Friday 18 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all,...
(Voice of America 08/09/17)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling for rapid action to prevent a cholera epidemic in South Sudan from spiraling out of control as the rainy season in the country progresses. More than 18,000 cases of cholera, including 328 deaths have been reported in South Sudan since June 2016. The International Organization for Migration warns the number of cases and deaths is likely to grow as the rainy season this year will leave as much as 60 percent of the country inaccessible by road. IOM spokeswoman, Olivia Headon, tells VOA a combination of factors including the ongoing crisis, the rainy season and the movement of displaced people across the country is making it extremely difficult to contain this deadly...
(Voice of America 08/08/17)
The wife of the former head of South Sudan's army says her husband has been under house arrest for months on the direct orders of President Salva Kiir. In an exclusive interview Monday, Lucy Ayak Malong, the wife of Paul Malong Awan, told VOA's South Sudan in Focus that her husband has not been allowed to leave Juba since May, when the president fired him. Health concerns Malong’s health has deteriorated steadily since she last saw him in the capital...
(Bloomberg 08/03/17)
Traders in war-torn, hunger-stricken South Sudan are stocking up on goods from neighboring Kenya in case unrest around next week’s elections there disrupts imports, the Chamber of Commerce said. While most of South Sudan’s food supplies originate in Uganda, any upheaval in Kenya could affect goods such as wheat, building materials and spices that arrive via East Africa’s biggest port in Mombasa, the chamber’s secretary-general, Simon Akuei Deng, said by phone from the capital, Juba. The owners of the shipping...
(Voice of America 08/02/17)
A new Human Rights Watch report accuses nine leaders in both of South Sudan’s warring parties of committing serious rights violations and possibly war crimes during 2016 and 2017. It recommends placing sanctions on all nine men, including President Salva Kiir, former First Vice President Riek Machar, and former army chief of staff Paul Malong. Jehanne Henry of Human Rights Watch’s Africa division, says that based on HRW's research, the leaders are implicated in abusive operations across the country. “We...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
More than three years of fighting have slashed South Sudan’s oil output and left half its people facing severe food shortages. Now crop-eating caterpillars and livestock disease are hitting the world’s newest nation’s meager other resources. The fall armyworms, already wreaking havoc elsewhere in Africa, have destroyed vital corn and sorghum crops and grazing land since arriving in South Sudan in June. Meanwhile, seven outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease this year have infected as many as a third of the nation’s...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(The Guardian 07/28/17)
Tomomi Inada’s resignation will coincide with report on how peacekeeping mission details were concealed from public. Japan’s defence minister, Tomomi Inada, is to resign over claims she helped cover up internal records that exposed the danger Japanese peacekeepers faced in South Sudan. The scandal adds to the political woes of Shinzō Abe, who has faced a string of local election losses and seen his cabinet’s popularity plummet to the lowest level since he returned to the prime ministership in 2012. Inada’s departure will also trigger new leadership in the defence portfolio at a time of growing tensions with North Korea
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Civil society activists say a move to exclude South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar from a regional peace process will ensure that South Sudan remains engulfed in war. Ministers of the East African bloc IGAD said Monday that Machar will not be invited to the next meeting for the peace process, which is aimed at revitalizing a 2015 peace agreement between the rebels and South Sudanese government. “We already agreed that the process, all opposition groups including Riek Machar’s ideas,...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(Voice of America 07/24/17)
It's been five months since the shy, frail 13-year-old was snatched from his bed, drugged and raped in the middle of the night. The boy hasn't been able to say much since. "I don't remember a lot," Batista says, darting his eyes toward the dirt floor as he sits in a makeshift clinic in one of South Sudan's displaced people's camps in the town of Wau. The Associated Press is using only the boy's first name to protect his identity...
(Voice of America 07/21/17)
A senior U.N. peacekeeping official said Thursday that fighting had escalated in parts of South Sudan, despite a government-declared unilateral cease-fire in May. "There have been concerning reports of active military operations in the Equatorias and Upper Nile," U.N. deputy peacekeeping chief El Ghassim Wane told the Security Council. "The security environment remains extremely volatile and South Sudan is in need of an effective and credible cease-fire," he said. Wane said earlier this month that the U.N. peacekeeping mission in...
(Dw-World 07/21/17)
Internet and mobile phone users in South Sudan are not able to access the websites of at least four independent media outlets. The South Sudanese government has blocked access to the websites of Dutch-backed Radio Tamazuj, as well as the popular news blogs Nyamilepedia and Paanluel Wel. Internet users said that the website of the Paris-based Sudan Tribune was also affected on some mobile phone and Wi-Fi networks. Radio Tamazuj and the Sudan Tribune are reputable sites which have been...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
South Sudan’s government said it blocked access to Sudan Tribune and Radio Tamazuj, popular websites for news on the war-torn country, accusing them of “hostile” reporting. The block went into effect Monday, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said by phone from the capital, Juba. “If they have been disseminating hostile messages towards us then we have the authority to close them,” he said. “So many countries have been closing down, even giving total blackout to such media houses which create...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
An invasion of fall armyworms may further damage South Sudanese farming, worsening shortages in the war-torn country where half the population is already facing hunger, a Food and Agriculture Organization official said. The pest that’s ravaged crops from Ghana to South Africa since arriving on the continent from the Americas last year has destroyed corn, sorghum and pasture in South Sudan, according to Felix Dzvurumi, the head of the FAO’s agriculture department in the country. The government and the United...
(Bloomberg 07/12/17)
A South Sudanese army offensive on a rebel stronghold has forced about 5,000 civilians to seek shelter in neighboring Ethiopia, adding to the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, a United Nations official said. The people have fled their homes since about July 2 as troops advance toward Pagak town in the country’s northeastern Upper Nile region, David Shearer, head of the UN mission in South Sudan, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Juba. He reported heavy fighting north of Pagak in...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...

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