Friday 15 December 2017
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(APA 09/19/17)
Talks have been kick-started between King Mswati III and a South African traditional chief who has intention to marry the Swazi king’s first born daughter, Princess Sikhanyiso. Chief Hhoyi II of the Ngomane Royal Household, who is the traditional leader of Mpumalanga province in South Africa, confirmed to local media that he loves the 30-year-old princess and would love to marry her. The princess celebrated her 30th birthday on September 1. “I have met with the princess on a couple of occasions but I will not divulge what we discussed for now. The matter has also been discussed with the (Swazi) Royal Family and these are issues I cannot discuss with the media,” he was quoted as saying. The chief...
(APA 09/19/17)
The Swazi government has deregistered the Swaziland Christian Medical University that was founded by the Korean African Continent Mission in 2013, APA learnt on Tuesday. The Ministry of Education and Training said on Tuesday that the university had failed to meet certain requirements over the years. Among these was the lack of evidence that the programmes offered were accredited by the University of Pretoria in South Africa. This emerged from an investigation that was conducted by the Swaziland Higher Education Council four months ago after the Ministry of Education and Training recommended that all new institutions of higher learning in the country be inspected. The de-registration comes at a time when the university should be holding its first graduation ceremony...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(APA 09/15/17)
APA-Mbabane (Swaziland) - Swaziland’s public health facilities have run out of Tuberculosis (TB) vaccine known as Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) and polio drugs, APA learnt here on Friday. Principal secretary for the Ministry of Health, Simon Zwane confirmed that some health facilities no longer have TB and polio vaccines in stock. He noted that shortage was due to the fact that the government had previously delayed paying drug suppliers, resulting in delays in delivery of ordered drugs. In this case the ministry has already made purchases of the medicines but they have been delayed by the lead time between the placement of the order and delivery. “We do not buy directly from the manufacturers but we have to buy through a...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Others 09/14/17)
MANZINI, Swaziland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global HIV/AIDS organization, congratulates Swaziland on its recent HIV/AIDS response milestone. Data presented at the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science in Paris reveals that new HIV infections in Swaziland have fallen by 44%, and over 73% of people living with HIV in the country now have an undetectable viral load. “This is indeed a true reflection of the situation in Swaziland and I would definitely attribute it to improved treatment coverage and commitment on the part of both the government and partners like AHF who daily work to ensure that access to...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(APA 09/11/17)
An 18-year old virgin is the latest catch for Swaziland's King Mswati III, who was picked to eventually become the king's 15th wife, APA can report on Sunday. The picking is a cultural process reserved only for the king which occurs once a year, during the Reed Dance ceremony where over 100 000 dance before the king and the nation to celebrate their virginity. During this event, the king is expected to choose one maiden whom he later marries by Swazi law and custom, which allow men to marry as many women as they please. The king has deliberately abandoned picking a maiden during some of the past years’ events for reasons known to royalty. If he had been picking...
(Others 09/11/17)
I pine for a jaunt along the N17, but unlike the emigrant in the Saw Doctors' classic my road is thousands of miles from the one through the west of Ireland. About two hours outside Johannesburg we merged with South Africa's N17 en route to the Kingdom of Swaziland. Here, there is much more than the stone walls and green grass the Saw Doctors' character craved. Swaziland is about daytime explorations and nighttime campfires. Your soundtrack is filled with epic wild animal noises or locals singing around a cosy campfire after dinner. Mobile phone reception on Irish handsets is patchy at best with no dependable internet access. Wi-fi is unreliable and hard to find but it's a joy to be...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(Xinhuanet 09/08/17)
Communication ministers from the Southern Development Community (SADC) countries vowed on Thursday to turn the region into an information and knowledge-based economy. This emerged from a ICT (information and communication technology) meeting taking place in Durban, a coastal city in southeastern South Africa. Communication ministers from 15 SADC countries have been meeting in Durban since Monday to discuss the region's ICT infrastructure. The meeting, also attended by policy regulators, implementing agencies and ICT industry players, was designed to help create a more integrated region and help move its communication systems forward. "An accessible, affordable and reliable telecommunications is essential for us to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution which has the potential to leapfrog SADC region economically and socially as...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(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...
(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...

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