Thursday 18 January 2018

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic have appealed to armed groups controlling swathes of the chronically unstable country to stop looting and lay down their arms. Mired in poverty but rich in minerals, the former French colony has been battered by a conflict between rival militias that began in 2013 after then president Francois Bozize was overthrown. The bishops made the appeal during an episcopal conference in the capital Bangui on Sunday. "In the name of God, we ask the armed groups to unconditionally lay down their arms," and "stop all sorts of crimes (including) looting natural resources and causing the dysfunction of the state", they said during mass. The closing ceremony of the conference was attended by President...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Islamist militants Boko Haram on Monday released a new video purporting to show at least 14 of the Chibok schoolgirls whose mass kidnapping nearly four years ago became a symbol of NIgeria's brutal conflict. But despite a concerted global campaign for their release, and talks between the government and the militants, the girls shown in the recording vowed not to return to their parents. The 20-minute-long video is the first since May last year, when another woman who also claimed to be among the 219 seized from the town in Borno state said she wanted to stay. Both videos will compound the suffering of the girls' families and friends but also indicate the extent to which they may have become...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Fierce fighting forced the closure of the Libyan capital's only civilian airport on Monday, officials said, after a militia in charge of security there said it had been attacked. The Facebook page of Mitiga International Airport, in eastern Tripoli, said "flights have been suspended because of fighting that broke out this morning". Al-Radaa, a force loyal to the UN-backed Libyan government and tasked with keeping the facility secure, said in a statement it had come under attack. An armed group "has attacked Mitiga international airport... which is home to a prison where more than 2,500 people are detained for various" reasons, Al-Radaa said on Facebook. Fighters attacked in a bid "to free" some of its members detained there, it added,...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli will not seek to extend presidential terms in the country, his party said Saturday, moving to quash calls from his own party to prolong his rule. Magufuli "informed party members and other Tanzanians that the ongoing debate about increasing the presidential term from five to seven years displeases him," his ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) said in a statement. Such an ammendment was against the party's rules and the constitution of Tanzania, the statement said, adding that Magufuli does not plan to make the change "at any time during his presidency". The announcement came after some members of his party called for Magufuli, who was elected in 2015, to make the change so he could...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Men armed with machetes killed four soldiers in an attack Sunday near the main Kananga airport in Kasai, an opposition stronghold in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, residents said as tensions returned to the restive region. The assailants attacked the soldiers as they were sleeping in their tent, the sources told AFP, adding that they then set fire to the tent. "An army vehicle arrived not far from my house and I saw four bodies of soldiers that they were transporting as well as another soldier with blood all over his body and wounds," one resident said by telephone. The regional army commander, Brigadier General Marcellin Assoumani Issa Kumba...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents are increasingly threatening civilians to force them to hand over young children for "indoctrination and military training", Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday. The rights watchdog said an aggressive campaign to recruit children had begun in mid-2017, with the jihadists taking reprisals against communities who refuse to cooperate. Hundreds of children have fled their homes to avoid this fate, often alone, it said in a statement. "Al-Shabaab's ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers on Monday repelled an attack in the eastern Beni region by ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels, who are suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. The army had on Saturday announced an offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, one of a number of armed groups acting in North Kivu and South Kivu -- the two provinces which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. "The ADF attacked our position in Muzambay at 4:00 am (0200 GMT)," said army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay. "Our forces pushed them back after heavy fighting." "The firing started very early while we were still sleeping but stopped around 6:30 am," said Aimee Makinda...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
A diamond thought to be the fifth largest of gem quality ever found has been discovered in Lesotho, miner Gem Diamonds said Monday, and could be worth as much as $40 million. The company unearthed the D-colour stone at the Letseng mine in the landlocked southern African country and described the 910-carat find as of "exceptional quality". "Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letseng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world's most remarkable diamonds, including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise," Gem Diamonds chief executive Clifford Elphick said in a statement. "However, this exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date... This is a landmark discovery." Ben Davis, a mining analyst at Liberum Capital, speculated in...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The Congolese army on Saturday announced a new operation against armed groups, notably the ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. Army vehicles transported some 300 troops to the operation's headquarters near Beni in the restive eastern province of North Kivu. Tanks and armoured vehicles were also deployed, according to an AFP correspondent, who added that heavy and light weapons fire could be heard. The Democratic Republic of Congo army "has decided to launch an offensive operation against the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) as well as against armed groups in the Beni and (neighbouring) Lubero areas," army General Marcel Mbangu told reporters. "For us this is the last time. We are going to fight until...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Tunisia's government on Saturday announced an increase in aid to the needy and improved health care as part of social reforms following a week of unrest triggered by austerity measures. Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Trabelsi told reporters that monthly aid to needy families would rise from 150 dinars (50 euros) to between 180 and 210 dinars (60 and 70 euros). He said reforms which have been in the pipeline for several months would guarantee medical care for all Tunisians, without elaborating, and also provide housing to disadvantaged families. The announcement came after President Beji Caid Essebsi consulted with political parties...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The first major scalp claimed by Angola's new president Joao Lourenco in his war on corruption and nepotism was that of his predecessor's daughter, who was sacked as head of the state oil company. The next big name linked to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos was that of his son, Jose Filomeno, who was removed from his post at the top of the African nation's $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. Quick work for a president with barely 100 days on the job. Lourenco's manoeuvering against the nepotistical vestiges of Angola's last president began in earnest in November with the toppling of Isabel dos Santos -- said by Forbes to be Africa's richest woman. The shake-up at the Sonangol oil...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping was prevented from taking a flight to France late Saturday by security forces who said he needed to stay over a judicial matter, he told AFP. Ping, a 75-year-old career diplomat, was narrowly defeated by incumbent Ali Bongo in last year's presidential election, a victory that he claims was tainted by electoral fraud. "I was supposed to travel this evening but the security forces prevented me," the former African Union chief said. Ping told AFP he had not been notified of any ban on leaving the country, but said it appeared to be linked to a judicial request that he help with an inquiry in which he has been called as a witness. An official-looking...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Guinea-Bissau's Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embalo has submitted his resignation to the president, in a bid to end a two-year political crisis in the poor west African nation. Guinea-Bissau has been in the throes of a power struggle since August 2015, when President Jose Mario Vaz sacked former prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira. Embalo, who became prime minister in December 2016, tendered his resignation to Vaz last week, he told AFP late Saturday. "I am not someone who clings to power. If the president does not trust me, I won't wait to be fired, I will leave," he said. A source at the presidency confirmed the resignation had been submitted. At its latest summit on December 16, the ECOWAS west...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Tunisians on Sunday marked seven years since the uprising that launched the Arab Spring, with fresh protests and some people expressing pride but others anger over persistent economic problems. The North African country is seen as having had a relatively smooth democratic transition since the January 14, 2011 toppling of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power. But seven years later, anger has risen over new austerity measures after a year of rising prices, with protesters again chanting the 2011 slogans of "Work, Freedom, Dignity". On Sunday, several hundred people took part in rallies in the capital Tunis, responding to calls to demonstrate from a powerful labour union and several political parties. Security was tight as...