Thursday 18 January 2018

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Hundreds of Tunisians took to the streets of the capital and the coastal city of Sfax on Friday, waving yellow cards and demanding that the government reverse austerity measures. More than 200 young people rallied in Tunis following a call from the Fech Nestannew (What Are We Waiting For?) campaign for a major protest against the measures imposed at the start of the year. They held up yellow cards and chanted slogans amid a major deployment of riot police as they marched on administrative offices in the capital. "The people want the Finance Act repealed" and "The people are fed up with the new Trabelsi", they shouted, referring to the graft-tainted in-laws of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Morocco will start a gradual and controlled liberalisation of its currency the dirham from Monday, Prime Minister Saad-Eddine Al-Othmani said after a cabinet meeting. The North African country has had a fixed exchange rate regime for the dirham since the 1970s. It is pegged to the euro and the dollar. Othmani spoke to AFP on Friday after a cabinet meeting during which the long-expected decision was taken. The process of moving towards what the authorities call a "flexible exchange rate" had been expected to begin in July after a recommendation by the International Monetary Fund. But the move was delayed with the government arguing that it needed more time to study the procedure. Officials have stressed that there would be...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The Gambia has suspended permission for rallies and other public political events after clashes allegedly between supporters of President Adama Barrow and those of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh. Gambian police said in a statement issued late Thursday that permits for political parties to campaign were on hold while it investigated two violent incidents in rural areas this week. "The office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) notifies all political parties that all permits granted to conduct political activities have been suspended until further notice," the statement said. The Gambia holds local elections in April. The first incident occurred on February 8 near Mankamang Kunda, the home village of President Barrow, where supporters of the ruling United Democratic...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Boko Haram fighters have killed at least 20 loggers, militia members and residents told AFP on Friday, in the latest attack against civilians in northeast Nigeria. The attack happened on Monday when gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on a group of loggers collecting firewood at Kaje village, near the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. "They (Boko Haram) killed 20 people in the attack. Fifteen others are missing and presumed kidnapped by the attackers," civilian militia leader Ibrahim Liman told AFP. Details of the attack have been slow to emerge due to limited communications infrastructure after years of fighting in the remote region.
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Botswana's government on Friday summoned the US ambassador to complain about remarks reportedly made by President Donald Trump describing African nations as "shithole countries". The alleged comments, first reported by The Washington Post, were apparently made during a meeting at the White House about immigration reform on Thursday. They quickly sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. "The Government of Botswana, today summoned the US Ambassador to Botswana to express its displeasure at the alleged utterances made by the President of the US...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Police fired warning shots on Friday to disperse a crowd gathered in front of Kinshasa cathedral after a mass by prominent government critic Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, an AFP journalist said. Armed officers arrived at the gates of the cathedral as worshippers were leaving a service to commemorate the victims of a crackdown on marches on New Year's Eve that demanded the removal of DR Congo's president, Joseph Kabila. A young man who was slightly wounded in the face told AFP he had been hit by the shots. He was treated in a garden behind the building. The mass, conducted in a packed cathedral, saw the congregation applaud and cheer Catholic leaders as they urged Kabila to uphold a 2016 church-brokered...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Police in Zambia clashed on Friday with residents in the capital Lusaka protesting an official ban on street commerce in a poor suburb intended to tackle a deadly cholera outbreak. A crowd of hundreds from the impoverished Kanyama community blockaded roads with burning tyres and logs and set a refuse lorry ablaze as they demanded that informal street retailing be allowed again. Authorities had banned some street markets in Lusaka in an effort to reduce the volume of food and drink being sold in unsanitary open-air locations, which are particularly vulnerable to the spread of cholera. Kanyama is the area which has been worst hit by Zambia's cholera outbreak which began in September and has claimed the lives of 70...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Algeria on Friday marked the Berber New Year as a public holiday, a first for the North African region where indigenous peoples have long suffered marginalisation. Members of the Berber community -- descendants of North Africa's pre-Arab inhabitants -- feasted on traditional meals of couscous and chicken, danced, played traditional games, and held horse parades as they do each year. But for the first time official events marking the Yennayer celebration were also being held across the entire country of some 40 million people, roughly a quarter of whom are Berber. "Traditionally we celebrate Yennayer with our families around a copious meal of poultry and dried meat," explained Samia Moumni, as she cooked couscous under a small tent in the...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
A key figure in the security apparatus that underpinned Ivory Coast's ousted leader was jailed for 10 years for taking part in an alleged plot to overthrow his successor. Major Jean-Noel Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis. Abehi was given a 10-year term on Thursday for "plotting against the authority of the state," an AFP reporter at the court in Abidjan saw. According to the charge sheet, Abehi took part in meetings in Ghana of a "military platform" initiated by Gbagbo's spokesman in exile, Kone Katinan, "to prepare to overthrow the established political authority." Ggabo was forced out after months of violence that followed his refusal...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Tunisian authorities said Friday the number of people detained in a wave of violent protests had risen to nearly 800, as fresh unrest over austerity measures hit a provincial town overnight. Activists have called for a major protest Friday over the measures introduced at the start of the year that are expected to see prices rise. An AFP correspondent in the northern town of Siliana reported that police fired tear gas at dozens of youths who pelted them with stones for some three hours overnight. But the situation appeared calm in other flashpoint towns and neighbourhoods across the country that had seen clashes that left dozens of police officers injured. Interior ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani said 151 people were arrested...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The United Nations' political chief held talks on Thursday with the head of Libya's parliament about elections to be held under a UN plan to stabilise the strife-ridden country. Jeffrey Feltman, who is on a tour of Libya and Tunisia, travelled to the eastern town of Al-Qobba where the parliament is based for the meeting with speaker Aguila Saleh. "The meeting, attended by the UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, focused on the elections scheduled for this year," said parliament spokesman Abdallah Bleheq. The elections "should meet the expectations of the people and appease the various political actors", he told AFP. A 2015 UN-brokered deal that saw the establishment of a Government of National Accord was meant to calm years...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Opposition parties in Togo this weekend hold their first anti-government protest of the year, with progress on constitutional reform in an apparent stalemate after months of action. Thousands of supporters from a coalition of 14 parties are expected to turn out on Saturday, to renew calls for President Faure Gnassingbe to step down. A second protest exclusively for women has been organised for January 20. The parties want a change to the constitution to restrict presidents to a maximum of two, five-year terms of office, plus the introduction of a two-round voting system. Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005 and took over from his father who ruled the country for 38 years, has proposed the amendment. But it...