Sunday 18 February 2018

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Ethiopia said Saturday that a state of emergency will remain in place for six months, as the authorities move to quell "chaos and unruliness". The council of ministers declared the country's second emergency decree in two years on Friday evening. It capped a tumultuous week that saw Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resign, a strike in the country's largest region and a massive prisoner amnesty. "The state of emergency will be for six months and will be approved by parliament," state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) wrote on Facebook, quoting Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa. The government had cited "ethnic-based clashes" and "chaos and unruliness" as the reasons for the declaration.
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on a bus the day before a fiercely contested parliamentary by-election in the city's Kinondoni constituency, an opposition spokesperson said.
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Ethiopia on Friday declared a state of emergency one day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation, state media reported. "A state of emergency has been declared as of now," the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) said, citing a decision by the council of ministers. A statement read by an anchor on the state mouthpiece gave no timeline for the decree, the country's second since 2016. The decision capped a tumultuous week in which some of Ethiopia's most prominent dissidents...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Three suicide bombers killed 19 people at a fish market in northeast Nigeria, civilian militia leaders said on Saturday, in an attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists. Friday's deadly attacks came in the week that hundreds of Boko Haram suspects went on trial at civilian courts at a military base. One fighter involved in the 2014 abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from the Borno state town of Chibok was jailed for 15 years. The suicide blasts happened at about...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Morocco has acquitted a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, held without charge by the US military for over 13 years, of "undermining state security", his lawyer said Friday. Yunis Chekkouri was arrested by Pakistani forces in late December 2001 with a group of several dozen alleged fighters who had fled the Tora Bora cave complex in eastern Afghanistan, a stronghold of the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies. The following year he was flown to the Guantanamo Bay military prison, where he was locked up for over 13 years but never charged. In September 2015, Chekkouri was released and sent back home...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
South Africa's freshly-appointed president, Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday hailed "a new dawn" as he pledged to tackle the corruption that his predecessor Jacob Zuma is accused of fostering. In his first major speech after Zuma's bruising nine-year term ended, Ramaphosa outlined a grand vision to revive the stagnant economy, address dire unemployment and control spiralling government debt. "We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon us and a wonderful...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Zimbabwean anti-corruption investigators said Friday they had arrested a university professor over the suspected fraudulent awarding of a doctorate to former first lady Grace Mugabe. Levi Nyagura, the vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission following an investigation into the PhD. It emerged that Grace was awarded the degree by the university in 2014 after just months of study. Doctorates typically require several years of full-time research and writing. "Nyagura has been arrested...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
For the first time in his life, Victor Obi believes that the only way to win freedom in Cameroon is with a gun. "I don't want to die, but the only future is our independence, and they will not give it to us," said the student, whose name has been changed for his own safety. The 25-year-old is camped out in a small Nigerian village just kilometres from his home in Cameroon where authorities have launched a crackdown on English-speaking...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
One player was sent off, 12 cautioned and 46 fouls committed during a fiery South African Premiership derby won 2-0 by Maritzburg United against AmaZulu Friday. There could have been more red cards as Togo centre-back Sadat Ouro-Akoriko of AmaZulu escaped with a yellow after pushing his hand into the face of an opponent. The red card that was shown went to another AmaZulu player, Butholezwe Ncube, midway through the second half after a second booking. Both United goals came...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
A Kenyan court on Friday sentenced the widow of a radical imam to 10 years in prison for her role in a failed attack on a police station in the port city Mombasa. Haniya Said was found guilty of conspiracy for supporting an attack in which three women fire-bombed the city's main police station on September 11, 2016, wielding knives and stabbing an officer. All three attackers were shot dead. "Guilty of the offence of conspiracy," said magistrate Diana Mochache...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan court on Thursday revoked the deportation of a lawyer who “swore in” opposition leader Raila Odinga as the country’s “president”, a ruling likely to worsen relations between the judiciary and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. Miguna Miguna, who holds dual Kenyan and Canadian citizenship, is currently in Canada after being put on a flight to Toronto by the Kenyan government last week following several days in police detention. A High Court judge declared Miguna’s deportation order illegal and ordered the government to surrender his Kenyan passport, which was seized when he was deported. The judge gave the government seven days to comply.
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
South Africa's Jacob Zuma, president until Wednesday when he resigned on live TV, faces an uncertain future as his legal challenges mount and his support network crumbles. Analysts sketch several scenarios for Zuma, an anti-apartheid activist who rose to the presidency only to become thickly tarred by a reputation for graft. These include prosecution over a series of corruption charges and then securing a presidential clemency from his successor Cyril Ramaphosa. He may also quietly disappear into retirement in his...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Thursday it was widening a probe of government officials who allegedly stole aid intended for refugees to include U.N. staff, amid concern the scandal may hold up donor cash needed for the country’s surging refugee population. Allegations that officials may have inflated refugee numbers to skim aid and engaged in other types of fraud have angered donors and embarrassed a country whose open embrace of a huge influx of refugees from South Sudan’s war has won global praise. The minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Hilary Onek, told a news conference...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Ahmed Nur moves through the Somali capital of Mogadishu with a bodyguard of six men, a pistol in the waistband of his baggy trousers. He speaks of his work in whispers; seven of his colleagues have been killed in the last three years. But Nur is no intelligence operative. He’s a tax collector. Now the central government’s imposition of a five percent sales tax last month, part of its efforts to win billions of dollars in international...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Five Congolese soldiers were killed, a senior army officer said on Friday, in a clash with Rwandan forces this week that now risks inflaming tensions between two neighbors with a long history of troubled relations. The two countries dispute which side of the poorly demarcated border the clash took place on, each accusing the other’s forces of violating the frontier. They have called upon the ICGLR, a body representing regional governments, to visit the scene of Tuesday’s clash to investigate. In addition to those killed, six other Congolese soldiers were wounded in the incident, two of them seriously, said General Bruno Mandevu...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Burundi's opposition parties on Friday denounced the "enforced enrolment" of voters ahead of a referendum on changes to the constitution which would allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in office until 2034. Opposition groups say the police and the ruling party's ferocious Imbonerakure youth wing, branded a militia by the UN, are forcing people to enrol ahead of the referendum in May. "What is happening is unacceptable. Getting registered (to vote) is a civil right, and a right that one...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Zimbabwe's main opposition party is facing the threat of damaging splits just months before a historic election, as feuding erupts after the death on Wednesday of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai's final months were accompanied by increasingly public quarrelling between his three deputies over who would succeed him as head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The party -- which has a history of splintering -- had been trying reunite to fight the coming election, but the death of its widely-admired founder triggered renewed rivalry. Fresh divisions could mean that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF face little opposition at the election, which is expected by July.
