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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

EGYPT-ALEXANDRIA-SOCCER-EGYPT CUP : COASTWEEK
ALEXANDRIA (EGYPT), (Xinhua) -- Players of Zamalek celebrate after winning the final match against Smouha of 2018 Egypt Cup in Alexandria, Egypt, on May 15, 2018. Zamalek won 6-5 through penalty shootout to claim the title. XINHUA PHOTO
9 militants killed in violent clashes with Libyan army in Darna city

TRIPOLI, (Xinhua) -- Nine militants were killed and more than 10 others injured in clashes between the Libyan eastern-based army and extremists in the eastern city of Darna, medical source said Tuesday.

“The emergency department received nine dead militants and more than 10 injured, ... and the hospital did not receive any more casualties after 19:35 local time (1735 GMT),” a source of Al-Wahda hospital of Darna told Xinhua.

An army spokesman on Tuesday said the army has captured 21 terrorists after making significant progress in the south of the city.

The spokesman also said the arrested terrorists descent from six foreign nationalities, and confirmed that the army is “proceeding with a steady and orderly pace towards the liberation of Darna from terrorism.”

The army is launching a military operation to take over Darna from the extremists who control the coastal city.

Since 2015, Darna has been besieged by Haftar’s army, which demands that the Shura Council of the Mujahideen in Darna, a coalition of Islamist militias seeking to implement Sharia law in the city, leave. The army accuses the armed group of being loyal to al-Qaida. 

 

UN Security Council approves “technical rollover”
for mandate of AU mission in Somalia    

UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) -- The Security Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution to approve a “technical rollover” for the mandate of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Somalia to give time for consideration of an assessment report before a longer re-authorization.

Resolution 2415, which was unanimously adopted by the 15-member council, extends the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) until July 31, 2018.

Amisom’s current mandate expires on May 31, 2018. The Security Council was expecting the results of a joint AU/UN comprehensive assessment before it would make a decision on the longer renewal of the AU mission’s mandate.

But the assessment has been delayed and a report would not be available until June 15. The situation forces the Security Council to arrange for a “technical rollover.”

Resolution 2415 reiterates the Security Council’s decision to reduce Amisom’s uniformed personnel to 20,626, and to include a minimum of 1,040 police personnel, by Oct. 30, 2018.

  

Fierce fighting erupts between Somaliland, Puntland forces    

MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) -- Heavy fighting between Somaliland and Puntland forces erupted on Tuesday on the outskirts of Tukaraq town in Sool region, north of Somalia.

The clashes which started on Monday flared up on Tuesday when heavily armed forces from Somaliland ambushed bases manned by Puntland troops.

Puntland in a statement from the office of the president accused Somaliland of deliberately provoking conflict in disputed areas in a cynical bid to restore legitimacy in the colonial border areas of the defunct historic British Somaliland.

“This cynical policy of armed aggression represents a clear proof of the hostility of the regime in northwestern Somalia,” said the statement.

The presidency said Puntland which has been determined to avoid shedding of innocent Somali blood has been striving to preserve peace and promoting reconciliation of Somalis in addition to restoration of just governance across the country.

“For these reasons, Puntland has acted responsibly and demonstrated restraint in the face of constant provocation and persistent hostility and the attacks unfortunately emanating from Hargeisa,” it said.

With the latest attacks, Puntland threatened to “respond robustly to any attack on either the territory or the people of Puntland.”

“Puntland shall no longer tolerate any further attack or preparations for attack initiated by the regime in Hargeisa,” the presidency warned.

The exact number of causalities has not yet been released, although Abdi Hersi Ali, Puntland’s Minister of Information said the state troops managed to repulse Somaliland troops.

Nouh Osma’il, Somaliland army chief, also said that its soldiers had pushed back Puntland forces, claiming victory over the clash. Osma’il said their troops encountered counter-offensive from Puntland state forces during the clashes.

Tension has been building in Tukaraq in the past three months after Somaliland troops have seized control of the strategic town in January following an incursion against Puntland Defense forces stationed there.

The two regional Somali states have clashed previously since 2002 over control of disputed regions in Northern Somalia.

  

Heavy rains disrupt Rwanda’s major cross-border activities    

KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- Heavy rains in Rwanda have disrupted cross-border activities along a road linking Uganda, following the tearing up of the road by the running water on Monday, Rwanda’s ministry of infrastructure said Tuesday.

