Wednesday 21 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 09/22/17)
CS Sfaxien and Club Africain of Tunisia and Zesco United of Zambia boast perfect CAF Confederation Cup home records this season ahead of weekend quarter-finals. Record three-time title-holders Sfaxien host FUS Rabat of Morocco trailing 1-0 after the first leg last weekend in the second-tier African club competition. Club Africain are in an identical position to Sfaxien having conceding an early goal to fall 1-0 away to Mouloudia Alger of Algeria in another all-north Africa affair. Zesco are better placed than both Tunisian outfits as they forced a 0-0 draw at SuperSport United of South Africa in a dour duel of few scoring chances. Title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo are the only second-leg hosts not to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia plans cut its budget deficit to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, down from about 6 percent expected in 2017, as fiscal reforms take effect, the economic reforms’ minister said on Wednesday. The North African country is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund and its partners to speed up reforms to create jobs and cut its deficit after its vital tourism sector was hit by deadly militant attacks in 2015. “Next year’s budget would be a budget of major reforms that were delayed a lot, including fiscal reforms aimed at raising state resources, as well as reforms in the public sector,” Taoufik Rajhi, the minister of economic reforms, told Reuters in an interview...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Tunisia's electoral commission on Monday indefinitely postponed the first municipal elections since a 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in a blow to the fledgling democracy. The commission announced the postponement after a meeting between party heads and representatives of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, President Beji Caid. "The majority of participants in the meeting were in favour of postponing the municipal elections," said interim commission head Anouar Ben Hassen. The parties would meet again within 10 days in another bid to set a date, he said.
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi received Libya's self-proclaimed National Army chief, General Khalifa Haftar, here on Monday to discuss settlement of the Libyan conflict. Libya's U.N.-backed Government of National Accord operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli, struggling for more extensive influence across Libya. The rival government, backed by Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, is based in the city of Tobruk. The Libya's National Army controls most of the country's east and south and desires for international recognition. "This visit is part of Tunisia's efforts to contribute to the resolution of the Libyan conflict through consensus among the different parties of the conflict," the Tunisian president said. During the meeting, Beji Caid Essebsi called on Libyans "to...
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
Tunisia's debt rate has reached 66.9 percent of GDP by the end of July this year, a six percent increase compared with the rate of 60.9 percent in June last year, Tunisian Ministry of Finance said on Monday. According to the latest figures, Tunisia's external debt represents more than two thirds of the total public debt of the country. The external debt reached 43.8 billion dinars (18 billion U.S. dollars) in July this year, representing an increase from the 34.4 billion dinars (14.1 billion U.S. dollars) the year before. Forty-seven percent of the external debt is multilateral debt, while 15 percent is in the form of bilateral debt, leaving 38 percent in the global financial market. Tunisian public debt until...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar visited neighbouring Tunisia on Monday for talks with President Beji Caid Essebsi, who offered to act as a mediator between rival Libyan factions. Libya, which plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth. "The stability of Libya is a necessary condition for the stability of Tunisia," Essebsi said, calling on Libyans to "overcome their differences" and "to work to build a state". In a statement, he said Tunisia did not want to "interfere in Libya's internal affairs" but rather to "facilitate dialogue between the different
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
The head of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party on Sunday said the country's first post-revolution municipal polls due in December would be postponed, probably until March next year. Rached Ghannouchi told private Shems FM radio: "We were not favourable to a postponement of the municipal elections but there are objective reasons for a delay." He said that the electoral commission was expected to announce a new date on Monday and the polls would "probably" be held in March 2018. There was no official confirmation of Ghannouchi's remarks. The electoral commission had said Tunisia's first municipal polls since the 2011 revolution would be held on December 17. The date had been agreed in consultation with the government, political parties and civil society...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
More than 1,000 people protested Saturday in Tunis against a controversial amnesty law adopted by parliament for officials accused of corruption under toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The law passed on Wednesday evening after a rowdy parliamentary debate following a cabinet reshuffle that saw Ben Ali-era officials join the cabinet as ministers of finance and education. The reshuffle was seen as strengthening President Beji Caid Essebsi's grip on power, months ahead of Tunisia's first post-revolution municipal polls. "We do not forgive!" and "We refuse to launder the corrupt!", protesters shouted at the demonstration which was organised by the opposition and the "I will not forgive" collective. They also branded Prime Minister Youssef Chahed's Nidaa Tounes party and the...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
