Wednesday 22 November 2017

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Egypt's public prosecutor ordered 29 people to be detained for 15 days pending an investigation into accusations they spied for Turkey and joined a "terrorist" group, his office said Wednesday. The 29 suspects -- and others who are still at large -- are accused of "spying in favour of Turkey and membership in an terrorist organisation", a statement said. The suspects were accused of offering Egyptian citizens an international phone service, which was set up to spy on Egyptians and offer the information to Turkish intelligence. They listened in on those calls to monitor the opinions of Egyptians on conditions in the country, and then leaked the information to Turkish intelligence services. The suspects acted...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Equatorial Guinea's constitutional court has confirmed the results of this month's elections in which the ruling party secured a landslide victory with 92 percent of the vote. In an announcement late Tuesday, the court said it had validated the outcome of the November 12 poll in which the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) and its allies won all 75 senate seats and 99 of the 100 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament. It also won all of the mayoral seats across the country, in a ballot widely criticised by the opposition as fraudulent. The opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) won 5.77 percent of the vote and will have a single MP. The PDGE has...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
US forces conducted an air strike against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab group in Somalia on Tuesday, killing more than 100 jihadists, military officials said. "In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an air strike in Somalia against an al-Shabaab camp on Tuesday, November 21 at approximately 10:30 am local Somalia time (0730 GMT), killing more than 100 militants," the US Africa Command said in a statement. The operation occurred 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Mogadishu. The US military has in recent months upped the tempo of its operations in Somalia, conducting a growing number of drone strikes against Shabaab and other jihadists.
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
At least 30 people were killed when farmers attacked herdsmen in northeast Nigeria's Adamawa state, police told AFP on Wednesday. State police spokesman Othman Abubakar said farmers from the Christian Bachama ethnic group stormed four settlements of Muslim Fulani herders in Numan district on Monday, hacking residents and burning homes. "We have so far recovered 30 bodies from the affected villages but the toll is not conclusive as rescue teams are still combing the bushes in the area for more bodies," he said. A man-hunt had been launched for the assailants, he added.
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Chad's government on Tuesday denied allegations by US investigators that President Idriss Deby received a $2 million (1.7 million euros) bribe for oil rights in the country. "Faced with this umpteenth false allegation, the government of Chad formally refutes this shameful fabrication," the government said in a statement. US officials have arrested a former Senegalese foreign minister and Hong Kong's ex-home affairs secretary for leading an alleged multimillion-dollar bribery scheme in Africa on behalf of a top Chinese oil company,...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri briefly stopped Tuesday in Egypt for talks on his way back from France to his country, which is reeling from his surprise resignation amid an escalating regional crisis. Hariri's media office said he met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has sought to defuse the tensions between Hariri's sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons. Hariri's visit to Cairo follows two weeks of deep uncertainty after he announced his...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Zimbabwe's former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa was to return to the country Wednesday to take power after Robert Mugabe's resignation brought a sudden end to 37 years of authoritarian rule. Mugabe's iron grip ended in a shock announcement to parliament where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old who dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades. On the streets, the news that his long and often brutal leadership was over sparked wild celebrations which lasted late into the night, with crowds dancing and cheering ecstatically amid a cacophony of car horns. "Comrade Mnangagwa is coming back today," senior aide Larry Mavhima, told AFP...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Zimbabweans waited Wednesday to discover when their new leader would be appointed after president Robert Mugabe's resignation brought a sudden end to a 37-year reign of authoritarian rule. Mugabe's tenure ended in an announcement at a special joint session of parliament where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old who dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades. On the streets, the news that his long and often brutal leadership was over sparked wild celebrations on Tuesday evening. Car...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his former political allies moved to end four decades of rule by a man once feted as an independence hero who became feared as a despot. His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, will be sworn in as president on Wednesday or Thursday, Patrick Chinamasa, legal secretary of the ruling ZANU-PF party,...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
President Robert Mugabe's resignation letter was read out by Zimbabwe parliamentary Speaker Jacob Mudenda to lawmakers gathered at a conference centre in Harare to discuss an impeachment motion on Tuesday. It read: State House Harare Zimbabwe 21 November 2017 The Honourable Jacob Mudenda Notice of resignation as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe In terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe, amendment number 20, 2013. Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
China on Wednesday said it respected Robert Mugabe's decision to step down as president of Zimbabwe and vowed to continue "friendly" relations with the country it backed during his authoritarian rule. China became a major political and economic partner of Mugabe's regime over the years as the West shunned the veteran leader over his government's human rights violations. But the Asian power has avoided taking sides since the military took over and placed Mugabe under house arrest last week. Chinese...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
The Zimbabwean parliament did not have time to vote for Robert Mugabe's dismissal -- because the president had already resigned. But this extraordinary session served as an outlet for elected officials, who took the opportunity to denounce the excesses of his authoritarian regime. On this historic Tuesday afternoon, the chamber was not big enough to accommodate all the lawmakers and senators who rushed to initiate impeachment against the former independence hero turned pariah. After a brief interruption, everybody moved to...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Hundreds of Zimbabweans who fled their homeland for South Africa during the despotic rule of Robert Mugabe took to the streets of Johannesburg to celebrate the resignation of the hated president. Blowing vuvuzelas, waving Zimbabwean flags and stamping their feet, Zimbabweans danced their way through Hillbrow, a cosmopolitan Johannesburg neighbourhood with a strong community of African immigrants. "We want to go back home, even tomorrow, even now at night. I'm very happy," Nikiwe Khumalo, 60, told AFP, 36 years after leaving Zimbabwe "to find food" in neighbouring South Africa. In the years that followed his coming to power in 1980, Mugabe set his country...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia will continue with a package of painful economic policies, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Tuesday, despite resistance from labor unions and business associations to changes that will raise taxes and put thousands out of work. The North African country is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to speed up policy changes and help its economy recover from militant attacks in 2015 that hurt its vital tourism industry. Tunisia plans to raise value-added and other...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