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Libya marked the destruction of its last toxic arms Thursday, hailed by the world's chemical weapons watchdog as a "historic occasion" to make the world a safer place. The final destruction of some 500 metric tonnes of chemical products at a facility based in Munster in western Germany, was a "historic occasion for disarmament and security," the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said. "It heralds the end of Libya's chemical demilitarisation process and another step towards fulfilling the core goal of the Chemical Weapons Convention -- the complete and permanent eradication of all chemical weapons," director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement. The stocks, including 23 tanks of chemicals, were shipped out on a Danish vessel on...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Mozambique's military and the opposition Renamo group were both guilty of serious crimes before a 2016 ceasefire, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Friday detailing killings and torture. HRW called for justice over the violence that erupted between November 2015 and December 2016 as Mozambique appeared at risk of returning to its long and bloody civil war. Renamo rebels had fought a 16-year war against the ruling Frelimo party until 1992, and unrest again boiled over in 2015. "More than a year since the ceasefire was declared, the Mozambican government has not held anyone from its security forces or Renamo accountable," said HRW programme director Iain Levine. "The government should investigate abuses by both sides and bring those...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Four people were killed and two others kidnapped in separate overnight attacks in the far north of Cameroon, blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram, sources told AFP on Thursday. Three of the victims were "slaughtered" in Kolofata, a town which borders Nigeria and that has seen a spate of attacks blamed on the jihadists, said a source close to the security services. A security officer in the region confirmed the information to AFP, and that two people were also abducted. In a second overnight attack, Boko Haram fighters are believed to have killed one person and injured another in nearby Ashigashiya, also by the Nigerian border, said the security officer. The jihadists also burned some 60 boxes of grain...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Gabonese President Ali Bongo on Wednesday defended a plan to change the constitution after the fiercely-contested draft cleared a key hurdle. Parliament on Wednesday approved a raft of changes that the opposition has slammed as a power grab, and the draft now goes to the constitutional court for its approval. Under the changes, the president will "determine the policy of the nation," whereas the previous text stated only that he or she would govern "in consultation with the government". Rejecting an opposition campaign to limit Bongo's time in office, the new constitution like its predecessor sets no restrictions on the amount of times the president can be re-elected. However, it introduces a two-round voting system, something the opposition had demanded...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
The European Union on Thursday called on Sudan to allow protests that are being held against rising food prices, saying it was closely monitoring the demonstrations and detention of political leaders. Sporadic protests have erupted in parts of Sudan since last week as angry students and citizens took to the streets against soaring bread prices on the back of a jump in the cost of flour. Anti-riot police have swiftly broken up the demonstrations using tear gas against protesters, many of them university students. A student was killed on Sunday during a protest in war-torn Darfur. On Thursday, the EU said it was closely monitoring the protests. "We consider it crucial that people are permitted to exercise their right to...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
A human-rights lawyer representing English-speaking Cameroonian separatists said Thursday the group had been arrested by Nigeria's secret service and were being held "illegally", calling on the government to probe their disappearance. Femi Falana said Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the president of the anglophone separatist movement in Cameroon, and nine others were detained at a hotel in Abuja last weekend. "Armed operatives of the State Security Service (Nigeria's secret service) invaded the venue, abducted our clients and took them away to an undisclosed place," he said. The intelligence agency has denied any arrests but rumours have swirled about the men's possible whereabouts.
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Huge crowds turned out in central Nigeria on Thursday at a funeral service for scores of people killed during clashes between cattle herders and farmers. Tens of thousands of people, many of them dressed in black, gathered in Ibrahim Babangida Square in the Benue state capital, Makurdi, for the ceremony before a mass burial. Emergency officials told AFP on Tuesday that 80 people had been killed since the start of the year, in violence that has led to mounting calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to act. Benue state governor Samuel Ortom said 73 of the victims would be buried on Thursday. The crowds began wailing as the simple, polished darkwood caskets were brought to the square on flat-bed trucks, according...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Flags flew at half-mast in Mali on Thursday as the government announced 48 of its citizens drowned in the Mediterranean on a single day over the weekend, all trying to reach Europe. The west African nation accounted for the fifth largest contingent of arrivals to Italy by sea last year, according to the International Organization for Migration, fleeing poverty, unemployment and instability. "Forty-eight of our compatriots lost their lives in the Mediterranean on Sunday, January 7," said a foreign ministry statement issued late Wednesday. Sixty-nine people escaped with their lives, including four children, and were identified on Monday in Libya by an embassy delegation, the statement added. They will be sent back to Mali "as quickly as possible", it said...

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(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
Floods and mudslides killed 44 people in shantytowns in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, the third largest metropolis in Africa, an official said Friday. "We have a final toll of 44 deaths," said provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli. An earlier toll put the number of dead at 37. Three-quarters of homes in Kinshasa are slums which have no access to sanitation or electricity, according to Corneille Kanene, former head of UN-Habitat. Torrential rains and landslides overnight Wednesday destroyed flimsy homes, many perched on hillsides. Kinshasa, which is home to 10 million people, is the third largest city in Africa after Cairo and Lagos. The population has surged over the years and many residents live...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The Islamic State faction of Boko Haram on Friday said it was responsible for a late December attack on Nigerian army barracks, claiming it killed nine soldiers and took military equipment. The jihadist faction said in an online statement published by the Islamic State's West Africa Province (ISWAP) that it had orchestrated the raid on army barracks in the town of Kanamma in northeast Yobe state, according to the SITE Intelligence group, which monitors jihadist activity. Boko Haram has long been divided, but in 2016 it suffered a major split when the Islamic State group recognised Abu Mus'ab al-Barnawi, the son of dead Boko Haram founder Muhammad Yusuf, as leader. The jihadists carried out a bloody raid on the Kanamma...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
Eighteen people were killed and another 14 injured in the small west African state of Guinea-Bissau late Friday when a minibus collided with a truck, police and hospital sources said. One witness said the truck appeared to have been speeding when the driver lost control and collided head-on with the minibus near Bissauzinho, around 15 kilometres (15 miles) from the capital Bissau. Sources said the bus had been overloaded and that at least 10 of the injured were in a serious condition. Both drivers were killed and the minibus was totally crushed, an AFP correspondent at the scene said. Authorities issued an appeal for blood donors after the accident, which occurred around 8:00 pm (2000 GMT). Guinea-Bissau, which lies between...