| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/16)
The Tunisian government on Sunday said that foreigners were behind the murder of a Tunisian engineer, after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said Israel was behind his death. "The investigations concerning the assassination of Tunisian citizen Mohamed Zaouari and the latest findings have proven that foreign elements were involved," the government said on its Facebook page. It did not give further details, but said it was "determined to protect all Tunisian citizens and to pursue those guilty of carrying out assassination inside and outside" the country.
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/16)
British energy firm Petrofac stopped work at a Tunisia gas plant after renewed protests despite an agreement to end social unrest, a minister and a company official said Wednesday. The halt in operations at Cherqui on Kerkennah island in southeast Tunisia comes after a deal in September ended a protest by local workers. "Despite the agreement signed in September and the promises from civil society in Kerkennah, (protesters) several times blocked the road for trucks," Energy Minister Hela Cheikhrouhou told radio Mosaique FM. "Civil society needs to deal with the situation in a responsible way.
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
A Tunisian court has approved the marriage of a 13-year-old girl to a relative who made her pregnant, an official said Tuesday. The judgement triggered anger from non-governmental organisations which said the girl had been raped. The girl, from the northwestern region of Kef, had a sexual relationship with the brother of her brother-in-law. She was 13 years and 11 months old and "was not raped", said Chokri Mejri, the court official. "We interviewed the girl and after verifying all the details, we considered her fit for marriage. As proof, she is pregnant," he said. Under Tunisian law, sex with a girl under 15 without the use of force is punishable by six years in prison, but the culprit can...
(Agence Ecofin 12/14/16)
Tunisia will need 8.5 billion dinars ($3.71 billion) of external loans in 2017, thus a billion dollar more than it initially planned for in its finance bill, due to higher expenditures and lower fiscal revenues, said Minister of Finance, Lamia Zribi, on December 8. “We could need as much as 8.5 billion dinars of external loans,” the official said during the review of the 2017 finance bill. The first draft of the bill put this figure at $2.78 billion. The increase is explained by the rapid surge in public spending following the signing of an agreement to increase wages of public servants by the government and the Union Generale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT). The financial impact of the agreement is...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(Xinhuanet 12/08/16)
Foreign investments in Tunisia declined by about 10 percent in the first 10 months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) announced on Wednesday. Foreign investments amounted to 700 million U.S. dollars during the first 10 months of this year, according to FIPA. It attributed this fall to the decline in the service sector investments by almost 48 percent. Observers believe the foreign investments prospect in Tunisia are promising in light of the success of the recent international investment conference held in Tunis on November. 29 and 30.
(AFP (eng) 12/07/16)
More than 2,000 lawyers protested in Tunisia's capital on Tuesday against a draft budget for 2017 stipulating a new tax for their profession, AFP reporters said. "With our souls and our blood, we will defend the lawyer's profession!" chanted protesters in black court robes after a silent march in central Tunis. Protesters held up banners reading: "Lawyers are angry!" and "We won't fund your corruption!" According to the draft budget being reviewed by parliament, lawyers will have to pay tax on each of their cases, which can later be deducted from their income tax. The measure "affects... the freedom and independence" of lawyers, said Lotfi Arbi, head of the Tunis branch of the national bar association, who had called the...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming home fans. Desire slotted in from close range after a beautiful lob from team mate Ngozi Okobi hit a Cameroonian defender and fell on her path with six minutes to the end of the game. The remaining duration and three...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/16)
A plane originally intended for Tunisia's toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been sold to Turkish Airlines, Tunisair said Sunday, six years after it was grounded following his ouster. The Turkish firm bought the Airbus A340 for 181 million dinars ($78 million), Tunisair spokeswoman Amal Bourguiba said, without giving a date for the sale. The A340 had arrived in the French airport of Bordeaux in the autumn of 2010 to be equipped for Ben Ali's use, but a popular uprising in Tunisia toppled the dictator early the next year. Tunisair, in a statement later on Sunday, said it had obtained a good price, compared with the 250 million dinars paid in 2009 to order the plane, and said...
(Voice of America 12/02/16)
Activists are using the women's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon to campaign for the protection of the continent's forests and animal species. The campaign, called “Sports for Nature," is spearheaded by conservationist groups who say some of Africa's natural resources are on the verge of going extinct. In Yaounde, birds sing at a makeshift park near the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, one of the sites of the 2016 women's football African Cup of Nations. Conservationist Nevielle Tanyi points toward a crocodile walking nearby and describes the danger it poses to workers trying to maintain a pond. "When we provoke the crocodile to leave the pond area, it goes toward the side where there is no water and it normally...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/16)
A Tunisian court has sentenced 11 people to 14 years in prison over a 2013 protest during which a police station was set on fire, a court official said Thursday. The protest in the northern city of Kelibia followed the killing of prominent opposition figure Chokri Belaid. The demonstrators, now aged between 21 and 28, were convicted of arson, taking part in an armed rebellion and "violent assault on an official", court official Rihab Mhadhbi told AFP. She said they had been convicted in October but the verdict was not made public at the time. The sentences were "very harsh", said Nabil Mtaallah of the Tunisian League
(Xinhuanet 11/30/16)
Over 250 women security officers from 37 countries across Africa attending Africa Regional Convention of Women in Security Organs here vowed to step up efforts to stamp out gender-based violence (GBV) in the continent. The convention, organized according to the Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD), was designed to redraw strategies for women officers to play their role in the fight against crimes, especially child abuse and violence against women and girls. At the two-day event that opened Monday, the women officers from police, military and prison services called for more workshops and regular conferences and establishing anti-GBV centers in all member countries of KICD. They also called for prioritizing countries that need more attention in fighting violence against women and...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/16)
Tunisia won pledges of more than a billion dollars in financial support at an investment conference Tuesday aimed at reviving the country's struggling economy. Nearly six years after its Arab Spring revolution, Tunisia hopes the meeting will help it tackle challenges including high unemployment, low growth and a tourism sector hammered by jihadist attacks. The two-day "Tunisia 2020" conference aims to put the North African nation "back on the investment map of the Mediterranean", officials said. "Tunisia faces exceptional circumstances and needs exceptional support," said President Beji Caid Essebsi. "The success of the democratic project in Tunisia... serves the interests of the region and can help strengthen security and stability regionally and globally," he said. More than 2,000 business, finance...

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