BOSASSO (Reuters) - Musa Bihi Abdi of the ruling Kulmiye party was declared the winner of Somaliland’s presidential election on Tuesday, by the election commission of the breakaway region. Situated at the northern tip of east Africa on the Gulf of Aden - one of the busiest trade routes in the world - Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has been relatively peaceful since. The region of 4 million people has not been internationally recognized but it has...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe Tuesday, swept from power as his 37-year reign of brutality and autocratic control crumbled within days of a military takeover. The bombshell news was delivered by the parliament speaker to a special joint session of the assembly which had convened to impeach Mugabe, 93, who has dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life since independence in 1980. It was greeted on the streets of the capital Harare with car horns and wild cheering...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Zimbabwe's parliament opened a session on Tuesday to begin the process of impeaching President Robert Mugabe, which could lead to him being stripped of office, an AFP correspondent saw. Parliament speaker Jacob Mubenda gave permission for a joint session of the House of Assembly and the Senate to debate a motion that would trigger impeachment proceedings against Mugabe. "This motion is unprecedented in the history of post-independence Zimbabwe," Mubenda declared. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum have called on Mugabe to quit after the military seized power and tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets to demand the 93-year-old's resignation.
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
The United Nations said Tuesday that Sudan had to disarm militias in Darfur before those displaced by the conflict could return home, rebutting a push by President Omar al-Bashir to close the camps. Bashir, indicted for genocide and war crimes related to the Darfur conflict, said earlier this month that the crisis in the region had ended and that it was time to shut camps hosting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs). But in a new report, the...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Angolan President Joao Lourenco said he and South African President Jacob Zuma would fly to Zimbabwe on Wednesday following talks between regional leaders on the crisis engulfing the country. "(South African) President Jacob Zuma and I have agreed to visit Harare tomorrow," Angolan President Joao Lourenco told journalists Tuesday after a meeting of the southern African regional bloc in Luanda. The two leaders will represent the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc of which their countries are the leading members.
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will on Tuesday meet Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Cairo confirmed, before the premier returns to Lebanon to face the political crisis over his resignation. Hariri, who is currently in Paris, had already announced on Twitter that he would be visiting Egypt for the meeting ahead of his planned return home for Lebanon's Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday. "President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will meet later in the day with Lebanon's Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement. "The meeting is expected to focus on the latest developments in the region as well as developments in Lebanon.

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(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
At least 30 people were killed when farmers attacked herdsmen in northeast Nigeria's Adamawa state, police told AFP on Wednesday. State police spokesman Othman Abubakar said farmers from the Christian Bachama ethnic group stormed four settlements of Muslim Fulani herders in Numan district on Monday, hacking residents and burning homes. "We have so far recovered 30 bodies from the affected villages but the toll is not conclusive as rescue teams are still combing the bushes in the area for more bodies," he said. A man-hunt had been launched for the assailants, he added.
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
The United Nations said Tuesday that Sudan had to disarm militias in Darfur before those displaced by the conflict could return home, rebutting a push by President Omar al-Bashir to close the camps. Bashir, indicted for genocide and war crimes related to the Darfur conflict, said earlier this month that the crisis in the region had ended and that it was time to shut camps hosting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs). But in a new report, the UN human rights office and African Union mission in Darfur indicated that Bashir's call was premature. In a statement, the rights office urged Khartoum "to carry out a prompt and comprehensive disarmament of armed militias to create an enabling and...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
At least 50 people were killed on Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, police said, in an attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists. The blast happened during early morning prayers at the Madina mosque in the Unguwar Shuwa area of Mubi, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) by road from the Adamawa state capital, Yola. "So far we have at least 50 dead from an attack at a mosque in Mubi," Adamawa state police spokesman Othman Abubakar told AFP. "Several people were injured. We don't have the figure now because they have been taken to several hospitals for treatment.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Medical staff in the southern Libyan city of Sabha said on Monday they were suspending work for 10 days in protest over poor security after a doctor was kidnapped. Health services in Libya have been severely disrupted by years of conflict with the remote south particularly affected. Salem al-Selhab, who worked in the surgical department of the Sabha Medical Centre, the biggest hospital in southern Libya, was kidnapped by an unknown group on Thursday evening. “For...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Thousands of schoolchildren in Guinea descended onto the streets of the west African country on Monday to support a walkout by their teachers against the government. Students are angry with the administration of President Alpha Conde over the arrest on Saturday of three teachers who called a strike on November 13, and over education standards more generally. The young protesters cried "Alpha Zero" in reference to the Guinean leader and "We want our teachers, no to sabotage and to politicising...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
A suicide attack at a market on Monday killed at least two civilians and wounded around 20 others in a northern region of Cameroon plagued by Boko Haram attacks, sources said. The attacker concealed the bomb inside a bag of beans and exploded in the middle of a crowd in Kolofata, according to a source close to the security services. A police source in the region confirmed the attack to AFP. Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group, has been blamed...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Boko Haram fighters killed six farmers outside the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the civilian militia and the brother of one of the victims said on Monday. Sunday's attack in Lawanti village, in the Jere area of Borno state, again underlined the threat posed by the group to people outside heavily-fortified towns and cities. Mohammed Asheik, from the Civilian Joint Task Force assisting the military with security in the northeast, said: "Our people went to the farm to work. "Seven...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
France will be the first to welcome African refugees evacuated from Libya to NIger by the United Nations refugee agency, French officials announced Monday. After experiencing appalling living conditions at camps in the north African country, the refugees were taken to Niger on November 11 by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where they have been looked after. The 25 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese -- including 15 women and four children -- should reach France "at the latest in...
