Monday 21 August 2017

Swaziland

(Swazi Observer 08/18/17)
IT will be business as usual for banks and financial institutions in the country as the proposed sympathy strike by the Swaziland Union of Financial Institution and Allied Workers (SUFIAW) has been called off. The sympathy strike which was proposed by SUFIAW and was to take place today was called off after the Swaziland Banking Association (SBA) took the matter to court, where they wanted an order stopping SUFIAW from shutting down banks in the country. Chairman of the SBA Dennis Mbingo confirmed that the court had granted an order in their favour. “Yes, we took the matter to court where we were seeking an interdict stopping the proposed...
(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, but that’s still subject to...
(APA 08/12/17)
It has taken Swazi MTN’s new competitor, Swazi Mobile three weeks to cover a 60-percent clientele base of the country’s population, APA reports on Friday. The new company is Swazi-owned and introduced its first call mid July 2017, which was about six months after it was granted a licence to operate as Swaziland’s second mobile telecommunications company, putting to an end MTN’s monopoly of over 20 years. Swazi Mobile Brand and Communications Manager Macford Sibandze said they were close to...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be...
(APA 08/03/17)
A new Swazi airline is expected to offer daily flights between Mbabane and the Mozambican capital Maputo from December this year, according to media reports monitored here on Thursday. The reports said Ligwalagwala Airways plans to offer 20-minute daily flights to Maputo at budget prices before the end of 2017. They said the Swazi-owned company had secured a lease agreement with an unnamed international operator that would see it renting a 50-seater plane for use on the Mbabane-Maputo route. “The company which set aside $923 000 investment capital has set an ambitious target to provide the flight to Maputo from
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(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...
(Swazi Media Commentary 08/01/17)
The national airline in Swaziland that was created with fanfares and claims it would serve routes across Africa has closed down and all 23 employees have been retrenched. Confirmation of the closure and staff redundancies came through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security First Quarter (April to June 2017) Performance report, which was tabled in the House of Assembly. The airline closed for business in April 2017 when it became clear the tiny kingdom could not afford a single aircraft. Even so, E20 million had been spent on leasing a 29-year-old Boeing 737-300 that never once flew commercially.
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world's highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults. PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan
(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...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Swaziland, which bears the world's heaviest HIV burden, has almost halved the rate of new infections in five years by boosting access to virus-suppressing drugs, researchers said Monday. The country -- where one in three adults is infected with the AIDS-causing virus -- has vastly expanded public programmes to test people for HIV infection and put them on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment (ART). "The rate of new HIV infections has been reduced by half," Velephi Okello of the Swazi health ministry...
(APA 07/24/17)
Workers at Nedbank Swaziland embarked on a strike on Monday over a salary dispute, crippling operations at the financial institution and leaving scores of customers stranded. The strike followed a salary impasse between the management and the Swaziland Union for Financial and Allied Workers (SUFIAW). “The workers are demanding a 10-percent cost of living adjustment, which the bank has failed to put forward,” SUFIAW secretary general Jabu Shiba said in a statement. The employees said they would not accept the...
(Zambia Daily mail 07/21/17)
KING Mswati III has commended Zambia’s development efforts based on a people-centred approach and the commitment by President Lungu to lead the people of Zambia to prosperity. King Mswati particularly noted the impressive infrastructure development programmes taking place in most parts of the country. This is according to a joint communiqué issued yesterday after President Lungu’s three-day state visit to Swaziland at the invitation of King Mswati. “The King observed that there is need for the two countries to explore areas of cooperation and potential for trade, as well as share information, exchange experiences, best practices and visits.
(APA 07/21/17)
Cases of watery diarrhoea have increased from 71 percent to 92 percent in Swaziland between June and the first week of July, Health Minister Sibongile Simelane said on Friday. Simelane said in a report that “this type of diarrhoea remains high when compared to diarrhoea with severe dehydration and persistent diarrhoea.” The minster however assured the country that the figures do not mean there was an outbreak of diarrhoea in Swaziland but only that people are now more aware of...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the...

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(Swazi Observer 08/18/17)
IT will be business as usual for banks and financial institutions in the country as the proposed sympathy strike by the Swaziland Union of Financial Institution and Allied Workers (SUFIAW) has been called off. The sympathy strike which was proposed by SUFIAW and was to take place today was called off after the Swaziland Banking Association (SBA) took the matter to court, where they wanted an order stopping SUFIAW from shutting down banks in the country. Chairman of the SBA Dennis Mbingo confirmed that the court had granted an order in their favour. “Yes, we took the matter to court where we were seeking an interdict stopping the proposed...
