Monday 11 December 2017

Tunisie

(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Rabat (Morocco) - Tunisia's Lilia Hachem Naas has been named as the new Director of the North African branch of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa. The appointment of Ms. Hachem Naas who boasts of a 20-year career with the United Nations came into effect on 2 October. Prior to joining the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), she was head of the Arab countries' bureau at the International Trade Center (ITC) in Geneva since 2013. During her tenure, she managed to strengthen the strategic position of the organization in Arab countries by significantly expanding the portfolio of projects...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
Relatives in Tunisia of Ahmed Hanachi, named as the knifeman who stabbed to death two women in the French city of Marseille, said Wednesday they cannot believe he was motivated by Islamist ideology. "This whole story about Daesh is impossible for me, I don't want to hear it," his father Nureddine Hanachi, a retired former waiter at a Vienna hotel, told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. "Maybe he was under the influence of drugs," when he carried out Sunday's attack on the two young cousins outside the main railway station...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Representatives of Libya's rival authorities have made progress on amending a deal on a political transition for the North African country, the special UN envoy said on Sunday. UN envoy Ghassan Salame opened new talks in Tunisia between the rival Libyan administrations on Tuesday, less than a week after presenting a plan to end the chaos in the conflict-wracked country. Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi have left Libya divided between rival governments and beset by violence as militia forces battle for power. A UN-backed agreement was reached in 2015 as the basis for a political process in Libya, and a unity government was formed with Fayez al-Sarraj as prime minister. The Government...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - The Tunisian navy rescued 98 Tunisians fleeing to Europe when their boat started to sink off Kerkenah on the southeast coast late on Saturday, the national guard said. Separately, the army said it had arrested 43 illegal migrants rescued from four boats off Zarzis, also on the southeast coast. Tunisia has been praised for its democratic progress after a 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali but successive governments have failed to create jobs for young people, some of whom head illegally to Europe to seek work. Tunisia arrested about 550 Tunisian and African migrants trying to sail to Europe in September, against only 170 in August, official data showed on Thursday. Human traffickers increasingly use...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - The man suspected of carrying out Sunday’s attack in the French city of Marseille, killing two people, had presented a Tunisian passport when last stopped by police in Lyon just two days earlier, said the Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins. Molins told a news conference that the suspect’s details came up on criminal databases and that he went by seven different identities - none of which were on French anti-terrorist check lists. He added that one such identity named him as “Ahmed H”, born in 1987 in Tunisia, and that French authorities were trying to identify the authenticity of the Tunisian passport and his real name. A soldier shot the suspect dead after he had stabbed two...
(Xinhuanet 10/02/17)
China has donated maritime control and surveillance equipments to help Tunisia strengthen maritime borders security, Chinese ambassy in Tunis said on Saturday. The donation, including two mobile scanners which cost 12 million dinars (about 4.8 million U.S. dollars), was received by the Tunisian customs at the port of La Goulette, located in the northern suburbs of capital Tunis. "The surveillance system will concern the maritime and land borders, and thus immunize the national economy against contraband and parallel trade," said Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia, Bian Yanhua. "This donation reflects the high level of bilateral cooperation between Tunisia and China that extends to the customs sector," said the Tunisian Minister of...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
Mauritania and Tunisia will meet today in the Moroccan capital Rabat to discuss steps to prevent torture in North Africa. The meeting has been organised by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the National Council of Human Rights of Morocco (CNDH). The Mauritanian delegation led by the president of the institution concerned, Mohamed Lemine Ould Haless, left the capital Nouakchott on Monday for Rabat. The Rabat meeting will bring together representatives from the prevention of torture committees in Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia with the aim of “creating cooperation and exchange links” between the participating countries as well as to uncovering the “main challenges facing these
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/17)
