The US defense department once again sounded the alarm over Moscow’s growing interest in Libya, indicating that ties between Russians and head of the Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar is evident. General Thomas Tom Waldhauser, who heads the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) on Friday told media that Russia is engaged in the border area between Libya and Egypt. “They are trying to influence the action, we watch what they do with great concern,” Waldhauser told reports at the Pentagon. Even though Moscow has not sent any troops in the oil rich country, it is well-known that Haftar has become Russia’s major Libyan interlocutor. “The Russians and Haftar, the linkage I think is undeniable at this point in time,” Waldhauser added.
IFC and its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Fund have announced a combined indirect equity investment of $30 million in payment solutions provider Network International, to expand the payment infrastructure in the MENA region. Only 31 per cent of the population is banked while more than 30 million micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) are underserved or unserved. The IFC investment will enable MSMEs to access card-based payments and develop digital data records to help them grow their customer base. It will also promote cross-regional integration of the financial and payment infrastructure. According to Andi Dervishi, Global Head, IFC’s Fintech Investment Group, Network International’s expansion will improve transparency, reduce money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing.
With that, AfriForum submitted a PAIA application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act No. 2 of 2000) to the office of Supra Mahumapelo, Premier of the North West. However, it has now emerged that the Zuma’s R6M statue project has been abandoned. According to AfriForum, the provincial government in North West confirmed that the erection of the Zuma statue will be abandoned. The money can be employed in much better ways, AfriForum maintained.
King Mohammed VI and his guest King Abdallah II of Jordan inaugurated at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat the cultural and artistic event “Africa in Capital”, which celebrates African artistic creation. Africa in Capital, which runs until April 28, features a panoply of events including art exhibition, concerts, film projection and conferences with the aim to bring African art closer to the Moroccan public. In this respect, King Mohammed VI and his distinguished guest visited exhibitions themed: “Contemporary Look into African Art”, “Joint Presence”, and “Memorial”. The “Contemporary Look into African Art” exhibition features paintings, sculptures and design items made by famous African artists such as Congo’s Chéri Samba and Chéri Chérin, Benin’s Cyprien Tokoudagba, Nigeria’s Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya and Ben Osaghae and Ghana’s Kwame Akoto. The exhibition helps with exploring the trends marking the African contemporary art.
President of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz announced that a referendum would be held to vote for the amendment to the constitution providing notably for abolishing the senate and changing the flag. The amendments to the constitution, which has been in force since 1991, were approved by the lower house but rejected by a majority of Senate members earlier this month. But there is one way out: we will hold a referendum,” President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz told the press. One-third of the Senate is elected on a rotating basis every two yearsPresident Abdel Aziz first came to power through a military coup in 2008. After winning the presidential election in 2009, Abdel Aziz won a second term in June 2014.
Algerian ambassador to South Africa Abd-El-Naceur Belaid called for stronger economic partnerships between Algeria and South Africa at an Algeria-South Africa trade and investment summit held in Johannesburg. Algeria and South AfricaThis is where the relationship with South Africa became so important. Lerato Matabage, CEO of Trade Invest Africa at the DTI, in particular, highlighted Algeria as the number one priority in North Africa for South African investment. Source: Embassy of Algeria South Africa, Export & Import Southern Africa magazineWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
VW's Seat plans to expand in N. Africa, Latin AmericaDe Meo aims to increase Seat's operating margin to as high as 4.5 percent. BARCELONA -- Spanish automaker Seat will lead VW Group's expansion in North Africa as part of internationalization plans that may also include building cars in Mexico. Seat is seeking to expand its business in North Africa and Latin America in the next decade to stabilize earnings by reducing its reliance on Europe. Seat will "take the leadership role" in VW Group's new Algerian plant, de Meo said at the brand's annual earnings press conference here on Thursday. VW Group has formed a joint venture with Algerian sales partner SOVAC to assemble the Ibiza, VW Golf, VW Caddy and Skoda Octavia in Algeria.