(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, but that’s still subject to...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world's highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults. PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Swaziland, which bears the world's heaviest HIV burden, has almost halved the rate of new infections in five years by boosting access to virus-suppressing drugs, researchers said Monday. The country -- where one in three adults is infected with the AIDS-causing virus -- has vastly expanded public programmes to test people for HIV infection and put them on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment (ART). "The rate of new HIV infections has been reduced by half," Velephi Okello of the Swazi health ministry...
(APA 07/21/17)
Cases of watery diarrhoea have increased from 71 percent to 92 percent in Swaziland between June and the first week of July, Health Minister Sibongile Simelane said on Friday. Simelane said in a report that “this type of diarrhoea remains high when compared to diarrhoea with severe dehydration and persistent diarrhoea.” The minster however assured the country that the figures do not mean there was an outbreak of diarrhoea in Swaziland but only that people are now more aware of...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will...
(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...
(APA 07/07/17)
The Swazi government has appointed a 13-member task force to spearhead its fight against money-laundering and terrorism, APA reports here on Friday. Finance Minister Martin Dlamini announced the team through Legal Notice No 101 of 2017 which he said was in line with efforts by the Central Bank of Swaziland and the Swaziland Bankers Association to curb crime. The committee, which is chaired by Joseph Nxumalo, will assist in the enforcement of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act of...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Agence Ecofin 07/04/17)
The government of Swaziland is now user-friendly following the launch of e-Government which will enable people to make payments using credit and debit cards, APA learns here on Tuesday. Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said government transactions would from now be processed from anywhere at any time without having to go to offices. This followed the introduction of the Point of Sales facility that allow debit and credit card usage when paying for government services. “The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade is currently working on the soon to be published online provisional company registration which will see locals being able to have their companies registered within 24 hours,” said the premier.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is...
(APA 06/23/17)
Renowned Malawian pastor, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering ECG church has taken Swaziland by storm, his presence disrupting the work schedules of many Swazis. The prophet is in Swaziland for a two-day service that started on Wednesday night, resulting to many Swazis absenting themselves from work to attend. The Prophet attracted people from all over the country, some of whom gathered at the Old Trade Fair Grounds in Manzini as early as 7am in preparation for services that were to start at 6pm. According to some of his followers in Swaziland the arrival of the prophet has saved...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(APA 06/15/17)
Swaziland has officially opened an Occupational Health Service Centre for ex-miners suffering from diseases such as Asbestosis, silicosis, HIV and Tuberculosis. The health centre situated in Nhlangano in the Shiselweni region was constructed through part of the $30 million funding by the Global Fund which targeted 10 southern African countries including Swaziland. Representative for TB in the Mining Sector in Southern Africa Dr Julian Naidoo said it has been observed over the years that families of ex-miners have had difficulty trying to access compensation due to illiteracy and failure to provide the necessary information. “This posed financial challenges for the relatives who could not even take their sick relatives...
(APA 06/15/17)
The ministry of health got the highest external funding at $60 million in the 2015/2016 financial year, with the Republic of China on Taiwan being the biggest donor, APA can report on Thursday. A report released by the ministry on Wednesday indicates that the health sector got about 47 percent of the total external funding by external donor while the 53 percent was shared by the ministry of agriculture which had issues of drought to take care of and the ministry of punlci works and transport which deals with infrastructure. “Most of the donot funds were directed to HIV and Tuberculosis prevention, treatment and mitigation...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...

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(APA 08/12/17)
It has taken Swazi MTN’s new competitor, Swazi Mobile three weeks to cover a 60-percent clientele base of the country’s population, APA reports on Friday. The new company is Swazi-owned and introduced its first call mid July 2017, which was about six months after it was granted a licence to operate as Swaziland’s second mobile telecommunications company, putting to an end MTN’s monopoly of over 20 years. Swazi Mobile Brand and Communications Manager Macford Sibandze said they were close to reaching their target of 80 percent coverage by December 2017. Swazi MTN has clientele coverage of over 75 percent as it has over 900 000 customers out of Swaziland’s total population of 1.2 million people.