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The UN Children's Fund on Friday said it had recorded 76 cases of people killed in ethnic violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province since December, mostly women and children. UNICEF is "very concerned about the situation of more than 46,000 children who are on the run because of the violence" between the Hema herders and Lendu farmers, which flared up during the Second Congo War (1998-2003). "More than 76 cases of murder ... have been documented, among them...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
South Africa's newly-minted president, Cyril Ramphosa, will deliver his first major policy speech Friday, seizing the chance to offer the country a fresh start after nine bruising years under Jacob Zuma. The State of the Nation address is an annual mix of political pageantry and policy announcements, but the flagship event was postponed last week as Zuma battled to stay in office. He was forced to resign on Wednesday after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party turned against him, and pro-business reformist Ramaphosa was sworn in as president on Thursday. The fight against corruption, allegations of which dogged Zuma and badly dented investor confidence...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Liberia's new president, the ex-footballer George Weah, will visit France later this month and meet President Emmanuel Macron, the Elysee Palace announced Thursday. "This will be George Weah's first trip to Europe since his election", a statement said, calling his victory "an exemplary democratic change of power". Weah, 51, took over from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who over 12 years steered the West African country away from the trauma of a civil war but failed to ease dire poverty. His election...

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(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Tanzania's main opposition party Saturday accused police of shooting dead a female university student and seriously injuring at least four other people while trying to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam. The local police have admitted a person was hit after they fired warning shots on Friday but accused some protesters of throwing stones. The first-year university student, whose name and photo have circulated on social media, was struck by a bullet while on a bus the day before a fiercely contested parliamentary by-election in the city's Kinondoni constituency, an opposition spokesperson said.
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Three suicide bombers killed 19 people at a fish market in northeast Nigeria, civilian militia leaders said on Saturday, in an attack blamed on Boko Haram jihadists. Friday's deadly attacks came in the week that hundreds of Boko Haram suspects went on trial at civilian courts at a military base. One fighter involved in the 2014 abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from the Borno state town of Chibok was jailed for 15 years. The suicide blasts happened at about 8:30 pm (1930 GMT) on Friday in Konduga, some 35 kilometres (20 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. Babakura Kolo and Musa Ari, from the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) assisting Nigeria's military against the Islamists, said the...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Morocco has acquitted a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, held without charge by the US military for over 13 years, of "undermining state security", his lawyer said Friday. Yunis Chekkouri was arrested by Pakistani forces in late December 2001 with a group of several dozen alleged fighters who had fled the Tora Bora cave complex in eastern Afghanistan, a stronghold of the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies. The following year he was flown to the Guantanamo Bay military prison, where he was locked up for over 13 years but never charged. In September 2015, Chekkouri was released and sent back home...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Zimbabwean anti-corruption investigators said Friday they had arrested a university professor over the suspected fraudulent awarding of a doctorate to former first lady Grace Mugabe. Levi Nyagura, the vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission following an investigation into the PhD. It emerged that Grace was awarded the degree by the university in 2014 after just months of study. Doctorates typically require several years of full-time research and writing. "Nyagura has been arrested...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
A Kenyan court on Friday sentenced the widow of a radical imam to 10 years in prison for her role in a failed attack on a police station in the port city Mombasa. Haniya Said was found guilty of conspiracy for supporting an attack in which three women fire-bombed the city's main police station on September 11, 2016, wielding knives and stabbing an officer. All three attackers were shot dead. "Guilty of the offence of conspiracy," said magistrate Diana Mochache...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Thursday it was widening a probe of government officials who allegedly stole aid intended for refugees to include U.N. staff, amid concern the scandal may hold up donor cash needed for the country’s surging refugee population. Allegations that officials may have inflated refugee numbers to skim aid and engaged in other types of fraud have angered donors and embarrassed a country whose open embrace of a huge influx of refugees from South Sudan’s war has won global praise. The minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Hilary Onek, told a news conference...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The UN Children's Fund on Friday said it had recorded 76 cases of people killed in ethnic violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province since December, mostly women and children. UNICEF is "very concerned about the situation of more than 46,000 children who are on the run because of the violence" between the Hema herders and Lendu farmers, which flared up during the Second Congo War (1998-2003). "More than 76 cases of murder ... have been documented, among them...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Thirty-eight police officers were injured when they were pelted by smoke bombs, stones, chairs and pieces of metal at Thursday's Tunisian league match between bitter rivals Esperance of Tunis and Etoile Sportive Sahel. The match at Rades on the outskirts of Tunis was won by Esperance 3-2, but was twice interrupted by the violence. Objects were thrown at the police "by supporters of EST (Esperance)", said an interior ministry spokesman. Nineteen police needed treatment in hospital. Football in Tunisia is regularly plagued by violence especially when the country's top clubs clash. In recent years, violence has escalated so much that sports minister...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
About another 200,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected to arrive in Sudan this year, fleeing fighting and food insecurity in their country, the United Nations said Thursday. South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, descended into civil war just two years after it split from the north in 2011. Since the war erupted in late 2013, 417,000 South Sudanese refugees have already crossed into Sudan, according to the UN. About 200,000 more refugees are expected in 2018, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Office, or OCHA, said in its latest bulletin. "Continued fighting, limited humanitarian assistance and extreme levels of food insecurity are forcing citizens of South Sudan...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
After crushing blows in Iraq and Syria, global jihadists could be eyeing Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as a new home base, the army said Thursday, as it presses an offensive in the region. Cairo last week announced a major operation against jihadists across swathes of territory, including the volatile region which has been at the heart of a persistent Islamic State group insurgency. The security sweep in the Sinai, Nile Delta and Western Desert near the border with Libya comes as the country prepares for polls next month in which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seeking re-election.
