Friday 23 June 2017

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Zimbabwe's Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday pledged that next year's elections will be peaceful, "free and fair" despite opposition concerns about electoral interference. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference aimed at courting South African investors, Mnangagwa noted that the last election in 2013 "was free of any violent incidents." "We believe that we shall have a free and a fair election during 2018," he told reporters, pledging that the upcoming presidential and parliamentary ballot would, like the last, be "free of violence." Previous elections have been marred by violence against opponents...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for international solidarity with Uganda at a fundraising summit to help the country deal with nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing war. Held in Entebbe, Uganda, the summit hopes to raise at least $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) to help tackle the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis triggered by continuing civil war in South Sudan. Guterres said Uganda's "exemplary refugee policy" stood out in a world where many countries are turning their backs on foreigners in need. On Thursday, he visited refugee camps in northern Uganda, close to the South Sudan border, which have popped up over the last year, quickly becoming the largest in the world. Speaking to delegates, Guterres said the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The UN Human Rights Council on Friday decided to send a group of experts to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help investigate an explosion of deadly violence in the Kasai region. A council resolution called on the UN rights office to dispatch a team of international experts to help Kinshasa investigate gross rights violations in the region, including extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and the use of child soldiers. More than 3,300 people have been killed in eight months of...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The EU pledged 85 million euros ($95 million) to Uganda on Thursday as UN chief Antonio Guterres urged donors to give 20 times that amount to help the country deal with nearly one million refugees from South Sudan. Guterres visited a refugee camp in Uganda's remote north where he met with South Sudanese who fled civil war in their country, a day before a summit in Kampala aimed at raising at least $2 billion to deal with the world's fastest...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi extended a state of emergency declared after twin church bombings in April by jihadists, in a decree issued in the official gazette on Thursday. The renewed three-month state of emergency will start on July 10, according to the decree. Parliament approved the initial state of emergency in April after the two church bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group that killed at least 45 people. The jihadist group said it was behind the bombings...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Clashes between militants and government troops on Thursday left 16 dead in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in the troubled North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire. The province has been plagued by regular flare-ups of ethnic bloodshed, which over the past year has seen a cycle of attacks and reprisal raids between militias. "The provisional toll is 13...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Botswana's former president Sir Ketumile Masire, the southern African country's second post-independence leader and who led efforts to bring peace to Mozambique, has died aged 91, an aide said on Friday. Masire had been heavily involved in efforts to end violence between Mozambique's government and the main opposition Renamo party in his role as co-chair of an international group of mediators. Renamo, which waged a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992, refused to accept the results of 2014 elections...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The leader of a protest movement in northern Morocco was "severely" beaten and verbally abused by police during his arrest, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Thursday. Nasser Zefzafi -- leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or the "Popular Movement" -- was detained on May 29 in a village 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Al-Hoceima along with two fellow activists. A dozen police officers broke down the door of his house in the early hours of the morning,...
(AFP 06/22/17)
At least seven militants were killed Thursday in clashes with troops involving heavy weapons in a city in Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, police said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire. A spokesman for the country's armed forces (FARDC) told AFP the confrontation started when a new rebel group staged an early-morning attack on two of its positions east of the city, saying...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Five people were killed and 10 were wounded Thursday when a car packed with explosives rammed into the wall of a police station in southern Mogadishu, the security ministry said. "The blast was caused by a car loaded with explosives, five people were killed and 10 others wounded," Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, Somalia's internal security ministry spokesman told reporters. Police officer Abdukadir Moalim said a suicide bomber had driven the car into the outer wall of the Waberi police station, killing...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Over a thousand people took to the streets of Benin's economic capital of Cotonou on Thursday to protest against President Patrice Talon amid growing unease with his government's economic reforms. A coalition of opposition parties and civil activists led the rally, which coincided with trade unions launching a two-day strike against the government's move to privatise port management. "We wanted to say to President Talon that the people are hungry and that the poor governance that characterises their management enrages...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
South Africa's highest court on Thursday ruled that lawmakers can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma, who is facing mounting criticism within the ruling ANC. Although no date has been set for such a vote, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the National Assembly speaker had the authority to order a secret ballot in a case brought by the country's opposition parties. "The speaker of the National Assembly has constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no-confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa be conducted by secret ballot," the chief justice said.
