Toute l'afrique | Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Kenya, a pioneer in mobile money, on Thursday began selling the first ever government bonds via mobile phone, allowing anyone from teachers to shop owners to invest and fund infrastructure projects. The bond is named M-Akiba, which means "mobile savings" in Swahili, and was launched with a value of 150 million shillings (1.3 million euros, $1.4 million) ahead of the main launch of a five billion shilling bond in June. "Police officers, primary school teachers or those working in kiosks can actually buy government securities just as they would buy products or transfer money with their phones," said central bank governor Patrick Njoroge at the launch of the bond. "Frankly if this is not transformational,...
(APA 03/23/17)
Human Rights Watch on Thursday issued a report in Bangui decrying the disruption of schooling for many Central African children thanks to the marauding activities of armed militias still roaming the war-ravaged country. Img : CAR: Armed militias keeping children away from school - HRW “These armed groups lay siege, plunder and ransack schools, thus preventing children from attending classes in the Central African Republic," HRW lamented. It also claimed the peacekeepers also use school buildings as bases or barracks. "Soldiers occupying schools and dismantling desks for firewood is rife in parts of CAR," the human rights defense body complained in its 43-page report entitled “No Courses When
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Wednesday six policemen to jail for torturing a detainee to death, the latest such ruling after the government pledged to crack down on police abuses. The Cairo court sentenced an officer to five years in prison, another to one year, and four policemen to three years, a judicial official said. They had been convicted of beating to death Saed Said, a 26-year old accountant, in a police station in 2012. In July last year, a court in southern Egypt sentenced six policemen to prison for beating to death a 47-year old detainee.
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
The United Nations has raised less than a third of the funding needed to prevent famine in Somalia, a spokesman said Wednesday, ahead of a Security Council meeting on the crisis in the drought-hit country. The humanitarian crisis is worsening in Somalia with more than 300 deaths from cholera and diarrhea since the beginning of the year, according to UN figures. About $864 million is needed for Somalia this year and so far only 31 percent has been pledged, said UN spokesman Farhan Haq. The appeal is expected to be revised soon to take into account the growing needs stemming from the risk of famine
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
A contentious amendment to Mauritania's constitution, which would abolish the Senate and change the national flag, will be put to a referendum "as quickly as possible," the president said Wednesday. The proposal to modify the constitution, which has been in force since 1991, was approved by lawmakers in the lower house of the west African Islamic republic but rejected by 33 out of 56 senators earlier this month. "Due to this rejection, we have arrived at an impasse. But there is one way out: we will hold a referendum," said President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz at a press conference late Wednesday.
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Thursday sacked his information minister after he criticised an ally of the president who had stormed into a television station accompanied by armed men. The sacking comes amid an uproar over the incident at one of Tanzania's main private broadcasters, seen as yet another example of the restriction of basic freedoms since Magufuli came to power in October last year. A statement from the presidency did not give any reason for the firing of Information...
(Dw-World 03/23/17)
English-speaking Cameroon remains in upheaval as regional leaders are set to go on trial on Thursday accused of calling for secession. But why is President Paul Biya so afraid of granting more autonomy to Anglophones? Some activists in the northwest and southwest provinces, traditional bastions of opposition to the regime of long-time President Paul Biya, are calling for an independent state of Southern Cameroon. The region was once called that in British colonial times. But according to analysts, a vast majority of the Anglophone population prefers a federation, believing it to be the best
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Ten Egyptian soldiers were killed in two roadside bombings as they clashed with Islamic State group jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, the military said on Thursday. Fifteen jihadists were also killed in the fighting, the military said in a statement, without saying when the incidents took place. The military said the clashes broke out when soldiers raided "an extremely dangerous" jihadist hideout. It said soldiers found a cache of explosives and bombs ready for use as well as grenades and ammunition. The Islamic State group had said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that it blew up two army vehicles during clashes
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
Uganda has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude reserves on its Albertine rift basin along the border with the DRC. Uganda says it has asked China for a $500 million loan to help build almost 600 km of roads in the country’s oil-rich west, amid criticism over heavy borrowing that has ballooned the country’s debt. Uganda has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude reserves on its Albertine rift basin along the border with the Democratic Republic...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Algeria’s state-run energy producer plans to boost crude oil output by 14 percent in the four years to 2019 and invest billions of dollars in exploration projects. Sonatrach Group expects to invest $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 in its search for new deposits of oil and natural gas, said Farid Djettou, head of the company’s associations division, which is responsible for foreign contracts. Sonatrach will drill an average of 100 wells annually over the same five years and plans...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
The International Monetary Fund hopes an audit into Mozambique's debt burden will be concluded in the next couple of weeks and that the government will publish the results, the head of the IMF's Africa department said on Wednesday. The fund is also looking to base any policies or programs designed for the Central African economic bloc (CEMAC) around maintaining the currency peg the six nations hold against the euro, Abebe Selassie told Reuters in an interview. Debt-ridden Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, is struggling to repay loans of more than $2 billion that were not approved by parliament.
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
Libya's oil production has reached 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday, recovering from a drop earlier this month caused by fighting at two key oil ports. "We are working very hard to reach 800,000 barrels by the end of April 2017, and, God willing, we will reach 1.1 million barrels next August," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying in a statement. The NOC said in a separate statement it hoped to...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units. The South African government on Wednesday suspended imports of meat from establishments suspected to be involved in the Brazil meat scandal. South Africa is joining a chorus of other countries after China, the European Union, South Korea and Chile on Monday announced restrictions of red meat imports from Brazil due to recent evidence showing that Brazilian meat-packers have been selling rotten and substandard produce for several years, especially to export markets.
(The New Times 03/23/17)
Rwanda is prepared to send more peacekeepers to be part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the acting Defence and Military Spokesperson, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, has confirmed. He disclosed this yesterday after the U.N. peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous said during a visit to South Sudan's capital, Juba, on Tuesday that the first peacekeepers from Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh will begin arriving in the next few weeks. "That is true. There is an additional force required by the UN and, Rwanda is ready to contribute an additional battalion," Ngendahimana told The New Times. Rwanda presently maintains 1,650 troops as part of UNMISS.
