Thursday 25 May 2017
(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)
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...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(APA 12/08/16)
The government of Swaziland received funding to the tune of $3.87 million from the Taiwanese government, which will be shared by three ministries, APA learns on Thursday. The money was presented by the Taiwanese ambassador Thomas Chen to Prince Hlangusemphi, the Minister of Economic Planning and Development on Thursday. The minister listed the beneficiary ministries as Education and Training, Natural Resources and Energy and Economic Planning and Development. “Projects that will be funded include rural electrification schemes, schools, completion of solar-powered LED lighting system, procurement of six vehicles for the Royal Swaziland Police Service and the rehabilitation of the Mbabane
(APA 12/07/16)
The World Bank has urged Swaziland to create at least 25, 000 jobs to maintain the current employment rate, local media reports disclose here Wednesday. Swaziland, with a population of 1.2 million, has an employment rate currently of 6.7 percent and it is estimated that it will rise to 190.56 percent by 2020. “A study conducted by the World Bank said the country currently suffers from a double digit unemployment rate and government therefore, needs to put in place policies that would create employment, especially for the youth,” states the Swazi Observer on Wednesday. The World Bank in the report, released this month said between now and 2050, Swaziland will experience a 43 per cent rise in the absolute size...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming home fans. Desire slotted in from close range after a beautiful lob from team mate Ngozi Okobi hit a Cameroonian defender and fell on her path with six minutes to the end of the game. The remaining duration and three...
(Voice of America 12/02/16)
Activists are using the women's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon to campaign for the protection of the continent's forests and animal species. The campaign, called “Sports for Nature," is spearheaded by conservationist groups who say some of Africa's natural resources are on the verge of going extinct. In Yaounde, birds sing at a makeshift park near the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, one of the sites of the 2016 women's football African Cup of Nations. Conservationist Nevielle Tanyi points toward a crocodile walking nearby and describes the danger it poses to workers trying to maintain a pond. "When we provoke the crocodile to leave the pond area, it goes toward the side where there is no water and it normally...
(APA 12/01/16)
Swaziland spent US$150 million on 30 tenders awarded to companies who facilitated the smooth running of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in August. A report issued by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development on Wednesday indicated that tenders that were awarded included water and sewage services supplies, catering, decorating and transport services. Of note is that most of the companies that were awarded tenders were entrepreneurs. Swaziland had set aside a budget of US$4.7 million for the event and US$875,000 came from donors while US$60,000
(APA 12/01/16)
The Swaziland Justice and Peace Institution (SJPI) has identified four elements indicating that Swaziland is susceptible to terrorist attacks, APA learnt on Thursday. In a statement on terror early warning signs, SJPI said on Thursday that the main threats to Swaziland's peace and stability included the influx of illegal immigrants, land disputes, poverty and the rule of law. It said these four issues had the potential of causing havoc, including terrorism, in the southern African kingdom if they are not addressed urgently. While we appreciate the ongoing probe into the influx of illegal immigrants, the legislators took a long time though to address the issue and now it is out of hand, SJPI chief executive Musa Hlophe said. The statement...
(APA 12/01/16)
South Africa's Department of Basic Education has stopped Swaziland from offering the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination, according to media reports monitored here. The Times of Swaziland reported on Thursday that only children of diplomats or staff members of any embassy or consulate would be considered for NSC examinations, popularly known as matric. It said the directive was communicated through a letter sent by the South African government to the country's Ministry of Education and Training. Dated September 28, 2016, the letter states that the offering of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination in Swaziland and anywhere outside the borders of the Republic of South Africa was not accommodated in policy and regulations and is, therefore, contrary to the laws...
(APA 11/30/16)
King Mswati III of Swaziland will not be available for any local and international assignments as he has gone into the cultural seclusion for three months, marking the beginning of the Incwala ceremony. The ceremony is an annual event where only men who are part of the traditional warriors participate in the main dance that is held in December, usually preceded by the fetching of water from the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. The delegation chosen to fetch the sacred water is called the water party and is expected to walk to and from the sea, a journey that takes about two weeks. When they return the King goes into seclusion and remains there while performing certain rituals using the sea...
(APA 11/30/16)
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has commended Swaziland for providing free Anti-Retroviral Drugs to the nation, APA reports here on Wednesday. IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse said this on Wednesday during the celebration of World Aids Day at Mankayane in the Manzini region. Melesse landed in the country on Tuesday to be part of the event, saying the free ARVs showed that government was committed to see a healthy nation despite the fiscal challenges it was faced with. “Through the country’s intensive preventive efforts, the nation has witnessed downward trend in new infections,” he noted. IPPF is an organisation that delivers sexual and reproductive health services in over 170 countries across the world.
(Xinhuanet 11/30/16)
Over 250 women security officers from 37 countries across Africa attending Africa Regional Convention of Women in Security Organs here vowed to step up efforts to stamp out gender-based violence (GBV) in the continent. The convention, organized according to the Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD), was designed to redraw strategies for women officers to play their role in the fight against crimes, especially child abuse and violence against women and girls. At the two-day event that opened Monday, the women officers from police, military and prison services called for more workshops and regular conferences and establishing anti-GBV centers in all member countries of KICD. They also called for prioritizing countries that need more attention in fighting violence against women and...
(APA 11/29/16)
Three Swazi men who were accused of killing an Asian businessman in 2012 were on Monday convicted and sentenced to 35 years imprionment, APA reports on Tuesday. Masinda Dlamini, Mfana Yende and Mpendulo Ndzinisa were accused of killing Abbas Ashraff and further robbed five others from Pakistan on the same day, crimes they committed in Manzini and surrounding areas on April 9, 2016 High Court Judge Mbutfo Mamba also convicted a female traditional healer, Jabulile Dvuba to 12-years imprisonment without an option of a fine for giving the murder suspects a muti portion which the judge said gave them the courage to commit the offence. “Dvuba acted in common purpose with the robbers in the commission of the crimes. Before...
(Xinhuanet 11/29/16)
Experts in capital markets are advocating the acceleration of the bourses markets across Africa in order to drive economic growth on the continent. Speaking at the opening of Africa securities exchanges conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, experts emphasized that capital markets are becoming more important to African economies because they help raise funds for long term investment which will drive Africa into middle income status. Rwanda hosts the 20th African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) annual conference from November 27 to 29 dubbed: "The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the Real Economy." The three-day meeting has brought together more than 300 global and regional experts and stakeholders in capital markets, regulators, law firms...
(Washington Post 11/28/16)
Following his release after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela made sure one of his first trips abroad was to Havana. There, in the Cuban capital in 1991, Mandela lavished his host, Fidel Castro, with appreciation. Castro, said Mandela, was a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” The scene might seem paradoxical in some corners of the West. How could the global symbol of African liberation and democracy say such a thing about a man whose death last Friday provoked exiles who fled repressive Cuban rule to dance in Miami's streets? How could Mandela — imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid rulers — find common ground with Castro, who cleared his way to absolute power in Cuba by jailing untold...
(AFP (eng) 11/26/16)
Back in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War, the small Caribbean nation of Cuba went to war thousands of miles away in the battlefields of Angola and Ethiopia, leaving thousands dead. Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died late Friday, was convinced that the global stage for the "world revolution" was happening in Africa -- and thus Cuba became the first Latin American nation to go to war outside its own continent. Angola and Ethiopia soon became symbols of the "regional conflicts" of the Cold War, in which Washington and Moscow battled for ideological supremacy and power through proxy wars. But Havana's involvement in the fighting fields far from home was to cost it dear. Some 4,300 Cubans...

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