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Ghana's government is facing growing calls to keep its promises after it won elections on a pledge to stamp out corruption. President Nana Akufo-Addo and his administration have in recent weeks seen protesters take to the streets to raise awareness about the issue. In May, hundreds marched on the Economic and Organised Crime Office in the capital Accra with a petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of offenders, and for stolen money to be recovered. The action is similar...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The Somali people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised". It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive. But by next month, that food will have...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Mali on Wednesday delayed a constitutional referendum due to be held on July 9 in the face of heavy political opposition and street protests. The vote was aimed at enshrining elements of a 2015 peace deal into the charter and establishing a senate in parliament, but came under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. The cabinet "has decided to delay the referendum initially planned for July 9 to a future date," a statement issued by the government said, without providing a...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Two police officers were shot dead in eastern Tanzania on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks against local officials and security officers, state television reported. The killing by unknown assailants happened in the Kibiti region where 11 police officers have been slain since March. The murders, and uncertainty over the motive, have spread fear throughout local government in the region. "Two road security police officers were shot dead during the day", the state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting corporation (TBC) reported. A local official told AFP on Wednesday, "According to the information we have, it was in broad daylight".
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
The death toll from clashes in Central African Republic has surged to around 100, local officials said Wednesday of violence that erupted hours after the government signed a truce with rebel groups. The bloodshed, which left dozens more injured, dashed hopes of an end to the simmering sectarian violence which has blighted the country since 2013, pitting Christian anti-Balaka militias against mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels. Shooting erupted early on Tuesday in the central town of Bria and by midnight (2300 GMT) security sources and NGOs said some 40 people had been killed with another 43 wounded. But by Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen to around 100...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Impoverished fishing communities in Nigeria's financial capital, Lagos, celebrated a court ruling on Wednesday that said government demolitions of their homes were illegal. Residents went to court in October to protest the Lagos state government's plan to demolish their waterfront communities on the pretext of cutting crime in the megacity. The government went ahead with the demolitions in a series of raids across the city that saw security agents bulldoze homes to the ground and in April shoot people with live ammunition. Judge Adeniyi Onigbanjo, sitting at the Lagos State High Court, on Wednesday ruled that the demolitions were unconstitutional and violated the residents' rights.
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Five people have been killed in a landmine explosion and a roadside ambush in northeast Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram , the civilian militia and police said Wednesday. In the first incident, at least three loggers were killed when their truck ran over a landmine outside Abbari village in the Konduga district of Borno state on Tuesday. "The truck hit the landmine at about 4:30 pm (1530 GMT) and went up in flames, killed all three loggers on board," said...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A Sudanese military helicopter has crashed in Northern State, killing all four crew members on board, the army said on Wednesday, in the latest accident to hit its ageing fleet. The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to "bad weather" in state capital Dongola, army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa Shami said in a statement. "All four crew members on board were martyred." Sudan's fleet of Russian-manufactured aircraft has suffered several crashes in recent years, with the military frequently...

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(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for international solidarity with Uganda at a fundraising summit to help the country deal with nearly a million South Sudanese fleeing war. Held in Entebbe, Uganda, the summit hopes to raise at least $2 billion (1.8 billion euros) to help tackle the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis triggered by continuing civil war in South Sudan. Guterres said Uganda's "exemplary refugee policy" stood out in a world where many countries are turning their backs on foreigners in need. On Thursday, he visited refugee camps in northern Uganda, close to the South Sudan border, which have popped up over the last year, quickly becoming the largest in the world. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The EU pledged 85 million euros ($95 million) to Uganda on Thursday as UN chief Antonio Guterres urged donors to give 20 times that amount to help the country deal with nearly one million refugees from South Sudan. Guterres visited a refugee camp in Uganda's remote north where he met with South Sudanese who fled civil war in their country, a day before a summit in Kampala aimed at raising at least $2 billion to deal with the world's fastest growing refugee crisis. "In a world in which so many people are selfishly closing their doors, closing their borders not allowing refugees to come (Uganda) deserves praise and admiration from the whole of the international community," he said. He urged...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The leader of a protest movement in northern Morocco was "severely" beaten and verbally abused by police during his arrest, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Thursday. Nasser Zefzafi -- leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or the "Popular Movement" -- was detained on May 29 in a village 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Al-Hoceima along with two fellow activists. A dozen police officers broke down the door of his house in the early hours of the morning,...
