Friday 23 February 2018
(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...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(AfricaNews 09/13/17)
France has called on Chadian President Idriss Déby, to announce a “timetable” for the parliamentary elections. A statement from the French foreign ministry urged Chadian authorities to announce dates for the elections saying Legislative elections are an important part of democratic life. The legislative elections were postponed last February by President Déby, who has been in power since 1990. He was re-elected for a fifth term in April 2016 after a disputed election. President Deby had declared that the legislative elections would not take place before 2019, arousing the anger of the opposition.
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - France on Monday urged Chadian authorities to press ahead with parliamentary elections after securing billions of dollars in pledges from donor countries aimed at helping to revive the country’s struggling economy. President Idriss Deby, who was re-elected in 2016 after gaining power in 1990 at the head of an armed rebellion, said in February that lack of financial resources meant Chad’s parliamentary elections would be postponed indefinitely. “The legislative elections are an important moment in democratic life,” French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne told reporters in a daily briefing. “We hope in this regard that the Chadian authorities ... will be in a position to announce a calendar (for elections) soon.” In a statement on Friday, Chad’s...
(Voice of America 09/12/17)
BUDUA, CAMEROON — The head of the multinational task force fighting Boko Haram says the war against the militants is being won, but warned that suicide bombings remain a threat, killing close to 400 people in Nigeria and Cameroon since April. Soldiers from the 7,800-person task force have been stationed in several towns and villages along the Nigeria-Cameroon border since those communities were liberated from Boko Haram a little over a year ago. The force's commander, Nigerian-born General Lucky Irabor, visited four communities along the border on Saturday to reassure local residents and rally the troops.

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