| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(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.
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was booed off stage as he addressed a town hall meeting Thursday in a southeastern region rocked by protests and a general strike. Six years since a revolution ignited by grievances over joblessness, corruption and perceived marginalisation of the country's periphery, Tunisia has seen a wave of protests. Chahed and several government ministers arrived in the town of Tataouine to find a town closed down by a general strike. The market, banks and shops in...
(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.
(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.
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Tunisia's parliament voted on Tuesday to ease the country's harsh law on drugs, in a move that could see offenders like youths caught smoking marijuana escape jail terms. The North African country has faced mounting calls from rights groups and civil society to reform the law. Tuesday's vote comes after the National Security Council headed by President Beji Caid Essebsi announced in March measures to limit the number of drug-users sent to prison. Law 52, dating back to the rule...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help...
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
The first public hearing into the June 2015 attack in the Tunisian resort of Sousse that killed 38 foreign tourists has been set for next week, the court said Friday. "The trial on the attack at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel will begin on April 28," court spokesman Sofiene Sliti told AFP. A total of 33 people are being prosecuted in the case, including six members of the security forces who are charged with "not assisting people in danger". On June...
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
Thousands protested in northeastern Tunisia on Thursday to mark a general strike over unemployment and poverty, six years since a revolution ignited by similar grievances. Demonstrators gathered at the local branch of the powerful UGTT trade union in Kef, 180 kilometres (110 miles) west of Tunis, before marching down the main streets. "Work, freedom, dignity!" they shouted. "Kef has the right to development!" They denounced the government over "broken promises" to develop the region. "This demonstration and strike are important, raising a cry of anger in the face of a situation that cannot last," teacher Rached Salhi said. Government offices, private companies, shops and cafes were closed and shuttered.
(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...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
Tunisia's social affairs minister said on Monday new policies were needed to keep children in school until the age of 16 as the country seeks to curb child labour. The North African nation needs to "establish adequate policies... to guarantee that children go to school until they are at least 16 years old, under Tunisian law," Mohamed Trabelsi said. "We have 100,000 children who leave school early for one reason or another, especially in the rural regions. It mainly affects...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in...
(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...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
Tunisian authorities have shut down a nightclub and begun an investigation after a DJ played a remix recording of the Muslim call to prayer, an official said Monday. A video, widely shared online since Sunday, shows clubbers dancing at the weekend in the northeastern town of Nabeul to music that includes the call to prayer. The footage sparked a storm of debate on social media. Two European DJs played at the party on Friday as part of a music festival...

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