(AFP 06/22/17)
At least seven militants were killed Thursday in clashes with troops involving heavy weapons in a city in Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, police said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire. A spokesman for the country's armed forces (FARDC) told AFP the confrontation started when a new rebel group staged an early-morning attack on two of its positions east of the city, saying...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Five people were killed and 10 were wounded Thursday when a car packed with explosives rammed into the wall of a police station in southern Mogadishu, the security ministry said. "The blast was caused by a car loaded with explosives, five people were killed and 10 others wounded," Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, Somalia's internal security ministry spokesman told reporters. Police officer Abdukadir Moalim said a suicide bomber had driven the car into the outer wall of the Waberi police station, killing...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Ghana's government is facing growing calls to keep its promises after it won elections on a pledge to stamp out corruption. President Nana Akufo-Addo and his administration have in recent weeks seen protesters take to the streets to raise awareness about the issue. In May, hundreds marched on the Economic and Organised Crime Office in the capital Accra with a petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of offenders, and for stolen money to be recovered. The action is similar...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The Somali people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised". It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive. But by next month, that food will have...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Two police officers were shot dead in eastern Tanzania on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks against local officials and security officers, state television reported. The killing by unknown assailants happened in the Kibiti region where 11 police officers have been slain since March. The murders, and uncertainty over the motive, have spread fear throughout local government in the region. "Two road security police officers were shot dead during the day", the state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting corporation (TBC) reported. A local official told AFP on Wednesday, "According to the information we have, it was in broad daylight".
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Impoverished fishing communities in Nigeria's financial capital, Lagos, celebrated a court ruling on Wednesday that said government demolitions of their homes were illegal. Residents went to court in October to protest the Lagos state government's plan to demolish their waterfront communities on the pretext of cutting crime in the megacity. The government went ahead with the demolitions in a series of raids across the city that saw security agents bulldoze homes to the ground and in April shoot people with live ammunition. Judge Adeniyi Onigbanjo, sitting at the Lagos State High Court, on Wednesday ruled that the demolitions were unconstitutional and violated the residents' rights.
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Five people have been killed in a landmine explosion and a roadside ambush in northeast Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram , the civilian militia and police said Wednesday. In the first incident, at least three loggers were killed when their truck ran over a landmine outside Abbari village in the Konduga district of Borno state on Tuesday. "The truck hit the landmine at about 4:30 pm (1530 GMT) and went up in flames, killed all three loggers on board," said...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A Sudanese military helicopter has crashed in Northern State, killing all four crew members on board, the army said on Wednesday, in the latest accident to hit its ageing fleet. The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to "bad weather" in state capital Dongola, army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa Shami said in a statement. "All four crew members on board were martyred." Sudan's fleet of Russian-manufactured aircraft has suffered several crashes in recent years, with the military frequently...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Sudanese authorities on Tuesday brought home from Libya eight children, including a one-year-old, whose parents are allegedly members of the Islamic State group. The children were flown into Khartoum from the Libyan capital Tripoli, an AFP correspondent said. "Thanks be to Allah, today eight children," were brought back from Libya, Brigadier Tijani Ibrahim of Sudan's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NSS) told reporters. Six of the children will be handed over to relatives while the state will take care of the other two because authorities could not find any next of kin, he said.
