Saturday 25 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Tunisia's energy minister has appeared before a judge on graft suspicions, a judicial source said Friday, the latest high-ranking official to face allegations amid a crackdown in the North African state. Khaled Kaddour -- whose portfolio covers the lucrative energy and mining sectors -- was brought before an investigating judge on Thursday but the interrogation was postponed to December 4 after a request from his lawyer, the source told AFP. Kaddour -- a former oil executive who has only been in the job since September -- is suspected of "administrative and financial corruption" inside his ministry, the source said.
(Xinhuanet 11/23/17)
Leaders of Tunisia and Portugal inked agreements and exchanged their views on regional situation as Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa started a two-day official visit to Tunisia Monday. Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and his Portuguese counterpart signed seven bilateral cooperation protocols in sectors including civil protection, transport, education, scientific research, vocational training and employment. The two leaders co-chaired a high-level meeting to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. "The joint declaration, which has crowned the work of the high-level Tunisian-Portuguese meeting, reflected the shared desire of both countries to raise the bilateral partnership to a higher level, at a time when the two countries celebrate 60 years of strong and serene...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia will continue with a package of painful economic policies, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Tuesday, despite resistance from labor unions and business associations to changes that will raise taxes and put thousands out of work. The North African country is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to speed up policy changes and help its economy recover from militant attacks in 2015 that hurt its vital tourism industry. Tunisia plans to raise value-added and other taxes and lay off about 10,000 government workers as part of the 2018 budget to cut its budget deficit.
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
The family of a murdered Tunisian described by Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as a long-time member called on the authorities Friday to release details of the investigation into his killing. Unknown gunmen shot dead engineer Mohamed Zouari with a hail of bullets outside his house in central Tunisia in December 2016. Hamas, which said the 49-year-old engineer and drone expert had worked with it for a decade, at the time blamed Israel for the killing. On Thursday, it said Israeli...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
A total of 6.11 million tourists have visited Tunisia by Nov. 10 in 2017, up 24 percent from last year, Tunisian Minister of Tourism Salma Elloumi said Thursday. "We hope for more tourist traffic in the last month of this year, as tourism revenues have reached 929 million euros (1.1 billion U.S. dollars)," Elloumi said in a parliamentary session. The number of overnight stays has reached 11 million, against 9 million during the same period of 2016, she added. According...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Wednesday that North Africa is under threat from foreign fighters escaping the Islamic State jihadist group's defeats in Iraq and Syria. Messahel spoke at a news conference in Cairo after a meeting with his Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry and Khemaies Jhinaoui, over Libya. The Islamic State rose to prominence in the chaos of Syria's conflict, which broke out in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad. After its explosive rise in 2014 and conquest of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, IS established a "caliphate" that attracted thousands of foreign fighters.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
The story of an epic train journey across war-torn Mozambique by a Brazilian director has been awarded the top prize at Tunisia's Carthage Film Festival. "The Train of Salt and Sugar" by Licinio Azevedo, a Brazilian who lives in the African country, received the Tanit d'Or as the festival wrapped up on Saturday. Like a Western, the film follows the perilous journey of a train that sets off across rebel-held areas to exchange salt for sugar in 1989 during Mozambique's...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Tunisia on Friday extended for another three months a state of emergency introduced two years ago following a series of deadly jihadist attacks in the North African country. President Beji Caid Essebsi "decided to prolong the state of emergency across the whole country for three months from November 12", his office said in a statement. The security measure has been in place since a November 2015 bombing on a presidential guard bus in the capital Tunis killed 12 security service...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
A frank documentary about the lives of gay Tunisians received an enthusiastic welcome at a local film festival Friday despite homosexuality being a crime in the North African country. "It's brilliant. If this film made it, then of course we can screen many others," said Sikander, a member of the audience who only gave his first name, as he left the theatre at the Carthage Film Festival. The room of 500 seats was not big enough to fit all those...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s trade deficit widened to 23.5 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2017 to 13.210 billion Tunisian dinars ($5.28 billion), a record level, the State Statistics Institute said on Friday. The growing deficit is one of the main problems facing the government of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. The deficit was 10.710 billion dinar in the same period last year and it was 12.6 billion dinar in all of 2016. ($1 = 2.5037 Tunisian dinars)
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Hundreds of Tunisian policemen demonstrated on Friday in the central city of Sfax, demanding that parliament adopt a law on "protecting" them which civil groups have called "dangerous" for democracy. The demonstrations come two days after an Islamist extremist stabbed two policemen outside parliament. One died on Thursday of his wounds. The protesters, some in their police uniforms, marched in the city before rallying outside the prefecture, holding up signs that read: "We demand a law that bans attacks against policemen." Another sign said: "Such a law is a right, not a favour." Similar demonstrations were held in other cities including Gabes in the south and Bizerte and Siliana...

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