Sunday 24 September 2017
(CNN 07/31/13)
(CNN) -- A decade after Angola emerged from devastating civil war, the sea front road that winds around the bay of its capital, Luanda, is now dotted with multi-million dollar condominiums, exclusive clubs, and boutique stores catering for the country's elite. Most of Luanda's population, however, live in the nearby slums, where health facilities are non-existent and children must work, not study, to survive. Africa's natural resource wealth has certainly fueled a decade of rapid growth, but most Africans have still not seen the benefits. More urgently, rapid population growth combined with deepening inequality could one day prove explosive. It does not have to be this way, of course. Botswana successfully used its diamond wealth to develop quickly, growing from...
(AFP (eng) 07/30/13)
Togo's main opposition on Monday rejected provisional electoral results showing the ruling party winning two-thirds of parliamentary seats, allowing the president's family to maintain its decades-long grip on power. The main opposition coalition, Let's Save Togo, had alleged irregularities even before full results in Togo's parliamentary elections were announced by the electoral commission on Sunday night. On Monday, Agbeyome Kodjo, a key figure in Let's Save Togo, called the vote and results a "sham." "It's an electoral sham amid massive corruption and proven electoral fraud," Kodjo, a former prime minister whose OBUTS party joined with Let's Save Togo for the elections, told AFP. The West African nation's constitutional court must still approve the results from Thursday's election before they become...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/13)
PARIS, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - Disappointment over the lack of democratic progress in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya is understandable, but the so-called Arab Spring of 2011 will take time to mature, analysts say, warning that the process will be chaotic. "We have to stop using seasonal metaphors. We are in a revolutionary process that will take at least a decade," says Karim Emile Bitar, an expert on Arab affairs at the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations. "And 'revolutionary process' means revolution, counter-revolution, efforts to fix the revolution, and that's exactly what is happening," he added. In Egypt, the army ousted democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood; Tunisia has seen sometimes violent demonstrations against the...
(Huffingtonpost 07/27/13)
South Africa's failure to successfully engage some of Africa's most troublesome conflict zones has undermined the country's credibility and cast doubt about whether South Africa should be perceived as the continent's regional military and political leader. Ineffectual leadership is at the heart of the matter. President Zuma has made some dubious decisions regarding South Africa's regional foreign policy, and his inability to meaningfully address the plethora of domestic problems facing the country raises question about its suitability as Africa's de facto leader. Attempts to promote human rights -- a trademark of South Africa's foreign policy for the past 20 years -- have resulted in the adoption of some erratic policy decisions. For example, the South African government has numerous times...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/13)
Togo's ruling party has taken the lead in the country's parliamentary elections, partial results showed Friday, while an opposition coalition was ahead in the capital Lome. Thursday's long-delayed polls came after months of protests in the West African nation, with the opposition seeking to weaken the ruling family's decades-long grip on power. President Faure Gnassingbe's UNIR party was ahead in partial, provisional results from the electoral commission seen by AFP, while the Let's Save Togo coalition was the strongest opposition contender. Gnassingbe's party was dominating the north of the country, its traditional stronghold, while Let's Save Togo did particularly well in the capital. The most prominent Let's Save Togo candidate is longtime opposition figure Jean Pierre Fabre, who finished second...
(Voice of America 07/26/13)
The small West African nation of Togo held legislative elections on Thursday, nine months after they were originally scheduled. Although the vote was calm, opposition leaders expressed concern about a number of procedural problems. Togo has been ruled by the same family for more than four decades. Eyadema Gnassingbe came to power in 1967, and his son, Faure Gnassingbe, followed suit when Eyadema died in 2005, winning a flawed and violent election that year and a more credible re-election in 2010. When the last legislative elections were held in 2007, the ruling party claimed 60 percent of the seats. But there have been signs in recent years that frustration with the party is mounting, with notably large scale protests against...
( 07/26/13)
Successful elections in Zimbabwe are crucial both for that country's own socio-economic development and for improved security in the southern African region, says South African Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim. Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Thursday, Ebrahim said the South African government welcomed the fact that the overall atmosphere in Zimbabwe remained calm ahead of next week's elections, with no major instances of violence or intimidation having been reported so far. Ebrahim added that South Africa hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of Zimbabwe's previous election in 2008, when the announcement of the results had been delayed, stoking concerns about poll rigging. Over six-million Zimbabweans who have registered to vote will go to the polls next Wednesday to...
(Business Daily 07/26/13)
Global food prices fell by 2 per cent in the latest four-month period, marking the third straight period of declines, as declining imports in the Middle East and North Africa, and lower demand pushed prices down 12 per cent from their August 2012 peak, the World Bank said on Thursday. The World Bank's Food Price Index showed international prices of wheat fell by 2 per cent, sugar by 6 per cent, soybean oil by 11 per cent, and maize, or corn, by 1 per cent during the four-month period between February and June. The index, which weighs export prices of food, fats and oils, grains, and other foods in nominal U.S. dollars, fell by 2 per cent. Improved weather conditions...
