| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(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 by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
A drought resistant variant of sweet potatoes which will help mitigate the impact of drought in Somalia is being introduced by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with Rural Education and Agriculture Development Organization (READO), a local NGO. The sweet potato variant, commonly referred to as the orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP), is suitable for growth in regions with minimal rainfall. READO Executive Director, Abdullahi Abdirahman Ali said the introduction of OFSP in Baidoa will be of great value to the community as it will help to improve the livelihood of internally displaced persons (IDPs). "We urge other international organizations and local partners to support the initiative, as this will help in mitigating drought issues in Somalia," Ali...
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
Kenya's security forces on Thursday arrested 14 suspects and seized two guns in a major operation to flush out suspected Somali bandits behind attacks in Kora National Park in Mwingi, northeast Kenya. Regional Police Commander Gideon Amalla also confirmed that 500 camels were also driven out of the park as part of efforts to address a crisis that was boiling pitting residents of Mwingi and the herders. Amalla said they had also seized two guns believed to have been used in attacking locals. "The operation will continue until we are satisfied the situation is manageable," he said from the ground. This follows Monday's and Tuesday's incidents in which five locals were killed by the Somali herders in a clash over...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
Hassan Ali Kheyre, a former aid worker and oil executive, was named prime minister of Somalia on Thursday by the country's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Mohamed, popularly known as Farmajo, made the announcement on Twitter. After his nomination Kheyre -- also spelt Khaire -- promised to "tirelessly work with the president and try to form a government that represents the public". Tensions between Somali presidents and their prime ministers in recent years have frequently stymied government business and undermined political progress in the fragile Horn of Africa nation, so the relationship between the two men will be crucial. Kheyre is a political newcomer and, like Farmajo
(AL Jazeera 02/23/17)
 
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Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Somalia's new president, has been sworn in under tight security at a ceremony in the capital, Mogadishu. Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, has warned it may take at least two decades for the country to recover from years of conflict and humanitarian crises.
(Voice of America 02/23/17)
Somalia's new president has picked an oil executive and former aid agency director to be the country's next prime minister. Hassan Ali Khaire will face the task of strengthening Somalia's shaky central government and stabilizing a country struggling with severe drought and Islamist militancy. President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo announced Khaire's nomination Thursday via Twitter. Khaire spent the past two-and-a-half years as Africa director for the British energy company Soma Oil & Gas. From 2011 to 2014, he was the Horn of Africa director for the Norwegian Refugee Council. In 2013 Soma was contracted by the Somali government to conduct oil and gas exploration off the coast of Somalia. Last year, Britain's Serious Fraud Office investigated bribery allegations against the company...
(Xinhuanet 02/23/17)
Four east African leaders are calling for joint efforts to tackle food insecurity in the region which is affecting millions of people due to multiple seasons of failed rains. In a joint declaration on regional cooperation on the current drought released in Mogadishu on Wednesday night, leaders from Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia resolve to cooperate on cross-border collaboration and efforts to establish security and stability in Somalia to ensure an effective response to the drought and to enable further progress in peace building and state building in Somalia. "We further commit to the provision of appropriate protection and assistance to those compelled to leave their areas of origin as a consequence of the drought, including those who have fled...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed sought to downplay high expectations of his new administration at his inauguration Wednesday, saying it would take decades to fix the nation's many problems. "Our government is facing so many challenges and even though I will be doing my best, I also want to make clear for the Somali public that due to limited resources regarding economy and forces of security, what we could do is going to be limited," he said. The president, widely known by his nickname Farmajo, officially took office last week, but his inauguration was held Wednesday in the presence
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Somalia's capital Mogadishu was under security lockdown Wednesday, with roads closed and commercial flights cancelled ahead of the inauguration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Widely known by his nickname Farmajo, the president will be sworn-in at a ceremony held in the highly-secured airport zone to avoid an attack by the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab group which has threatened a "vicious war" against the new government. "All major roads and streets inside and outside the capital were closed down last night, movement is restricted and only the vehicles of government officials are allowed to move," police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP. "This is for security purposes and all commercial flights are cancelled today so that only aircrafts carrying the delegation are allowed."...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, widely known as Farmajo, was inaugurated on Wednesday at a colorful ceremony attended by regional leaders who pledged support for the new government. African leaders from Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia attended the ceremony, which was held at the fortified Mogadishu International Airport. Speaking after being inaugurated as the ninth president of Somalia, Farmajo pledged to restore dignity to the Horn of Africa nation by tackling security and economic challenges. Farmajo, who was elected on Feb. 8 and vowed to make security his top priority, also said his government would try to deal mainly with drought crisis, confidence building and fixing economic challenges. "There have been conflicts and droughts for the last 26...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/17)