FUS Rabat of Morocco proved the nemesis of CS Sfaxien of Tunisia again Friday as they advanced to the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals. Although the Moroccan club suffered a 1-0 second-leg loss in Tunisia, tying the quarter-final aggregate score at 1-1, they won 5-4 on penalties. FUS shocked Sfaxien in the 2010 Confederation Cup final by winning 3-2 in Tunisia after been written off as no-hopers following a goalless first leg. Karim Aouadhi, who netted the lone second-leg goal from a 23rd-minute penalty in Mediterranean city Sfax, was the only player not to score in the shootout. It was an uncharacteristic miss by the 1.94-metre midfielder, whose six-goal haul this season in the African equivalent of the Europa League included...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/17)
Tunisia, where sodomy is punishable by jail, has banned forced anal examinations to determine sexual orientation, the North African state's minister for human rights said Friday. The authorities carry out the tests on suspected homosexuals but "these exams can no longer be imposed by force, physical or moral, or without the consent of the person concerned", Mehdi Ben Gharbia told AFP. Foreign and local rights groups have condemned the practice of forced anal exams as "cruel" and "inhuman". Ben Gharbia said judges can still request that a suspect undergo the test "but that person has every right to refuse, without his refusal being held up as proof of homosexuality". Tunisia is "committed to protecting the sexual minority from any form...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
Tunisia’s navy rescued 78 migrants including two girls after their vessel en route to Europe took on water off the coast of Chebba and was stranded for three days, the defense ministry said on Friday. Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading for Europe after Libya’s coastguard aided by armed groups tightened its controls. “Naval forces rescued 78 illegal Tunisian migrants 70 kilometers east of the coast of Chebba on board a boat that was damaged and leaking water,” the ministry said in statement, adding that nobody died in the incident. Tunisia has been praised for its democratic progress after a 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali but successive governments have failed to...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/17)
CS Sfaxien and Club Africain of Tunisia and Zesco United of Zambia boast perfect CAF Confederation Cup home records this season ahead of weekend quarter-finals. Record three-time title-holders Sfaxien host FUS Rabat of Morocco trailing 1-0 after the first leg last weekend in the second-tier African club competition. Club Africain are in an identical position to Sfaxien having conceding an early goal to fall 1-0 away to Mouloudia Alger of Algeria in another all-north Africa affair. Zesco are better placed than both Tunisian outfits as they forced a 0-0 draw at SuperSport United of South Africa in a dour duel of few scoring chances. Title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo are the only second-leg hosts not to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia plans cut its budget deficit to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, down from about 6 percent expected in 2017, as fiscal reforms take effect, the economic reforms’ minister said on Wednesday. The North African country is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund and its partners to speed up reforms to create jobs and cut its deficit after its vital tourism sector was hit by deadly militant attacks in 2015. “Next year’s budget would be a budget of major reforms that were delayed a lot, including fiscal reforms aimed at raising state resources, as well as reforms in the public sector,” Taoufik Rajhi, the minister of economic reforms, told Reuters in an interview...

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(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
A steak dubbed the "Grilled Freedom" is just one stand-out dish on the menu of the Tunisian capital's "Le Dictateur" restaurant, which is not exactly to the taste of officialdom. Six years after the North African country's revolution that sparked the Arab Spring, "Le Dictateur" vies for the foodie business in the upmarket Cite Ennasr suburb of Tunis. "We had to make ourselves known, to come up with a name and concept that attracted attention because good cuisine alone is often not enough," said owner Seif Ben Hammouda. "Dictatorship was a taboo subject for decades, and it's still very relevant here as efforts continue to bring about freedom and democracy," said the savvy entrepreneur in his 30s. Against a bricked...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
Thirty-six people were injured in a accident when a bus skidded off the road Monday evening in the southwestern Tunisian province of Gafsa, authorities said Tuesday. The bus, traveling from the capital city of Tunis to Tozeur, a southern province, crashed at a site about 90 kilometers from Gafsa, the capital city of Gafsa province, said the regional Director of Civil Protection Adel Labidi. "Thirty-three passengers have already left the regional hospital in Gafsa while three others remain there for more care given the delicacy of their state of health," said Labidi. The number of road accidents in 2017 has dropped by 17.42% from 4,001 in 2016 to 3,304, according to the latest report of National Road Safety Observatory (ONSR)...