(AFP (eng) 11/19/17)
At least 15 people were killed and five injured Sunday in a crush as food aid was distributed near the coastal tourist town of Essaouira in western Morocco, officials said. The accident happened in the town of Sidi Boulaalam, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) from Essaouira, the interior ministry said in a statement. Local media said a "benefactor" had organised the food distribution at a stall in the rural town, which was rapidly "submerged in the crowd" of 800 people, mostly women. An investigation has begun to "determine the circumstances of the incident" and establish who was responsible, the Moroccan authorities said.
(AFP (eng) 11/19/17)
Algeria's coastguard has intercepted almost 300 Algerians off the North African nation's coast as they tried to reach Europe on several boats, the defence ministry said. From Thursday to Saturday, the coastguard "intercepted and rescued a total of 286 Algerian citizens" attempting the perilous crossing on flimsy vessels, it said in a statement. Media reports said 200 of the Algerians were stopped at sea off the western coastal city of Oran. A 2009 law provides for up to six months...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Spanish and Moroccan police have netted close to four tonnes of cocaine with a street value of over 100 million euros and arrested 40 people in a long-term anti-trafficking operation, Spain's interior ministry said Friday. The ministry said that 1.3 tonnes of the drug and more than 13 million euros in cash had been seized in Spain since the launch of the joint operation last year. Morocco's DGST domestic intelligence service meanwhile said it had seized 2.6 tonnes of cocaine...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
At least five people were killed in northern Burkina Faso and one person died in eastern Chad, in the latest attacks in two Sahel countries badly hit by jihadists and militias, officials said Friday. A armed group on Friday attacked Taouremba, a Burkinabe town about 60 kilometres (30 miles) from the Malian border, killing at least five people, said a local security source, reached by phone. "At least four koglweogo [members of a self-defence group] and a municipal councillor were killed," the source said. A security source in Abinda put the toll at "six or seven dead," adding that the assailants...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
The family of a murdered Tunisian described by Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as a long-time member called on the authorities Friday to release details of the investigation into his killing. Unknown gunmen shot dead engineer Mohamed Zouari with a hail of bullets outside his house in central Tunisia in December 2016. Hamas, which said the 49-year-old engineer and drone expert had worked with it for a decade, at the time blamed Israel for the killing. On Thursday, it said Israeli...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
A district judge was kidnapped in central Mali late on Thursday, police and security sources told AFP, two weeks after a High Court justice escaped an attempt on his life. Attacks on figures of state authority are common in northern and central Mali, where a jihadist insurgency and the near absence of government functions have fuelled lawlessness. "Judge Soungalo Kone was kidnapped on Thursday night by armed men who arrived at his house in Niono in a white vehicle," a local police source in the Segou region told AFP, referring to the town where Kone lives and works.
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
A fire swept through the main building of Cameroon's parliament in Yaounde overnight, causing substantial damage but no injuries. The apparently accidental blaze broke out in the administrative part on the rear facade of the building, the government said, but the debating chamber is believed to have been spared. The fire was completely out by dawn on Friday, an AFP photographer saw. "A violent fire devastated the rear facade of the main building of the Ngoa Ekelle Glass Palace last...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Sudanese security forces have freed a Swiss aid worker who was kidnapped in Darfur last month in an overnight operation in the war-torn region, Sudanese and Swiss officials said Wednesday. The abduction of Margaret Schankel was the first such reported incident in Darfur since the United Nations began scaling back its peacekeeping force in the region earlier this year. Her release comes as the UN Security Council meets on Wednesday to assess the downsizing of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Twelve people were killed Wednesday evening after four suicide bombers struck in the regional capital of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, rescue workers told AFP. Two men and two women blew themselves up in the Muna neighbourhood at around 1700 GMT, the chief security officer of Borno State's emergency response agency, Bello Dambatta, said. "The total people who died in these four suicide bombings is 12, 16 including the bombers," he told AFP. "Twenty-two people were taken to the Borno State Specialist Hospital for treatment to various injuries."
