Information round to clock

    • Thursday 06 December
    • Buhari returns from UN Climate Change Conference in Poland

      - 12h44

      President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja from Poland, where he participated in the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice.While in Poland, the President delivered his address at the 12-day meeting of COP24, and met with several world leaders . He also visited the impressive Nigerian pavilion at the climate summit.

      President Buhari on Tuesday visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, in Oświęcim, Poland where he paid tribute to Holocaust victims.

      President Buhari held bilateral meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset, President of Poland, Andrzej Duda and the Prime Minister, Mateusz

    • China to ‘immediately’ implement US trade truce measures

      - 12h42

      hina said Thursday it would “immediately” implement measures agreed under a trade war truce with the United States — and was confident it could reach a deal within 90 days.

      The commerce ministry’s remarks came days after US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to give negotiators 90 days to resolve their trade spat.

      Few details have been made public about what the two sides will negotiate, a lack of clarity that has unsettled stock markets.

      “China will immediately implement the consensus both sides already reached on agricultural products, energy, autos and other specific items,” commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press briefing.

    • Ghana: Government receives $4.5m for job training

      - 12h41

      The Ghanaian Government has secured $4.5 million from Aker Energy to train some 200 job seekers in the oil and gas sector, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, announced on Wednesday.Briefing the media in Accra, he said that the funds would be used to train the youth to enable them to take up various jobs in the oil and gas sectors.

      The funds have been secured after President Akufo-Addo launched the Accelerated Oil and Gas Programme (AOGC) to build capacity of young persons in readiness to take advantage of the opportunities in the oil sector.

      It is also to develop the capacity of the technical and vocational institutions to offer programmes related to the oil and gas sectors.

    • Africa must focus on its young people, experts urge

      - 12h40

      Professor Paul Collier, one of the world’s most influential development economists, warns that Africa’s “easy decade” of accelerated economic growth is coming to an end, and only accelerated job creation and integration will ensure sustainable growth and development across the continent.

      Dr. Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, was delivering a keynote address at the African Economic Conference 2018, hosted by the African Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Programme in Kigali, Rwanda.

    • The battle to save Central African Republic’s starving children

      - 12h37

      The line of parents waiting to see doctors stretches back outside the hospital into the dusty courtyard. Mums and dads carrying weak, starving children. Many hanging limply in their arms like half empty sacks of rice.

      The scene at the paediatric complex in Bangui, capital of Central African Republic, is not dissimilar to a war zone. And as conflict tears through the country, people here are desperately fighting another deadly foe: hunger.

      In a doorway, a young girl stands with the round shape of her belly protruding out above her skinny legs.

      A few metres away another malnourished girl sits barefoot, joints protruding, with shoulder blades poking out of her skin like blades, a baggy top the only clothing to cling to her perished frame.

      “Central African Republic is one of the most difficult countries to be a child,” Donaig Le Dru, UNICEF spokesperson in CAR, told AFP.

      The statistics underline the horrors that stalk childhood in the country.

      Infant mortality in CAR is the highest in the world, according to the UN.

      One in 24 children die in the first 28 days of life.

      The number of children with severe or acute malnutrition rose from around 32,000 to 43,000 between 2014 and the end of 2018.

      And two out of three children — 1.5 million youngsters in total — are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UNICEF.

    • Wednesday 05 December
    • Ramaphosa calls for ‘common agenda’ to promote growth in BRICS

      - 12h45

      South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged delegates from BRICS countries to find methods of building inclusive growth‚ multilateralism and unity, while warning against “imperialism and oppression” from getting a foothold.Ramaphosa was speaking at the BRICS political parties’ dialogue in Pretoria on Tuesday during an event that brought together 200 delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and other fraternal parties from the continent.

      “We seek to find the best ways and methods towards building what we could call a common agenda‚ which is about inclusive growth and multilateralism in the fourth industrial revolution,” Ramaphosa said.

    • Parliament to approve $100m insurance cover for rice farmers

      - 12h36

      The Ghanaian Parliament is expected to approve a $100 million insurance cover for rice farmers across the West African country, APA learns here Wednesday.On approval, the facility will provide insurance cover as “farm-risk insurance” for rice farmers, who operated previously without insurance, making them vulnerable to various risks associated with investing in the rice industry.

      The President of the Ghana Rice Farmers Association, Nana Kwabena Aryeh II, has told the Goldstreet Business newspaper that currently rice farmers are not benefiting from the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP), an initiative launched in the year 2011 to provide agricultural insurance to farmers.

