Tuesday 27 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
The UN Security Council is planning a visit in the coming weeks to Nigeria and two other countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency which has sparked one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises. British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the 15 envoys are hoping to visit northeast Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad which along with Niger are facing growing hardship, with nearly 11 million people in need of food aid. "Underneath that suffering is the threat of Boko Haram, so that is an international peace and security issue as well as a humanitarian crisis," Rycroft told reporters on Thursday. UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien told a council meeting that he welcomed plans for a visit, expected to take place some time...
(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,...
(The Associated Press 01/10/17)
The appeal of former Chad president Hissene Habre against his life sentence for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture began Monday by the Extraordinary African Chambers, marking the final stage in a landmark case pursued by victims for more than 15 years. Habre's conviction was the first of a former head of state by an African court for crimes against humanity. It also was the first time a former dictator was found personally guilty of rape by an international court. The Extraordinary African Chambers, created by the African Union and Senegal, found Habre guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment
(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)
Chad's former president Hissene Habre was to begin an appeal Monday against his life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity after his conviction was hailed as a landmark for Africa. The Extraordinary African Chambers, a body created by Senegal and the African Union, sentenced Habre in May to life behind bars, an unprecedented ruling that was seen as a blow to the impunity long enjoyed by repressive rulers. In July, Habre was further ordered to pay up to 30,000 euros ($33,000) to each victim who suffered rape, arbitrary detention and imprisonment during his rule, as well as to their relatives. The 74-year-old has refused to recognise the court's authority but his court-appointed lawyers requested an appeal on his...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Chad announced Thursday that it has closed its border with Libya due to the threat of a "potential terrorist infiltration" and is boosting its military presence in the region. "Faced with the perils that threaten all of the nation's territory, the government decided for one thing to close our land border with Libya, and for another to declare the regions bordering Libya military operation zones," said Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacket in a message broadcast on radio and television. The Tibesti desert border regions are sparsely populated but are used for dealing in contraband by those living on both sides of the border
(Reuters (Eng) 01/06/17)
N'DJAMENA Chad, a key ally of the West in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa, said on Thursday it has closed its long border with Libya and will deploy troops to the area in an effort to prevent the influx of militant fighters fleeing conflict in its war-torn northern neighbor. Libya has slid into lawlessness since the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. Although Islamic State has been ousted from its former stronghold of Sirte, the country's U.N.-backed government has largely failed to retain control. Chad, worried that fighters will flee south across the border, said on Thursday it would take immediate action. "Some isolated ... groups have converged toward the south of Libya, that is to say...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/06/17)
Women in the Lake Chad basin have been forced to sell sex to survive due to an insurgency by Boko Haram fighters that has driven millions from their homes and left children to starve, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday. The violence has displaced more than 2.4 million people across the swamplands of Lake Chad, where the borders of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria meet, and disrupted the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of others, ICRC says. Up to a million people have been cut off from humanitarian aid by Boko Haram despite a regional military offensive against the Islamist militants, according to the United Nations. "It's (extraordinary) ... to see a woman and her...
(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)
In 2016, Chad spent 235 days without internet or social networks. The situation was reversed last December 2, after restrictions imposed since February 27, 2016, were lifted. Borderless Internet conducted a study on the losses generated as a result of the situation. “These 235 days without social networks in Chad cost its economy €18 million, that is nearly CFA18 billion,” the Ngo’s report. For the organization, Chad’s people were deprived of their freedom of expression for 10 months. In an opened letter to President Idriss Deby Itno, many organizations from the nation’s civic society asked for communication and freedom of expression to be returned. They were backed by UN which through its special reporter for freedom of speech and its...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/16)
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Thursday warned troops stationed in Africa's Sahel region that they should "prepare for a long war" against jihadists. He also promised Chad, where French troops have been stationed since 2014 under Operation Barkhane, his nation's financial support. "Our country must continue to make clear and ambitious budgetary decisions in support of our armies," Cazeneuve said on his first overseas visit as prime minister. The Barkhane forces' mission is to target jihadist groups that are active in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert.
(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.
(APA 12/28/16)
Among the events that dominated the Senegalese news of the year 2016 was the life sentence imprisonment imposed on 30 May on former Chadian President Hissène Habré by the Assize Court of the Extraordinary African Chambers (CAE). At the end of a lengthy trial that began on 20 July 2015, in which 96 victims were heard, a 5,600 page report with 56 constitutive evidence were examined, and the Court sentenced Habré to life imprisonment for crimes of torture, crimes against humanity, rape and forced slavery and some other war crimes. After the announcement of the verdict, human rights defenders and the victims described the trial as “historic for Africa”. In July 2016, Hissène Habré was sentenced to pay between CFA...
(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 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...

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