| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
A group of celebrities led by Hollywood actor Ben Stiller has joined a social media campaign to send food and water to Somalia through Turkish Airlines. Last weekend, the group raised more than $1 million online in less than 24 hours. Stiller said in a Twitter message posted Monday that the money has been used to purchase 60 tons of food that the airline will fly to Somalia next week. Somali diaspora youth groups have been spearheading a similar movement online, following warnings from the U.N. that more than six million Somalis are at risk of severe malnourishment and starvation because of drought. Celebrities got involved at the urging of French Snapchat star Jerome Jarre, who launched a movement called...
(Xinhuanet 03/21/17)
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc, is to convene an international summit Saturday, to discuss the status of nearly 1 million Somali refugees displaced by two decades of civil strife and prolonged humanitarian crises, organizers said Monday. Kenyan government, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IGAD, said in a statement the Nairobi Summit would "marshal a comprehensive regional approach" to find a lasting solution to the crisis facing the Somali refugees as they prepare to return to their homeland to rebuild their lives. "Continuing political and the growing security stabilization progress in Somalia, along with growing pressure in host communities, makes this a critical moment to renew the process to find durable solutions for Somali refugees,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
At least 26 people died from hunger in the semi-autonomous Jubbaland region of southern Somalia in just a day an a half, federal government radio said on its website. Somalia, like other countries in the region, is facing a devastating drought that has killed livestock, cut harvests and left 6.2 million people, about half its population, in need of food aid. The acute hunger gripping Jubbaland caused an exodus of hundreds of families into the capital Mogadishu seeking help. The website quoted Mohamed Hussein, the Jubbaland assistant minister of interior, as saying severe drought had killed the people over a span of 36 hours to Monday, all in various towns in middle Jubba and Gedo areas. "The people in those...
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
East African leaders attending the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Kenya this week are expected to talk about Somali refugees and regional security. However, there are doubts that IGAD has what it takes to ease the crisis in the region. The Kenya State House spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu, said the repatriation of Somali refugees will be the main agenda item at the summit. "It will focus largely on the questions of Somali refugees and creating a conducive environment in their own country so that they can feel safe to go back and to contribute to their country's development as well as their country's growth," he said. Kenya plans to shut the Dadaab refugee camp by the end of May. Dadaab...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
Somali officials whose forces freed a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew said on Sunday that NATO ships must do more to prevent the illegal fishing that locals say sparked the latest attack. Monday's hijacking was the first time that Somali pirates had successfully hijacked a commercial ship since 2012. Unlike previous hijackings, the ship was freed swiftly and with no ransom paid after the Puntland Maritime Police Force intervened. The intervention reassured shipping companies concerned that resurgent pirates could once again threaten one of the world's most important shipping lanes.
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
The European Union said it’s giving an extra 165 million euros ($178 million) to battle humanitarian crises in East Africa, including a famine in South Sudan and drought in Somalia. From the total, 100 million euros will be allocated to help responses to the crisis in South Sudan and an influx of its refugees to neighboring countries, the EU said Monday in an emailed statement. Humanitarian assistance for droughts in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya will be targeted with 65 million euros. The new funds will “scale up and strengthen” the more than 400 million euros that the EU allocated last year to address the crises and the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon on the region, the EU said...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
Dozens of Somali refugees including women and children have been shot dead aboard a boat on the Red Sea, Yemeni officials and the International Organization for Migration said Friday. The bodies of 33 refugees were taken to hospitals in Yemen's rebel-held port of Hodeida, a health official in the city said, adding that 35 wounded had also been admitted. The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but a port official in Hodeida, held by Shiite Huthi rebels, said the craft had docked and the dead and injured had been hit with light weapons fire, likely ruling out an attack from the air.
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
Somali pirates on Thursday handed over an oil tanker and eight Sri Lankan hostages captured just days ago, the Oceans Beyond Piracy NGO told AFP, bringing to a close the first such attack since 2012. "The Puntland maritime police force freed the ship. They made (the pirates) an offer they couldn't refuse and the pirates have left," said John Steed, a former British army officer with the NGO who has spent years negotiating the release of piracy hostages in Somalia. Earlier on Thursday the Puntland coastguard had threatened to use force if the talks to convince the pirates to release the vessel failed. Armed attackers seized the Aris 13 on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu,...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
Oceans Beyond Piracy, a privately funded and independent non-profit organization, announced late Thursday on its Twitter account that pirated Aris 13 oil tanker is now free and the crew are safe. John Steed, a former British army officer with the NGO, also confirmed the release and said the ship is proceeding to Bossaso, a port city in the Bari region of Puntland state in northeastern Somalia. Pirates on Monday hijacked an oil tanker with eight crew from Sri Lanka off the coast of Somalia, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. Local media said the release occurred after negotiations by local elders and officials with the pirates. The details of the negotiations could not...
(Shabelle News 03/17/17)
Forty three people have died over the past 10 days in an outbreak of diarrhoeal infection that is spreading through Bardere in southern Somalia's Gedo region, according to local medical staff. Doctors in Bardere, told media that 34 of the dead were children. Six deaths occurred in the hospital, while 23 people died in various IDP camps in Bardere district. The rest of the deaths were reported from surrounding villages. The hospital, which had been closed for 10 years because of insecurity in the region, reopened last week. Much of the countryside around the towns in Gedo region is controlled or contested by Al-Shabab. A Local doctors said there were 120 patients, mostly children from the IDP camps, currently being...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Coastguards in northern Somalia exchanged gunfire Thursday with armed men aboard a boat heading towards a hijacked oil tanker where pirates are holding eight hostages, an official said. Armed attackers seized the Aris 13 tanker on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. The tanker was forced to change course and head toward the coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, on the northeastern tip of Somalia.
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Authorities in Somalia tracking the pirates who have seized an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew members on board said Thursday that they are ready to use force if talks to free the ship fail. Armed attackers seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. The tanker was forced to change course and head toward the coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, on the northeastern tip of Somalia, whose coast guard has contacted the pirates.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/16/17)
Maritime police in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland said on Thursday they would attack hijackers holding an oil tanker to free the vessel if efforts by local elders to get them to surrender did not work. Gunmen hijacked the small oil tanker Aris 13 on Monday and are demanding a ransom to release the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crew, said the EU Naval Force that patrols the waters off Somalia. It is the first ship to be seized since 2012. Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of Puntland's maritime police, said they had surrounded the ship, which is docked near the port town of Alula, but had been asked by local elders to give them a chance to convince...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(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 of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson met the new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in a surprise visit Wednesday to Mogadishu, the scene of frequent attacks by Al-Qaeda-aligned Shabaab Islamists, an airport official said. "The UK foreign secretary has arrived and he's now meeting with the president," said the official, Mohammed Abdirahman. A source close to the Somali presidency confirmed the meeting was taking place in the Villa Somalia presidential palace in central Mogadishu. Johnson and the Somali leader are set to discuss a severe drought that aid agencies say

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