    • Nigeria identifies poor moral values as bane of security

      - 12h24

      The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, says Nigeria’s security challenges are largely due to lack of moral values, especially among youths.Mustapha spoke at the 2nd Northern Christian Youth Economic and Political Summit 2018, with the theme: “The role of Christian youths in the promotion of peace and political stability in Nigeria” on Tuesday in Abuja.

      The SGF, who expressed sadness over the security situation in the country, urged youths to be the lead vanguards in restoring peace, security and stability by providing government with intelligence.

      He advised the youths to identify and report any threat to the public, adding that for the country to develop, it is the duty of all to protect citizens.

    • Tuesday 04 December
    • UN sees ‘severe increase’ in Yemen hunger rate

      - 17h22

      The UN warned Tuesday of a “severe increase” in Yemen’s hunger rate and cautioned the situation would deteriorate further in 2019, when four million more people are expected to need food aid.

      The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, told reporters that a food security survey due to be published later this week would show “a severe increase in hunger rate” in the country.

      “We are seeing the severe hunger rate spike, from eight million to 12 million,” he said, stressing that “these are the people who are on the brink of starvation… These are people who don’t know where the next meal is coming from.”

    • Mozambique predicts 4.7% growth next year

      - 17h20

      Mozambique Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario has predicted a 4.7 percent economy growth for the East African country in 2019, pushed by agriculture and mining.”The government’s economic and social plan for 2019 envisages a growth rate of 4.7 per cent driven by agriculture and the extractive industry”, he told the country’s parliament on Tuesday, while presenting the government’s economic and social plan for next year.

      Among the main contributors to this will be the graphite mines in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where production is expected to increase by over 273 per cent; rubies up by 92 per cent; tantalite 91 per cent increase; and coking coal up by 18 per cent.

    • Senegal: Sidy Lamine Niasse head of Walfadjiri press group dies

      - 17h19

      Sidy Lamine Niasse, the head of the Senegalese press group Walfadjiri, passed away on Tuesday morning in Dakar following a heart attack.Born on August 15 , 1950 in Kaolack (center of Senegal), and aged 68, he died at the Principal Hospital in Dakar, according to the private Radio Futurs Médias (RFM).

      Besides being the president and director general of Walfadjiri (which owns a daily newspaper, radio and television stations) Sidy Lamine Niasse was a religious leader and a writer.

    • Monday 03 December
    • Australia conservatives move to stop revolving door of PMs

      - 16h55

      Australia’s prime minister on Monday moved to end a series of rolling leadership coups that have battered his party’s reputation and left it hobbled ahead of next year’s election.

      Hastily announced by PM Scott Morrison at a occasionally boisterous late-night press conference, the new Liberal Party rule makes it much harder to oust a sitting leader.

      “This has been the great anguish for the Australian people as they’ve seen this happen in both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra of the revolving door of prime ministers.

      “They’re sick of it and we’re sick of it and it has to stop, and that’s why we’ve put this rule in place.”

      The new rule, decided at a snap Liberals meeting in the capital, will apply to a Liberal leader after he or she has won an election.

    • Trump says US-China ties make ‘BIG leap forward’

      - 16h54

      US President Donald Trump boasted Monday that US relations with China have taken a “BIG leap forward” following his meeting in Argentina with President Xi Jinping.

      “Very good things will happen. We are dealing from great strength, but China likewise has much to gain if and when a deal is completed. Level the field!” he said in a series of early morning tweet.

      Trump alluded — possibly inadvertently — to the “Great Leap Forward,” Mao Zedong’s disastrous campaign to rapidly industrialize China’s agrarian economy, which historians believe led to the deaths of tens of millions of people in the Great Chinese Famine.

    • Zimbabwean doctors strike over pay, poor working conditions

      - 16h44

      Junior doctors in Zimbabwe have down tools in protest at low salaries and poor working conditions, APA learnt here on Monday.The doctors went on strike on Monday, demanding that the government reviews their working environment, which they said is making it difficult for them to discharge their duties.

      The strike action has affected hospitals in the capital Harare, the second largest city Bulawayo and Chitungwiza, a dormitory town located about 30km southeast of Harare.

      Among other issues, they are protesting shortages of basic medicines and equipment as well as low salaries, which are fast being eroded by rising prices of basic commodities.

      This is the second time this year that the junior doctors have downed tools following a similar industrial action in March.

