Information round to clock

    • Monday 18 February
    • Kuwait approves $2bn loans to Africa

      - 12h18

      Kuwait has approved $2 billion as grants and concessionary loans to African countries, the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Nigeria, Mr. Abdulaziz Albisher, has said.Albisher said in Abuja that the money was for investment and development and would be spread over five years.

      He said that Kuwait had initiated another Annual Prize of $1 million for researches and research projects on agriculture, health and Ebola eradication.

    • South Africa beat Nigeria 5-3 on penalties in U-20 AFCON tournament

      - 12h17

      South Africa’s U-20 football team, the Amajita on Saturday defeated the Flying Eagles of Nigeria 5-3 on penalties to finish third in the ongoing U-20 African Cup of Nations tournament in Niger Republic.The third place match played at the Stade Seyni Kountche in Niamey, the capital of Niger, which was televised live, saw the Flying Eagles dominate proceedings in the first and second halves of the game, but failed to score a goal.

      The two teams finished the first half goalless with Nigeria recording an impressive possession record of 67 percent with 6 shots and one shot on target, while South Africa finished the half with 33 percent with no shot on target.

      The Flying Eagles continued its impressive performance in the second half, but again failed to convert some of the scoring chances they created.

    • Sunday 17 February
    • Nigeria counts cost of postponed presidential poll

      - 18h52

      Nigerians on Sunday counted the cost of the last-minute postponement of presidential elections, with predictions the delay could lose the country billions of dollars.

      The streets of Lagos, the country’s sprawling commercial hub of more than 20 million people, were empty following disappointment and anger at the last-minute decision.

      Some 84 million people were registered to vote for a new president and parliament on Saturday until the Independent National Electoral Commission announced a one-week delay.

      The two main candidates — President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar — both called for calm, as INEC prepared to address logistical issues that hampered their preparations.

    • NBA, FIBA unite to operate 12-team African pro league

      - 18h51

      Basketball world-governing body FIBA and the NBA will launch a new 12-team African professional league in 2020, announcing Saturday the first NBA collaboration on a league outside North America.

      The Basketball Africa League (BAL) was unveiled at Charlotte, North Carolina, on the eve of the 68th NBA All-Star Game.

      With teams from across Africa, the BAL will assemble based on a foundation of FIBA’s current club competitions in Africa and begin play in Janaury 2020.

      “The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

    • NBA, FIBA unite to operate 12-team African pro league

      - 18h35

      Basketball world-governing body FIBA and the NBA will launch a new 12-team African professional league in 2020, announcing Saturday the first NBA collaboration on a league outside North America.

      The Basketball Africa League (BAL) was unveiled at Charlotte, North Carolina, on the eve of the 68th NBA All-Star Game.

      With teams from across Africa, the BAL will assemble based on a foundation of FIBA’s current club competitions in Africa and begin play in Janaury 2020.

    • Thursday 14 February
    • Over 20 percent of Africans undernourished- Report

      - 15h58

      A report released today revealed that 257 million people in Africa, over 20 percent of the population, are undernourished.

      The 2018 edition of “Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition”, jointly conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, stated that the prevalence of undernourishment is on the rise.

      There are 821 million undernourished people in the world, up from 804 million in 2016, it stated.

      According to the report, 34.5 million more people are undernourished in Africa today than in 2015, bringing the total to 257 million in 2018.

      Climate change is the leading and driving factor responsible for posing threat for food insecurity in Africa, it was noted.

    • Key rebel stronghold left out of Philippines’ Muslim territory

      - 14h26

      Dozens of communities won approval to join a new Muslim-led territory in the Philippines’ south, results showed Thursday, yet the exclusion of a key rebel stronghold raised concerns about the peace process in the restive region.

      The results are from the second and final round of a landmark referendum that was the culmination of a decades-long process seeking to halt Muslim separatist violence that has claimed some 150,000 lives since the 1970s.

      Voters had already overwhelmingly approved last month the so-called Bangsamoro region, which is centred on the island of Mindanao in the majority Catholic nation’s south.

    • Catalan separatist refuses to answer prosecutors at trial

      - 14h19

      The lead defendant in the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders, former regional vice president Oriol Junqueras, refused to answer prosecutors’ questions in court on Thursday.

      “I am being persecuted for my ideas and not for my actions… I will not answer questions from the accusers,” he said as he took the stand in Spain’s Supreme Court in Madrid for the first time.

      Junqueras faces 25 years behind bars if he is convicted of rebellion and misuse of public funds for pushing an independence referendum in October 2017 in defiance of a court ban.

      The referendum was followed by a declaration of independence by leaders in the northeastern region, which sparked Spain’s worst political crisis in decades.