The Kigali-Gatuna road is one of the main cross-border trade routes linking Rwanda to the Kenyan port of Mombasa through Uganda, a freight route commonly known as Northern Corridor.

Part of the damaged road occurred at 77 kilometers from Kigali to Gatuna at a place called Rwankojo in Cyumba Sector, Gicumbi District, Northern Province, according to the ministry.

Addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Rwandan minister of infrastructure Claver Gatete said the road has been badly damaged by the heavy downpour on Monday, which paralyzed motor traffic along the Kigali-Gatuna route.

“Light vehicles will continue using the half road while heavy cargo trucks have been re-routed to Kagitumba area in Eastern part of Rwanda and Cyanika highways in Northern part of Rwanda until the completion of the diversion route under construction,” he said.

Gatete said rehabilitation works for affected part of the road have already kicked off to ease the flow of traffic.

Presently, 50 percent of imports to Rwanda and eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by road pass through the Northern Corridor via the Kigali-Gatuna road, according to the Rwandan ministry of trade and industry.

The volume of rainfall over the four months has caused severe infrastructural and agricultural damage in the country.

According to figures from the Rwandan ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, at least 183 people were killed and 215 others were injured in Rwanda by disasters triggered by heavy rains in the first four months of 2018. 

 

Flooding affects 1.2 mln people in East Africa: global charity    

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- About 1.2 million people have been affected by flooding due to heavy rains pounding parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, an international charity said on Tuesday.

The World Vision International said heavy rains have submerged homes, schools and businesses, displacing more than 700,000 people from their homes, and they are now camped out in tents on higher ground, in schools or other evacuation sites.

Stephen Omollo, World Vision’s Vice President for East Africa said the charity’s emergency response teams in partnership with local governments, in-country humanitarian agencies, and communities themselves, are working to address the immediate life-saving needs of the flood affected children and their families.

“Through our multi-country flood response, we are working to ensure access to food, water, shelter, and sanitation,” Omollo said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

According to World Vision, 718,000 people are affected by flooding and 220,000 displaced in Somalia, some 170,000 have been displaced in Ethiopia while 311,000 others have been displaced by flooding in Kenya.

“Hundreds of thousands of children are at risk. They don’t have food, and the water they’re drinking is dirty. Their schools have been damaged, and their parents’ means of earning an income has been destroyed by successive disasters,” said Omollo. 

He said first was the drought, and now flooding is wreaking havoc and will impact the lives of people for several months to come.

He said World Vision is distributing shelter kits, blankets, clothes, cooking material and hygiene kits to flood-affected families. 

  

Tanzanian Commonwealth Games tennis player Pazi still missing    

DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian sports authorities said on Tuesday they were yet to receive any information on the whereabouts of Fathiya Pazi who disappeared in Gold Coast, Australia, last month.

Pazi, a young Tanzanian female tennis player, was among 13 African players who went missing at the end of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, said the sports authorities.

Media reports from Australia said a number of the athletes who had disappeared resurfaced, seeking asylum status in Australia.

Yusuph Singo, Sports Development Director in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, said that they were yet to get any information from Australia and he believed that security organs there were still searching for her.

Singo, who was the head of the delegation of Tanzanian athletes to the Commonwealth Games, said they have made some efforts in trying to find Fathiya by contacting her father, who said that he knew nothing about the matter.

“The government has also contacted her mother’s family, but the family has denied knowing anything about the matter,” said Singo.

“We are yet to be informed of the matter. I cannot say that Fathiya is among the athletes who resurfaced and sought asylum status in Australia. Let’s wait and see what will happen,” said Singo.

Media in Australia had reported that the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) group in Sydney said it had received enquiries from several of them but declined to reveal the exact number or the countries of origin.

“Every person who seeks asylum in Australia should be subject to the same thorough investigation of their claims, be they students, visitors, workers or athletes,” RACS solicitor Sarah Dale said in a statement.

 

African ministers wrap up conference vowing commitment to AfCFTA    

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- African finance ministers and policy makers on Tuesday wrapped up their 5-day conference in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa reaffirming their commitment to the African continental free trade area (AfCFTA).