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Mozambique said Exxon Mobil Corp.’s acquisition of a 25 percent stake in an offshore gas block from Eni SpA will generate capital gains revenue of $350 million. The government expects only to receive payment when the transaction is concluded, Anibal Balango, an official in Mozambique’s tax authority, told reporters in the capital, Maputo, on Tuesday. As a non-resident company, Eni was only eligible to pay tax on half the value of the $2.8 billion deal with Exxon. That value was...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
At least 46 people were killed and almost 100 others wounded in clashes between rival ethnic groups in southwest Nigeria earlier this month, police said on Wednesday. Special forces were deployed to the city of Ile-Ife in Osun state following two days of violence that broke out between local Yoruba and Hausa people on March 7, Nigeria's national police spokesman Moshood Jimoh told AFP. "The casualty figures are 46 dead and 96 wounded in the violence in Ile-Ife. Of those injured, 81 had been treated while 15 are still in the hospital," Jimoh said.
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
A coalition of Zimbabwean opposition parties on Wednesday staged a protest ahead of next year's polls, demanding the disbanding of the state-appointed electoral commission they accuse of hindering free-and-fair elections. A group of around 200 protesters gathered at an open space outside the central business district after police banned a planned street march to the electoral commission head office. "Having failed the fundamental test of impartiality and independence required of an election management board, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must forthwith be disbanded and dismantled,"

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(APA 03/23/17)
Human Rights Watch on Thursday issued a report in Bangui decrying the disruption of schooling for many Central African children thanks to the marauding activities of armed militias still roaming the war-ravaged country. Img : CAR: Armed militias keeping children away from school - HRW “These armed groups lay siege, plunder and ransack schools, thus preventing children from attending classes in the Central African Republic," HRW lamented. It also claimed the peacekeepers also use school buildings as bases or barracks. "Soldiers occupying schools and dismantling desks for firewood is rife in parts of CAR," the human rights defense body complained in its 43-page report entitled “No Courses When
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Wednesday six policemen to jail for torturing a detainee to death, the latest such ruling after the government pledged to crack down on police abuses. The Cairo court sentenced an officer to five years in prison, another to one year, and four policemen to three years, a judicial official said. They had been convicted of beating to death Saed Said, a 26-year old accountant, in a police station in 2012. In July last year, a court in southern Egypt sentenced six policemen to prison for beating to death a 47-year old detainee.
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
The United Nations has raised less than a third of the funding needed to prevent famine in Somalia, a spokesman said Wednesday, ahead of a Security Council meeting on the crisis in the drought-hit country. The humanitarian crisis is worsening in Somalia with more than 300 deaths from cholera and diarrhea since the beginning of the year, according to UN figures. About $864 million is needed for Somalia this year and so far only 31 percent has been pledged, said UN spokesman Farhan Haq. The appeal is expected to be revised soon to take into account the growing needs stemming from the risk of famine
(Dw-World 03/23/17)
English-speaking Cameroon remains in upheaval as regional leaders are set to go on trial on Thursday accused of calling for secession. But why is President Paul Biya so afraid of granting more autonomy to Anglophones? Some activists in the northwest and southwest provinces, traditional bastions of opposition to the regime of long-time President Paul Biya, are calling for an independent state of Southern Cameroon. The region was once called that in British colonial times. But according to analysts, a vast majority of the Anglophone population prefers a federation, believing it to be the best
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Ten Egyptian soldiers were killed in two roadside bombings as they clashed with Islamic State group jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, the military said on Thursday. Fifteen jihadists were also killed in the fighting, the military said in a statement, without saying when the incidents took place. The military said the clashes broke out when soldiers raided "an extremely dangerous" jihadist hideout. It said soldiers found a cache of explosives and bombs ready for use as well as grenades and ammunition. The Islamic State group had said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that it blew up two army vehicles during clashes
(The New Times 03/23/17)
Rwanda is prepared to send more peacekeepers to be part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the acting Defence and Military Spokesperson, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, has confirmed. He disclosed this yesterday after the U.N. peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous said during a visit to South Sudan's capital, Juba, on Tuesday that the first peacekeepers from Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh will begin arriving in the next few weeks. "That is true. There is an additional force required by the UN and, Rwanda is ready to contribute an additional battalion," Ngendahimana told The New Times. Rwanda presently maintains 1,650 troops as part of UNMISS.
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
At least 46 people were killed and almost 100 others wounded in clashes between rival ethnic groups in southwest Nigeria earlier this month, police said on Wednesday. Special forces were deployed to the city of Ile-Ife in Osun state following two days of violence that broke out between local Yoruba and Hausa people on March 7, Nigeria's national police spokesman Moshood Jimoh told AFP. "The casualty figures are 46 dead and 96 wounded in the violence in Ile-Ife. Of those injured, 81 had been treated while 15 are still in the hospital," Jimoh said.
