| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/17)
A court in Zimbabwe on Wednesday released on bail the pastor who last year led a surge of protests against President Robert Mugabe and is now facing subversion charges. "It is ordered that (Evan Mawarire) be admitted to bail," judge Clement Phiri said following Mawarire's High Court bail application. The court ordered Mawarire to surrender his passport and report twice a week to the police as well as paying a $300 (280 euro) bond. He will next appear in court on February 17. Mawarire, an evangelical pastor, started the popular "This Flag" protest movement last year, becoming a figurehead of opposition to Mugabe's regime. Mawarire was arrested on Wednesday February 1 at Harare airport as he returned to the country...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
Constitutional court rejects case questioning president's fitness to lead the country, but opposition vows to appeal. Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court has rejected a case filed by an activist that challenged President Robert Mugabe's ability rule saying proper court procedures weren't followed. Promise Mkwananzi of a social movement calling itself Tajamuka wanted to prove the 92-year-old president was unfit to hold office given his advanced age. The court threw out the application on Wednesday, saying Mkwananzi's case was filed improperly and he has 30 days to address technicalities and refile. Speaking to media outside the court in the capital, Harare, Mkwananzi said he will appeal the decision. "This is just a convenient excuse for the constitutional court to bite the bullet, so...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/07/17)
Zimbabwe’s crippling cash shortage has left a black hole in the financial system that’s crushing the rest of the economy. “We deposit the cash and it becomes theoretical, ephemeral,” Mohamed Salam, who owns several small stores selling building supplies in Harare, the capital, said in an interview. “My bank balance says it’s there, but it isn’t. I can make payments electronically to local suppliers, but I can’t pay foreign suppliers.” The liquidity squeeze has left companies unable to pay their workers in cash and foreign suppliers, driving many out of business, and added to the ranks of more than 3 million people
(The Herald Online 02/06/17)
Parliament has summoned Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira to explain developments surrounding last month's increase in data tariffs and the subsequent decision to suspend the hikes. The chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICTs, Mr Nelson Chamisa, confirmed that the Minister is expected to appear before the committee today. "We have summoned Minister Mandiwanzira to appear before the committee tomorrow (today) but am yet to check with the secretary whether or not the Minister is coming. "We are also summoning Potraz, we have already summoned the mobile network operators. We are also interested in hearing what the consumers have to say," said Mr Chamisa. According to a letter seen by our Bulawayo Bureau, the...
(The Herald Online 02/06/17)
Local meat production companies have implored Government to consider scraping the 15 percent value-added tax (VAT) on all meat products which was effected beginning this month saying it has a negative impact on the viability of their business. Speaking during a tour by the Parliamentary Portfolio committee of Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on Friday, the managing director of Surrey Meats, Mr Simon Arnold said the 15 percent VAT that had been effected will cripple their industry. Government recently gazetted Statutory Instrument 20 of 2017 (SI 20 of 2017) which came into effect on February 1, 2017. SI20 levies a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 15 percent on meat, meat products, fish, potatoes, rice and margarine, products which were...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/04/17)
A Zimbabwean pastor at the heart of a protest movement against President Robert Mugabe was denied bail on Friday, leaving him facing at least two weeks in jail before his next hearing on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. Evan Mawarire - whose #ThisFlag movement led the biggest anti-government rallies in a decade in 2016 - is also charged with inciting violence and insulting the national flag. The preacher arrived at the magistrates court in handcuffs in an open police truck and sat calmly during the proceedings. Magistrate Elisha Singano said facts presented by the state showed there was reasonable suspicion that Mawarire committed a crime and advised him to seek bail at the High Court. "Thank you guys...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
Zimbabwean protest leader Evan Mawarire was remanded in custody by a court in Harare on Friday after police arrested him on charges of subverting the government and inciting public violence. Mawarire, an evangelical pastor, started the popular "This Flag" protest movement last year, becoming a figurehead of opposition to veteran President Robert Mugabe's regime. He was detained at Harare airport as he returned to the country on Wednesday after fleeing in July in fear for his life when Mugabe publicly denounced him. Magistrate Elisha Singano remanded Mawarire in custody until February 17 and said he could apply for bail at the high court. Zimbabwe security forces cracked down last year after internet activism by the "This Flag" movement led to...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/17)
The Zimbabwean pastor who led protests last year against President Robert Mugabe's authoritarian government was arrested at Harare airport Wednesday as he returned to the country after several months abroad. Evan Mawarire emerged as the leader of the popular #ThisFlag protest movement that quickly grew into the largest street demonstrations against Mugabe in several years. "Unfortunately I have been arrested again," Mawarire said in a Facebook video posted while in handcuffs at the Harare central police station. "I hope we will get through this... But this is home to me, I am allowed to come
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
A Zimbabwean pastor, accused last year of trying to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government after calling for protests, was arrested at the airport when he flew home from the United States on Wednesday, his lawyer said. Evan Mawarire was previously arrested and charged last July, but was freed by a magistrate's court which said police had not followed procedure. Harrison Nkomo, his lawyer, said the pastor had been arrested at Harare's airport and was taken to the capital's central police station. Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba confirmed Mawarire's arrest, saying he had an outstanding warrant after failing to appear in court last year. She did not provide more details. "The law will always catch up with you even if you go...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/17)
Zimbabwe started levying a 15 percent value-added tax on basic foodstuffs Wednesday, the government said, dealing a further blow to cash-strapped consumers already battling to survive in an ailing economy. The tax affects meat and staple foods such as cereals, rice and potatoes. Other goods listed by the finance ministry include margarine, fish and pork. The move comes at a time when Zimbabweans are faced with unemployment of over 90 percent and rising levels of poverty. The country once considered the bread basket of Africa now imports most of its food, after the agricultural sector was brought to its knees by the seizures of white-owned commercial farms under President Robert Mugabe's administration. In 2016 the government banned a range of...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/01/17)
Heavy rains have battered crops in Zimbabwe, threatening its food staple, maize, and its cash tobacco crops just months after the worst drought in a quarter century, the head of the commercial farmers' union said on Wednesday. More than 4 million Zimbabweans need food aid until the end of March because of the 2016 drought which also scorched crops in other southern African countries. Wonder Chabikwa, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, said incessant rains had caused water logging and leaching in light soils, washing away nutrients that crops need. Chabikwa said maize and tobacco, the biggest export earner ahead of gold and platinum, were most affected by leaching. "Leaching is taking its toll on the crops and there...
(Bloomberg 02/01/17)
Farmers in Zimbabwe, emerging from the region’s worst drought in at least two decades, are being threatened with a second year of losses as heavy rains damage corn and tobacco crops. A crop review is under way to assess the damage from the unseasonably heavy rain and farmers will probably need extra fertilizer to help harvests survive, Deputy Agriculture Minister David Marapira said in an interview on Monday. Farming output in the southern African nation was crippled by last year’s drought and as many as four million Zimbabweans remain on food aid, according to the government. The heavy rains are expected to continue for at least another week, Zimbabwe’s meteorological department said on state radio. The tobacco industry is seeing...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...

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