Under the theme “African Continental Free Trade Area: Creating fiscal space for jobs and economic diversification”, the conference deliberated on issues related among others to agriculture, infrastructure, illicit financial flows, and an integrated strategy for the Sahel.

Reiterating the pivotal role of the private sector in pushing the AfCFTA forward, the conference of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has called for concerted and common approach to advance trade facilitation.

The conference has urged policies and investments necessary to capture the economic benefits of the proposed trading bloc.

The ministers have reiterated the potential of the AfCFTA to advance industrialization, economic diversification and development to foster prosperity for all on the continent.

It has also recognized the challenges including concerns over the impact upon the tax base arising from a single continental market for goods and services.

“The short-term impact is likely to be minimal and will be outweighed in the medium and long term by the positive impacts of revenue from other sources of taxes,” said a ministerial statement of the 51st session of the Council of Ministers.

Indicating that the new sources would arise from economic growth and diversification from trading in a bloc of 1.2 billion consumers, the ministers have urged simplified trade regimes for informal cross-border traders and upgraded trans-boundary infrastructure to facilitate trade.

The Executive Secretary of the ECA, Vera Songwe, reaffirmed the commitment of her organization to support governments in moving towards economic integration through its convening, thought process and operational functions.

The meeting recognized the preeminent role of human and institutional capacity building that would enable the AfCFTA to meet many of the continent’s development needs.

“Africa is waiting. Our challenges are huge but we are on the way to solving them through the AfCFTA,” noted the Executive Secretary.

The meeting forms part of wider consultations on the historic deal that was signed by 44 African countries in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018.

Kenya and Ghana have already ratified the AfCFTA agreement and documented the ratification to the African Union (AU).

Other countries will be required to ratify and implement the legal instruments of the agreement that would create a trade bloc with a combined gross domestic product of more than 3 trillion U.S. dollars together with an additional 300,000 direct and 2 million indirect jobs, according to the African Union (AU).  

A minimum of 22 ratifications are required to enable the agreement to get into force. 

  

South Sudan launches consultations on truth and reconciliation    

JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Tuesday launched the country-wide consultations on the establishment of the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) as part of the 2015 peace agreement.

The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has formed a technical committee that will leave Juba for 13 major towns across the country to hear and document public views on issues relating to the legislation for the creation of the Commission.

“We are launching the second phase of our work by consulting the masses. We have sensitized them earlier and this time we are going to collect their views on what we have sensitized them about through a questionnaire,” Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Hon James Mayen Oka said in a statement.

He disclosed that they are very late in undertaking this process, but remain very appreciative to partners in United Nation’s Development Program (UNDP) and UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for their continued support.

The national consultations will be in two phases, the first phase from May 14 to 18 and the second phase from May 25 to June 1 in the target locations of Bor, Torit, Yambio, Rumbek, Wau, Malakal, Leer, Renk, Bentiu, Aweil, Mundri, Yei and Kuajok.

The questionnaire, with technical support from UNDP and ICTJ, is composed of 21 questions to be anonymously answered by randomly selected respondents about their views for design and setting up of the commission.

Views collected during the consultations will form the basis for drafting the CTRH legislation that will be approved by the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). 

BURUNDI-CIBITOKE-ATTACK-FUNERAL | COASTWEEK
CIBITOKE, -- People lay down coffins of victims killed by militants in an attack in Cibitoke province, northwestern Burundi, on May 15, 2018. At least 26 persons were killed and eight others seriously injured in a gunmen attack on May 12 at a village in the province of Cibitoke, northwestern Burundi. XINHUA PHOTO: EVRARD NGENDAKUMANA

Ethiopian PM warns officials on foreign bank accounts    

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday warned his government is investigating public officials who allegedly have illicit foreign bank accounts.

Ahmed, made the remarks during a discussion with senior government officials at the Prime Minister residence office, reported state media Ethiopia News Agency.

The PM didn’t specifically identify government officials currently under investigation or the names of foreign countries that are collaborating with his government to uncover alleged illicit foreign bank accounts.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in on April 2, with promises to instill good governance and fight corruption in one of Africa’s star economies.

The Ethiopian government has identified corruption and rent-seeking activities as part of the reason Ethiopia was rocked by sweeping unrest in 2016.

The Ethiopian government has since then promised to crack down on grand scale corruption which has afflicted one of the world’s fastest growing economies. 