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
A famine that was declared in parts of South Sudan four months ago is over, UN aid agencies said Wednesday, but extreme hunger has increased to its highest levels ever across the war-torn country. "The accepted technical definition of famine no longer applies in former Unity State's Leer and Mayandit counties where famine was declared in February," according to a joint statement from the UN children's agency UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Hurbain Souomi was only five years old, but he still remembers the day he trekked 50 kilometres (30 miles) across the border into Liberia to escape gunfire strafing his Ivory Coast village. "There was shooting everywhere. My big sister rounded us up and we ran away to go to Liberia," he recalled, caught up in a wave of violence linked to a disputed 2010 presidential election that would leave 3,000 people dead. Now 11, Hurbain is nervous but excited to...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Thirty-one people were killed over the weekend in central Mali as ethnic groups clashed over land in a zone where the state is near-absent and jihadists roam freely. Nomadic Fulani people and farmers from the Dogon ethnic group have engaged in tit-for-tat violence sparked by Fulanis grazing their cattle on Dogon land. Dogons also accuse Fulanis in the area of colluding with cleric Amadou Koufa, whose Islamist group recently joined the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, a jihadist alliance with links to al-Qaeda. The Malian army confirmed "31 dead, (comprising) 27 Fulanis and four Dogons,"
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
At least 10 people were killed when Shabaab Islamists drove an explosives-laden minibus into local government offices in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, according to the security ministry. The minibus was rammed through a security barrier outside offices in the southern district of Wadajir, injuring nine people including the district's top government official. "More than 10 people died in the blast which was carried out by the Shabaab group and nine others are wounded," said security ministry spokesman Ahmed...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon has detained 30 of its soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country. The Defense Ministry says the soldiers abandoned their positions in a protest over pay and working conditions. Military officials in Cameroon say the incident happened earlier this month. Several dozen Cameroonian soldiers erected barricades near the country's border with Nigeria and asked to be immediately replaced. The soldiers were part of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram since 2015...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Two Tanzanian energy magnates on Monday became the first big industrialists to be charged over a multi-million-dollar graft scandal that led to the sacking of several top officials three years ago. A 2014 audit created an uproar after showing fraudulent payment of some $120 million (107 million euros) in state funds to an independent power producing company, prompting several foreign donors to halt aid to Tanzania. James Rugemalira and Harbinder Singh Seth, who were charged Monday with economic crimes, were...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Three foreigners and a Malian civilian and soldier were killed in an jihadist assault on a popular tourist resort near Mali's capital, the country's security minister said Monday. Salif Traore said a Chinese man, a Portuguese man, a Gabonese national and a Malian were killed when gunmen fired on guests at the Kangaba Le Campement resort to the east of Bamako on Sunday. It was the latest in a series of high-profile assaults in north and west Africa targeting locals...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Eight students are being held in custody in Togo after campus protests over teaching conditions turned violent, a student association told AFP on Monday. "In total, eight students are still being detained after some were released over the weekend," said Honore Agoudzo, head of the student group Meet. A number of the students' parents also confirmed their children were being held. Police said they had taken them in for questioning, without specifying numbers. Students clashed with police last Wednesday, Thursday...

