| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(Bloomberg 01/03/17)
Zambia must intensify its fight against an outbreak of armyworms that’s wiping out fields of the staple corn crop, posing a threat to the southern African nation’s food security, Vice President Inonge Wina said. “They are posing a big threat to food security in the country,” she said in remarks broadcast Monday on Hot FM radio in Lusaka, the capital. “They have come with such a force of mass destruction that has to be faced head on. We need to put more effort into eradicating the worms.” The black-striped caterpillars can appear between December and May, as armies of the pest spanning miles and as dense as 1,100 per square meter (10.8 square feet) march through fields, destroying entire crops...
(Agence Ecofin 01/03/17)
Zambia tax administration declared last Wednesday that the government will not return $243 million (2.4 billion kwacha) out of 5 billion kwacha of taxes it owes mining firms operating in the country. Kingsley Chanda, head of the Zambia Revenue Authority, told Reuters that the decision is due to the fact that the concerned companies did not provide documentation they were asked. Zambia’s government started last June, paying up to 800 million kwacha per month as reimbursement of the VAT tax it owes mining companies. The payback comes as an attempt to end an old conflict in which the miners ask for about $700 million of VAT to be returned by the State. Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer, hosts mining...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
Zambia has ordered the national air force into action to fight a plague of pests that has invaded maize crops and threatened vital food supplies. The air force is transporting pesticides across the country so that fields can be sprayed in an attempt to combat infestations of "army worms", a type of larvae moth that can decimate crops. "The Zambia Air Force has since begun to airlift chemicals," President Edward Lungu's spokesman said in statement. "The president has directed that the chemicals that were purchased under
(Reuters (Eng) 12/29/16)
Zambia's President Edgar Lungu ordered the air force on Wednesday to join other government agencies in an emergency operation to contain the spread of pests that have invaded maize fields in many parts of the country. The armyworms, which feast on young maize plants and are capable of wiping out entire fields, have been spotted in about six of Zambia's 10 provinces, Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa said. On Wednesday the Zambia Air Force began airlifting pesticides to the four worst affected provinces and will team up with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in responding to the crisis, presidential spokesman Amos Chanda said in a statement. The air force will not carry out...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(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,...
(Bloomberg 12/19/16)
Konkola Copper Mines, the Zambian unit of Vedanta Resources Plc, has been ordered by a U.K. court to pay Zambia’s state-owned mining investment company about $100 million for a claim related to the copper price, according to two people familiar with the case. ZCCM Investments Holdings, in which the government has a 77 percent stake, filed the application in June for outstanding payments under a 2013 copper price participation deal. A KCM spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a call or e-mail seeking comment, and neither did Vedanta. The state-owned company won a default judgment on Dec. 16, according to the people, who asked not be to named as the outcome isn’t public yet. Zambia is Africa’s second-biggest copper producer. KCM...
(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...
(Lusaka Times 12/15/16)
Zambia should delay its planned re-financing of $2.8 billion worth of Eurobonds until financing conditions ease, an International Monetary Fund representative said on Monday. “We would caution the government not to tap into the international markets at this time,” the IMF’s resident representative, Alfredo Baldini, told reporters during the release of an IMF report on growth in sub-Saharan Africa. The Eurobonds were issued from 2012 to 2015, and the Zambian government planned to re-finance them with longer-dated bonds at a lower cost, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said on Dec 7. “The financing conditions are pretty tight right now, and it will be very expensive,” Baldini said on Monday. In fact, the bonds would only fall due in 2022, 2024 and...
(Lusaka Times 12/15/16)
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has dismissed cliams by the opposition UPND that the Zambia Police Service operates upon instructions of ruling PF members. The Minister stated that PF cadres have had no power and authority over the police. Mr. Kampyongo says instead police officers get instructions from the Commander In-chief of the Armed Forces or President Edgar Lungu, their respective High Command and otherwise also from him. Mr. Kampyongo said this in parliament yesterday. The Home Affairs affirmative in response said those behind bars offended the law and the should blame themselves. Mr. Kampyongo said the law is fair even for PF members and not only selective towards misdeed of the opposition. And Mr. Kampyongo says the Public...
(Zambia Reports 12/15/16)
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema took his funeral about the August 11 elections loss to Golden Bridge Hotel where he issued a directive to his Members of Parliament to move a motion to disband the Electoral Commission of Zambia. And UPND vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has closed whatever little possibility of having an elective convention in the party by saying there was no need as they had an intelligent leader. Addressing a media briefing this morning Hichilema said that the ECZ was incompetent and needed to be disbanded. He said he will direct his MPs to move a motion in parliament to disband the ECZ and replace it with a new body. Hichilema said the new body should be chosen...

Pages