    • Women judges commit to tackling GBV in Africa

      - 14h24

      Women judges, magistrates and prosecutors have signed a commitment that would see a concerted approach by women justice actors to combating Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Africa.The representatives of associations of women judges, magistrates and prosecutors from the African region resolved and committed to establishing the International Association of Women Judges-Africa Region Forum to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence.

      According to a statement issued by the judiciary in Nairobi on Sunday, the group also committed itself to ensuring that women judges and national associations undertake to carry out sustained advocacy to curb sexual and gender based violence within their jurisdictions.

    • Botswana corruption conference draws African policymakers

      - 14h04

      A conference on corruption in Africa which is currently taking place in Botswana has attracted African policymakers working against graft in their respective countries.The plenary session of the High-Level Dialogue opened its second day with a session on Thursday morning during which the keynote address was delivered by the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs Minata Samate Cessouma.

      The AU official warned that far from abating corruption continues to blight Africa at all levels through public service providers negotiating kick-backs, whether in the public private sector partnership or through multinational corporations contracts with governments and rural women seeking basic health services.

    • Friday 30 November
    • Rwandan journalist investigated for ‘terrorism’

      - 17h08

      Rwandan investigators are holding a journalist accused of receiving explosives and plotting with terrorists, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has said.

      Phocas Ndayizera, a 39-year-old freelance journalist working for the BBC’s local language service, was reported missing over a week ago before turning up in custody.

      Ndayizera now faces a maximum 20-year jail term if found guilty under Rwanda’s anti-terrorism laws.

      “He was arrested red-handed as he received explosives, including dynamite,” said RIB spokesman Modeste Mbabazi when the arrest was made public on Thursday.

    • Israel in first Syria strikes since air defence upgrade: monitor

      - 17h05

      Israel struck several positions south of Damascus, a war monitor said Friday, in the first strikes since Syrian air defences were upgraded following the accidental downing of a Russian plane in September.

      Damascus claimed its air defence systems shot down all “hostile targets” late Thursday. Israel did not confirm carrying out raids but denied any losses.

      According to the Syria Observatory for Human Rights, the strikes hit two positions in the south of Damascus province, including an area believed to be an Iranian weapons depot near the capital.

    • Desperate Indian farmers march on parliament

      - 17h03

      Tens of thousands of farmers and agricultural workers marched towards the Indian parliament Friday demanding debt waivers and higher crop prices, putting pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of 2019 elections.

      More than 300,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves in the last two decades mainly because of poor irrigation, failed crops and being unable to pay back loans.

      Farmers from across the country flooded by train and bus into Delhi since Thursday to mass in the capital city’s Ramlila Grounds before marching to parliament.

      Organisers said some 80,000 farmers and farm labourers were participating in the two-day agitation that will culminate with a petition to the Indian president after the march was stopped half-a-mile ahead of the parliament house.

    • UN helps hundreds of C. American caravan migrants return home

      - 17h01

      The United Nations said Friday it had helped hundreds of Central Americans who travelled with migrant caravans towards the United States to return to their home countries.

      The International Organization for Migration said as of Wednesday, it had helped 453 migrants, including unaccompanied children, who had expressed the desire to return to their countries of origin.

      In addition, “over 300 Central American migrants have expressed their interest in returning from Tijuana, and IOM is coordinating safe and dignified means of transport for them,” the UN agency’s spokesman Joel Millman told reporters in Geneva.

    • 1.5 million children in C. Africa need emergency aid: UN

      - 16h56

      Two-thirds of all children in Central African Republic need emergency aid, the UN said Friday, sounding an alarm about the impoverished country’s worsening “neglected” crisis.

      Some 1.5 million children nationwide are in need of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 300,000 compared with 2016, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said in a new report.

      The agency’s top representative in the country, Christine Muhigana, told reporters in Geneva that the situation in CAR is “probably even worse” than during the country’s sectarian conflict of 2013.

    • Thursday 29 November
    • IMF’s Lagarde says likely to approve Ukraine loan after Dec 10

      - 07h59

      The International Monetary Fund board will meet to approve a new loan deal for Ukraine “promptly” after December 10, once the country implements key policy steps including raising gas and heating rates, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday.

      Lagarde issued a statement following a telephone call with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, who earlier in the day imposed martial law for 30 days amid the escalating conflict with Russia.

      The brief IMF statement made no mention of the conflict, which flared after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday off the coast of Crimea.

      “We reaffirmed the positive and cooperative relationship between Ukraine and the IMF,” Lagarde said following the call.

