernest Bai Koroma, who is stepping down after two terms. Here are the two men vying to replace him: Samura Kamara: All Peoples Congress (APC) Kamara, a career politician and economist by training, is outgoing president Ernest Bai Koroma's hand-picked successor. He served as the country's foreign minister until last year when he stepped down to pursue his bid for the presidency under the flag of the...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
The opposition challenger in Sierra Leone's presidential election edged ahead of the ruling party candidate by fewer than 15,000 votes, according to new partial results released on Sunday. Julius Maada Bio has garnered 43.4 percent of the vote to 42.6 percent for Samura Kamara with 75 percent of polling stations in each province reporting, the National Election Commission (NEC) announced. The National Grand Coalition headed by former UN diplomat Kandeh Yumkella, which is hoping to inflict damage on the two-party...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/18)
Sierra Leone's two main parties traded verbal blows on Friday, with the opposition accusing the government of planning to announce an unconfirmed victory for its candidate in presidential elections. The West African country held presidential, parliamentary and local council elections on Wednesday, which passed off largely peacefully until an opposition leader's residence was raided. The National Election Commission (NEC) has asked for patience as it counts the ballots, saying it will prioritise accuracy over speed. It said on Friday it...

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(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have entered Europe illegally, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference in Brussels. "We will introduce stricter conditions for processing visas when a partner country does not cooperate sufficiently on the readmission of irregular...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Two decades after fleeing Sierra Leone to escape a brutal civil war, former child refugee Euphemia-Ann Sydney-Davies is preparing to meet British royalty at London Fashion Week. The fashion designer will present one of her creations - a three-piece suit made of Ghanaian cloth - next week at an event hosted by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace. The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, spearheaded by Livia Firth who co-founded sustainability brand consultancy Eco-Age, connects designers and artisans from Britain and many of its former colonies to showcase and champion sustainable fashion. The scheme pairs up-and-coming designers like Sydney-Davies with fashion giants - from Britain’s Stella McCartney to New Zealand’s Karen Walker, and big global brands...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
A British court heard testimony of the alleged complicity of a British mining company in police brutality including rape on Tuesday, in an unusual hearing held in Sierra Leone. Hearings in the civil case, brought by 142 claimants seeking damages from Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd, began this week in Freetown, in what is believed to be the first time the British High Court will be heard overseas. Judge Mark Turner said in a previous hearing in London he wanted to...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Four months after the landslides that killed her husband and more than a thousand others, Mariama Kamara has returned to the mountainside that collapsed onto their home to live in an unfinished building. Kamara is one of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans recently kicked out of three government camps set up in the wake of the August 14 disaster, when heavy rains caused the partial disintegration of Sugar Loaf mountain, now a red rock scar looming over the country's capital. That...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
Two Sierra Leonean health workers on Friday sued their government in a West African court, alleging its misuse of donor funds during the Ebola crisis had contributed to the deaths of thousands. The Ebola virus surfaced in Guinea in late 2013 and spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone the following year, killing 11,300 people and infecting 28,000 victims overall until the disease was fully contained in 2016. Allegations of abuse of the millions of dollars donated to relief organisations...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
DAKAR/LIBORE, Niger (Reuters) - Mabingue Ngom, the head of the U.N. Population Fund in West Africa, knows that if he wants to cut birth rates he can’t ignore religion. Population experts like Ngom are worried that if West Africa’s population continues to grow at its current pace - the region has the highest birth rate in the world - it will drive fiercer competition for scarce water and farmland, and fuel malnutrition, conflict and ever more economic refugees. West African...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...

