| Africatime
Sunday 22 January 2017
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/17)
The United Nations doubts the willingness of the South Sudan government to cooperate with the deployment of thousands more peacekeepers and urged the Security Council to apply "credible pressure," according to a report seen by Reuters on Tuesday. Following fierce fighting in the capital, Juba, in July, the 15-member Security Council authorized a 4,000-strong regional protection force in August as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission and threatened an arms embargo if the government did not cooperate or stop hindering the movement of peacekeepers. None of the troops for the protection force have yet been deployed and South Sudan's defense minister, information minister and a presidential security adviser all questioned last week whether there was a need for the additional...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Plans to deploy a UN regional force in South Sudan are bogged down in delays over visas, the allocation of land for bases and a dispute over protecting Juba airport, according to a confidential report obtained by AFP on Tuesday. The Security Council decided six months ago to deploy the 4,000-strong protection force in Juba to bolster the UN peacekeeping mission that failed to protect civilians during heavy fighting in the capital in July. In a report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said recent statements from South Sudanese officials "shed doubt" on the government's "actual willingness to actively cooperate with the deployment and operationalization of the force."
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
South Sudan's key donors on Wednesday urged officials in Juba to retract what they termed as reckless statements on regime change attributed to senior official. "Britain, Norway and the United States wish to express their shock at the unfounded allegations made on Jan. 13 by an SPLA spokesman against the Troika (peace guarantors)," they said in a joint statement. "There has never been, nor is there now, any question of our governments seeking to undermine those leading the country," it...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of...
(The Associated Press 01/17/17)
South Sudanese government and opposition soldiers "blatantly ignored" international law during clashes in July that killed hundreds of people, according to a United Nations human rights investigation. The South Sudanese military swarmed throughout the capital with house-to-house searches and used language tests to identify civilians from different tribes, at times executing them on the spot, said the investigation by the U.N. Human Rights Office and the U.N. mission in South Sudan. The report detailed how government soldiers targeted civilians sheltering in U.N. displacement camps, describing one case in which soldiers
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical...
(The Associated Press 01/16/17)
South Sudan's government is claiming that the U.N. Security Council mandate to send a new contingent of 4,000 peacekeepers to boost the existing force has expired. Minister of Information Michael Makuei told the Associated Press that Dec. 15th was the expiration date for the deployment of peacekeepers to bolster the existing 12,000 U.N. troops in South Sudan. He said a new resolution is needed for the additional troops. The U.N. mission in South Sudan responded in a statement saying that...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman,...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted...
(Bloomberg 01/11/17)
Clashes between South Sudan’s army and rebels left at least 80 people dead over the past five days, both sides said, as civil war in the oil-rich country rages for a fourth year. Fighters battled near the capital of the country’s southern Yei state on Monday with 41 rebels killed, deputy army spokesman Santo Domic said by phone. A spokesman for the insurgents, William Gatjiath Deng, claimed victory and said the more than 40 casualties were all government soldiers. Both...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be...
(The Guardian 01/04/17)
Amid civil conflict, a bookshop in a camp for displaced people offers a source of education and a welcome distraction from the harsh realities of daily life. Juma’a Ali glances fondly at the ceiling-high stacks of titles in his makeshift bookshop, a collection that ranges from Virginia Woolf to Canadian Tax Law (1995 edition). Just over three years ago, carrying as many books as he could bring, he sought refuge in war-torn South Sudan following the persecution that he says...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.

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