| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 12/28/16)
Sudan and Ethiopia on Monday agreed to find new mechanisms to develop bilateral ties and continue consultations and coordination on common issues. Ethiopia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu hailed the bilateral relationship as "exemplary" and vowed to develop it "to the highest peak and to get benefit out of that." He added that the two sides have also agreed to establish a permanent platform to exchange ideas and experiences. Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, for his part, assured commitment in pressing ahead with and establishing new mechanisms to develop this strategic relationship.
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(APA 12/22/16)
Somali land and self-declared Khaatumo with in Somalia on Wednesday agreed to end armed struggle followings years of protracted hostility in northern Sool region of the country. The parties came to an agreement to resolve their differences through peaceful means after five days of negotiations in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Abeba. Somaliland has claimed autonomous since some years now, arguing that the Khaatumo region is part of its administration as opposed to the self-declared Khaatumo administration. Saad Ali Shire, minister of foreign affairs for Somaliland told APA that the agreement will bring the two sides closer leaving their disagreements behind.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(APA 12/21/16)
Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday extended the agreement to allow South Sudan's oil flow through Sudanese territory for another three years. The oil flow agreement signed between the two countries in September 2012 will end this month. The Sudanese Minister of Oil Mohamed Awad Zaid told reporters in Khartoum on Tuesday that the oil ministers of the two countries have signed the agreement on Tuesday. He stated that the agreement included its extension in addition to other technical understandings. “The agreement has included two parts, the extension of the agreement and the financial transitional arrangements, especially after the sharp declining of oil international oil prices,” it pointed out. “Sudan has accepted to rescheduling of South Sudan’s debts according to...
(APA 12/21/16)
Three United Nations staff have been released on Tuesday in Darfur after a month of abduction, UN and Sudan government sources confirmed here Wednesday. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees in a statement seen by APA on Wednesday has confirmed the release of the three workers who had been abducted on 27th November in El-Ginena city in Western Darfur state. “The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi is very pleased by the safe release Tuesday of three UNHCR staff members Sarun Pradhan, Ramesh Karki and Musa Omer Musa Mohamed, who were abducted on 27th November in El Geneina, Sudan,” the statement read in part. "Special thanks in particular go to the Sudanese government and its personnel, who worked to...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(APA 12/20/16)
Sudanese newspapers on Tuesday have focused on the second civil disobedience taken place on Monday. The first strike has been conducted on 27th November. The activists said that the strike was succeeded while the government downplayed its impact. Alayam (Arabic) newspaper said that Sudan witnessed the second civil disobedience action in response to the austerity measures of November and the ensuing price hikes. Initial reports about the success of the civil strike vary, in the absence of an independent mechanism for reliable measurement. In his address to the members of the Khartoum state parliament this morning to mark the 61st anniversary of Sudan’s Declaration of Independence, the second vice-president of Sudan, Hasabo Abdelrahman, launched a scathing attack on the advocates...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/16)
Sudanese opposition groups and activists on Sunday pressed on with plans to hold a "sit-at-home" strike against fuel subsidy cuts, despite a warning from President Omar al-Bashir that anti-regime protests would be crushed. Activists called for workers to stay at home Monday as part of a "civil disobedience movement", the second such initiative after a similar three-day strike last month which had a mixed response. Groups of protesters have staged rallies in Khartoum and some other cities since the authorities announced a 30-percent hike in petrol and diesel prices in November that has led to a sharp rise in the cost of other goods, including medicines.
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(BBC News Africa 12/15/16)
Calls for nation-wide civil disobedience across Sudan to protest the 27-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir are gaining momentum among Sudanese at home and in the diaspora. Following a recent strike on the 27 November, political activists took to social media to arrange for another nationwide strike to protest recent harsh economic measures that led to a rise in the price fuel, electricity, medicines and food. The calls for national civil disobedience have irked President Bashir, who in a recent public appearance ridiculed what he called keyboard activism and dared “those hiding behind their screens to take to the streets” and see what fate they would face. While the origin of these calls is not known, opposition political parties and...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
President Salva Kiir called Wednesday for a "national dialogue" to end the three-year-long civil war in South Sudan. In a speech to parliament, Kiir, whose wrangling for power with his former deputy Riek Machar plunged the world's newest nation into a brutal, destructive and ongoing civil war in December 2013, said the dialogue would "consolidate peace" in South Sudan. Kiir said a panel of "eminent personalities and people of consensus" would guide the national dialogue which would involve "all the people of South Sudan" but did not say who the panel members would be.
(News24 12/14/16)
Sudan has accused Egypt of seizing Sudanese gold miners from its territory and confiscating their equipment. Sudanese state TV Ashorooq on Tuesday quotes the Sudanese Minister of Minerals as saying he met with representatives of the gold miners in Wadi Al-Allagy, in the Sudanese Red Sea State where their colleagues were allegedly attacked and taken to Egypt. Ahmed al-Karoury says some of the 45 miners were later released but without their equipment. Karoury described as "grave and unacceptable" the act by the Egyptian forces, calling it "an aggression on innocent Sudanese nationals on Sudanese territories." He said the government would work to retrieve the remaining miners and their equipment. Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(Xinhuanet 12/13/16)
The Sudanese government on Sunday threatened to adopt other measures if the armed groups insisted to reject negotiation and continued fighting at Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur regions. "If the armed groups refused to resort to negotiation, then there will be other options to achieve peace at South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur," Kamal Ismail, Sudan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, told reporters Sunday. "Few days remain before elapse of the truce provided by President (Omar) al-Bashir for the armed movements regarding the negotiation about the two areas and Darfur," he noted.

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