(Agence Ecofin 07/12/17)
The International Monetary Fund (Fund) forecast a 2.3% growth for the Tunisian economy this year after a relatively sluggish year in 2016. The new forecast will be mainly driven by the tourism and phosphate sectors. Yet, the Bretton Woods institution stresses on the fragility of the economy of this country which is currently experiencing a particularly complex socio-political situation. The Fund also highlights structural drawbacks and an overvalued exchange rate which do not favor investment, in a context where trust in the country is still weak, two years after the terrorist attacks that hurt the economy. External shocks and the blunders during implementation of new policies widened the budget deficit to more than 10% of the country’s gross domestic product...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
A trial opened in Tunisia on Tuesday over the 2015 attack on the Bardo museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a police officer, court officials said. Two gunmen opened fire at the National Bardo Museum in an operation claimed by the Islamic State group. Some 21 detained suspects, including two women, attended Tuesday morning's unannounced hearing, defence lawyer Samir Ben Amor said. Three others, who were not under arrest, were not present, he said. About 30 people are also on trial in absentia, defence lawyer Rafik Ghak said. The suspects were not named. Since its revolution in 2011, Tunisia has faced a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed the lives of more than 100 soldiers and police along...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Two dozen people, including two women, went on trial on Tuesday for their alleged roles in the 2015 attack on Tunisia’s Bardo National Museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a police officer. The March 18, 2015 attack on the famed museum outside Tunis was the opening salvo in a series of assaults in this North African country, including the slaying of 38 people, mostly British tourists, at a beach hotel. All were claimed by the Islamic State group. The two museum attackers, who authorities said trained in a camp in neighboring Libya, were killed by security forces, but a lengthy investigation uncovered a network of helpers who allegedly provided direct or indirect support for the operation. A dozen of...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Washington Post 07/10/17)
TUNIS, Tunisia — The two Tunisian former Guantanamo Bay detainees call their homeland an open-air prison and yearn for escape, even back to the U.S. detention center in Cuba. At least two other Tunisians freed from Guantanamo made their way to Syria, and another has seemingly vanished. Hedi Hammami and Salah Sassi have been free for seven years, nearly as long as the two were imprisoned at the American military base on the Caribbean island. The men remain close, complaining that constant police harassment has left them few alternatives for companionship. “I was in a small prison and today I find myself in a larger one in Tunisia,” said Hammami, who lives on the outskirts of Tunis in a rented...
(Foreign Policy 07/10/17)
On May 23, as U.S. President Donald Trump began his first Middle East tour, a less sensational but potentially more consequential development was unfolding in Tunisia. Following months of increasing social unrest, political deadlock, and murmurings of a second uprising in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the government of Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced a “total war against corruption.” Chahed’s statement, which followed the arrest of three prominent businessmen and one customs officer, signaled the start of a much broader campaign against cases of graft that had been increasingly viewed within Tunisia as the leading threat to the country’s democratization. Since May 23, the state has arrested and seized the assets of around a dozen additional individuals implicated...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/01/17)
The body of Anis Amri, the Tunisian blamed for the deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, was repatriated to the North African country on Friday for burial. The remains of the 24-year-old, who was shot dead by Italian police on December 23 while on the run in Milan, arrived at Tunis-Carthage airport and were handed over to his family, an airport source said. He is due to be buried in his hometown of Oueslatia in central Tunisia, one of his brothers, Abdelkader, told AFP by telephone. Amri, a rejected asylum seeker, is believed to have hijacked a truck and rammed it into a crowd at the Berlin Christmas market on December 19, killing 12 people. The rampage was...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
A "mentally disturbed" man stabbed and wounded two German tourists on Friday in a Tunisian marketplace near the northeastern beach resort of Hammamet, the government said. The attack on a mother and her 27-year-old daughter took place in the arts and crafts market of the town of Nabeul, the tourism and interior ministries said in a joint statement. "The incident is not an act of terrorism", the statement said. The mother was slightly wounded and treated on the spot while her daughter "is in stable condition", the ministries said, adding that the attacker had been detained by police. Two attacks targeting tourists killed 59 foreigners and a Tunisian police officer in 2015, sending revenues in the key tourism sector plummeting...
(Xinhuanet 06/30/17)
The Tunisian Ministry of the Interior said two German tourists, a mother and her daughter, were stabbed earlier Friday in Nabeul, a coastal town in northeastern Tunisia. The incident is "not a terrorist attack" and the aggressor "has been suffering from psychological disorders since 2011," said Yasser Mosbeh, the spokesman of the ministry. The two Germans, accompanied by the father, were attacked in a craft tourist area in Nabeul's city center, according to the ministry. The injured daughter, 27, is still under medical care while her mother has been discharged from hospital, local media reported.
