| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was dramatically fired by President Jacob Zuma, has warned that the ruling ANC party could lose power in the next election. Gordhan -- widely seen as a bulwark against government corruption in South Africa -- also appeared to back deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma. "I think there are many of us who are extremely worried that if we continue as we are in the African National Congress (ANC), we are likely to lose the 2019 elections," Gordhan told CNN late Thursday. "If we, like any business organisation or political organisation, fail to muster the right leadership, stick by the right kind of values and do...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Ghana's finance minister says investors were optimistic in meetings with senior government officials who accompanied Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to the World Bank spring meetings in Washington. In an interview with VOA, Ken Ofori-Atta said investors detected a new energy, and a sense of hope in a team that is focused on getting Ghana out of its current predicament. He also said that with a new government in place, the world is ready to see Ghana shine again in a much more stable West Africa. "We came in on a platform of change and real hope that we will revitalize the economy and create jobs
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
More than 95,000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan so far this year, the UN said Thursday, as thousands continue to flee war and famine in the world's youngest nation. South Sudan, which split from the north in 2011, has declared famine in parts of the country, saying a million people are on the brink of starvation. The number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in Sudan has surpassed 95,000 since the start of 2017, the United Nations Office for the Coordination...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Nigerian officials on Thursday sought to allay fears about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari after his absence from the last two cabinet meetings. Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu said there was "no need for apprehension" that he had missed the meetings but he was only following medical advice. "As eager as he is to be up and about, the president's doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said Thursday he will be leaving office next year and "graciously hand over" to his succesor. In his last state-of-the-nation address, delivered on the country's 56th independence anniversary, Koroma said he was leaving a "legacy of peace and unity" that all Sierra Leoneans should be committed to defend. A presidential election has been scheduled for March 2018. Koroma commended the country for its resilience, noting that over the years, he has observed that...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
The government of China on Thursday provided life saving nutrition assistance worth 8 million U.S. dollars to support the United Nations World Food Program's (WFP) response in drought-hit Ethiopia. The contribution from China will enable WFP to provide specialized treatment for more than 277,000 moderately malnourished children and women due to the ongoing drought that affected parts of the east African country. La Yifan, the Chinese Ambassador in Ethiopia, said during the handing over ceremony that China is a friendly...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, will visit Khartoum on Sunday for talks on the conflict in the North African country, the Sudanese foreign ministry said. Kobler, on his first visit to Sudan, is expected to meet Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and other senior officials in Khartoum. "He will discuss efforts made by Arab League and African Union to solve the Libyan crisis," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Ghandour will also attend a...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The UN Security Council on Thursday postponed voting on a draft resolution on the Western Sahara conflict amid signs the Polisario Front independence movement was preparing a pullback from a tense zone of the contested territory, a council diplomat said. The US-drafted text included a strong appeal to the Polisario Front to immediately withdraw from the Guerguerat strip, which has become a potential flashpoint between the independence fighters and Moroccan troops. "The council wants to see if there is any...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis flies to Egypt Friday for a visit aimed at fostering reconciliation with the Muslim world against the backdrop of recent jihadist attacks on the Middle East's biggest Christian community. The 80-year-old pontiff is due in Cairo around 1400 (1200 GMT) and his 27 hours on Egyptian soil will include a meeting with the grand imam of the Al-Azhar mosque, sealing a recent improvement in relations between Catholicism and the Sunni branch of Islam. Security will be extremely tight...
(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...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday. The approval means the loans are now legal, in spite of a previous ruling by the country’s administrative court
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
An alliance of Kenyan opposition parties chose former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its candidate to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta in elections scheduled for August. Odinga’s running mate on the National Super Alliance ticket will be former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said Thursday at a rally in the capital, Nairobi. The two were recommended by a technical committee that also considered former Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang’ula as potential candidates. “The one who will fly the NASA flag is engineer, the right Honorable Raila Odinga,” Mudavadi said to the cheers of thousands of supporters at a rally in Uhuru Park in the city center.
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Wednesday he will not interfere in any decision the courts or parliament take on a controversial move to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. "I fulfilled my part, and it is now in the parliament and with the judiciary. We won't interfere," Sisi said live on television during a conference in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya. The deal to hand over the islands, signed during an April 2016 visit by Saudi King Salman during which Riyadh showered Egypt with aid, provoked accusations in Egypt that Cairo had "sold" the strategic islands.
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Dimming the lights on their patrol boat, Tunisian coastguards stand in silence scanning the sea for speedboats on clandestine missions to and from Italy. Smuggling gangs are using high-performance vessels to ferry people, drugs and cigarettes across the Strait of Sicily, a distance of just 95 miles (150 kilometres). Commander Mohamed Naceur Saadani says their use of speedboats is a "new and dangerous" phenomenon. Standing on the bridge of a patrol boat capable of 40 knots (about 70 kilometres, 45 miles per hour), he monitors a bank of glowing radar screens.
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
Ten trucks carrying much-needed food for Burundi are back in Rwanda's capital after authorities denied entry at the border, citing security concerns. The World Food Program in Burundi says the trucks, carrying 300 tons of beans to feed Congolese refugees and other WFP recipients, were stopped at the border last Friday and returned Tuesday to the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye defended the decision to deny entry, saying Rwanda has been the source of crime and "insecurity" for Burundi since 2015. "If today, there are objects or people coming from the same area
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday debated a bill that would grant amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali - a bill already delayed two years by popular opposition. The bill would protect from prosecution those accused of corruption; in exchange, they would be required to return the money they extracted. Government officials see the "economic reconciliation" law as a way to inject funds into an economy still recovering after the 2011 revolt that ousted Ben Ali. But critics are calling for protests over what they call an amnesty for criminals.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
East African states and South Africa believe that allowing South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to return to the war-torn country would not "necessarily be positive at this stage," said United Nations envoy David Shearer on Wednesday. Machar, who fled to Democratic Republic of Congo in August after fierce fighting in South Sudan, is being held in South Africa to prevent him from stirring up trouble, diplomatic and political sources told Reuters in December. Shearer, who heads a U.N. peacekeeping...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Morocco's Islamist-led cabinet won a vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday after the country went more than six months without a government, causing delays to public spending and reforms. Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) addressed the lower chamber of parliament late Wednesday, after which the 395-seat chamber voted in favor of the new cabinet and government program. Othmani's government will hold its first meeting on Thursday to examine the 2017 budget, which should have been approved by parliament in 2016. The PJD won elections in October, but the formation of the government was delayed during wrangling with parties who critics
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Zuma failed to secure parliamentary approval for reactor agreement with Putin. Plans to build nuclear power plants in South Africa have stalled after a court ruled that president Jacob Zuma should have sought parliamentary approval for a deal with Russia. The Western Cape high court in Cape Town ruled on Wednesday that the agreement struck between Mr Zuma and president Vladimir Putin in 2014 to co-operate on the reactors was unlawful. The decision could exacerbate tensions in the ruling African National Congress after speculation that Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan, his respected finance

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