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Nigerian cattle breeders on Sunday defended themselves from criticism after recent clashes with farmers left 80 dead, claiming they had lost more than 1,000 people to violence since mid-2017. Fulani herdsmen have been blamed for a spate of attacks against farming communities in the central state of Benue since the start of this year, putting pressure on the government to act. President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for his response to the attacks, which security analysts assess could pose a bigger threat than Boko Haram in the country's northeast. Pressure for land and water is seen as the main driver of the conflict, alongside ethnic and sectarian grievances, while a failure to prosecute those responsible...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Liberia's ruling party said Sunday it had expelled outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for not backing her vice-president, Joseph Boakai, in a presidential election run-off lost to former footballer George Weah. Sirleaf, 79, will formally hand over power to Weah on January 22 after serving two six-year terms, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner having made history in 2005 when she became Africa's first elected female leader. "The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Unity Party has voted to expel" Sirleaf, the party said in a statement. "The vote was taken as a result of several violations of the party's constitution and other acts inimical to the existence and reputation of the party," it added, noting that the party's constitution...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The cyclone that slammed into Madagascar earlier this month has claimed 51 lives, with 54,000 people displaced by flooding, heavy rain and high winds, authorities said. Tropical cyclone Ava made landfall on January 5, lashing the eastern part of the African island for 24 hours, with many rivers overflowing, roads cut off and bridges submerged. Twenty-two people are still missing while 161,000 others have been affected following the storms, the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management (NBRCM) said late Sunday. The toll from Ava stood at 29 dead and 80,000 affected one week ago. Madagascar, one of the world's poorest countries, is regularly hit by cyclones. In March last year, cyclone Enawo killed at least 78 people.
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi was to hold talks Saturday with political parties, unions and employers to discuss means to overcome unrest triggered by austerity measures. The North African country has been shaken by a wave of protests over poverty and unemployment during which hundreds have been arrested before the unrest tapered off. The demonstrations broke out ahead of Sunday's seventh anniversary of the toppling of veteran dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a revolt that sparked uprisings across the Arab region. The trigger of the protests last Sunday was a finance law imposing tax hikes after a year of rising prices. A man in his 40s died in unrest on Monday night in the northern town of Tebourba...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Supported by throngs of worshippers and with western ambassadors in attendance, Catholic leaders in DR Congo hammered home a message of anger toward President Joseph Kabila on Friday at a mass to mourn victims of a crackdown. Police fired a couple of warning shots to disperse worshippers outside Kinshasa cathedral after the highly-charged mass, which was led by prominent government critic Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, an AFP journalist reported. Police said they fired only teargas, and two people were slightly injured. Armed officers arrived at the cathedral gates as the congregation was leaving a service to commemorate the six fatalities of a crackdown on New Year's Eve marches that demanded Kabila leave office.
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
An Ethiopian court has sentenced prominent dissident Bekele Gerba and three other opposition figures to six months in jail for singing a protest song in court, a defence lawyer told AFP on Friday. The four, all members of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), have been in pre-trial custody since their arrest in late 2015 when a wave of anti-government protests broke out. Bekele, the deputy OFC chairman, and the three other party officials broke into song on Thursday after the judges ruled against his request to summon Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and other high-ranking government officials as defence witnesses, their attorney Ameha Mekonnen said.

Pages

(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Between 90 and 100 migrants were missing after their makeshift boat sank in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, the country's navy said late Tuesday. The inflatable boat was carrying more than 100 people when it went down, according to navy spokesman Ayoub Kacem, who said rescuers had saved just 17 people, including some women. Survivors clung to the vessel for hours before help arrived. The boat sank off the city of Khoms, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the Libyan capital, Kacem said. In another incident, the Libyan navy said it had also rescued 267 migrants of various African nationalities, off Zawiya to the west of Tripoli. Women and 17 children were among those rescued, said Kacem,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The new leader of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity on Monday as factions within the party become increasingly divided over the future of President Jacob Zuma. There is widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state within weeks. Ramaphosa, who is also the country’s deputy president, publicly supports Zuma. Markets have rallied since Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an ANC leadership contest last month as investors bet he will tackle rampant political corruption and implement economic reforms. Zuma’s term doesn’t officially...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Eighty people have been killed in Nigeria's central state of Benue since December 31 following clashes between cattle herders and farmers that have forced tens of thousands from their homes, an emergency official said on Tuesday. The violence between mostly Muslim herders and Christian farmers intensified over the New Year, fuelled by a new law banning the nomadic cattle rustlers from moving through the state. There have been similar tit-for-tat attacks elsewhere in central states, polarising Nigerians along religious and ethnic lines and putting the spotlight on the federal government for failing to curb the violence.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Four west African states have launched a major offensive against the Boko Haram jihadist group in Nigeria, the military said on Tuesday. Soldiers from Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger are targeting a Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau in the Sambisa Forest, and another led by Mamman Nur, on and around Lake Chad. Both locations are in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. According to the Nigerian military, scores of jihadists have been killed and hundreds of others have been forced to surrender in recent days. Top brass in Abuja have claimed that Nur had been injured and one of his wives killed in an aerial bombardment.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
The start of Zambia's school year has been postponed and all public gatherings banned to contain a cholera outbreak that has killed 61 people, officials said Tuesday. Church services were cancelled on Sunday and a night-time curfew has been imposed to limit movement in Lusaka's densely-populated slum district of Kanyama, one of the worst affected areas. Street vending has also been outlawed and nightclub hours reduced, while the army has been patrolling the streets for the last 10 days to ensure compliance with the tightening restrictions. "The country has recorded 114 new cases in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 2,672 since the disease broke out. The cumulative death toll is 61," Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya told journalists...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Around 200 people were injured on Tuesday when two passenger trains collided in a suburb of South Africa’s main city Johannesburg, emergency services network ER24 said. “The exact details surrounding this incident are not yet known but local authorities are on the scene and will be launching an investigation into the matter,” ER24 said in a statement. No fatalities were reported in the accident, which took place days after more than a dozen people were killed and hundreds injured when a train struck a truck, derailed and burst into flames in central South Africa. South Africa has the continent’s largest railway network, but it has been plagued by mismanagement and under-investment that has seen train use dwindle...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Dozens of people have been arrested over violent protests in Tunisia as ire mounts at rising costs and government austerity, with officials saying Tuesday one man died in unclear circumstances. The authorities announced 44 people were detained nationwide overnight as several official buildings were damaged and 11 policemen wounded by stones and Molotov cocktails. Officials said an autopsy would help determine how a 43-year-old man died in the town of Tebourba, west of Tunis. The police insisted they did not kill him, and said he suffered from "respiratory problems". On Tuesday small peaceful rallies were held in the centre of the capital Tunis...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A South African charity said Tuesday it had received proof that a freelance photographer kidnapped in Syria was alive, as his family prepared to mark one year since his capture. Shiraaz Mahomed was kidnapped on January 10 last year travelling to the Turkish border from a hospital supported by the Gift of the Givers charity in the Syrian town of Darkouch, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Aleppo. Gift of the Givers said that no ransom demand had been made and the identity of the kidnappers was not known. The charity said in a statement that it had confirmed Mahomed was alive through replies to 10 questions that only he would be able to answer. Mahomed sent a message sending...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Three hundred Boko Haram suspects who were due in court on Tuesday will now have to wait until at least next month to learn when they will be formally tried. The individuals were remanded in custody for 90 days on October 10 by a civilian court set up at a military base in central Nigeria. "The case was slated for resumption today (Tuesday) but it has been postponed to February. No date has been fixed yet," a justice ministry source told AFP. "The law allows for an extension of the remand order for another 90 days, so we are still within the limit provided by the law. "There are ongoing investigations into the individual cases of the suspects and these...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