  

WHO calls for worldwide ban on trans-fats    

GENEVA, (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WTO) has called for elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acid from the global food supply by 2023.

WTO said Monday that trans fats used in fried foods, baked foods, among others may lead to more than 500,000 cardiovascular and heart disease deaths per year.

Other research published by Canadian researchers in the British Medical Journal in 2015 found that eating artificial trans increase heart disease risk by 21 percent and deaths by 28 percent.

Industrially-produced trans fats are made through the process of adding hydrogen molecules to liquid fats to convert them into solid fats to become partially hydrogenated oils.

Introduced into the food supply in earlier 20th century, the partially hydrogenated oils were welcomed by food companies to produce fried foods and baked goods, among others, since this kind of oil was cheap, easy to use as well as had a long shelf-life.

However, according to WHO, several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food, or implemented nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils. Denmark was the first country to ban trans fats in 2013.

Elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the global food supply has been identified as one of the priority targets of WHO’s strategic plan for 2019-2023

UGANDA-KAMPALA-EBOLA-AIRPORT-SCREENING | COASTWEEK
KAMPALA, (Xinhua) -- Passengers queue to be screened at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport on May 15, 2018. Medical officers have been deployed at the airport to screen all passengers coming into the country, especially those from neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where there is an Ebola outbreak. XINHUA PHOTO: JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

Uganda starts screening for Ebola at DR Congo refugee camp    

KAMPALA, (Xinhua) -- Uganda has started screening for Ebola at a Congolese refugee settlement in the mid-western part of the east African country.

An operational update by the United Nations refugee agency issued on Tuesday said new arrivals at Sweswe Reception Center at Kyaka II Refugee Settlement are screened for the viral hemorrhagic fever.

The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees said the screening is a precautionary measure following reports of confirmed cases in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur province of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The refugee agency said from May 8-14, over 1,220 new refugees entered Uganda from the DRC, including 886 from North Kivu, 236 across Lake Albert and 98 via Paidha, arriving at landing sites in Hoima, Ntoroko and Nebbi districts.

Since this year started over 70,000 Congolese refugees have crossed into Uganda fleeing fighting back home.

The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

Mortality rates of Ebola fever, according to the World Health Organization, are extremely high, with the human case-fatality rate ranging from 50 percent to 89 percent, depending on viral sub-type. 

  

AU vows efforts to mitigate new Ebola outbreak in DRC    

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has underlined efforts to mitigate the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The DRC government early last week declared a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Bikoro, Equateur Province.

In response to the new outbreak of Ebola, the Africa CDC has activated its emergency operation center (EOC) to support the DRC national outbreak response efforts, and the Center has also mobilized its epidemic response team (ERT) for imminent deployment.

The Africa CDC will dispatch a team on Wednesday to the DRC to assess the situation and the level of support required to ongoing efforts by DRC and other partners to contain the outbreak, said John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, during a press briefing on Tuesday at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

Of the 20 people who died in the DRC, three are health workers, said the director, adding that the outbreak has also occurred in a remote part of the country, challenging deployment of health workers and the necessary supplies, which has made the situation a big concern. 

The outbreak has occurred in an area with a traffic about 7,000 people a week by different means, posing significant risk of spreading the epidemic, noted the director.

This is the 9th Ebola outbreak that the DRC is witnessing in four decades, after the first outbreak in 1976.

A total of 250,000 U.S. dollars has been set aside for outbreak response activities by the Africa CDC, and member countries have been pledging support by contributing health workers.

 

Urgent: First doses of experimental Ebola vaccine arrive in DR Congo    

KINSHASA, (Xinhua) -- The first 4,000 doses of experimental vaccine provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat against the Ebola outbreak has arrived on Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

  

Kenyan bourse set to pilot test its derivative market    

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is set to start the pilot testing of its derivatives market as the bourse moves to expand its trading activities.

A derivatives market involves the trading of financial instruments like futures contracts, stocks, indices, commodities, currencies, exchange rates, or the rate of interest.

These instruments allow one to make profit by betting on the future value of the asset. The NSE on Tuesday said it had received all approval from the Capital Markets Authority and Central Bank of Kenya to undertake a pilot test for its derivatives market in the next six months before a full rollout.

