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West Africa News

  • Côte d’Ivoire transport upgrades to ease congestion and boost connectivity

    ABIDJAN, 2018/01/13 A multi-pronged approach to urban transport development should relieve congestion in Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital Abidjan, with the upgrades as well set to improve domestic and regional trade links. In late October the rehabilitation of one of the city’s major arteries, the Boulevard de Marseille, broke ground. The project involves upgrading and widening the 13.4-km boulevard and improving connectivity with associated roads, inclunding the Boulevard Valéry-Giscard-d'Estaing, the major thoroughfare in the city’s south.
  • Why a proper record of birds in Africa is so important – for Europe

    BOTSWANA, 2018/01/13 Most of Europe’s birds chief south each year around September to escape the northern winter. Some species only migrate as far south as southern Europe. But most cross the Mediterranean Sea to Africa. And a lot of species cross the Sahara Desert to destinations in West Africa such as Nigeria and in East Africa, such as Kenya. Some travel as far south as South Africa. These European birds are diligently monitored. Each April, during the breeding season in the early part of the northern summer, teams of citizen scientists in most European nations gather vast amounts of data on the distribution and densities of breeding – for almost each bird species. Thousands of citizen scientists are involved. They diligently generate the data in their leisure time.
  • Toothless Pan-African Parliament could have meaningful powers

    BOTSWANA, 2018/01/13 The Pan-African Parliament was established by the African Union in 2004. Since again it has not passed a single law. That’s because it’s based on a Protocol that gives it only an advisory role. The parliament can gather data and discuss it, but can’t make binding regulations to change anything. Its limited “consultative and advisory powers” hamper the African Union’s ability to achieve a prosperous and peaceful Africa as envisioned in its Schedule 2063. Is there any point, again, in having this parliament? The 2001 Protocol envisaged that a conference would be organised to “review the operation and effectiveness” of the protocol five years next the establishment of the Parliament, which was 2009. This provision gave rise to the view that such a conference would explore the possibility of granting the Parliament meaningful legislative powers. But no such review has been carried out so far.
  • The EU-Africa summit is now the AU-EU summit. Why the upgrade matters

    BOTSWANA, 2018/01/13 African and European heads of government gathered last week in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, for their 5th summit since 2000. For the initial time, the African Union (AU) rather than “Africa”, officially appears as the European Union’s partner. While plenty has been discussed about youth, migration, security and governance less is being said about the shift from an EU-Africa to an AU-EU summit. Is this just a case of semantics? Next all, the AU has been the key organiser of these triennial summits since they started in 2000. Or are there larger implications? We think there are. The AU-EU summit coincided with the January 2017 statement on the reform of the African Union prepared by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The statement recommends rationalising “Africa’s” a lot of international partnerships by having the continental body take the lead. This means that the previous, current and next AU chairpersons, plus the AU Commission chairperson and the chairperson of the Regional Economic Communities, would represent the AU, rather than all its member states.
  • Why Rwanda’s development model wouldn’t work elsewhere in Africa

    RWANDA, 2018/01/13 Rwanda is often touted as an example of what African states could achieve if only they were better governed. Out of the ashes of a horrific genocide, President Paul Kagame has resuscitated the economy, curtailed corruption and maintained political stability. This is a record that a lot of other leaders can only dream of, and has led to Rwanda being cited as an economic success story that the rest of the continent would do well to follow. In nations like Kenya and Zimbabwe some have argued that their leaders should operate additional like Kagame. In other words, that job creation and poverty alleviation are additional significant than free and equitable elections.
  • World food prices up 8.2% in 2017

    AFGHANISTAN, 2018/01/13 World food prices rose by 8.2 % in 2017 compared to 2016, the UN's food agency said on Friday (Jan 12). The Food and Agriculture Organisation said that its FAO Food Price Index averaged 174.6 points in 2017, the highest annual average since 2014. In December alone, however, the index - a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities - stood at 169.8 points, down 3.3 % from November, the FAO said in a statement.
  • Guinea bauxite mining companies resume operations after riots

    GUINEA, 2018/01/11 Bauxite production in the Guinean mining hub of Boke resumed on Monday next deadly riots over electricity cuts had interrupted deliveries since Friday, companies and government officials said. Two people were killed and dozens injured during riots last week in Boke, which has seen waves of unrest this year spurred by a perceived failure of the mining industry to raise living standards in the poor West African country.
  • Chinese Firm to Invest US$2.8 Billion in Guinean Bauxite Operation

    CHINA, 2018/01/08 The Republic of Guinea’s mining ministry disclosed yesterday its approval of a US$2.8-billion investment in a fully-integrated aluminium operation around a domestic bauxite mine by the Chinese transformer-production firm Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co., Ltd. (TBEA). According to secretary-general of the mines ministry Saadou Nimaga elaborated by saying that the mine is expected to begin producing bauxite in the summer of 2019 starting with a production rate of 10 million metric tons per annum. The mine’s production rate will triple in 2020, he explained. The summer of 2021 should see the completion of an alumina refinery, continued Nimaga, specifying that it would have a capacity of 1 million metric tons per annum upon completion.
  • Ethiopia: Praising Record Feat, Lagarde Emphatic Calling for Reforms

    BOTSWANA, 2018/01/06 The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, is to arrive in Addis Abeba today, to start what is a historic visit by the Fund’s most senior official since its founding next the Second World War. She will be talking to Ethiopian authorities, inclunding Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, on issues of macroeconomic stability and monetary policy matters. In her exclusive interview with (Addis) Fortune, Lagarde praised Ethiopia’s economic performance of the completed few years as “strong” with “positive Prospects”. However, she would like to see Ethiopian authorities exercise restraints in “public spending” while urged them – rather emphatically – to control borrowing from overseas to finance public projects and strengthen export competitiveness.
  • Nigeria Secures $550M From China to Fund Two Satellites for Nigcomsat

    NIGERIA, 2018/01/06 The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, wednesday in Abuja disclosed that Nigeria had secured the commitment of China for the provision of $550 million towards the purchase of two additional satellites for subsequent launch into the space in the next two years. Shittu, who made this disclosure in the National Home next a conference with President Muhammadu Buhari, said both the China Exim Bank and China Great Walls, the manufacturers, had agreed to fund the project 100 % following Nigeria's inability to fulfill the initial agreement it reached with China to provide 15 % of the $550 million.