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A Tunisian shepherdess was killed Friday when she stepped on a landmine in a military zone in the country's west, where the army is fighting jihadists, a security official said. The woman, in her 50s, stepped on a mine "planted by jihadists" and died of internal bleeding after straying about one kilometre (mile) into the Mount Salloum military zone, the official told AFP. Mount Salloum, in the Kasserine region near the border with Algeria, is a stronghold of jihadists. There have been several deaths from landmine blasts in the region. On Monday a Tunisian soldier died of his wounds on Mount Ouergha, also in the west of the country. Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced an increase in jihadist...

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(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Agence Ecofin 05/18/17)
In the 2017-2018 season, Tunisia aims to import 2.1 million tons of wheat and barley (soft and hard), against 2.4 million tons the previous season. This was disclosed by Taoufik Saidi, director general of Tunisia’s Office des Cereales (OTC), in an interview with Bloomberg. The grains will be bought via international call for tenders. According to Saidi, the 12.5% slump in the grains imports is to be attributed to a better output. Indeed, combined wheat and barley outputs is expected to stand at 1.8 million tons this season, as compared to 1.4 million last year. Moreover, the official added that the price of hard wheat which is the nation’s main crop should rise in the global market, due to a...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Xinhuanet 05/16/17)
More than 55 percent of Tunisian imports come from the European Union (EU) during the first four months of the current year, Tunisian Minister of Commerce Zied Laadhari said on Monday. At a press briefing here in the government headquarters, Laadhari said, besides the imports from the EU, 8.4 percent of Tunisian imports come from China, 6.2 percent from Arab countries, 4.6 percent from Turkey, 4.2 percent from North America and 3 percent from Russia. According to Laadhari, imports from the EU reached 22.16 billion dinars (about 9.086 billion U.S. dollars), including semi-industrial products and industrial equipment. The Tunisian minister said that 75 percent of Tunisian exports are to euro zone countries, 10 percent to Arab countries, 3 percent to...
(Xinhuanet 05/16/17)
Tunisia's National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on Monday that the country's economic growth in the first quarter of 2017 reached 2.1 percent year-on-year. According to NSI, the Tunisian GDP grew 0.9 percent from the last quarter of 2016. The NSI attributed such growth to the positive performance of tourism sector, which posts a growth of 35 percent. However, the manufacturing sector declined 1.1 percent, while non-manufacturing industries saw a mild growth of 0.2 percent, it said.
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/09/17)
Protests over jobs and development in southern and central Tunisia have halted production at or shut the fields of two foreign energy companies in a new challenge to the country's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. For Tunisia, a small oil and gas producer compared to its OPEC neighbors Libya and Algeria with national production is around 44,000 barrels per day, the protests come at a sensitive time as Chahed's government tries to enact austerity reforms. Tunisia's Energy Minister Hela Chikhrouhou told reporters sit-ins halted production at energy company Perenco's Baguel
(Xinhuanet 05/09/17)
Tunisian oil production has declined remarkably during the last six years following the uprising of 2011, said Tunisian Minister of Energy and Mines Hala Chickrouhou on Monday. Chickrouhou revealed during a press briefing in Tunis that the contribution of oil companies to the Tunisian state budget has decreased from 3 billion dinars (1.23 billion U.S. dollars) between 2009 and 2010 to 1 billion dinars (0.41 billion dollars). Tunisia does not present itself as one of the biggest oil-producing countries, but the fuel distribution sector provides 15,000 jobs through 800 distribution points of petroleum products and a potential of 500 additional jobs, added the minister. The country is currently producing 40,000 barrels of oil and 40,000 barrels of natural gas daily...
(Agence Ecofin 05/05/17)
In Tunisia, 40,000 occupants and users will soon have their land situation regularised. This was announced by the nation’s Prime Minister, Youssef Chahed, on May 2, as was being launched a nation-wide regularization campaign in the Northern part of the country. “The campaign aims to regularise the land situation regarding appropriation in order to introduce thousands of farmers into to economic system and restart investment and development in all regions to give a great boost to the economy and provide the State significant revenues while reducing challenges that farmers have to deal with. This will also help the farmers develop projects through bank loans and other advantages,” the PM said. In the presence of Samir Betaieb, Mohamed Salah Arfaoui, Mabrouk...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
According to statistics released by the Tunisian Foreign Investments Promotion Agency, foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Tunisia rose 18% to $177.68 million during Q1 2017, as compared to the same period the year before. Amongst sectors that captured most foreign investments are manufacturing and services. The first attracted $59 million worth of FDIs while the second attracted $23 million. Tunisia hopes to attract more foreign investment in order to revive its economy which has been staggering for some years now. This month, Tunisia implemented a new law which aims to make it easier for foreign investors to transfer their profits out of the country.