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The morning light showed a scene of desolation as people in Ngaliema surveyed the wreckage of shanty homes swept away by killer floods and landslips. Among the 44 people who perished overnight Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, were a teenager, Brunelle, her sister Gladys, and Gladys' baby. Their home of makeshift yellowish clay bricks, located at the foot of a steep slope literally dissolved after the waters struck, neighbours said. "The emergency services came, but they arrived late, around 4:00 am," said a young man, Magloire, who said that he was the one who found the bodies. The disaster was one that could have been avoided -- the rainfall was indeed torrential but not exceptional,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/18)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Liberia’s development is at risk of slowing as Nobel prize-winning president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a darling of foreign aid donors, is replaced this month by an ex-soccer star with little government experience, experts said. George Weah, who grew up in a slum in the West African country and later played for top European football clubs, was elected last week to succeed Johnson Sirleaf as her 12-year tenure draws to an end. Johnson Sirleaf, who previously worked for the World Bank and the United Nations, has been credited with putting the country back on its feet after it was ravaged by civil wars from 1989 to 2003. But the progress she made - such as building...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Crocodiles in Zimbabwe savaged a 90-year-old tourist to death and left another traveller critically wounded after attacking their rubber dinghy, the national parks service said Friday. The pair, who are both Zimbabwean, were part of a group participating in a New Year's Eve picnic on Sunday in the Matopos National Park, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Bulawayo in the country's south. "John Bowman and Rosemary Mitchell were attacked while paddling in the crocodile-infested Mpopoma Dam," said Tinashe Farawo of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Bowman subsequently succumbed to his injuries. "It is unfortunate that they were using air-pumped boats, which are not permissible," added Farawo. Last year. a South African tourist, Scott Van Zyl, 44, was killed by...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
A passenger train smashed into a truck at a level crossing in South Africa on Thursday, killing at least 18 people, injuring 254 and throwing several carriages off the rails. Flames ripped through the twisted wreckage and choking black smoke rose into the air as desperate passengers clambered out of the train travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg to escape the inferno. Tiaan Esterhuizen, who was travelling on the train as he returned from holiday, attempted to rescue three women who were trapped in a burning passenger wagon. "I saw around 12 cars on their side and one was already burning. We heard some women screaming when we came closer‚ so a few of us climbed over the cars," he...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
A South African tourist was killed and 12 other people were injured when a hot air balloon crashed near Egypt's ancient city of Luxor on Friday, a health ministry official said. Sharif Wadie, the assistant health minister in charge of emergency services, told AFP there were no other casualties but did not elaborate on the extent of the passengers' injuries. Their nationalities were not immediately clear. Tourists often take early morning hot air balloon rides over the city and the ancient Egyptian temples and relics in neighbouring areas. One of the main attractions is the Karnak temple, which dates back thousands of years.
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Algerian prosecutors have opened a probe into the death of a migrant from the North African country in a Spanish jail, after police said he hanged himself. Mohamed Boudarbala, 36, was found dead Friday in his cell in a new prison in the southern town of Archidona currently used as a so-called CIE -- a centre where migrants are held pending asylum claims after they arrive in Spain. Police said an autopsy showed he hanged himself with a sheet, but an activist group and Boudarbala's brother have called for an independent probe after allegations of police brutality ahead of his death. Algerian Justice Minister Tayeb Louh said prosecutors from the country were looking to "shed light on the circumstances of...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Magistrates in Benin on Thursday announced a five-day strike in protest against a parliamentary decision to ban strikes by workers in essential services. The National Union of Benin Magistrates (UNAMAB), said its members would hold a five-day strike starting on January 8. "We cannot tolerate such a democratic retreat.. it is urgent to respond vigorously to the beginning of the liquidation of Benin's democracy," UNAMAB said in a statement. The controversial law voted in by parliament on December 28, bans strikes by "the military, public security agents (including police, customs officers and firefighters), health services workers, judicial staff, prison officers and those concerned with state security". On Wednesday Justice Minister Joseph Djogbenou spoke out in support of the new law...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Police in Egypt are boosting security around churches as Coptic Christians prepare to celebrate Orthodox Christmas on Sunday after a year of deadly jihadist attacks targeting the ancient community. More than 100 Christians have been killed in the spate of violence, including a shooting at a church south of Cairo just last week claimed by the Islamic State group. Since the military ousted divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, security forces have sought to quell attacks led by the Egypt branch of IS which has increasingly targeted Christians. While the jihadists have also taken aim at other civilians, including more than 300 Muslim worshippers massacred at a mosque last November, they have focused on the ancient Coptic community. "This...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Gunmen killed at least seven people Thursday at a farm in the Nigeria's Rivers State, police said, the latest violence to hit the oil-rich southern region. The attack, believed to have been carried out by criminal gangs, came three days after gunmen described as "bandits" and "cult" members, killed 16 churchgoers as they were returning from a midnight New Year church service on Monday. Zaki Ahmed, police commissioner for the Rivers state, confirmed Thursday's attack on a farm in Emohua without giving a death toll. "The attackers arrived on a motorcycle and shot at people, before fleeing as quickly as they arrived," he told reporters. A source at the Elele Police station told AFP: "Information from our men on site...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
The Nigerian army said on Thursday it rescued one of the kidnapped Chibok girls amid a wave of deadly Boko Haram kidnappings and bombings rocking the country's northeast. The army said troops found Salomi Pugo in the remote Pulka region of Borno state near the Cameroon border, without giving further details. The abduction of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014 by Boko Haram brought global attention to the Islamist insurgency sweeping through northeast Nigeria. "Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Pulka today rescued one of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists earlier in 2014," Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement. "Currently the girl, who was intercepted in the company of another young girl, Jamila Adams,...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
A Zimbabwean court on Thursday set aside a case against an American journalist who was charged with insulting then-president Robert Mugabe on Twitter. Martha O'Donovan was charged with subversion and undermining or insulting Mugabe in an alleged tweet in October that described the ageing leader as "selfish and sick". Mugabe, 93, was toppled in November after a military takeover ended his 37-year rule. The court dropped the case after prosecutors failed to meet a deadline to say when they would be ready to proceed with a trial. "We are glad that the court has honoured its promise and removed our client from remand," O'Donovan's lawyer Obey Shava told journalists. "I would not agree with the notion that there was any...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
At least 31 loggers are believed to have been abducted by Boko Haram jihadists after they went missing in northeast Nigeria, security sources said Wednesday. The alleged kidnapping took place just days after 30 troops vanished following a raid on a military base in the same region amid a surge in bloody violence. Sources told AFP the loggers, mostly in their twenties, had left the town of Gamboru on the border with Cameroon Tuesday morning to fetch firewood in a Boko Haram hotspot. "All 31 have not been seen since yesterday and it is obvious they were seized by Boko Haram," said Umar Kachalla, a militia in Gamboru fighting Boko Haram alongside the military. The loggers had left for Wulgo...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
US forces in Somalia have conducted a strike against a bomb-laden vehicle that was going to be used against civilians in Mogadishu, the US military's Africa Command said Wednesday. The strike against Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab militants occurred early January 2 about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital. It killed "two terrorists and (destroyed) one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, preventing it from being used against the people in Mogadishu," AFRICOM said in a statement. "We assess no civilians were killed in this strike," the statement read.