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
he United Nations said Wednesday it had registered 18 alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers and civilian personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. Fourteen of the allegations involve paternity cases or complainants seeking "care for children born out of relationships," said Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline unit at MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country. Some incidents relate to events that date back as far as 2013, she...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
The International Rescue Committee on Wednesday confirmed three cases of sexual abuse under its watch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, saying police were informed and those involved dismissed. The admission comes with the international aid sector rocked by growing public allegations of sexual misconduct, already implicating British-based charity Oxfam and the French group Doctors Without Borders. On Wednesday, British tabloid The Sun said London initially froze funding to IRC, headed by Britain's former foreign minister David Miliband, over...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Retired archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu announced Thursday that he had quit his role as an ambassador for Oxfam after the British charity was hit by sexual misconduct allegations. "The Archbishop is deeply disappointed by allegations of immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers linked to the charity," said a statement from his office in South Africa. "He is also saddened by the impact of the allegations on the many thousands of good people who have supported Oxfam's righteous...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Mozambique authorities on Wednesday introduced water rationing to more than a million residents in the capital Maputo due to a severe drought. The city is cutting the water supply to consumers to just 40 percent of normal levels, Casimiro Abreu, deputy director of the National Emergency Centre said in a statement. About 1.3 million people in Maputo and its surroundings are affected by the restrictions, raising fears of disease outbreaks. "Diarrhoeal diseases including cholera are likely to occur in some...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
French air power on Wednesday killed at least 10 jihadists in northeast Mali near the border with Algeria, local and foreign military sources said. "French forces on Wednesday led at least one raid near Tinzaouatene, at the Algerian border, against the terrorists," a local Malian military source told AFP. "There were at least 10 deaths and two vehicles were destroyed." The offensive was part of France's Operation Barkhane, active in Mali as well as four other former French colonies in...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
At least 19 migrants were killed on Wednesday and more than 100 injured when the truck transporting them crashed in Libya, a hospital said. More than 300 migrants, mostly Eritrean and Somali nationals, were on board the vehicle which overturned near the town of Bani Walid. A child was among at least 19 migrants killed in the accident, the head of the town's hospital, Salah al-Mabrouk, told AFP. The hospital, which had earlier given a toll of 23 dead, said...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Twenty-two students and their driver were Tuesday killed when their bus collided with a truck in northern Nigeria, a road safety official told AFP. The students from a public secondary school in Bauchi state were on their way to the city of Kano for an excursion when their driver lost control while trying to dodge a pothole, Kabiru Daura, spokesman for the federal road safety corps (FRSC) in Kano said. "Twenty-two students died in the crash along with their driver...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
A Nigerian police officer was killed and mutilated in an attack blamed on herdsmen, a police chief said on Tuesday, in the latest violence to hit the country's contested central region. The officers were ambushed on Saturday in the Logo area of Benue state, where nomadic herders and farmers have clashed in an increasingly bloody battle over land. "One of our personnel was found brutally slaughtered with his two eyes, ears and nose removed," Benue police commissioner Fatai Owoseni told...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Madu Maji sits on a bench at the cattle market in Makurdi, central Nigeria, dragging his bare feet through the dust to stave off boredom. In the pens, the few cows that remain are little more than skin and bone. "Our cows can't go grazing in the bush, they are dying now. Herdsmen don't come here anymore," said the elderly Maji, who operates the biggest cattle market in Benue state. Because of violence in recent months, only about a dozen...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Egypt's military said Tuesday it has killed 38 militants and arrested more than 500 jihadists and suspects days after launching a major operation against an Islamic State group affiliate in Sinai. The military said it had killed 10 "extremely dangerous" extremists, in addition to 28 jihadists it had previously announced as having been killed. A statement added that 400 "criminal elements and suspects" had been arrested, having previously announced the arrest of 126 people. The dead jihadists had been "hiding inside a house in the vicinity of El-Arish city (North Sinai province's capital) following a shoot-out,"...

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(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Ahmed Nur moves through the Somali capital of Mogadishu with a bodyguard of six men, a pistol in the waistband of his baggy trousers. He speaks of his work in whispers; seven of his colleagues have been killed in the last three years. But Nur is no intelligence operative. He’s a tax collector. Now the central government’s imposition of a five percent sales tax last month, part of its efforts to win billions of dollars in international debt relief, have put him at the heart of a showdown with the country’s most powerful businessmen. So far, the government’s efforts have been slowly working; domestic revenue was up to $141 million in 2017...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African stocks index rose as much as 5 percent on Thursday, putting the main index on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than three years, on hopes the resignation of Jacob Zuma as president paves the way for new leaders to quicken the pace of economic growth. The currency remained on the frontfoot, soaring to its firmest since early 2015 in the wake of Zuma’s exit. Analysts have however warned the rally faces serious obstacles ahead of a budget speech next Wednesday. Zuma quit late on Wednesday, reluctantly heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to a nine-year tenure punctuated by scandals, stagnant economic growth and policy uncertainty...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Sudan's annual inflation rate soared to 52 percent in January, officials said Wednesday, on the back of food price rises that have triggered protests and a security crackdown on opposition groups. The January inflation rate more than doubled the 25-percent figure recorded in December, Central Statistics Office chief Karamallah Ali told a news conference in Khartoum. "This rate of inflation is the highest in recent years," Ali said. "Even in 2013 when inflation was very high, it did not reach...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - The British government said it has frozen 580,000 pounds ($802,894) in assets held by several dozen militia leaders, army officers and private organizations with ties to Democratic Republic of Congo. The freezes were mandated by the European Union as part of a sanctions regime imposed by the United Nations. Economic Secretary John Glen had written on the UK parliament website in response to an MP’s question that the total sum seized was 580 million pounds before his...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Morocco recorded a bumper year for tourist arrivals in 2017, breaking through the 11-million barrier for the first time, the tourism ministry announced Monday. Visitor arrivals numbered some 11.4 million, a 10-percent increase over 2016, with tourists from "emerging markets" such as China and Brazil joining those from France, Spain and Germany. Revenues from the sector jumped to 69.7 billion dirhams ($7.55 billion, 6.16 billion euros) in 2017, up from 64.2 billion dirhams the previous year. Fez, Tangiers and Marrakesh,...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