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(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Moves to sell off state assets by Benin's businessman-turned-president Patrice Talon are causing widespread anger, with critics accusing him of "uncontrolled privatisation". The 59-year-old known as "the cotton king" was elected in March last year on a promise to kick-start the economy, which is largely based on farming. But his liberal reforms have met opposition in the tiny West African nation, which borders giant neighbours Nigeria to the east and Niger to the north. The latest dispute is the government's decision to hand over the running of the port in the country's economic hub, Cotonou, to a private company. Talon's office said the move "aims at positioning the Port of Cotonou as a reference model...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
France's Alliance Miniere Responsable (AMR) signed a deal Wednesday with a Franco-Asian consortium to exploit bauxite in a western Guinean city that was recently the target of deadly protests against mining firms. Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB), a joint French-Chinese-Singaporean venture, has been operating in the city of Boke since 2014, and completed the deal with AMR at a Conakry hotel, an AFP journalist present said. Guinea is the world's leading producer of bauxite, a mineral used to make aluminium. Pollution caused by bauxite mining and a lack of electricity and clean water for the local population led to April protests that killed one and injured dozens in Boke. The death of a Guinean struck by a Chinese mining truck...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo said Tuesday it has asked Chinese and Spanish bidders of a colossal dam project to join forces and submit a joint bid. The request will further delay the huge project, known as Inga 3, that has been planned for around 30 years. The government had said it would award the contract by the end of last year with an aim to launch construction this year. In the running for the deal are two consortiums, one...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Zimbabwe has banned the import of corn after enjoying a bumper crop that authorities hope will be enough to feed the nation and stimulate home-grown production, state-owned media reported Tuesday. Zimbabwe was once known as the "breadbasket" of Africa for its fertile land and modern farming practices. But a programme of seizing farms from white owners begun in 2000 seriously damaged productivity, causing the country to become heavily dependent on food imports. "Government stopped issuing grain import permits about four months ago and no maize imports are allowed at our borders...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Credit ratings agency Moody's on Tuesday said it had downgraded a slew of top South African banks, insurers and local authorities prompted by fears over the country's worsening financial position. It slashed the creditworthiness of the five largest banks -- FirstRand, Standard, Nedbank, Investec and Absa -- to just one notch above junk status, all with a negative outlook. "The primary driver for today's rating downgrades is the challenging operating environment in South Africa, characterized by a pronounced economic slowdown, and weakening institutional strength," Moody's said in a statement.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/10/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) may grant Zambia up to $1.3 billion in a three-year credit facility to help plug a budget deficit of around 7 percent, the lender's mission chief said on Saturday. A decision will be made by the IMF board in August, Tsidi Tsikata told a joint news conference with the Zambian finance ministry, which pledged to halve the deficit to around 4 percent of gross national product by 2019. Africa's second-biggest copper producer has suffered from...
(AFP (eng) 06/10/17)
Credit ratings agency Moody's on Friday said it had downgraded South Africa a notch over gloomy growth prospects and the political instability unleashed by corruption scandals engulfing President Jacob Zuma. Africa's most advanced economy was knocked down from Baa2 to Baa3 -- one notch above junk status -- with a negative outlook, Moody's said in a statement. Fitch and Standard and Poor's, the other two main global ratings agencies, already downgraded South Africa to junk status after Zuma's shock purge of critical ministers in March, including respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The decision outraged the opposition
(AFP (eng) 06/08/17)
Royal Dutch Shell has resumed crude exports from its Forcados terminal in Nigeria after production was disrupted following repeated attacks by militants in the restive oil-producing region, a company spokesman said Thursday. The resumption will see Nigeria's oil production rebound to around 2 million barrels per day (bpd), adding more barrels to the market at a time when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is working to curb output in order boost global crude prices. "We resumed production at Forcados on June 6, 2017 after lifting the force majeure we declared on crude exports from the facility last year," Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo told AFP.
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
It was almost sunset as fishermen guided their boats back onto the beach at Joal, Senegal, after a long day at sea. At first glance, it looks as though they'd collected a good day's haul, but their nets were full of small sardinella, known locally as yaabooy. Fisherman Mamdou Lamine had caught just one bucket of mackerel. He held one up next to a yaabooy to show how much bigger it was — and there are many more yaabooy than...
(Financial Times 06/07/17)
South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years in the first three months of the year, even before a political crisis in the ruling African National Congress triggered rating cuts to junk status. On an annualised basis Africa's most industrialised economy contracted 0.7 per cent in the first quarter after a 0.3 per cent drop at the end of 2016, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. The announcement confounded most economists' expectations for growth of about 1 per...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Zambia’s copper output will climb by about 4 percent to a record this year as operators near a resolution with government over power prices, according to the Chamber of Mines in Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal. Production will increase to about 800,000 metric tons, said Nathan Chishimba, president of the lobby group. That would be higher than the 770,600 tons mined last year, and exceed a previous record of about 790,000 tons in 2013. The forecast is less optimistic...