Hundreds of Tunisians protested on Saturday in the streets of the capital against a widely contested new law that grants officials from the former regime involved in corruption amnesty from prosecution. Tunisia’s parliament on Wednesday approved a law protecting officials accused of graft during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, triggering angry protests by the opposition and activists. Waving flags and banners saying “No to forgiveness”, “Resisting against mafia rule”, around 1,500 people marched through the capital’s central Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the company of opposition leaders. After months of protests, the law was amended from an original draft which would have also granted amnesty to corrupt businessmen. Now they will be liable to prosecution for crimes committed...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
Opposition groups on Thursday raised the alarm over Tunisia's transition to democracy after parliament passed an amnesty law for officials accused of corruption under toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The law passed Wednesday evening after a rowdy debate in parliament, coming in the wake of a cabinet reshuffle that saw Ben Ali-era officials join the cabinet as ministers of finance and education. The reshuffle was seen as strengthening President Beji Caid Essebsi's grip on power months ahead of Tunisia's first post-revolution municipal polls. Tunisia has been seen as a model of democratic transition since Ben Ali was overthrown in a 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings. But Monica Marks, an expert on Tunisian politics, said the...
(The Associated Press 09/15/17)
Tunisia's Parliament has adopted a hotly disputed law giving amnesty to thousands of people linked to corruption under its former authoritarian regime. Hundreds of demonstrators protested outside the legislature saying they fear a return to Tunisia's pre-Arab Spring past. After an unusually angry debate and opposition walkout over the measure, it passed by 117 votes to nine in a Wednesday night vote. The full amnesty only concerns those who followed orders from corrupt leaders but did not make personal gains. Those who made money off corrupt dealings can pay back embezzled sums, along with a penalty, in exchange for freedom from prosecution. President Beji Caid Essebsi
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(AFP (eng) 09/14/17)
Tunisia has abolished a decades-old ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims, the presidency said Thursday. "Congratulations to the women of Tunisia for the enshrinement of the right to the freedom to choose one's spouse," presidency spokeswoman Saida Garrach wrote on Facebook. The announcement comes a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to scrap the ban dating back to 1973. Until now a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Human rights groups in the North African country had campaigned for the ban's abolition...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
Tunisia's presidency on Tuesday expressed its regret over the expulsion of Morocco's Prince Moulay Hicham, first cousin of King Mohammed VI, but did not explain why he had been deported. The prince was expelled from Tunisia Friday after arriving to attend an academic conference organised by Stanford University on the political transition in Tunisia after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. "The president of the republic is exasperated by what happened to researcher (Prince Moulay) Hicham Al-Aloui and his expulsion from Tunisian territory," presidency spokeswoman Saida Garrach wrote on Facebook. Garrach said the prince was deported "according to automatic administrative procedures without being referred to officials...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/13/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s parliament on Wednesday began debating a contested bill granting amnesty to officials accused of corruption during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, triggering angry protests from the opposition and activists outside. Opposition lawmakers sang the national anthem and shouted slogans before the session was temporarily suspended. Outside, dozens of demonstrators protested, chanting “This law will not pass” and “Whitewash corruption”. After months of protests, the bill was amended from an original draft which would have also granted amnesty to corrupt businessmen. As it stands, they will be liable to prosecution for crimes committed during Ben Ali’s 24-year rule. Critics of the so-called “Economic Reconciliation” bill say it is a step back from the spirit...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(AFP (eng) 09/12/17)
Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi strengthened his grip on power late Monday when parliament approved a cabinet reshuffle ahead of key elections. Observers say the new cabinet, which places Essebsi allies in key positions, consolidates the 90-year-old president's hold on the executive, months ahead of Tunisia's first post-revolution municipal polls. "It is the president who pulls the strings," French language daily Le Quotidien said. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed easily won a confidence vote for his new line-up, backed by lawmakers from his own Nidaa Tounes party and its Islamist ally in government, Ennahdha, which together dominate parliament. He announced the new line-up last week after talks with Essebsi, who founded secular Nidaa Tunes and later became prime minister before being...

Pages