Friday 20 April 2018

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
A key third party in Sierra Leone announced Wednesday it would not ask supporters to back either contender in a March 27 presidential run-off, after police warned violence has plagued campaigning. With the margin between the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples' Party (SLPP) and ruling All Peoples' Congress (APC) on a knife-edge, tensions are high in the West African nation. The National Grand Coalition (NGC), which took 6.9 percent of votes in the March 7 first round with an issues-focused platform, said it would support neither and had "grave misgivings" about the process. "The message from the overwhelming majority of NGC members and supporters is clear: NGC should not endorse either APC or SLPP or enter into a coalition arrangement with...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
Hundreds of angry protesters on Wednesday set fire to a police station in Tunisia's impoverished mining region in a fresh surge of unrest over unemployment and official neglect. Central Tunisia has been hit by demonstrations this year that saw the North African nation's vital phosphate output blocked for several weeks. An AFP correspondent said unemployed youths took to the streets of the town of Mdhilla, close to several mines, clashing with police who fired tear gas.
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
The UN said Thursday it has resumed operations in the town of Rann in northeast Nigeria, just over three weeks after a Boko Haram attack killed three aid workers. "The authorisation by the United Nations for flights to resume to Rann for aid workers was taken on Monday. The first flights went on Tuesday," said UN spokeswoman in Abuja Samantha Newport. "UN aid workers are not authorised to overnight (in Rann) and daily operations are expected to continue until the security conditions are met," she told AFP. Heavily armed Boko Haram fighters attacked a military base in the remote Borno state town next to a camp housing some 55,000 people displaced by the Islamist insurgency. Eight security personnel were killed...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/18)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday placed sanctions on 15 South Sudanese oil-linked operators it said were substantial sources of revenues for the government, aimed at increasing pressure on President Salva Kiir to end the country’s conflict. “By placing these entities on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List, the United States will impose a license requirement on all exports, re-exports, and transfers of any U.S.-origin items to those entities,” the State Department said in a statement. Those on the list include government, state-linked and private groups in South Sudan that “are involved in activities that are contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States,”...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Tanzanian police said Wednesday they had arrested a driver and a farmer accused of urging fellow citizens to protest against the increasing authoritarianism of President John Magufuli on social media. A call for nationwide protests on April 26, first launched by an opposition activist, has spread across social media for several weeks, prompting a harsh response from government and even Magufuli himself. "These two people here were inciting others to protest on April 26, saying on social media that there is no freedom, that there is a dictatorship, which is totally false," said police chief...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Boko Haram Islamists who kidnapped 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, northeast Nigeria, just over a month ago have so far returned 101 of the students to the town, the government said on Wednesday. Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the girls were released "unconditionally". "No money changed hands," he told reporters in the capital, Abuja. He added: "As of now, the number (of girls confirmed to have been released) has increased to 101." One of the missing girls' parents, Kachalla Bukar, said Boko Haram militants shook hands and took pictures with them before leaving.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The landmark trial over a failed 2015 coup in Burkina Faso resumed in Ouagadougou Wednesday after being suspended three weeks ago when defence lawyers staged a walkout, an AFP correspondent said. There was a large audience as the hearing opened before a military court which convened at a banqueting hall in Ouaga 2000, an upmarket southern district of the capital. A total of 84 defendants are on trial over a September 2015 attempt to overthrow the transitional government which took power after President Blaise Compaore was ousted a year earlier. Behind the coup was an elite unite of presidential guards loyal to Compaore who took the country's...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that Libya is far from ready in political, judicial or security terms to hold free and fair elections as sought by the United Nations. UN special envoy Ghassan Salame has submitted an action plan to stabilise Libya centred on holding legislative and presidential elections this year. However, "for elections to be free and fair, they need to be held in an environment free of coercion, discrimination, or intimidation of voters, candidates, and political parties," HRW said. A 2015 UN-brokered deal that saw the establishment of a Government of National Accord (GNA) was meant to overturn years of chaos...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Egyptians on Wednesday to vote in next week's election to show they are in charge, a day after he denied any role in excluding his rivals. The incumbent will stand in the March 26-28 vote against a sole candidate whose half-hearted campaign poses no threat, after more heavyweight rivals were sidelined or detained. "I need you because the journey is not over," Sisi told a mostly female audience in a speech. "I need every lady and mother and sister, please, I need the entire world to see us in the street" voting. "Even if they vote 'no'. It's still a big deal and a respectable thing which will be implemented... We should affirm to the...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
