| Africatime
Saturday 22 April 2017
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
Tunisia aims to increase renewable share in its energy mix to 30% by 2030, from 3% currently, thus reducing its dependency on gas from which it gets most of its power at the moment. To this end, the Société Tunisienne de l’Electrcitité et du Gaz (STEG) will build many renewable power plants. The projects include a 10 MW photovoltaic power plant which will be established in Tozeur, by 2017. Meanwhile, seven potential sites are presently being studied to host 60 MW of additional solar power plants, which could expand to 300 MW, according to the project’s plans. By 2021, the company also plans to construct three wind power stations totaling a capacity 300 MW. The first is the Tagba plant...
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
To conserve biodiversity and enhance socio-economic growth, governments of sub-Saharan Africa must consider a priority the management of their land resources, said environmental experts at the end of the 10th meeting of ministers of natural resources of East and Southern countries in Kigali on November 21 and 22. “The two-day ministerial conference provided a platform for engagement among government officials in the Eastern and Southern African region involved in land administration and spatial planning on challenges and opportunities in land, urban and territorial planning,” Xinhua reported. The forum which focused on identifying means to integrate technologies in land management in order to boost economy, protect the environment and efficiently manage lands in the region, was a wake-up call for officials...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/24/16)
A mother and her four-year-old daughter who were separated after fleeing the threat of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ivory Coast may be reunited in Italy before Christmas after a stroke of luck allowed police to trace the woman, authorities said. The girl, identified only as Oumoh, is one of at least 20,000 unaccompanied minors who have reached Italy this year from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries mainly in Africa and the Middle East. She arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Nov. 5 after being rescued from a rickety boat by the coastguard, police said. "She was quite traumatized, and initially wouldn't speak or communicate," Marilena Cefala, the head of Lampedusa's reception center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation...
(The Guardian 11/23/16)
Rulers of the DRC, Burundi, Zimbabwe and others say tide has turned after Obama’s efforts to promote democracy abroad. As the sun rose over Kinshasa on 9 November, Martin Fayulu was awoken by a phone call from a relative in the US telling him to switch on his television – Donald Trump appeared set to become the next US president. Fayulu, an opposition politician at the forefront of recent protests calling for elections to be held on time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, immediately switched on a French channel. “Many Congolese were watching, and a lot had mixed feelings,” he said. Across Africa the interest was equally intense, with the surprise result prompting fierce speculation about the unexpected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/16)
African states failed on Monday to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect gay and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, created the position in June and in September appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who has a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In an unusual move, African states put forward a draft resolution in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly third committee, which deals with human rights, calling for consultations on the legality of the creation of the mandate. They said the work of the investigator should be suspended. However, Latin American countries, supported by Western...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/16)
In a series of heartrending televised hearings, a tribunal in Tunisia has begun the long process of healing the wounds of six decades of dictatorship. Harrowing descriptions of torture and rape moved many to tears during the first sittings of the Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) broadcast Thursday and Friday. With more set for December and January, the first hearings have already been hailed as a major achievement. "They have been probably the most successful first public hearings in recent history," said Refik Hodzic of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
(AFP (eng) 11/21/16)
The number of HIV-infected people taking anti-retroviral medicine has doubled in just five years, the UN said Monday, while highlighting high infection rates among young African women. A new report by UNAIDS said it was on course to hit a target of 30 million people on ARV treatment by 2020. "By June 2016, around 18.2 million people had access to the life-saving medicines, including 910,000 children, double the number five years earlier," UNAIDS said in a statement. But the report showed the huge risks that some young women face. Last year more than 7,500 teenagers and young women became infected with HIV every week worldwide, with the bulk of them in southern Africa. "Young women are facing a triple threat,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/16)
Above the sacks of seeds and coal, three kerosene lamps gather dust in the tiny shed that Kenyan chicken farmer Bernard calls home. He prefers to use solar energy to light up his evenings, listen to the radio or watch television, after abandoning a diesel generator he said was expensive to maintain and burned fuel too quickly. "Solar panels are a good, cheap solution," he told AFP. Across the continent, consumers are opting for their own off-grid solar solutions to power homes and small businesses, even as African governments unveil massive new solar projects seemingly every month to expand their grids. According to International Energy Agency projections, almost one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to the grid...