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. One economist forecast the contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Namibia will invest 164 billion Namibian dollars ($12.44 billion) over the next five years on plans which include upgrading and revamping hospitals, and building water and energy infrastructure, President Hage Geingob said on Wednesday. The investment package under a National Development Plan will be deployed on programmes and projects which also cover agriculture, technical and vocational training, and industrial development. "This would involve modernising and up-scaling our production sectors and systems including agriculture, manufacturing, fisheries, mining and tourism," Geingob said at the launch of the programme. "By focusing on these sectors, we should be able to create more jobs to absorb new entrants
(RFI 06/02/17)
Senegal's growing oil sector received a 25-million-euro boost from the World Bank on Wednesday to help it negotiate complex oil and gas contracts. But the oil boom has sparked concerns the country may not keep its commitment to the Paris climate deal. Producers say Dakar could be sitting on upwards of one billion barrels of petrol with production slated to begin in 2021. While the world waited Thursday for President Donald Trump to decide whether the US would stay committed...
(Financial Times 06/02/17)
South Africa’s government has avoided a second damaging credit rating cut from Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that the recent political upheaval is likely to further weaken the economy. Fitch cut South Africa’s foreign- and local-currency credit ratings to junk status in an unscheduled update in April after the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. In its regular ratings decision announced today, the agency confirmed the government’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook, suggesting further downgrades are unlikely in the short-term. Fitch said “South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low trend GDP growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance”, and said the cabinet reshuffle “is likely to undermine governance
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Italian energy company Eni signed an $8 billion deal on Thursday to develop a gas field off the coast of Mozambique, the first of a series of projects that could transform the poor African nation into a major energy supplier to Asia. Developing the Coral South field, discovered in May 2012 and operated by Eni, requires building six subsea wells connected to a floating facility capable of producing about 3.4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, Eni said. The project would cost $8 billion and LNG exports were expected to start in 2022, Eni said.
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi launched on Thursday in Maputo a 6 billion U.S. dollar project, including an installment of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility in Cabo Delgado province, northern region of the country. Located in the Area Four block at Rovuma Basin, the project of Coral gas field is a joint venture by energy giants sponsored by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the Portuguese energy company Galp, the Korean Kogas, the Italian ENI and the Mozambican ENH...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Oil and gas productions in the fields of Tataouine, southwest of Tunisia and Kebili, southeast of Tunisia, have been completely interrupted due to protests in both provinces since two months ago, announced on Thursday night the Tunisian Ministry of Energy and Mines. "Having a direct negative impact on the national economy, these sit-ins lead to a halt in production, hence the worsening trade deficit due to a shortfall of 24 million dinars (9.88 million U.S. dollars) per week," said the Ministry in a press release. According to the release, the oil fields located in the two provinces provide 46 percent of the national oil production and 27 percent of gas production.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/01/17)
The World Bank will provide $29 million to help Senegal as it negotiates oil and gas contracts with producers, it said on Wednesday. Oil firms including BP and Total are developing previously untapped oil and gas fields off Senegal's Atlantic coast that could bring billions of dollars of profits to the impoverished country in the next decade. But many citizens have expressed concern that a lack of transparency and the terms of recent contracts mean that the financial benefits may...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
British banking giant Barclays said Thursday it has further reduced its stake in its South African operations as part of a global strategic re-think unveiled last year. Barclays said in a statement that it had placed a stake of 33.7 percent in Barclays Africa with institutional investors, raising some £2.224 billion (2.5 billion euros, $2.9 billion). Barclays, which has decided to focus on its two core markets of Britain and the United States, now holds a stake of just 16.4...

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(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 to win and who gave everything on the pitch," said sports minister Francois Amichia. Tiote died from a heart attack on June 5 during a training session with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises. Full military...
(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 in England, where he played for seven years at Newcastle United before joining the Beijing team in February. However, with his body being flown home to the Ivory Coast -- after an emotional farewell held at a funeral home in...
(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...
(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.

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(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.
(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...