On the streets of Cairo's Shubra district, many Coptic Christians -- but not all -- say they will support President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in his re-election bid on Monday. Pro-Sisi banners hang overhead in the neighbourhood where many Copts reside, often showing the president standing alongside Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II. "There is no other man like him... at the moment," Edward Tawfik, a 60-year-old who runs a coffee shop in the area, told AFP as his customers smoked water pipes and played backgammon. Sisi, who as defence minister led the 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, was elected in 2014. Many Christians say he rescued the country by ousting Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, following massive...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The former anti-corruption chief fighting fraud in DR Congo's lucrative eastern mines has been jailed for life by a military court on charges of rebellion and murder, judicial sources told AFP. Abbas Kayonga was arrested by UN peacekeepers in the eastern city of Bukavu on November 5 just days after his dismissal for "grave negligence". Efforts by Congolese troops to arrest him had sparked deadly clashes with his bodyguards, which left six people dead before the UN troops intervened. He appeared at military court in Bukavu a day later alongside around 30 others, on charges of rebellion. In a verdict reached Tuesday, the court sentenced him and 13 others to death, with the military prosecutor ordering them transferred to Kinshasa...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The United Nations Security Council is considering a French-drafted resolution that would task peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo with helping to prepare credible elections. The draft text, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, would renew the MONUSCO force's mandate for a year and outline its priorities as the DR Congo heads for historic elections on December 23. The elections in the vast mineral-rich African country are to pave the way for a transfer of power from President Joseph Kabila, who took over from his father after he was assassinated in 2001. Kinshasa authorities have set a date for the vote but Kabila has not clearly stated whether he will step aside, raising fears that the country...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The Cameroonian army Tuesday rescued a Tunisian and three other local hostages in a special operation but the other Tunisian was killed by his abductors, the government said. The army strike "enabled the freeing of three employees of a Tunisian company kidnapped on March 15 by some terrorists" from a construction site, a statement said. The second Tunisian engineer was "killed by his abductors" and his corpse retrieved, government spokesman and Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said, adding that "four terrorists died in the operation." The kidnapping took place in Cameroon's anglophone region where tensions have soared since separatists on October 1...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Ten members of Gambia's former spy agency have been detained on suspicion of murdering a political activist who led a protest during ousted strongman Yahya Jammeh's rule, police said Tuesday. Solo Sandeng, organising secretary of the United Democratic Party, was arrested in April 2016 for fronting a street protest demanding electoral reform. He died in detention. "Two have been granted bail and eight are still in custody," superintendent David Kujabie Tuesday told AFP. Nine staff at the former National Intelligence Agency, including former director general Yankuba Badjie, are currently on trial at the Banjul High Court for their alleged role in the murder as well as the torture of opposition activists. Thirteen witnesses have so far testified in the case...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Armed gangs in the troubled Central African Republic have routinely taxed cargo boats on the southern Ubangi River since 2014, causing food price hikes that hit the poor hard. "All you need is a weapon, you install a toll post on the river," one boatman says. "Then goods become too costly and some people have given up trading because of that." Armed groups that emerged when the CAR plunged into crisis after a 2013 coup started late the following year to put up small riverside huts to house militiamen with orders to tax river traffic. On the 600 kilometres (375 miles) of the river (also known as the Oubangui) between the capital Bangui and the town of Mobaye to the...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Shortly after sunrise, a group of young women arrives at a football pitch in Mogadishu, where they shrug off their hijabs -- some changing underneath the billowing veil -- to reveal their team kit. Young Somali men stand nearby, some disapproving but all watching closely, as the women jog up and down, dribble a worn-out ball between colourful cones and do sit-ups, less than 200 metres (656 feet) from a heavily guarded security checkpoint. The sight of young women playing football is highly unusual in Somalia, due to societal pressures as well as fear of Al-Shabaab. The Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group launches regular attacks in Mogadishu and considers forms of entertainment, such as football, to be evil, worse still if...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Civil servants in Chad returned to work on Tuesday after a strike over austerity measures paralysed the impoverished country's public sector for seven weeks. Trade unions had called the strike in late January after the government slashed civil servants' pay, and the whole public sector ground to a halt. But a deal was struck last week between the government and unions, after two weeks of negotiations. Work resumed on Tuesday at government ministries and healthcare facilities in the capital N'Djamena, an AFP journalist said. Teachers and students also slowly headed back to schools. The deal was made for "the suspension of the strike and the resumption of work" after payments to civil servants, some 31,000 of whom did not receive...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
South Africa's new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has suspended the head of the tax service ahead of "disciplinary proceedings" as he vows to fight graft following his predecessor Jacob Zuma's ousting. In a statement released late Monday, Ramaphosa announced that Tom Moyane had refused to resign as the South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner and had then been suspended. Ramaphosa has replaced his finance minister and several other senior officials since coming to power last month, when graft-tainted Zuma was pushed out of office by the ruling African National Congress party. In his letter to Moyane, Ramaphosa said "developments at the SARS under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
A private jet used by a business family at the heart of corruption allegations against former South African president Jacob Zuma was grounded Monday by a court order, according to court documents. The whereabouts of the Bombadier Global 6000 jet is unknown, but the High Court in Johannesburg ordered that it must be landed and kept at the Lanseria airport outside the city. The court gave the Guptas 15 days to hand over the luxury jet. "Within 15 calendar days of the date of this order, the (Gupta company) shall deliver the Bombadier" into the custody of the Export Development Canada (EDC) at Lanseria International Airport, ruled High Court judge Kathree Setiloane. She also "interdicted and restrained" the Gupta family...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
A ship's cargo of phosphate claimed by the disputed territory of Western Sahara has been put up for auction in South Africa, 10 months after being seized by local authorities. The cargo, which was extracted by a Moroccan company, has been claimed by Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony controlled by Rabat where the Polisario Front group is fighting for independence. Last month, a court in Port Elizabeth, South Africa gave an order granting the auction after a petition from the Polisario Front. South Africa is a strong supporter of Western Sahara's struggle for independence.