    • UK teen runaway who joined IS ‘wants to come home’

      - 14h17

      An unrepentant British teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria said in an interview Thursday that she wants to come home, highlighting the challenge for Western governments on how to deal with returning jihadist supporters.

      Shamima Begum, who ran away from London with two school friends in 2015, spoke to The Times from a refugee camp where she had fled the collapse of the IS group’s “caliphate” in eastern Syria.

      Now 19, she expressed no regrets about joining the jihadists but said that two of her children were dead and she was now heavily pregnant.

    • Palestinians say Warsaw meet ‘normalises’ Israeli occupation

      - 14h16

      A Warsaw conference jointly organised by US President Donald Trump’s administration lacks credibility as it aims to “normalise” the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, a Palestinian official said in remarks published Thursday.

      “By fully siding with the Israeli government, (the Americans) have tried to normalise the Israeli occupation and the systematic denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination,” Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, wrote in a column published by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

      The two-day conference, which convened for its main session in the Polish capital on Thursday, is officially devoted to security in the Middle East, with a strong emphasis on Iran.

    • Monday 11 February
    • Kim-Trump summit a ‘remarkable breakthrough’ for peace: Moon

      - 15h13

      The agreement for a second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un was a “remarkable breakthrough” for peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula, President Moon Jae-in said Monday, but he acknowledged doubts remained over denuclearisation.

      The US President and North Korean leader are due to meet in Hanoi from February 27 to 28 following their landmark first summit in Singapore last June.

      That meeting — the first-ever between the leaders of the US and North Korea — produced a vaguely-worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards “the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

    • Ghana: Mixed reactions greet Satellites exit from AFCON

      - 15h08

      The exit of the national Under-20 team, the Black Satellites from the African U-20 Youth Championship, following a 0-1 loss to Mali has been received with mixed reactions and statements in Ghana.First to break the ice was the coach of the team, Jim Cobblah, who blamed the failure of his team to qualify to the next stage of the competition on poor preparations towards the tournament.

      However, the coach’s assertion has been received with a pinch of salt from some football fans as he promised to guide the boys to a world cup bid, especially when he won the opening game 2-0 against Burkina Faso.

      Mr. Kojo Owuba, a public relations practitioner, said the coach had no excuse to fail Ghanaians and that he was bereft of ideas after starting on a bright note.

    • DR Congo election loser calls for rematch

      - 15h07

      The runner-up in DR Congo’s controversial presidential election has proposed staging the poll again within six months.

      In a letter to the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Martin Fayulu restated his allegation that the vote result had been rigged, and suggested “holding the elections again within six months”.

      Felix Tshisekedi was declared winner of the December 30 ballot with 38.5 percent of the vote, against Fayulu’s 34.8 percent.

      Fayulu, whose letter was made public on Monday, said the DRC’s Independent National Election Commission (CENI) had “quite simply fabricated the results it published”.

    • Botswana becomes 51st country to sign AfCFTA Agreement

      - 15h06

      President Mokgweetsi Masisi has signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, making Botswana the 51st country to sign the pact that seeks to create an enlarged African market.In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Masisi said he signed the agreement in the presence of African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki and outgoing AU chairperson Paul Kagame.

      Masisi said the agreement would give Batswana the opportunity to “benefit from inter-regional trade within the African continent, and greatly contribute to the growth and diversification of our country’s economy.”

    • Saturday 09 February
    • C/d’Ivoire: Guillaume Soro resigns as NA Speaker

      - 09h46

      Guillaume Soro has announced his resignation as the Speaker of the Ivorian National Assembly.RFI reported that Soro resigned on Friday, announcing it during an extraordinary session with MPs.

    • Senegal: Jailed ex-mayor backs incumbent’s poll rival

      - 09h45

      The former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall is endorsing Idrissa Seck, the flag-bearer of the coalition Idy 2019 for the Senegalese presidential election scheduled for 24 February, 2019.”I have decided, in agreement with the parties and organizations of the coalition Taxawu Senegaal Ak Khalifa Ababacar Sall, to accept the offer of alliance of the candidate Idrissa Seck. Together, we decided to seal a partnership based on a shared commitment to break up with the current trend and reform institutional, democratic, economic and social governance. With Idrissa Seck and with all the forces of the Nation, we will give impetus to the momentum needed to achieve our common ambition for a Senegal of peace, progress, freedom, social justice and solidarity,” Khalifa Sall was quoted as saying in a statement dated Friday, 8 February, 2019.

      Mr. Sall was stripped of his role as the mayor of Dakar and his parliamentary immunity following the ruling of the case of the so-called “Caisse d’Avance” in which he was prosecuted for embezzlement.

    • Nigerian rivals rally supporters as election campaign peaks

      - 09h32

      Nigeria’s main presidential hopefuls court voters in two key cities on Saturday, as election campaigning reaches its climax with one week to go before the ballot.