At least a dozen people were killed over the weekend in apparent tit-for-tat clashes between farmers and cattle herders in central Nigeria, police and community sources said Monday. The violence between Christian Bachama farmers and Muslim Fulani herders happened in the Lau district of Taraba state on Friday and Saturday. Police spokesman David Misal said 12 people were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked Fulani settlements on Friday. A reprisal attack followed on Saturday, he added. "We recorded four deaths in the Fulani settlements and eight in the Bachama village," he told AFP. Residents of the affected villages put the death toll at 40. It was not possible to verify either figure independently. The attacks are the latest in a bloody,...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Twenty-nine people died and more than 80,000 were affected after tropical cyclone Ava tore through Madagascar last week, authorities said Monday. Seventeen people died on Monday, after a house crumbled following a mudslide in the Ivory suburb, south-east of the capital Antananarivo. "On a national scale, the provisional toll is 29 dead, 22 missing, 17,170 displaced and 83,023 affected," the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management said in a statement. The cyclone, which made landfall on Friday morning, lashed the eastern part of the African island off Mozambique with violent winds and heavy rains before moving off the territory on Saturday night.
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
Hundreds of Sudanese students from the University of Khartoum threw stones at anti-riot police Monday on a third day of protests against soaring bread prices, an AFP correspondent reported. Bread prices more than doubled last week as flour manufacturers raised prices on dwindling wheat supplies after the government decided to stop importing grain and allowed private companies to do so. Sporadic anti-government protests have been held since Saturday in some parts of the country following the price rise. They were staged again on Monday in the area around Khartoum university, triggering clashes between students and anti-riot police. "No, no to high food prices," students shouted as they attempted to leave the university campus but were quickly pushed back by dozens...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/08/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - At least eighty-three people have been killed in communal violence in Nigeria since Dec. 31, government and police officials said, much of it involving clashes between Muslim cattle herders and Christian farmers. The killings endanger efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari to bring security and stability to Nigeria - a central pledge of his campaign for election in 2015. Muslim herdsmen, mainly of the Fulani ethnic group, and Christian farmers often clash over the use of land in parts of the Middle Belt. The region is one of Nigeria’s most diverse, where religious, ancestral and cultural differences...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
The number of deaths from a year-long outbreak of listeriosis, caused by a food-borne bacteria, has jumped to 61, South Africa's health minister said on Monday. Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a naturally-occurring germ typically transferred through contaminated food, although it is readily treatable with antibiotics. A total of 727 cases have been confirmed since January 2017, Health Mnister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement. As of December 5, the confirmed death toll stood at 36, but has since risen to 61. Because of the disease's "rapid spread and unusual or unexpected behaviour", it has been elevated to the country's list of intensively monitored, serious conditions, Motsoaledi added. A poultry abattoir in the capital Pretoria was identified by health...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
Coptic Orthodox Christians packed Egypt's newly built Nativity of Christ Cathedral on Saturday for a Christmas Eve mass after a bloody year for a minority repeatedly targeted by jihadists. Police had bolstered security around the country's churches for days, especially at the cathedral east of Cairo where President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to pay his respects to the ancient community. He walked in alongside Coptic Pope Tawadros II and took to the altar amid ululations and cries of "we love you". "We love you too," he responded. "You are our family, you are from us, we are one and no one will divide us." Sisi said the cathedral, in a new administrative capital Egypt is building, was a "message to...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
The Senegalese government vowed Sunday to be "relentless" in tracking down and bringing to justice those responsible for the execution of 13 people in the southern region of Casamance. Gunmen ordered a group of men and youths, out looking for wood, to lie on the ground deep in the forest before opening fire, a survivor said following the first upsurge in violence in the isolated Senegalese region in years. President Macky Sall, condemning an "armed attack of rare barbarity", summoned his national security council and ordered a ministerial delegation to the scene. "A hard and relentless hunt will be conducted to find the perpetrators of this despicable act," interior minister Aly Ngouille Ndiaye told Senegalese press agency APS during a...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
One person was killed, three are missing and thousands have been displaced after tropical cyclone Ava tore through Madagascar, authorities said late Saturday. The cyclone, which made landfall on Friday morning, lashed the eastern part of the African island off Mozambique with violent winds and heavy rains before moving off the territory on Saturday night. "Based on the provisional toll, one person has died, three people have been reported missing, 10,465 people have been displaced and more than 12,000 affected by the storm," the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management said in a statement. The cyclone caused flash flooding in the capital Antananarivo and the port city of Toamasina. Madagascar, one of the world's poorest countries, is regularly hit...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
A student was killed in Sudan on Sunday during protests against soaring bread prices, officials and witnesses said. Protests broke out in areas of war-torn Darfur and Blue Nile states as well as the capital Khartoum with demonstrators burning tyres and blocking roads and police firing tear gas. Bread prices more than doubled this week as flour manufacturers raised prices amid dwindling wheat supplies after the government decided to stop importing grain and allowed private companies to do so. Anti-riot police fired tear gas at hundreds of students and residents who staged rallies in the towns of Geneina and Nyala in Darfur and Damazin in Blue Nile, witnesses said. "In the incidents that occurred in Geneina, one student was killed...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
Sudanese security agents on Sunday seized all copies of six newspapers after they criticised the government over soaring bread prices that have almost doubled this week, editors said. Discontent has been simmering over the past few days as bread prices jumped on the back of a sharp rise in the cost of flour after a government decision to shift importing of wheat to private sector companies. Several newspapers have criticised the decision concerning wheat imports, while the country's opposition groups called for nationwide demonstrations against the price rise. On Sunday, members of the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated entire print runs of Al-Tayar, Al-Mustagilla, Al-Karar, Al-Midan, Al-Assayha and Akhbar Al-Watan newspapers. Akhbar al-Watan and Al-Midan are mouthpieces...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
Clashes erupted between Egyptian protesters and policemen on Saturday outside a Cairo police station over the death of a young man in custody, security sources said. Nine people were injured and 20 people arrested in the overnight scuffle in Cairo's working class neighbourhood of Moqattam, they said. The security sources said a young man nicknamed Afroto, who was arrested on Friday for alleged drug trafficking, died after a violent brawl with other detainees. But protesters accused the police of being responsible for his death. They set fire to tyres and cars near the police station, leading the fire brigade to intervene. Calm returned to Moqattam later in the morning after Cairo's security chief pledged a probe into the detainee's death,...

