Tuesday 27 June 2017
(The Globe and Mail 09/14/13)
When one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp. A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China’s media empire across Africa. From newspapers and magazines to satellite television and radio stations, China is investing heavily in African media. It’s part of a long-term campaign to bolster Beijing’s “soft power” – not just through diplomacy, but also through foreign aid, business links, scholarships, training programs, academic institutes and the media. Its investments have allowed China to promote its...
(National Post 09/14/13)
Africa’s population will more than double to 2.4 billion within 40 years, thanks in large part to better health care, according to a major study. Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is rising faster than the rest of the world because modern medicine and health care on the continent means more babies are surviving birth complications, and fewer adults are dying from preventable diseases. But the number of children being conceived is not dropping, or is doing so very slowly. “This means that population growth rates would naturally rise if birth rates stay as they are,” said Carl Haub, the co-author of the report by the U.S.-based Population Reference Bureau. African mothers currently give birth to an average of 5.2 children, rising to...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
GENEVA — A new report says the number of global deaths among children under age five is almost half what it was 22 years ago. A joint report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization,and World Bank finds about 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2012 compared to 12 million children who died in 1990. The report calls the progress being made in cutting child deaths remarkable. However, it says this is still not good enough. It says most child deaths are preventable, and that by applying a number of simple, affordable measures, more children’s lives can be saved. Elizabeth Mason, director of the World Health Organization's department of maternal, newborn, child and...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
NAIROBI, KENYA — In Africa, demand for the cassava plant has grown significantly over the years. The continent produces 60 percent of the crop in the world. But the crop is drastically declining in East and Central Africa due to diseases that reduce production. More than 160 million people in east, central and southern Africa depend on cassava as a stable food and a source of income. Production of the crop has significantly dropped due to the cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO], the brown streak disease is worse since it affects the root of the crop. These two diseases are creating havoc in Africa’s agricultural lands.Improvements necessary. The acting...
(Dw-World 09/12/13)
If German Chancellor Angela Merkel were standing for election in Africa in September, she would have a good chance of winning. But it's not all praise for Merkel and the German government. If it were up to the Mozambicans who were once contract workers in the former East Germany or "GDR", Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would win the upcoming elections. Germany goes to the polls on September 22, 2013. The Mozambican returnees, known as "Madgermanes", are convinced Merkel strengthened the German economy and successfully steered her country through the turmoil of the financial crisis. "Germany has remained Europe's largest economy under the Merkel government, even the global financial crisis did not affect it that badly,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 | (Reuters) - Africa's robust economic growth over the past decade has raised hopes the world's poorest continent can reduce reliance on aid. The problem with this scenario is its failure to consider the role aid may be playing in the "Africa Rising" narrative. Looking for a link between aid and growth, an unmistakable pattern emerges from the numbers. World Bank data shows foreign donor aid to Africa from the OECD group of wealthy countries was just under $13 billion in 2000 and soared to $41 billion in 2006, and then slipped, before rebounding and hitting over $46 billion in 2011. Net official development assistance per capita was just $19.50 in 2000 and almost tripled to a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
LONDON | Thu Sep 12, 2013 (Reuters) - BlackRock's exchange-traded funds (ETFs) business iShares has appointed a new fixed income chief in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as it steps up efforts to meet growing demand for index-tracking bond investments in the region. iShares has appointed Brett Olson, former managing director of Nomura's asset backed securities sales team in EMEA, to lead its burgeoning fixed income product development, sales and capital markets teams. Olson will report to Tom Fekete, who recently joined iShares as head of product development for EMEA and David Heike, Global Head of Fixed Income iShares. "Fixed income ETFs have gathered strong assets over the last three years, but we're now seeing a revolution in demand...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
LONDON | Thu Sep 12, 2013 (Reuters) - Gas supplies to Europe will become less reliable as much of its new demand in the coming decade will have to be met with gas from politically unstable countries in Africa. Europe's gas demand is expected to rise by around 20 percent to 580 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year in the next 10 years as economic growth returns and governments plan to switch from coal to gas for power generation. During the same time, supplies to Europe from the North Sea are expected to fall by at least 20 percent as reserves dwindle, while established suppliers such as Russia and Norway will not be able to increase exports by much and...
(Voice of America 09/12/13)
The World Bank has released new reports outlining the health challenges facing six major regions. Those challenges include not only many types of disease, but road accidents as well. The bank says the reports will help policymakers develop evidence-based health programs after the Millennium Development Goals expire. The World Bank has released the reports in conjunction with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Timothy Evans is the bank’s director of Health, Nutrition and Population. “What we see when we look beyond the global picture is that there’s a lot of regional specificity to trends in the burden of disease. And so the regional focus just allows us more detail and attention to what’s happening in different regions of the...
(International Business Times 09/12/13)
The United Nations food aid agency is falling tens of millions of dollars short of its fundraising goal to combat food insecurity in the African Sahel, leaving 11 million people facing severe nutritional crises in one of the world's most unforgiving regions. The Sahel is a belt of semi-arid land just south of the Sahara Desert, which stretches across the breadth of the African continent and passes through more than a dozen countries. Rainy weather tends to swing up from the South from June through September, but decades of low -- and increasingly erratic -- precipitation have taken a toll on agricultural output. With the exception of five sporadic good years, rainfall has been below historical average levels since the...
