Sunday 19 November 2017
(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 thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor 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 sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(AFP (eng) 08/31/17)
A leading Sudanese activist who was released after a presidential pardon said Wednesday that defending human rights was "not a crime", as he vowed to continue fighting against rights abuses. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, an engineering professor at the University of Khartoum, told AFP in an interview that it was pressure from global and local human rights groups that finally led to his release Tuesday after months of detention, during which he was put on trial on charges of spying for foreign embassies. "Defending human rights is not a crime," Ibrahim Adam, winner of several international human rights awards, said at his home in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. "Human rights are being violated not only by the authorities but also...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday pardoned a leading human rights activist who was facing trial on charges of spying for foreign embassies, state media reported. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, an engineering professor at the University of Khartoum, was arrested by security forces in December as part of a crackdown against opposition leaders and activists. Under Sudanese law, the charges against him were punishable by death. Prosecutors had accused Ibrahim Adam of being among activists who were running a criminal organisation and engaged in spying and intelligence activities for foreign embassies. Ibrahim Adam and others were also accused of "publishing lies about (government forces)...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
The United States has raised the issue of religious freedom during talks about easing sanctions on Sudan, the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development said in Sudan on Tuesday. Newly appointed head of the agency Mark Green held the talks with senior Sudanese officials as the U.S. government weighs whether to ease or extend the economic sanctions, a decision that must be made by Oct. 12. “We have asked questions and ... have received assurances,” Green told reporters after a meeting with Sudanese Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh. While human rights and religious freedom are not conditions for the permanent lifting of some Sudan sanctions, the Trump administration is increasingly raising them as a concern as it...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has pardoned and released a prominent human rights activists who had been jailed since last year on spying and other charges, his family said. The release of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam came after a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump’s aid administrator to Sudan and before an October deadline when the administration will decide whether to permanently lift 20-year-old sanctions. “He is home after a presidential amnesty and he seems in good health,” his wife Sabah told Reuters late on Tuesday. International rights groups had often called for the release of Ibrahim Adam, who they said had faced the death penalty on false charges since his arrest in December. USAID chief Mark Green had met with Sudanese...
(Xinhuanet 08/30/17)
Sudan's human rights activist Mudawi Ibrahim on Tuesday received a republican decree by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, which pardons him along with other five political activists, reported Sudan Tribune. Nabil Adib, Mudawi Ibrahim's defence lawyer, said the republican decision has dropped all charges against his client, who has served nine months in detention with charges including undermining the constitutional order and inciting war against the state. Ibrahim, 59, was detained by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service last December. He was also charged with espionage, dissemination of false news and inciting hatred against the state. In March 2009, the authorities shut down Sudan Social Development Organization, which was chaired by Ibrahim, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of...
(Xinhuanet 08/30/17)
The United State vowed on Tuesday to work with Sudanese government to normalize bilateral ties. The U.S. administration is serious to work with Sudanese government to normalize ties and develop cooperation in all fields, said the head of the United States Agency for International Development, Mark Green, according to Sudan's Foreign Ministry in a statement. Green made the remarks during talks here with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, commending Sudan for hosting the South Sudanese refugees and the opening of four humanitarian corridors between Sudan and South Sudan, the statement said. It noted that the talks between Ghandour and Green reviewed a number of political issues at the regional and international levels, top of them the tracks of dialogue between...