    • Nigerian minister says investment in mining will curb illegal migration

      - 07h54

      The Nigerian Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Bawa Bwari, has said that investment in the mining sector in Africa will curb illegal migration of youths from Africa to Europe and the Americas.Bwari told global stakeholders in the mining industry at the Mines and Money Conference in London on Tuesday that investors in the Nigerian mining industry could also bring in mining equipment into the country duty free.

      The report by Nigeria’s Punch newspaper on Wednesday quoted minister as saying that Africa is home to 30 percent of the world’s deposits of mineral resources and that with youth budge on the African continent, the best way to control illegal migration was to invest i

    • Kenya: Unclaimed financial assets amounts to $20m

      - 07h40

      Kenyan institutions holding unclaimed financial assets have surrendered 2.58 billion shillings( $20 million) and over 100 million units of abandoned shares more in the just concluded year 2018 compliance cycle, a preliminary report released on Wednesday shows.This brings the tally of abandoned assets being held by the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) to 13 billion shillings ($126 million) in cash and 555.5 million units of shares.

      Additional 205 safe deposits boxes are now being held by the Authority, bringing the total to 1451 abandoned treasure troves.

    • UN rethinks Africa peacekeeping role

      - 07h35

      The United Nations says it is reflecting on the nature of its peacekeeping missions around Africa with a view to carrying out reforms to improve such operations.Speaking in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday, the UN Secretary General’s special representative in West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas said this was necessitated by questions being raised about their impact in some regions of the continent especially those under the threat of terrorism.

      “We are in the process of reforming at the United Nations, including the ways in which we maintain peace in Africa and elsewhere,” Chambas said, calling for the intensification of the war against terrorism.

    • Five killed in Ivory Coast clashes

      - 07h34

      Five people were killed and 141 injured during clashes between different ethnic groups in western Ivory Coast, the government said Wednesday.

      Fighting broke out between the Yacouba and Malinke communities in the town of Zouan-Hounien on November 21, said government spokesman Sidi Toure.

      The clashes came after the death of a student in circumstances that were still not clear, a police source said.

    • Thursday 22 November
    • Africities: Moroccan varsity to launch Master’s program in City Management

      - 09h39

      The Moroccan University Al Akhawayn, based in the city of Ifrane, 200 km from Rabat, has announced its decision to introduce the Executive Master in City Management (EMCM) program designed for officials specialized in the management of territories.

      In a statement published at the eighth Africities Summit, being held in Marrakech, Al Akhawayn Unversity indicated that this flexible and adaptable Master’s program will last 12 months (450-495 hours of training) for territorial management professionals wishing to deepen their understanding of the new global and African geopolitical context of decentralization, local governance and development in the Southern Hemisphere.

      The curriculum will enable the beneficiaries to acquire advanced skills in the effective management of African cities, especially in terms of development and planning.

      Resorting to high-profile teachers and practitioners from different backgrounds (Africa, Europe and America), EMCM combines classroom courses and online classes.

    • African great Drogba retires from football

      - 09h36

      Ivory Coast and Chelsea great Didier Drogba announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 20-year career.

      The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League, while he is also Ivory Coast’s all-time record goalscorer with 65.

      Drogba most recently played for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League.

      “I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

      “If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into a reality.”

    • US judge drops doctor genital mutilation charges

      - 09h35

      A US judge has dropped federal female genital mutilation charges filed against a Michigan doctor, ruling that Congress overstepped its authority in prohibiting a practice best left to state courts.

      In what was hailed a landmark case, Jumana Nagarwala was charged in April 2017 with performing the widely condemned practice on nine girls at a clinic in Livonia, Michigan over a span of 12 years.

      But in a decision filed Tuesday, Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Congress had “overstepped its bounds by legislating to prohibit FGM.”

      Instead the practice should be considered a “‘local criminal activity’ which, in keeping with longstanding tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress,” he wrote.

    • No room for climate delay, UN chief tells online summit

      - 09h33

      The world is not moving fast enough to curb global warming and needs immediate action to address the issue, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told an online climate change conference Thursday.

      Guterres issued the call to arms ahead of next month’s COP24 climate talks in the southern Polish city of Katowice, which will attempt to revive a global climate deal reached in Paris in 2015.

      Addressing the Virtual Climate Summit, Guterres urged world leaders to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

      He praised the online summit, which has been organised by the Marshall Islands using online technology to remain carbon neutral, as an example of the innovative thinking needed to combat climate change.

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