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
At least 15 people were killed when a lorry tumbled into a river in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, official sources said Wednesday. Four people were also hurt after the vehicle came off the road at Isiro as it returned from a local market, Haut-Uele province governor Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga told AFP. Kisanga said the incident near the border with Central African Republic and South Sudan was being investigated. Another source said 16 people were injured while the 7sur7.cd news...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
Eleven people have died after a plane belonging to a safari company crashed in northern Tanzania, according to the aircraft's owners, Coastal Aviation. "We are deeply saddened to report that eleven people have died after a single-plane accident this morning in Northern Tanzania," the company said in a statement published on its website. Coastal Aviation, which conducts flying safaris in East Africa, said the Cessna Caravan, carrying a pilot and 10 passengers, had crashed in the Empakaai crater area. The...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
Timu Elijah was heavily pregnant and asleep at her shanty town home in the Otodo-Gbame area on the water's edge of Lagos, Nigeria, when she was woken up by her neighbours. "People were running helter-skelter, shouting, 'They're shooting, they're setting houses on fire'," she told AFP. In the confusion, her five-year-old son went missing. Timu, 30, is convinced the trauma of looking for her son made her go into early labour. Yet even three days after the birth, she too...

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(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Nigeria's economy continued its recovery from recession, rising 1.4 percent in the third quarter of this year on increased oil production, official data showed Monday. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said it was the second quarter of consecutive growth since the country emerged from recession. "This growth is 3.74 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 (-2.34 percent) and higher by 0.68 percentage points from the rate recorded in the preceding quarter (of 2017)," it said. The agency said daily oil production rose in the third quarter, averaging 2.03 million barrels per day (bpd), compared to 1.87 million bpd in the preceding quarter.
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Isabel dos Santos, who was sacked Wednesday as Angola's state oil chief, is the eldest daughter of Angola's former president and a British-educated billionaire businesswoman dubbed the richest woman in Africa. Once viewed as a possible successor to her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos, her investments in Angola and former colonial ruler Portugal are worth about $3 billion (2.5 billion euros), according to Forbes magazine. But the decision of her father's successor President Joao Lourenco to remove her as chief executive of state oil company Sonangol marks a dramatic reversal for the woman known by her detractors as "the princess". Her abrupt removal will come as a shock to Angola's ruling elite, as she had repeatedly stated that she wanted...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund for an installment of about $2 billion more from a three-year, $12 billion loan program, the IMF said on Friday. The payment, still subject to IMF executive board approval, will bring total disbursements under the program to about $6 billion. Egypt is pushing through ambitious economic reforms under the loan deal. As part of a second review, the IMF said broad reforms, which included a floatation...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
A Nigerian judge on Thursday ordered the seizure of a flat linked to the former head of the country's National Intelligence Agency, after more than $43 million in cash was found during an anti-corruption raid. Judge Saliu Seidu, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, said the apartment in the upmarket Ikoyi area of the city should be temporarily forfeited to the government, pending any challenge within 14 days. Acting on a tip-off, agents from Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raided the property on April 12 this year and discovered just under $43.5 million (37.4 million euros, £33.1 million).
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Some $750 million (644 million euros) in revenue from Democratic Republic of Congo's mines between 2011 and 2014 "cannot be reliably tracked" in the records of the state-owned Gecamines, the Carter Center said Friday. The US foundation, in a report, suggested Gecamines used "its privileged position to generate US$1.1 billion from copper and cobalt deals between 2011 and 2014" yet had failed to reliably account for almost two-thirds of the revenue. Gecamines wields control of the vast nation's "best mining permits", enabling it "to generate substantial revenues from its partnerships, averaging US$262 million per year in royalties...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/17)
N‘DJAMENA/LONDON (Reuters) - Chad is on a collision course with top creditor Glencore as it wants to divert oil from the Swiss trading house to U.S. energy company ExxonMobil from the new year amid a dispute over debt restructuring. A government document showed that Chad wants to hand over crude oil marketing rights currently held by Glencore under a $1.4 billion loan agreement to Exxon, the biggest oil producer in the Central African country. Three government and industry sources confirmed...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
South Africa's finance minister received some faint praise last week -- not for the economy's performance, but for admitting the country is in a dire position that is set to get worse. Malusi Gigaba delivered a mid-term budget that laid bare South Africa's struggle with slow growth, tax income shortfalls, rising debt and high unemployment. The daunting challenges recently caused business confidence to dip to the lowest level since the apartheid era -- reflecting wider fears that the achievements of...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Tunnels coursing through the bowels of the earth under the city of Johannesburg contain precious treasure -- copper cables that are being stripped out and smuggled as far away as Asia. As in many other parts of the world, copper cable theft is not new in South Africa, but lately it has reached an unprecedented scale. A recent brazen theft knocked out power and plunged the central business district of Johannesburg, the economic hub, into darkness, largely paralysing business for...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
