| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(APA 10/24/16)
The Forbes Magazine has rated dagga (drug) grown in Swaziland highly and it is quite popular in the United States, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, APA learns here on Monday. The magazine quoted the www.priceofweed.com website when making its analysis, saying locally grown dagga is now cultivated using imported seed which costs about $7 each. “Hybrid seeds are now being sneaked into Swaziland to be grown mainly along the rivers or privately-owned farms,” reads the article. One dagga seed can produce a plant that can yield 1kg of dagga if well watered
(APA 10/24/16)
The American fugitive, David Anson Alandt, who was arrested in Swaziland over four months ago, will be extradited to the US to face the crimes he is accused of jumping bail in the US, APA reports here on Monday. Alandt lost his battle to oppose the application for extradition that was filed by the American Embassy in Mbabane as Principal Magistrate Joseph Gumedze granted the order. The suspect has 15 days to file for appeal against the ruling that was issued on Friday. He was arrested while visiting the new US embassy offices in Ezulwini, Swaziland after it transpired that he had escaped trial of a case of being in possession of marijuana in the US where he had been...
(This Day Live 10/24/16)
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has provided $26.1 billion for African companies in the last 10 years, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has said. Onyema disclosed this while speaking at the third “London & Lagos Capital Markets in Partnership’ conference held at the LSE at the weekend. According to him, eight Nigerian companies were among those that benefitted from the international capital raising on the LSE, noting that more African companies (112) are listed in London than any other international exchange. The 112 companies, he said, have a combined market capitalisation in excess of $200 billion, the largest concentration of African quoted companies outside of Johannesburg. Out of these companies, eight companies...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at nearly 13 percent annually, which is a fantastic rate." This weekend, African talent will be celebrated in Johannesburg at the annual MTV Africa awards set up in 2008 to recognise those "who have made the most impact on African music...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/16)
Encouraged by their success in halting a mass influx of refugees by closing Greek borders and cutting a controversial deal with Turkey, EU leaders are getting tough on African migrants too. A Brussels summit on Thursday will endorse pilot projects to pressure African governments via aid budgets to slow an exodus of people north across the Sahara and Mediterranean. It also wants swift results from an EU campaign to deport large numbers who reach Italy. "By the end of the year, we need to see results," one senior EU diplomat said on Wednesday. Arrivals in Italy so far this year are nearly six percent higher than the same period of 2015. Italy received 154,000 migrants last year and this year's...
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/16)
Dubai - Emirates airline could reduce the frequency of its flights to African cities or cut routes completely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue, President Tim Clark told reporters. Foreign airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies there have become more expensive and scarce as the country battles a hard currency shortage. Emirates has started a detour to Accra, Ghana to refuel its daily Abuja-bound flight, a spokesperson said last month; the airline had already cut its twice-daily flights to Lagos and Abuja to just one. “In certain African countries, the currencies have really gone down, so we're reflecting on a number of these to look at where it's just...
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(APA 10/13/16)
Swaziland and South Africa are in the process of interfacing the system at border posts to improve the declaration of items and payment of tax, APA reports here on Thursday. The Commissioner General of the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA), Dumisani Masilela said this will make work easier and improve the services rendered by both countries’ revenue departments. “Once the system is interfaced, there won’t be much intervention that will be needed from the traders, as everything will be on the system for both sides to access,” he said. He further pointed out that this new system of operation will save traders from queuing up for long hours at the border posts while doing some paperwork. Masilela said the system will...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(APA 10/12/16)
Asian nationals living in Swaziland want to make their submissions in camera before a Parliamentary Select Committee investigating their stay in the country. This would be the first time that the Asians will be submitting before the team since the beginning of the probe on October 5. All along, Swazi nationals were speaking their mind regarding how the influx of Asians has affected them and what they think could be done to handle the current situation and prevent this in future. A majority of the Swazis feel the Asians should be sent back to their respective countries to allow local operators of small businesses to flourish. When justifying their request to speak in camera, the Asians said they wanted to...
(APA 10/12/16)
The government of Swaziland says it is not yet ready to disclose its findings on a poisonous hay that was purchased from South Africa and fed to cattle, killing close to 200 of them. Figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday night showed that 187 cattle worth US$67,000 had died after eating the hay, most of them belonging to the government. The ministry's principal secretary Bongani Masuku said on Wednesday that they “are dealing with the matter at internal level and therefore what have been deliberated on cannot be made public yet.” “Once we have finished discussions and have all merits relating to the incidents, we will communicate it to the public,” Masuku said. Last week, the ministry’s...
(APA 10/12/16)
It would seem charges pressed against South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan have affected Swaziland as its currency has crunched by three percent against the dollar. “According to economists, the fall of the Lilangeni/Rand will result in government continuing to struggle to honour her budgetary obligations,” local media reported on Wednesday. The sudden plunge of the Lilangeni could result in a sharp increase of public debt which will subsequently lead to debt default and erosion of the country’s credit worthiness. Swaziland’s currency is linked to the SA Rand, which has plunged due to the recent issuance of a formal summons by the SA National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in relation to the establishment of a tax department investigation unit a decade...
(APA 10/12/16)
Swazi men have been accused of not being responsible enough in the prevention of the spread of HIV, APA reports here on Wednesday. The National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) feels that most men in Swaziland are not testing for HIV and therefore do not know their status, yet they engage in unprotected sex with the younger girls they are dating. Research has shown that young women aged between 16 and 23 are at high risk of being infected with HIV by men who are much older than them, NERCHA director Khanya Mabuza said. He revealed that men between the ages of 27 and 35 are spreading the disease to young girls and pleaded with these men...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(APA 10/11/16)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has ordered the Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) to stop financing government, the media reports on Tuesday. According to the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook titled ‘Time for Policy Reset’, “Governments must remain vigilant to any signs of increasing financial stress and, in this context, step up early warning systems and cross-border cooperation in supervision.” The warning comes a few months after the government of Swaziland borrowed money from the CBS to fund the salary review for civil servants in July 2016, something that the global lender is in objection to. The IMF has previously warned government to reduce its wage bill and also freeze salary increments for a period of three years if it intended...
(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...

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