Tuesday 23 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
Togo's opposition on Monday announced three new marches against President Faure Gnassingbe, despite a ban on weekday protests and deadly clashes with the security forces. "We are calling for three days of protest on November 7, 8 and 9 in Lome," said Eric Dupuy, the spokesman for the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC) party. A coalition of 14 opposition parties wants Gnassingbe to step down and a limit of two, five-year terms introduced for presidents. Gnassingbe has won three elections since taking over power after the death of his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled Togo for nearly 50 years. Last week in Lome and the second city of Sokode, gangs of youths clashed with police and soldiers...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
BANJUL (Reuters) - Togo’s leader Faure Gnassingbe should resign immediately and the African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS should persuade him to step down if he does not, Gambia’s Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe said. Darboe’s comments are an early sign that opinion is shifting against Gnassingbe who took power in 2005 on the death of his father who had ruled since 1967. Togo is enduring a political crisis in which at least 10 people have been killed in protests since August. “I think the African Union and ECOWAS should engage Togo and persuade the president to step down,” Darboe told Reuters this weekend, adding that other countries need to step in. “When it goes against accepted norms I...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron was on Friday urged to step in to help find a solution to an increasingly violent power struggle between Togo's opposition and the government. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets since late August calling for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe, whose family has been in power for over 50 years. They want the constitution changed so that presidents can only serve two, five-year terms of office. Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 and won three elections. But the protests have turned bloody, with more than a dozen deaths recorded in the capital Lome and the second city of Sokode, in the north. In the last two days, the opposition coalition...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Togo's opposition on Thursday said three people were killed and dozens more injured as gangs of youths clashed with security forces trying to prevent the latest anti-government protest in the capital. Opposition spokesman Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson told reporters "the provisional toll at 3:30 pm (1530 GMT) is three shot dead in Lome", with 44 shot and wounded, and a further 36 beaten up. Togo's security minister, Colonel Yark Damehame, denied the claims, however, saying no-one was killed. The streets of the coastal capital were largely deserted in anticipation of the rally, which the opposition refused to cancel despite a government ban on weekday marches on security grounds.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Five people were shot and injured on Thursday as gangs of youths and the security forces clashed sporadically in Togo's capital Lome, ahead of a planned opposition protest that the government has ruled illegal. Eric Dupuy, spokesman for the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC) party, said the five were shot in the Be area of the city and two of them were in a "critical" condition. Shots were fired around the home of ANC leader Jean-Pierre Fabre, he added. Amnesty International's country director in Togo, Aime Adi, confirmed that five people had been shot and wounded, adding they were taken to hospital in Lome for treatment. The streets were largely deserted ahead of the rally, which the opposition...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
At least four people were shot dead on Wednesday in clashes between protesters and security forces in Togo's two largest cities after soldiers and police launched teargas to prevent the latest anti-government protest. Opposition parties had refused to cancel plans for demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday, despite a government ban on weekday protests on security grounds. The government said three people were shot dead in second city Sokode while one was killed and several wounded by gunfire in capital Lome. "Security forces aren't the only ones in possession of weapons so it's difficult to say who fired," security minister Colonel Yark Damehame told reporters.
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Protesters erected makeshift barricades and blocked roads in Togo's two main cities on Wednesday, as soldiers and police launched teargas to prevent the latest anti-government protest. Opposition parties had refused to cancel plans for demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday, despite a government ban on weekday protests on security grounds. In the capital Lome, streets were blocked and most shops were shut in the commercial area of Deckon, according to AFP reporters in the city. "We've decided to stick it out," said one bare-chested protester who had wrapped his T-shirt around his head.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/17)
LOME (Reuters) - Security forces in Togo’s capital Lome fired teargas on Wednesday at rock-throwing protesters who were demanding an end to a half-century of Gnassingbe family rule. The clashes, seen by a Reuters witness, came two days after three people were killed in violence in the center of the country. The killings reignited a mass protest movement against President Faure Gnassingbe, who succeeded his late father Eyadema in 2005. Opposition activists have been demonstrating since August against Gnassingbe’s rule and say a constitutional reform he has proposed will allow him to rule the West African country until 2030. Protesters want him to leave when his current term expires in 2020, at the latest. The latest bout of protests was...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Two teenagers were among four people killed in violence in Togo's second city after an imam close to the main opposition was arrested, the government and a rights group said Tuesday. "Two soldiers on guard duty at the home of a VIP were lynched and executed and their weapons and ammunition were taken," the government said in a statement. "A young person also died and about 20 other civilians and members of the security forces were injured," it added. Amnesty International's country representative Aime Adi told AFP the young person killed was an apprentice upholsterer and aged 16 or 17. A second youth, 17, was "shot in the head", he added. The clashes in the northern city of Sokode came...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Violence broke out in Togo's second city, Sokode, after the arrest of an imam close to the country's main opposition, fuelling tensions after weeks of anti-government protests. "Electricity was cut off at about 7:00 pm (2100 GMT on Monday) after evening prayers," said Ouro Akpo Tchagnaou, from the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC). "Five police vehicles arrived to arrest Alpha Alassane, a very well-known imam in the city," he added. "The population felt targeted and took to the streets." Clashes lasted throughout the night until calm was restored but the authorities have been warned of renewed protests if Alassane is not freed on Tuesday morning. "The situation was hard to put up with last night. The security forces...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa is most at risk of fatal haemorrhagic fever epidemics, including Ebola, researchers said on Wednesday, calling for greater preparedness to save lives. A study in The Lancet medical journal assessed the likelihood of four viruses - Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Crimean-Congo - spreading on the continent, charting progress from a first human case through to a potential pandemic. The world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016, killing about 11,300 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The viruses, which are often transmitted by rodents and bats, can cause fever, vomiting and bleeding, are often fatal. By mapping high risk areas, African nations can better...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Togo's opposition on Wednesday refused to cancel two protests planned for next week, despite a government ban on political marches on weekdays. Fourteen parties called on their supporters to take to the streets against President Faure Gnassingbe next Wednesday and Thursday. "Wednesday's march will end on the esplanade outside the National Assembly," the spokesman for the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC), Eric Dupuy, told AFP. "The one on the 19th (Thursday), will finish outside the ECOWAS offices," he added, referring to the West African regional bloc. Dupuy maintained the opposition had given proper notification for the demonstrations, as required in law.
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
The Togo government on Tuesday announced a ban on all midweek marches, hours after the opposition announced plans for a rally next week in a campaign aimed at forcing out President Faure Gnassingbe. From Monday to Friday "all marches are banned. People can meet in a fixed spot" for their public meetings, the minister of territorial administration Payadowa Boukpessi told a press conference. Marches will still be allowed at the weekend, he added. "There have been calls for civil disobedience, calls for economic sabotage, even calls for murder issued by protesters targeting the authorities and members of their families as well as security services," said Adjamagbo-Johnson...
(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...

Pages