Friday 24 November 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s navy rescued almost 100 migrants from a sinking boat off its southeast coast late on Monday, authorities said, hours after eight people being smuggled to Europe drowned in the same stretch of water. The incidents coincided with the launch of joint patrols by the Tunisian and Italian navies to stem migrant flows and carry out search and rescue operations in the area, the Tunisian Defense Ministry said. Tunisia’s coast has become the launch pad of choice for traffickers transporting migrants from North Africa across the Mediterranean. Wooden boats packed with migrants, their numbers often swelled by young Tunisians seeking work in Europe, have started landing on secluded Sicilian beaches, often in broad daylight. Activity via Libya,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - Swiss police have detained two Tunisians wanted in connection with a deadly knife attack at Marseille train station in France on Oct. 1, a source close to the investigation said on Tuesday. The knifeman, 29-year old Ahmed Hannachi, was shot dead by a French soldier after killing two young women outside the station in southern France. Authorities are investigating the attack as a “probable” terrorist act. The two Tunisians were arrested in Chiasso, near the Swiss-Italian border, the source said, adding that one of them was the subject of an international arrest warrant. Hannachi’s younger brother, Anis, was arrested in Italy earlier this month. More than 240 people have been killed in France since 2015 in attacks...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
At least eight migrants have drowned after their boat sank following a crash with a Tunisian navy vessel in the Mediterranean, the defence ministry said Monday. Spokesman Belhassen Oueslati told AFP that eight bodies were found and 38 people rescued after the unidentified boat "collided with a military vessel" Sunday evening when it was approached some 54 kilometres (33 miles) off the islands of Kerkennah. Search operations to find any more missing people were "still ongoing", he said. Several Italian media outlets reported that there were some 70 migrants on board the boat which sank and that it had set off from the Tunisian coastal city of Sfax. The collision happened in a stretch of sea that is meant to...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Tunisia's first post-revolt municipal elections originally due to take place in December will be held in March, the authorities said Thursday, after they were postponed at the request of political parties. The decision to hold the elections on March 25 was taken after a closed-door meeting of the Independent High Authority for Elections with representatives of the government, parties and civil society. The long-delayed polls had been seen as the final stage in Tunisia's transition to democracy following its 2011 uprising which sparked the Arab Spring revolutions. The postponement had come at the request of parties which did not feel ready for the election. But now that a date has finally been set there will be hopes they can improve...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said Thursday a probe into the young Tunisian who stabbed to death two women in the French city of Marseille had uncovered no links to terrorist groups. "The investigation is underway and we do not really have links today or proof of any ties when this person was in Tunisia with terrorist groups or Daesh," he told reporters after talks with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. IS claimed responsibility for last Sunday's attack in Marseille, saying the assailant, 29-year-old Ahmed Hanachi who stabbed to death two young women before being shot dead, was one of its "soldiers". "We were also shocked in Tunisia as we were also...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Tunis (Tunisia)- Les Rencontres Africa - Tunis 2017 opened Thursday in the Tunisian capital on the theme: "Solidarity, Sustainable and Beneficial Cooperation between Africa and France", APA's special correspondent reports from the venue. Opening the forum, in the presence of his counterparts from Burkina Faso and France, the head of the Tunisian government, Yousef Chahed, stressed the responsibility of African business leaders in the development of the continent, at a time when the world, particularly Africa, needs “much more solidarity to face the challenges.” Les Rencontres Africa 2017 is in line with Tunisia’s development strategy, which has observer status within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and wants to integrate with this organization, as well as the Common...
(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...

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