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(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
At least 10 people were killed in several days of violence between herdsmen and farmers in eastern Nigeria, police said on Monday, but the cattle drivers gave a higher toll. Clashes broke out in a number of remote herding villages in the Mambilla district of Taraba state last Thursday and continued throughout the weekend. The violence is part of a wider series of clashes between largely nomadic cattle herders and farmers in central and southern Nigeria that has put pressure on the government to act. "So far we have established the deaths of 10 people in the violence between herders and farmers in the Mambilla area," said state police spokesman David Misal. "Security personnel have succeeded in restoring normalcy in...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
Egypt's military said on Sunday four soldiers and 10 jihadists were killed in a military operation in Sinai against Islamic State group jihadists. The deaths raise military casualties to at least 16 dead, along with more than 100 jihadists, since the start of the operation on February 9, according to previous army tolls. The army launched the campaign after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is standing in elections for his second term this month, gave them a three month deadline to crush IS in Sinai. Sisi issued his ultimatum in November after suspected Islamic State gunmen massacred more than 300 worshippers in a Sinai mosque associated with Muslim Sufi mystics. IS in Sinai has been among the group's most...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
Egyptian prosecutors have remanded a prominent state television talk show presenter in custody for four days on accusations he insulted the police, officials said. Pro-government Khairy Ramadan was ordered detained late Sunday after he last month discussed the alleged low salaries of police officers on his show "Egypt Today" on the public Channel 1. Citing a policeman's wife, Ramadan presented a breakdown of the officer's monthly gross salary of 6,890 pounds ($390, 320 euros), with which he has to provide for his family. The decision to detain the presenter comes after authorities warned they were keeping a close eye on media and would take action against anyone spreading "false" news. Egypt is currently gearing up for presidential elections on March...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
Media in Egypt faces increased scrutiny and restrictions by authorities ahead of a presidential election this month incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will dominate, critics say. The president, addressing media, warned on Thursday against "defamation" of security forces, a day after his prosecution warned it would take legal action against "false news." Egypt ranks 161 out of 180 countries in press freedoms according to watchdog Reporters Without Borders' 2017 Press Freedoms Index. The government's warnings to media are not new. Sisi, a former army chief elected as president in 2014 a year after toppling his Islamist predecessor following mass protests, had previously asked the media to exercise caution in criticising officials. But in recent months, authorities have blocked about 500 websites,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
At least 28 people were killed Friday in an attack on the military headquarters in Burkina Faso, three security sources, two in France and one in West Africa, told AFP. Two of the sources said 28 people were killed and a third spoke of "around 30" dead in the attack in the capital Ouagadougou. In a simultaneous attack, the French embassy was also targeted. Burkinabe security sources gave a lower toll, saying "around 15" people were killed, while the army's medical chief, Colonel Amado Kafando...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
Five Kenyan policemen were killed Friday in an attack by suspected jihadists near the Somali border, authorities said. The five died when the suspected Shabaab militants raided neighbouring police camps in Lafey town in Mandera County in northeastern Kenya. "We had an attack this morning and we have lost four officers," said regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh, adding a reservist had also been killed. "A security operation is ongoing in the area," he added. The area's communication mast was also destroyed before the attackers escaped towards the nearby border with Somalia. "We suspect Al-Shabaab involvement," said Saleh. Mandera suffered a spate of Shabaab bombings and attacks last year. The Shabaab is aligned with Al-Qaeda and fighting to overthrow Somalia's...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
Angolan prosecutors opened an investigation on Friday into possible corruption at the country's state oil giant when it was run by former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos' daughter Isabel. Investigators will probe "irregular financial transfers" reported by Sonangol's new management, prosecutors said in a statement. Sonangol's new chief executive Carlos Saturnino angrily criticised the financial management of his predecessor Isabel during a results briefing on Wednesday. "We started in our roles on November 16, 2017, and tonight we note that the former finance director ordered the transfer of $38 million (28 million euros) to a company in Dubai," he said. The transfer was executed by Banco BIC, a bank at which Isabel was a director. Isabel was appointed to run...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
A neurosurgeon at Kenya's largest hospital has been suspended after performing brain surgery on the wrong patient, the hospital said in a statement on Friday. The scandal, which prompted an outpouring of horror on social media, is the latest drama to hit the Kenyatta National Hospital in recent weeks, after allegations of staff sexually assaulting patients, and the theft of a baby. The hospital said the surgeon, as well as two nurses and an anaesthetist, had been suspended pending an investigation into the operation "on the wrong patient". Health Minister Sicily Kariuki also suspended the CEO of the hospital over the blunder. An investigation by the Daily Nation newspaper revealed that two men had been taken to the hospital last...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
At least 49 people were killed in a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence overnight in the Democratic Republic of Congo's troubled Ituri province, a senior charity official said on Friday. The latests killings were part of a cycle of unrest between the Hema and Lendu communities in the northeastern province, the government told AFP. "We have counted 49 bodies and are still searching for other bodies," said Alfred Ndrabu Buju from international Catholic charity Caritas. "A child was admitted this morning in Drodro general hospital, with an arrow in his head," Buju added. The Interior Minister Henri Mova earlier put the death toll at 33. "The provincial governor is on his way to the site of the killings," Mova said...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
Six people were killed in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou on Friday when they attacked the French embassy and the country's military headquarters, the government said, adding that members of the security forces had also been wounded. "Four attackers were neutralised in the attack on the French embassy," the government in a statement posted on its Information Service website. A parallel attack targeting the headquarters of the Burkinabe armed forces left two dead, Information Minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou told the state TV channel RTB.