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Wednesday six policemen to jail for torturing a detainee to death, the latest such ruling after the government pledged to crack down on police abuses. The Cairo court sentenced an officer to five years in prison, another to one year, and four policemen to three years, a judicial official said. They had been convicted of beating to death Saed Said, a 26-year old accountant, in a police station in 2012. In July last year, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
Forces commanded by a Libyan military strongman fighting to oust jihadists from second city Benghazi may have committed war crimes, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. The self-styled Libyan National Army, commanded by strongman Khalifa Haftar, controls much of eastern Libya and is battling an array of jihadist groups who seized Benghazi in 2014. The LNA announced on Saturday that "terrorist groups" had fled their last stronghold in Benghazi and that its forces were in full control of the city. Human Rights Watch said the LNA "may have committed war crimes, including killing and beating...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
At least five people were killed when a minibus laden with explosives blew up in Mogadishu on Tuesday, just as the troubled country's new prime minister unveiled his government lineup. The blast, the latest attack in the Somali capital believed to be the work of Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab extremists, occurred at a checkpoint just 500 metres (yards) from the presidential palace. "The vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint for security screening when it went off. At least five people were...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Zimbabwean police deployed water cannon and anti-riot officers on the streets of the capital on Wednesday ahead of a planned demonstration by opposition parties against changes to the voter registration process. Anti-government protests in August descended into some of the worst violence seen in the southern African nation for two decades as anger over economic hardship boiled over. Opposition parties united under a National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) banner are campaigning against a government decision to take over the purchase...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
The United Nations has approved an emergency loan of $22 million (20.3 million euros) in a bid to prevent another famine in drought and crisis-hit Somalia, its food agency said Tuesday. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is releasing the funds to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the hope it will help stave off catastrophe in the civil-war wracked country, just five years after the last famine. Somalia declared a national disaster last month as the number of people going hungry hit three million, with 6.2 million people in total expected to face acute food insecurity over the next three months.
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba and four associates will be sentenced Wednesday for bribing witnesses during his war crimes trial, in the first such case before the International Criminal Court. Hoping it will serve as a deterrent, prosecutors have asked for an eight-year sentence against Bemba, already serving an 18 year-term behind bars for crimes committed by his marauding troops in the Central African Republic in 2002 to 2003. "The type of sentence, whether heavy or light, will send...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
Suicide bomb blasts rocked a camp for migrants who have fled Boko Haram insurgents near Nigeria's restive northeastern city of Maiduguri early Wednesday, officials said. "There were four explosions inside the camp," the coordinator of the Muna camp Tijjani Lumani told AFP. "The bombers struck at different locations around 4:30 am. "The explosions triggered fires which burned down many tents", he said, adding that casualties details were not known. The emergency services confirmed the attacks. "There were some suicide explosions in Muna camp. Our men have mobilised to the scene," Ibrahim Abduljkadir of the National Emergency Management
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
France's ambassador to the United Nations warned Tuesday that drastic cuts to the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo would be tantamount to "playing with fire" as the country faces election turmoil. France has circulated a draft resolution to renew the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission, but is facing scrutiny from the United States which is seeking cuts to UN peace operations. "The DRC is at a crossroads," Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters ahead of a...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
More than 2,600 Nigerians who fled into northern Cameroon to escape Boko Haram jihadists have been forced to go home since the start of the year, the UN said Tuesday. Thousands of Nigerians have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has seen deadly attacks since 2009 in pursuit of a caliphate in northern Nigeria. Some 85,000 have sought refuge in Cameroon but the UN refugee agency said many had been sent back, with officials citing security reasons. "So...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
All passengers and crew survived a plane crash in South Sudan on Monday in which the jet hit a fire truck on the runway before bursting into flames. "There is no one who died," Bona Gaudensio, information minister in the northwestern state of Wau where the accident happened, said on Tuesday. He said 37 people had been treated for injuries in hospital but, miraculously, no one was killed, despite a fireball consuming the plane soon after it crash landed. Wau...
(Xinhuanet 03/21/17)
At least two new militia groups have been formed in South Sudan within two weeks, stoking fears their sudden rise would worsen the conflict in the country, analysts said Monday. Augustino Ting Mayai, analyst with Juba-based think tank Sudd Institute, told Xinhua that the current proliferation of militia groups will exacerbate violence and humanitarian suffering as the country is faced with a man-made famine caused by fighting. "The fact is more rebel groups amount to more violence and suffering. There...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
Malawi’s government is trying a new way to protect its fast-dwindling forests: Sending in the army. With deforestation threatening the capital’s water supply, the government has launched 24-hour military patrols of the country’s major forests, with authorization to arrest loggers and confiscate their equipment, said Sangwani Phiri, a spokesman for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining. The move is “a bid to avert unwarranted illegal cutting down of trees,” he said in a telephone interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The strategy, using soldiers from the Malawi Defence Forces (MDF)
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
The head of anti-piracy operations in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia said he had been fired for speaking out about illegal fishing, which he claims could trigger a new outbreak of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Pirates hijacked an oil tanker off Somalia last week, the first such attack in the region since 2012 after shipping firms hired private security and international warships started patrolling nearby waters. Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of anti-piracy operations in Puntland, said the province's...

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(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Kenya, a pioneer in mobile money, on Thursday began selling the first ever government bonds via mobile phone, allowing anyone from teachers to shop owners to invest and fund infrastructure projects. The bond is named M-Akiba, which means "mobile savings" in Swahili, and was launched with a value of 150 million shillings (1.3 million euros, $1.4 million) ahead of the main launch of a five billion shilling bond in June. "Police officers, primary school teachers or those working in kiosks can actually buy government securities just as they would buy products or transfer money with their phones," said central bank governor Patrick Njoroge at the launch of the bond. "Frankly if this is not transformational,...