South Africa faces mounting debt and a widening fiscal deficit, the finance minister said Wednesday, as he cut the country's growth forecast in a pessimistic mid-term budget statement. Malusi Gigaba told parliament in Cape Town that "the period ahead is not going to be an easy one", as South Africa struggles with high unemployment and political turmoil in the ruling ANC party. "It is not in the public interest, nor is it in the interest of government, to sugar-coat the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania’s new central bank governor will be tax law professor Florens Luoga, the country’s president said on Monday. President John Magufuli said Luoga would take over in December or January after the tenure of current governor Benno Ndulu expires. “I have decided to appoint a new (central bank) governor from among members of the committees that investigated the mining sector,” Magufuli said. He was speaking at a ceremony to award certificates of recognition to members...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
Ramat Gan, ISRAEL (Reuters) - Sierra Leone hopes to raise millions of dollars for development projects by auctioning a huge uncut diamond, believed to be one of the world’s largest, in New York in December. It will be the government’s second attempt to sell the 709-carat gem, known as the “Peace Diamond”, after it rejected the highest bid of $7.8 million at an initial auction in New York in May. Over half of the proceeds from the sale will be...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
The European Commission on Monday announced a 106-million-euro ($124-million) aid package for Sudan, saying around 4.8 million people needed urgent humanitarian assistance in the African country. The new aid comes at a time when United Nations aid agencies are facing an acute shortage of funds from global donors to meet relief needs in Sudan. The package was announced as EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, was on a visit to Sudan, including to conflict-hit areas of...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Thousands of people took to the streets of Benin's commercial capital Cotonou on Friday to protest against President Patrice Talon's economic reforms and the high cost of living. One of the organisers said "more than 10,000" people turned out for the march to the trades union congress building. No official figure was immediately available. The head of the main workers' union in Benin, Nagnini Kassa Mampo, told the crowd: "Public hospitals will soon be privatised, repeated strikes in the education...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
The South African government on Thursday removed the head of troubled state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA), which is deeply in debt and struggling to stay in the air. Chairwoman Dudu Myeni, a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, will be replaced by Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza, the finance ministry announced in a boardroom sweep-out. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba "hopes that the new board... will implement the airline's structural strategy and bring it to financial stability," it said in a statement. The government was last month forced to bail out the loss-making carrier to avoid it defaulting on a 3 billion-rand ($221 million) loan, and refinancing of further debt is under negotiation.
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Sierra Leone said Tuesday it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the "blood diamonds" of its past. The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Sierra Leone authorities told reporters that the massive gem will go up for sale on December...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Zimbabwe has banned the importation of fruit and vegetables to save scarce foreign currency in the face of a worsening economic crisis, state media reported Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told The Herald that President Robert Mugabe had directed that the importation of horticultural products be stopped "as they waste much-needed foreign currency". "This means that the importation of fruit and vegetables will be stopped immediately." "The foreign currency being wasted on the importation of carrots and grapes will now...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Angola's new president unveiled a programme of corporate tax sweeteners on Monday intended to boost foreign investment and ease the oil-rich country's dependence on the lacklustre price of crude. "We expect to adopt tax incentives for businesses that invest in the country," President Joao Lourenco said in his first address to parliament since taking office following the August 23 vote. "Our country is in a difficult economic and financial situation due to the drop in oil prices on the international...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
A Nigerian court has ordered the permanent seizure of properties worth some $7 million from the country's former oil minister, who is facing a slew of corruption claims. Judge Abdulaziz Anka, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday ordered the forfeiture of properties in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The houses and apartments, valued at 2.6 billion naira and bought through front companies, were linked to Diezani Alison-Madueke and her cousin, Donald Chidi Amamgbo. Anti-corruption investigators found documents at Amamgbo's office that he owned some 18 companies and properties in Britain and the United States, the court has heard. He told Nigeria's Economic and Financial...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Russia and Morocco hope to cooperate more closely in the energy sector, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said Wednesday during a visit to Rabat. He spoke of a "very promising project to supply liquefied natural gas to meet the needs of the Moroccan economy". "The potential for cooperation is huge," he said during a brief press conference. During his visit the two countries signed deals in the energy, agriculture and hi-tech sectors. "We are discussing further cooperation in the field...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Sudan's central bank said Wednesday it had received its first overseas fund transfer in US dollars since Washington announced the lifting of a 20-year-old trade embargo against Khartoum. Washington last week announced the lifting of sanctions from this Thursday onwards, saying Khartoum had made progress on conditions set for ending the embargo, in place since 1997. "The transferring of American dollars has commenced after the lifting of sanctions," Sudan's official news agency SUNA said, quoting a statement from the Central...