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(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects for greater African integration. However, the agreement will still have to be ratified at a national level, and is only due to come into force in 180 days. The full list of countries which did...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Down a dirt road that slopes off a bridge, hundreds of men and women waist-deep in the river sift through gravel, separating specks of gold from the sludge. It may be the eve of a general election in Sierra Leone, but those who eke out a living here in Magburaka have few expectations from a new government, whichever party wins. "I have no political party. The politicians don't help me," said Mariatu Bangura, emerging from the brown water to stand barefoot on the bank of the River Rokel in Tonkolili district. As 3.1 million voters select a new president, parliament and councils on Wednesday, it will be just another day of work for this 30-year-old mother of four in this...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A huge so-called "peace diamond" sold by the government of Sierra Leone to discourage crime-tainted "blood diamonds" fetched $6.5 million on Monday. The 709-carat stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Found by a company led by evangelical Pastor Momoh, the diamond was given to the government in the hopes it would handle the sale in a way that leaves more profits and development potential in Sierra Leone. British jewelers Laurence Graff purchased the stone, according to Martin Rapaport...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/05/17)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sierra Leone sold one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds for $6.5 million at a New York auction on Monday to raise funds for development projects in the West African country. The egg-sized gem -- known as the “Peace Diamond” -- was bought by British luxury jeweler Laurence Graff, said Martin Rapaport, chairman of Rapaport Group, a network of diamond companies that managed the auction. “One hundred percent of the value of this diamond, of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
Ramat Gan, ISRAEL (Reuters) - Sierra Leone hopes to raise millions of dollars for development projects by auctioning a huge uncut diamond, believed to be one of the world’s largest, in New York in December. It will be the government’s second attempt to sell the 709-carat gem, known as the “Peace Diamond”, after it rejected the highest bid of $7.8 million at an initial auction in New York in May. Over half of the proceeds from the sale will be...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Sierra Leone said Tuesday it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the "blood diamonds" of its past. The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Sierra Leone authorities told reporters that the massive gem will go up for sale on December...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone) - The Sierra Leone government must consider increasing its budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector if the country is to meet its food self-sufficiency dream, a senior official has said. Mr Mohammed Tejan Kella, Project Coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, said Sunday an annual allocation of at least $300 million to the sector will be needed if the country should attain food security. This amount, according to him, will translate to 10 percent of the national budget. Agriculture is largely described as the mainstay of Sierra Leone’s economy, with about 70 percent...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
Stellar Diamonds, a London-listed small-cap, is seeking funding for a $45 million diamond project in Sierra Leone it says will be the first major mining project since the Ebola crisis rocked the country’s economy. Diamonds and other forms of mining are central to an economy hard hit by the 2015 Ebola epidemic. Trade in diamonds helped to fuel the decade-long conflict that ended in 2002, but since the lifting of a ban on exports in 2003 and strict international rules,...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...

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(AFP (eng) 09/22/17)
Sierra Leone's anti-graft agency indicted the country's football federation president Isha Johansen and secretary general Chris Kamara on six counts of abuse of office and corruption on Thursday, following a year of investigations. The indictment was issued in Freetown by Anti-Corruption Commission chief Ade Macauley, who said he had "sufficient evidence" of the alleged misuse of donor and government funds by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA). The SLFA has been rocked by crisis after crisis linked to match fixing allegations, corruption and poor leadership through Johansen's tenure. Both Johansen and Kamara are expected to appear in court on October 30, and have previously denied any wrongdoing.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Street jogging with your chums is a sport enjoyed by millions around the world -- but not by police in Sierra Leone, who have just outlawed the practice. To the dismay of fun-runners, police in the west African state have banned group jogging in the street on the grounds that it encourages disruptive behaviour. "Police headquarters has observed with dismay that people are in the habit of jogging in large numbers along the streets with a hint of menace, raining...
(APA 07/28/17)
The President of the Football Association of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Isha Johansen, says she is ending her four years term with the football sector better than she inherited it. "It has been an eventful four years in my life to say the least and one that will no doubt leave lasting memories in not just the lives and homes of people I hope I have brought meaningful and positive changes to, but it will mark the day when four years...
(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...
(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
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/16)
African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won for the first time in the South African Premiership this season Wednesday and climbed off the bottom of the table. The Pretoria club triumphed 2-0 at Polokwane City thanks to goals from Percy Tau and Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, two stars of the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph. Sundowns became African champions for the first time 11 days ago by defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final. But a domestic fixture backlog meant...
(AfricaNews 09/19/16)
The agreement on African games signed in Cairo over the weekend between the African Union and the Association of National Olympic committees of Africa will be implemented after validation by the Africa Union commission. The two parties are expected to mobilise renowned African athletes and the best teams to help raise their level of performance. Sources say the African Union will continue to manage the African games while the Union of African Sports Confederations will take care of its technical...
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/16)
French petroleum giant Total signed an eight-year deal to become the new sponsor of African football and its showpiece event, the Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday. The sponsorship of the tournament will start at its next edition in Gabon from Jan 14 to Feb 5, 2017. "This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development, bring its governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally,"...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/16)
Demarte Pena was too young to fight in Angola's civil war, where his family played a major role, but he has fought his way to a mixed martial arts championship. Instead of an AK47, "The Wolf" as he is known in the ring, uses fists, feet and pure muscle to subdue his opponents in what is seen as one of the fastest growing sports in Africa. Pena is bantamweight champion among the new crop of mixed martial arts fighters in...
(The Point 04/01/16)
Sierra Leone are set to host The Gambia in the first leg of the 2017 African U-20 Youth championship qualifiers tomorrow, Saturday 2 April 2016, in Makeni. The Shooting Stars will be hostile to sink The Gambia to sail to the second round as well as keep their chances of qualifying for the 2017 African U-20 Youth Championship to be hosted in Zambia. The Darling Scorpions, on the other hand, will also be antagonistic to grab positive result against Sierra...