(Business News (Ng) 09/11/13)
Africa’s vibrant mobile phone market is forecast to increase four fold in size from a value of $60 billion in 2013 to $234 billion by 2020, according to experts at Manifest Mind LLC, a U.S. based research firm. The continent’s mobile phone market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 21.27 per cent between 2013 and 2020, to reach the set target. Africa’s telecoms sector growth has surged in the last 10 years as the continent has overtaken Europe and Latin America to become the second biggest market in the world for handsets after Asia, according to global mobile phone body, the GSMA. Figures from the GSMA also indicate that from 2007 to 2012 mobile connections in Africa...
(Tanzania Daily News 09/10/13)
Maputo — The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) has warned that a Green Revolution cannot materialise in Africa without concerted effort to secure financing for agricultural production. The Forum, which ended on Friday and brought together over 200 delegates from across Africa and the world, focused on the critical role to be played by public-private partnership and inclusive business models in the development of Africa's agriculture. It heard that the global gap in financing for agriculture stood at 450billion US dollars, an issue which was more acute in Africa than anywhere else in the world. Evidence showed that only 10 per cent of African smallholder farmers had access to financing when they needed to expand their production and raise their...
(The Guardian 09/10/13)
Women are increasingly challenging the traditional male monopoly of African politics. In Cameroon, campaigners have worked tirelessly to boost the chances of women standing in the country's pending elections. On a sunny day in early May, in Ndu, northwest Cameroon, a group of women, many of whom have taken the day off from work on their farms, are evaluating the performance of an aspiring politician. One suggests smiling more, another that the candidate project her voice more and not look at her feet while talking. The women are here in the Bishop Shanahan Centre to improve their public-speaking skills and learn more about electoral procedures. There are no party divisions in the room – women from the Cameroon People's Democratic...
(Voice of America 09/09/13)
The Italian coast guard has rescued more than 700 people in the last two days from boats carrying migrants and refugees. Italian officials say four vessels got into difficulty in waters near Sicily. People from Syria, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria and Ghana were rescued. The Italian news agency ANSA reported Saturday that more than 207 people were taken to the island of Lampedusa after their rescue by the coast guard and navy. Among them were two women in the late stages of pregnancy. Another boat with 212 people aboard was being towed to Lampedusa. Two other broken-down boats carrying 293 people were taken to Augusta on Sicily's eastern coast. Violence in Syria and Egypt this year has spurred an increased number...
(AL Jazeera 09/07/13)
As Kenya votes to withdraw from this 'court of last resort', we ask if other African nations will follow suit. Kenya's parliament has voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), sending another strong message from the continent against what is perceived to be interference from the West. The motion was passed after an emergency session of parliament was convened - and the timing could not have been more telling. William Ruto, Kenya's deputy president, is due to appear before the ICC on September 10, on charges of crimes against humanity, while Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president, is scheduled to face similar charges in November. They stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections at the end of...
(Business Day 09/06/13)
Multinational companies operating in Africa are hitting back at claims that government coffers are being eroded by deliberate intragroup mispricing and shifting of profits across borders to pay significantly less tax. Apart from a lack of clarity on what guidelines to use, reports of bribes to resolve tax disputes, poorly educated tax officials focusing only on their bonuses, and a lack of will to follow global guidelines are emerging. Governments are concerned that money they should be receiving is being diverted to other countries, which then receive the tax revenue. This is leading to major moves by tax authorities to ensure transactions between related companies or parties, such as employers and employees, are done at arm’s length. This means these...
(The Guardian 09/06/13)
Scheme could herald a 'green gold' revolution as mines commit to ban child labour, enforce safety rules and prevent toxic run off. In a bustling area of Nyarugusu, in the heart of Tanzania's gold lands, a stocky man is fanning a dustbin lid of smouldering charcoal, gold ore and mercury on the pavement. Each waft sends a cloud of toxic vapour into the faces of children and adults as they gather to watch. The burning of mercury is a common sight in the streets, homes and cottage-industry mines throughout east Africa. The liquid metal is used to extract the gold and then vaporised to leave behind flakes of the precious metal. But in this dangerous industry, seeds of a gold...
(BBC News Africa 09/05/13)
An emergency operation is under way in the Salamat region of Chad after an "alarming" rise in cases of malaria. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the number of reported new cases rose from 1,228 in the first week of August to 14,021 by the end of the month. Cases of the mosquito-borne disease do peak during the July to November rainy season. But MSF Health Advisor for Chad Dr Turid Piening said the sudden high spike in this area is unusual. She said: "More than 80% of people who are coming for consultations are coming because they are infected with malaria, normally its 30%-40% at this time of year. "It is now the top illness diagnosed in our clinics and...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/05/13)
NEW YORK | (Reuters Health) - Despite concerns that iron supplements may increase children's risk of malaria in regions where it is common, a new study found kids in Ghana who received nutrient powder with iron were no more likely to get the disease than their peers. According the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 660,000 deaths from malaria in 2010. About 90 percent of those occurred in Africa, most in children under five years old. Some studies have suggested giving children iron might increase their risk of malaria - including one trial that was halted early due to more hospitalizations for malaria and other infections among children receiving iron. The theory is that malaria-causing parasites can take up...
(Haaretz 09/03/13)
Last week’s announcement that an agreement had been reached with an African country, later identified as Uganda, to accept African migrants from Israel was not only premature but far too optimistic in terms of the number of people likely to be involved, a senior government official said Monday. Haaretz has learned that the contacts with Uganda relate to the absorption of only a few hundred migrants, so even if an agreement is successfully concluded, its influence will be limited. According to the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, some 54,000 African migrants are now living in Israel, more than 90 percent of them Eritrean and Sudanese nationals. The initial announcement about an agreement with Uganda was made last week by Interior...

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