Pages

(AFP (eng) 10/01/17)
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, on Sunday set its minimum rate for farmers at 700 CFA francs per kilo for the 2017-18 crop, a steep drop over the previous year, due to falling global prices. Although production increased 28.5 percent to a record 2.15 million tonnes in the 2016-17 season, world cocoa prices have fallen by more than a third. The minimum price guaranteed to farmers was 1,100 CFA francs (1.68 euros, about $1) per kilo at the start of the 2016-17 season. But the Ivorian government had to lower the price to 700 CFA francs in April due to falling prices in international markets, which was linked to overproduction in relation to demand and aggravated by the...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
With South Africa's "strike season" in full swing, the Department of Labor on Thursday warned against frequent strikes that is harming both the economy and the labor force. In its latest Industrial Action Report, the department said the South African labor market lost a total of 946,323 working days as a result of 122 work stoppages last year. This represents a 4.7-percent increase in working days lost in 2016 as compared to 903,921 days in 2015, according to the report. In term of wages lost, the South African labor economy lost approximately 161 million rand (about 12 million U.S. dollars) due to work stoppages in 2016, up from 116 million rand in 2015. Most of the work stoppages were due...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
Botswana Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said Thursday that the African country and China need each other at a reception celebrating the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. At the event, Venson-Moitoi said a lot of African countries have benefited from China's development. She also praised China's contribution to the development of education, technology and economy in her country. "The most important thing is that we must have sincerity, and I know we both need each other," she said. Chinese Ambassador to Botswana Zhao Yanbo made a speech at the event about China's achievements in economic and social development, as well as China-Botswana relations.
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
The Zimbabwe government has enacted legislation to curb selling of cash by unlicensed dealers, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a statement to the parliament on Thursday. The illegal practice has become rampant in the past few months as cash shortages in banks continue in the country. Chinamasa said President Robert Mugabe enacted the Exchange Control Regulations on Thursday. "These regulations will empower the police to arrest anyone trading in currency without a license as it is an offence," Chinamasa said. Because the banks have no sufficient cash for depositors, U.S. dollar notes and bond notes are available on the parallel market but the U.S. dollar is trading at a higher value than bond
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
Algeria's fiscal deficit will reach 1,113 billion dinars (about 99 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2017, the official Algerian Press Service (APS) reported Thursday. The APS quoted Faisal Tadinit, the general director of the finance ministry, who made the remarks in the Finance and Budget Committee of the People's National Assembly (Lower House) on Thursday. Tadinit explained that the decline in oil prices since mid-2014 has had a significant impact on the low fiscal revenues. In spite of this, the government is continuing its efforts in the field of public investment to keep the economic growth and employment rate
(APA 09/29/17)
A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after a two-week stay in Cotonou, has informed President Patrice Talon of its satisfaction with the way the Benin government has met its commitments made April to international financial institutions. “The program approved for Benin is firmly on track and all criteria agreed with the government have been respected,” the head of the IMF delegation Norbert Toé said meeting with the President on Wednesday. The government of Benin has embarked on very ambitious reforms and the IMF has decided to accompany implementing them, he said before urging the Benin authorities to stay on track of improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable strata of the country. On April, the IMF’s Executive...
(APA 09/29/17)
Ethiopia has earned $2.9 billion in revenue from export trade during the country’s last fiscal year which ended on July 8, 2017, a top government official said The revenue has seen $1.1 billion lower than the targeted $ 4 billion, Asefa Mulugeta, Director General of Export Promotion at the Ministry of Trade, said in a briefing on Thursday. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday announced that Ethiopia’s economy showed strong resilience in 2016/17 amid continued weak global prices for the country’s key exports and re-emergence of drought coenditions in parts of the east African nation. IMF’s preliminary findings revealed the country’s exports have been stagnant due to weak global commodity markets and delays in completion of key related projects...
(AfricaNews 09/28/17)
Mauritius expects its unemployment rate to fall to 7.2 percent in 2017 from 7.3 percent a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday. The total labour force in the Indian Ocean island – whose annual gross domestic product is $11 billion with a population of 1.3 million – was estimated at 549,400 in the second quarter compared with 537,000 in the same quarter a year ago. Statistics Mauritius said in a statement it has revised downward its March forecast of 7.3 percent. According to the body the employment level of Mauritians is expected to increase by 8,400 from 538,600 in 2016 to 547,000 in 2017,” . The agency said unemployment rate in the second quarter fell to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent in the same period in 2016.
(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
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
The Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Alain Pilloux discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation on Wednesday. The two sides vowed their satisfaction with the current level of cooperation, exploring prospects for cooperation and partnership between Morocco and the Bank, the PM office said in a statement. They examined ways to join forces to develop local currency lending to small businesses and provide affordable loans to Moroccan banks and microfinance organisations. During a visit to Morocco EBRD Vice President Pilloux, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with Morocco's Ministry of Economy
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
South Africa’s notoriously volatile rand has been sailing into calmer waters in recent months, with price swings narrowing to the lowest level in almost three years. That’s about to change, options pricing suggests. The rand’s three-month implied volatility against the dollar has soared relative to actual fluctuations as the ruling African National Congress’s leadership contest approaches, suggesting traders are paying up for protection ahead of an event that may introduce two-way risks for the currency. The ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, is in turmoil because of scandals that have shadowed Jacob Zuma, 75, during his eight-year presidency. The party is embroiled in a factional split between supporters of his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,...