      The commercial hub of Lagos in the southwest is expected to grind to a halt as President Muhammadu Buhari visits for a rally in front of tens of thousands of supporters.

      His main opposition rival, Atiku Abubakar, is also holding a “mega-rally” in the capital, Abuja.

      Both events are among the final stops on the campaign trail around Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory before voting begins next Saturday.

      Buhari, 76, wants a second, four-year term while Abubakar, 72, is hoping to finally secure the presidency after four previous attempts.

      A record 84,004,084 voters are registered this year — up 18 percent from 2015, when Buhari became the first opposition candidate in Nigerian history to defeat a sitting president.

    • Revealed: DR Congo’s ‘invisible’ massacre

      - 09h30

      It was a bloodbath that happened out of sight of the rest of the world and was largely unnoticed even at home, occurring in the runup to fiercely-disputed elections.

      Days passed before details began to trickle out about what had happened on December 16 and 17 in Yumbi, a remote territory in southwest DR Congo.

      It was a whole month before a preliminary UN investigation said “credible sources” had found nearly 900 people were killed — a figure later scaled back to 535 after bodies had been identified.

      Some 16,000 refugees fled across the Congo river into the neighbouring Republic of Congo.

    • Rappers, women aiming big at Grammys after past snubs

      - 09h26

      Music’s biggest stars will gather in Los Angeles on Sunday for the Grammy Awards, and this year observers are hoping the hip-hop and women artists leading the pack will get their due.

      The industry’s annual gala draws eye rolls every year from critics who say the winners are too white and too male, but for the second consecutive year black hip-hop artists dominated the nominations across the board.

      Rapper Kendrick Lamar — who won a Pulitzer Prize for his album “DAMN.” but not a Grammy for Album of the Year — earned eight nominations, while Canadian rapper Drake snagged seven.

      Women artists scored nods in all of the top categories after being largely snubbed a year ago, with rapper Cardi B, pop diva Lady Gaga, pop futurist Janelle Monae and folk rocker Brandi Carlile among the frontrunners.

      In the Best New Artist category, six of the eight nominees are women.

      But skepticism lingers that nods will actually translate into wins, after rap mogul Jay-Z left empty-handed last year despite eight nominations.


    • Thursday 07 February
    • Central African Republic peace deal signed in Bangui

      - 21h49

      The government of Central African Republic and armed groups in control of most of the country signed a deal in Bangui Wednesday aimed at ending a bloody, years-long conflict.

      “The first effect of this agreement is the cessation of all violence against civilians,” President Faustin-Archange Touadera said at the signing ceremony, without disclosing the contents of the pact.

      “For us, this day is a historic moment which enshrines the culmination of nearly three years of efforts,” Touadera said, adding he was “holding out a hand to our brothers and sisters in the armed groups.”

      The deal had been initialled in Khartoum on Tuesday after lengthy talks brokered by the African Union and supported by the United Nations.

    • Uganda shuts main independent news website

      - 21h49

      Uganda’s communications regulator on Wednesday ordered the country’s main independent newspaper the Daily Monitor to shut down its website.

      In a letter to the newspaper’s managing director, the head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Godfrey Mutabazi, said the Daily Monitor had failed to register under data communications regulations introduced in 2018.

      It accused the newspaper’s parent company, Monitor Publications Limited, of providing an online news service illegally.

    • Washington scales back military aid to Cameroon

      - 21h48

      Washington has announced it is scaling back its military aid to Cameroon, over allegations of human rights abuses by government troops, diplomatic sources in Yaoundé told APA on Thursday.The announcement, already made by leading American media, was confirmed, under condition of anonymity to APA, by a US diplomatic representative in Cameroon, estimating the compromised military support stood at some CFA97 billion.

      This suspension, which will be further slashed if the situation so requires, concerns in particular security assistance, observation through radars, patrol boats and aircraft, armoured vehicles, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and training programmes.

      At the same time, the State Department continues to urge the Cameroonian government to take seriously all allegations of gross human rights violations by the army, particularly in the English-speaking regions of the North-West and South-West, where a secessionist conflict has been raging since October 2016, but also in the Far North, where the defence and security forces are engaged in the fight against Boko Haram militants.

    • Wednesday 06 February
    • Botswana reserves car dealership for citizens

      - 19h37

      The government of Botswana is reportedly taking steps to reserve businesses for pre-owned motor dealership and mobile phone shops for citizens, APA learned here Wednesday.Dealership of vehicles in Botswana is a business currently dominated by Asians, West Africans and Somalis.

      According to a report by Yarona FM radio station, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Peggy Serame said this is intended to economically empower citizens.

      Serame told the radio station that guidelines have been drafted and plans to implement the policy is at an advanced stage.

