Startup investment is making a comeback in North Africa

African startups raised more than $129 million last year, according to a report from Disrupt Africa, a blog on technology and entrepreneurship on the continent. South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya were the most popular destinations, with north African countries catching up. Fundraising for Egyptian startups jumped 105%, according to the report, making the country the fourth most popular tech investment destination on the continent. There’s been a trend towards investment returning to Egypt and other North African countries having been scared off by years of political turmoil, according to Disrupt Africa. But North African startups have not had a prominent profile in Africa’s tech landscape to date.

January 24, 2017 06:32 UTC

Libya's neighbors demand national dialogue to end crisis

Representatives of Libya's neighbors meeting in Cairo warned the North African nation's main rival factions against seeking to settle their differences through military force, as Egypt announced that efforts were underway to bring their leaders together to chart a "joint vision" for the country. The representatives came from Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Chad, Niger and Tunisia. Also operating in Libya is an array of militant groups, including a local affiliate of the Daesh terrorist group. Saturday's meeting followed airstrikes earlier this week by U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers that targeted a pair of Daesh military camps southwest of Sirte. The airstrikes were coordinated with the U.N-backed government headquartered in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

January 23, 2017 21:23 UTC

Kissinger: Trump will have to define America's role in new international order

He called Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the opening session of the Annual Meeting on 17 January “of fundamental significance”. “They must be inclusive and anchored on a long-term vision around the Sustainable Development Goals. This index system will be presented after the IBC Summer Meeting in August 2017 at the World Economic Forum headquarters in Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland. Investing in sustainability: In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Denmark launched a blended finance SDG fund to mobilize private capital, technology and know-how for inclusive and sustainable investments. Partners include the fashion retailing company C&A, The Walt Disney Company, Target Corporation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

January 23, 2017 17:24 UTC

Morocco to Set up Field Hospital in Abuja ahead of King’s Visit to South Sudan

Morocco will set up a multi-disciplinary field hospital in South Sudan’s capital Abuja, upon directives from King Mohammed VI who will visit the country soon, Morocco’s foreign ministry said in a statement. This humanitarian gesture is reflective of the King’s care to bring a helping hand to the South Sudanese people, the statement added. In this respect, the same source noted that the field hospital along with the upcoming visit by the Moroccan Monarch to South Sudan were discussed in a meeting between Morocco’s Ambassador to Abuja and the South Sudanese Foreign minister Deng Alor. This field hospital to start working as of Monday has a capacity of 30 beds that can be extended to 60. These tangible cooperation projects in favor of Africa’s economic and human development highlight why Morocco’s political and diplomatic endeavor to regain its natural place within the African Union is welcome across the continent.

January 23, 2017 16:12 UTC

Nigerians saved from execution in Libya

Nigerians saved from execution in LibyaFrom EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, NigeriaABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency and the Embassy in Libya have evacuated 2 000 Nigerians from the North African country. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, said, the Nigerian Embassy in Tripoli, working with NEMA had relentlessly intervened in cases involving Nigerians “in trouble” in Libya and will continue to do so. The office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora thereby appealed again to Nigerian migrants to avoid Libya as penalty for illegal migration, when caught, was usually a death sentence. Dabiri-Erewa said her office had been drawn to a video and pictures being circulated on the purported killing of black immigrants in Libya. “While the authenticity of the pictures and tapes in question cannot be verified, it is a known fact that Libya has been executing alleged black illegal immigrants for years.”– CAJ NEWS

January 23, 2017 13:13 UTC

A New Policy for North Africa in the Trump Era?

This piece is part of a special RCW series on America’s role in the world during the Trump administration. There has been much speculation across the Middle East and North Africa regarding what U.S. foreign policy in the region will look like under the Trump administration. For the Maghreb region of North Africa, the Trump administration will likely continue the same level of engagement as the previous administration, although it will emphasize different policy priorities. The Trump administration may also strengthen relations with Algeria, which plays a critical role in the maintenance of security and counterterrorism operations in North Africa. Trump’s foreign policy will likely have the most critical effect on Libya.

January 23, 2017 12:33 UTC

$1.95 Billion Corrosion Protective Coatings & Acid Proof Lining Market: Middle East and North Africa Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026 - Research and Markets

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Corrosion Protective Coatings & Acid Proof Lining Market: Middle East and North Africa Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026" report to their offering. Market revenue from the MENA corrosion protective coatings and acid proof lining market is estimated to be valued at US$ 1,953.0 Mn by 2016 end, which is expected to increase at a CAGR of 4.9% over the forecast period 2016-2026. Increasing activities in shipping, offshore repair and shipbuilding in the Middle East & North Africa in recent years are factors anticipated to drive demand for corrosion protective coatings in the region over the forecast period. Slump in crude oil prices in recent years and the near future is anticipated to be the major restraint for growth of the MENA corrosion protective coatings and acid proof linings market. Key players in the MENA corrosion protective coatings and acid proof linings market focus on developing specialty coatings for rehabilitation of pipelines in order to capitalise on favourable growth opportunities related to the same.

January 23, 2017 12:29 UTC

Eskom's Unpaid Bills: DA Slams Mayor For Splurging On Luxury Car

The Democratic Alliance is against certain municipalities over Eskom’s unpaid bills, but this time, the party blames mayors for caring less about power crisis in their municipalities. The party particularly blamed the ANC-run town of Mantsopa for treating their mayor to a R500k Mercedes at the expense of the people’s welfare, especially in the case concerning Eskom’s unpaid bills. Read Also: Do You Know The Wealth Of These 3 SA Billionaires Equals That Of A Quarter Of SA PopulationThe municipality defaulted on paying its power bill of R92 million to the state’s power utility, Eskom. “The DA appeals to Mayor Tsoene to do the right thing and cancel the purchase of the vehicle. Organisations such as Afriforum and AfriBusiness filled a case against the power utility which was dismissed in the North Gauteng High Court at the end of last week.

