| Africatime
Friday 24 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,...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Voice of America 03/14/17)
The hijackers who seized an oil tanker and its eight-man crew off Somalia are demanding “compensation” for a rise in illegal fishing in Somali waters. VOA’s Somali service spoke by phone to one of the hijackers Tuesday, a day after men boarded and seized the ship about 30 kilometers off the Somali coast, then anchored off Alula, a town in Somalia’s Puntland region. The hijacker said seven men took part in the raid. He asserted that he and his colleagues...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that East Africans are facing starvation and that the situation might worsen if nothing is done to avert the crisis. The United Nations estimates more than 17 million people are facing hunger in nine countries. Somalia is facing its second famine in less than six years, South Sudan has declared some parts of the country in famine, and Kenya's government declared the drought there a national disaster. More than 10 million people are going...
(Voice of America 03/07/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order Monday, calling for a 90-day suspension of admissions for people from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, if they do not already have visas. All refugees must wait 120 days. The ban, coming six weeks after Trump’s original order, which was blocked by federal courts, takes effect March 16. Ahmed Omar Bihi, 42, is a Somali refugee who has lived in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp for...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of...
(Voice of America 03/04/17)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for $24.6 million to provide life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable victims of Somalia's drought. Many of them are now under threat of famine. Humanitarian agencies report alarming similarities between the current situation in Somalia and the 2011 famine that killed more than one quarter of a million people. The IOM warns the severity of this new drought could put an even greater number of people at risk. IOM spokeswoman Olivia Headon says a huge increase in humanitarian aid
(AL Jazeera 03/03/17)
t least 57 al-Shabab fighters were killed after African Union (AU) and Somali forces attacked one of the armed group's camps in the southern region of Juba, according to the AU's peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In a post on Twitter, AMISOM said that vehicles and equipment were destroyed in Thursday's morning assault on the al-Shabab base outside Afmadow, a town about 100km inland from the Somali port of Kismayo. The AU force said "a large cache of weapons" had...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Voice of America 02/17/17)
At least two people were killed Thursday in a barrage of mortar rounds fired toward Somalia's presidential palace as the country's new leader moved in. Abdifitah Halane, a spokesman for the Benadir regional administration, told VOA's Somali service that two children were killed when one of the mortars hit their home in Warta Nabadda district near the palace. Halane blamed al-Shabab militants for the attack. New President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was not hurt, and there were no other reported casualties. The mortar rounds were aimed at a ceremony where the former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
(AL Jazeera 02/16/17)
Investing in localised initiatives to mitigate drought can help the continent to break the cyclic nature of disasters. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently declared that millions of citizens in the Horn of Africa face food shortages. Owing to a persistent lack of rainfall between October and December, as many as 12 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in dire need of food assistance. But this is not new. Almost every year, around the same...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
A military court in northern Somalia town of Bosaso has on Monday sentenced seven suspected al-Shabab Islamist militants to death. Abdifatah Haji Aden, the Chairman of Puntland's military court, said, the militants are proved to have been part of a high profile assassination against Puntland officials. Aden earlier accused the militants of having carried out coordinated assassinations against Puntland officials. “After all the court proceeding including hearings and the presentation of evidences the court sentences these seven men to death,”...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
The parliament of the break-away republic of Somaliland has overwhelming approved a deal to allow the United Arab Emirates to establish an air and naval base in the port town of Berbera. Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo presented the motion on Sunday to a joint session by both houses of the parliament, saying “it will attract investments, and it will not bring any harm to Somaliland or the region.” A number of lawmakers angrily opposed the motion and shouted against...

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