Monday 24 July 2017
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
Zimbabwe's 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for a "routine medical check-up", state media reported Sunday. "President Mugabe on Friday left the country for Singapore for a routine medical check-up," the Sunday Mail newspaper reported. The paper said the veteran ruler is expected back in Zimbabwe midweek. Mugabe's medical trips to the Southeast Asia city state have become more frequent in recent years. His previous visit was in May, also said to be for a "routine medical check-up". In 2011 and 2014 he had eye surgery in a hospital in Singapore. Mugabe now walks with difficulty and sometimes dozes off during meetings. His health has been the subject of increased speculation in recent years and authorities in March arrested...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(Reuters 07/07/17)
Zimbabwe's budget deficit will increase by nearly $120 million this year due to a maize subsidy, Reuters calculations show, in a scheme critics of President Robert Mugabe say will be open to abuse and saddle a troubled economy with more debt. Facing an election in 2018, Mugabe says the subsidy will make Zimbabwe self-sufficient in the grain and help struggling farmers. Mugabe's government announced the scheme last year as part of a 'Command Agriculture' drive, saying it would pay farmers $390 a ton for maize this harvest to encourage farmers to plant. Nearly 70 percent of Zimbabwe's population is rural-based and survives on agriculture. The government has not said what it will do with the maize it has bought -...
(Reuters 07/07/17)
Zimbabwe is yet to reach a deal with the World Bank and other foreign lenders over clearing arrears and reforms, the International Monetary Fund said, warning that reliance on central bank finance could fan inflationary pressures. President Robert Mugabe's government has not received foreign funding since it started defaulting on its external debt in 1999 and the country is relying on domestic borrowing and taxes to fund its national budget. The IMF said in a statement on Friday after a meeting of its executive board this week that although Harare cleared its arrears with the fund last year, talks with the World Bank and other multilateral lenders faced delays. "It (Zimbabwe) is yet to reach agreement with the World Bank...
(Bloomberg 07/07/17)
Zimbabwe is in talks about a potential $100 million loan facility to support oilseeds farmers in the southern African country and boost production, especially of soy. Sakunda Energy, a closely held Zimbabwean energy and logistics company, has agreed to contribute $48.7 million of the funds, and the rest would be provided by the government, according to Zimbabwe Oil Seed Producers’ Association President Busisa Moyo. Sakunda didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. Zimbabwe is seeking to expand its Command Agriculture program, which provides financing and subsidized materials to corn farmers, into other sectors and include private-sector funds, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in an interview. The added support for oilseed farmers would help reduce Zimbabwe’s dependence on imports of the...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Zimbabwean Knox Mutizwa scored a hat-trick and Zambian Justin Shonga a brace in South Africa Wednesday as their nations reached the COSAFA Cup southern Africa championship final. Record-equalling four-time champions Zambia came from behind to defeat "guests" Tanzania 4-2 at Moruleng Stadium in the northwest platinum mining belt. Zimbabwe, who have also won the competition four times, triumphed 4-3 over Lesotho in the second match of a double-header that delivered 13 goals. The goal fest was a far cry from the group stage of the competition last week with spectators in nearby Phokeng having to endure 318 minutes without a goal. "It was an exceptional performance by my young boys," said Zambia coach and former international Wedson Nyirenda. "They exceeded...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(APA 07/04/17)
The Zimbabwe government plans to identify mass graves for victims of 1980s massacres allegedly perpetrated by the army in the southern part of the country, Vice President Mphoko said on Tuesday. Mphoko, who is also Minister of National Healing and Reconciliation, was quoted by the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as saying that the programme would include “identifying mass graves and erecting tombstones with a full list of the people who were buried at each point.” This corroborates claims by the opposition and civil society groups that thousands of people were hacked to death...