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the most radical of politically-sensitive measures implemented by the Egyptian government to clinch a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $12bn loan. The aim was not just to shore up the country’s precarious finances and ease a severe dollar...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
Uganda has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude reserves on its Albertine rift basin along the border with the DRC. Uganda says it has asked China for a $500 million loan to help build almost 600 km of roads in the country’s oil-rich west, amid criticism over heavy borrowing that has ballooned the country’s debt. Uganda has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude reserves on its Albertine rift basin along the border with the Democratic Republic...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Algeria’s state-run energy producer plans to boost crude oil output by 14 percent in the four years to 2019 and invest billions of dollars in exploration projects. Sonatrach Group expects to invest $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 in its search for new deposits of oil and natural gas, said Farid Djettou, head of the company’s associations division, which is responsible for foreign contracts. Sonatrach will drill an average of 100 wells annually over the same five years and plans...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
The International Monetary Fund hopes an audit into Mozambique's debt burden will be concluded in the next couple of weeks and that the government will publish the results, the head of the IMF's Africa department said on Wednesday. The fund is also looking to base any policies or programs designed for the Central African economic bloc (CEMAC) around maintaining the currency peg the six nations hold against the euro, Abebe Selassie told Reuters in an interview. Debt-ridden Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, is struggling to repay loans of more than $2 billion that were not approved by parliament.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
Libya's oil production has reached 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday, recovering from a drop earlier this month caused by fighting at two key oil ports. "We are working very hard to reach 800,000 barrels by the end of April 2017, and, God willing, we will reach 1.1 million barrels next August," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying in a statement. The NOC said in a separate statement it hoped to...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units. The South African government on Wednesday suspended imports of meat from establishments suspected to be involved in the Brazil meat scandal. South Africa is joining a chorus of other countries after China, the European Union, South Korea and Chile on Monday announced restrictions of red meat imports from Brazil due to recent evidence showing that Brazilian meat-packers have been selling rotten and substandard produce for several years, especially to export markets.
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Mozambique said Exxon Mobil Corp.’s acquisition of a 25 percent stake in an offshore gas block from Eni SpA will generate capital gains revenue of $350 million. The government expects only to receive payment when the transaction is concluded, Anibal Balango, an official in Mozambique’s tax authority, told reporters in the capital, Maputo, on Tuesday. As a non-resident company, Eni was only eligible to pay tax on half the value of the $2.8 billion deal with Exxon. That value was...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
Faced with a contracting economy, surging inflation and a rigid exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank will have little choice but to keep its key interest rate unchanged on Tuesday. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Godwin Emefiele has held the policy rate at 14 percent since July and is unlikely to make a change, according to all 17 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Foreign-exchange policy has become a common agenda-item for the committee as the nation maintains a...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
Morocco said on Monday that a $10 billion project to build a new industrial and technology hub near the northern city of Tangiers will be financed by Chinese group Haite (002023.SZ), BMCE's Bank of Africa, and the Moroccan government. Morocco and the Chinese government signed an initial memorandum of understanding last year for the 2,000 hectare city, which will provide 100,000 jobs and house 300,000 inhabitants, Industry Minister Moulay Hafid El Alamy said in a presentation. The $10 billion investment will be made over a 10-year period, the minister said.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Egypt on Monday received the second tranche of a $3-billion World Bank loan in support of the government's economic and social agenda, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said. In a statement on the ministry's Facebook page, Nasr said the second tranche would contribute to "encouraging private sector investment and supporting growth projects that promote employment". Cairo received the first tranche of the loan in September 2016. The minister said the financing was part of a loan of eight billion dollars,...
(Xinhuanet 03/21/17)
Kenya has started negotiations with Britain to maintain its market shares as the latter prepares to leave the European Union (EU). Principal Secretary of International Trade Chris Kiptoo told Xinhua in a telephone interview that informal trade negotiation has started between the two countries. “We have started talks with UK officials as part of ensuring we have maintained our market once the country formally leaves EU. The talks are going on at both ends, but formal discussion will start once...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
The World Bank said Monday that Tanzania would be able to access an estimated 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in concessional financing over the next three years, an increase of half a billion dollars over the past three-year period. Visiting World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the bank was encouraged to hear about the tremendous reform efforts by the the government of President John Magufuli. He made the remarks at the launching ceremony for the construction of Ubungo Interchange in Dar es Salaam undertaken by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which is funded by the World Bank with a total of 80.96 million dollars.
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
Kenya has started negotiations with Britain to maintain its market shares as the latter prepares to leave the European Union (EU). Principal Secretary of International Trade Chris Kiptoo told Xinhua in a telephone interview that informal trade negotiation has started between the two countries. "We have started talks with UK officials as part of ensuring we have maintained our market once the country formally leaves EU. The talks are going on at both ends, but formal discussion will start once UK formally exits EU," said Kiptoo. As time nears for Britain to leave the EU formally, Kenya
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
Ethiopian regional officials are demanding that foreign cement producers including Dangote Cement Plc hand control of some parts of their businesses to groups of unemployed youths. The Nigerian company, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and others such as Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi’s Derba MIDROC Cement Plc, should allow the youth to run their pumice mines, according to a draft contract drawn up by Oromia state’s East Shewa Zone administration this month. Pumice is an additive used in cement...
