| Africatime
Saturday 25 March 2017
(Voice of America 03/25/17)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has started rehabilitating some of the dilapidated Zimbabwe prisons, most built during the colonial era. The first one to be refurbished — Mlondolozi Prison, about 500 kilometers southwest of Harare — houses mentally ill inmates. Among the improvements, the prison now has better ventilation and natural lighting within patients' cells, as well as improved water and sanitation facilities, according to Thomas Merkelbach, the head the ICRC in Zimbabwe. In addition, there is more space for rehabilitation activities, and kitchens have been upgraded to improve
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
The Zimbabwean government on Monday made an international appeal for $200 million to help its citizens who have been affected by widespread floods. Officials said since December, 271 people had died due to floods. The United Nations said it was important to quickly come into the country with medical aid and control infectious diseases that are spreading. Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko made a passionate plea to diplomats and United Nations agencies in the southern African country to help people who...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says foreign companies that comply with his indigenization law are guaranteed security. His comment is a deviation from his earlier promise that he would revise the policy, which analysts repeatedly have said scares away investors. At the official launch Thursday of an $82-million cement manufacturing plant by a South African company, PPC Zimbabwe, a frail looking 93-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said he was happy the company had not resisted the indigenization law, as other foreign companies have done. "By so doing, PPC Zimbabwe has demonstrated what so many companies are struggling to put in place," said Mugabe. "
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Voice of America 03/16/17)
Zimbabwe has opened its 2017 tobacco-selling season with hopes the “golden leaf” will change the economic fortunes of the southern African nation. Officials say the tobacco yield has been increasing after a downward turn in 2000 when the government chased white commercial farmers off their land. Zimbabwean farmers applauded after the 2017 tobacco selling season began Wednesday in Harare at the country’s biggest auction floor. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya saluted the farmers. “Producers of tobacco are indeed our heroes. You are important to this economy.
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Bloomberg 03/08/17)
Zimbabwe has set aside $62 million to buy corn from farmers after plantings of the grain increased 55 percent from a year earlier, and will seek funds for additional purchases, according to Agriculture Minister Joseph Made. The state-run Agricultural Marketing Authority has been told to raise $80 million to fund further purchases of Zimbabwe’s staple food, Made told a parliamentary committee on Friday. He didn’t provide details of how the money would be raised. Zimbabwe, which is usually a net...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise...
(Bloomberg 03/01/17)
Forests engulf fields that used to produce some of the world’s best tobacco around the northern Zimbabwean town of Banket, while barns that once stored the leaf stand empty, their corrugated iron roofs ripped off and sold for scrap. Most of the farm workers have left. “We are 15 here now, from roughly 50,” said 25-year-old Bruce Mahenya, who lives in a mud-and-grass hut behind a defunct trading store on a farm about 95 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the...
(Voice of America 02/28/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe marked his 93rd birthday last week by squashing any thought he plans to resign or not seek re-election. "If I feel that I can't do it anymore, I'll say so to my party so that they relieve me," he told state broadcaster ZBC-TV. "But for now I think, I can't say so. The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, actually. No successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am." That last statement might be true, given the lack of a strong opposition figure in Zimbabwe.
(Voice of America 02/27/17)
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has predicted that Zimbabwe will be the country hardest hit by the invasion of armyworms in southern Africa. Farmers are already taking serious losses. The Gokwe and Zhombe areas in Zimbabwe's Midlands province are among the most affected by an invasion of the fall armyworms. Armyworms are a type of moth capable of destroying entire crops in a matter of weeks. It is the first time the insect has hit southern Africa, and...
(Bloomberg 02/22/17)
As he marked his 93rd birthday Tuesday, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signaled that he has no intention of retiring any time soon and voiced support for U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy of putting his country’s interests first. Speaking softly and haltingly in an interview with the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., Mugabe said he would only heed calls to step down from within his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. “They want me to stand for elections,” he said. “If I...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(Voice of America 02/09/17)
Zimbabwe’s highest court has dismissed a case filed by an activist who argued President Robert Mugabe violated the constitution and is therefore unfit for office. Robert Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, but the 92-year-old president has faced mounting calls to step down. Protests erupted last year over human rights abuses as the economy sank to new lows. Opposition activist Promise Mkwananzi filed a court petition alleging the president failed to uphold the constitution during the unrest. In his complaint, Mkwanazi cited cases where Mugabe threatened
(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...
(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,...

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