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back to the continent, the valuable skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the developed world. "This pool of skilled labour can help the continent address challenges that hinder social economic development," she added. The director noted that remittances resulting...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...

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(AFP (eng) 01/21/15)
Tunisia coach George Leekens has played down the strength of his team ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations showdown with fellow former champions Zambia in Equatorial Guinea Thursday. The Carthage Eagles were ranked the second best African national team behind neighbours Algeria by FIFA this month. That placing puts them five spots above nearest Group B rivals Cape Verde, nine ahead of Zambia and 11 above the Democratic Republic of Congo. And a leading British bookmaker has made the North Africans 9-1 fourth favourites to go all the way and win the February 8 final. But far from seeing his Eagles as strong title candidates, Belgian Leekens surprised reporters in north-eastern town Ebebiyin by saying Tunisia were not even...
(Lusaka Times 01/21/15)
Zambia must beat Tunisia in the two side’s second 2015 Africa Cup Group B match on Thursday evening to keep their chances of advancing to the quarterfinals alive. This is a must win encounter for both Zambia and Tunisia owing to the 1-1 draws they forced in their opening fixtures against DR Congo and Cape Verde respectively. “We are still determined to be one of the top two teams out of this group. I however emphasise that all teams that are in the group want to win,” Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza said. Zambia and Tunisia have met 11 times in all competition with Chipolopolo winning three matches, losing six times and two matches have ended in stalemates. Meanwhile, Zambia face...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/15)
The impressive Heldon struck from the penalty spot as Cape Verde came from behind to draw 1-1 with Tunisia in Africa Cup of Nations Group B on Sunday. Mohamed Ali Moncer had given much-fancied Tunisia the lead with only 20 minutes remaining in Ebebiyin, but Heldon won and then converted a penalty on 77 minutes to ensure a share of the spoils. The result leaves all four teams in Group B locked on one point after the opening round of games following the 1-1 draw between Zambia and DR Congo earlier in the day. Unlikely quarter-finalists in 2013, Cape Verde almost took a shock early lead when Fernando Varela hit the post with a free header only two minutes in...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/15)
There was frustration for much-fancied Tunisia and for 2012 champions Zambia as the Africa Cup of Nations moved to the remote outpost of Ebebiyin on Sunday. The small town where the borders of Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon all converge welcomed a capacity crowd at its 5,000-seat stadium as Zambia and DR Congo opened their Group B campaigns with a 1-1 draw, with Premier League star Yannick Bolasie rescuing a draw for the Leopards. And later in the day Cape Verde came from behind to draw 1-1 with Tunisia thanks to a well-taken penalty by the impressive Heldon to leave the group finely poised ahead of the second round of games. Zambia went on to win the trophy the last...
(SouthAfrica.info 01/19/15)
Top South African cycling outfit Team MTN-Qhubeka has received an invitation to participate in the 2015 Tour de France - the first African team ever to do so in 101 years. The 22 teams riding in the race were announced by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) last week. Along with the 17 World Tour teams, five wild card teams also issued - including one to the South African team. This year will be the first time in the race's 101 year history that a team from Africa will participate. 'Historic moment' "To receive a wild card for the Tour de France is a dream come true for the entire MTN- Qhubeka p/b Samsung team, while it is also a historic...
(BBC News Africa 01/15/15)
An African-registered team will compete in the Tour de France for the first time this summer. The MTN-Qhubeka outfit from South Africa is one of five teams granted wildcard invitations alongside the 17 World Tour entries. The team has previously stated its desire to mark Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July with a specially-designed kit if it was invited to take part. The 102nd Tour gets under way in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 4 July. Grand Tour stage winners Edvald Boasson Hagen, Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar are part of the rider roster at MTN-Qhubeka, which competes on the second-tier UCI Continental Circuits. Team principal Doug Ryder told BBC World Service Sport that Britain's Kenyan-born former Tour champion Chris Froome had...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/15)
Tunisia will need Wahbi Khazri to reproduce his recent club form if they are to justify their status as one of the favourites at this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Moving the tournament from their north African neighbours Morocco to Equatorial Guinea may have been greeted with disappointment in Tunisia, but the Carthage Eagles were boosted by a kind draw for the finals which will see them face Zambia, Cape Verde and DR Congo in Group B. Under Belgian coach Georges Leekens, Tunisia came unbeaten through a testing qualifying group that featured Senegal, Egypt and Botswana and are currently Africa's second-best side behind Algeria in the FIFA rankings. Leekens's side only scored six goals in six qualifiers, but two of...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/15)
Ligue 1 club Metz have signed Tunisian international striker Fakhreddine Ben Youssef from CS Sfaxien on a deal set to run until 2018, the French club confirmed on Monday. The 23-year-old is currently preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, which begins on January 17, but will link up with his new club following the tournament. Voted top Tunisian player of the year in 2013, the marksman also helped Sfaxien to the Confederation Cup the same season.