Pope Francis called on Wednesday for urgent humanitarian aid for the starving people of South Sudan, saying millions risked being "condemned to death" by a famine in parts of the war-ravaged country. "Now more than ever there should be a commitment by everyone to not just talk but contribute food aid and allow it to reach suffering populations," he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience. He said millions of people, including many children, were being "condemned to death by hunger". Since 2013 South Sudan has been mired in civil war, which the pope called "fratricidal". President Salva Kiir, whose government declared a famine on Monday, has promised aid agencies safe access to...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
The UN Security Council on Monday condemned "in the strongest terms" a terrorist attack at a market in Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu. On Sunday, a car bomb blasted at a busy market in Mogadishu, killing at least 30 people and injuring over 40 others. In a press statement, the 15-nation council called on all states to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. "The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to support peace, stability and development in Somalia," said the statement. "They underlined that neither this nor any other terrorist attack would weaken that determination," it added. The attack came several days after Somalia elected its new president on Feb...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/17)
Britain will provide additional aid money to South Sudan, where famine has been declared in parts of the country, and to Somalia, where there is a credible risk of famine, the government said on Wednesday. Britain will provide 100 million pounds ($125 million) to each country in 2017/18 in addition to existing flows of aid. "The world faces a series of unprecedented humanitarian crises and the real threat of famine in four countries," International Development Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement. U.N. children's agency UNICEF said on Tuesday that nearly 1.4 million children were at imminent risk of death in famines in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. "These crises are being driven by conflict and drought and we...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
The International Monetary Fund says creditors may forgive part of Somalia’s outstanding $5.3 billion debt if the strife-torn Horn of Africa state takes concrete steps toward reforming its economy and improving governance. Somalia, gripped by a three-decade civil war, would have to first clear arrears owed to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, according to IMF’s country head Samba Thiam. An arrears-clearance plan, a new currency, an effective monetary policy and a “solid track record” on good governance may lead to fresh funding, Thiam said in an interview Feb. 17 in Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. “There is a general willingness from creditors to write off Somalia’s debt when the time comes, it’s a good...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Almost 1.4 million children suffering from severe malnutrition could die this year from famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN children's agency said Monday. In Yemen, where war has been raging for nearly two years, 462,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition while 450,000 children are severely malnourished in northeast Nigeria. Fews Net, the famine early warning system, said some remote areas of Nigeria's Borno state are already affected by famine since late last year and the disaster is likely to continue as aid agencies are unable to reach those in need. Drought in Somalia has left 185,000 children on the brink of famine but that figure is expected to reach 270,000 in the next few months,...
(The Associated Press 02/21/17)
Somalia's new president visited victims wounded by the Mogadishu car bomb that on Sunday killed 34. President Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those who planned the blast. The explosion hit a busy marketplace in the western part of the capital, said police Capt. Mohamed Hussein. "It was a horrific and barbaric attack only aimed at killings civilians," he said from the scene of the blast. Sabriye Abdullahi, an ambulance driver told The Associated Press that some of the injured victims died on their way to the hospitals. "Many of them suffered extensive third degree burns and others were burned beyond recognition," he said. The blast from a car parked near a...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
The toll has climbed to 39 dead in an unusually deadly suicide bombing at the weekend in the Somali capital Mogadishu, rescue workers said Monday, the first since a new president was chosen this month. The suicide car bomber struck a busy market in the Madina neighbourhood on Sunday, the explosion ripping through shoppers, stalls and vehicles. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings are commonly carried out by Somalia's Shabaab jihadists who have threatened a "vicious war" against the new government.

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