(Financial Times 03/17/17)
Crucial deliveries to resume in sign frosty relations are thawing. Saudi Arabia is to resume crucial oil exports to Egypt in a sign that relations between the two regional heavyweights are thawing, six months after the kingdom abruptly halted the shipments. The Egyptian Petroleum Ministry said it expected deliveries of oil products to restart by the end of this month or early April, adding that it was working with Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, on a timetable. Saudi...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/17/17)
The Kenyan unit of U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc has increased its fare by 20 percent, a move that follows protests and strikes by Uber drivers who said a lower fare made their service uneconomical. Uber, which operates in several African countries, cut its fare in Kenya to 35 shillings ($0.3400) per kilometer last year, after local rival Little - backed by Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom Ltd - introduced a service with a lower price. Uber drivers have staged...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/16/17)
Ghana's annual consumer price inflation fell to 13.2 percent in February from 13.3 percent the previous month due to a marginal decline in the price of fuel, the statistics office said on Wednesday. The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo said this month in its first annual budget that it would reduce inflation to 11.2 percent by the end of the year as part of its drive to restore macroeconomic stability. Food inflation rose to an annual 7.1 percent in February...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Saudi giant Aramco is to resume deliveries of oil products to Egypt that have been suspended since last October, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said, amid differences over the Syrian conflict. "It was agreed that the Saudi side will resume shipping Aramco's petroleum products in accordance with the commercial contract between the (Egyptian General) Petroleum Corporation and Aramco," the ministry said late on Wednesday. "Currently the timeline for receiving the shipments is being discussed," it added. During a visit to Cairo by King Salman in April last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to finance

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(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Frank Fredericks will stay on the IAAF Council while an ethics board reviews allegations that he accepted payments before the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio, Sebastian Coe, the organization's head, said on Tuesday. Fredericks, an International Olympic Committee member, stepped down two weeks ago as head of the team evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics and has also removed himself from the IAAF task force looking into doping in Russia. Despite the allegations, however, he will remain a member of the IAAF council while the ethics board determines if an investigation is necessary.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/18/17)
Kenya's national Olympic committee has escaped the threat of suspension after failing to adopt a new constitution but funding will continue to be withheld until further notice, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday. The IOC froze financial support to Kenya nine days ago, after the country's troubled national committee (NOCK) failed to adopt a revised constitution, and said it would discuss the matter at its executive board (EB) meeting in Pyeongchang this week, leading to speculation that it might ban the country. However, IOC Deputy Director General Pere Miro said a Kenyan undertaking to bring in the new constitution at a meeting later this month meant the IOC had stayed the threat of further action. “The IOC EB...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Madagascar's football chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football Thursday, ousting veteran leader Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office. Ahmad won the election in the Ethiopian capital by 34 votes to Hayatou's 20, official results showed. Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the result was announced. Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a discreet playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks quit as head of the IOC commission monitoring candidates for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday amid a probe into money he accepted from a sports marketing chief accused of corruption. Fredericks, 49, strongly denied any wrongdoing in accepting nearly $300,000 (283,000 euros) on the day that Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Olympics. But he said he had "personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks said on Monday he had stepped down from an IAAF taskforce investigating Russian doping amid a corruption probe. "I have decided to step aside from the taskforce so that the integrity of its work is not questioned due to the allegations made against me in Le Monde," the 49-year-old Namibian was quoted as saying in an IAAF statement. "It is important that the taskforce's mission is seen as free and fair with no outside influence." Le...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
Nigeria looks likely to back Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou for re-election, despite the personal preferences of the head of the country's football association. Sports minister Solomon Dalung told a meeting of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) executive committee they would vote in "Nigerian interest" at next month's vote. Long-time CAF boss Hayatou is seeking another term of office but NFF president Amaju Pinnick has said his preferred candidate was Madagascar's Ahmad Ahmad. Dalung indicated that by "Nigerian...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Kenya's Wilson Kipsang stormed to victory in the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday in the fastest race ever run in Japan. The former world record holder clocked 2hr 3min 58sec over a flatter course than in previous years as he added the Tokyo title to victories in London, New York and Berlin. Sarah Chepchirchir won the women's race in a personal best 2:19:47 -- the first sub-2:20 in Japan -- to complete a perfect day for Kenya. The top six men's...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
Madagascar's football boss Ahmad who is challenging the long-serving Issa Hayatou for the CAF presidency in March, wants less political interference in the African game. First elected in 1988, Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, is seeking an eighth consecutive term as head of the body that governs African football. "If people want change there is no other choice. Only I can dare (to challenge Hayatou)," Ahmad told AFP during an interview at the Madagascar Football Federation offices in Antananarivo. The mononymous Ahmad, whose single name means "the glorious" in Arabic, wants to break with Hayatou long reign, which critics
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
An Egyptian court upheld Monday death sentences against 10 people convicted over rioting that claimed 74 lives at a stadium in Port Said in 2012, judicial and security officials said. The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court. The court also upheld sentences of life imprisonment for 10 people and five years for 12 others, including Port...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/18/17)
Seven suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages. The bombing took place outside Maiduguri, the population center at the heart of a government campaign to eradicate the Islamist group, whose more than seven-year insurgency has killed 15,000 people and forced some two million from their homes. The Borno State Emergency Management Agency said eight members of a local militia, the civilian Joint Task Force, were wounded in the attack, which underscored Boko Haram's ability to continue to operate despite the government's insistence
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench to score a stunning winner with two minutes left as Cameroon fought back from behind to beat Egypt 2-1 in a thrilling Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday. Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny had given Egypt the lead midway through the first half and Egypt looked to be on course to win an unrivalled eighth Cup of Nations crown in their first appearance at the tournament since 2010. But Nicolas Nkoulou, who had come off the bench in the first half, headed in the equaliser just before the hour mark and fellow substitute Aboubakar slammed in the winner in the 88th minute.
(AFP (eng) 02/04/17)
Alain Traore scored with one minute left to give Burkina Faso a 1-0 win over Ghana Saturday and third place in the Africa Cup of Nations. The Turkey-based attacker thumped an angled free-kick over goalkeeper Richard Ofori and into the net in Gabonese coastal city Port-Gentil. It was the second highest finish in the biennial African football showcase for the Burkinabe Stallions, who finished runners-up four years ago. The Black Stars of Ghana have played in five third-place play-offs, losing four. Ghana could have been several goals ahead by half-time as they dominated possession only to be let down by poor finishing and bad luck.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
Michael Ngadeu and Christian Bassogog both netted in the second half as Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 in Franceville on Thursday to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final. A finely-poised tie remained goalless until the 72nd minute, when Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah failed to deal with a free-kick into his area and John Boye's weak defensive header merely served as an assist for Ngadeu to control and fire home. Bassogog then broke away to clinch the win and spark wild...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
Built in rainforest outside Gabon's fourth largest town as one of the venues for the Africa Cup of Nations, the Oyem stadium risks becoming a white elephant now the tournament has moved on. Ghana beat DR Congo at the venue in the quarter-finals on Sunday, the last of seven matches to be played at the stadium during the competition. It is anyone's guess when the next game will be held. Not least because construction work has not actually finished, and...