(Daily Trust 12/22/14)
Football without superstars is like tea without sugar, like bread without butter, or beans without dodo (fried plantain). We are in the season of celebrating the super stars, the players whose light has shone brightest in the football constellation. Next January, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, will elect its winner of the prestigious African Footballer of the Year Award for 2014. The event has become very significant for the players because it shoots their status and profile sky high, onto a new pedestal of respect and prospect of additional fortune! In the final list of five players for the 2014 African award there are a few surprise inclusions.
(Independent Online 12/09/14)
Monaco – An African bid to stage the Olympic Games for the first time will get widespread sympathy in the IOC after its new reforms, Olympic chief Thomas Bach said. With Durban in South Africa considering a run for the 2024 Games, Bach said in an interview that it was up to Africa to make a “feasible” case. “This depends on Africa,” Bach said when asked when the first Olympics would be held in Africa. Reforms passed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) such as making bidding easier and cheaper and allowing possible joint bids are intended to take the Games to “new regions”, according to Bach, “We will see now,” Bach said. “The next candidature phase is for the...
(BBC News Africa 11/14/14)
It will be almost impossible to stage the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations on time, says the man who organised the 2008 tournament in Ghana. Morocco was due to stage the 2015 Cup but was removed as host after expressing fears over the Ebola virus. The Confederation of African Football (Caf) insists the tournament will go ahead on time, starting on 17 January. But Dr Kofi Amoah told the BBC: "It could be a sham. I don't think there is enough time for anyone to do it." Caf said earlier this week that several countries had applied to stage the relocated event, and that a decision would be made in a matter of days . Who will step in as...
(BBC News Africa 11/12/14)
The new hosts for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations will be named in "two or three days", says the Confederation of African Football (Caf). Caf president Issa Hayatou revealed the timeframe in a live interview with TV channel France 24 on Tuesday. Hayatou added that the tournament dates remained 17 January to 8 February. It was announced earlier on Tuesday that original choice Morocco would not host because of its fears over the Ebola outbreak on the continent. Morocco had asked to postpone the competition until 2016 but Caf refused and expelled them from the finals.
(The New York Times 11/12/14)
Fear of the spread of Ebola has now thrown Africa’s most important soccer tournament into disarray. Morocco was removed Tuesday as host of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and expelled from participating in the biennial championship after it sought to delay the 16-team event, concerned about a spread of the virus. No replacement host has yet been named for the tournament, which is scheduled from Jan. 17 to Feb. 8. The expulsion of Morocco was announced by the Confederation of African Football, or C.A.F., the regional soccer governing body, which accused Moroccan officials of being alarmist in wanting to delay the Cup of Nations by six months or a year. Ebola has not been detected in Morocco, the organization...
(Pana 11/11/14)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Several innovations reported in recent years from across Africa bode well for the continent striving to get skills that meet its industry requirements in the 21st century, economic and labour experts meeting in Addis Ababa said on Saturday. But some basics must be in place for Africa to have the capacity to take advantage of what is happening globally in technology and innovation, according to Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). “What has been lacking many times we make structural adjustments is the capacity to implement programmes. We keep moving forward and backward,” he remarked at the Ninth African Economic Conference being held 1-3 November 2014 in Addis...
(BBC News Africa 11/10/14)
The five-man shortlist for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2014 has been revealed. Title holder Yaya Toure has been nominated for the sixth consecutive year, along with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Enyeama and Gervinho. The winner will be decided by fans of African football, who have until 18:00 GMT on Monday, 24 November to vote for their choice. Or to vote for BBC African Footballer of the Year 2014 by SMS, text the number of the player you wish to vote for to +447786202008. Standard international text rates apply. Please check with your service provider. SMS votes are limited to one vote per mobile phone number. Terms and conditions apply. The winner will be announced on Monday,...