Odundo noted the establishment of a globally competitive derivatives market is in line with the NSE’s 2015-2019 strategic plan, which aims to increase listings at the exchange while enhancing product innovation.

 

Chinese eye surgeons win hearts in Namibia    

WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) -- Lezi Kbamba, a resident in Nambia’s Windhoek, excitedly put up a yellow T-shirt wearing a Chinese flag, which he got as a souvenir for undergoing a cataract surgery performed by Chinese doctors.

The guitar artist was trying to express his gratitude to the Chinese who allowed him to “see my audience clearly again.” “At the end of the month, I’ll hold another music show in Windhoek, and I wish to invite them to be my guests,” he said.

The 48-year-old musician hailing from Angola had been troubled by cloudy vision for three months due to a cataract in his right eye. He waited for two weeks before he was chosen as a beneficiary of China’s Brightness Action program that offers free cataract surgeries.

In Namibia and many other developing countries, cataracts are the main cause of blindness. Yet getting a timely surgery to cure the disease is difficult in Namibia, a country with merely six ophthalmologists.

This is the main reason why five Chinese doctors and three nurses have visited the African country. In about a week’s time starting on Monday, they will conduct some 200 surgeries in Namibia’s capital Windhoek and the rural area of Rundu.

On Tuesday, long lines of cataract patients were seen waiting in the ophthalmology department of the Windhoek Central Hospital. Many patients walked with a wooden stick and needed to be assisted into the inspection room.

“The cataract situation is serious here. Many patients are already blind due to a delay in treatment,” said Zhang Meifen, an ophthalmologist of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) who led the Brightness Action team.

“The hospital kept asking us to add more patients on our operation list due to the huge demand,” she said. After all operations are completed, the team will also donate their equipment to Namibia, according to Zhang.

Helena Ndume, a renowned Namibian ophthalmologist and director of the hospital’s ophthalmology department, said the country is struggling to deal with its huge number of cataract patients due to the scarcity of eye specialists.

As an awareness campaign is persuading more rural cataract patients to seek timely treatment, Ndume is calling for more support to help Namibia treat the bulging number of patients.

“We are very happy that people from China have come to help us fight this preventable blindness caused by cataracts. We hope they can come back again,” she told Xinhua.

The program has been performed in China’s many outlying areas, where the cataract surgeries are credited for reducing blindness and poverty rates. In recent years, the country has also taken the program to other developing countries in Asia and Africa.

Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming praised the program’s first stop in Namibia for enhancing the friendship between the two peoples and gaining precious experience for future China-African medical ties.

“Now we know Namibia also has a shortage of neurologists and anesthetists, and we have suggested that the Chinese government send over these kinds of doctors,” said Zhang. 

  

WFP praises Chinese humanitarian support in Ethiopia    

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- The UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday hailed Chinese humanitarian contributions to its programs in Ethiopia to support drought-affected people and refugees.

Paul Anthem, Head of Communications, Donor Relations and Reports Unit, WFP Ethiopia, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua said Tuesday that the World Food Programme has been receiving donations from the government of China for the past several years, especially for its relief and nutrition activities.

“The donations usually arrived at critical times when the country was in need of humanitarian assistance and millions required urgent nutritional support,” Anthem said.

“The contributions directly benefited the poor who have been suffering from malnutrition,” he said.

In four rounds of supports, through bilateral and multilateral channels, China has so far provided an emergency aid to Ethiopia totaling roughly 36.6 million U.S. dollars, making it the third largest food aid contributor in the East Africa country, according to figures from Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission.

The World Food Programme has been a major recipient of the humanitarian donation from the government and people of China, according to the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia.

According to Anthem, over the past two years, the Chinese government has donated a total of 14 million dollars to WFP’s relief and nutrition activities.

“WFP is always grateful to the Chinese government for its generous donations and stepping in to support the drought response in Ethiopia,” he said, adding “Chinese donations have been instrumental in enabling WFP to achieve objectives at the times of the donations.”

“It is expected that the Chinese government will continue to support WFP’s humanitarian interventions,” he said.

The latest humanitarian contribution of China in March this year, which amounts to 6 million U.S. dollars, was used to assist refugees and drought-affected people in Ethiopia, according to WFP.