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(APA 08/03/17)
A new Swazi airline is expected to offer daily flights between Mbabane and the Mozambican capital Maputo from December this year, according to media reports monitored here on Thursday. The reports said Ligwalagwala Airways plans to offer 20-minute daily flights to Maputo at budget prices before the end of 2017. They said the Swazi-owned company had secured a lease agreement with an unnamed international operator that would see it renting a 50-seater plane for use on the Mbabane-Maputo route. “The company which set aside $923 000 investment capital has set an ambitious target to provide the flight to Maputo from
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(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...
(Swazi Media Commentary 08/01/17)
The national airline in Swaziland that was created with fanfares and claims it would serve routes across Africa has closed down and all 23 employees have been retrenched. Confirmation of the closure and staff redundancies came through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security First Quarter (April to June 2017) Performance report, which was tabled in the House of Assembly. The airline closed for business in April 2017 when it became clear the tiny kingdom could not afford a single aircraft. Even so, E20 million had been spent on leasing a 29-year-old Boeing 737-300 that never once flew commercially.
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(APA 07/24/17)
Workers at Nedbank Swaziland embarked on a strike on Monday over a salary dispute, crippling operations at the financial institution and leaving scores of customers stranded. The strike followed a salary impasse between the management and the Swaziland Union for Financial and Allied Workers (SUFIAW). “The workers are demanding a 10-percent cost of living adjustment, which the bank has failed to put forward,” SUFIAW secretary general Jabu Shiba said in a statement. The employees said they would not accept the...
(Zambia Daily mail 07/21/17)
KING Mswati III has commended Zambia’s development efforts based on a people-centred approach and the commitment by President Lungu to lead the people of Zambia to prosperity. King Mswati particularly noted the impressive infrastructure development programmes taking place in most parts of the country. This is according to a joint communiqué issued yesterday after President Lungu’s three-day state visit to Swaziland at the invitation of King Mswati. “The King observed that there is need for the two countries to explore areas of cooperation and potential for trade, as well as share information, exchange experiences, best practices and visits.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced...
(APA 07/11/17)
Robust energy and water infrastructure is crucial to the success of efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to achieve rapid industrial development, Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said on Tuesday. Officially opening a joint meeting of ministers responsible for energy and water in SADC, Dlamini said there is need for substantial investment in energy and water infrastructure to ensure rapid and inclusive industrialisation in the region. “We know that faster industrialisation is the key to more rapid economic...
(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,...
(APA 07/05/17)
The United States has asked Swaziland to redefine ‘Terrorism Act’ before it could be reconsidered for the African Growth Opportunity Agreement (AGOA). This was stated by Prime Minister Banarbas Dlamini when giving feedback to Senate Portfolio Committee in Parliament during the debate of the Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2010 on Wednesday. The premier said during the discussion of the bill with the Americans and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) it transpired that the initial definition needed to be reviewed.
(APA 06/21/17)
Swazi MTN, which has run a monopoly in the country for 19 years, has reduced prices, which experts say is the largest margin ever, APA learned on Wednesday. The rates cut were prompted by the introduction of a second mobile communications company, Swazi Mobile, which will go on air for the first time on July 1, 2017. Swazi MTN has reduced local text message charges from $0.06 to $0.02 per SMS, while calling has been reduced from $0.09 to $0.05...
(APA 06/15/17)
Swaziland will on Friday host the heads of state who will be attending the 5thSouthern African Customs Union (SACU) meeting to be held at Lozitha in Swaziland on Friday 23 June 2017. Participalting countries in the summit that will start at 8am are Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Botswana. Heads of state or their representatives are expected to arrive today and they will be lodged at the Royal Villas in Ezulwini for the duration of the meeting. This meeting...
(APA 06/14/17)
Swaziland’s inflation rate has declined from 6.8 percent in March 2017 to six percent due to a notable decrease in food prices, APA reports here on Wednesday. The Central Bank of Swaziland revealed on Wednesday that, with a better harvest anticipated this year due to improved weather conditions, food prices would gradually go down. “Notable moderations were observed in the prices of rice and cereals, oil and fats, milk and milk products and fruits,” read the report. Transport inflation increased...

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(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(APA 07/11/17)
As many as 28 coaches from the Premier League and national First Division League are undertaking a FIFA MA youth training course in Swaziland, APA learned on Tuesday. The topics for this course include “structuring a training session”, “the youth and fitness for young players”. Swaziland is the host country for the five-day course held at the Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC) Building in Ezulwini, where former South African Football Association (SAFA) technical director and former Bloemfontein Celtics mentor Serame Letsoaka is the instructor. Frederick Mngomezulu, CEO of the National Football Association of Swaziland, said the course was vital because the future of the beautiful game relied on the competence...
