| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/16)
The European Union must seek a deal with countries across Africa's desert Sahel region if it wants to curb an influx of migrants, rather than focusing on bilateral deals with individual countries, the president of Chad said on Wednesday. President Idriss Deby was speaking in Germany where he met Chancellor Angela Merkel after her trip this week to Mali and Niger - two of the five countries which form the G5 Sahel security organization. Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania are the three other members of the Sahel group of countries, which stretches 4,200 km (2,600 miles) across northern Africa, from the Atlantic in the west to the border of Sudan in the east. "We can only resolve the issue if...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/16)
Childhood hunger is costing Chad more than 575 billion CFA francs ($982 million) a year in health and education costs and lower productivity in adult life, the African Union and U.N. agencies said in a joint study launched on Wednesday. This is equivalent to 9.5 percent of Chad's gross domestic product (GDP), the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study said. More than 56 percent of Chad's adults - some 3.4 million people - suffered from stunting as children, and as a result are unable to achieve their full potential, according to the study. Stunting, which leads to children being short for their age, is a sign of chronic undernourishment and occurs when children lack the calories and proteins -...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/11/16)
Hunger levels in developing countries have fallen 29 percent since 2000, but efforts to curb hunger must be accelerated in order to meet an international target to eradicate it by 2030, according to an annual index published on Tuesday. Hunger levels are "alarming" in seven countries, with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels, according to the 2016 Global Hunger Index. Haiti, reeling from last week's Hurricane Matthew and still recovering from a massive 2010 earthquake, has the fourth highest hunger score. Another 43 countries, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia, have "serious" hunger levels. At the current rate of decline, more than 45 countries - including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan - will have "moderate"...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(AfricaNews 10/04/16)
Except Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Nigeria hosted presidents of all her surrounding neighbours, Benin, Chad and Niger; who were in the administrative capital of Abuja on Monday for the launch of a biography on President Muhammadu Buhari. ‘‘Presidents of Benin, Chad, Niger joined me at today’s book launch. Our regional partnership is one I value very much,’‘ Buhari said in a tweet accompanied by a picture of him and his guests. President Idris Deby Itno of Chad, Patrice Talon of Benin and Mahammadou Issoufou of Niger joined other political dignitaries at the launch of the book. Nigeria’s former presidents including Olusegun Obasanjo
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/16)
France-based Chadian Casimir Ninga was the unlikely star of a largely frustrating weekend for Africans across Europe. The 23-year-old scored his first Ligue 1 hat-trick -- twice giving Montpellier a two-goal lead in a 3-3 draw at fellow strugglers Dijon. While Ninga sparkled, African stars like Algerian Riyad Mahrez and Ivorian Wilfried Bony wasted scoring chances in the English Premier League. ENGLAND VICTOR MOSES (Chelsea) The Nigeria winger made his first start for Chelsea since May 2013 at wing-back and played his part in a much-improved defensive display as Antonio Conte's side won 2-0 at Hull City.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...
(Voice of America 10/01/16)
The United Nations warns that conditions in Central Africa's Lake Chad basin are threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, among them many children. Food is short throughout the region, which has been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency. Millions of people living in the basin are in the grip of an ever-deepening humanitarian crisis brought on by violent conflict, abject poverty and climate change. More than 20 million people live in areas around the lake in four countries — Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The United Nations says nearly half of them are in need of emergency aid. Toby Lanzer, U.N. assistant secretary-general and regional humanitarian coordinator of the Sahel, said an estimated 6.5 million people in...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/16)
Without more donor support the emergency caused by Boko Haram will become the world's worst humanitarian crisis, a top UN official said Friday, as a massive appeal remained just a quarter funded. United Nations assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer said the suffering in northeast Nigeria and surrounding areas was the worst he had ever witnessed. "I have worked in Darfur," Lanzer told reporters, referring to the war-torn Sudanese region. "The scale and the depth of suffering that I have seen (in Nigeria) is unparalleled in my experience." Nigeria-born Islamist group Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6 percent this year, its lowest level in two decades, due to continuing woes in the continent's largest economies of South Africa and Nigeria, a World Bank report said Thursday. Africa has been one of the world's fastest-growing region's over the past decade, but a commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters hard, bringing growth down to 3 percent in 2015. However, other countries — including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania — have continued to record GDP growth above 6 percent, according to "Africa's Pulse," the Bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends. The report, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, also singled out Ivory Coast and...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. "Eye of my rival" is one which has an eye-like motif, while another is known as "capable husband". Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". Each print has a name and comes in different colours, so you could have a "capable husband" in red, green or a white and the same for “Eye of my rival". Others have longer, more conversational names: "If you leave, so will I" or "If you divorce, I won't eat sand". Known as a "pagne", this strip of printed cotton cloth can be worn in...

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