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said recent deadly clashes between farmers and herders were "wicked and callous" as hundreds took to the streets protesting against the violence. Protesters flooded Makurdi, the capital of Nigeria's eastern Benue state, following attacks on Monday and Tuesday that reportedly saw Fulani herdsmen kill 20 farmers in Guma and Logo local government areas. The mainly Muslim nomadic cattle rearers have been clashing with largely Christian farmers over grazing rights in Nigeria for decades. "This is one attack too many, and everything must be done to provide security for the people in our rural communities,"...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Fourteen worshippers were killed Wednesday when a suicide bomber attacked a mosque on Nigeria's border with Cameroon, civilian vigilantes told AFP. The suspected Boko Haram jihadist blew himself up amid worshippers inside the mosque in Gamboru around 5:00 am (0400 GMT), shortly before morning prayers. "Fourteen bodies have been pulled out of the rubble," said Umar Kachalla, a civilian militiaman, who said the mosque had been completely destroyed. "Only the muezzin has survived and we believe more bodies are buried under the debris," said Kachalla. "The death toll may likely rise."
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
An Egyptian court has ruled to release on bail two people arrested over the raising of an LGBT rainbow flag at a Cairo concert, their lawyer said Tuesday. The appearance of the symbolic banner of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community among the crowd at a gig by Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila in September sparked a broad crackdown by the authorities. Security and judicial sources said in the days following the concert that at least six people were arrested over the incident on charges including "inciting immorality". After an online campaign, a court ruled to release two of the concert-goers, Sarah Hegazy and Ahmed Alaa...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Sudanese Finance Minister Mohammed Osman al-Rikabi said on Tuesday that banks across the world are still wary of working with Khartoum despite the US ending a trade embargo. The United States ditched its 20-year trade embargo against Khartoum in October, citing improvement made by Sudan in its human rights record, but still includes it on a blacklist of "state sponsors of terrorism". "We did not benefit from the lifting of the embargo. World banks are still reticent about doing business with Sudanese banks," Rikabi told reporters. Under the terms of the US embargo Sudanese banks could not receive money transfers from abroad. Rikabi's comments come after parliament on Sunday approved an annual budget, aimed at reducing inflation from 34 percent...

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(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Now that Nigeria’s economy is recovering from its worst slump in 25 years, the central bank can turn its focus to fighting inflation again -- and shoring up its currency. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept its interest rate at a record-high 14 percent since July 2016, trying to support the economy, and will probably hold it there at its decision this week to contain above-target consumer-price growth. Officials can take heart from a pickup in West Africa’s biggest economy in the second quarter after more than a year of contraction, as higher oil output boosted the supply of foreign currency to buy raw materials and food. That upswing probably gives the MPC, led by Governor Godwin Emefiele, room to...
(Euronews 09/25/17)
Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency… Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency Moody’s. One of the top reforms on the agenda concerns small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A new law is expected to come into effect before the end of this year. Under it SMEs will be taxed under a simplified system. It’s aimed at encouraging those firms to operate in the formal economy. Tareq Qabil, the Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, said:...
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine our efforts in reinforcing confidence and enhancing a climate for investments, both domestic and international,” he added. All government departments and their related entities were advised to review their work programmes with KPMG “to ensure that their audit processes have...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
South Africa’s central bank is concerned about “regrettable” practices at auditor KPMG [KPMG.UL], its governor said, as the company’s chairman held a meeting with a former finance minister it had tarnished in a report it later said was flawed. “We will engage banks and audit firms primarily to understand the context so we are better placed to manage any potential financial stability risk that may arise from the issues around KPMG,” Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Thursday. KPMG cleared out its South African leadership last Friday after it found that work it did for firms owned by the Gupta family, businessmen friends of President Jacob Zuma, “fell considerably short” of its standards. KPMG’s investigation into its work for the Guptas,...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Dangote Cement Plc, the Nigerian company controlled by Africa’s richest person, has written to PPC Ltd. offering South Africa’s biggest cement maker cash and shares as part of a takeover deal that is fueling a bidding war. PPC’s shares rose. “We are waiting for them to get back to us, hopefully early next week,” Aliko Dangote said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in New York. “They can be part and parcel of the Dangote Cement story, where we’re going to be in 18 African countries.” The approach by Lagos-based Dangote follows a joint offer from Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and PPC’s domestic rival AfriSam Group Pty Ltd. While PPC has said it will consider all bids, the Public...
(Xinhuanet 09/21/17)
Zambia, Africa's second biggest producer of copper, saw export earnings from the red metal increasing by 49.7 percent in the first half of 2017, figures released by its finance ministry said on Thursday. Earnings from copper earnings rose to 3,165.9 million U.S. dollars during the first half of 2017 from 2,114.3 million dollars over the same period last year, according to figures published in the 2018-2020 medium term expenditure framework released by the ministry. This has been attributed to an increase in both export volumes and copper prices on the international market. Realized copper prices averaged 5,655.4 dollars per ton during the first half of 2017 compared to 4,499.3 dollars during the same period of last year. The southern African...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
South African programs to add coal and gas power generation from independent providers should wait until policies are updated and the nation’s future needs are clearer, said Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi. The government is also seeking a “middle ground” with developers in a program to add renewable-energy projects, she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kubayi announced earlier this month that the long-delayed contracts must be signed by the end of October, but not before pricing was renegotiated to make the deals more attractive to state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. South Africa expanded the so-called independent power-producer
(APA 09/19/17)
Botswana, Namibia and Mauritius have missed out on the list of top 10 best investment destinations in Africa in 2018 but are seen as “investment grade” economies, according to a new report by South African-based Rand Merchant Bank. The report, titled “Where to Invest in Africa 2018”, showed that Egypt has now replaced South Africa as the best investment destination on the continent. South Africa lost its traditional spot at the top of the investment rankings. South Africa has ranked in the number one position for the past six years. Surprisingly one of the biggest economies in Africa, Nigeria did not make it in the top 10 and was relegated to 13th spot. Although Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius have consistently...
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
The European Union (EU) on Monday urged the Sudanese government to undertake reforms at all levels to attract foreign investment. "There are no European economic sanctions imposed on Sudan, but it is very important for Sudan to undertake reforms at all levels in order to attract foreign investment," Jean-Michel Dumond, head of the EU delegation to Sudan said in a statement Monday. Dumond said the current visit by a delegation of Sudanese officials and businessmen to a number of EU countries is an opportunity to exchange views on the investment opportunities in Sudan. The Sudanese delegation, led by Sudan's State Minister of Investment Osama Faisal, is visiting several European countries, including Belgium and Germany, to publicize Sudan's investment opportunities. According...