(Reuters 07/25/13)
LOME | Thu Jul 25, 2013 (Reuters) - Voters in Togo went to the polls on Thursday in a delayed parliamentary election the opposition hopes will hand it a majority needed to push through reforms aimed at limiting the power of one of Africa's oldest political dynasties. The tiny West African nation has been ruled by one family since 1967 when Gnassingbe Eyadema seized power in a military coup. His son, President Faure Gnassingbe, was put in power with army backing upon his father's death in 2005 and won a presidential elections organized later that year and in 2010 that the opposition said was marred by fraud. Togo's 10 opposition parties are aiming to secure a majority of the 91...
(AL Jazeera 07/25/13)
Polls, delayed by months of protests, aiming to provide latest step in west African country's transition to democracy. The west African nation of Togo has launched parliamentary elections, which were delayed by months of protests, with the opposition seeking to weaken the ruling family's decades-long grip on power. Thursday's polls, which opened at 0700GMT and close at 1600GMT, mark the latest step in the country's transition to democracy after Gnassingbe Eyadema's rule from 1967 to his death in 2005, when the military installed his son Faure Gnassingbe as president. Gnassingbe has since won elections in 2005 and 2010 in the country of six million people, but the opposition has denounced both as fraudulent. The elections are the first legislative polls...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
The small West African nation of Togo is holding legislative elections on Thursday amid signs voters are increasingly fed up with the ruling party. Analysts say in order to win, though, the opposition will have to overcome its own divisions, as well as an electoral system vulnerable to fraud. Negotiations over how the election would be run continued until just a few weeks ago, and major opposition parties refused to confirm until recently that they would participate. On Tuesday, the final day of campaigning, however, all the major parties staged rallies in Togo’s capital, Lome, expressing confidence about their chances. Hopeful opposition. The head of the opposition Rainbow Coalition, Dodji Apevon, was at a rally in Lome’s Be neighborhood. He...
(This Day Live 07/25/13)
African countries and their communities have been told they can effectively end ‘land grabs,’ grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernise the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. This was revealed in a new World Bank report titled Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity released on Monday in Washington, US, which also noted that Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 per cent of the population living below $1.25 a day. The detailed report noted that sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/13)
Suspicious fires at two major markets in Togo have fanned political flames and led to the arrest of opposition members ahead of Thursday's parliamentary polls, the latest chapter in the country's unsteady transition to democracy. The market that was once the biggest in Togo's capital sits in ashes, blackened remains of brightly coloured wraps and smashed pottery scattered on the floor, while just outside conspiracy theories spread. "We don't know!" a 35-year-old woman selling handbags outside the ruins of the two-storey concrete market said when asked who was responsible for the fire, adding that she lost some $16,000 in goods in the flames. Others around her accused politicians and alleged that firefighters failed to respond. Suspicious fires that burnt the...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(Ghana Business News 07/24/13)
It will cost Africa $4.5 billion over the next ten years in order to bring proper reforms into managing the continent’s ‘rich’ land, says a new World Bank report published July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” African countries could effectively end ‘land grabs,’ if the complex land ownership and management is mordernized through governance procedures. The World Bank therefore suggests a number of steps and policies that can bring major changes in the continent’s land governance. “It would cost African countries and their development partners, including the private sector, $4.5 billion spread over ten years to scale up these policy reforms and investments,” said the Bank. The report suggests that Africa could finally...
(Reuters 07/24/13)
(Reuters) - It was late afternoon as the speedboat cut across the waters off West Africa for its rendezvous with guns and drugs. Behind lay the steamy shore of Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries on the planet. Ahead lay the Al Saheli, a luxurious 115-foot white motor yacht with tinted black windows. Riding in the speedboat was Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto - a Guinea-Bissau former naval chief and war hero and, according to U.S. investigators, a kingpin of West Africa's drug trade. Na Tchuto was allegedly hoping to seal a deal involving millions of dollars and tons of cocaine. He was also in for a surprise. "Once onboard (the Al Saheli), we were offered champagne," said Vasco Antonio...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
UN says although genital cutting is on decline, female genital mutilation remains "almost universal" in some countries. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children's Fund, released on Monday. The report compiles 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...
(The Guardian Nigeria 07/21/13)
DESPITE the fall in productivity of Africa’s agriculture over the years occasioned by seasons of under-investment and an ill-advised structural adjustment, there is yet a lot to be done to feed the continent’s huge and fast-growing population. Global figures in agriculture and research agree, as they met in Accra, Ghana that ‘funding to agriculture, to universities and to research centres fell steadily and steeply,’ leading to a reversal of the many gains of the past. Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President articulated as much when he addressed the Sixth Forum of Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) summit in the Ghanaian capital during the week. He said, “Our universities lost good people. The quality of education declined,”...

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