Monday 18 December 2017
(Voice of America 11/20/13)
The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says members of the group will start a one-week annual meeting beginning Wednesday at The Hague. The Assembly of States Parties is a body that administers management oversight over the ICC. Ambassador Tiina Intelmann says high on the agenda will be a discussion on the immunity from prosecution of sitting heads of state. It’s an important issue to some members who say current leaders should not be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. “This year we will focus on how the court addresses and helps victims, also on the issue of cooperation and also on complementarity,” said Intelmann. “African states parties have asked...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/13)
KUWAIT CITY, November 20, 2013 (AFP) - Arab and African leaders ended a two-day summit in Kuwait Wednesday by calling for closer cooperation on the political and economic levels, as well as in the fight against terrorism. The leaders issued the Kuwait Declaration which called for accelerating economic integration in the Arab world, which includes oil-rich Gulf states and investment-thirsty African states. They called for the creation of a joint "Africa-Arab Financing Mechanism" to fund programmes and projects, under a plan adopted at the second summit in Libya three years ago. But there was no mention of any moves for an Africa-Arab common market, as recommended by businessmen. The Kuwait Declaration strongly condemned terrorism. It urged member states to "enhance...
(CNN 11/19/13)
(CNN) -- Tubes used to clear his lungs prevent Nelson Mandela from speaking, and he uses facial expressions to communicate with doctors and family, according to his former wife. "He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile," Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told South Africa's Sunday Independent newspaper in an article published Sunday. "The bedroom there [at his home] is like an ICU ward." Mandela, 95, "remains quite ill," she said, but doctors are tending to his needs at his residence in Houghton, a suburb of Johannesburg. The tubes are used to prevent infection in Mandela, who is said to be stable. "He communicates with the face, you see," Madikizela-Mandela told the newspaper. "But the doctors...
(AFP (eng) 11/19/13)
KUWAIT CITY, November 19, 2013 (AFP) - Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah opened the third Africa-Arab summit Tuesday with a pledge to provide $1 billion in low-interest loans to African countries over a five-year period. Arab and African leaders gathered for the two-day summit in Kuwait City are to review steps to promote economic ties between wealthy Gulf states and investment-thirsty Africa. "I ordered officials of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to provide soft loans worth $1 billion to Africa over the next five years," Sheikh Sabah announced. Thirty-four heads of state, seven vice presidents and three heads of government are attending the third Africa-Arab summit, which brings together 71 countries and organisations. The meeting is the...
(AFP (eng) 11/19/13)
WARSAW, November 19, 2013 (AFP) - Africa will need between $200 and $350 billion a year by 2070 to shore up its defences against climate change, a UN report said Monday. The $200-billion (150-billion-euro) figure is a best-case scenario, based on meeting the goal of limiting average global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report said. It was issued on the sidelines of UN climate talks in Warsaw that are working towards sealing a global deal by 2015 to reach the 2 C target. The higher figure of $350 billion (260 billion euros) assumes warming of 3.5-4.0 C, which will cause much greater damage to Earth's climate system. "Missing the 2.0 C window...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/18/13)
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad has launched a helicopter attack on Chadian rebels in Darfur and sent a military convoy to the region, according to humanitarian workers and an opposition group, after Sudan announced a military campaign to end rebellions in the area. Conflict broke out in the Sudanese region a decade ago when mainly African tribes took up arms against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, which they accuse of discriminating against them. Law and order has largely broken down in the region, allowing rebels from neighboring Chad to launch attacks on their homeland from inside Sudan. Sources said that the attack, which took place on Thursday using Mi-24 helicopters from Chad's army, had targeted a group of Chadian rebels near...
(AL Jazeera 11/18/13)
Nelson Mandela remains in a "stable but critical" condition more than two months after doctors treating him for a lung infection sent him home to recover, the South African government said. The latest update on the anti-apartheid icon's health came after President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela at his home Monday. "The health of the former president remains much the same," the government said in a statement, noting "he continues to recover." Monday's statement was the first since September. The former South African president was still "quite ill" and unable to speak because of tubes being used to clear fluid from his lungs, ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told the Sunday Independent newspaper. "He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has...