(APA 09/19/17)
African Development Bank’s (AfDB) funding in Burkina Faso reaches 1023 billion FCFA, the bank said on Tuesday ahead of its president’s three-day visit to the West African country. AfDB president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, is expected in Ouagadougou on 27 September 2017, according to the Office of the Prime Minister. The bank’s funding in Burkina Faso goes to road building and accessibility (26 percent), public finance and governance (22 percent), agriculture (21 percent), social (13 percent), energy (10 percent), water and sanitation (8 percent). At the end of August 2017, the total volume of the AfDB portfolio stood at CFAF 280 billion in Burkina Faso, financing 16 projects. During his first visit to Burkina Faso, Dr Adesina will meet with the...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Pummelled by political unrest and jihadist attacks, Egypt's tourism industry is slowly growing again, but too slowly for thousands of bazaar workers who fondly recall when tourists thronged their stores. Abu Aya owns a souvenir shop in the southern city of Luxor which is home to ancient pharaonic monuments, and he fondly remembers the days when the front pocket of his traditional Arabic robe sagged with cash. "Before 2011 it was filled with dollars and euros. Today the sellers just sit in front of their stores reading the papers because there are so few customers," the 47-year-old said. In the promenade bazaar lined with shops selling souvenirs and incense, every business seemed to be suffering from the downturn. For years...
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
Tourist arrivals in Morocco saw a year-on-year increase of 8 percent in July, the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism said on Monday. Between January and July, over 6.5 million tourists visited the North African kingdom, the ministry indicated in a statement. Tourists from Germany were up by 11 percent, followed by Netherlands with an increase of 7 percent, and Spain and Italy of 6 percent, it reported. The country also witnessed a continuous surge in the emerging tourist markets, with Chinese tourist arrivals jumped by 406 percent, while Japanese visitors rose by 46 percent and South Koreans by 44 percent. A total of 10.3 million tourists visited Morocco in 2016, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2015. Morocco expects tourist arrivals...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egyptian Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer said inflation in the most populous Arab country has peaked after policy makers responded to the surge in prices by raising borrowing costs to the highest level in more than a decade. “We are in the right direction and we are moving very fast,” Amer said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Dubai on Monday. “We’ve been aggressive in our monetary policy, and this has been resisted a bit. But we thought it’s important so we can get our shop fixed very quickly.” Egypt in November became the first Arab country to liberalize the exchange rate as part of a sweeping program to restore investor confidence in an economy battered by years of...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egypt’s cabinet is expected to approve a plan to sell 1.5 billion in euro-denominated bonds in two to three weeks, the finance minister said, as the government seeks cheaper finance abroad to plug its budget gap. The Finance Ministry has started initial discussions with some European investment banks, Amr El-Garhy said in an interview in Bahrain late on Saturday. The notes, which will be Egypt’s first in euros, will likely have tenors of five to 10 years, he said. The plan is to sell the bonds before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg earlier. There are some “pockets of money” in Europe that are interested in Egyptian assets, El-Garhy said. “We’re taking good advantage of the current market conditions...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s deepening dispute with companies he accuses of being tax cheats is rattling investors and dimming the allure of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. Since taking office in late 2015, Magufuli has been on a drive to increase revenue from natural resources to help fund his industrialization plans. His administration has passed laws enabling it to renegotiate contracts and ordered foreign mining firms to sell stakes on the local stock exchange to increase transparency. The authorities have hit Acacia Mining Plc with a $190 billion tax bill, curbed its exports and detained a senior employee, and seized gems and questioned staff from Petra Diamonds Ltd., alleging it hadn’t paid its dues. “In his bid to do some...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Sunday admitted that the North African nation is facing a difficult financial situation, saying the government will resort to non-traditional financing resources to overcome this crisis. While presenting the outlines of the government's Plan of Action to the members of the lower house of the Parliament, Ouyahia said non-traditional funding would enable Algeria to come out of the financial crisis within five years. Ouyahia noted that due to the oil prices plunging in the last three years, "foreign exchange reserves have fallen by half, going from 200 billion dollars in 2014 to nearly 100 dollars billion currently." Ouyahia specified that the Revenue Regulation Fund (FRR) has been exhausted by last February, saying the only...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Pravin Gordhan, who was ousted from his post as South Africa’s finance minister in March, slammed KPMG LLP after it withdrew a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff. The auditing firm said on Friday that its conclusions and recommendations in a report for the South African Revenue Service about a unit that allegedly spied on politicians should no longer be relied on. It said the evidence provided to KPMG doesn’t support the interpretation that Gordhan knew, or ought to have known, that the unit was established and operating unlawfully. “Very good people were severely intimidated due to the KPMG report,” Gordhan...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
China Development Bank (CDB), the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation, on Sunday signed two deals to provide loans to Egypt's two major financial institutions SAIBANK and Banque Misr. The deals were signed at a ceremony at Banque Misr headquarters in Cairo, which was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo and representatives from the Central Bank of Egypt. The first deal included two loan agreements, under which the CDB will provide SAIBANK with a loan of 40 million U.S. dollars for small and medium-sized enterprises, and a special RMB denominated loan of 260 million yuan (40 million U.S. dollars) for infrastructure construction. "The deal includes about 40 million dollars and their Chinese equivalent amount to...
(Xinhuanet 09/16/17)
Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Friday opened the second session of the 12th National Assembly with a pledge that his government has resolved to reduce poverty to 20 percent from the current high levels. The Zambian leader said it was unfortunate that poverty levels have remained unacceptably high at 54.4 percent despite rapid economic development over the years. He said poverty in the country was mainly a rural phenomenon, almost three times high compared to the level in urban areas. According to him, more than half of the rural population, at about 55 percent, was affected by poverty while in urban areas extreme poverty currently stood at 13 percent. In his words, the Zambian leader said climate change had remained...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Egyptian policy makers are weighing plans to raise 1.5 billion euros from the country’s first sale of euro-denominated bonds, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said. The possible sale would happen before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg News in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday. He didn’t give more details. With local borrowing costs above 15 percent, Egypt is increasingly looking at international debt markets to capitalize on growing investor confidence after it floated its currency and cut costly energy subsidies. The steps helped seal a three-year $12 billion loan program from the International Monetary Fund in November.

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(Voice of America 01/12/16)
NAIROBI— A country known for producing some of the world’s premier distance runners has recently found itself in the spotlight for some of its athletes using illegal, performance-enhancing drugs. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced in November it has been investigating Kenya since March for allegations of covering up doping. Twenty-four-year-old Samuel Njuguna is a Kenyan pole vaulter and marathoner. He says it is "not good" that some of his fellow athletes have been involved in the scandal.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/16)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the newly-crowned African Player of the Year, received a hero's homecoming on Friday where he was hailed by thousands of fans as the pride of Gabon. The 26-year-old Borussia Dortmund star pipped four-time winner Yaya Toure of Manchester City and Ivory Coast to win the prestigious award, an achievement which had fans dreaming of Africa Cup of Nations success on home soil in 2017. "He has risen through the ranks and this is a just reward," said Brice Ignegue, the president of the Panthers' (the national team's nickname) fan club. Sabrina, a young fan who came out to greet Aubameyang, said the player was a national hero. "Aubameyang represents Gabon, he is the national panther. He is the...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/16)
Star Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rejected English Premier League overtures as he celebrated winning the African player of the year award. The Gabonese, who is the leading Bundesliga scorer this season, was reduced to tears after stopping Yaya Toure getting a fifth straight title on Thursday night. "I am staying at Dortmund," the 26-year-old Aubameyang, who has been linked with an $85 million move to Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool, said after accepting the prize at a gala in Abuja. "I am so happy. I am not someone who usually cries but it is quite an emotional moment.