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Monday he was donating $1 million to the African Union (AU), hoping to set an example for African countries to finance AU programs and wean it off funding from outside donors. For years, about 60 percent of AU spending has been financed by donors including the European Union, World Bank and governments of wealthy non-African countries. Mugabe, who has held power in Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, has said reliance on foreign funds allows big powers to interfere in the work of the AU. The 93-year-old Mugabe told an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he had auctioned 300 cattle from his personal herd in May to fulfill a promise made...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
As the African Union struggles to get members to pay dues, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe took the bull by the horns and sold his own cattle for a sizeable donation to the body. Mugabe handed over $1 million (880,000 euros) at the start of the AU's bi-annual summit in Addis Ababa, after auctioning off 300 of his own cattle, as well as those belonging to some of his supporters. The gift was a bid to show his resolve for making the AU self-supporting as the tricky questioning of financing tops the agenda. "As an African and a farmer, the donation of cattle came naturally to me, given that our continent is rich in cattle and cattle are held as a...
(APA 07/03/17)
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Monday announced a $1million donation for the African Union (AU) Foundation. In his remark at the 29th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Mugabe said he had sold 300 of his cattle to raise the $1million. The African Union Foundation was launched in January 2015 and is tasked with accommodating contributions from the private sector and individuals, and any other donations, towards the financing of African development priorities. The Foundation aims to secure funding for underfunded pan-African priority programmes and to promote financing for areas where few continental initiatives exist. The African Union Foundation’s focus is to raise funds within Africa, the diaspora and globally and connect people, ideas and resources for Africa’s development. The...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
Tanzania and Zimbabwe shook off the weariness of playing four times within a week to reach the COSAFA Cup southern Africa championship semi-finals Sunday. An early goal from Elias Maguri gave Tanzania a 1-0 victory over title-holders and hosts South Africa in the first half of a quarter-finals double-header in northwest township Phokeng. A Knox Mutizwa header in the closing stages took four-time champions Zimbabwe through as they edged Swaziland 2-1 at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in a thriller. Tanzania play Zambia and Lesotho face Zimbabwe in the semi-finals this Wednesday at nearby Moruleng Stadium in the South African platinum mining belt. Zambia beat Botswana 2-1 and Lesotho won 5-4 on penalties against Namibia after a 0-0 draw in the...
(APA 06/30/17)
Zimbabwe beat Sri Lank by six wickets in the first of a five One-Day International (ODI) series played in the Sri Lankan city of Galle on Friday. Chasing a target of 317 runs in 50 overs, Zimbabwe sealed victory in the 48th over, scoring 322 runs for the loss of four wickets. The home team – which won the toss and elected to bat first – had earlier managed only 316 runs for the loss of five wickets in the allotted 50 overs. Right-handed batsman Solomon Mire top-scored for the Zimbabweans, smashing 112 runs off 96 balls to give the visitors their first-ever ODI victory against Sri Lanka on the island. The next ODI tie between the two countries is...
(APA 06/29/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe on Thursday delivered an emotional farewell speech for Botswana’s second post-independence President Sir Ketumile Masire, describing him as the only close friend he had ever had in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Speaking at Masire’s funeral in Kanye Village, about 86 kilometres from Gaborone, Mugabe said Masire commanded respect “without ever demanding it.” “His generosity of spirit was so much a part of his character. He often rolled out a welcome mat to us regardless of the matter at hand,” the Zimbabwean leader said. In an emotional tone, Mugabe said the people of Zimbabwe will forever remember the sterling role that Masire played in the liberation struggle of the region. Mugabe said ever since...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Zimbabwean pastor and political activist Evan Mawarire was freed on $200 bail Wednesday after his arrest for speaking to striking medical students. Mawarire had been addressing students protesting a doubling of tuition fees Monday when he and a student at the University of Zimbabwe were taken into custody. Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa released the pair on bail, ordering them to report to the police every Friday and surrender their passports. Scores of placard-carrying students had gathered Monday at the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus, chanting and singing in protest against a hike in tuition fees from $450 (396 euros) to $900 (791 euros) a year.
(APA 06/28/17)
A Zimbabwean pastor who has been the face of resistance to President Robert Mugabe’s rule over the past two years was on Wednesday released on bail following his arrest for allegedly inciting violence among striking student doctors in Harare earlier this week. Evan Mawarire was granted US$200 bail by a Harare magistrate and ordered to appear in court again on 19 July when his trial for alleged disorderly conduct meant to promote violence. He was arrested on Monday at the University of Zimbabwe after addressing medical students who were protesting against an increase in fees.

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