Chad's finance minister says the country will not impose further cuts on civil servants' pay this year, after strikes and protests erupted over one of the most unpopular measures in an austerity programme. "There won't be further cuts this year," the finance and budget minister, Abdoulaye Sabre Fadoul, told AFP in an interview on Thursday. The government last month reduced civil servants' bonus pay by 50 percent, adding to a previous 50-percent cut in 2016. Income tax was also hiked...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday hailed the country's economic recovery and said he saw "no reason" to seek further help from the International Monetary Fund. Once hailed as a regional growth model, in 2015 former president John Mahama's administration was forced to turn to the IMF for help amid a global commodities rout. But Akufo-Addo told parliament in the annual state of the union address that his government had buckled down on mismanagement and pledged to stabilise the economy...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
While bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have suffered precipitous falls in recent weeks, the units remain popular in Nigeria where they make it easier to do business. On the surface, digital coins may not seem like a good idea in a country where corruption is rampant and stacks of hard cash are often smuggled overseas. Yet West Africa's biggest economy has the world's third-largest bitcoin holdings as a percentage of gross domestic (GDP), behind Russia and New Zealand, according to Citigroup. That may be because blockchain technology -- public, online ledgers that underpin cryptocurrencies...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Renewed optimism about South Africa's mining future coursed through the industry this week, focused on hopes of pro-business reforms under the ruling party's new leadership. The world's largest mining investment conference started in Cape Town on Monday, as the ANC party met to discuss whether President Jacob Zuma could soon be replaced by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa, a wealthy former mining executive, recently took over as head of the African National Congress from Zuma. "For the first time, it's possible to look forward with reasonable hope rather than a sense of foreboding,"...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Sudan's central bank Sunday announced it will devalue the local currency to 30 Sudanese pounds against the US dollar, the second such move in weeks amid soaring inflation. The new official exchange rate will go into effect on Monday, the central bank said on its website. The Sudanese pound has been trading at an official rate of 18 to the dollar but on the black market it has hit an all-time low and was selling for between 40 and 43...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
The name of Eskom, Africa's largest electricity company, has become synonymous with the worst corruption scandals in South Africa and the utility could well become the final nail in the political coffin of President Jacob Zuma. The sacking of yet another of its short-lived CEOs this week and the release of dire financial results confirmed the depth of the crisis plaguing the power utility. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba admitted Eskom represents the single worst crisis facing the government. "Eskom is...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Britain's security minister, Ben Wallace, on Friday praised efforts by Tunisia to boost security and said he expects a return of tourists from his country, two-and-a-half years after a terror attack on a beach in which 30 Britons were killed. "It's been really impressive what I've seen over the last few days," Wallace told reporters in Tunis. "I look forward to the fact there's gonna be lots more British people coming in the next few weeks." Wallace has been in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/31/18)
HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba said on Tuesday it had signed a deal with Algeria to import fuel over the next three years, as it seeks to offset a steep decline in oil shipments from its key ally Venezuela. The Communist-run island has a close relationship with Algeria and annually imports oil products from the north African country but has relied almost exclusively on Latin American socialist partner Venezuela for crude supplies in recent years. A drop in subsidized oil imports from Venezuela however in the wake of its economic meltdown pushed Cuba last year to resume importing large quantities of oil from Russia and buy 2.1 million of barrels of crude oil from Algeria.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/31/18)
NEW DELHI/PORT VICTORIA (Reuters) - India has signed a 20-year pact with the Seychelles to build an airstrip and a jetty for its navy in the island chain, the two countries said, as the South Asian nation steps up a contest with China for influence in the Indian Ocean. China last year inaugurated its first overseas military base in Djibouti, near one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, deepening Indian insecurities and pushing it to gain a foothold in the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/31/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Traffic will soar above the muddy swamp between Uganda’s capital and its international airport when a new Chinese-built highway opens in a few months time, but the road itself is mired in controversy. The government has partly funded the 51-km (30-mile) $580 million expressway with a loan, part of $11 billion in borrowings in the decade since the World Bank canceled debts about a third that size as part of debt relief for poor states. Uganda says...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s economy could grow by up to 6 percent this year, more than an initial forecast of 4.5 percent, due to the reforms being pursued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the finance minister told a state-owned newspaper. Mnangagwa, who came to power in November after a de facto military coup that removed long-time leader Robert Mugabe, has promised economic reforms to attract foreign investment and restore ties with international lenders so the country can access fresh funding. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government would be bold in reforming loss making state-owned companies and the mining sector...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Angolan President Joao Lourenco was elected five months ago promising an "economic miracle". But the path to transforming the oil-dependent country's economy will be long and difficult -- as was highlighted by anger over the de facto de-valuation of the local currency. Since January, new central bank governor Jose de Lima Massano has been presiding over something of a fiscal revolution, weaning the local kwanza currency off its artificial peg to the dollar, and phasing in a floating exchange rate...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The cash-strapped central African nation of Chad risks bankruptcy unless it implements drastic austerity measures, its finance minister has warned after a backlash against government plans to lower the wages of civil servants. Civil service salaries in 2017 totalled 376 billion CFA francs (about 600 million euros/$720 million), roughly the equivalent of the combined revenue from income tax and customs duties, according to official figures given to AFP. "It's worth knowing that over a period of 10 years, the wage...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
The Gates Foundation will invest $45 million in nutrition and family planning programs in Burkina Faso, Melinda Gates said on Tuesday during a visit to the capital Ouagadougou. "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will invest $45 million (23.5 billion FCFA) over three years in various programs to improve the nutrition and health of women and children in Burkina Faso," said the foundation in a statement. The bulk of the money, $34 million, aims to fund programs that promote nutrition...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
The International Monetary Fund declared Egypt's economic outlook "favourable" on Tuesday after completing its second review of the country's reform programme. The IMF had approved in November 2016 a $12-billion loan to Egypt, which has been shaken by political and economic turmoil since longtime president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in the 2011 revolt. In order to obtain the IMF's approval for the three-year loan, Cairo has implemented a set of drastic reforms including the adoption of a value-added tax, energy...