(BBC News Africa 01/04/16)
Gohouri made 42 appearances for Wigan between 2010 and 2012 and also won 12 caps for Ivory Coast. On 12 December, Gohouri was reported missing after attending the Christmas party of his German club TSV Steinbach. He was meant to visit his family in Paris but never arrived. German police confirmed his body had been found in the River Rhine in the western city of Krefeld. In a statement they also said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Gohouri's death. Wigan Athletic tweeted: "We are saddened to hear reports of our former defender Steve Gohouri passing away. Our thoughts are with his family." Gohouri moved from Ivory Coast to France as a five-year-old, where he was raised in the suburbs...
(The Associated Press 01/03/16)
A body found in the Rhine river on New Year's Eve was identified Saturday as that of former Ivory Coast footballer Steve Gohouri. Duesseldorf police spokesman Marcel Fiebig told The Associated Press there were no indications that a third party was involved in Gohouri's death. The body was found in the city of Krefeld, to the northwest of Duesseldorf. The 34-year-old Gohouri had been reported missing on Dec. 12. Gohouri, a defender who played for the Ivory Coast between 2006 and 2009, scored two goals in 42 games for Borussia Moenchengladbach between 2007...
(Voice of America 12/29/15)
KAMPALA— Burundi's government negotiator and the opposition came out of the first session of peace talks in Uganda divided over the question of international peacekeepers. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni gave the opening remarks, saying that while he recognized the sovereignty of Burundi, it could not be a reason for inaction on the part of the international community. “One million people dead just here in Rwanda. And we watched, what could we do.
(BBC News Africa 12/22/15)
Fifa presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale has appeared before a US grand jury in New York as part of an on-going investigation into World Cup bribes. The BBC has learned that he was questioned in relation to an alleged $10m corrupt payment from South Africa to ex-Fifa vice president Jack Warner. Sexwale appeared as a potential witness at the FBI's request on December 17. He was a member of the bid board that successfully campaigned for his home country to host the 2010 World Cup. A US criminal indictment claims the money was paid to Warner via a Fifa account, disguised as football development cash, in order to secure votes for South Africa's bid. A grand jury is empowered under US...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/15)
FIFA presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale said at the weekend it was high time Africa takes the reins at the world football governing body and fixes the "heartbroken" game. For 111 years FIFA "has not had an African" leader. "Africa has been on the bench, warming it, and now it's about time," Sexwale was quoted as saying by various South African newspapers. "The time for diversity has arrived and it is Africa's time." He was speaking at the weekend conference of the southern African football associations, COSAFA. "It's not about race... it is about showing that FIFA is for everyone and not just for certain people," said the 62-year-old veteran politician and global campaigner against racism in sports. "You have got...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/15)
Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) on Monday took to social network Twitter to find a new coach. "Call for applications for the recruitment of a head coach," Fecafoot tweeted. On their website the federation outlined the qualities needed -- "to be of Cameroonian or foreign nationality (sic)... of good character... physically fit and healthy and have a strong personality". Interested parties must also "have a credibility and enjoy national and international recognition... have a good knowledge of African football... be willing to reside permanently in Cameroon... and have a good address book in the Professional field". Candidates have only a short time to apply with the deadline on Tuesday, December 15. Among the frontrunners is Frenchman Claude Le Roy, who quit...
(AFP (eng) 12/02/15)
The lawyer probing alleged corruption and covering up of doping offences in Kenya's national athletics federation has received "many" offers of people wanting to provide evidence, he told AFP on Wednesday. Sharad Rao, formerly Kenya's deputy prosecutor, was appointed by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Ethics Commission on Monday, to investigate three top Athletics Kenya (AK) officials, suspended due to graft allegations. After just one full day on the job, Rao said he was pleased by the level of public support - and offers of help to ensure the inquiry is effective. Many in Kenya fear doping is rife among their top class runners, who have been the source of enormous national pride. "There has been a tremendous...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/15)
Three top Kenyan athletics officials were suspended on Monday over IAAF ethics commission probes into corruption and subversion of anti-doping controls. The IAAF ethics commission announced the provisional suspension of the Kenyan athletics federation president and two other top officials in the "interests of the integrity of the sport". Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat was suspended along with vice-president David Okeyo, an IAAF Council member, and Joseph Kinyua, former federation treasurer and Kenya Team Leader at the IAAF 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
(BBC News Africa 11/26/15)
Former NBA basketball player Dikembe Mutombo has been honoured by the Atlanta Hawks by retiring his shirt number 55. Retiring a number is a mark of respect and means no player from that team will wear 55 in the future. The 7ft 2in (2.18m) tall Democratic Republic of Congo player was discovered when he was studying at Georgetown University. He was named an NBA All Star eight times before retiring in 2001. He was also named defensive player of the year four times. "I would have never thought that one day a son of the Congo would be here having his jersey retired," Mutombo said at the ceremony which was held during half time at the match between the Atlanta...
(Zambia Reports 11/23/15)
FAZ insiders have asked President Edgar Lungu to authorize the Office of the Auditor General to verify financial accounts at Football House and make public findings of such an exercise if the Zambian government was serious about its corruption fight. Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal say a forensic audit was very important in the interest of the nation because the association uses funds from the treasury raised by revenue from ordinary Zambians. The source says there is no doubt a professional audit will reveal glaring financial irregularities at Football House. The call comes few days after FAZ treasurer Kelvin Mutafu resigned accusing the FAZ leadership of alleged corruption. According to the insider, the Kalusha...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/15)
French coach Claude Le Roy has quit his job as coach of Republic of Congo after leading them into the third phase of the Africa zone 2018 World Cup qualifiers, he told AFP on Tuesday. "After two great years here I've decided to move on to other adventures," the much travelled 67-year-old explained after a 6-4 aggregate win over Ethiopia saw them through round two of regional World Cup qualifiers. He leaves Congo in the twenty team third phase of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and on top of their qualifying group for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Le Roy has coached nations at eight Africa Cup of Nations finals and most recently led Congo...