(APA 07/07/17)
Swaziland’s national soccer team, Sihlangu was ranked in position 132 in June, down from 90th position the previous month, according to the latest rankings released by FIFA on Thursday. The drop is said to be sharp as the national team was sitting at position 88 out of 206 just two months ago. National Football Association of Swaziland spokesperson Muzi Radebe attributed the decline to inactivity by the squad during the past few months. In Africa, Swaziland was ranked at position...
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
A Swaziland footballer considered not good enough to play in South Africa scored four goals as Mbabane Swallows upset Platinum Stars 4-2 Tuesday in the CAF Confederation Cup. Swallows striker Sabelo Ndzinisa, rejected by Bloemfontein Celtic last year after trials, struck twice in each half and his club rose from last to first in Group B. He struck after only four minutes of the matchday two clash as Platinum appealed for offside and scored again two minutes later with a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results...
(APA 12/16/16)
Swaziland's Under-17 national team will on Friday face Zimbabwe's side in Region V Youth Games taking place in Angola. A win against the Zimbabweans will guarantee Swaziland a silver medal. The Swazi team is ranked third in the group stages after a 1-0 win against host Angola. In the group stages, Swaziland lost 2-3 and 0-1 to Zimbabwe and Zambia, respectively.
(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...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million...
(APA 11/08/16)
Swaziland’s topflight football club, Matsapha United, will be without their assistant coach Saul Chamunika after he was appointed assistant coach of the Zimbabwe national team, the Warriors ahead of next year's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon, APA can report on Tuesday. Chaminuka reportedly left the country late on Monday to join the Warriors as they will be playing against Tanzania, and as such, Swaziland’s MTN National First Division League side are likely to be without him in January...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/16)
African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won for the first time in the South African Premiership this season Wednesday and climbed off the bottom of the table. The Pretoria club triumphed 2-0 at Polokwane City thanks to goals from Percy Tau and Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, two stars of the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph. Sundowns became African champions for the first time 11 days ago by defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final. But a domestic fixture backlog meant...
(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...
(Swazi Observer 09/21/16)
MBABANE Swallows proposed deal for Mike Mohammed has stalled because the Ghanaian striker is reportedly demanding E100 000 from the capital city giants ahead of his much awaited return to the team. Swallows have been locked in talks with the former Maritzburg United front man over a move to rejoin the ‘Birds’. The team remains interested in the striker but his demands could prove to be an impediment. Meanwhile, Mike started training with the team two weeks ago, as he...
(AfricaNews 09/19/16)
The agreement on African games signed in Cairo over the weekend between the African Union and the Association of National Olympic committees of Africa will be implemented after validation by the Africa Union commission. The two parties are expected to mobilise renowned African athletes and the best teams to help raise their level of performance. Sources say the African Union will continue to manage the African games while the Union of African Sports Confederations will take care of its technical...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/16)
French petroleum giant Total signed an eight-year deal to become the new sponsor of African football and its showpiece event, the Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday. The sponsorship of the tournament will start at its next edition in Gabon from Jan 14 to Feb 5, 2017. "This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development, bring its governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally,"...
(Xinhuanet 06/20/16)
Swaziland booked a slot in the 2016 Castle Cosafa Cup semifinals after defeating Zambia on penalties by 4-3 Sunday at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Namibian capital Windhoek. Swaziland won Group B on June 14 after drubbing Seychelles 4-0. On June 16, Swaziland followed up the first performance by defeating Madagascar 1-0. In another match played Sunday, the DRC overpowered Mozambique 1-0.
(AFP (eng) 06/16/16)
Demarte Pena was too young to fight in Angola's civil war, where his family played a major role, but he has fought his way to a mixed martial arts championship. Instead of an AK47, "The Wolf" as he is known in the ring, uses fists, feet and pure muscle to subdue his opponents in what is seen as one of the fastest growing sports in Africa. Pena is bantamweight champion among the new crop of mixed martial arts fighters in...
(Swazi Observer 04/13/16)
SOCCER - Match-fixing has reared its ugly head within the premier league of Swaziland as some teams have allegedly offered big money in exchange for points and goals. A team (name withheld) has alleged that it has been approached by several teams’ officials with big money offers for them to throw away a game or two. The approached team is safe on the log and losing its remaining games would not change anything. Match-fixing involves selling and buying of games...