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(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
Belgian coach Marc Wilmots parted ways with Ivory Coast Wednesday after failing to help the west African country to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia. Ivory Coast lost their decisive World Cup match 2-0 to Morocco on Saturday, leading to talks between the federation and Wilmots. "At the end of talks, the two parties agreed to amicably end their collaboration, all the while praising the good atmosphere during the six months of work together," the federation said. Ex-Belgium coach Wilmots, 48, had signed a two-year deal with Ivory Coast in March, with a possibility to extend that by a further two years. jlf/lp/gj
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South African prosecutors argued Friday that Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder must be increased, saying he failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend. The Paralympic athlete shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar. At a one-day hearing at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, state prosecutors fought for the right to appeal against what they described as a "shockingly lenient" sentence. Pistorius, 30, was not present for the latest stage...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Tanzanian marathon runner Ismael Juma died on Thursday when his motorbike collided with a lorry, Athletics Tanzania (AT) announced on Friday. The 26-year-old was one of Tanzania's hopes for a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April. "Tanzania athletics has lost one of its top long distance runners," AT secretary general Wilhelm Gidabuday told AFP. "Ismail Juma was one of 19 athletes selected to start training later this month for the Commonwealth Games in Australia." Gidabuday...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
Papa Massata Diack has described accusations he was part of a large corruption racket involved in determining the location of the Olympic games as the biggest lie in the history of world sport. France’s financial prosecutor said this week that investigations had revealed a corruption scheme centered on Diack, the son of the former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack. The prosecutor said there were indications that payments were made in return for the votes of IAAF and International Olympic
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Authorities in Tunisia on Wednesday announced they have frozen the assets of football club magnate and former presidential hopeful Slim Riahi on suspicions of money laundering. An investigating judge imposed the restriction on all of Riahi's shares on the stock market, bank accounts and property, said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti. The announcement comes after the government launched what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has called a "war" on graft from which he said nobody involved in corruption would emerge unscathed. Corruption...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, whose sudden death in China at just 30 years old shocked his country, was laid to rest Sunday as he was hailed a "worthy son" of the African nation. Tiote, a 52-time capped player who featured at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, was honoured with a military funeral at the Williamsville cemetery in Abidjan where hundreds of people gathered to mourn. "Ivory Coast has lost a worthy son who served so bravely, who fought...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The agent of the late Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote on Wednesday called for the media to cease making unsubstantiated claims about the reasons for his death. The 52-time capped star -- a member of the Ivory Coast squad that ended a 23-year drought in winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations -- died after fainting during training with second division side Beijing Enterprises on June 5. He was 30 years of age. His death shocked the football world, reverberating...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Ivory Coast international midfielder Cheick Tiote has died aged 30 while training with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises, his spokesman announced in a statement on Monday. Tiote, who was part of the Ivory Coast squad that delivered the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after a 23 year drought although he was injured for the final, had only moved to China in February after ending a seven year stay with English outfit Newcastle United. "It is with deep sadness that I...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
South Africa's Akani Simbine surprised a world-class sprint field, including Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Andre De Grasse to claim a season-opening 100m Diamond League victory on Friday. The 23-year-old powered home in a time of 9.99sec to become the first South African man to win a Diamond League 100m, and serve notice that the Blue Riband event could be more competitive than for some time with the impending international retirement of Usain Bolt. "I'm happy with my shape now,...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya narrowly failed in his attempt to complete the distance under the previously insurmountable two-hour mark, finishing in a time of 2hr 00min 24sec on Saturday. The time, which smashed the world record of 2hr 02min 57sec set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, will not enter the record books largely because of the non-compliant system of pacemaking used in the attempt, made on the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit. For the entire attempt, Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pacesetting team which trailed a time-keeping vehicle by less than 10 metres. Despite narrowly missing the mark, Kipchoge said he believed it was possible and that he could make
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Sports Minister Bidoung Mkpatt has called on Cameroon's athletes to come away with as many medals as possible at the Islamic Solidarity Games which take place in Baku from May 12-22. Mkpatt made the comments at a farewell ceremony for the team in Yaounde. The west African country is sending 62 athletes to the Azerbaijan capital and they will compete in six sports -- athletics, football, weightlifting, handball, wrestling and judo. Four years ago, Cameroon took part in the third edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia in 2013, but could only come away with one bronze medal
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele believes he is in the sort of form to break Eliud Kipchoge's fastest ever time in the London Marathon on Sunday. Should the 34-year-old -- who still holds the 5,000 and 10,000 metres world records -- manage that it would be a fitting end to a week that has seen the great race receive even more advance publicity than usual. That has been thanks to Britain's Prince Harry revealing earlier this week he had sought...
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Cameroon began their reign as African champions with a 1-0 friendly victory over Tunisia in Monastir Friday thanks to a Vincent Aboubakar goal. The Turkey-based striker took advantage of his first scoring opportunity to beat Aymen Mathlouthi after 14 minutes in the Mediterranean resort. Aboubakar had several other chances, including a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but could not add to his tally. Tunisians Taha Yassine Khenissi and Syam Ben Youssef were foiled by the woodwork during the first half. Aboubakar...
(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...
(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...