(AFP (eng) 01/14/17)
The Africa Cup of Nations gets underway in Gabon on Saturday afternoon as the hosts, spearheaded by the brilliant Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang, face minnows Guinea-Bissau in the tournament's opening game in Libreville. The Panthers, coached by veteran Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, are looking to the French-born Borussia Dortmund striker to lead their bid to win the continental title for the first time, 60 years on from the inaugural Cup of Nations. "Pierre is one of the best players in the world. Gabon are lucky to have him," Camacho admitted at a press conference on Friday in the Gabonese
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
CAF executive committee member Ahmad Ahmad said Friday he will challenge long-serving Issa Hayatou in March for the presidency of the African football body. Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, has run CAF since succeeding Sudanese Abdel Halim Muhammad in 1988 and is seeking an eighth four-year term. The CAF confirmed in Libreville meanwhile that Hayatou was standing for a new term through to 2021. Ahmad, the Madagascar Football Association president, told reporters in Libreville that his candidacy had been accepted. "My candidacy for the position of Confederation of African Football president has been approved," he said. Ahmad is in the Gabonese capital ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
Kenya is to put 109 elite athletes under the watch of a team of selected doctors in a bid to stop doping, a practice that has tarnished the image of its famed sportsmen and women. Athletics Kenya chief Jackson Tuwei said that in conjunction with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), five trusted doctors had been selected to work with the country's top athletes. This is an effort to limit bad medical practices by some Kenyan doctors who have...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Egypt's competition watchdog has referred Confederation of African Football chief Issa Hayatou to prosecutors accusing him of breaching monopoly rules with an exclusive billion-dollar television deal. The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) announced the measure just days before the Africa Cup of Nations starts in Gabon. The authority, under Egypt's industry ministry, said an exclusive deal with French company Lagardere Sports for Nations Cup tournaments breaches anti-trust laws. The ECA issued an order on Thursday that television rights in Egypt be widened. CAF denies any wrongdoing, saying in a statement the ECA did not even mention "any prosecution against the president of CAF" in a letter to the confederation.
(AFP (eng) 11/22/16)
Longstanding friends of former Senegalese world athletics boss Lamine Diack, who faces charges of corruption and taking bribes to cover up doping cases in Russia, have stumped up a bail payment of 500,000 euros ($550,000), his family said Monday. A statement seen by AFP in Dakar said a joint payment had been made by family members. Diack is accused of allowing corruption to flourish during his 1999 to 2015 stewardship of the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) until scandal ultimately...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Togo's national football league is slowly resuming after a two-year FIFA-imposed suspension following chronic mismanagement. Internal wrangling at the Togo football federation (FTF) triggered top-flight football to be suspended in late 2014. FIFA gave Togo a red card, sacking embattled federation president Gabriel Ameyi and setting up a "normalisation committee" structure to manage daily affairs and organise new elections. A new president, Guy Kossi Akpovi, is now in charge with 14 clubs competing in this season's championship. Both fans and...

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(AFP (eng) 03/05/17)
"Felicite," a tale about a nightclub singer who has to scrape together funds to pay for her son's treatment after a road accident, scooped the top prize on Saturday at Africa's top cinema festival. The film won the Golden Stallion award at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, held in the capital of Burkina Faso. The prize adds to the Silver Bear jury prize awarded to the film two weeks earlier at the Berlin Film Festival. The film is directed by Senegalese-French Alain Gomis, who in 2013 was praised for "Tey" (in French, "Aujourd'hui," or "Today) -- a story about a young Senegalese who knows he is about to die, and looks at...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
A solar-powered cinema was unveiled in Burkina Faso Friday ahead of the city's hosting of Africa's top film festival, even as movie theatres on the continent continue to disappear. The theatre, with its 300-seat capacity, will run on solar energy. Named Canal Olympia Yennenga, it is now the third-largest movie hall in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou. Located in the city's posh Ouaga2000 neighbourhood, the theatre cost about 3 million euros ($3.2 million) to build. It is the brainchild of French businessman Vincent Bollore, whose company owns French premium TV and cinema group Canal Plus. "In the city of Ouagadougou, we lack movie theatres of this calibre," said Burkina Faso
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Nollywood film "The Wedding Party" has shown Nigerian cinema at the top of its game, with its success at the box office taking it to new audiences across Africa and the world. The country may well be in recession but Nollywood, which churns out some 2,000 films a year and is the world's second-biggest film industry outside India, has never been healthier. "The Wedding Party" is a madcap, glamorous comedy telling the story of the marriage of Dunny and Dozie, despite the misgivings of their families' rivalries. One family is Igbo and the other Yoruba -- two of the main ethnic groups in Nigeria.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
A public television station in Morocco was given an official reprimand on Tuesday for broadcasting a sequence on how to use make-up to conceal the bruises of battered women. It was transmitted last November -- marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women -- by 2M on its morning magazine programme "Sabahiyate". The sequence depicted a woman with a swollen face, with the presenter telling viewers that she was not really injured, and that these were just "cinematic effects". On Tuesday, the country's High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) said the sequence
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
Every January, thousands of voodoo worshippers joined by crowds of tourists and descendants of slaves trudge down the long sand track leading to the beach at Ouidah in Benin. The cars, motorbikes and women in wrap skirts with tribal scars on their cheeks head to the Gate of No Return monument overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean beach. Erected in 1992 in memory of those packed on ships bound for the New World, it is a living reminder...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
As many African women spend much of their spare time in hair salons, Ivory Coast's chief librarian, also a woman, came up with a brainwave scheme to help them read and learn to read. Crammed on shelves between hair extensions, untangling creams and straightening lotions, a total 23 hair salons now offer customers a range of books on loan from the National Library. "Libraries are practically non-existent in our suburbs and the ones that do exist get very few visitors,...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/16)
Surrounded by untidy stacks of paper and abandoned half-empty coffee cups, photographer Aida Muluneh chain smokes cigarettes in her Addis Ababa office and rails against the negative portrayals of Africa by foreigners. The 42-year-old came returned to Ethiopia nine years ago after living in Yemen and Canada and set herself the task of changing perceptions of the continent, replacing the outsiders' dominant eye with an African one. The Addis Foto Fest, which she founded and which opens its fourth edition...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/16)
Journalists from Cameroon and Ivory Coast on Thursday won Africa's top fact-checking awards for investigating government claims that turned out to be false. Manfei Anderson Diedri, of the website Eburnietoday.com, scooped the francophone award for an eight-month investigation into a land dispute in central Ivory Coast. Diedri uncovered that while Abidjan claimed it had ownership of 11,000 hectares of land granted to a Belgian company for industrial rubber plantations -- which villagers claimed was their property -- there was no...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/16)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday condemned the swift shutdown of four Benin broadcasters close to the opposition, saying it raised fears of an "authoritarian" shift in the west African country. The four broadcasters -- Radio Soleil and TV stations Sikka, Eden and E-tele -- were all cut off on Tuesday and Wednesday, the press freedom group said in a statement. All were shut down on the grounds that they were transmitting from places away from their original locations, RSF...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/16)
Sudan on Sunday ordered a private television channel to stop broadcasting after accusing it of operating without a licence, the network's owner told AFP. Hussein Khojali, owner of 24-hour entertainment network Omdurman Channel, said he received a letter from the Sudanese Authority of Radio and Television Broadcasting asking him to stop broadcasting. "Today at 8:30 pm (1700 GMT) we received a letter from the authorities saying the channel has been stopped from broadcasting because it didn't have a licence," Khojali...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/16)
Spanish archaeologists have discovered a millennia-old mummy in "very good condition" near the southern Egyptian town of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Sunday. The find was in a tomb probably dating from between 1075-664 BC, on the west bank of the Nile river 700 kilometres (435 miles) south of Cairo, a statement said. The mummy had been bound with linen stuck together with plaster. It was in a brightly coloured wooden sarcophagus and had been buried near a temple from the era of fourth-millennium warrior king Thutmose III.