January 23, 2017 12:11 UTC

Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s ex-president, stole $11million and shipped luxury cars before going on exile

According to an assistant to the new president of Gambia, Adama Barrow, ex- president Yahya Jammeh, was reported to have stolen the state funds during his final weeks in power, stealing millions of dollars and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane. “Over two weeks, over 500m dalasi ($11 million) were withdrawn by Jammeh,” said Mai Fatty. “As we take over, the government of The Gambia is in financial distress.”Jammeh, who ruled the small West African country for 22 years, and refused to concede defeat in a December 1 election eventually, handed over power after a delegation of West African leaders, forcefully used troops from neighbouring countries to move him out. Read more at PunchComments

January 23, 2017 11:54 UTC

Nigeria secures $67m World Bank Loan for Dam

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Ubale Shittu, on Sunday said the Federal Government of Nigeria, has accessed a $67 million World Bank loan to rehabilitate Hadejia Valley Dam in Jigawa. Mr. Shittu told the News Agency of Nigeria in Dutse that $60 million would be used to rehabilitate and expand the dam by 1,000 hectares. The Senator also said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration inherited N88 billion liabilities from ongoing dam projects across the country. He said that the liabilities were indicated in the audit report of the Ministry of Water Resources made available to his committee. According to him, 25 per cent of such ongoing projects had been injected into the 2017 budget presented to the National Assembly.

January 23, 2017 11:03 UTC

Tanzania considers tax on charcoal to save forests

In Tanzania, more than 370,000 hectares (915,000 acres) of forests are being cut every year, a significant portion of it for fuel, according to Tanzania Forests Services Agency, a government agency responsible for monitoring the country’s forestry activities. Two million tonnes of charcoal are consumed in Tanzania each year, roughly half of it in Dar es Salaam, the government said. We should have been taught to produce (charcoal) without harming the environment” said Milton Malembeka, a charcoal producer in Bagamoyo district, north of Dar es Salaam. Some Dar es Salaam residents said that making the switch away from charcoal has actually lowered their fuel costs for cooking. Peter Muthamia said an 8 kg cooking gas cylinder lasts for two months and costs 18,000 shillings ($6.50).

January 23, 2017 09:39 UTC

Melinda Gates Visits Nigeria, Promises Increased Funding for Developmental Initiatives

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates has promised increased funding for women and girl-child initiatives. Gates commended the Kaduna State Government for its efforts to broaden and improve the range and credibility of data collection within the state. Mrs Buhari thanked Mrs. Gates for the visit and praised the BMGF for its developmental efforts in Nigeria. In her remarks, Mrs. Gates pledged her foundation’s continued support for children and maternal issues, with a focus on the rural areas. She said the BMGF is ready to partner with Mrs Buhari’s project for women and children, the ‘Future Assured Initiatives’.

January 23, 2017 09:01 UTC

Kenya eyes Mexican maize as neighbours block exports

“We have looked around and established that Mexico is the one with sufficient white maize that can meet our needs. But Tanzania has recently restricted export of maize while Uganda does not have enough supplies for exports, having had a poor harvest last season. In addition to its two East African neighbours, Kenya has imported maize from Malawi and Zambia, who have also restricted exports in the wake of poor harvest in the past two seasons. The ministries of Devolution, Agriculture and Treasury were last week working on a report that is expected to offer details on the planned importation. The maize flour price inflation crisis is underlined by the fact that as late as last month a 2kg packet retailed at an average of Sh97, meaning prices have shot up by about 10 per cent in just a month.

January 23, 2017 06:53 UTC

Arab Spring should be a model for #FeesMustFall movement

The North African uprisings of 2011, dubbed the “Arab Spring”, which toppled long-standing autocratic leaders and regimes, successfully secured key policy demands and brought about deep societal changes to their countries, offer valuable lessons for South Africa’s #FeesMustFall (#FMF) movement. A combination of the delayed effects of the 2007-2008 global financial and Eurozone crisis, rising inequality and high levels of corrup­tion, combined with oppressive regimes, pushed together young people, with little prospects of jobs, and financially hard-pressed middle classes, to call on regimes run by small elites who controlled almost every sphere of society for democratic, social and economic reforms, to end the disenfranchisement of their rights. In North Africa, students were not the vanguard, but as part of the youth they joined with professionals, workers and opposition movements in a cross-sectorial opposi­tion movement. The South African student upris­ings brought together middle-class and working-class students and different political formations – and in some cases were multiracial too. These uprisings excluded youth outside higher education.

January 22, 2017 22:00 UTC

Libya's neighbours demand national dialogue to end crisis

Cairo - Representatives of Libya's neighbours are warning rival factions in the North African nation against seeking to settle their differences through military force. The representatives, who met in Cairo on Saturday, came from Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Chad, Niger and Tunisia. Also attending was UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler. "A comprehensive political dialogue between all Libya parties is the only way out of this crisis," said a final communique after the meeting, saying the delegates "decisively reject" a military solution to the Libyan crisis. Libya has plunged into chaos and lawlessness since the ouster and later killing of Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising and subsequent civil war, with two rival administrations operating in the east and west of the vast, oil-rich nation.

January 21, 2017 16:00 UTC

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