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(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
One player was sent off, 12 cautioned and 46 fouls committed during a fiery South African Premiership derby won 2-0 by Maritzburg United against AmaZulu Friday. There could have been more red cards as Togo centre-back Sadat Ouro-Akoriko of AmaZulu escaped with a yellow after pushing his hand into the face of an opponent. The red card that was shown went to another AmaZulu player, Butholezwe Ncube, midway through the second half after a second booking. Both United goals came from close range off low crosses with Bandile Shandu breaking the deadlock on 40 minutes and Siphesihle Ndlovu sealing a home win one minute into stoppage time. Before the kick-off at Harry Gwala Stadium, 80...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Thirty-eight police officers were injured when they were pelted by smoke bombs, stones, chairs and pieces of metal at Thursday's Tunisian league match between bitter rivals Esperance of Tunis and Etoile Sportive Sahel. The match at Rades on the outskirts of Tunis was won by Esperance 3-2, but was twice interrupted by the violence. Objects were thrown at the police "by supporters of EST (Esperance)", said an interior ministry spokesman. Nineteen police needed treatment in hospital. Football in Tunisia is regularly plagued by violence especially when the country's top clubs clash. In recent years, violence has escalated so much that sports minister...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
A controversial former minister who coordinates armed groups in conflict-hit Central African Republic was on Friday elected to the governing board of Africa's top footballing body. Patrice Edouard Ngaissona, who is Central Africa's football chief, was elected following a vote in Casablanca among delegates at the Confederation of African Football's general assembly. He was elected to the board seat representing eight central African nations, winning by 30 votes compared to his Gabonese rival, who got 23. Ngaissona is responsible for...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
Belgian coach Marc Wilmots parted ways with Ivory Coast Wednesday after failing to help the west African country to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia. Ivory Coast lost their decisive World Cup match 2-0 to Morocco on Saturday, leading to talks between the federation and Wilmots. "At the end of talks, the two parties agreed to amicably end their collaboration, all the while praising the good atmosphere during the six months of work together," the federation said. Ex-Belgium...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South African prosecutors argued Friday that Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder must be increased, saying he failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend. The Paralympic athlete shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Tanzanian marathon runner Ismael Juma died on Thursday when his motorbike collided with a lorry, Athletics Tanzania (AT) announced on Friday. The 26-year-old was one of Tanzania's hopes for a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April. "Tanzania athletics has lost one of its top long distance runners," AT secretary general Wilhelm Gidabuday told AFP. "Ismail Juma was one of 19 athletes selected to start training later this month for the Commonwealth Games in Australia." Gidabuday...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
Papa Massata Diack has described accusations he was part of a large corruption racket involved in determining the location of the Olympic games as the biggest lie in the history of world sport. France’s financial prosecutor said this week that investigations had revealed a corruption scheme centered on Diack, the son of the former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack. The prosecutor said there were indications that payments were made in return for the votes of IAAF and International Olympic
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Authorities in Tunisia on Wednesday announced they have frozen the assets of football club magnate and former presidential hopeful Slim Riahi on suspicions of money laundering. An investigating judge imposed the restriction on all of Riahi's shares on the stock market, bank accounts and property, said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti. The announcement comes after the government launched what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has called a "war" on graft from which he said nobody involved in corruption would emerge unscathed. Corruption...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, whose sudden death in China at just 30 years old shocked his country, was laid to rest Sunday as he was hailed a "worthy son" of the African nation. Tiote, a 52-time capped player who featured at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, was honoured with a military funeral at the Williamsville cemetery in Abidjan where hundreds of people gathered to mourn. "Ivory Coast has lost a worthy son who served so bravely, who fought...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The agent of the late Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote on Wednesday called for the media to cease making unsubstantiated claims about the reasons for his death. The 52-time capped star -- a member of the Ivory Coast squad that ended a 23-year drought in winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations -- died after fainting during training with second division side Beijing Enterprises on June 5. He was 30 years of age. His death shocked the football world, reverberating...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Ivory Coast international midfielder Cheick Tiote has died aged 30 while training with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises, his spokesman announced in a statement on Monday. Tiote, who was part of the Ivory Coast squad that delivered the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after a 23 year drought although he was injured for the final, had only moved to China in February after ending a seven year stay with English outfit Newcastle United. "It is with deep sadness that I...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
South Africa's Akani Simbine surprised a world-class sprint field, including Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Andre De Grasse to claim a season-opening 100m Diamond League victory on Friday. The 23-year-old powered home in a time of 9.99sec to become the first South African man to win a Diamond League 100m, and serve notice that the Blue Riband event could be more competitive than for some time with the impending international retirement of Usain Bolt. "I'm happy with my shape now,...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya narrowly failed in his attempt to complete the distance under the previously insurmountable two-hour mark, finishing in a time of 2hr 00min 24sec on Saturday. The time, which smashed the world record of 2hr 02min 57sec set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, will not enter the record books largely because of the non-compliant system of pacemaking used in the attempt, made on the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit. For the entire attempt, Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pacesetting team which trailed a time-keeping vehicle by less than 10 metres. Despite narrowly missing the mark, Kipchoge said he believed it was possible and that he could make
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Sports Minister Bidoung Mkpatt has called on Cameroon's athletes to come away with as many medals as possible at the Islamic Solidarity Games which take place in Baku from May 12-22. Mkpatt made the comments at a farewell ceremony for the team in Yaounde. The west African country is sending 62 athletes to the Azerbaijan capital and they will compete in six sports -- athletics, football, weightlifting, handball, wrestling and judo. Four years ago, Cameroon took part in the third edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia in 2013, but could only come away with one bronze medal
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele believes he is in the sort of form to break Eliud Kipchoge's fastest ever time in the London Marathon on Sunday. Should the 34-year-old -- who still holds the 5,000 and 10,000 metres world records -- manage that it would be a fitting end to a week that has seen the great race receive even more advance publicity than usual. That has been thanks to Britain's Prince Harry revealing earlier this week he had sought...