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(Voice of America 06/20/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon has detained 30 of its soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country. The Defense Ministry says the soldiers abandoned their positions in a protest over pay and working conditions. Military officials in Cameroon say the incident happened earlier this month. Several dozen Cameroonian soldiers erected barricades near the country's border with Nigeria and asked to be immediately replaced. The soldiers were part of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram since 2015. Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesperson of Cameroon's military, said the protest was "unacceptable." He said so far 30 of the soldiers who took part have been arrested. He said the minister of defense gave instructions that...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
GENEVA — Congo's justice minister says investigations into killings in the central Kasai regions have "progressed well'' and four people have been arrested over the grisly slayings of two U.N. experts. Alexis Thambwe Mwamba expressed opposition to European Union resolution at the Human Rights Council that seeks an international, independent mission to investigate rights violations and allegations of mass graves in the wake of hundreds of killings in the Kasai provinces. Speaking to reporters Monday on the sidelines of the council session, Mwamba said Congo's government has already agreed to allow investigators, but said they should work with Congolese authorities — not independently. Read more at: https://www.voanews.com/a/congo-justice-minister-says-four-arrested-over...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
It was almost sunset as fishermen guided their boats back onto the beach at Joal, Senegal, after a long day at sea. At first glance, it looks as though they'd collected a good day's haul, but their nets were full of small sardinella, known locally as yaabooy. Fisherman Mamdou Lamine had caught just one bucket of mackerel. He held one up next to a yaabooy to show how much bigger it was — and there are many more yaabooy than...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Kenya’s elections may prompt violence that evokes the unrest that killed at least 1,100 people following a disputed vote a decade ago if the electoral authorities fail to ensure this year’s process is credible, opposition leader Raila Odinga said. Any outbreak of clashes would be difficult to control, even though Kenyans “don’t want to go back to 2008,” Odinga said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Nairobi. The 72-year-old former prime minister is seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term in the Aug. 8 election. Kenyan elections are a source of nervousness for investors in East Africa’s biggest economy.
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
A U.S. congressional delegation returned from central Africa last week with one overriding question: what can be done to stop South Sudan's war and help the refugees streaming into Uganda, suffering from a lack of food? Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, says the answer lies with the parties in South Sudan's conflict, especially the government and military, which have been accused of blocking food aid to needy populations, using rape as a weapon of war and engaging in ethnic cleansing.
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has been hurt by a new wave of corruption allegations targeting President Jacob Zuma, with the top party brass saying Wednesday that the end may be nearing for the increasingly unpopular leader. “We’ve got a brand to protect as a current leadership as the next leadership will have the same responsibility," party spokesman Zizi Kodwa told journalists. "The more the allegation of corruption is repeated, about any member of the ANC, it damages the...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Kenya’s electoral body fired its head of procurement after it failed to obtain ballot papers less than two months before the country’s presidential elections, heightening concern over the credibility of the vote. The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission dismissed Lawy Aura because of “incompetence that has made operations untenable as we fast approach the general election,” the Nairobi-based body said on its website on Tuesday. The development could result in the election date being pushed back in a “worst case scenario,” though a more likely outcome is that the tender will be awarded directly, said Ahmed Salim, an analyst with Dubai-based Teneo Strategy.
(Financial Times 06/07/17)
South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years in the first three months of the year, even before a political crisis in the ruling African National Congress triggered rating cuts to junk status. On an annualised basis Africa's most industrialised economy contracted 0.7 per cent in the first quarter after a 0.3 per cent drop at the end of 2016, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. The announcement confounded most economists' expectations for growth of about 1 per...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Zambia’s copper output will climb by about 4 percent to a record this year as operators near a resolution with government over power prices, according to the Chamber of Mines in Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal. Production will increase to about 800,000 metric tons, said Nathan Chishimba, president of the lobby group. That would be higher than the 770,600 tons mined last year, and exceed a previous record of about 790,000 tons in 2013. The forecast is less optimistic...