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
The capital of Burkina Faso came under multiple attacks on Friday, targeting the French embassy, the French cultural centre and the country's military headquarters, an AFP reporter and witnesses said. Witnesses said five armed men got out of a car and opened fire on passersby before heading towards the embassy, in the centre of the city. An AFP reporter heard heavy exchanges of gunfire and saw a blazing vehicle, which witnesses said was the car used by the assailants. Police and army units were deployed in the area.
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
Egypt's state security prosecution Friday remanded in custody for 15 days a woman accused of falsely telling the BBC her daughter had been the victim of a "forced disappearance", officials said. State security prosecution officials said authorities were questioning Mona Mahmud Mohammad, who was named in the BBC report as "Um Zubeida", or the mother of Zubeida. She is being investigated over accusations that she had spread false news and for joining an organisation set up illegally, they said. The mother was arrested on Wednesday.
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
Three aid workers were confirmed killed in a Boko Haram attack in northeast Nigeria, the UN said on Friday, in the latest violence to underscore the jihadists' enduring threat. The world body and two security sources initially said four people were killed in the attack in the remote town of Rann on Thursday evening but later revised the death toll. Rann is located some 175 kilometres (110 miles) east of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, near the border with Cameroon and communications are difficult. A UN spokeswoman in Abuja, Samantha Newport, said the attack happened "after dark" outside a camp housing some 55,000 people displaced by the conflict. "Of the aid workers that were killed, two worked for the IOM...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
The capital of Burkina Faso came under assault on Friday, with attacks unfolding near the French embassy, the French cultural centre and the country's military headquarters, an AFP reporter and witnesses said. Witnesses said five armed men got out of a car and opened fire on passersby before heading towards the embassy, in the centre of the city. An AFP reporter heard heavy exchanges of gunfire and saw a blazing vehicle, which witnesses said was the car used by the assailants. Police and army units were deployed in the area. Other witnesses said there was an explosion near the headquarters of the Burkinabe armed forces and the French cultural centre, which are located about a kilometre (half a mile) from...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
A daily flotilla of wooden canoes makes the 10-hour eastward crossing of Lake Albert ferrying hundreds of refugees from DR Congo's latest spasm of violence to the safety of Uganda. The repurposed fishing vessels come to Sebagoro beach crammed with the bedraggled and dispossessed survivors of an outbreak of fighting between rival Hema and Lendu communities in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In recent weeks more than 28,000 have made the passage, according to United Nations figures, most of them women and children, bringing with them tales of horrific violence. "When they were starting to kill we saw we were going to die, so we ran away. My two sisters were at home and they killed them,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
At least six civilians have been killed in clashes between rival tribes in the south of Libya that saw a hospital get hit repeatedly, the United Nations said Thursday. The violence over the past month in the southern town of Sebha, some 600 kilometres (370 miles) from Tripoli, is the latest flare-up in a region regularly wracked by tribal violence. The UN mission in Libya said on Twitter that it was "deeply concerned by the escalation of armed conflict in Libya's Sebha, where at least 6 civilians killed and 9 injured." "The hospital was hit repeatedly. Indiscriminate use of weapons in densely populated areas must be stopped." A spokesman for Sebha hospital, Oussama al-Wafi, told AFP that a girl of...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Donor countries will meet in April for a conference aimed at raising nearly $1.7 billion for humanitarian work in Democratic Republic of Congo, UN aid officials said Thursday. The estimate of funding needs has doubled since last year, reflecting the mounting problems in the vast central African nation. "We are going to organise an international conference in Geneva on April 13 with the goal of mobilising attention and funding for DR Congo, for the year of 2018 but also for coming years," said Julien Harneis, UN deputy humanitarian aid coordinator. "We are facing emergencies and crises that are directly affecting the population," he said after a six-week visit to conflict-torn areas. The conference will look not just at funding but...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
A South African court on Thursday remanded in custody a man and a woman accused of abducting an elderly British couple in a case with suspected links to the so-called Islamic State. Fatima Patel and Sayfydeen Aslam del Vecchio are alleged to have snatched British holidaymakers Rod, 73, and Rachel Saunders, 64, both renowned botanists, in KwaZulu-Natal province last month. The Saunders are still missing. Since their disappearance, 734,000 rand ($62,000) has reportedly been drained from the couple's accounts and their Toyota Land Cruiser was found covered in blood. Patel, 27, and Del Vecchio, 38...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Dozens of judges and lawyers staged a work stoppage outside a court near the Tunisian capital on Thursday over alleged pressure from police in a trial involving their colleagues. "The independence of the judiciary is a red line," chanted the demonstrators standing on the steps of the courthouse in Ben Arous in their black robes and white neck bands. "Security agents are not above the law. We are building a democratic state. All institutions must respect each other," one of the judges, Basma Hamada, told AFP. The association of Tunisian magistrates called for the two-hour work stoppage in the country's courts on Thursday's "day of rage". On Monday, police officers, some in uniform and some in police cars with flashing...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Forty-six UN peacekeepers from Ghana have been recalled from their base in northwestern South Sudan following allegations of sexual exploitation of women sheltering at the site, a UN spokesman said Monday. The 46 police were confined to barracks in Juba on Saturday after a preliminary investigation showed that the Ghanaians were "engaging in sexual activity with women" living at a UN site to protect civilians in Wau, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "The information received indicates that some members of the formed police unit allegedly engaged in transactional sex," he added. The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has a "zero tolerance, no excuses, and no second changes approach to sexual...