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Cameroon began their reign as African champions with a 1-0 friendly victory over Tunisia in Monastir Friday thanks to a Vincent Aboubakar goal. The Turkey-based striker took advantage of his first scoring opportunity to beat Aymen Mathlouthi after 14 minutes in the Mediterranean resort. Aboubakar had several other chances, including a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but could not add to his tally. Tunisians Taha Yassine Khenissi and Syam Ben Youssef were foiled by the woodwork during the first half. Aboubakar...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Frank Fredericks will stay on the IAAF Council while an ethics board reviews allegations that he accepted payments before the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio, Sebastian Coe, the organization's head, said on Tuesday. Fredericks, an International Olympic Committee member, stepped down two weeks ago as head of the team evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics and has also removed himself from the IAAF task force looking into doping in Russia. Despite the allegations, however, he will remain a member of the IAAF council while the ethics board determines if an investigation is necessary.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/18/17)
Kenya's national Olympic committee has escaped the threat of suspension after failing to adopt a new constitution but funding will continue to be withheld until further notice, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday. The IOC froze financial support to Kenya nine days ago, after the country's troubled national committee (NOCK) failed to adopt a revised constitution, and said it would discuss the matter at its executive board (EB) meeting in Pyeongchang this week, leading to speculation that it...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Madagascar's football chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football Thursday, ousting veteran leader Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office. Ahmad won the election in the Ethiopian capital by 34 votes to Hayatou's 20, official results showed. Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the result was announced. Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a discreet playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks quit as head of the IOC commission monitoring candidates for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday amid a probe into money he accepted from a sports marketing chief accused of corruption. Fredericks, 49, strongly denied any wrongdoing in accepting nearly $300,000 (283,000 euros) on the day that Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Olympics. But he said he had "personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission

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(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South Africa's film censorship authorities on Wednesday elevated the age restriction imposed on a controversial Oscar-shortlisted coming-of-age film, effectively banning it from being screened at public cinemas. The film came under fire for lifting the veil on secret initiation rites practised by one of the country's largest ethnic groups and exposing taboos around gay love and sex. In a statement the film and publication board tribunal said it has re-classified the age rating of the movie "Inxeba – The Wound", from 16 to 18 years. "A rating of X18 means that the material can only be distributed from designated adult premises," the board said in a statement "This means the film cannot be screened in...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela died on Tuesday aged 78, his family announced, triggering an outpouring of tributes to his music, his long career and his anti-apartheid activism. "After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg," Masekela's family said in a statement. It hailed his "activist contribution" to music, which it said "was contained in the minds and memory of millions." South African President Jacob Zuma praised Masekela as a "jazz artist, legendary trumpeter, cultural activist and liberation struggle veteran." "He kept the torch of freedom alive globally fighting apartheid through his music and mobilising international support," Zuma said.
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang has had his custody extended by 48 hours by the authorities, his lawyer said Tuesday, nearly a week after his arrest for publishing an article critical of the country's president. "His detention was extended (Monday) for 48 hours by the state prosecutor," lawyer Emmanuel Simh told AFP, adding that Nganang would "in principle" appear before the prosecutor after its expiry. Simh said the detention was "illegal" because Nganang was not initially notified he was being placed...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
A frank documentary about the lives of gay Tunisians received an enthusiastic welcome at a local film festival Friday despite homosexuality being a crime in the North African country. "It's brilliant. If this film made it, then of course we can screen many others," said Sikander, a member of the audience who only gave his first name, as he left the theatre at the Carthage Film Festival. The room of 500 seats was not big enough to fit all those...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
In Madagascar, ceremonies in which families exhume the remains of dead relatives, rewrap them in fresh cloth and dance with the corpses are a sacred ritual. But an outbreak of plague sweeping the Indian Ocean island nation has prompted warnings that the macabre spectacle, known as the turning of the bones or body turning, presents a serious risk of contamination. On a recent baking hot Saturday in Ambohijafy, a village outside the capital Antananarivo, a "turning" procession snaked through the...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Zekarias Mesfin spent months making a movie about his dangerous illegal migration from Ethiopia -- and when he arrived at the film's premiere, he was in a coffin carried by six white-gloved pallbearers. Not that Zekarias, 33, was dead. But he chose the dramatic entrance to show how close to death he came 12 years ago when he left his home in Ethiopia to journey across the deserts of Sudan and Egypt to try to get to Israel. "I was...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
A documentary about the back-breaking work of a young Congolese coal seller to feed his family has won the top prize at the Cannes film festival's Critics' Week. "Makala" by French director Emmanuel Gras follows Kabwita, who goes door-to-door selling coal on his bicycle in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. "Makala" means coal in Swahili. "There is something beautiful and dignified in his work," the director told AFP, "earning his living by the sweat of his brow. "I wanted to show a man of action, not someone in (the misery) of poverty but someone who lives their life," he added.