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(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
A frank documentary about the lives of gay Tunisians received an enthusiastic welcome at a local film festival Friday despite homosexuality being a crime in the North African country. "It's brilliant. If this film made it, then of course we can screen many others," said Sikander, a member of the audience who only gave his first name, as he left the theatre at the Carthage Film Festival. The room of 500 seats was not big enough to fit all those who flocked to see "Upon the shadow", an intimate -- at times explicit -- portrait of a group of transvestite and gay friends speaking openly about their love lives, being rejected by their families and...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
In Madagascar, ceremonies in which families exhume the remains of dead relatives, rewrap them in fresh cloth and dance with the corpses are a sacred ritual. But an outbreak of plague sweeping the Indian Ocean island nation has prompted warnings that the macabre spectacle, known as the turning of the bones or body turning, presents a serious risk of contamination. On a recent baking hot Saturday in Ambohijafy, a village outside the capital Antananarivo, a "turning" procession snaked through the streets in a fevered carnival atmosphere bound for the cemetery. For the community's few hundred residents, the time for "famadihana" -- the local name for the ceremony -- had arrived. The unique custom, originating among communities that live in Madagascar's...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Zekarias Mesfin spent months making a movie about his dangerous illegal migration from Ethiopia -- and when he arrived at the film's premiere, he was in a coffin carried by six white-gloved pallbearers. Not that Zekarias, 33, was dead. But he chose the dramatic entrance to show how close to death he came 12 years ago when he left his home in Ethiopia to journey across the deserts of Sudan and Egypt to try to get to Israel. "I was...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
A documentary about the back-breaking work of a young Congolese coal seller to feed his family has won the top prize at the Cannes film festival's Critics' Week. "Makala" by French director Emmanuel Gras follows Kabwita, who goes door-to-door selling coal on his bicycle in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. "Makala" means coal in Swahili. "There is something beautiful and dignified in his work," the director told AFP, "earning his living by the sweat of his brow. "I wanted to show a man of action, not someone in (the misery) of poverty but someone who lives their life," he added.
(AFP (eng) 05/03/17)
Tunisian and international non-governmental organisations warned Tuesday of deteriorating freedom of the press in a country considered to be a rare success story of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. "The Tunisian government these past weeks has not stopped tightening its grip on the press," they said in a joint statement published on World Press Freedom Day. Twenty-five associations, including the Tunisian Press Syndicate, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Amnesty International, said they were "deeply concerned" about the creation of a regulatory body for audiovisual communication. Six years after a popular uprising toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the rights groups expressed concern about the recent banning of a small daily
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
Ethiopia’s state of emergency has seen thousands of people detained, allegedly in connection with the unrest last year in the Oromia region. Those arrested have included journalists and bloggers. VOA sat down with three of them in Addis Ababa ahead of World Press Freedom Day (May 3). University lecturer and commentator Seyoum Teshome was arrested in October and detained for two months after he gave a radio interview to Deutsche Welle in which he criticized the government. Since his release,...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
"I haven't once spoken my mother tongue Kilokele in the 62 years I've lived in Kinshasa. None of my nine children speak it," says Charles Tongohala. Tongohala's native tongue is one of 450 spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a sprawling nation of 71 million people whose lingos -- almost all of them spoken, not written -- account for nine percent of the world's 5,000 languages. He was a boy when he moved to DR Congo's capital from a...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
A painting by a South African artist showing President Jacob Zuma raping the late Nelson Mandela has caused outrage in the country, with the ruling party Friday describing it as "grotesque". The piece by controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu shows Zuma seated on a red chair, penetrating a crying Mandela. Both men have their legs wide apart, exposing their genitals. The African National Congress and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have condemned the colourful artwork titled: "The economy of rape". "Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste,"
(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...
(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.

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(The Associated Press 10/25/17)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (AP) -- The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says her government will continue sending aid to South Sudan despite the stalling of a peace process to end the civil war that has killed tens of thousands. Nikki Haley spoke Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after meeting with Ethiopian and African Union leaders to discuss Africa's peace and security challenges. Haley said South Sudan's president "doesn't care if we pull USAID. He doesn't care if his people suffer. That's the concern we have." Haley warned South Sudan could become a breeding ground for extremist groups amid the suffering. South Sudan plunged into conflict in December 2013 after a dispute in the...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara will propose to his counterpart in Ghana that the two neighboring countries and world’s biggest cocoa producers narrow a gap in producer prices to discourage smuggling of beans, according to a person familiar with the matter. Ouattara will call Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday before Ivory Coast announces a new minimum price for cocoa purchases on Oct. 1, said the person, who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak about the matter. Ivory Coast is proposing payments of 750 CFA francs ($1.31) per kilogram for its farmers for the bigger of the two annual harvests that starts next month, compared with 1,100 francs for the previous main crop, said the...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
Nigeria plans to sell as much as $5.5 billion of Eurobonds in the next three months to fund capital projects and replace local-currency debt, according to the Debt Management Office. Yields on existing bonds rose. That would bring the amount raised through Eurobond sales by Africa’s most-populous nation this year to more than $7 billion as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration restructures its debt portfolio to almost double the portion of foreign borrowing in a bid to reduce financing costs. The government wants to raise $2.5 billion in October to help fund 2017’s 7.4 trillion-naira ($20.8 billion) budget
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
As the battle to succeed South African President Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress grows increasingly fractious, party Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize is emerging as a possible compromise choice to keep the continent’s oldest political movement from tearing itself apart. While the race for the top job is widely seen as a head-to-head contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Mkhize, a 61-year-old medical doctor, has two advantages: he’s stayed above the infighting and has strong support in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, which has the most ANC members of the nation’s nine provinces.