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. One economist forecast the contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
Lesotho’s main opposition party took a commanding lead as the constituency vote count from June 3 elections in the tiny southern African mountain kingdom passed the two-thirds mark. With results tallied from 57 of the 80 constituencies, Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention, or ABC, had won 45 parliamentary seats, the ruling Democratic Congress, or DC, led by Pakalitha Mosisili, had secured eight and four smaller parties one each, the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission announced in the capital, Maseru. Results from the southern part of the country, a ruling-party stronghold, haven’t been announced. Under Lesotho’s electoral rules
(Bloomberg 06/02/17)
A coalition formed by Zimbabwe’s main opposition parties to contest next year’s elections against President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is at risk of unraveling as its leaders scrap over who will lead it. Cracks in an accord signed on April 20 by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru, head of the National People’s Party, emerged when Mujuru told a conference in Ghana that she was preparing a bid for the presidency. Tsvangirai supporters then threatened to exit the coalition, which includes a breakaway arm of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube. The opposition pact didn’t address the alliance’s leadership structure. Mujuru, 62, claims her experience as
(RFI 06/02/17)
Senegal's growing oil sector received a 25-million-euro boost from the World Bank on Wednesday to help it negotiate complex oil and gas contracts. But the oil boom has sparked concerns the country may not keep its commitment to the Paris climate deal. Producers say Dakar could be sitting on upwards of one billion barrels of petrol with production slated to begin in 2021. While the world waited Thursday for President Donald Trump to decide whether the US would stay committed...
(Financial Times 06/02/17)
South Africa’s government has avoided a second damaging credit rating cut from Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that the recent political upheaval is likely to further weaken the economy. Fitch cut South Africa’s foreign- and local-currency credit ratings to junk status in an unscheduled update in April after the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. In its regular ratings decision announced today, the agency confirmed the government’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook, suggesting further downgrades are unlikely in the short-term. Fitch said “South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low trend GDP growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance”, and said the cabinet reshuffle “is likely to undermine governance
(Voice of America 06/02/17)
The United Nations warns a new spiral of escalating violence in the Central African Republic is threatening to wipe out progress made since 2013 toward peace and reconciliation. Renewed fighting between Christian anti-Balaka militia and the ex-Seleka Muslim rebels in mid-May continues to take a heavy toll. The United Nations reports more than 100,000 people have fled their homes, more than 100 have been killed and hundreds of others wounded. The U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator for C.A.R., Najat Rochdi, says the peace dividend people were beginning to enjoy has all but disappeared. She warns worse lies ahead if the humanitarian and protection needs of the people
(Voice of America 06/02/17)
The voters of the Democratic Republic of Congo should have gone to the polls last November to choose their new head of state. Instead, presidential and parliamentary elections were not organized, and shortly afterward, on December 19, President Joseph Kabila's second and, according to the constitution, final term expired. Deal struck Under a political deal struck on New Year's Eve between Kabila's ruling coalition and the opposition, the delayed polls are supposed to take place in late 2017. In the meantime, the president has remained in office. On Sunday
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, sees two buying opportunities in Egypt this year after a commodity rout depressed prices in the region. The Washington, D.C.-based investor’s $700 million Sub-Saharan Africa Fund will spend between $30 million and $100 million on each, making the fund about 80 percent invested, managing director Eric Kump said in an interview. He declined to name industries or be more specific. “We are being more active in North Africa, specifically...
(Voice of America 05/31/17)
Last year, Uganda's Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development worked with Parliament to enact and implement the Children Amendment Act, which prohibits corporal punishment in schools. Of 93 recommendations made by the Uganda Human Rights Commission, this is the only one that government departments have fully complied with in the past five years. "If there is no compliance and we keep on making the same recommendations and piling new ones and nothing is being done, that means the violations that we have assessed and recommendations we have made to address those violations are not implemented," said Katebalirwe Amooti
(Bloomberg 05/31/17)
Mauritian banks are becoming beacons of growth and stability in sub-Saharan Africa. Unscathed by the vagaries of the oil price and unhindered by the political battles that have roiled some of their continental peers, the Indian Ocean island’s lenders have been bolstered by an economy growing faster than many of the mainland countries. The central bank expects the Mauritian economy to expand as much as 4 percent this year, compared with International Monetary Fund projections for an average 2.6 percent...

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