(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/16)
Victims of rape and torture under successive dictatorships started testifying on live television Thursday as Tunisia -- in a rare move for the Arab world -- tries to deal with decades of abuse. The Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) has tracked human rights violations committed between July 1955, a year before Tunisia gained its independence from France, and December 2013 when the fact-finding body was established. Several men and women who survived abuses under successive authoritarian regimes are appearing on national television on Thursday and Friday evenings to tell their stories before the commission. The testimonies started with Ourida Kadoussi, the mother of a protester shot by security forces in January 2011 during the uprising that toppled longtime dictator Zine...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/16)
As anger erupted and the tears began to flow, four hours of testimony on live television by abuse victims shone a rare spotlight on the crimes of Tunisia's dark dictatorship years. In a plain white room inside a night club once owned by a dictator's entourage, victims of torture and abuse joined bereaved relatives to deliver an unprecedented account of the violence and intimidation Tunisians endured over decades of despotic rule. "We will not be silent," said Ourida Kadoussi, whose son was killed by security forces during the 2011 uprising against the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. "We want justice for our martyrs." Kaddousi's witness statement is one of tens of thousands gathered by the Truth and Dignity...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
African leaders met in Morocco Wednesday on the sidelines of UN climate talks to agree a joint stance to fight global warming on the continent. "Africa is paying a heavy price over the climate issue and is without doubt the continent worst affected," Morocco's King Mohammed VI told the summit attended by 20 African leaders. "These disruptions... greatly hamper Africa's development and gravely threaten the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans," he said. He said the continent needed to "speak in a single voice, demand climate justice". France's President Francois Hollande and UN chief Ban Ki-moon also attended the summit which took place alongside the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh. Ban said Africa was at the forefront...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
"Don't go!" That was the heartfelt appeal to African nations as the International Criminal Court opened its annual meeting Wednesday under the cloud of a wave of unprecedented defections. Gambia on Monday formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the court, following in the wake of South Africa and Burundi. "Don't go," pleaded Senegalese politician Sidiki Kaba, the president of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties meeting in The Hague. "In a world criss-crossed by violent extremism... it is urgent and necessary to defend the ideal of justice for all," he said. The tribunal opened in 2002 in The Hague as a court of last resort to try the world's worst crimes. But in his passionate plea,...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/16)
Victims of murder, rape and torture under successive dictatorships before Tunisia's 2011 uprising will be heard this week as the country tries to come to terms with decades of abuse. The Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) has tracked human rights violations committed between July 1955 -- a year before Tunisia gained its independence from France -- and December 2013 when the fact-finding body was established. By June this year the commission, tasked with identifying those responsible for the abuse and make them accountable as well as rehabilitate and compensate victims, had received more than 62,000 complaints, nearly a quarter filed by women.
(AFP (eng) 11/14/16)
Tunisian authorities have discovered four arms caches in the south of the country near the border with war-ravaged Libya and seized large quantities of weapons, security sources said Monday. Two were found Saturday near the city of Ben Guerdane, a third on Sunday and another on Monday also in the same region, they said. The interior ministry said the biggest find was made Sunday, in a garage on the outskirts of Ben Guerdane where 50 guns, including 27 Kalashnikov assault rifles, and dozens of missiles were confiscated. Authorities also seized 30 crates of ammunition as well as 12 kilograms (26.4 pounds) of explosives and more than 1,000 tasers, it said. Three suspects, including the owner of the garage, were detained...
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(AFP (eng) 11/12/16)
Across Africa, the approaching presidency of Donald Trump has provoked deep uncertainty over how the United States will pursue policies ranging from counter-terrorism and trade, to aid and climate change. Many African countries had high hopes that Barack Obama would bring transformative benefits to the continent and were left disappointed as he winds down his time in office. But Trump's rise to power poses fresh questions that reveal the lack of concrete detail on his foreign policy plans -- while the president-elect himself has seldom addressed African issues directly. One possible pointer is Trump's often repeated vow to kill "terrorists", which may lead to more aggressive US intervention against Islamist forces such as Nigeria's Boko Haram, linked to the Islamic...
(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million more than South African club Mamelodi Sundowns received last month. There is an even bigger percentage increase for winners of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup with first prize increasing from $660,000 to $1.25 million. Both the Champions League and Confederation...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/16)
A leader of a jihadist group that shot dead a soldier at his home has been hunted down and killed in a central region of Tunisia, the defence ministry said Wednesday. "After giving chase to an armed group on the night of November 8 in the Mount Salloum area, military units gunned down the terrorist Talal Saidi," a leader of the Jund al-Khilafa group, on Mount Mghilla, it said. The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for the killing of the soldier at his home in the central region that is a major hideout for Sunni Muslim militants. The ministry said Saidi, from the restive region of Sidi Bouzid, was the leader of the group which killed the soldier on...

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