    • Gabon state expenditure up 15 percent in 2018

      - 19h35

      Gabon’s state expenditure totaled CFA 1,119.4 billion in 2018 against CFA 945.8 billion in 2017.This signifies an increase of CFA 173 billion in absolute terms and 15 percent in relative terms, according to a budget execution report from the Ministry of Economy seen by APA on Wednesday.

      The 2018 Finance Act in terms of revenue and expenditure was set at CFA2,700 billion and was implemented by 57 percent.

      The budget gave priority to staff costs (CFA525.1 billion) and debt financial charges (CFA154.6 billion).

      Expenditure on goods and services exceeded CFA130 billion, while investment expenditure barely exceeded CFA169 billion.

    • Central Africa: plagued by violence since 2013 coup

      - 19h31

      Central African Republic plunged into bloody sectarian violence in 2013 with the overthrow of president Francois Bozize by mainly Muslim rebels, prompting a counter-offensive by Christian militias.

      Here is a snapshot of the main events.

      – Coup –

      On March 24, 2013 rebels from a Muslim-dominated coalition called Seleka — which means “alliance” in the Sango language — seize the capital Bangui after running battles with government forces.

      Bozize, a Christian who has been in power for 10 years, flees.

      Seleka leader Michel Djotodia proclaims himself president of the predominantly Christian country.

      European Union condemns the coup as “unacceptable” and the African Union suspends the country’s membership.

    • Monday 04 February
    • Trump sees ‘good chance’ of deals with N.Korea, China

      - 10h38

      President Donald Trump said in remarks aired Sunday he saw a “good chance” of reaching deals on two key US foreign policy challenges: North Korean nuclear disarmament and trade relations with China.

      Interviewed on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump said the date and venue of his upcoming second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un had been agreed — and would likely be announced before or during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

      “The meeting is set,” said the president. “He’s looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it.”

      Vietnam is seen as the most likely venue for the Trump-Kim summit, which is expected to take place late this month and follows on from a landmark first face-to-face last June.

    • Obesity-linked cancers on the rise in young adults

      - 10h37

      A sharp increase in the rate of obesity-linked cancers among young adults in the United States could foreshadow a reversal in the overall decline in cancer mortality, researchers warned Monday.

      In a sweeping study covering two-thirds of the US population, they showed that half a dozen cancers for which obesity is a known risk factor became more frequent from 1995 to 2015 among women and men under 50.

      The younger the age bracket, the more quickly these cancers gained ground, they reported in The Lancet, a medical journal.

      During the period examined, the incidence of pancreatic cancer, for example, increased by about one percent per year for adults aged 45 to 49. Among 30 to 34-year-olds, the average annual percent increase was more than twice that high.

    • Buhari happy over survival of Vice President in helicopter crash

      - 10h36

      President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked God and also praised “the tenacious spirit of Vice President Osinbajo,” who survived a helicopter crash in Kogi State.The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said in Abuja on Sunday that the president stated this while reacting to Saturday’s incident in a telephone call to Osinbajo.

      The President said: “We give glory to Almighty God for sparing your life. I’m impressed by your tenacious spirit which enabled you to continue on your campaign engagement, despite the shock of the crash.

      “It takes tenacious spirit and amazing spiritual strength to survive a helicopter crash without being paralyzed by its impact. I am proud of our partnership and your unalloyed loyalty and your commitment to the service of Nigeria.

    • Cycling: Team Rwanda departs for Cameroon Tour de l’Espoir

      - 10h34

      A contingent of six riders has left Kigali International Airport over the weekend for Cameroon where the Rwandan national cycling team is set to compete in this year’s Tour de l’Espoir.The stage cycling race is held annually in Cameroon.

      The six-man Team Rwanda includes Yves Nkurunziza, Samuel Hakiruwizeye, Eric Manizabayo, Jean Damascene Ruberwa, Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo and Moise Mugisha, the Rwanda Cycling Federation said in a statement seen by APA on Sunday.

      Following is the list of 19 African national cycling teams that are expected to compete in Tour de l’Espoir 2019.

      Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tunisia, Rwanda, Argentina, Portugal, Ecuador, Monaco, Japan, South Africa and hosts Cameroon.

    • Friday 01 February
    • CEMAC: Summit for more integration opens in Malabo, Tuesday

      - 20h26

      A meeting on further integration within the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) zone opens in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea next Tuesday.Its theme will be: “Bolstering the integration for the transformation of the economies of the countries of the CEMAC”, a statement seen by APA Friday reads.

      The four-day meeting, which falls within the framework of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the economic bloc (UEAC) is placed under the coordination of the Commission of the CEMAC.

      During the ordinary session, the Inter-State Committee of the CEMAC (CIE) will tackle ten items namely the customs code and the functioning of the Council of Ministers.

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