(AFP (eng) 05/03/17)
Tunisian and international non-governmental organisations warned Tuesday of deteriorating freedom of the press in a country considered to be a rare success story of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. "The Tunisian government these past weeks has not stopped tightening its grip on the press," they said in a joint statement published on World Press Freedom Day. Twenty-five associations, including the Tunisian Press Syndicate, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Amnesty International, said they were "deeply concerned" about the creation of a regulatory body for audiovisual communication. Six years after a popular uprising toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the rights groups expressed concern about the recent banning of a small daily
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
Ethiopia’s state of emergency has seen thousands of people detained, allegedly in connection with the unrest last year in the Oromia region. Those arrested have included journalists and bloggers. VOA sat down with three of them in Addis Ababa ahead of World Press Freedom Day (May 3). University lecturer and commentator Seyoum Teshome was arrested in October and detained for two months after he gave a radio interview to Deutsche Welle in which he criticized the government. Since his release,...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
"I haven't once spoken my mother tongue Kilokele in the 62 years I've lived in Kinshasa. None of my nine children speak it," says Charles Tongohala. Tongohala's native tongue is one of 450 spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a sprawling nation of 71 million people whose lingos -- almost all of them spoken, not written -- account for nine percent of the world's 5,000 languages. He was a boy when he moved to DR Congo's capital from a...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
A painting by a South African artist showing President Jacob Zuma raping the late Nelson Mandela has caused outrage in the country, with the ruling party Friday describing it as "grotesque". The piece by controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu shows Zuma seated on a red chair, penetrating a crying Mandela. Both men have their legs wide apart, exposing their genitals. The African National Congress and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have condemned the colourful artwork titled: "The economy of rape". "Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste,"
(AFP (eng) 03/05/17)
"Felicite," a tale about a nightclub singer who has to scrape together funds to pay for her son's treatment after a road accident, scooped the top prize on Saturday at Africa's top cinema festival. The film won the Golden Stallion award at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, held in the capital of Burkina Faso. The prize adds to the Silver Bear jury prize awarded to the film two weeks earlier at the Berlin Film Festival. The film...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
A solar-powered cinema was unveiled in Burkina Faso Friday ahead of the city's hosting of Africa's top film festival, even as movie theatres on the continent continue to disappear. The theatre, with its 300-seat capacity, will run on solar energy. Named Canal Olympia Yennenga, it is now the third-largest movie hall in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou. Located in the city's posh Ouaga2000 neighbourhood, the theatre cost about 3 million euros ($3.2 million) to build. It is the brainchild of French businessman Vincent Bollore, whose company owns French premium TV and cinema group Canal Plus. "In the city of Ouagadougou, we lack movie theatres of this calibre," said Burkina Faso
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Nollywood film "The Wedding Party" has shown Nigerian cinema at the top of its game, with its success at the box office taking it to new audiences across Africa and the world. The country may well be in recession but Nollywood, which churns out some 2,000 films a year and is the world's second-biggest film industry outside India, has never been healthier. "The Wedding Party" is a madcap, glamorous comedy telling the story of the marriage of Dunny and Dozie, despite the misgivings of their families' rivalries. One family is Igbo and the other Yoruba -- two of the main ethnic groups in Nigeria.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
A public television station in Morocco was given an official reprimand on Tuesday for broadcasting a sequence on how to use make-up to conceal the bruises of battered women. It was transmitted last November -- marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women -- by 2M on its morning magazine programme "Sabahiyate". The sequence depicted a woman with a swollen face, with the presenter telling viewers that she was not really injured, and that these were just "cinematic effects". On Tuesday, the country's High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) said the sequence
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
Every January, thousands of voodoo worshippers joined by crowds of tourists and descendants of slaves trudge down the long sand track leading to the beach at Ouidah in Benin. The cars, motorbikes and women in wrap skirts with tribal scars on their cheeks head to the Gate of No Return monument overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean beach. Erected in 1992 in memory of those packed on ships bound for the New World, it is a living reminder...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
As many African women spend much of their spare time in hair salons, Ivory Coast's chief librarian, also a woman, came up with a brainwave scheme to help them read and learn to read. Crammed on shelves between hair extensions, untangling creams and straightening lotions, a total 23 hair salons now offer customers a range of books on loan from the National Library. "Libraries are practically non-existent in our suburbs and the ones that do exist get very few visitors,...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/16)
Surrounded by untidy stacks of paper and abandoned half-empty coffee cups, photographer Aida Muluneh chain smokes cigarettes in her Addis Ababa office and rails against the negative portrayals of Africa by foreigners. The 42-year-old came returned to Ethiopia nine years ago after living in Yemen and Canada and set herself the task of changing perceptions of the continent, replacing the outsiders' dominant eye with an African one. The Addis Foto Fest, which she founded and which opens its fourth edition...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/16)
Journalists from Cameroon and Ivory Coast on Thursday won Africa's top fact-checking awards for investigating government claims that turned out to be false. Manfei Anderson Diedri, of the website Eburnietoday.com, scooped the francophone award for an eight-month investigation into a land dispute in central Ivory Coast. Diedri uncovered that while Abidjan claimed it had ownership of 11,000 hectares of land granted to a Belgian company for industrial rubber plantations -- which villagers claimed was their property -- there was no...

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(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
Prosecutors are demanding jail terms ranging from 20 years to life against militiamen accused of raping dozens of children, including a baby, in eastern DR Congo, plaintiffs said on Tuesday. Eighteen men, including provincial lawmaker Frederic Batumike, have been on trial since November 9 in Kavumu, in the troubled eastern province of South Kivu. "The prosecution yesterday demanded punishment ranging from 20 years' jail to life for most of the accused, except for four for whom it requested acquittal," Charles Cubaka Cicura, speaking on behalf of a group of lawyers representing the victims, told AFP. The defendants are suspected of belonging to a militia group called "Djeshi ya Yesu" -- meaning "Army of Jesus" in...
(The Associated Press 10/25/17)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (AP) -- The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says her government will continue sending aid to South Sudan despite the stalling of a peace process to end the civil war that has killed tens of thousands. Nikki Haley spoke Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after meeting with Ethiopian and African Union leaders to discuss Africa's peace and security challenges. Haley said South Sudan's president "doesn't care if we pull USAID. He doesn't care if his people suffer. That's the concern we have." Haley warned South Sudan could become a breeding ground for extremist groups amid the suffering. South Sudan plunged into conflict in December 2013 after a dispute in the capital Juba between forces loyal...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara will propose to his counterpart in Ghana that the two neighboring countries and world’s biggest cocoa producers narrow a gap in producer prices to discourage smuggling of beans, according to a person familiar with the matter. Ouattara will call Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday before Ivory Coast announces a new minimum price for cocoa purchases on Oct. 1, said the person, who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak about...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
Nigeria plans to sell as much as $5.5 billion of Eurobonds in the next three months to fund capital projects and replace local-currency debt, according to the Debt Management Office. Yields on existing bonds rose. That would bring the amount raised through Eurobond sales by Africa’s most-populous nation this year to more than $7 billion as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration restructures its debt portfolio to almost double the portion of foreign borrowing in a bid to reduce financing costs. The government wants to raise $2.5 billion in October to help fund 2017’s 7.4 trillion-naira ($20.8 billion) budget
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
As the battle to succeed South African President Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress grows increasingly fractious, party Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize is emerging as a possible compromise choice to keep the continent’s oldest political movement from tearing itself apart. While the race for the top job is widely seen as a head-to-head contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Mkhize, a 61-year-old medical doctor, has two advantages: he’s stayed above the infighting and has strong support in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, which has the most ANC members of the nation’s nine provinces.