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(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...
(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...

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(AFP (eng) 03/19/15)
A bucket of human excrement thrown on a statue of British coloniser Cecil Rhodes at a South African university has escalated protests over racial transformation since the end of apartheid 21 years ago. Student activists at the University of Cape Town (UCT) who staged the "poo protest" want the statue torn down, calling it a symbol of white oppression. They are planning a protest march on Friday after 10 days of mounting controversy over the faecal attack. The university campus was built on land donated by Rhodes, a mining magnate and champion of British imperialism in the late 1800s, who gave his name to the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. UCT vice-chancellor Max Price has agreed that the statue should be...
(Xinhuanet 03/19/15)
GABORONE, Mar. (Xinhua) -- Botswana is doing final preparations to host the 2015 All Africa under-19 junior squash championships that are schedule to start at the end of March. Botswana Squash Racquets Association (BSRA) president Tiego Rabashwa said preparations are on track to host the championships that are billed from March 30 to April 3 in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. He said the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has been running around to ensure that the event is a success. At least 10 countries are expected to battle it out at the championships.
(Xinhuanet 03/10/15)
KAMPALA, Mar. (Xinhua) -- The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) on Monday announced that national coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic is still in-charge of the team. FUFA in a statement issued here said earlier reports that Micho had left his job of coaching the national team were not true. "Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic is still under contract which FUFA is honoring. Sredojevic has not submitted any documents seeking termination of his contract with FUFA," said the statement. The FA said in the event that there is any development on this matter, FUFA will communicate to the football fraternity and other stakeholders. Sudan giant side Al Hilal on Saturday announced the appointment of Sredojevic as their new Head Coach. Sredojevic denied talk...
(BBC News Africa 03/09/15)
A sprinter from Sierra Leone who has been sleeping rough on the streets of London is facing deportation after being arrested. Jimmy Thoronka, 20, was his country's top 100m runner but did not return home to Africa after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year amid Ebola fears. Homeless Thoronka says Ebola had killed his immediate family in Sierra Leone. The Met Police said he was arrested on Friday for immigration offences and is now with the UK Border Force.
(Xinhuanet 02/27/15)
GABORONE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Botswana men's senior basketball team are pumped up for the return leg of the 2015 Afro Basket and All Africa Games (AAG) qualifiers billed for Gaborone on Saturday night. Botswana faces a mammoth task of overcoming a 61-40 loss to Mozambique in the first leg match played in Maputo on Feb. 14. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) Technical Director Mothusi Thipe told Xinhua on Thursday that the mood in the camp was very high as the team was determined to reverse the score and proceed to the next stage. "We are in high spirits and have been working very hard, and we do not have any injuries," he said. Botswana needs to win the game by...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/15)
KAMPALA, Feb. (Xinhua) -- Officials from the Interpol head office in France are set to arrive here to investigate claims that some 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier games were fixed. Asan Kasingye, an Assistant Inspector General of Police who is also the Director of Interpol and International Relations in Uganda said Thursday that they have taken the matter seriously. In November last year the Uganda FA President, Moses Magogo said because of public outcry and allegations involving Uganda Cranes 2-0 loss to Guinea in the last 2015 Afcon qualifier, they decided to hand the matter to the police to investigate. Magogo said considering that match fixing is one of the cardinal offenses in football, they decided to engage...
(CNN 02/10/15)
(CNN)After 32 games, 23 days and one drawn lot, it's all over. A dramatic 9-8 penalty shootout alleviated a turgid scoreless draw, but after a 23-year wait Ivory Coast will not care how they secured the silverware. The unlikely hero of the evening was Boubacar Barry, Ivory Coast's hitherto reserve goalkeeper, only promoted to the team after an injury side-lined first choice Sylvain Gbohouo. After saving two penalties, he slotted the winning kick against his opposite number, sending the West African nation into raptures.
(Xinhuanet 02/10/15)
ACCRA, Feb. (Xinhua) -- Ghana's senior national soccer team the Black Stars arrived home after winning silver at the just- ended 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea. The Black Stars lost 9-8 to Ivory Coast in a dramatic penalty shoot-out Sunday night in the Equatorial Guinea city of Bata. The team, officials and government delegation touched down at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra Monday afternoon, to a rousing welcome by hundreds of soccer fans. They were met on arrival by the Vice President Kwesi Amissah- Arthur and other state officials. On behalf of the delegation, the president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kwesi Nyantakyi thanked the nation for the support it gave to the team...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/15)
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations won by Ivory Coast in Equatorial Guinea Sunday was full of controversy with disputed penalties and rioting supporters. Pictures of a jagged broken mirror used as a missile by a rioter and players attempting to assault a referee in another knockout match involving the host nation were beamed around the world on television. The incidents did nothing to enhance the reputation of football on the continent, although African Football Confederation (CAF) president Issa Hayatou saw things differently. Taking exception to the international media coverage, he insisted the western press was "perpetuating colonisation" as similar events occurred in Europe without as much uproar. "When something bad happens in Europe, they say it's an error. When...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/09/15)
Andre Ayew wasted no time on Saturday rebuffing any talk of revenge on behalf of his father when he plays for Ghana against the Ivory Coast in Sunday’s African Nations Cup final. The storyline of French-based Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan winning the title which eluded their father Abedi Pele when the two countries last met in the final, in 1992, was probed by reporters. But the 25-year-old Andre, the elder of the brothers who plays for Olympique Marseille, scowled at the first question and attempted to quash the angle. “There is no revenge at all, we play only for our country," he said. "It’s a match for Ghana. “The history of 1992 is not the history of this team...
