| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(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 in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(Agence Ecofin 01/03/17)
Tanzania has initiated talks with Swiss banking group Crédit Suisse which is headed by Tidjane Thiam, regarding a $300 million loan to finance infrastructure projects, Minister of Finance, Philip Mpango, announced on December 31, 2016. “The government has initiated negotiations with Credit Suisse in the United Kingdom for a loan of $300 million following recent improvements in the cost of borrowing in European markets,” he said in a statement. Mpango added that Tanzania was negotiating with other lenders such as the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Development and the OPEC Fund
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(Xinhuanet 12/28/16)
Tanzania will host an outdoor agricultural show "Agritech Expo Tanzania" from Jan. 26 to 27, organizers said Monday. The annual event, to be held in the northern safari capital Arusha, will gather farmers, officials, agro associations, NGOs, researchers, traders, as well as investors and bankers. "The technologies that will be displayed at the expo have potential to play a great role toward the commercialization of agriculture," said David Nyange, policy advisor to Tanzania's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, a supporting partner of the expo. The success story of the outdoor agricultural show Agritech Expo started in the Zambian agri-hub Chisamba three years ago and has been a tremendous boost to that country's farming sector. The Agritech Expo Tanzania transitioned...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The East African 12/27/16)
Tanzania's President John Magufuli has ordered local authorities not to evict hawkers from urban centres, asking them instead to find commercially suitable areas for the traders. In a speech, President Magufuli said hawkers must be relocated to commercially suitable areas within the town centres before they are evicted from places where they cause problems to the public. “They should never be evicted if commercially viable premises for their businesses within city centres have not been prepared,” he said. The traders, known locally as machinga, have largely refused to occupy a Tsh12 billion ($5.3 million) complex in Dar es Salaam that was meant to accommodate 10,000 of hawkers.
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(Agence Ecofin 12/23/16)
In order to curb land grabbing which is growing significantly, Tanzanian authorities have adopted a new land policy that brings to 33 years, from 99, the lease duration for foreigners, Eurasia Review reports. The adoption of the new policy comes a few months after the Eastern African country launched a campaign to seize “unexploited” lands and discourage shady investors from using them for speculative purposes. Authorities blame foreign investors of hoard lands without valorizing them, using them as guarantee to secure loans from banks or selling them at high prices. According to Tanzania’s Land Affairs minister, William Lukuvi, the new policy responds mainly to the need to secure agricultural lands, which is vital for sustainable socio-economic growth. “We are committed...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Tanzania Daily News 12/22/16)
Mbeya — Tanzania and Malawi are expecting to implement a joint 180-megawatt electricity project that will enable each country to produce 90mw. The two countries also expect to implement another joint project on irrigation where a total of 600 hectares will be developed, with 3000 farms in each country. The implementation of the projects follow agreement over development for Songwe River Basin (SRBDP), signed by the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Engineer Gerson Lwenge and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr George Chaponda. They signed the agreement in Mbeya during a special ministerial meeting by the two countries whereby some of the projects to be implemented will include dam construction, tree planting and irrigation schemes. Speaking after...
(The Citizen 12/22/16)
Dar es Salaam — Major oil and gas companies are now planning to resume negotiations with the government on a production sharing agreement (PSA) next year for the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. BG Group which was acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, alongside Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy, plan to build a $30 billion (Sh66 trillion) onshore LNG export terminal in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) by the early 2020s. Earlier in the year, the government said it had finalised a land acquisition deal for the site of a planned LNG plant, and was working to compensate and resettle villagers to move forward on a long-delayed project. TPDC owns title deed for some 2,071.705...

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