| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Zimbabwe, dubbed "The Warriors" by home fans, return to the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time hoping to shrug off their minnows tag after failing to make it beyond the group stages in 2004 and 2006. The southern African nation is pinning its dreams on players like Belgium-based striker Knowledge Musona, who is leading scorer at top-flight side KV Oostende, and South Africa-based Khama Billiat who had a strong season at Mamelodi Sundowns. Zimbabwe, who rank 102 in the world and 29 in Africa, won four of their six qualifying matches for the top African football showcase in Gabon next month despite being dogged by financial woes. The country's football association is saddled with debt and has at...
(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)
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.
(The Herald Online 12/28/16)
State-owned NetOne paid over $1,7 million in rentals for base station sites it acquired but failed to develop, it has emerged. According to a forensic report released recently on the state of affairs at NetOne during Mr Reward Kangai's administration, the mobile phone operator had acquired 164 base station sites as at June 30, 2016. It failed to put base stations on the sites but still continued paying rentals for them. "From the discussions with NetOne technical team and our review of the schedule of base stations sites acquired in the period under review, we gathered that there were 164 undeveloped sites as at 30 June 2016. Mr Wenga (NetOne employee) availed us with a letter dated 30 May 2016...
(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...
(Independent Online 12/23/16)
According to Zimbabwe’s vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, security services, including the army, are on alert along the eastern border after a man was abducted from his village and later killed in Mozambique. There have been other skirmishes along the border with armed bandits who Mnangagwa said were loyal to the Renamo party which has long had strength along this part of the border area, about 80kms south of provincial capital, Mutare. The dead man who was abducted has not yet been identified, but in a separate incident, about 50 cattle were taken from small farmers and pushed across the border.
(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...
(Voice of America 12/22/16)
Ngqabutho Mabhena is unusually nervous about this year's trip home to Zimbabwe. That's because, this time around, he's hand-carrying a whack of currency from South Africa to family members in the cash-strapped nation. Normally he would send the funds by wire transfer from South Africa, for his family to collect from a bank on the other end. But he and countless other expatriate Zimbabweans are resorting to creative, sometimes risky, measures as Zimbabwean banks rapidly run dry in the largest cash crisis the nation has seen in seven years. Mabhena, who runs a Zimbabwean community group in Johannesburg, spoke to VOA from a bus en route to Zimbabwe. For his safety, he didn't want to share too many details of...
(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...
(APA 12/21/16)
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe in a development that that will see the southern African country resuming to access financial support from the Bretton Woods institution. The IMF said in a statement that the board has approved the recommendations of its staff to reinstate Zimbabwe's rights to access financial support from the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). This followed Harare's settlement of overdue financial obligations to the PRGT in October. Zimbabwe is now current on all of its financial obligations to the IMF. President Robert Mugabe's government had been in continuous arrears to the PRGT since February 2001 and the country has for a long time...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
Under worryingly clear skies, men gathered amid sparse, drought-shrivelled trees at the edge of this remote village in eastern Zimbabwe to sing, whistle and ululate. They were calling the rain. "We must go back to our traditions for solutions to these droughts," said 80-year-old Nekias Mukwindidza. His grandfather Tenzi (Lord) Chitowo was a revered rainmaker in the area as far back as the 1940s, and Mukwindidza is confident that reviving the abandoned custom could help relieve Zimbabwe's worsening droughts. "I know what I am talking about because I grew up taking part in these ceremonies," he said. "And they could bring rainfall, back in the days." But as rainmaking makes a comeback in parts of parched Zimbabwe, scientists warn that...
(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...
(Independent Online 12/20/16)
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) wants the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to create special withdrawal platforms for pensioners. ZCTU has expressed concern at the hassles being experienced by pensioners as they try to withdraw their pensions and has called on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to create special platforms for them. Zimbabwe is experiencing a severe cash crunch despite the introducing bond notes that mimic the US dollar which is mostly used in that country. Many Zimbabweans sleep outside banks to have a chance of withdrawing money from their accounts. In a letter to the RBZ Governor John Mangudya, dated December 19, ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo said elderly pensioners were being exposed to the vagaries of...
(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,...
(AFP (eng) 12/17/16)
Supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe chanting "tongai, tongai baba" (rule, rule father) on Saturday endorsed the 92-year-old leader for a 2018 election run. The endorsement, which is likely to result in his 36-year rule being extended, was greeted with thunderous applause by thousands of party faithful attending the ruling ZANU-PF's annual conference. Mugabe accepted dressed in a green floral jacket bearing his own portrait and a map of Zimbabwe. The veteran leader has held power since independence from British colonial rule in 1980 and has always avoided naming a successor or laying out plans to retire. He once joked that he would rule until he turned 100. The conference, held in the southeastern town of Masvingo, voiced "its support...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/17/16)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused some younger members of his ZANU-PF party on Friday of disrespect and indiscipline, acknowledging rumbles of discontent with his leadership but telling his critics they were in the minority. Even though the ruling party is preparing to re-endorse him as its 2018 presidential election candidate, the 92-year-old leader is facing unprecedented protests over falling living standards, high unemployment and corruption. Leaders of the war veterans association, which has supported Mugabe in previous elections, have boycotted the party's annual conference in the drought-stricken southern province of Masvingo, saying they no longer feel welcome. "There has been emerging into our party now a culture of indiscipline ... by the young ones who think that they can do...
(The Financial Gazette 12/16/16)
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has ruled out the prospect of reuniting with its former secretary general, Tendai Biti, in a planned coalition of opposition parties to face ZANU-PF in the 2018 general elections. The party would rather forge an alliance with expelled former vice president, Joice Mujuru, now leader of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party, and Welshman Ncube, who defected from Tsvangirai's party in 2005 to lead a breakaway Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The decision was made at a strategic retreat of the MDC-T's Standing Committee, which took place at an undisclosed location in Harare's Mt Pleasant suburb at the weekend. The Standing Committee is the MDC-T's most influential organ outside congress. Biti left...

Pages