(BBC News Africa 02/07/15)
Equatorial Guinea have been fined US$100,000 (£65,000) for the crowd trouble during Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final loss to Ghana. They have also been warned that a repeat of events at Malabo Stadium will result in the team being forced to play a game behind closed doors. However, fans will be able to attend Equatorial Guinea's third-place play-off match against DR Congo on Saturday. Equatorial Guinea must also pay for the treatment of 36 injured fans.
(AFP (eng) 02/07/15)
Ivory Coast face what is likely to be their sternest test of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations when they tackle Ghana Sunday in what has been dubbed the 'dream' final. Two of Africa’s football powerhouses are in dire need of a continental trophy after long, frustrating waits. Ghana have won the Cup of Nations four times but their last conquest was 33 years ago, while the Ivorians only triumph was in 1992 and, ironically, it was at the expense of Ghana. Ivory Coast beat their west African neighbours 11-10 on penalties after 120 minutes of action did not produce any goals in Dakar.
(AFP (eng) 02/07/15)
In Equatorial Guinea, Andre Ayew has not only shamed his critics but also moved a step closer to matching the class of his father, the legendary Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew. In 2008, when he made his Africa Cup of Nations debut on home soil, he was criticised by the fans with some suggesting he was only in the squad because of the influence of his famous father. But a year later he made history when he led his country in Egypt to become the first African team to win the FIFA U20 World Cup and it was the core of this team that reached the 2010 Cup of Nations final in Angola. The 25-year-old Marseille forward has also featured at two...
(BBC News Africa 02/05/15)
Ivory Coast reached their third Africa Cup of Nations final in nine years after proving too strong for DR Congo. Yaya Toure put them ahead with a ferocious 20-yard shot but soon after Dieumerci Mbokani levelled with a penalty after Eric Bailly handled. Gervinho had a header cleared off the line before he made it 2-1 when he curled in to finish off a breakaway. The Ivorians made sure of victory when Wilfried Kanon kneed home after Serge Aurier's header had been saved. Gervinho, outstanding throughout, had a good chance to add further gloss to the scoreline late on, but his effort was saved by the busy Robert Kidiaba.
(AFP (eng) 02/04/15)
CAF banned Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn for six months and slapped a $50,000 (43,000 euro) fine on Tunisia Tuesday after a controversial Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final in Equatorial Guinea. The host nation equalised off a dubiously awarded stoppage-time penalty and went on to a shock 2-1 win over Tunisia last Saturday in Bata. When the final whistle sounded, riot police had to protect the match officials from furious Tunisian players.
(BBC News Africa 02/02/15)
Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard said the tournament's best team are out after his Ivory Coast side beat Algeria to reach the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals. New Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony scored twice as the Elephants won 3-1 to earn a tie against DR Congo. "I think we have beaten the best team in the tournament," said Renard. "We needed to be very well-organised and try to counter a team who are very strong individually," Renard led Zambia to the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2012 and added: "When I was with Zambia, the Ivory Coast were better than us but we won on penalties in the 2012 final. "You need to be realistic in football and...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/15)
Christian Atsu scored twice as Ghana beat Guinea 3-0 in Malabo on Sunday to ease into their fifth successive Africa Cup of Nations semi-final. Atsu set the Black Stars on their way to a comfortable quarter-final victory when he opened the scoring in the fourth minute in Equatorial Guinea's capital, before Kwesi Appiah increased their advantage a minute before the interval. And Atsu, the winger on loan at Everton from their English Premier League rivals Chelsea, then saw his cross-cum-shot find the net on 61 minutes to take Ghana through to a last-four showdown with the hosts on Thursday. While Avram Grant's side keep alive their hopes of a first continental crown since 1982, Guinea's Cup of Nations adventure ends...
(BBC News Africa 01/31/15)
Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Lille full-back Pape Souare. The 24-year-old played for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations. Eagles chairman Steve Parish announced the deal on his Twitter feed, saying: "Delighted that Pape Souare has just this minute signed for Crystal Palace. A warm welcome from all of us." Souare becomes manager Alan Pardew's third signing of the week after the arrivals of Jordon Mutch and Shola Amoebi.
(CNN 01/30/15)
(CNN)There was nothing to separate Guinea and Mali after the group stage at the African Cup of Nations so lots had to be drawn to decide which team would progress to the quarterfinals. On this occasion, luck favored Guinea, one of the nations in west Africa ravaged by the Ebola virus. It was a rare -- the last time lots were drawn at the continental tournament was in 1988 -- and unfair way to settle second place in Group D according to both managers but ultimately it's Guinea boss Michel Dussuyer and his team that will face Ghana on Sunday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Two balls, numbered '2' for second place and '3' for third place, were placed in a...