Corporate News Chinese firms win Sh18bn tender for Isebania-Ahero road upgradeKeNHA director-general Peter Mundinia. FILE PHOTO | NMGTwo Chinese firms have been awarded Sh18 billion tender to rehabilitate and upgrade Isebania-Kisii-Ahero Road to bitumen standards. The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) said China Henan International Corporation Group and the Third Engineering Bureau of China City Construction will undertake the rehabilitation of the 206km road. The second lot will be undertaken by Third Engineering Company at a cost of Sh9.4 billion. Running from Kisii to Ahero, it will include Oyugis-Kendu Bay, Misambi-Ekerenyo and Oyugis Gamba feeder roads among others.
King Mohammed VI has received in Rabat King Abdullah II of Jordan with whom he held talks on bilateral ties and latest developments in the Arab region. The Jordanian King is in Morocco as part of an official visit during which he will meet several Moroccan officials. In such a regional context and in a region beset by turmoil, Morocco and Jordan have emerged as hubs of stability. The two monarchies carried out reforms that help them eschew the chaos that plagued several countries after the Arab Spring. Morocco and Jordan held their first joint commission in 1998.
The U.S. Census Bureau is proposing changes to the way it categorizes race. According to the 2010 census, 72 percent of respondents said they were white. But the bureau defines "white" as a person with ancestral origins in "Europe, the Middle East or North Africa." The new plans would add a separate Middle East/North Africa box, which has sparked celebration and concern. Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Arwa Mahdawi (@ArwaM), writer for The Guardian, about the proposal and the historically ambiguous definition of "white."
Maverick federal MP Bob Katter has renewed his call for a Middle Eastern and North African migration ban following the London terrorist attacks. The grandson of a Lebanese migrant wants to stop people between Greece and India from moving to Australia and has backed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's call to ban Muslim migration. Scroll down for videoMaverick federal MP Bob Katter wants to ban migration from the Middle East and North AfricaThe politician from far north Queensland has backed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's call to ban Muslim migration, following the killing of four people in London by a lone wolf terrorist who drove towards pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge. He also accused the major parties of bringing in Muslims from the Middle East at the expense of more deserving minorities. His proposed ban on migration from the Middle East and North Africa would grant exemptions for minorities such as the Sikhs, Jews and Christians who are persecuted by Islamists.
INTRODUCTIONMr. Chairman and distinguished members of this Committee, I am honored to testify before you in my first year as the Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM). Enable the NATO AllianceAs the United States manages multiple strategic challenges, our enduring strength remains NATO, the most successful alliance in history. This unity is NATO’s center of gravity, and the United States must continue to support solidarity among the Alliance nations. Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have begun deploying multinational battalion task forces to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland respectively on a rotational basis. In order to realize this networked approach, EUCOM will support NATO efforts to expand the capability and capacity of Allied Joint Forces Command – Naples.
Applications have opened for the first Fincluders Startup Challenge to be held outside of Europe, with fintech entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) eligible for the US$15,000 competition. Organised by the Technical Assistance Facility of the SANAD Fund for MSME, the event is modelled on a first installment of the challenge held in Berlin last year. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility will offer finalists a trip to Jordan and accommodation during mentoring sessions conducted by fintech industry experts. SANAD Technical Assistance Facility committee chairman Ines Ebrecht said the Fincluders Startup Challenge served as a natural extension of SANAD’s technical assistance activities. Such funding helps ensure startups can finance the critical phases of their product and business development,” Ebrecht said.
FLINT – The International Institute and Foreign Languages Center at Mott Community College (MCC) will host a Middle East & North Africa Cultural Fair March 30 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Event Center on the Flint campus. Participants will receive a passport to “travel” through the Middle East and North Africa learning about a rich cultural history through food, music, art, games, language and conversation. The Cultural Fair will feature Arabic students at MCC teaching participants how to write their name in Arabic and sharing basic cultural facts. There will be a trivia game and selfie station with props and cultural regalia, and a Henna table where participants can get a Henna tattoo. Additionally, there will be a station with Syrian refugees who are willing to talk about their experiences as refuges and recent immigrants.