(The Independent 11/18/13)
Why Africa should fight for free trade, not fair trade; for competitiveness in global markets and not kindness in consumers. Everyday there is an effort mainly in the West to save Africa from something - tyranny, impunity, poverty, disease, ignorance - whatever. Always, the savior is an institution or person from Western Europe and its off-shoots in North America. This "savior" is presented as kind, generous and altruistic. Consequently, the supposed beneficiaries need not be active participants in the efforts to save them. They are "victims" to be "helped." It was in this context that last week, I attended a presentation by researchers from the University of London on a new mantra to end poverty, "fair trade." There is a...
(Tanzania Daily News 11/18/13)
Arusha — Despite being operational for more than seven years now, the Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights has been under-utilized having handled only 28 petitions relating to contentious matters and five requests for advisory opinion. The court has therefore decided to make its presence felt through organising a continental conference for the media on the promotion of the court's activities. The occasion will be graced by Prof Makame Mbarawa, the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology and attended by among others, the president and other judges of the court, as well as representatives of international organizations established based in the region. According to Mr Jean- Pierre Uwanone, Senior Information and Communication Officer, the objective of the seminar...
(CNN 11/18/13)
(CNN) -- Notch this up to Swedes and another ridiculously cool, innovative design. This latest effort can be found off an African island and straightaway is placed high on that list of 'amazing hotels I wish i could get to' many travelers have. Just off the coast of Tanzania, The Manta Resort on Pemba Island has added a beautiful, other-worldly underwater bedroom to their original 16-room offering. The new 'digs' opened for business this month, designed by Swedish company Genberg Underwater Hotels. They are the brains behind the The Utter Inn, an underwater room in the middle of a Swedish lake which was also one of our 15 unusual places to spend the night. Lying approximately 250 meters offshore, the...
(AFP 11/17/13)
KUWAIT CITY, November 17, 2013 (AFP) - Arab and African foreign ministers met in Kuwait on Sunday hoping to accelerate a strategy to bolster economic cooperation, investment and trade ahead of a summit this week. The Third Africa Arab Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday will be the first meeting of its kind since 2010, when leaders met in Libya prior to the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled longstanding dictatorships there and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East. The one-day meeting will adopt the agenda for the summit, where leaders are expected to approve a raft of new measures to upgrade economic ties between the two regions, including the oil-rich Gulf and sub-Saharan Africa. "It is time to upgrade...
(AFP 11/17/13)
Cape Town (AFP) - South Africa's Nelson Mandela remains "quite ill" and is unable to speak, using facial expressions to communicate as he receives intensive medical care at home, his ex-wife told Sunday media. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said the 95-year-old was not on life support but he was no longer talking "because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear (fluid from) the lungs". "He can't actually articulate anything" as a result, she told The Sunday Independent newspaper. "He communicates with the face, you see. But the doctors have told us they hope to recover his voice." Mandela was discharged on September 1 to his home in Johannesburg's upmarket Houghton suburb after nearly three months in hospital for...
(AFP 11/15/13)
UNITED NATIONS, November 15, 2013 (AFP) - African nations will Friday launch one of the biggest challenges yet to the International Criminal Court by forcing a UN Security Council vote on suspending the trial of Kenya's president. A resolution seeking to defer crimes against humanity charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto for one year is almost certain to fail through lack of support. But diplomats and justice experts say the action risks heightening tensions between the ICC and Africa. The two leaders are accused of masterminding unrest after a 2007 presidential election in 2007 in which at least 1,100 people died. Kenyatta and Ruto took office after an election this year. Ruto's trial has started, while...