(BBC News Africa 01/28/15)
Andre Ayew scored a late goal to put Ghana into the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as Group C winners. Ayew bravely headed home Baba Rahman's left-wing cross after his side had earlier looked like being eliminated. Mandla Masango had given South Africa the lead with possibly the goal of the tournament when he scored a spectacular volley from 25 yards. Ghana piled on the pressure after the break and substitute John Boye drove home an equaliser before Ayew struck. With 17 minutes remaining, Ghana were on the way home as they trailed 1-0 but Boye's equaliser gave them hope and then Ayew's strike confirmed they would finish ahead of Algeria, who qualified with them after beating Senegal 2-0, on...

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(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The Nigerian armed forces dismissed speculation that there’s a plot to topple the country’s elected government and reaffirmed its subordination to the civilian authorities. The military has no intention of “truncating democracy” and “will continue to carry out its constitutional roles as directed by the Commander-in-Chief,” according to a statement published Friday on the Defence Headquarters website. A report by an online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, of a plot by some military officers “should be disregarded as unfounded and absolute disinformation,” the military said in the statement. Army Chief of Staff Tukur Buratai said in May that some individuals were approaching soldiers to discuss a plot and warned that they should desist. Such rumors have surfaced with President Muhammadu Buhari’s illness...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
Ghana’s cocoa regulator is warning farmers that the smuggling of beans from neighboring Ivory Coast may jeopardize efforts to keep producer payments unchanged despite a slump in prices. The regulator in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, expects that as much as 70,000 metric tons of the country’s crop will be smuggled across its borders by the time the season ends in September, a person familiar with the matter said July 5. Ivory Coast cut farmers’ pay by 36 percent to the equivalent of about 700,000 CFA francs ($1,211) per ton in April to cope with prices that have fallen by more than a third in a year on forecasts of an oversupply. Ghana, the second-biggest grower, kept farmer payments...
(Voice of America 07/15/17)
Zimbabwe’s Environment Management Agency has ordered the food industry to stop using containers made of expanded polystyrene and replace them with recyclable or biodegradable ones. The agency recommends restaurants use paper packaging or encourage patrons to partake of their food on site. The ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) went into effect immediately, upsetting business owners left with unused stocks. “I think this is quite unfair,” said Denford Mutashu, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers.
(Voice of America 07/14/17)
Kenya is less than a month from nationwide voting, and the electoral commission remains under pressure. The commission is appealing a High Court order that would allow the reopening of bidding for printing presidential ballots a week before the general election was set to start, even as the opposition prepares to take the commission to court on another issue. Meanwhile, the voter registry continues to spark debate and confusion. When Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission opened a short message platform two weeks ago so the public could check voter details, many like Florence, a businesswoman, used it and found her details were correct, but she noticed those of her sibling were not. She said her sister checked her details...
(Bloomberg 07/14/17)
South Africa is considering a merger of state-owned technology companies Broadband Infraco and Sentech to help accelerate the roll out of high-speed internet to the population within three years, according to two people familiar with the matter. The combined entity will be expected to extend broadband to rural communities that don’t yet have internet access, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the plans haven’t been publicly announced. Broadband Infraco is the country’s second largest fixed-line operator after Telkom SA SOC Ltd., while Sentech has wireless broadband assets and operates signals for South Africa’s broadcasting companies. The government is “pursuing the rationalization of state broadband assets to reduce the duplication of infrastructure and mandates of state-owned companies,”...
(Bloomberg 07/14/17)
Nigeria plans to license drones used for both commercial and private purposes under new regulations governing unmanned aircraft, the head of the civil aviation agency said. “We have proposed regulations already,” Dele Sasegbon, director of general aviation at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Abuja. “For the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, we have to do it seamlessly.” Steps have been taken by the National Airspace Management Agency to bring drones into the country’s airspace system, he said. Individuals and companies in Africa’s most populous country of more than 180 million people have expressed interest in the use of drones in agriculture, for monitoring pipelines and storage tanks in its oil...
(Bloomberg 07/13/17)
A surge in Ghana’s oil output this year may do little to ease the West African nation’s fiscal strains as crude prices are lower than what it budgeted, eroding the gains from extra production. This year’s average Brent crude price of $52 a barrel is below the $56 forecast in the budget, which could complicate the state’s plans to narrow the fiscal deficit. Output is set to climb by more than a third in 2017 from a year earlier after Eni SpA started up the Sankofa field in May, and as production rises at Tullow Plc’s second project in the country. The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer plans to cut its fiscal deficit to 6.5 percent of gross domestic product this...
(Bloomberg 07/11/17)
Gabon, Africa’s second-biggest manganese producer, wants to partner with private companies to process most its minerals locally before exporting them, Mining Minister Christian Magnagna said. Local processing will boost the mining industry’s contribution to gross domestic product from the current 2.1 percent to at least 4 percent as the central African nation seeks to make its economy less dependent on oil, Magnagna said in an interview in the capital, Libreville. The country’s main manganese mine in Moanda in the southeast processes about 6 percent of its total output, which stood at 3.8 million metric tons last year.
