| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(APA 10/04/16)
An anticipated hike in South Africa's Value Added Tax (VAT) hike is expected to have a negative knock-on effect on Swaziland's economy, experts warned on Tuesday. Economist Dumisani Sithole said the fact that Swaziland imports about 80 percent of goods and services from South Africa means that a VAT hike by the neighbouring country could lead to price increase on most goods and services. Importers might be forced to buy the goods and services at high prices and they may be forced to pass that to consumers, he said. He highlighted short- and long-term challenges that could be result from the tax increase, saying some importers might be forced out of business. However, on a positive note Sithole said Swaziland...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6 percent this year, its lowest level in two decades, due to continuing woes in the continent's largest economies of South Africa and Nigeria, a World Bank report said Thursday. Africa has been one of the world's fastest-growing region's over the past decade, but a commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters hard, bringing growth down to 3 percent in 2015. However, other countries — including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania — have continued to record GDP growth above 6 percent, according to "Africa's Pulse," the Bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends. The report, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, also singled out Ivory Coast and...
(APA 09/29/16)
Mental health expert Sidumo Lukhele has revealed that most Swazis start smoking at the age of 12, something that leads to addiction and contributes to mental illness. Speaking during a drug abuse awareness campaign held in Malkerns on Wednesday, Lukhele said tobacco and cannabis usage was very high among the youth. He said most adolescents start smoking either due to peer pressure or just because of curiosity and eagerness to test new things. “Smoking these two is as dangerously addictive as hard drugs like cocaine and heroin as both drugs contain nicotine,” he said. He pleaded with parents to keep a watchful eye over their children so that they can be able to detect drug usage at the earliest stages...
(APA 09/29/16)
President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique has inaugurated a new rail bridge over the Umbeluzi River in Maputo's Boane district that will link the port of Maputo to landlocked Swaziland. The new facility, which was unveiled on Wednesday, replaces an old bridge dating from the 1930s that was in a state of disrepair, with its supporting pillars showing serious signs of decay. Chairperson of Mozambiques publicly-owned Ports and Rail Company (CFM), Vitor Gomes said his company had opted to build a new bridge rather than rehabilitate the old one despite the increased cost. Gomes said the new bridge will support a weight of 27 tonnes per axle compared with only 20 tonnes per axle on the old bridge. Trains of over...
(APA 09/29/16)
People have been warned of a stray lion roaming around the Lubombo region of Swaziland closer to the border with Mozambique, APA learnt here on Thursday. The police said the lion was first spotted on Tuesday and efforts to track it down are still being made by them and wild animal experts. The lion is moving from one place to another and people in communities around this region should be very careful and contact the police through the emergency line if they spot it, deputy police spokesperson Phindile Vilakati said. The lion comes after over 65 elephants were reported to have strayed into Swaziland from neighbouring South Africa.
(APA 09/29/16)
Senators in Swaziland have expressed concern with the expansion of sugarcane fields which overlap onto nature and animal conservancies which attract tourists to the country, APA reports on Thursday. The legislators spoke in Parliament on Thursday complaining that different animal species were being rendered extinct as trees were being removed to give way to sugarcane fields. The senators blamed this on the lack of strong laws to control the cutting of trees and tampering with wildlife territories. “I am keen to know if the Ministry of Tourism and that of Agriculture ever meet before introducing sugar plantations in the country to discuss the consequences,” said Senator Chief Kekela. Most sugarcane fields in Swaziland are situated in the Lubombo region, the...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. "Eye of my rival" is one which has an eye-like motif, while another is known as "capable husband". Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". Each print has a name and comes in different colours, so you could have a "capable husband" in red, green or a white and the same for “Eye of my rival". Others have longer, more conversational names: "If you leave, so will I" or "If you divorce, I won't eat sand". Known as a "pagne", this strip of printed cotton cloth can be worn in...
(APA 09/28/16)
Swaziland has met the October 1, 2016 deadline for ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), APA learns here on Wednesday. This essentially means that Swaziland will start enjoying the benefits of the agreement next week when it comes into effect. According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Swaziland has also deposited the ratification instrument with the European Union in Brussels in time for the October 1 deadline when the agreement is expected to come into operation. “Government, through the embassy in Brussels, also signed the Joint Undertaking for Administrative Cooperation which will allow all African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries
(APA 09/28/16)
Swaziland's national soccer team, the Sihlangu, will participate in the Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) tournament to be hosted by South Africa in June 2017, APA learns here Wednesday. South Africa are also the 2016 champions after they won in Windhoek, Namibia where the Sihlangu also recorded history by making their best finish in third place. A South African sports magazine has revealed that South Africa will use two venues for the 12th COSAFA tournament in Moruleng and Mogwane, both situated in the North West province. South Africa is hosting the tournament for the second time in a period of three years.
(AFP (eng) 09/28/16)
When farmer Isaac Tondo fell on lean times in Liberia's long rainy season, his brother in the capital sent 8,000 Liberian dollars (US$87) to his Lonestar mobile money account, ensuring his children's school fees would still be paid. Across Africa more and more people -- from urban start-ups to hard-up villagers -- are now spending, saving and planning for the future through banking services offered by mobile phone companies. And experts believe growth and poverty reduction will follow, if certain key risks are managed. Tondo's brother used to entrust cash with contacts passing through their home village in Grand Gedeh county, but the roads are so bad they can no longer access it. "The only means of receiving money from...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war that has ravaged the country. In Shabwa province, east of Aden, authorities have arrested more than 500 African migrants over the past two weeks, security chief Awad al-Dahboul said. Officials in south Yemen have claimed that some migrants are being...

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