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(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and five other cities, the organisers said. Artists include Ivorian jazz fusion drummer Paco Sery, traditionalist Malian singers P-Pentatonique and Cape Verde's Maria de Barros. MASA was launched in 1993 by the International Organisation of La...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(APA 10/28/16)
The state of the economy still dominates the headlines of Sierra Leonean newspapers on Friday. One aspect of the debate is the plan by the government to remove Subsidy on fuel. Recently there have been doubts raised by a civil society on government's claim that it was subsidising fuel. The New Citizen carries the story on the clarification on the issue made by the Majority Leader in the Parliament. The pro-government Daily Mail takes a slightly different angle on the...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(APA 10/12/16)
The Wednesday's edition of Sierra Leonean newspapers is dominated by reports of the economic woes of the country, which has resulted in austerity measures declared last week by President Ernest Bai Koroma. While the government tries to implement the measures, it has come under attack from some quarters of the public, which blamed it for the state of the economy in the first place. The opposition has been leading the spree of accusations. Awoko features today the head of the...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(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...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/16)
Africa's largest provider of pay-television services Naspers (NPNJn.J) has kept prices on the continent unchanged to halt a decline in subscriber numbers, its chief executive said on Monday. Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent, which sells access to popular American series and blockbuster movies in 50 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean via its Multichoice unit, reported an 18 percent rise in full-year profit on Friday, but flagged pay-TV as a drag on its performance. Weaker currencies...
(Awoko 06/17/16)
Miss Sierra Leone UK 2016 Queen, Fatie Sesay, 25 is the second young women to win the coveted title. She was crowned early this year at the Royal Regency Hall in London and made series of commitments during a media interview but these commitments are yet to be seen fulfilled. She once told a media outlet that her goals and aspirations as the Miss Sierra Leone UK are to be the voice for my young generation and women by raising...
(AFP (eng) 05/14/16)
On a choice spot overlooking Washington's most stately monuments, a new museum swathed in bronze will showcase the tragedy and triumph of black America. The National Museum of African American History and Culture, 100 years in the making and now almost ready, will fill a gaping void: until now the city had no grand-scale museum dedicated solely to this chapter of US history. Slave cabins, a blacks-only train car from the segregation era and exhibits on the Reverend Martin Luther...
(APA 05/06/16)
Politics, maternal health and freedom of the press dominate the headlines in Sierra Leonean newspapers on Friday. As part of commemoration of World Midwifery Day, a leading private hospital embarked on community outreach on safe deliveries. This is the subject of the lead story on the Awoko newspaper, which also reports on the safety of certain cooking ingredients, including the brands Maggie and Magarine. The Awoko also carries a story on the West Africa Journalists Association criticizing Sierra Leone and...
(BBC News Africa 04/24/16)
The influential Congolese music star Papa Wemba has died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, media reports say. Video from the concert shows the artist, who was 66, slumped on the floor as dancers continue to perform, unaware of what is happening. French broadcaster France 24 confirmed the death, quoting his manager. On the African music scene since 1969, Papa Wemba won a world following with his soukous rock music. The Congolese band leader, whose real name was Jules Shungu Webadio, also inspired a cult movement known as the Sapeurs whose members, young men, spend huge amounts of money on designer clothes.
(APA 04/15/16)
The umbrella body for Sierra Leonean musicians, All Stars, has called on the corporate world to consider supporting local artists to develop their talents. Mr. Milton Coker, President of All Stars, said on Friday the Sierra Leone corporate world was not helping local stars like their counterparts in countries like Nigeria and Ghana where artists are used to promote products and services in lucrative contracts. To end this deadlock, All Stars is coming up with a major corporate show, dubbed...

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(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Sierra Leone braced for more floods as the country buries the casualties of a mudslide that killed hundreds of people in the capital, Freetown. The government buried almost 300 people this week and the Health Ministry sent out teams to fumigate areas where decomposing bodies are trapped in the mud, Idalia Amaya, emergency response coordinator for Catholic Relief Services, said by phone from Freetown late Thursday. Rescue teams have received reports that some missing people are sending text messages saying...
(The Guardian 08/14/17)
More than 2,000 estimated homeless as mudslide on outskirts of capital Freetown submerges houses and turns streets into churning rivers. Hundreds of people are thought to have been killed in a mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. A hillside in Regent, a mountainous town 15 miles east of Freetown, collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning after heavy rains, leaving hundreds of people trapped. Morgues in the capital have been overwhelmed with bodies, while relatives have...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(The Guardian 07/28/17)
Abortion is illegal in Sierra Leone, with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the world. Attitudes need to change to save the lives of young girls. 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...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...

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