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(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/16)
Africa's largest provider of pay-television services Naspers (NPNJn.J) has kept prices on the continent unchanged to halt a decline in subscriber numbers, its chief executive said on Monday. Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent, which sells access to popular American series and blockbuster movies in 50 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean via its Multichoice unit, reported an 18 percent rise in full-year profit on Friday, but flagged pay-TV as a drag on its performance. Weaker currencies...
(AFP (eng) 05/14/16)
On a choice spot overlooking Washington's most stately monuments, a new museum swathed in bronze will showcase the tragedy and triumph of black America. The National Museum of African American History and Culture, 100 years in the making and now almost ready, will fill a gaping void: until now the city had no grand-scale museum dedicated solely to this chapter of US history. Slave cabins, a blacks-only train car from the segregation era and exhibits on the Reverend Martin Luther...
(APA 05/13/16)
Swazi musicians will be among those hardest hit by the decision by South Africa’s public broadcaster to make its 18 radio stations play mostly local music, the media reported on Friday.The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announced that all its radio stations will from this week play 90 percent local content, a development expected to affect Swazi musicians who they claim to have established a wide fan base in the neighbouring country. The reports said Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria...
(BBC News Africa 04/24/16)
The influential Congolese music star Papa Wemba has died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, media reports say. Video from the concert shows the artist, who was 66, slumped on the floor as dancers continue to perform, unaware of what is happening. French broadcaster France 24 confirmed the death, quoting his manager. On the African music scene since 1969, Papa Wemba won a world following with his soukous rock music. The Congolese band leader, whose real name was Jules Shungu Webadio, also inspired a cult movement known as the Sapeurs whose members, young men, spend huge amounts of money on designer clothes.
(APA 03/24/16)
The Thursday editions of Swazi newspapers were dominated by news of reduced fuel prices as they dropped by $0.019 per litre, APA learns here. The news is good as most commodities like food, electricity and bus fares have been steeply going up these days due to various economic reasons. Natural Resources and Energy Principal Secretary Winnie Stewart says the reason for the decline is improvement in the exchange rate of the Swazi currency, the Lilangeni against the US dollar this...
(APA 03/18/16)
The upcoming annual MTN Bushfire Festival of Arts will feature artists from 13 countries including New Zealand, Ghana, Australia, Mali, France, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Mozambique, Canada, Austria, Reunion Islands and Zimbabwe, APA reports on Friday. These include musical bands and entertainment groups like Vaudou Game from France, Dawee from Germany, Kingfisha from Australia, Cold Specks from Canada and many others who will be joining local artists in the three-day event that will take place from May 27 to 29...
(APA 01/18/16)
South Africa-based Swazi model Nandi Alexander has landed herself a Truworths Stores nationwide advert campaign, local media report here on Monday. The model features on the 2016 advertorial of the giant clothing retail shop, Truworths Stores, which is one brand that has always featured South African models on their seasonal campaigns, and it is the first time that a Swazi-born and bred model appears on one of their campaigns. The model has her full life size billboard at almost every...
(APA 01/11/16)
The persistent heat waves due to drought El Nino has brought the traditional marula season back as the first fruits have been brewed in some parts of the country after they matured earlier than usual, APA reports here on Monday. It's time for the first fruits to mature and the drink will be widely available until April,traditionalist Brigadier Fonono Dube says in an interview. The fruit of the marula, which is usually ready in March ahead of a week-long Marula...
(APA 01/11/16)
New Harry Potter star, Swaziland-born Noma Dumezweni has hit out at critics who claim black actors should not play ‘white characters’, saying it is a sign of ignorance and a lack of imagination, media reports on Monday. The British-based actress spoke out for the first time on race and casting since she was unveiled as the adult Hermione Granger in upcoming stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Dumezweni, 45, said she had encountered unconscious' prejudice when going for...
(APA 12/22/15)
A Swazi-born actress Noma Dumezweni (45) has made history by becoming the first black woman to be featured in Hollywood blockbuster Harry Potter, playing Hermione Granger in the eighth installment of the series, APA learns here Monday. Not only did Dumezweni raise the flag high in the international stage but also made history by featuring as the first black woman in the eighth story in J.K. Rowling’s famous series and winning the Laurence Olivier Award after appearing in more than...

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(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,...
(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 his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(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...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world's highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults. PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan
(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...
(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...
(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,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...

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