Tuesday 12 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(The Associated Press 10/10/17)
South Africa plans to send six black rhinos to a national park in Chad next year, restoring a critically endangered species that was last seen in the landlocked African country in the late 1980s. The non-profit group African Parks said Tuesday that the rhinos will go to Chad’s Zakouma National Park, which lies south of the Sahara desert and north of Central African rainforests. The group, which manages Zakouma and 10 other conservation areas in Africa, describes the Chad-bound rhinos as a “founder population,” reflecting hopes that rhino numbers will increase there. The environment ministers of South Africa and Chad on Sunday signed an agreement providing for the rhino transfer. African Parks earlier this year relocated 18 black rhinos to...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Mauritania on Monday called for more support to roll out an anti-jihadist force in Africa's Sahel region where the deployment of 5,000 troops has been delayed by a lack of financing. The new joint force being set up by five countries of the Sahel region -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- has an annual budget of about $496 million (422 million euros) a year, but only about $127 million has been pledged so far. Khadijetou Mbareck Fall, a Mauritanian junior foreign minister, told a Mediterranean nations conference that the international community has "endorsed the fundamental mission of the force" and should back it up with better financial support. The force's funding will be discussed by donors at...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
UN Security Council ambassadors will travel to Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania this month to get a close-up view of a new regional force that France is hoping to shore up with financing, the French ambassador said Monday. The Sahel force is set to begin operations this month, tasked with combating Islamic militants, some of whom have links to Al-Qaeda, but a question mark remains over funding. France will use its presidency of the Security Council in October to focus attention on the new counterterrorism mission of up to 5,000 men set up by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. French Ambassador Francois Delattre said support for the Sahel force "needs to translate in terms of financing... both bilateral...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, head of a group of five countries in Africa’s Sahel region, has asked the United States to remove a travel ban on Chadian nationals, saying that a failure to do so could affect Chad’s security commitments. Security analysts expressed surprise when Chad, a key U.S. security partner since the Cold War, was named last week alongside North Korea and Venezuela as part of an eight-country the travel ban. Chad’s army acts as a bulwark against local and regional armed movements and played a critical role in pushing back troops from jihadist group Boko Haram when they made a bid to expand beyond northeastern Nigeria in 2015. Its troops continue to hold front-line positions in unstable...
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Chad’s appearance on a new U.S. government list of countries subject to travel restrictions has the central African country bewildered. “The Government of Chad expresses lack of understanding of the official reasons for it,” Chad's communications minister and government spokesperson, Madeleine Alingue, said in a statement in French. The administration of President Donald Trump issued new travel rules Sunday, building on and adding to a March executive order that banned travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries. The new rules added three countries
(The Guardian 09/27/17)
The central African country’s inclusion on the revised list, which prevents almost all travel for its citizens to the US, has been causing confusion. It is fair to say that one of the more infrequently asked geopolitical questions of recent decades has been: “Why Chad?” The large, poor African country has rarely played even a marginal role in international power politics. Its inclusion on a newly revised list of eight countries whose citizens are subjected to an indefinite ban on almost all travel to the US has led to some bewilderment. ​ The addition of other states on to Donald Trump’s list, which will come into effect on 18 October, appear more easily explained. Trump has been trading threats and...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/17)
Chad expressed its "astonishment" and "incomprehension" on Monday after it was added by the United States to the list of countries targeted by its travel ban. The landlocked African country "was surprised to learn of the US government's decision to include Chad on the list of countries whose nationals are banned from entering American territory," a spokesman for the government, Madeleine Alingue, said. For N'Djamena, Chad's capital, the grounds for its inclusion on this list -- officially for security failures on travellers and a lack of cooperation with Washington -- "contrast with Chad's constant efforts and commitments in the fight against terrorism at a regional and global level". Chad called on the United States to "better understand the situation" and...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
The Chadian government said Thursday that more than 50 people have died of cholera in Chad where authorities have since declared an outbreak. "We count 312 cases, including 52 deaths," said health ministry secretary-general Hamid Djabar. Authorities declared a cholera outbreak on Monday, which put in place a "crisis committee" to monitor the situation and to strengthen cooperation with partners such as medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the UN children's agency UNICEF. "For the time being, the outbreak is confined to the region of Sila" near the borders with Sudan and the Central African Republic, said Djabar. In the neighbouring region of Salamat, 19 cases and two deaths were recorded, but the health ministry said the situation is...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(APA 09/20/17)
Over 50 people have died of cholera, mainly in Chad’s Sila (east) and Salamat (south-east) regions, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Hamit Djabar announced on Tuesday. The cholera epidemic was first reported by Medecins sans frontières (MSF) in the Sila region, where 25 people out of 200 cases died in refugee camps accommodating Sudanese. The Salamat region recorded two deaths out of 19 cases, according to Dr Djabar, who said the situation was so serious that his department had to deploy a team to the area to coordinate the response with partners, especially MSF, WHO and UNICEF. The Health ministry also pointed out that since the first outbreak of the disease, 28 villages have been...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(APA 09/15/17)
APA-N’Djamena (Chad) - Some 4500 Chadian pilgrims who have completed the fifth pillar of Islam are still stranded in Saudi Arabia. Out of the 4786 Chadians who went this year to Mecca for the pilgrimage, only 200 returned since last week, a situation which aroused a public controversy, all the more since the committee tasked with organizing the hajj has not given any explanation so far. According to several sources contacted by the African Press Agency in Mecca, the members of hajj committee are nowhere to be seen. “None of us knows when we’re going back home. For the last few days, we have been going through hell in Mecca. The meal is unaffordable. We have to spend between CFAF5000...

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