(AFP (eng) 10/22/16)
In many parts of Africa albinos are stigmatised or hunted for their body parts, but for one night in Kenya those with the condition took to the catwalk to show off their unique beauty. Billed by organisers as the first pageant of its kind, young albino men and women on Friday competed for the title of Miss and Mr Albinism Kenya. "People with albinism are not seen as beautiful and handsome so it is very rare to find those two...
(Dw-World 09/22/16)
Hundreds of journalists took to the streets of Mombasa to protests persistent attacks against journalists and free expression. This is the second such protest in Kenya this month. In Kenya, the freedom of the press is guaranteed by the country's constitution which was signed in 2010. But in response to what they called continuous harassment, threats and assaults directed towards the media, hundreds of journalists in Mombasa downed their tools and demanded that their rights to perform their jobs be...
(AFP (eng) 09/11/16)
Hollywood plague movies are usually about a fictional viral outbreak, unleashing chaos and anarchy that can only be stopped by heroes who transcend the panic. That's not true for "93 Days", a Nollywood film premiering on Tuesday, which dramatises the story of Nigeria's response to the very real Ebola epidemic in 2014 that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa. Hundreds had already died from the disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone when Ebola surfaced in Nigeria as...
(AFP (eng) 09/01/16)
An Angolan activist rapper who spent nearly a year behind bars has vowed to step up his vocal campaign against President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, despite the risk of returning to jail. "There's a lot to be done in Angola and I'm trying to do my part," Luaty Beirao told AFP two months after his release from prison where he was held on charges of plotting a rebellion against dos Santos. Beirao, a well-known rapper, was arrested during a book club meeting in June last year where one of the titles up for discussion was about non-violent resistance to repressive regimes.
(AFP (eng) 08/23/16)
A satirical cartoon depicting a celebrity in Ghana schooling a British diplomat on how to speak pidgin English won laughter and praise from the crowd at a street festival in Accra. The cartoon lampoons British High Commissioner to Ghana Jon Benjamin who back in April sent a tweet criticising television star Nana Anamoah's grammar, sparking a heated debate on the West African country's colonial past. Contemporary artist Bright Ackwerh immortalised the inane moment with his signature style that recalls Mad...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/16)
The trial of a Malian jihadist charged with war crimes for orchestrating the 2012 destruction of nine Timbuktu mausoleums and a section of a famous mosque opens Monday at the International Criminal Court (ICC). How did the monuments come to be considered important and why were they destroyed? Who built the mausoleums? The mausoleums of Muslim saints located in Timbuktu's cemeteries and mosques date back to the ancient caravan city's golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries as an...
(Voice of America 08/10/16)
Dedicated to "all South Sudanese and the people who lost a family member in this useless war," a group of South Sudanese musicians, artists and activists recently released a song and music video called "Ana Taban." In Arabic, it means "I am tired." Being tired of the fighting that has ravaged their country is the primary motivation for the initiative, says singer and peace activist Manasseh Mathiang. "Nobody's benefiting. Every South Sudanese right now is suffering because of this war,”...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/16)
As she drove past an apartment complex on a street in Khartoum, Sara Jadallah turned silent. It was here that her late father, the legendary film-maker Jadallah Jubara, set up Sudan's first private film studio in the 1970s. But in 2008, following an eight-year court battle over ownership of the land, the government demolished Studio Jad. The demolition, shortly before the film-maker's death at the age of 88, left little trace of the studio. But stopping next to the blocks...

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(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the most radical of politically-sensitive measures implemented by the Egyptian government to clinch a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $12bn loan. The aim was not just to shore up the country’s precarious finances...