(BBC News Africa 11/16/15)
IAAF member David Okeyo has been referred to the organisation's ethics commission after being investigated by police in his native Kenya. Okeyo, vice-president of Athletics Kenya, is alleged to have siphoned off funds from a sponsorship deal between the national association and American sportswear firm Nike. He denies any wrongdoing. The news adds to problems for athletics' world governing body, after a week of doping and bribery scandals. The IAAF provisionally suspended Russia from athletics on Friday after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged the country had been involved in state-sponsored doping. Former IAAF president Lamine Diack, his son Papa Massata, advisor Habib Cisse and the former anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle are also being investigated by French police over...
(AFP 11/14/15)
Kenya, under scrutiny amid allegations of widespread doping in world athletics, on Saturday announced the immediate establishment of an anti-doping agency. Coming just a day after the IAAF, world athletics' governing body, banned Russia over "state-sponsored" doping, the Kenyan government released details of the new initiative with the aim of assuaging concerns over the east African country's internal anti-doping policy. A damning report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last week outlined evidence of systematic cheating with the consent of the
(BBC News Africa 11/12/15)
Liberia's Musa Bility has been ruled out as a candidate for the Fifa presidency following integrity checks. Football's world governing body has approved five of the presidential candidates, with suspended Uefa boss Michel Platini also not included. The Frenchman could be added should his ban end before February's election. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale have been approved.
(New Vision 11/12/15)
Uganda overturned a run of bad results against Togo by winning in Lome Thursday afternoon. They scored when a Farouk Miya free-kick was diverted to goal in the first half. Later goalkeeper Onyango saved a penalty while Uganda missed several chances to burry the game with a second goal. Cranes Starting XI vs Togo 6.30pm: Onyango, Guma, Ochaya, Juuko, Isinde, Aucho, Mawejje, Oloya, Miya, Diego, Massa
(AFP (eng) 11/09/15)
Athletics is braced to be rocked on Monday by a damning report into allegations of widespread doping and blackmail in a sport long-viewed as the flagship of the Olympic Games. Just 270 days out from the start of the 2016 Rio Olympics, an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will release its findings into a scandal already viewed as more damaging than the corruption crisis engulfing world football governing body FIFA. "This is going to be a real game-changer for sport," said the report's co-author Richard McLaren. "You potentially have a bunch of old men who put a whole lot of extra money in their pockets through extortion and bribes." The commission, chaired by former WADA...
(BBC News Africa 11/09/15)
TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo were crowned club champions of Africa for a fifth time after a 2-0 victory over Algeria's USM Alger in the second leg of the Champions League final. The goals came from the Tanzanian Mbwana Samatta and Ivory Coast's Roger Assale in front of their home fans in Lubumbashi.

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(The Guardian 08/18/17)
Transparency campaigners highlight alleged human rights abuses in Egypt as controversial conflict, stability and security fund comes under scrutiny again. The government is facing questions over transparency after almost £2 million in aid and defence funding was given to security projects in Egypt, including support for policing, the criminal justice system and the treatment of juvenile detainees. The news comes with Egypt’s security forces under fire from human rights groups for routine disappearances, the torture of detainees, and the jailing of political opponents and journalists. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the cash was granted to the Egyptian authorities through the conflict, stability and security fund (CSSF), the operations, objectives and achievement of which were described as...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Kenya’s top court will decide over the next two weeks whether to nullify the outcome of this month’s presidential elections that the main opposition says were rigged. Most legal experts and political analysts expect President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory to be upheld. Opposition leader Raila Odinga alleges that members of the ruling party hacked the electoral authority’s computers to deliver Kenyatta, 55, a second term. Odinga’s five-party National Super Alliance initially ruled out legal action because it didn’t trust the Supreme Court’s impartiality, but backtracked after international pressure and the deaths of supporters in violent street protests. Odinga, 72, has failed on three previous attempts to win the presidency in Kenya, sub-Saharan Africa’s fifth-biggest economy and a regional hub for companies...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Gunmen attacked Nigeria's main anti-corruption taskforce on Wednesday and left behind a death threat for a top investigator, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement. The attack on the Abuja base of the organisation which seeks to combat the oil-rich country's rampant graft comes just weeks after unidentified assailants shot and injured another investigator in Port Harcourt, in southeast Nigeria. "The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 5 am and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles," the commission's head of media, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement. "However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty." "A white envelope dropped by the fleeing
(Bloomberg 08/17/17)
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $20 billion to $50 billion in the U.S. and Europe by 2025, in industries including renewable energy and petrochemicals. The 60-year-old Nigerian cement tycoon aims to move into these territories for the first time in 2020 after completing almost $5 billion of agricultural projects and an $11 billion oil refinery in his home country, he said in an interview with Bloomberg Markets Magazine this month. “Beginning in 2020, 60 percent of our future investments will be outside Africa, so we can have a balance,” said Dangote, worth $11.6 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Dangote Group’s major investment will be in the U.S. and Europe, he said. “I think renewables is the...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Namibia’s central bank reduced its key rate for the first time since 2012 as consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in almost two years last month and the economy contracts. The Monetary Policy Committee reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent, Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor Ebson Uanguta told reporters Wednesday in capital, Windhoek. Inflation in the southwest African nation, the world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds, was 5.4 percent in July, the weakest since January last year after food-price growth eased as the country recovers from a regional drought.
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
South Africa’s credit rating may be cut to junk if its policies become “even less predictable” or shift in a way that could undermine the economy, Moody’s Investors Service said. Policy uncertainty and political turmoil have increased in the last two months as the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman instructed lawmakers to change the central bank’s mandate, the mines minister published new regulations that the industry says undermine investment and President Jacob Zuma’s defeat of a no-confidence motion in parliament weakened the rand. South Africa entered a recession in the first quarter.
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
In a Nairobi slum named Lucky Summer, residents tell of being terrorized by men with dreadlocks wearing official Kenyan paramilitary uniforms who stalk the streets at night carrying machetes, clubs and guns. The troublemakers belong to the Mungiki, a criminal gang that played a key role in ethnic fighting that followed a contested 2007 vote and claimed at least 1,100 lives, according to more than a dozen people interviewed in the hodgepodge of dilapidated apartments and shanties in the northeast of the city. The predominantly ethnic Kikuyu group’s attacks on the opposition stronghold mark an ominous turn of events after last week’s disputed elections. “I was in the house with my family and I heard screams after 11 p.m.,” Idah...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Egypt’s tourism receipts almost tripled and worker remittances rose in the last three months of its fiscal year, marking another step in the country’s economic recovery from a crippling dollar shortage. Tourism revenue rose to $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter that ended June 30, from $510 million in the same period a year ago, according to initial central bank data that it shared with Bloomberg. Full-year receipts rose 16 percent to $4.4 billion. Remittances grew 9 percent to $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter, and rose 2 percent to $17.4 billion for the year. The data is further evidence of a gradual improvement in Egypt’s external finances since November, when authorities embarked on an economic program that included floating...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Nigeria has started a $41 billion railway expansion to reduce dependence on oil and diversify its struggling economy by improving transport links to allow the movement of goods around the country and to ports. “The plan we have now will go to every nook and corner,” Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, 52, said in an interview in the capital, Abuja. Africa’s biggest oil producer is going through its worst economic slump in 25 years following a plunge in the price and output of oil, which accounts for more than 90 percent of foreign income and two-thirds of government revenue. President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, presented in March, seeks to boost agriculture and manufacturing by developing the country’s transport...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field has reduced crude production by more than 30 percent in recent days and the Zueitina export terminal ceased loadings over the weekend, throwing the OPEC country’s output back on a downward spiral. Output at the Sharara field was down to 200,000 barrels a day on Sunday, compared with 300,000 barrels a day about a week ago, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Workers were being kept from certain areas for their own safety after two company vehicles were stolen at gunpoint, the person said. Zueitina port ceased loading on Saturday after employees demanded better working conditions, according to Merhi Abridan, head of the worker’s...