(Pana 10/07/14)
The qualifying series for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations is set to resume next weekend, after a month-long break, PANA reported Sunday. The first set of two group matches were played last month, and two more matches are slated to be played this month. Match day three will be next Friday and Saturday, while Match day four will be four days later, on 15 Oct. After this month's matches, there will be two more matches to go, in November, before the emergence of the qualified teams. The top two finishers from each of the seven groups, plus the best third-placed team, will pick the tickets to the 16-team 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals. Host Morocco is an automatic...
(The New Times 10/07/14)
Head coaches and technical directors of African national teams have hailed progress in African football but emphasised the need to make improvements which would see an African team win a Fifa World Cup. The resolution was among the many passed by the coaches, who meet in a two-day conference held in Cairo, Egypt last week. It was organised by FIFA and CAF to review and learn from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Rwanda was represented by Amavubi head coach Stephen Constantine and technical director Lee Johnson. Reflecting on the technical aspects of Brazil 2014, there was a general feeling among participants that African teams had played their part in the overall success of the World Cup. For the first...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/14)
Tunisian international defender Alaedinne Yahia has signed a two-year deal with Ligue 1 side Caen, the French club announced on Wednesday. The 33-year-old, capped 22 times and a member of the Tunisia squad that won the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations title, was out of contract with league rivals Lens, who had wanted to extend his deal until 2015 but failed to get the go ahead because of a transfer ban imposed by French league bosses. Desperate to get back to action the French-born player signed a contract until June 2016 with the Normandy side. "It breaks my heart to leave Lens, but I couldn't wait any longer, I had to find a solution and make a decision," said Yahia,...
(Egypt Independent 09/10/14)
The Interior Ministry has approved the attendance of fans at Wednesday's soccer game between Egypt and Tunisia, which comes as part of the second round of the 2015 African Nations qualifiers in Morocco. Security sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that major security measures are in place. Meanwhile, Cairo Security Department approved holding the local Super Cup match between Ahly and Zamalek, which will be played on Sunday at Air Defense stadium. The ministry earlier approved playing the Super Cup matches in Egypt, refusing that they be played at any Arab country and conditioning that fans do not attend. The 2011-2012 season was stopped due to the massacre that took place at Port Said stadium in February 2012, which left 72 fans...
(Dw-World 09/04/14)
As the continent gears up for its African Nations Cup qualifiers, concerns are growing that the deadly disease could ruin the games. Some argue soccer players and fans from Ebola-hit countries could spread the virus. The message from Africa's soccer governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was clear: Ivory Coast will be expelled from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations if they refuse to host Ebola-hit Sierra Leone in their qualifier on Saturday (06.09.2014). CAF's statement prompted Ivory Coast to allow the match to be held in Abidjan after all.

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(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(Voice of America 12/02/16)
Activists are using the women's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon to campaign for the protection of the continent's forests and animal species. The campaign, called “Sports for Nature," is spearheaded by conservationist groups who say some of Africa's natural resources are on the verge of going extinct. In Yaounde, birds sing at a makeshift park near the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, one of the sites of the 2016 women's football African Cup of Nations. Conservationist Nevielle Tanyi points toward a crocodile walking nearby and describes the danger it poses to workers trying to maintain a pond. "When we provoke the crocodile to leave the pond area, it goes toward the side where there is no water and it normally...
(Washington Post 11/28/16)
Following his release after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela made sure one of his first trips abroad was to Havana. There, in the Cuban capital in 1991, Mandela lavished his host, Fidel Castro, with appreciation. Castro, said Mandela, was a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” The scene might seem paradoxical in some corners of the West. How could the global symbol of African liberation and democracy say such a thing about a man whose death last Friday provoked exiles who fled repressive Cuban rule to dance in Miami's streets? How could Mandela — imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid rulers — find common ground with Castro, who cleared his way to absolute power in Cuba by jailing untold...