(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 rate for three straight meetings until July as consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in four years in that month. The government has vowed to boost growth from last year, when the economy expanded at its slowest rate in...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Cocoa arrivals at Ivory Coast ports had hit around 2 million tons by September 24 since the start of the season on Oct. 1, the largest cocoa harvest ever seen in the world’s top grower, exporters estimated on Monday. The figure was up by about a third from about 1.5 million tons in the same period of the previous season and breaks a world record for a single year’s harvest from any cocoa exporting country. Exporters estimated that around 4,000 tons of beans were delivered to the port of Abidjan and another 6,000 tons to San Pedro for a total of 10,000 tons delivered between September 18 and September 24. That compared with 24,000 tons during the same period of...
(The Associated Press 09/26/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday welcomed Egypt's economic reforms, saying the Arab world's most populous nation has made a good start at reining in public spending, boosting investor confidence, and addressing the surging inflation generated by the new policies. In its first review since Egypt secured a $12 billion, three-year bailout loan in November, the IMF said Egypt's performance has been on track, allowing it to release a new $1.25 billion disbursement. That brings the total payout so far to $4 billion. The Washington-based lender of last resort says energy subsidy reform, wage restraint, and a new value-added tax have all contributed to reducing the fiscal deficit and helped free up space for social spending to support the poor...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Bauxite mining companies have resumed normal operations in Guinea’s Boke region as local authorities try to negotiate a definitive end to unrest that has disrupted production for more than a week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. Riots have gripped Boke and surrounding towns several times this year as angry youths have pillaged police posts and blocked trains and railroads to protest against electricity cuts and a lack of jobs and services. Mining companies have had to stop and start operations repeatedly over the past week. Despite decades of mineral extraction, Guinea, Africa’s top bauxite producer, remains one of the world’s least developed countries, a major gripe of young Guineans who want to see tangible benefits from mining...
(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 targeting vehicles plying the main roads. Dangers on the highways are fueling the popularity of flights to places such as Deng’s central hometown of Bor, even as the oil-producing East African nation battles an economic crisis and mass hunger. “It’s...
(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 is the only language these people understand and for us it’s not going to be a one-day event,” Magaya said by phone from Nairobi, the capital. “Tuesday is just the launch of the mass movement and we will spread these...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/25/17)
New laws and a crackdown on mining firms in Tanzania has slowed fresh investment in what has long been seen as one of Africa’s brightest mining prospects as companies assess the consequences of government efforts to claim a bigger slice of the pie. Takeover bids and exploration plans have been canceled and workers laid off. The share prices of many firms listed in Australia, Britain, South Africa and Canada with interests in Tanzania have halved as the value of their investments tumble. The tumult follows the passage of three laws in July that, among other things, hike taxes on mineral exports, mandate a higher government stake in some mining operations and force the construction of local smelters to bring Tanzania...
(AFP (eng) 09/25/17)
Sustained global demand for cashews has helped Guinea-Bissau's farmers rake in record prices, but the industry wants a crack at more revenue by processing the wonder nut at home. Demand for cashews has risen 31 percent globally over the last decade, according to the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC), driven by its popularity in Asia and cashews' image as a healthy ingredient in the West. "I have never earned as much money as this year," said Braima Seidi, a cashew farmer who has collected enough this season to build a house, purchase a motorbike, and buy a tonne of rice for his family. "I always managed about two-and-a-half tonnes, but as the prices were low my income was...

Pages

(BBC News Africa 05/11/16)
Fifa has suspended the Benin Football Federation (FBF) from global football after a court ruling in the country blocked upcoming elections. A statement from football's world governing body said: "the Benin Football Association (FBF) was suspended with immediate effect due to a recent injunction by a local judicial court which impeded the holding of the due election." The move means Benin are set to miss June's 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Equatorial Guinea. The decision was made at the inaugural Fifa Council meeting being held in Mexico. A court ruling in Benin on 4 May prevented the FBF holding presidential elections and the suspension will be lifted once a new Executive Committee has been installed. Benin are currently...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/16)
Wesley Korir, a Boston marathon winner, anti-doping activist and serving parliamentarian, was selected for Kenya's provisional Olympics marathon squad on Monday. Korir, who spearheaded a campaign for a bill to criminalise doping, was among 10 male and female athletes selected by Athletics Kenya ahead of August's Rio Olympics, with three men and three women to make the final cut. "I am honoured and promise to do my best to raise the name of my Cherangany constituency and the Kenya flag high during the Olympics. I am excited to be the first-ever sitting Member of Parliament anywhere in the world to get the opportunity to run at the Olympics," Korir said. Kenya is expected to put in a strong showing at...
(AFP (eng) 05/07/16)
Cameroon international Patrick Ekeng has died after collapsing on the pitch playing a first division match on Friday with his Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest. The 26-year-old midfielder fell to the ground without any contact with another player in the 70th minute of the game against Viitorul, just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute. Ekeng, who joined the Romanian club in January, was rushed to hospital where staff were unable to resuscitate him. "Resuscitation attempts were made for an hour and half without success,"
(BBC News Africa 04/28/16)
English club Crystal Palace have been offering to help out the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot). The Premier League side's chief executive Phillip Alexander has been speaking during a visit to the country. The club is hoping to help at national level and to use football to assist in communities as well. "It's about helping the federation and ultimately for the national team to do well in the Africa Cup of Nations Cup and World Cup," he said. "We want to show that as a football club we do things slightly differently and we are proud of that.
(Voice of America 04/28/16)
Liberian football legend George Weah of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party is expected to accept a petition from his supporters Thursday to run for president in the coming 2017 general elections. Weah, who is now a first-term senator for Montserrado County, first ran for president in 2005 and came second to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He ran again in 2011, this time as a vice president to Winston Tubman and again his party came second to Sirleaf. Nathanial McGill, national chairman of the CDC, said the 10-year administration of President Sirleaf has failed to improve the welfare of Liberians in spite of the enormous international goodwill it has received. As a result, McGill said “marginalized” Liberians yearn...
(BBC News Africa 04/26/16)
Jemima Sumgong recovered from a fall to win the women's London Marathon as fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge retained the men's title in the second-fastest time in history. Sumgong, 31, banged her head when tripped by Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia as they approached a water station. She rejoined the leading group before taking her first London title in two hours 22 minutes 58 seconds. Kipchoge, 31, won in 2:03:04, only seven seconds outside the world record.
