| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(The Guardian 12/15/16)
Experts from Seattle, Silicon Valley, Atlanta and beyond are donating their time to develop technology that could help eliminate malaria by 2020. Marianne Soko considers the data on her computer screen, trying to decide which thatched houses and breeze block shops to spray next with insecticide. Armed with powerful data visualisation tools that map malaria cases, trends and resources, Soko, a 30-year-old environmental health officer, is on the frontline of the Zambian government’s ambitious campaign to eliminate malaria by 2020. She is tasked with stamping out malaria in the district of Itezhi-Tezhi, a region of cattle, maize and fish farming where seasonal floods make the clay plains impassable. As the district’s malaria focal point person, she supports Zambia’s National Malaria...
(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...
(Bloomberg 12/14/16)
Sharply falling water levels at Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa dam, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest hydropower plant, are threatening electricity supplies to countries including South Africa, which buys about a third of its output. Levels are the lowest Phil Bezuidenhout, a lodge owner at the dam, has seen in the 24 years he’s operated on its shores in the country’s northwest. “This is definitely the lowest it’s been in my time,” he said by phone. “These levels are ridiculously low.” Southern Africa’s worst drought in 35 years has cut inflows from rivers including the Zambezi and prompted Zambia and Zimbabwe to last year more than halve power production at the Kariba dam, which is upstream from Cahora Bassa. Levels at the Mozambican reservoir...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/13/16)
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 12/13/16)
The United Party for National Development (UPND) leadership is alleged to have instructed their National Youth Chairperson to infiltrate Zambia’s largest Students body in the forthcoming ZANASU elections slated for this Friday 16th and 17th December 2016 at the University Of Zambia (UNZA) , Great East Campus. A high profile UPND sponsored aspiring candidate for president Calvero Zimba is alleged to have been seen moving from one institution to another with logistical support. A source from UNZA-UPND said the leadership has instructed the Party National Youth Chairperson to work with students Union bodies across the country to ensure that the ZANASU top executive is controlled by the UPND. He said the UPND sees the student mother body as a structure...
(Lusaka Times 12/13/16)
Both international and local media outlets have reported that five countries in West Africa have resolved not to import dirt fuels from Europe any more. This comes in the wake of whistle blower watch dog report that European refineries were exploiting weaker regulatory frameworks in Africa by exporting diesel containing very high levels of Sulphur content. And the United Nations (UN) has commended the move by the above countries in that it will help more than 250 million people breathe safer and cleaner air. Sulphur particles emitted by diesel engines are considered to be a major contributor to air pollution and are ranked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the top global health risks associated with heart...
(The New York Times 12/13/16)
To stay or to roam? That is the African question. The following new and improved accommodations, from Indian Ocean island resorts and highland volcano lodges to hotels in working vineyards and solar-powered desert camps, capture the continent’s diversity. Meanwhile, the latest tours take roads less traveled, from the desert of Sudan to migratory grounds in Zambia. BOTSWANA The Lodge at Feline Fields In the Kalahari Desert, the new solar-powered Lodge at Feline Fields aims to use low-impact tourism to drive conservation in the region. Its six suites include three tented rooms and three two-story villas with their own pools. Rooms come with fat-tire bikes for rides to the main lodge, which is home to a swimming pool, lounge and dining...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 12/09/16)
Zambia joined the rest of the world in marking the International Anti-Corruption Day with the launch of a National Slogan Against Corruption meant to drive the country's anti-corruption crusade. The slogan "A Corruption-free Zambia Begins with Me" is meant to be a rallying call for all anti-corruption strategies in Zambia. Vice-President Inonge Wina, who launched the slogan, said the government was hopeful that the slogan, if fully embraced and applied, will result in the attainment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the country's Vision 2030. "I am confident that the slogan will permeate every level of our society. It is a noble call for everyone to embrace and practice that which can make this country corrupt-free,"...
(eNCA 12/09/16)
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid a courtesy call on Zambian President Edgar Lungu. Lungu is on a three-day state visit to South Africa. The visit follows a meeting with President Jacob Zuma. Both countries are hoping it will boost trade, investment and, science and technology. President Zuma has urged Zambian companies to take full advantage of their historical and political ties. Both leaders are also concerned about the devastating impact of the drought in the Southern African region.
(Times of Zambia 12/09/16)
The Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) has so far purchased more than 15,000 tonnes of maize from farmers in the country. ZCF executive director James Chirwa said ZCF was doing everything possible to ensure that it had adequate maize stock for the milling plants. Mr Chirwa disclosed that ZCF had another source of grain which was helping the cooperative to ensure that the solar powered milling plants operate continuously. He was speaking when the Chinese ambassador to Zambia Youming Yang toured the solar powered milling plant in Bauleni Compound in Lusaka yesterday. "We have taken measures to ensure that all the milling plants have adequate maize, we have so far purchased more than 15,000 tonnes of maize from farmers but we...
(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)
Ecobank, a pan-African bank, has denied media reports that its operations in Zambia will soon cease as it was facing liquidity problems, the bank said in a statement Thursday. The Nigerian-headquarter bank said it has since embarked on a strategic plan to focus on growing its business in Zambia through innovation and technology. "Ecobank is here to stay and we are progressing with the strategic plans set for the entire Central, East and Southern Africa region. We are consolidating our businesses to ensure that we give our customers optimal service. In Zambia, we are focused at enabling our customers to transact their business efficiently, conveniently and fast," Kola Adeleke, the bank's managing director in Zambia said in a statement. Some...
(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...
(Andalou Agency 12/05/16)
Legislation specifically outlawing torture should be fast-tracked, urges head of Human Right Commission. Zambia’s Human Rights Commission Saturday expressed concern over the rising number of torture cases in prisons, laying much of the blame on the absence of laws criminalizing torture. Madford Mwandenga, head of the constitutionally mandated commission, told journalists after touring the three state penitentiaries based in the capital Lusaka that security agents, including the Zambia police service and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), are at liberty to use all forms of torture to extract information from suspects. "Whenever complaints are raised, the officers accused of torture are often charged with lesser offenses of either assault or battery. These offenses attract fines or light custodial sentences." He regretted...
(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...
(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...
(BBC News Africa 11/30/16)
Princess Kasune is one of Zambia's most outspoken HIV activists and was elected as an opposition MP in August. She tested positive to HIV in 1997 and the next year went public about her status, defying her husband - and traditional taboos - in doing so. "I felt like a ray of light had hit me after testing positive and I shouted 'Praise God!'. Such a reaction was not humanly possible even for me to understand but I looked at it as an avenue to change the lives of others," the 40-year-old told the BBC. "When I realised that I was HIV-positive, I realised that I had a responsibility to spread the news from how it can be contracted, how...

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