The 6 million U.S. dollars came shortly after the joint appeal by the two UN agencies, WFP and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), for 80 million dollars to provide food assistance to refugees in Ethiopia, the two UN agencies announced in a joint statement issued early March.

Noting the negative weather conditions that rocked the East African country since 2015, which includes the worst El-Nino induced drought in the past half century, Tan Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, also recently told Xinhua that the contribution is “a testimony of China’s solidarity with Ethiopia.”

Ethiopia also hosts the second largest number of refugees in Africa, resulting from large influx of refugees to the country due to instability and conflicts in its neighboring countries, mainly South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

“China is a member of the international community and is ready and willing to extend our support within our ability. Our support is in the framework of the south-south cooperation,” he said.

An estimated 7.9 million people in Ethiopia are currently in need of emergency food assistance, while Ethiopia also hosts more than 900,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan.

The Ethiopian government has previously commended Chinese humanitarian support on various occasions.

Mitiku Kassa, Ethiopia’s Commissioner for National Disaster Risk Management, in a recent interview with Xinhua said the assistance from the people and government of China “is not forgettable by the government of Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia.”

“I would like to thank the people and government of China for the four rounds of supports to Ethiopia over the last years for the drought response that we are working together,” he said

  

Expert urges Africa to partner with China to boost manufacturing sector     

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- A banking expert on Tuesday urged African nations to partner with China in order to boost their manufacturing sectors.

Jeremy Stevens, an economist at the Standard Bank Group, told a trade forum in Nairobi that the reality is that China has emerged as the best manufacturing hub in the world.

“Africa should therefore partner with China because it has the skill and expertise that Africa lacks in order to build its manufacturing sector,” Stevens said during the Chinese Economic Forum that was jointly organized by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Stanbic Bank Kenya.

He urged Africa to seize the current opportunity given that Beijing is keen to continue to strengthen ties with Africa and be a supportive partner.

Stevens noted that China is likely to continue its investment in the manufacturing sector across Africa.

“Already around 20 percent of Chinese investment into Africa is in manufacturing. Chinese firms are creating the most jobs in Africa than any other large commercial partner. The scope for more Chinese partnership is obvious: it has been most successful in linking to global supply chains,” he added.

The economist added that the key to attracting more investments is to ensure Africa has a strong infrastructure foundation in place.

He noted that China was able to lure foreign investments in the manufacturing sector by ensuring it has world-class infrastructure including road, rail and electricity network.

Stevens noted that China is currently battling with rising manufacturing costs due to increasing labor costs, among others.

“These factors combined have made Chinese firms to seek to offshore some of their manufacturing activities,” he said.

The economist said that African countries that have a real opportunity to attract Chinese manufacturers are basically in East African region where most of the continent’s manufacturing growth is already taking place.

He added that Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia are some of the nations that have already began to attract Chinese investment in their industrial sectors.

He noted that once a country establishes a good track record with Chinese firms, it tends to lure even more investments from the Asian giant. 

  

New Round of talks on Ethiopian dam resumes in Addis Ababa    

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- A new round of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) kicked off on Tuesday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa with participation of senior officials from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Foreign ministers, ministers of water resources and intelligence chiefs from the three countries attended the second tripartite high-level ministerial meeting, which aims to foster collaboration and resolve differences on the dam’s construction. The first tripartite high level ministerial meeting was held in Khartoum, Sudan in April.

Opening the ministerial meeting, Ethiopian foreign minister Workneh Gebeyehu said Ethiopia is hosting the meeting with hopes that agreement will be reached that benefits the peoples of the three nations.

The tripartite meeting comes in the backdrop of tensions between the three countries with Egypt accusing Ethiopia and Sudan of stalling on negotiations to study the impact of GERD.

Sudan and Ethiopia have issued statements rejecting Egyptian allegations and affirmed commitment to continue negotiations on GERD.

Ethiopia and Sudan eye massive benefits from the GERD construction, while Egypt is concerned that it might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile River water.

GERD, which will be Africa’s largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74 billion cubic meters, was started in April 2011 with a cost of about 4.7 billion U.S. dollars. The GERD construction is currently 66 percent complete.

Ethiopia hopes GERD will provide a constant supply of clean and affordable power and accelerate its shift from an agricultural economy to an industrial powerhouse.