(AFP (eng) 04/21/16)
Juba - The giants dance barefoot in circles, strips of leopard print skirt flapping, before one lunges in to topple his opponent and thump him down on the grass. There is a wild roar of support from hundreds of supporters crammed into the national football stadium in South Sudan's capital Juba to cheer on a "Wrestling for Peace" competition. In this war-wracked country, with a repeatedly broken peace deal now stalled after the rebel chief failed to return to the capital this week to forge a so-called unity government, the people are getting on with their lives as best they can. "Enough of war, we are tired," said policeman Peter Thony, who had joined the crowd watching the week-long tournament,...
(BBC News Africa 04/14/16)
A charity run by Didier Drogba is being investigated over "serious regulatory concerns" by the Charity Commission. The Daily Mail claimed that just £14,115 out of £1.7m donated to the Didier Drogba Foundation had gone to help causes in Africa. Former Chelsea striker Drogba, 38, is threatening legal action and called the Mail's story "false and defamatory". In a statement, the Ivorian added: "There is no fraud, no corruption, no mismanagement and no lies." Drogba, who plays for Canadian Major League Soccer club Montreal Impact, accused the Mail journalists of "jeopardising the lives of many thousands of African children". The Didier Drogba Foundation was launched in the UK in 2009 when the former Ivory Coast captain was playing for Chelsea...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/16)
Ivory Coast and Stuttgart midfielder Serey Die will miss the rest of the season after suffering a leg injury. The 31-year-old picked up the problem during Stuttgart's 2-2 draw with Darmstadt on Saturday. Although Die noticed pain in his abductor muscle only 10 minutes into the match, he continued to play on. Stuttgart Sport director Robin Dutt said: "This is a very unfortunate update, Serey Die is a fighter and he will be missed!" As well as missing the remainder of the German Bundesliga season, Die is out of Ivory Coast's friendly against Gabon on 3 June.
(BBC News Africa 03/26/16)
Gabon unveiled the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations mascot, a black panther named Samba, before their match with Sierra Leone in Franceville on Friday. Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Caf president Issa Hayatou were all in attendance at the ceremony. The Mascot sports Gabon's blue and yellow colours and Samba means hello and welcome in local Bantu language. Gabon will be hosting the continental tournament for the second time. They previously co-organised the competition with Equatorial Guinea in 2012.
(Voice of America 03/25/16)
New FIFA President Gianni Infantino chose South Sudan for his first stop in Africa, saying he wanted to "kick off a new era of football" and raise standards in the sport otherwise known as soccer. Infantino, elected three weeks ago as head of the international football governing body, told reporters in Juba on Wednesday that his office would work with South Sudanese football authorities to lift up standards. While in the republic’s capital, he attended a match between South Sudan and Benin, which ended in Benin’s favor, 2 to 1.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/16)
Two people were killed and 54 injured in Morocco's largest city on Saturday when rival fans of its Raja de Casablanca football club brawled after a home game. The running battles, in which fans threw flares and ripped up parts of the Mohammed V stadium, came despite a 2-1 victory for the home team over Chabab Rif Al Hoceima of Al Hoceima in northern Morocco. Footage on Moroccan media showed the fans -- dressed in the club's green colours -- charging at each other. It was unclear how the clashes had erupted. The country's DGSN security service said in a statement that 31 people were arrested after the match...
(AFP (eng) 03/17/16)
South Africa's sports minister denied Thursday that bribes were paid to win the right to host the 2010 World Cup, as FIFA seeks to claw back money from officials facing graft charges in the United States. Football's world governing body this week issued a wide-ranging acknowledgement of what it called "brazen corruption" in a demand for "victim restitution" made to US authorities. The claim to the US Attorney's office in New York said a $10 million bribe was paid from South Africa to get votes for the country's World Cup bid -- but FIFA backed away from directly accusing South Africa of bribery. "South Africa did not pay a bribe nor did it conspire to illegally obtain the rights to...
(Xinhuanet 03/04/16)
(Xinhua) -- The Meeting International Mohammed VI in Rabat has joined IAAF Diamond League, the Moroccan Royal Athletics Federation (FRMA) announced on Thursday. The agreement includes Rabat as a new host city for the prestigious global series of one-day athletics meetings. FRMA president Abdeslam Ahizoune and IAAF President and Chairman of Diamond League AG Sebastian Coe signed the agreement. With the addition of Rabat, the series of 14 meetings which annual takes place from May to September now includes the African continent. The next Rabat Meeting, the 9th edition since its launch and the first as part of IAAF series, will take place on May 22, the statement added. In 2016, Rabat Meeting brought together 180 athletes from dozen countries...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/16)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks was Wednesday named president of the International Olympic Committee's powerful evaluation commission which could make or break the dreams of 2024 Olympic hopefuls Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome. Namibian star Federicks, 48, a former world 200m champion, and his fellow officials will visit the four cities in February and March 2017 with the commission's report to be published a month before the host city is named in September 13 next year. "Olympic Agenda 2020, with regard to the organisation of the Olympic Games, puts a special focus on sustainability and the athletes' experience," said IOC president Thomas Bach. "This is where Frank Fredericks, as a four-time Olympic silver medallist in sprint and former chair of...
(BBC News Africa 02/16/16)
The Dutch Football Association says it has uncovered evidence of match-fixing by former Sierra Leone international Ibrahim Kargbo. It is alleged that in August 2009 Kargbo, then a Willem II player, tried to fix a match against FC Utrecht. The Dutch FA (KVNB) also said Kargbo tried to fix a benefit game between Willem II and Sierra Leone in 2009. Kargbo, 33, told BBC Sport on Monday: "I was never involved in any match-fixing in Holland." Kargbo, who last played at English non-league club Thamesmead Town, has been banned from participating in any capacity in Dutch football.
