Wednesday 21 February 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
A Frenchman and a Tunisian woman were convicted Wednesday on appeal in Tunis for "public indecency" after an altercation with police who arrested the couple while they were hugging in a car. The couple, who maintain that they were not kissing, were given a lighter sentence than the original term handed out at their October 4 trial, after widespread outrage on social media and in the press over the incident. The man was handed four months in prison for "public indecency" and "refusing to obey the police", with the woman given a two month sentence on the first charge only. "It's an independent decision," a spokesman for the public prosecutors office, Sofiene Sliti told AFP. "What has been reported nationally...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
EU anti-terror chief Gilles de Kerchove on Tuesday called for a boosted exchange of information with Tunisia, which has seen its nationals involved in deadly attacks abroad and on its soil. During a visit to Tunis, for talks with Tunisian ministers, the EU official said that the flow of information across the Mediterranean "is functioning well" but could be improved. "We are looking to see how to help Tunisia in the area of data protection... to increase the exchange of information," between the Tunisian authorities and organisations such as Europol and Eurojust, he added. He argued such improvements could be useful for ongoing cases like the trial of the suspects in the 2015 attack on a beach resort near Sousse...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Tunisia's navy has found the bodies of 26 migrants at sea a week after their boat collided with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll to 34, the defence ministry said. On October 8, a migrant boat sank following a collision with a navy vessel off the coast of the Kerkennah islands in the Mediterranean. At the time, the defence ministry said eight migrants drowned and 38 others were rescued, while NGOs spoke of dozens still missing. On Sunday night, a navy search and rescue vessel spotted the remains of the migrant boat and pulled out 10 bodies, the ministry said in a statement. The bodies of 16 other migrants were found on Monday, defence ministry spokesman Belhassen Oueslati said,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s navy has recovered 26 more bodies of Tunisian migrants who drowned when their boat sank last week in a collision with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll from the incident to 34. The incident has caused anger in Tunisia where the families of some of the migrants who drowned protested in two towns. In the southern town of Kebili, protesters burned a local government building last week. Last Monday, the navy recovered eight bodies after the collision 54 km (33 miles) off the coast, while 38 were rescued. The navy found 16 more bodies on Monday after recovering 10 more on Sunday, a navy spokesman said. According to testimony from survivors, there were between 70...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists in Tunisia has risen by 24 percent so far this year, official data showed, indicating that a vital industry crippled two years ago by Islamist attacks on holidaymakers is recovering. Tourism accounts for about 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product, provides thousands of jobs and is a key source of foreign currency, but has struggled since two deadly militant attacks in 2015. A total of 5.55 million foreign tourists visited the North African country between Jan. 1 and Oct. 10, compared with 4.49 million in the same period last year, according to the data sent to Reuters on Tuesday. Visits by European tourists rose by 18 percent to 1.461 million while...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
The death toll in the sinking of a Tunisian illegal immigrant boat has risen to 34, the spokesman of Tunisian Ministry of National Defense Belhassen Oueslati said Monday. Sixteen corpses among these victims were discovered on Monday in a large operation carried out by the Tunisian Navy. And another body was discovered on Monday a little far from the place of sinking. On October 8, a Tunisian naval vessel crashed into a boat carrying aboard Tunisian illegal immigrants, 38 of them have been saved, 54 kilometers away from Kerkennah Island.
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Tunisia plans to export 200,000 tons of olive oil in 2017/2018 after production more than doubled last year's harvest, the National Office of Oil of Tunisia announced on Monday. The office's chief executive officer, Chokri Bayoudh, said that Tunisia would become the world's second largest exporter of this product after Spain. During the season 2014/2015, Tunisia outperformed Spain, ranking top among world olive oil exporters. Tunisian olive oil, known for its good quality, is exported to 54 markets, particularly the European Union, which receives 56,000 tons followed by the United States with 35,000 tons. The country is also tapping in new markets including Russia, India, Japan and several African markets, said the National Office of Oil. Until September 2017, Tunisia...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s navy said on Sunday it recovered 10 more bodies of Tunisian migrants who drowned when their boat sank last week in a collision with a navy vessel off the country’s coast, bringing the death toll from the incident to 18. Last Monday, the navy recovered eight bodies after the collision with the Tunisian navy boat 54 km (33 miles) off the southern coast, while 38 were rescued. According to testimony from survivors, there were between 70 and 80 people on board, the International Organization for Migration has said. The incident has caused anger in Tunisia. The families of some migrants who drowned protested in two towns. In the southern town of Kebili, protesters burned a local...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
Relatives of Tunisians who drowned after a migrant boat collided with a navy vessel at the weekend set fire to a local government building Thursday in protest, officials and an NGO said. Interior ministry spokesman Yasser Mesbah said around 40 Tunisians torched the building in the central town of Souk Lahad and tried to set on fire a police station. Police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, he said. At least eight migrants drowned on Sunday after their boat sank following a collision with a Tunisian navy vessel in the Mediterranean, while 38 others were rescued, the defence ministry has said. NGOs say around 40 more people are still missing. Romdhane Ben Amor, of the Tunisian Forum for Economic...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Tunisia said on Tuesday it had released two siblings detained after their brother Ahmed Hanachi stabbed two young women to death in the French city of Marseille this month. Moez and Amina Hanachi, who both live in Tunisia, were detained on Friday and have been questioned by anti-terror investigators, the prosecution said. But the two "had nothing to do" with their brother's attack in France, prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti said Tuesday. The investigating judge overseeing the case therefore decided to release them after questioning, he said. Their brother Hanachi, 29, attacked two women at Marseille's Saint-Charles train station on October 1 before being shot dead by troops.
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
A brother and sister of Ahmed Hanachi, who stabbed two young women to death in the French city of Marseille this month, have been detained in Tunisia, authorities said Monday. The two were detained on Friday and have been questioned by anti-terror investigators, prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti said. "They appeared before an investigating judge... who decided to transfer the case to the national guard" in Aouina, northeastern Tunis, he said. A source close to the family named the siblings as Moez and Amina Hanachi, who both live in Tunisia. Their brother Ahmed Hanachi, 29, attacked two women...
(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...

Pages