(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 with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
A court in Sudan convicted a university student on Tuesday of killing a policeman during protests in the capital last year, a defence lawyer told AFP. Asim Omer, who was studying at Khartoum University, was arrested in December and charged with killing the policeman after hundreds of students clashed with security forces at the campus on the banks of the Blue Nile in April 2016. "The court found Asim guilty under Sudan's penal code, and he will be sentenced on September 24," his defence lawyer Mohamed Arabi said. Under Sudanese law, Omer could suffer the death penalty for killing the policeman. Students at Khartoum University demonstrated several times last year against what they said was a plan to sell off...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
US aid chief Mark Green said Monday Washington was monitoring Sudan's progress on conditions for a permanent lifting of sanctions, as he visited a camp for the displaced in Darfur. The head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is the first high-ranking official from President Donald Trump's administration to visit Africa. His trip comes at a time when the Trump administration is planning to cut more than 30 percent in American foreign aid. It also comes just weeks before Trump decides whether to lift permanently the US trade embargo imposed on Sudan since 1997.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Sudan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that his country, which has been under U.S. sanctions for 20 years, was looking forward to normal ties being restored. The minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, made his remarks at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump’s new aid administrator ahead of an Oct. 12 deadline for a decision by Washington on easing some of the sanctions. “We know the queries in the mind of each one of us,” Ghandour told Mark Green, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “On our side we look forward for a normalization of our relations with an important country - the important country in the world - the U.S.,” said Ghandour, who has overseen dialogue with Washington...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Washington’s top aid official, Mark Green, visiting Sudan’s North Darfur state, stressed on Monday the importance of unfettered humanitarian access as a key demand for easing U.S. sanctions against the government of President Omar al-Bashir. Just two weeks into the job as U.S. President Donald Trump’s new aid administrator, Green is on a fact-finding mission to Sudan before an Oct. 12 deadline for when the administration will decide whether to permanently lift 20-year-old sanctions. The United Nations has reported progress in the opening of aid corridors by Sudan’s military to get food and medicine into once tightly-controlled areas of Darfur. Last month for the first time in seven years, aid workers were allowed into Jebel Marra, a mountainous region in...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday that the crisis in neighbouring Libya has impacted Sudan, with human traffickers using the East African country's territories to commit "cross-border crimes". Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting UN-backed Libyan premier Fayez al-Sarraj, Bashir also said security issues in Libya had made Khartoum's fight against human trafficking "more expensive". "We are affected directly by the insecurity in Libya, which has made it expensive for us to fight human trafficking, illegal immigration and cross-border crimes," Bashir said. "Those who are committing these crimes are using...
(The Libya Observer 08/28/17)
Head of UN-installed Presidential Council, Fayaz Sirraj, and Sudanese President, Omar Bashir, agreed on Sunday to enhance cooperation in securing borders and to revive agreements signed between the two countries. Following their talks in Khartoum, President Bashir said the visit of Sirraj represents a new phase in the process of integrating bilateral relations and cooperation. He said Sudan has no agenda in Libya and that it seeks security, stability and unity of Libya, adding his country had been affected by Libya’s instability. To promote economic cooperation, Bashir welcomed Libyan investments in Sudan. “Sudan stands ready to provide all the necessary assistance to the Libyan investors when they come to Sudan”. He said in a press conference with Sirraj. For his...
(Xinhuanet 08/28/17)
Sudan's civil defense authority announced on Sunday a significant rise in the water levels of Nile River, urging citizens living in the islands and along the river to take extra precautions. "The levels of Blue Nile River at Al-Daim station on the border with Ethiopia registered a significant rise of 60 cm, reaching 12.84 meters," Mohamedain Abul-Qasim, spokesman of the civil defense authority, said in a statement. "The water discharge from Al-Rusaires Dam registered 565.55 cubic meters on Sunday, compared to 563.89 cubic meters on Saturday," he added. Abdul-Qasim warned that the Nile levels might further rise in the coming days, saying that "the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone is still on the far north with expected rain falling." Meanwhile, Sudan's...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(Xinhuanet 08/26/17)
Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said Friday that China will expand its practical cooperation with Sudan and work actively to explore new cooperation areas under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. He made the remarks while meeting here with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Zhang said China has always viewed and handled its relations with Sudan from a strategic and long-term perspective. The two countries have maintained mutual support on issues involving each others's core interests and major concerns, he said. China will, as always, support Sudan's efforts in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as achieving domestic peace and stability, he said, adding that China will cooperate

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