(AFP (eng) 01/31/16)
Africa's FIFA presidential contender Tokyo Sexwale risks losing the continent's backing and may be asked to pull out of the race, South African newspaper reports said on Sunday. Two local Sunday papers made the speculation ahead of the Friday meeting of the leadership of the 53-member Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Kigali due to decide which candidate to support. Sexwale and his office were not immediately available for comment. But an unnamed executive committee member of the South African Football Association (SAFA) was quoted by the local Sunday Times weekly saying that
(Xinhuanet 01/30/16)
(Xinhua) -- Lack of funds for the Namibian judo team is likely to see the national team miss out on the Commonwealth Judo Championships slated for April in South Africa. The judo event for all Commonwealth nations and regions is set to take place in April 23-28 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and this will be the first time the competition will be held on African soil. Namibian Judo Federation (NJF) President Roman Bock said on Friday that the federation does not have sufficient funds to participate in the prestigious championships. "This could have been our chance to shine on an international level, as we could have had a chance to upgrade ourselves as we are currently ranked low, due...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/16)
South Africa's FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale has said he will work to ensure that the eventual winner of the election next month is not one of the two European runners. Sexwale is seen as an outsider for the post, but he signalled in an interview that he could swing behind Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa or Jordanian Prince Ali bin al Hussein. The other two candidates in the February 26 vote to head football's corruption-plagued governing body are Gianni Infantino from Switzerland, and Jerome Champagne from France. "For me, it's not about only the presidency," Sexwale told South Africa's Metro FM radio station. "The main issues for FIFA are accountability and credibility. "I am focused on making...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/16)
South Africa's Tokyo Sexwale was on Monday urged by his own national governing body to explain his lacklustre election campaign as he bids to take over corruption-plagued FIFA. Sexwale, the only African candidate bidding for the job, is up against four rivals in the ballot to replace disgraced Sepp Blatter and become the most powerful man in football. But Sexwale, a former Robben Island prisoner with Nelson Mandela, has made little impact ahead of the vote on February 26, triggering concern from the South African Football Association (SAFA). "The NEC (National Executive Committee), which is the highest decision-making body of the association, raised concerns about his low-profile campaign and they want him to come and explain himself," SAFA spokesman Dominic...

Pages

(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo is banking on good news from the International Monetary Fund after his predecessor nearly derailed an economic recovery plan through overspending. As the nation awaits the outcome of a review from the Washington-based lender, which may come as soon as Wednesday, on reforms since Ghana entered a $918 million credit program with the lender in 2015, gross domestic product is growing at the fastest pace in more than two years, the central bank is cutting borrowing costs as inflation slows and bond yields are falling. Ghana’s economy had a soft landing under Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party, with Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announcing tax cuts in March and pledging to reduce the budget deficit by more than...
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Duduzane Zuma, a son of South African President Jacob Zuma, said all of his bank accounts have been closed because of pressure on financial institutions from former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Duduzane Zuma’s business relationship with the Gupta family, who have been accused of wielding influence over Zuma and some state-owned companies, has been criticized by opposition parties. South Africa’s four biggest banks shut Gupta-controlled company accounts last year, citing reputational risk and regulatory concerns. India’s Bank of Baroda, the last lender to continue doing business with them, is in the process of following suit. “You have used various state bodies such as the Financial Intelligence Centre
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Angola is in talks with banks to raise $2 billion via a Eurobond in what would be the OPEC member’s biggest debt sale on global capital markets. The government has yet to choose banks to lead the deal and media reports that Russia’s VTB Bank PJSC has the mandate are false, the Finance Ministry said in an emailed statement. The Eurobond issuance was approved by a presidential order on Aug. 4 and will help Angola lengthen its maturities, as well as make it easier for other borrowers from the country tap the market, according to the statement. “This process has several strategic objectives, namely the extension of the debt profile and the creation of a reference price for national agents,”...
(Bloomberg 08/28/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s chances of holding credible elections are waning due to the government’s repression of the media and civil society, a United Nations official said. “The space required for a credible electoral process is rapidly shrinking,” Georgette Gagnon, field operations director with the UN Human Rights Office, told reporters Friday in the eastern city of Goma at the conclusion of a week-long visit to the central African country. The UN rights-monitoring body has documented violations against 225 members of civil-society organizations and 31 journalists this year, she said. Communications Minister Lambert Mende said by phone he didn’t know what Gagnon was talking about and it seemed “everyone wants to dramatize the situation” in Congo. Gagnon also referred...
(Bloomberg 08/25/17)
Two armed groups in Mali agreed to a 15-day cease-fire and committed to peace talks after repeated clashes near the northern city of Kidal. The Coordination of Azawad Movements, a coalition of Tuareg separatists, and the pro-government militia known as the Platform, signed the truce on Wednesday in the capital, Bamako. Despite a peace deal signed in Algiers in 2015, fighting between the organizations has resulted in scores of deaths in the north. Kidal is a stronghold of ethnic Tuareg clans. The governor of Kidal returned to the city on Wednesday, exercising state authority over the region for the first time since 2014, government spokesman Abdel Karim Konate said by phone. The return of the government to Mali’s five northern...
(Bloomberg 08/25/17)
Kenya’s election commission urged the Supreme Court to uphold the results of this month’s vote that returned President Uhuru Kenyatta to power and dismiss a legal challenge by his political opponents, saying the process was “impartial, neutral and accountable” to the constitution. The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission called on the court to throw out a petition filed by the opposition National Super Alliance challenging Kenyatta’s win against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the Aug. 8 vote. That petition “lacks merit and should be dismissed,” the commission’s lawyers said in opposing papers filed at the Supreme Court. The elections were conducted according to the constitution and the president was “validly elected” the IEBC’s lawyers said. “Discrepancies” cited by the...
(Bloomberg 08/25/17)
As Joao Lourenco stands on the brink of realizing his 16-year ambition to become Angola’s president, many of his fellow citizens wonder whether he can bring about change in one of the world’s most unequal countries. Lourenco, who’s commonly known as “J-Lo,” first signaled his desire to hold the southern African nation’s top office in 2001 when Jose Eduardo dos Santos hinted he was ready to step down, and then changed his mind. Now with the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola leading the latest count in Wednesday’s election, its candidate, Lourenco, appears set to move into the presidential palace overlooking the bay of Luanda, the capital. A former deputy parliamentary speaker and an army general, Lourenco, 63,...
