Thursday 19 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 09/10/17)
Togo opposition leaders on Sunday said they were not hopeful of political change, as parliament prepared to discuss potential constitutional reform after days of huge anti-government protests. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets this week calling for presidential term limits, denouncing President Faure Gnassingbe and his family's half-century in power. Gnassingbe took over as leader in 2005 after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had come to power in 1967 after a military coup. Togo's opposition has long called for constitutional reform and in an apparent concession, the government has proposed a new bill to parliament, which has been recalled for Tuesday. But Eric Dupuy, spokesman for the CAP 2015 opposition grouping, described the bill...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
The leader of Togo’s main opposition alliance said on Friday that President Faure Gnassingbe must quit power immediately or protests against his family’s 50-year ruling dynasty would continue. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the past three days to demand that Gnassingbe step aside, in the most serious challenge to his family’s stranglehold on power since the death of his father in 2005. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters who were burning tires in Lome’s opposition stronghold of Be on Friday, a Reuters correspondent said. “He has to leave now. We will not accept him staying on any longer,” Jean-Pierre Fabre, head of the National Alliance for Change, told Reuters by telephone. “The Togolese are tired...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/08/17)
Togo security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of anti-government protesters carrying out a late night sit-in at an intersection in central Lome as part of a bid to end the 50-year-old Gnassingbe family dynasty, witnesses said on Thursday. The move to disperse the crowds comes after two days of mass country-wide protests involving tens of thousands of people that have amounted to the biggest challenge to Faure Gnassingbe’s rule since he succeeded his late father 12 years ago. In the past, security forces have violently suppressed protests, killing at least two people during an opposition march in August and hundreds after the contested election in which Gnassingbe took power in 2005. But up until late on Thursday, police officers...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
Huge crowds turned out in Togo's capital for the second day running to demand political reform, in the largest opposition protests against President Faure Gnassingbe's regime. Demonstrators began their march calmly late morning, blowing whistles and waving Togo's green, yellow and red flag, with a heavy security presence stationed at major intersections. The opposition has long demanded the introduction of a two-round voting system and limiting the number of terms for the president. Gnassingbe took power in 2005 after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled the tiny West African nation from 1967. "We are going to stay on the streets until he (Gnassingbe) listens to us," one of the protesters, Jonas Badagbo, told AFP. "We want...
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
Mobile internet services were off in Togo on Thursday, where new opposition protests were planned after huge anti-government demonstrations across the country. On social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which were still accessible using intermittent Wi-Fi access in the capital, Lome, users called for services to be restored. In a statement on Wednesday, the Internet Without Borders group called the shutdown "an attack on Togolese citizens' freedom of expression online". Amnesty International's Togo director, Aime Adi, told AFP by telephone that the internet and mobile phone networks were completely off on Thursday in several cities in northern Togo. Information minister Gilbert Bawara told several local radio stations on Wednesday evening that the government reserved the right to impose restrictions...
(Voice of America 09/07/17)
Protests were staged Wednesday across the small West African nation of Togo with demands for an end to the five-decade dynastic hold on power by President Faure Gnassingbe and his family. Hundreds of thousands of people, urged by leaders of Togo’s opposition parties, took to the streets of the capital, Lome, and several other cities calling for Gnassingbe to leave office once his term ends in 2020, and for a constitutional amendment to re-impose presidential term limits. A law was passed in 1992 that limited the president to two terms in office, but Gnassingbe’s father, the late President Gnassingbe Eyadema, scrapped it a decade later.
(APA 09/07/17)
Several thousand Togolese have taken to the streets of Lome, and several cities in the country to demand political reforms, APA can report. In Lome, protesters led by the opposition leaders left from several rallying points, and the processions moved toward one of the main crossroads of Lome called Dekon, from where thousands marched towards the Place of the Dove of Peace and the football grounds of Saint Joseph in the center of the capital city. Most of the protesters waved banners and chanted slogans hostile to the regime of Faure Gnassingbe, including messages such as: “50 years is enough”; “The Constitution of 92 it’s now"; and "the Diaspora must vote". "The Togolese are exasperated. It feels like the government...
(APA 09/07/17)
The Togolese government has adopted a draft bill that limits the presidential term of office to two, as well as the system of a second-round ballot, the Cabinet said Wednesday in a statement. According to the statement on Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, President, Faure Gnassingbé “reaffirmed his commitment to openness and invited the political stakeholders to complete the draft constitutional revision.” The draft bill “is likely to favour the preservation of a climate of peace and serenity which is essential to enable our country to intensify its efforts to respond to the basic concerns of improvement of their living conditions,” the statement added. The announcement of the new bill comes on the eve of two days of simultaneous demonstrations in several...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(AFP (eng) 09/06/17)
Hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters protested across Togo on Wednesday calling for constitutional reform, despite an apparent government concession to their demands. Amnesty International country head Aime Adi told AFP "at least 100,000" were in the capital, Lome, with similar demonstrations taking place in some 10 other cities. Opposition party leader Jean-Pierre Fabre for his part called the demonstration "unprecedented" and estimated that "more than one million people" were on the streets of Lome. Neither figure was independently verified but AFP journalists on the
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/17)
Togo’s cabinet has adopted a draft bill to modify the constitution and reintroduce presidential term limits, the government said in a statement on Wednesday as thousands of protesters gathered on the streets of the capital Lome. The West African country’s President Faure Gnassingbe has ruled since his father died in 2005 after 38 years in power. The latter, Gnassingbe Eyadema, passed a law in 1992 limiting the president to two mandates but scrapped it ten years later. “This bill to modify the constitution concerns specifically the limitations of mandates and voting procedures,” said the government statement, referring to article 59 of the constitution. Minister Gilbert Bawara told a pro-government website on Wednesday that the draft bill was intended to limit...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Agence Ecofin 08/31/17)
In Togo, the theater hall of the ministry of culture will be rehabilitated by the European Union for FCFA200 million. The related agreement was signed August 28, 2017, by the minister of communication, culture, youth and civic training, Guy Madje Lorenzo and EU’s ambassador near Togo, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez. The rehabilitation is great news for actors of the Togolese cultural industry, comedians, painters, singers, who will have a space to show their works and perform. In details, while two third of the FCFA200 million will be used for the rehabilitation itself, the rest will be spent on cultural programmes. The new theater hall will have at least 150 seats. On three levels, it will have modern equipment and facilities, regarding...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(APA 08/30/17)
Thousands of supporters of the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) in Togo took to the streets of Lome in support of President Faure Gnassingbe, and to renew their “commitment to the institutions of the Republic with a view to fully implement the political and institutional reforms in a comprehensive and consensual manner,” APA can report. Starting from the Tokoin Tresor Square in the center of Lome, sympathizers of the ruling majority dressed in white and blue, marched through several streets in the Togolese capital city before stopping at the beach in Lome. "In the light of the latest events, we would like to reaffirm our attachment of the values of dialogue, brotherhood, solidarity, peace, unity and cohesion, which form...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...

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