 

Kenyan bourse key indices fall as stocks value wiped out    

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) indicative index on Tuesday declined further after falling below 3,600 points as several key stocks saw their value wiped out.

The NSE 20 Share Index declined 21.63 points to stand at 3,560.73 from 3,582 on Monday, where it went down 20 points.

On the other hand, the NSE All Share Index (NASI) decreased to stand at 174.87 from 175.34 while the 25 share index dropped to close at 4,614.38 from 4,632.24.

The market’s share traded volume stood at 37 million worth 13 million U.S. dollars from 13.2 million worth 4.7 million dollars in the previous session.

The top traded stocks were Safaricom, moving around 23 million shares, followed by Equity Bank 5.1 million, Scangroup 2.2 million, Kenya Commercial Bank 1.2 million and Mumias Sugar 862,900. 

  

Nigeria says focusing on young people to develop science    

ABUJA, (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Tuesday said its focus is mainly on young people to help actualize the country’s science, technology, and innovation goals.

Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu, while welcoming a Nigerian whizzkid, Odedairo Oluwaferanmi Ayodele who won the gold medal at the World Mathematics Championship held in Thailand recently, noted young citizens have greater potentials to take every country forward.

“We have to place a lot of emphasis on our young people because they make up a large percentage of our population,” Onu said.

“We have to facilitate them to help the nation in the direction of science and technology so that many of the things we now import into the country, we will no longer be doing so but we will have the science and technology to convert our own locally available raw materials into the products that we currently bring in,” he said.

He said the government would launch a campaign across all public schools to prepare young students for the task of building a technologically innovative country.

This, he said, will bolster the government’s effort of making Nigeria the technology hub in Africa.

Noting there’s hardly any mineral resources that cannot be found in Nigeria, Onu said the future of the country depends mostly on the young people who can utilize science and technology to move the economy forward.

The 15-year-old Odedairo was celebrated in Abuja with 14 others for receiving laurels for outstanding performances at various global competitions.

Nigeria has received at least 300 medals from mostly global science and mathematics competition since last year, according to government data.

  

Kenya eyes medals from sports other than athletics    

By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman Paul Tergat wants fringe sports to focus on merit and not numbers in selecting their teams to the Africa Youth Games.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesdy, Tergat called upon sports like swimming, badminton, tennis and volleyball to encourage young athletes to focus on excelling in their disciplines in order to widen the country’s medal haul beyond track and field.

“The Africa Youth Games is an elementary competition and we want our best girls and boys to excel through hard work in training, determination and dedication,” he said.

Kenya will select a team of six players - three girls and three boys - for the badminton team to the Youth Game slated for July in Algeria.

“Let them pull up their socks and work hard in training. Victory in the games will be easy,” said Tergat.

Kenya Badminton Chairman Peter Muchiri said they need to take pressure off the track and field athletes and cushion the country by spreading the winning disciplines to badminton.

“Judging from our performance at the Commonwealth Games, our two players did not advance to the medal brackets, but they gained valuable experience and believe the youth can learn from them and put in their best show in Algiers. We want to select a team in advance so they can focus on training,” said Muchiri.

The official believes adequate preparations is the key to unlocking the potential of the players and allow them to start winning medals at continental and world stage.

“Unlike our preparations for the Commonwealth Games, we shall have one and a half months to polish up our skills. We have coaches who have delivered Africa continental medals before. I’m confident about our performance at Algiers,” he added.

The Africa Youth Games come at a vital time and the top athletes who win medals will have a chance to compete at the Youth Olympic Games set for Oct 6-18 in Argentina. 

  

TP Mazembe beat DH El Jadida 2-0 in African Champions League    

RABAT, (Xinhua) -- Congolese TP Mazembe continued their brilliant form in this year’s CAF Champions League, taming DH El Jadida from Morocco 2-0 on road on Tuesday.

After hammering Entente Setif of Algeria 4-1 in Lubumbashi in their opening game in Group B, TP Mazembe upset DH El Jadida, who earned a draw against Mouloudia Alger 1-1 in Algeria.

In a quite balanced first half, the Moroccan team had better ball possession and created more goal attempts but they were unable to score.

In the second half, DH El Jadida had a good start and should have grabbed an early lead following a good move in the 50th minute, but Tanzanian Simon Msuva failed to reach the goal.