(The New York Times 08/12/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday was officially declared the winner of a bitterly disputed election in Kenya, but his opponent, Raila Odinga, refused to concede defeat, criticizing the vote as a charade and edging the country closer to violence. Mr. Kenyatta, 55, was re-elected with just over 54 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, easily surpassing the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, according to an announcement from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Mr. Odinga, 72, the opposition leader, received 44.7 percent of the vote. After a campaign marred by accusations of vote-rigging, fears of violence and the killing of a top election official, the vote was carried out peacefully and, according to international observers, fairly...
(Financial Times 08/12/17)
Businesses hold off investment as bitter divisions rack ANC. Kutlo Marumo, the man who makes President Jacob Zuma’s trademark leather jackets, emblazoned with the black, green and gold insignia of the African National Congress, should be doing a roaring trade. South Africa’s ruling party is gearing up for a five-yearly conference where thousands of delegates will elect a new leadership and the jackets are a favourite of ANC members. But even Mr Marumo is feeling the pinch as a string of political and corruption scandals have battered confidence in Africa’s most industrialised economy, plunging it into its second recession in a decade. “If there is hype in the movement, business picks up,” he says at his shop in downtown Johannesburg,...
(The New York Times 08/12/17)
The Nigerian military raided a United Nations base early Friday in a city often targeted by suicide bombers. The raid could add tension to the relationship between the two institutions as each struggles to respond to an eight-year-old war with Boko Haram. About 5 a.m. on Friday, soldiers entered a tent camp housing United Nations workers in Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Islamist militancy, and searched it for about three hours, a statement from the United Nations said. The camp is a base for some of the dozens of organizations providing food, water and shelter for nearly seven million people who have been left homeless or without basic necessities in the wake of the war. United Nations officials said they...
(The Guardian 08/12/17)
At least two shot dead during overnight protests by opposition supporters who claim presidential vote was rigged. At least two people have been shot dead in Kenya during protests by opposition supporters against the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, officials said. “We have one person killed and four others admitted in hospital with gunshot injuries,” said Dr Ojwang Lusi, the regional health chief in western Kisumu county. In the south-western town of Siaya, a police officer said a man had been shot dead in protests, but “we have not managed to collect the body … because of resistance from protesters”. A girl also died after being hit by a stray bullet while standing on a balcony as police were firing...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
Burkina Faso’s prime minister urged truck drivers to end a strike that’s halted all goods transports between the country’s two main cities and threatens to cause a fuel shortage. Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba met with truck drivers’ unions and apologized on behalf of his government for remarks made by Security Minister Simon Compaore that triggered the strike, his office said Thursday in an emailed statement. Trucks are barred from entering or leaving the capital, Ouagadougou, and the second-biggest city, Bobo-Dioulasso, causing a 30 percent increase in the fuel price at several gas stations in the capital. The indefinite strike began Wednesday after Compaore said publicly that policemen who’d beaten up a truck driver at the Togolese border shouldn’t feel...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
U.S. forces conducted two strikes on al-Qaeda-linked fighters in southern Somalia that the Horn of Africa nation’s government said killed a senior militant. The attacks took place Thursday near the Benadir region, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement, without giving further details. Somalia’s government said President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed authorized a “coordinated operation with international partners.” The man killed was a “high-level” leader of the al-Shabaab militant group responsible for bombings and assassinations in the capital, Mogadishu, the Information Ministry said in an emailed statement. The U.S., which already supported Somalia’s battle against al-Shabaab with drone strikes
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
Kenya’s immediate fate rests on whether opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga presses his claim that initial tallies from this week’s election were rigged and calls on his supporters to protest the announcement of final results expected later on Friday. The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission will declare the outcome of the vote at 2 p.m. in the capital, Nairobi, spokesman Andrew Limo said in a mobile-phone text message. The authority’s chairman slammed the opposition’s figures showing Odinga won the race as “plainly falsified,” with preliminary data on its website showing incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has a commanding lead. “It’s clear what the reaction from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga will be if President Kenyatta is announced the winner,” said Ahmed...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
South Africa could escape a further slide to junk status on Friday in the same way the nation’s leader, Jacob Zuma, defeated a parliamentary rebellion and clung onto power -- comfortably but not without some sweating. Moody’s Investors Service is scheduled to release a ratings review two months after it cut the local- and foreign-currency assessments to one level above junk, citing risks to growth and fiscal strength due to the political outlook. That was after it put South Africa on review for a downgrade following a cabinet reshuffle in which Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, prompting S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. to cut the nation to sub-investment grade. Policy uncertainty and political turmoil increased in...
(Bloomberg 08/10/17)
Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate for a third time this year as inflation remained below the government’s target. The Bank of Zambia lowered the rate to 11 percent from 12.5 percent, Governor Denny Kalyalya told reporters Thursday in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the lowest level since February 2014. The southern African nation’s consumer inflation rate is near the lowest since 2013, with this year’s record harvest of corn, which is used to make a local porridge, leading to lower food prices. A reduction in fuel costs this month could also ease inflationary pressure in the continent’s second-biggest copper producer, which has been struggling with ballooning budget deficits as metal prices fell and state spending rose. Inflation will...
(Bloomberg 08/09/17)
Egypt tightened access to a costly rations program on which the majority of the population relies, the latest in a series of painful and politically-sensitive measures seeking to repair public finances and restore investor confidence. The decree unveiled Tuesday restricts access to new ration cards to people earning 1,500 pounds ($84.50) a month or less for applicants in the public or private sector, the Supply Ministry said in a statement. Lower caps apply to other segments of the population, including pensioners, and the total number of family members covered under the same card was set at four -- with no option to add additional names after the card is issued. It’s the latest effort by the government to cut spending...

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