(The Guardian 08/25/17)
US labour unions cite Mauritania’s unwillingness to act on slavery as Trump administration is urged to deny country duty-free exports. The routine abuse of thousands of enslaved Mauritanians, including rape, beatings and unpaid labour, should prevent the African republic from receiving US trade benefits, American labour unions have said. Mauritania, which has one of the highest rates of modern-day slavery in the world and has been roundly criticised for its poor human rights record, is currently on a list of countries that benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The act, designed to promote the economic development of countries that can show they uphold human rights and meet labour standards
(Quartz 08/25/17)
Any progress made to liberate South Africa’s black majority since apartheid ended two decades ago looks to have been undone in just five short years, with more than half of the country now living in poverty. Since 2011, three million more South Africans have been pushed below the poverty line, according to a study by the national data agency, Statistics South Africa, released this week. More than 30.4 million South Africans—55.5% of the population—live on less than 992 rand (about $75) per person per month. The data, collected in 2015, is more optimistic than numbers from 2006, when two thirds of South Africans were living in poverty. But it captures the painful one-step-forward, two-steps-backwards dance the country has been engaged...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
At least 11 people were beheaded on Wednesday in an attack by Islamist fighters on a checkpoint controlled by forces loyal to military commander Khalifa Haftar in central Libya, according to a spokesman for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army. Nine soldiers and two civilians were among those “slaughtered” at the checkpoint, Colonel Ahmad al-Masmari said in a tweet, blaming Islamic State. Both Islamic State and Benghazi Defense Brigades, another Islamist militia opposed to Haftar, have fighters in the Jufra region where the attack took place, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the coastal city of Sirte. Haftar is aligned with a government based in the east of Libya, which is vying for power with the United Nations-backed unity administration...
(Bloomberg 08/23/17)
Angolans began voting in an election that will bring about the first leadership change in almost four decades for Africa’s second-biggest oil producer. “D-day has arrived,” Domingos Francisco said Wednesday as he stood in line behind dozens of voters outside one of a handful of blue tents that are being used as polling stations in the Rangel neighborhood in Luanda, the capital. “I arrived at 5 a.m. because I was anxious to vote.” Balloting started at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Africa’s second-longest serving ruler who led Angola through a civil war, an oil-fueled boom and a bust, is stepping down after 38 years in power. Defense Minister Joao Lourenco, the...
(CNN 08/23/17)
The US has decided to deny Egypt almost $100 million in aid and hold back another $195 million until it sees improvements in Cairo's track record on human rights and democracy. The Trump administration is looking to strike a balance between acknowledging Egypt's importance as a strategic partner and frustration with passage of a new NGO law it sees as curbing democracy and freedoms. "We have serious concerns regarding human rights and governance in Egypt," an administration official said. "At the same time, strengthened security cooperation is important to US national security." Washington has given Cairo nearly $80 billion in military and economic assistance over the past 30 years...
(The Telegraph 08/23/17)
A former prime minister of Libya has been released after being held for a week by an armed group linked to the country’s UN-backed government, sources said. Ali Zeidan, 61, had not been seen since the evening of August 13 as he was detained by armed men in at a Tripoli hotel. Mr Zeidan, a diplomat turned human rights lawyer, lived in exile in Geneva for three decades before returning to Libya after the overthrow of Muammar Gadaffi’s regime in 2011. He served as prime minister in October 2012 but was forced out over his government’s failure to prevent a North Korean-flagged oil tanker loading oil from a rebel-controlled terminal two years later. Relatives of Mr Zeidan told the Telegraph...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress should initiate disciplinary action over allegations that President Jacob Zuma and members of a family in business with his son have looted state coffers, according to a member of his cabinet who is running to replace him as party leader. “The ANC should act decisively on anybody in authority who is suspected or alleged to be doing wrong,” Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in an interview Sunday in the northeastern town of Polokwane. “The fact that the president is involved” shouldn’t make a difference, she said. Separate reports by the nation’s graft ombudsman in November, and the country’s main church organization and a team of top academics in May allege members of the...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
China’s Sinohydro Corp. may build three additional hydroelectric plants in Ivory Coast after completing what will be the nation’s biggest dam by October, according to a government official. The combined capacity of the three plants may be as much as 500 megawatts, adding to the 275 megawatts that will be supplied by the Soubre dam once it’s completed, said Brahima Dosso, the director of the Soubre project at CI-Energies, a state-owned company that oversees investments in the energy sector. The $592 million Soubre dam on the Sassandra river, in the western region, is one of the flagship projects of President Alassane Ouattara, who has vowed to boost the country’s energy supply, already the most reliable in West Africa, to maintain...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
Around the horseshoe-shaped bay of Luanda, Angola’s capital, unfinished skyscrapers stand as a testament to the challenges facing Africa’s second-biggest oil producer as it prepares for its first leadership change in almost four decades. Before the oil slump, hundreds of container ships waited near the palm-tree lined waterfront to offload their goods at the port. Today, only a handful of vessels are visible. In the suburbs, gated communities built for foreign workers and a middle class that never materialized are standing practically empty. “Where did all the ships go?” said Matias Joaquim, who owns a small restaurant in the Sambizanga slum, a maze of huts on a hill overlooking the port of Luanda. “If the rich are already not doing...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
A Nigerian startup is developing the first agricultural commodities exchange in Africa’s most populous country to take advantage of the government’s efforts to boost farming output to reduce reliance on oil. The exchange, Integrated Produce City Ltd., will be located near the southern city of Benin, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, a site accessible to nearby growers of cocoa, palm oil, rubber and cassava, Chief Executive Officer Pat Utomi said in an interview. “The concept of a wholesale-produce market is to enable the farmer to fully dispose of his produce, instead of today where he loses 80 percent of his output” that rots before it can reach the market, Utomi said on Aug. 18...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended value-added tax on imports by mining companies after briefly reinstating the duty, the country’s main business chamber said. Customs authorities had resumed collecting VAT on imports including machinery soon after a July 2016 decree halting remittances expired last month, Federation des Entreprises du Congo Managing Director Kimona Bononge said in a letter to Finance Minister Henri Yav Mulang. The minister has subsequently “resolved the problem,” Bononge said by phone from Kinshasa, the capital. “The finance minister has given an instruction to the DGDA to not collect VAT on imports by mining companies,” Bononge said by phone
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Angolan ruler Jose Eduardo dos Santos will keep his grip on power if his party wins elections this month, even as he steps down as president after 38 years in office, according to the country’s main opposition leader. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has picked 63-year-old Defense Minister Joao Lourenco as its presidential candidate for the Aug. 23 vote. Dos Santos will remain the party’s chairman and has appointees in the security services that will probably stay in their posts under a new law passed by parliament last month. After decades as president, Dos Santos is now set to direct the government from behind the scenes, according to Isaias Samakuva, head of the opposition National Union...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Sierra Leone braced for more floods as the country buries the casualties of a mudslide that killed hundreds of people in the capital, Freetown. The government buried almost 300 people this week and the Health Ministry sent out teams to fumigate areas where decomposing bodies are trapped in the mud, Idalia Amaya, emergency response coordinator for Catholic Relief Services, said by phone from Freetown late Thursday. Rescue teams have received reports that some missing people are sending text messages saying they are trapped, Amaya said. The teams have been trying “to work on getting people out but it’s been raining and the mud is very thick and there aren’t enough machines” to clear it, she said. Further landslides are possible...

Pages