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
African and Arab election experts are in Kenya this week meeting with Somalia's electoral commission to help the country prepare to move to “one person, one vote” elections in 2020. The year 2004 marked the beginning of the end to more than two decades of civil war and anarchy in Somalia. Members of Somalia's interim parliament gathered in Nairobi to vote for a new president. They met in Kenya because Mogadishu was still too dangerous. Somalia has since held three polls. But regular Somalis are yet to cast any ballots. The country has relied on a clan-based formula in which the lawmakers were selected
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
Severe food crises are growing in Kenya and Somalia, as the Horn of Africa continues to receive below-normal rainfall, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The hunger-tracking group says 2.9 million people in Kenya and 3.2 million in Somalia are experiencing Phase 3 or higher on the network's five-tier warning scale, with Phase 3 being the crisis stage and Phase 5 being a full-fledged famine. The numbers represent a jump of 800,000 in Kenya and 300,000 in Somalia since FEWS NET's last estimates, released in June. The need is urgent Peter Thomas, FEWS NET decision support advisor, says Phase 3 indicates that households are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. “This means that households are unable to meet...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
French diplomats criticised Belgium and the US for their behaviour in Congo after it won its independence in 1960 but one called for the "elimination" of prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, some months before his murder in the rebel province of Katanga. On the 57th anniversary of Congolese independence, RFI reveals the contents of French diplomatic cables sent at the time. France's ambassador in Léopoldville maintained a certain bemused distance when Belgian King Baudouin handed over power to Lumumba at a solemn ceremony on 30 June 1960. Baudouin's speech was "the polar opposite of self-criticism", ambassador Pierre-Albert Charpentier commented in a cable to the French foreign affairs ministry. The king lauded the "genius of King Léopold II", whose rule of the...
(RFI(EN) 06/30/17)
Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz was scheduled to meet political parties on Thursday to try to put an end to the country's political crisis. He's been given three months by the West African Economic Community (Ecowas) to find a solution. Jose Mario Vaz was to meet representatives of Guinea Bissau's main political parties: the historic independence movement the African Party for Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), the main opposition Party for Social Renovation (PSR) and the Union for Political Change (UPC).
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Egyptian warplanes struck a convoy of 12 vehicles about to be driven across the border from Libya carrying weapons and ammunition, the military said on Tuesday. The military said in a statement that it had acted on "intelligence indicating a number of criminal elements had gathered to cross the border into Egypt using a number of four-wheel-drive vehicles". An official in the armed forces told AFP the vehicles had been on the move from Libya. Air force units...
(The Associated Press 06/27/17)
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- Authorities say 10 more mass graves have been uncovered in the restive region of central Congo where the Catholic church has estimated more than 3,300 people have died. Maj. Gen. Joseph Ponde told journalists that armed forces were alerted to the graves by Red Cross officials and villagers in the area. He said seven of the 10 new mass graves were located in Diboko. A U.N. team is due to arrive on the scene Wednesday. Human rights officials say 42 mass graves already had been documented in the Kasai provinces, where violence erupted last August after a traditional chief was killed in a military operation. Among the victims were two foreign U.N. experts - American Michael...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon has detained 30 of its soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country. The Defense Ministry says the soldiers abandoned their positions in a protest over pay and working conditions. Military officials in Cameroon say the incident happened earlier this month. Several dozen Cameroonian soldiers erected barricades near the country's border with Nigeria and asked to be immediately replaced. The soldiers were part of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram since 2015. Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesperson of Cameroon's military, said the protest was "unacceptable." He said so far 30 of the soldiers who took part have been arrested. He said the minister of defense gave instructions that the protesters should be arrested...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
GENEVA — Congo's justice minister says investigations into killings in the central Kasai regions have "progressed well'' and four people have been arrested over the grisly slayings of two U.N. experts. Alexis Thambwe Mwamba expressed opposition to European Union resolution at the Human Rights Council that seeks an international, independent mission to investigate rights violations and allegations of mass graves in the wake of hundreds of killings in the Kasai provinces. Speaking to reporters Monday on the sidelines of the council session, Mwamba said Congo's government has already agreed to allow investigators, but said they should work with Congolese authorities — not independently. Read more at: https://www.voanews.com/a/congo-justice-minister-says-four-arrested-over...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
It was almost sunset as fishermen guided their boats back onto the beach at Joal, Senegal, after a long day at sea. At first glance, it looks as though they'd collected a good day's haul, but their nets were full of small sardinella, known locally as yaabooy. Fisherman Mamdou Lamine had caught just one bucket of mackerel. He held one up next to a yaabooy to show how much bigger it was — and there are many more yaabooy than mackerel these days, he said. Furthermore, A local favorite, grouper, called thiof in Senegal, is getting harder to find. The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization says more than half of West Africa's fisheries are dangerously depleted. Local officials in Senegal...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Kenya’s elections may prompt violence that evokes the unrest that killed at least 1,100 people following a disputed vote a decade ago if the electoral authorities fail to ensure this year’s process is credible, opposition leader Raila Odinga said. Any outbreak of clashes would be difficult to control, even though Kenyans “don’t want to go back to 2008,” Odinga said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Nairobi. The 72-year-old former prime minister is seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term in the Aug. 8 election. Kenyan elections are a source of nervousness for investors in East Africa’s biggest economy.
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
A U.S. congressional delegation returned from central Africa last week with one overriding question: what can be done to stop South Sudan's war and help the refugees streaming into Uganda, suffering from a lack of food? Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, says the answer lies with the parties in South Sudan's conflict, especially the government and military, which have been accused of blocking food aid to needy populations, using rape as a weapon of war and engaging in ethnic cleansing.

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