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Al-Shabab militants have launched what appears to be a forced recruitment campaign in Somalia's southwestern regions of Bay and Bakool, according to Somali officials. The group, which controls large parts of both regions, is pressuring leaders of local villages to make sure teenagers join its ranks, according to the governor of Bay region, Ali Wardhere Doyow. "They have been holding meetings for clan elders and told them to meet specific numbers of recruits they want collected from clans," Doyow told VOA's Somali Service. Doyow said many families and their children have fled their villages to larger towns in the Bay region
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
Ghana’s central bank kept its key lending rate at the lowest since 2015 after inflation accelerated for the first time in four months. The Bank of Ghana left the rate at 21 percent, Governor Ernest Addison told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. Two of seven economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the hold, while the rest forecast cuts ranging from 50 to 100 basis points. The central bank of West Africa’s biggest economy after Nigeria’s had reduced the key...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Ayaak Deng’s first-ever flight let her skip over a hundred miles of bloodily contested South Sudan and visit family she hadn’t seen in a year. It’s the kind of trip that’s revitalizing small airlines that initially struggled because of the almost four-year civil war. The airport in the capital, Juba, has recorded about 1,000 domestic passengers a day this month, more than five times the average in the first half of 2016, before a peace deal collapsed and gunmen began...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Rwanda’s police said they arrested an activist barred from running for the presidency and two family members for alleged offenses against state security and forgery. Diane Rwigara, her mother and sister were arrested Saturday after the East African nation’s police “uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offenses against state security,” the force said in a statement on its website. Investigators have five days to complete the probe and decide whether to forward the case to prosecution, the police said. Rwigara’s lawyer didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment. A women’s rights activist, Rwigara attempted to run in August’s presidential vote against long-time ruler Paul Kagame only to be disqualified
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Kenya’s main opposition alliance will begin mass protests this week to force out electoral officials it suspects of rigging last month’s annulled presidential vote. The National Super Alliance will begin its campaign on Tuesday and will continue until the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission officeholders resign, said Norman Magaya, chief executive officer of the opposition coalition. It may escalate the protests if lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee Party continue with plans to amend the country’s electoral laws, he said. “Demonstration...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Now that Nigeria’s economy is recovering from its worst slump in 25 years, the central bank can turn its focus to fighting inflation again -- and shoring up its currency. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept its interest rate at a record-high 14 percent since July 2016, trying to support the economy, and will probably hold it there at its decision this week to contain above-target consumer-price growth. Officials can take heart from a pickup in West Africa’s biggest economy...
(Euronews 09/25/17)
Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency… Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency Moody’s. One of the top reforms on the agenda concerns small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A new law is expected to come...
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Nigeria’s decision to designate a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra as “terrorist” and ban it runs the risk of backfiring. A federal high court in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday granted an application by President Muhammadu Buhari’s attorney general to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, known as Ipob, designating it as a terrorist organization. The move came as tensions escalated in southeastern Nigeria, with the group’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, threatening to disrupt state elections unless there’s a vote on secession and his supporters clashing with the security forces. “We saw in videos young people willing to confront the military with their bare hands,” Freedom Onuoha
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission rescheduled the date for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote, as President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned his victory as a “judicial coup.” The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission said Thursday the vote will be held Oct. 26, nine days later than its initial suggestion, to ensure the body is “fully prepared” to deliver a credible election. Just before, Kenyatta said in a televised address that the East African country’s highest...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Dangote Cement Plc, the Nigerian company controlled by Africa’s richest person, has written to PPC Ltd. offering South Africa’s biggest cement maker cash and shares as part of a takeover deal that is fueling a bidding war. PPC’s shares rose. “We are waiting for them to get back to us, hopefully early next week,” Aliko Dangote said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in New York. “They can be part and parcel of the Dangote Cement story, where we’re going...
(Bloomberg 09/21/17)
The United Nations said its road map for peace in Libya wasn’t working in its current form and unveiled plans to revamp the agreement to unify the North African country and pave the way for new elections. Ghassan Salame, the UN’s envoy for Libya, outlined an action plan at a high-level meeting Wednesday in New York. He said the initiative would be led by Libyans to find a way out of the crisis that’s split the nation among rival militias...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
South African programs to add coal and gas power generation from independent providers should wait until policies are updated and the nation’s future needs are clearer, said Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi. The government is also seeking a “middle ground” with developers in a program to add renewable-energy projects, she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kubayi announced earlier this month that the long-delayed contracts must be signed by the end of October, but not before pricing was renegotiated to make the deals more attractive to state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. South Africa expanded the so-called independent power-producer
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari urged the international community to support the Lake Chad region in its fight against Islamist extremism even as other conflicts emerge. Nigeria and neighboring countries lack the resources and the capacity to effectively deal with the security threat from groups linked to al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations, he said Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts,” Buhari said. The Islamist group...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
A United Nations commission urged the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed in Burundi, saying it had compiled a list of alleged perpetrators of violence during the country’s two-year crisis. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has reasonable grounds to believe “serious human-rights violations and abuses” have been committed in the East African country since April 2015, its chairman, Fatsah Ouguergouz, said Tuesday in Geneva. The abuses included torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and rape, with most victims being opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government, he said. The commission has drawn
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki said lawmakers will investigate the crisis that erupted in the country’s southeast following clashes between troops and supporters of a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra. The legislature “intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the southeast,” Saraki said in a statement on Twitter on Monday. “We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and...

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