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Al-Shabab militants have launched what appears to be a forced recruitment campaign in Somalia's southwestern regions of Bay and Bakool, according to Somali officials. The group, which controls large parts of both regions, is pressuring leaders of local villages to make sure teenagers join its ranks, according to the governor of Bay region, Ali Wardhere Doyow. "They have been holding meetings for clan elders and told them to meet specific numbers of recruits they want collected from clans," Doyow told VOA's Somali Service. Doyow said many families and their children have fled their villages to larger towns in the Bay region
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
Ghana’s central bank kept its key lending rate at the lowest since 2015 after inflation accelerated for the first time in four months. The Bank of Ghana left the rate at 21 percent, Governor Ernest Addison told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. Two of seven economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the hold, while the rest forecast cuts ranging from 50 to 100 basis points. The central bank of West Africa’s biggest economy after Nigeria’s had reduced the key...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Ayaak Deng’s first-ever flight let her skip over a hundred miles of bloodily contested South Sudan and visit family she hadn’t seen in a year. It’s the kind of trip that’s revitalizing small airlines that initially struggled because of the almost four-year civil war. The airport in the capital, Juba, has recorded about 1,000 domestic passengers a day this month, more than five times the average in the first half of 2016, before a peace deal collapsed and gunmen began...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Rwanda’s police said they arrested an activist barred from running for the presidency and two family members for alleged offenses against state security and forgery. Diane Rwigara, her mother and sister were arrested Saturday after the East African nation’s police “uncovered credible evidence linking the trio to offenses against state security,” the force said in a statement on its website. Investigators have five days to complete the probe and decide whether to forward the case to prosecution, the police said. Rwigara’s lawyer didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment. A women’s rights activist, Rwigara attempted to run in August’s presidential vote against long-time ruler Paul Kagame only to be disqualified
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Kenya’s main opposition alliance will begin mass protests this week to force out electoral officials it suspects of rigging last month’s annulled presidential vote. The National Super Alliance will begin its campaign on Tuesday and will continue until the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission officeholders resign, said Norman Magaya, chief executive officer of the opposition coalition. It may escalate the protests if lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee Party continue with plans to amend the country’s electoral laws, he said. “Demonstration...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Now that Nigeria’s economy is recovering from its worst slump in 25 years, the central bank can turn its focus to fighting inflation again -- and shoring up its currency. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept its interest rate at a record-high 14 percent since July 2016, trying to support the economy, and will probably hold it there at its decision this week to contain above-target consumer-price growth. Officials can take heart from a pickup in West Africa’s biggest economy...
(Euronews 09/25/17)
Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency… Egypt’s economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the country’s 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed – according to the Ratings Agency Moody’s. One of the top reforms on the agenda concerns small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A new law is expected to come...
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Nigeria’s decision to designate a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra as “terrorist” and ban it runs the risk of backfiring. A federal high court in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday granted an application by President Muhammadu Buhari’s attorney general to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, known as Ipob, designating it as a terrorist organization. The move came as tensions escalated in southeastern Nigeria, with the group’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, threatening to disrupt state elections unless there’s a vote on secession and his supporters clashing with the security forces. “We saw in videos young people willing to confront the military with their bare hands,” Freedom Onuoha
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission rescheduled the date for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote, as President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned his victory as a “judicial coup.” The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission said Thursday the vote will be held Oct. 26, nine days later than its initial suggestion, to ensure the body is “fully prepared” to deliver a credible election. Just before, Kenyatta said in a televised address that the East African country’s highest...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Dangote Cement Plc, the Nigerian company controlled by Africa’s richest person, has written to PPC Ltd. offering South Africa’s biggest cement maker cash and shares as part of a takeover deal that is fueling a bidding war. PPC’s shares rose. “We are waiting for them to get back to us, hopefully early next week,” Aliko Dangote said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in New York. “They can be part and parcel of the Dangote Cement story, where we’re going...
(Bloomberg 09/21/17)
The United Nations said its road map for peace in Libya wasn’t working in its current form and unveiled plans to revamp the agreement to unify the North African country and pave the way for new elections. Ghassan Salame, the UN’s envoy for Libya, outlined an action plan at a high-level meeting Wednesday in New York. He said the initiative would be led by Libyans to find a way out of the crisis that’s split the nation among rival militias...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
South African programs to add coal and gas power generation from independent providers should wait until policies are updated and the nation’s future needs are clearer, said Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi. The government is also seeking a “middle ground” with developers in a program to add renewable-energy projects, she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kubayi announced earlier this month that the long-delayed contracts must be signed by the end of October, but not before pricing was renegotiated to make the deals more attractive to state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. South Africa expanded the so-called independent power-producer
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari urged the international community to support the Lake Chad region in its fight against Islamist extremism even as other conflicts emerge. Nigeria and neighboring countries lack the resources and the capacity to effectively deal with the security threat from groups linked to al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations, he said Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts,” Buhari said. The Islamist group...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
A United Nations commission urged the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed in Burundi, saying it had compiled a list of alleged perpetrators of violence during the country’s two-year crisis. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has reasonable grounds to believe “serious human-rights violations and abuses” have been committed in the East African country since April 2015, its chairman, Fatsah Ouguergouz, said Tuesday in Geneva. The abuses included torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and rape, with most victims being opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government, he said. The commission has drawn

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