(The Guardian 11/23/16)
Rulers of the DRC, Burundi, Zimbabwe and others say tide has turned after Obama’s efforts to promote democracy abroad. As the sun rose over Kinshasa on 9 November, Martin Fayulu was awoken by a phone call from a relative in the US telling him to switch on his television – Donald Trump appeared set to become the next US president. Fayulu, an opposition politician at the forefront of recent protests calling for elections to be held on time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, immediately switched on a French channel. “Many Congolese were watching, and a lot had mixed feelings,” he said. Across Africa the interest was equally intense, with the surprise result prompting fierce speculation about the unexpected...
(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(Dw-World 11/09/16)
Africans across the continent followed the US presidential election with keen interest. While some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic. Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli was one of the first African leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory. "Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation," he wrote on his Twitter account. Burundi's controversial leader Pierre Nkurunziza - the subject of intense US and international criticism for his decision to stay in power beyond a constitutional two-term limit- followed suit. "Your victory is the victory of all Americans," he wrote on Twitter. Buzz on social media Social media platforms were abuzz with reactions just moments after the poll results...
(The Telegraph 11/07/16)
Just a few months after being elected Conservative Party leader, David Cameron flew to Rwanda. It was a high-profile trip so he could see first-hand the development of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and launch his party’s review on globalisation and global poverty. On his first day, he visited a textile factory in Kigali, the country’s capital. Above the hum of the silk reels, he chatted to some of the workers and admired the quality of the patterned fabrics. Before he left, the factory owner, Raj Rejendran, asked for a word. Growing the business, he explained, required expanding into overseas markets. He knew there was demand in the UK for his silk fabrics, but he faced heavy import duties. Might...
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Voice of America 09/26/16)
Huge orange flames and plumes of smoke filled the air at Nairobi National Park in April, a sobering image as 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn were destroyed. Kenya conducted the event to demonstrate that ivory has no value to anyone except elephants. President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his country's support for a complete ban of the ivory trade at the conference for the global conservation body known as CITES, which opens Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, is expected to make a determination on whether countries in Africa should destroy seized ivory or be allowed to sell it to fund conservation efforts. The question has sparked heated...
(BBC News Africa 09/15/16)
Swiss firms have been criticised in a report for their links to the African trade in diesel with toxin levels that are illegal in Europe. Campaign group Public Eye says retailers are exploiting weak regulatory standards. Vitol, Trafigura, Addax & Oryx and Lynx Energy have been named because they are shareholders of the fuel retailers. Trafigura and Vitol say the report is misconceived and retailers work within legal limits enforced in the countries. Three of the distribution companies mentioned in the report have responded by saying that they meet the regulatory requirements of the market and have no vested interest in keeping sulphur levels higher than they need to be. Although this is within the limits set by national governments,...
(Voice of America 09/13/16)
Representatives of 30 African countries have been working this week to map out ways to stop the continent’s mass rural exodus at the Forum on Rural Development in Yaounde. Emmanuel Afessi works on his desk top at Odja center in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, where he is training 30 youths on information technologies at the center he created when he returned from the United States a year ago. "Africa needs to produce its own knowledge, its own equipment and that is why we want to train people within the continent," he said. "ICTs help close the gap between the developed and the developing world much faster than any technology including the motor vehicles. It is a large contributor to most African...
(Voice of America 09/09/16)
The organizers of this week's Africa Green Revolution Forum in Kenya say the continent is well on its way to an agricultural renaissance. The forum is wrapping up with a significant boost toward that goal: a pledge of $30 billion during the next 10 years to support smallholder farmers and local African agribusinesses. The donors include African governments, businesses and development partners, many of whom have been present for the Nairobi forum. But significant challenges remain for the continent, and experts have many theories about what it will take to make Africa’s green revolution a reality. Country manager James Craske of Yara, a leading fertilizer manufacturing company in Africa, said quality seeds and fertilizer would make a difference. “I think...
(Foreign Policy 08/11/16)
Tunisia’ new constitution — passed with great fanfare by the country’s first democratically elected government in 2014 — guarantees freedom of religion (though it also makes explicit reference to Islam as the national faith). So you’d be forgiven for thinking that the country would be an easy place to be a Muslim. But if you’re young and you take your religion seriously, it may not be so simple. Take the case of Noureddine Ayari, a devout young man who occasionally wears traditional Islamic clothing, keeps a short beard, and prays regularly at a mosque near his work. One December day in 2015, while at work in a marble workshop in Meghira, a southern suburb of Tunis, he was approached by...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...

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