(Dw-World 03/23/17)
English-speaking Cameroon remains in upheaval as regional leaders are set to go on trial on Thursday accused of calling for secession. But why is President Paul Biya so afraid of granting more autonomy to Anglophones? Some activists in the northwest and southwest provinces, traditional bastions of opposition to the regime of long-time President Paul Biya, are calling for an independent state of Southern Cameroon. The region was once called that in British colonial times. But according to analysts, a vast majority of the Anglophone population prefers a federation, believing it to be the best
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Algeria’s state-run energy producer plans to boost crude oil output by 14 percent in the four years to 2019 and invest billions of dollars in exploration projects. Sonatrach Group expects to invest $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 in its search for new deposits of oil and natural gas, said Farid Djettou, head of the company’s associations division, which is responsible for foreign contracts. Sonatrach will drill an average of 100 wells annually over the same five years and plans...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Mozambique said Exxon Mobil Corp.’s acquisition of a 25 percent stake in an offshore gas block from Eni SpA will generate capital gains revenue of $350 million. The government expects only to receive payment when the transaction is concluded, Anibal Balango, an official in Mozambique’s tax authority, told reporters in the capital, Maputo, on Tuesday. As a non-resident company, Eni was only eligible to pay tax on half the value of the $2.8 billion deal with Exxon. That value was...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
Faced with a contracting economy, surging inflation and a rigid exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank will have little choice but to keep its key interest rate unchanged on Tuesday. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Godwin Emefiele has held the policy rate at 14 percent since July and is unlikely to make a change, according to all 17 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Foreign-exchange policy has become a common agenda-item for the committee as the nation maintains a...
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
Tanzania has announced a plan to send 500 doctors to Kenya after a doctors' strike paralyzed health services in the neighboring country for months. Kenyan doctors, however, say the government should not hire any foreign doctors but instead employ the more than 1,000 trained physicians who are unemployed. Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced the plan to dispatch the doctors after a recent meeting in Dar es Salaam with a visiting Kenyan delegation that included Kenya's health cabinet secretary, Cleopa Mailu...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
Ethiopian regional officials are demanding that foreign cement producers including Dangote Cement Plc hand control of some parts of their businesses to groups of unemployed youths. The Nigerian company, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and others such as Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi’s Derba MIDROC Cement Plc, should allow the youth to run their pumice mines, according to a draft contract drawn up by Oromia state’s East Shewa Zone administration this month. Pumice is an additive used in cement...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Thousands of HIV-negative Kenyans will for the first time be placed on daily antiretroviral medication, or ARVs, in a bid to avert new infections. The new program seeks to lower the country's HIV transmission rate to individuals who face a substantial risk of contracting HIV, such as rape victims and HIV-negative drug users. The head of the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP), Martin Sirengo, said the measure will be rolled out in April and will involve the use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. “We are introducing PrEP to a selected population, not to everyone, and this selected population includes, for instance, HIV-negative partners
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Malawi has started registering new cases of cholera in areas bordering Mozambique, one week after the government in Malawi warned of a cholera outbreak in the neighboring country. The disease — an acute diarrheal infection caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium — affects children and adults, and can kill within hours if left untreated. Malawi last registered cholera cases in 2015, but now health authorities in Malawi say they have found new cases at a health center in Nsanje district bordering Mozambique. "So far we have 11 suspected cases, all in Ndamera health center," said
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
South Africa, long a haven for migrants from across Africa, is trying to update its immigration policy with a number of changes, which one official says aims to strike a balance between being welcoming of immigrants and keeping the nation safe. Among the policy changes being considered: the creation of processing centers for asylum-seekers along South Africa’s border; the end of an automatic path from long-term residency to citizenship; the introduction of a points-based system intended to attract highly skilled immigrants and the elimination of some visa requirements for African citizens.
(Financial Times 03/17/17)
Crucial deliveries to resume in sign frosty relations are thawing. Saudi Arabia is to resume crucial oil exports to Egypt in a sign that relations between the two regional heavyweights are thawing, six months after the kingdom abruptly halted the shipments. The Egyptian Petroleum Ministry said it expected deliveries of oil products to restart by the end of this month or early April, adding that it was working with Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, on a timetable. Saudi...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
World Water Day will be observed on March 22 but by far not every country enjoys easy access to the commodity. Among them is Cameroon where residents of major cities suffer frequent water cuts, with schools impacted in particular. During a noisy morning at the Grace nursery and primary school in the Damas neighborhood in Cameroon's capital city, Yaounde, children all carry water bottles in their bags. Jannette Nanyongo, the school’s head teacher says at times the neighborhood in which...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he’ll rectify a decline in bank lending to business caused by his decision in August to impose a limit on commercial lending rates. Kenyatta in August capped rates at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate, fulfilling a campaign pledge he made before coming to power in 2013 to lower the cost of credit. The ceiling has failed to stimulate lending, with growth in loans to the private sector slowing to 4.3 percent in...
(AL Jazeera 03/14/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
Libya’s crude output dropped 11 percent as clashes among rival armed groups over the last 10 days led to the closing of some of the OPEC nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number of fields to halt production. Output fell by about 80,000 barrels a day to 620, 000 barrels since fighting among armed groups broke out on March 3, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because of a lack of...
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
Tumbling cocoa prices and unscheduled payments to civil servants and mutinous soldiers in the past two months could widen Ivory Coast’s budget deficit and curb growth this year. Cocoa prices have fallen by more than a third after reaching a six-year high in July, denting revenue for the world’s biggest producer of the chocolate ingredient. This year the West African country’s government has tried to defuse military and social unrest by agreeing to pay bonuses to soldiers and making some...
(Bloomberg 03/10/17)
South Africa’s ruling party said mining companies should seek agreement with the government over ownership rules rather than challenging them in court because even if they win a legal battle, legislation can still be changed to further the aim of spreading wealth to the nation’s black majority. The Chamber of Mines of South Africa, which represents companies including Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc, has asked the High Court to back its view that a set of regulations known as...
(Bloomberg 03/10/17)
Meter-taxi drivers blocked the main highways around South Africa’s biggest airport to protest against Uber Technologies Inc., resulting in passengers missing their flights. More than 48 vehicles are blocking access to O.R. Tambo International Airport, which lies east of Johannesburg and serves the economic hub, Gauteng provincial traffic spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo said. The R24 highway that connects Johannesburg to the airport as well as the R21 to the capital, Pretoria, have been blocked. “Our officers and Gauteng police are on...

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