(Reuters 11/15/13)
(Reuters) - U.S. military forces in Africa may lose well over a tenth - or some $40 million - from their 2014 budget, the U.S. Africa Command said on Thursday, although it saw success against militants in Somalia and Mali. The bulk of such cuts will fall on headquarters and training programs, AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez said, most likely forcing smaller exercises. The size of AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, is to be reduced by some 20 percent. The planned cuts are part of broader across-the-board U.S. spending restrictions dubbed "sequestration" and imposed after Congress failed to agree deficit reduction measures. AFRICOM - set up in 2007 to coordinate U.S. military activity on the continent - retains some 5,000...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/13)
RABAT, November 14, 2013 (AFP) - Foreign ministers from countries across the Sahel and Maghreb gathered in Rabat on Thursday to look for ways to boost border security and confront Islamist linked-violence plaguing the vast desert region. Senior officials from the United States, Britain and France are also due to attend the conference, which Morocco's Communication Minister Mustafa Khalfi said aimed to "reinvigorate" regional cooperation, giving special attention to developments in Mali and Libya. Mali is still suffering deadly attacks by Islamist insurgents some 10 months after France launched a military operation against Al-Qaeda-linked groups occupying the north of the country, where two French radio journalists were executed at the beginning of November. "The intervention in Mali did not resolve...
(Voice of America 11/14/13)
A veteran U.S.-based African journalist said ending corruption in Africa is becoming more elusive because there is no incentive for government officials and others not to engage in corruption. Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York-based African Sun Times newspaper, said part of the solution would be prosecution and lengthy prison terms for those implicated in official corruption. Onyeani was reacting to a study by the independent research firm Afrobarometer, which found that Africans are unhappy with efforts to fight corruption, and found that many still pay bribes to get basic services. The report said Nigeria, Egypt and Zimbabwe got the worst ratings, while Malawi, Lesotho and Botswana got the best. Onyeani said that while not surprised by...
(Bloomberg 11/14/13)
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is gearing up to sell about $15 billion of assets as Europe’s largest oil company accelerates disposals to offset the cost of projects from Australia to Canada. Asset sales will allow Shell’s net capital investment, spending on projects adjusted for acquisitions and disposals, to fall from this year’s record $45 billion, Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said in an interview. New projects coming on stream give room to sell oil and natural gas fields, he said. While chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc Peter Voser didn't put a figure on disposals, Shell needs to raise at least $15 billion over the next two years to meet its financial targets, according to data compiled...
(Voice of America 11/13/13)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two cases this week involving American piracy victims in Africa have highlighted the maritime dangers in the region. However, maritime experts say there are significant differences in the causes and response to piracy off the coast of Somalia and incidents in the troubled Gulf of Guinea, near Nigeria. A judge in Norfolk, Virginia has ordered Somali national Ahmed Muse Salad to serve 19 consecutive life sentences for his role in the 2011 murders of four Americans. Salad was among a group of Somali pirates who boarded a yacht carrying its American owners and two crew members off Africa's east coast. The four Americans were shot and killed after negotiations with the U.S. navy broke down. In another...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/13)
CAPE TOWN Wed Nov 13, 2013 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics expects to supply half of the smartphones sold in Africa this year and aims to double these sales on the continent in 2014, an executive said. Africa has a growing young population that is increasingly tech savvy and urbanized. This is attracting foreign sellers of consumer products like smartphones, especially as markets stagnate or shrink in more developed nations. Although smartphones are gaining popularity across the continent, they are still a novelty. At the end of 2012, sub-Saharan smartphone penetration was 4 percent, compared with a global average of 17 percent, according to industry body GSMA. "Samsung this year will ship 50 percent of all the smartphones in Africa," Thabiet...
(Bloomberg 11/12/13)
Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD), the wireless operator with the most subscribers in South Africa, plans to increase investment on the continent as it speeds up the pace of network upgrades. “In South Africa we’ve been investing 7 billion rand ($677 million) a year and we want to notch that up a couple of levels,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said on a conference call today. The company will increase capital spending as a percentage of revenue to as much 17 percent from 13 percent in 2013, he said. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the world’s second-biggest wireless provider, is putting aside about $10 billion from the sale of its Verizon Wireless stake in the U.S. to upgrade networks for units including...

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