Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
The European Commission on Monday announced a 106-million-euro ($124-million) aid package for Sudan, saying around 4.8 million people needed urgent humanitarian assistance in the African country. The new aid comes at a time when United Nations aid agencies are facing an acute shortage of funds from global donors to meet relief needs in Sudan. The package was announced as EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, was on a visit to Sudan, including to conflict-hit areas of Darfur. "Here in Sudan the humanitarian situation continues to be critical," Stylianides said in a statement issued by the European Commission. "Millions have been displaced for many, many years in Darfur," he said, adding that the new EU funding will...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
A Sudanese court on Monday sentenced a prominent newspaper editor to six months in jail for publishing an article accusing President Omar al-Bashir's family of corruption, the journalist told AFP. The court also handed down a three-year suspended jail term against the writer of the piece which was published in 2012. "The court has ordered me to pay 10,000 Sudanese pounds ($1,428) or go to jail for six months," Osman Mirgani, editor-in-chief of the independent daily Al-Tayar, said. "I have decided not to pay the money, and am waiting for the authorities to take me to jail." Mirgani said that in the article, writer "Mohamed Zine El Abidine accused Bashir's family of being corrupt". After the article was published, Sudan's...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Ministers of Water and Irrigation of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on Wednesday discussed on ways to continue the two commissioned studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which are not progressing at the required level. Egyptian Irrigation Minister, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Sudanese Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Affairs, Muataz Musa, and Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Sileshi Bekele, have on Tuesday visited the dam's construction site in Ethiopia's Benishangul-Gumuz regional state on the Blue Nile River, located some 40km east of Ethiopia's neighboring country Sudan. Since the commencement of the construction of the dam, the three countries agreed to conduct an assessment by an International Panel of Experts (IPoE) so as to build trust among Ethiopian...
(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 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(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 the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Sudan's central bank said Wednesday it had received its first overseas fund transfer in US dollars since Washington announced the lifting of a 20-year-old trade embargo against Khartoum. Washington last week announced the lifting of sanctions from this Thursday onwards, saying Khartoum had made progress on conditions set for ending the embargo, in place since 1997. "The transferring of American dollars has commenced after the lifting of sanctions," Sudan's official news agency SUNA said, quoting a statement from the Central Bank of Sudan. "Yesterday, two Sudanese banks received overseas money transfers in US dollars, one from America and another from Europe," it said, without specifying the amounts or the banks' names. Washington had imposed sanctions two decades ago over Khartoum's...
(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 contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP 10/07/17)
Up until a few years ago, Sudanese engineer Ahmed Abdallah used to manage his family's expenses on his $400 monthly salary but he has since had to take out loans to make ends meet. With the US State Department's announcement Friday of an end to some of its toughest economic and trade sanctions on Sudan, Abdallah and his fellow Sudanese are looking forward to a brighter future. "We've been barely able to survive as my salary cannot cover even our essential needs," the private sector employee told AFP at his home in an impoverished neighbourhood of Omdurman, the twin city of Sudan's capital Khartoum. "At times when several needs come together, it just becomes impossible," he said as his four...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/17)
The United States on Friday brough to an end a raft sanctions imposed against Sudan in 1997 over Khartoum's alleged support to Islamist militant groups. What does the lifting of the trade embargo actually mean? - With the removing of the sanctions, all international banking transactions will be permitted with Sudan, and American individuals and companies can now process transactions involving counterparts in Sudan - US individuals can engage in imports and exports that were previously prohibited under the sanctions - US persons can engage in transactions involving property in which the government of Sudan has an interest - As a result of the lifting of the embargo, all property and interests in property blocked pursuant to the sanctions regulations...
(AFP 10/07/17)
Sudan on Friday welcomed the US decision to end its 20-year trade embargo against Khartoum as a "positive decision" but called for Washington to go further and take the country off its blacklist of state terror sponsors. Earlier Friday, Washington announced it was ending the embargo, citing improvements made by Sudan in its human rights record. "The leaders of Sudan, the government of Sudan and the people of Sudan welcome the positive decision taken by American President Donald Trump of removing the economic sanctions completely," the official SUNA news agency quoted a statement issued by the foreign ministry. The US decision came after months of diplomatic talks between the two countries that began during the tenure of former US president...
(Reuters 10/06/17)
The United States is preparing to lift decades-long economic sanctions against Sudan, citing improvement on human rights and progress on counter-terrorism, a U.S. official said on Thursday. President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to announce its decision as early as Friday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Shortly before leaving office, former U.S. President Barack Obama temporarily eased penalties that had been in place for two decades against the African nation. In July, the Trump administration postponed for three months a decision on whether to remove the sanctions completely, setting up an Oct. 12 deadline. Lifting the sanctions, which is opposed by some human rights advocates, would suspend a trade embargo, unfreeze assets and remove financial restrictions that...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday arrived in Sudan's capital Khartoum for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral issues. "This visit comes as affirmation of the deep and strong ties between Sudan and Somalia," said Hamid Mumtaz, Sudan's state minister for foreign affairs. He further reiterated Sudan's commitment to work for achieving peace and stability in Somalia. The Somali president is expected to hold talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice-President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh. The Somali president's will also visit some Sudanese industrial and educational institutions. The two sides are scheduled to sign joint agreements, and the two presidents will hold a joint press conference at the conclusion of the visit on Thursday. President...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan expects the United States to lift economic sanctions as Khartoum has met all the required conditions, a Sudanese minister said on Wednesday, days before Washington is due to announce a decision. The U.S. government has said it is deciding whether to lift a raft of penalties imposed first over Khartoum’s perceived support of global terrorism, later its violent suppression of rebels in Darfur. Former U.S. President Barack Obama temporarily eased some of the sanctions that have effectively cut Khartoum off from large parts of the global financial system. Officials said the gesture was meant to recognize Khartoum’s moves to end conflicts and its help in the war on terrorism. In July, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration...
(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 Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/17)
UN humanitarian air operations in Sudan face being grounded because of an acute cash crunch, aid officials say, affecting the delivery of relief to thousands of people in conflict areas. The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has funding that will barely keep it flying until the end of November, raising the possibility that operations may have to cease from December. UNHAS has two fixed wing aircraft and three helicopters, but has already stopped flying to five out of 41 locations in the African country. "We are currently funded until end of November and we require one million dollars more to continue operations until the end of the year," Bianka Zyra, Sudan spokeswoman for the World Food Programme which manages...

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