Tag Archives: African

44 African nations sign pact establishing free trade area

44 African nations sign pact establishing free trade areaForty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent’s economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. The creation of a free trade area — billed as the world’s largest in terms of participating countries — comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU’s flagship projects for greater African integration. “We have come here to fulfil the aspiration of our peoples for integration and unity,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the AU commission.



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U.S. to provide more than $533 million in aid amid African conflicts, drought

U.S. to provide more than $  533 million in aid amid African conflicts, droughtThe United States will give more than $ 533 million in humanitarian aid for victims of conflicts and drought in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and the West and Central African countries bordering Lake Chad, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday. Tillerson made the announcement at a speech in Virginia before departing for a week-long trip to several African countries. Tillerson contrasted the United States’ work on the African continent, which he said promoted “sustainable growth,” with that of China, which recently pledged $ 124 billion for its Silk Road plan to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and other places.



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Lion kills woman at refuge of South African 'lion whisperer'

Lion kills woman at refuge of South African 'lion whisperer'JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A lion that mauled a young woman to death in South Africa was under the care of a man known as the "lion whisperer" for his close interactions with the predators.



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ANC orders Zuma to step down as South African president

ANC orders Zuma to step down as South African presidentBy Alexander Winning and James Macharia JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling party ordered Jacob Zuma on Tuesday to step down as head of state after marathon talks over the fate of a leader whose scandal-plagued years in power darkened and divided Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid ‘Rainbow Nation’. Leading members of the African National Congress now want new party leader Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma as president, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule told a news conference. There was no word from Zuma or his spokesman but Magashule said the president had promised to respond to the order by Wednesday.



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Liberia's Johnson Sirleaf wins $5 mln African leadership prize

Liberia's Johnson Sirleaf wins $  5 mln African leadership prizeFormer Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa’s first elected female head of state, has won a $ 5 million Mo Ibrahim award, designed to improve the quality of African political leadership. Johnson Sirleaf, who handed over leadership of the war-scarred West African state last month to ex-international soccer star George Weah, is only the fifth person to win the 10-year-old award. Since its inception, the prize founded by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim has not been awarded on several occasions because there was not deemed to be a suitable candidate.



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China denies report it hacked African Union headquarters

China denies report it hacked African Union headquartersBy Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – China and the African Union dismissed on Monday a report in French newspaper Le Monde that Beijing had bugged the regional bloc’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital. An article published Friday in Le Monde, quoting anonymous AU sources, reported that data from computers in the Chinese-built building had been transferred nightly to Chinese servers for five years. After the massive hack was discovered a year ago, the building’s IT system including servers was changed, according to Le Monde.



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UN, African Union leaders praise international cooperation

UN, African Union leaders praise international cooperationADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The leaders of the United Nations and the African Union urged stronger international cooperation at the opening Sunday of the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.



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Protesters Trash South African H&M Stores Over Racist Ad

Protesters Trash South African H&M Stores Over Racist AdClothing retail chain H&M temporarily closed several of its South African stores this weekend after protests erupted over a racist image on the Swedish company’s website.



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African Union demands Donald Trump apologise for 'sh**hole' comments

African Union demands Donald Trump apologise for 'sh**hole' commentsThe African Union, representing all 55 nations in the continent, has demanded that Donald Trump apologise for his alleged “sh**hole countries” remarks. In a blistering statement, the union’s diplomatic mission in Washington also accused Mr Trump of dishonouring America by supposedly using foul language to describe Haiti, El Salvador and unspecified African nations during a discussion about immigration. The Washington Mission of the African Union said the US President didn’t just need to apologise to Africans, he should be saying sorry to all people of African descent, all over the world.



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Footage shows African migrants being sold as slaves at auction for as little as £300 each

Footage shows African migrants being sold as slaves at auction for as little as £300 eachThe Libyan government is to investigate allegations that African migrants are being sold as slaves at auctions. Tens of thousands of migrants, many of them from West Africa but also Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, are being held in camps and warehouses on the Libyan coast, hoping to reach Europe. When the warehouses become overcrowded, or if migrants are unable to pay traffickers for the boat journey towards Italy – where many are rescued by NGO-operated vessels – they are sold. The existence of modern-day slave markets has been known for months, with testimony from the International Organisation for Migration and other humanitarian agencies, but last week CNN obtained video footage of one such auction.  In scenes reminiscent of the 19th century, when the slave trade was rife, auctioneers advertised a group of West African migrants as “big strong boys for farm work.” The auctioneers referred to the migrants in Arabic as “merchandise”. The CNN footage showed buyers bidding for the migrants, who were sold off for as little as $ 400 each. One West African man told the television network: “Sure, I was sold”.  Others recounted how they were beaten by their “owners” as they put to work. Ahmed Metig, the deputy prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli, said the allegations would be investigated. He said he would establish a "commission to investigate these reports in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice.” Migrants sit in a detention centre run by the interior ministry of Libya's eastern-based government, in Benghazi Credit: Reuters Alpha Conde, the president of Guinea and chairman of the African Union, where many migrants come from, called for an inquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade… from another era". The Senegalese government called the apparent slave market a "blight on the conscience of humanity". The IOM reported the existence of slave markets in April. “The reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies.  “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.” Migrants who are rescued at sea and brought to Italy have told how they are beaten, tortured and in some cases raped by traffickers in Libya.  Many young women end up as prostitutes on the streets of Italy, with Nigerian girls as young as 13 forced to sell themselves for as little as 10 euros (£8.90) a time, terrified into submission by gang rape and voodoo curses. It is estimated that 80 per cent of Nigerian teenage girls and young women who make it to Italy are forced into the sex trade.



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