The Congolese team frustrated its Moroccan rivals only two minutes later through Ben Malango, before Abdoulaye Sissoko sealed the win in the 55th minute. 

After this win, TP Mazembe lifted to six points at the top of Group B before Mouloudia Alger, who defeated their neighbors Setif 1-0, with four points. DH El Jadida remain in the third place with one point and Setif nil.

  

Botswana to host IWG conference    

GABORONE, (Xinhua) -- Botswana will host the 7th International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport conference here from May 17 to 20.

The conference is expected to bring together 1,200 delegates including members of the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees, International Sport Federations, United Nations, Special Olympics, Paralympics, Inter-Governmental Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations as well as leading researchers, government officials, athletes, sport administrators and coaches. said a press release from Women and Sport Botswana on Tuesday.

The event will be held under sub-themes such as, Being Well to Play Well, Safe Space: Protecting Women in Sport, Tell Their Story, Leveraging Media to Advocate for Women’s Sport, Welcome and Empower All Through Sport, Sport without Borders: Cross-cultural Collaboration and Let Them Lead: Changing the Leadership Landscape of Sport.

Expected panelists include Phiona Mutesi, Ugandan chess champion and actor, who will share her story on how she overcame the odds to become a champion.

South Africa’s middle-distance runner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, Caster Semenya is also expected at the event as well as Association For International Sport for All secretary general, Wolfgang Baunmann.

Botswana is hosting the event after Finland, the host for the 2014 edition.

  

Uganda beat Somalia 37-16 in 2018 Africa Zone 5 Handball Challenge Trophy    

KAMPALA, (Xinhua) -- Hosts Uganda beat Somalia 37-16 on Tuesday in the U-18 2018 Africa Zone 5 International Handball Federation Challenge Cup.

After suffering a narrow 30-29 loss to arch-rivals Kenya earlier, Uganda came all out to win the second game played at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole Complex.

Ethiopia also continued with their good form as they stopped Tanzania 42-15 in the U-20 to follow up on their junior team’s earlier 33-21 victory over Kenya.

Action continues on Wednesday with three matches in the youth category and four in the junior category.

The event which started on Monday and ends on May 20 has attracted Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and hosts Uganda. 

 

Uganda’s KCCA FC defeat Egypt’s Al Ahly in CAF Champions League tie    

KAMPALA, (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s KCCA FC on Tuesday defeated visiting Egyptian giants Al Ahly 2-0 in a Group A game in the 2018 Confederation of African Football Champions League.

The Ugandan Premier league defending champions scored in the second half to get three points at the Mandela National Stadium.

Midfielder Saddam Ibrahim Juma scored the first goal for KCCA FC after 73 minutes when youngster Allan Okello created a perfect cross.

With two minutes to full time KCCA FC got a penalty that skipper Rennis Timothy Awany converted. Elsayed Ayman brought down striker Derrick Nsibambi in the box.

Early in the first half Al Ahly also got a penalty after 22 minutes, but KCCA FC goalkeeper Charles Lukwago who was returning from suspension saved Walid Said Ebeid’s shot.

Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry said he was disappointed with the result, and they were unlucky.

Mike Mutebi, KCCA FC coach said his team displayed tactical discipline.

KCCA FC who lost the first game 1-0 away to Township Rollers FC in Botswana have now collected three points, while Al Ahly only have one point after their goalless draw against Esperance in the opening game.

  

Zamalek lift Egypt Cup after penalty shootout with Smouha    

CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- Well-known football club Zamalek won Egypt Cup on Tuesday after a penalty shootout against Smouha in Alexandria, north of Cairo.

Smouha’s forward Hossam Hassan scored the first goal in the 5th minute but he was sent off later for getting the second yellow card.

Zamalek’s Kabongo Kasongo from DR Congo put his team back on track with an equalizer in the 86th minute.

The 30-minute extra time did not manage to break the deadlock. The penalty shootout witnessed Smouha defender Abdullah Bakry miss the first kick, granting Zamalek the title.

It is the 26th time for Zamalek to hold the Egypt Cup. They claimed the title for four successive years from 2013 to 2016 before Ahly got it in 2017. 

Zamalek is set to encounter the league title holder Ahly for Egypt’s Super Cup, which Zamalek won three times and Ahly 10 times.

 

            

 

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