| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(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...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
Tunisia is hold municipal polls on December 17, the country's first since its 2011 revolution, the electoral commission announced Monday. After legislative and presidential votes in 2014, on the back of the adoption of a new constitution, local polls aim to complete the process of democratisation following the revolution that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The date of December 17 was agreed in consultations with the government, political parties and civil society groups, the president of Tunisia's electoral body, Chafik Sarsar, told a news conference. After Sarsar initially proposed November 26, some parties had suggested March 2018, but the elections chief warned a long delay would be "a bad sign for Tunisia" and signal "an incapacity to...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(AFP (eng) 04/01/17)
Tunisian activists say they are frustrated by the slow progress on reforms to improve civil liberties six years after an uprising calling for more freedoms in the North African country. The 2011 revolution that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ushered in a new era of freedom of expression and the creation of dozens of civil society groups and political parties. But activists say the law still contains "oppressive" and "backward" provisions inconsistent with a 2014 constitution guaranteeing freedom of conscience, protection of privacy, and equality between men and women. Since the uprising, Amna Guellali of Human Rights Watch says, Tunisian civil society has more openly been tackling issues that were previously taboo such as drugs and homosexuality...
(Middle East Monitor 03/30/17)
Egyptian artist Bahia Shehab and French-Tunisian artist eL Seed have been awarded the UNESCO-Sharjah prize for Arab culture for their innovative use of Arabic calligraphy in street art. Shehab, who is the first woman in the region to receive the award, has said that art can be a tool for change that can encourage people to engage for justice. Her work “No, A Thousand Times No” began with the compilation of 1,000 “nos” as they had been depicted on anything ever produced under Islamic and Arab patronage, from art and ceramics to tombstones, in the past 1,400 years from Spain to the borders of China. During the 2011 Egyptian revolution Shehab sprayed the various “nos” on the walls of downtown...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
A Tunisian allegedly caught red-handed taking a bribe was among three regional officials sacked on Monday by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, who has vowed to fight graft. A government statement announced the sackings but did not say why the three were relieved of their duties. A spokesman for a provincial prosecutor said one of the officials had been arrested during a police sting allegedly pocketing money from a businessman who had complained to authorities that he had been asked to pay bribes. According to spokesman Mohamed Ali Barhoumi, the businessman told authorities
(Agence Ecofin 03/28/17)
During a field visit last Sunday with the Prime Minister, Youssef Chahed, Tunisia’s State secretary to public domains and land affairs, Mabrouk Korchid, announced that some of the people living on public properties will now be granted ownership of these lands. This stands only for those who have been occupying these lands for the past 30 to 40 years. “It is the right of citizens who have been living on these lands for 30 to 40 years, after establishing their homes on them in good faith, to be awarded a land title. The regularization process concerns 979 housing units built over 11,000 hectares. It should prevent the anarchic establishment of further homes,” Korchid said. According to Business News, “a council...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
An alliance of Tunisian human rights groups on Monday called on authorities to scrap a 1973 decree that bans Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims. The alliance of some 60 groups signed a statement calling for the decree to be revoked, saying it undermines "a fundamental human right: which is the right to choose a spouse". Sana Ben Achour, president of the Beity association, told a news conference "it is inadmissible today for a simple decree, which has almost no judicial value... to command the lives of thousands". The decree issued in 1973 by the justice ministry stipulates that a non-Muslim man who wishes to marry a Tunisia woman must convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Tunisia on Friday summoned the British ambassador to the North African country to protest against what it called an "unjustified" ban on electronic devices on flights to the United Kingdom. The foreign ministry's head of European affairs, Mohamed Mezghani, told ambassador Louise de Sousa that Tunisia was "surprised" it was not consulted or informed of the decision ahead of its announcement. The ban on large electronics devices was "unjustified and does not reflect the security situation in Tunisia", he said. Mezghani also cited a 2016 report by the International Civil Aviation Organization which he said described
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Cameroon began their reign as African champions with a 1-0 friendly victory over Tunisia in Monastir Friday thanks to a Vincent Aboubakar goal. The Turkey-based striker took advantage of his first scoring opportunity to beat Aymen Mathlouthi after 14 minutes in the Mediterranean resort. Aboubakar had several other chances, including a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but could not add to his tally. Tunisians Taha Yassine Khenissi and Syam Ben Youssef were foiled by the woodwork during the first half. Aboubakar came off the bench to snatch a late winner against Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon last month. He was one of two changes for the Tunisia match from the team that started the final, replacing...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
The Assembly of People's Representatives (PRA) in Tunisia approved on Thursday night the candidacy of two new members of Youssef Chahed's National Unity government. They are the Minister of Religious Affairs Ahmed Adhoum and the Secretary of State for Trade Abdellatif Hmam, respectively with 119 and 120 votes in favor. Forty deputies voted against both candidates without any abstentions. "Tunisia and its people are currently facing a series of challenges that are the result of a legacy and an accumulation of government stewardship failure for years or even decades," said Mohamed Ennaceur, the President of the PRA. The current government, he added, "will have to ensure the necessary reforms and reconstruction as well as the satisfaction of the major aspirations...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...

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