Category Archives: Africa

Nigeria to join African free trade area

President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria will soon sign up to an African continental free trade agreement.

Buhari made the comment while speaking at a press conference during a visit by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 55 members of African Union will result in creating in the largest free-trade area in the world. The Agreement was signed by 44 countries in March, and South Africa joining in July.

Arms embargo on South Soudan

The UN. Security Council has narrowly approved drafted by the United States resolution imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan over objections that it could damage African efforts to end the five-year conflict in the world’s newest state.

The resolution received the support minimum of nine votes on Friday, July 13, with the six other council members, including Russia, abstaining.

Ethiopia and Eritrea engaged in peace talks

Leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have met for the first time in more than 20 years amid a recent problems in relations between the two long-time East African rivals.

In a break-through visit, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed landed in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on Sunday,  July 8 for a bilateral summit, aimed at repairing relations between the two countries. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki warmly greeted Abiy at the airport, Eritrea state television showed.

The visit comes a month after Abiy surprised people by fully accepting a peace deal that ended a protracted conflict between the two countries. From now onwards Eritrea and Ethiopia should agree on durable adjustments that would need comprehensive cooperation, good faith and diplomacy to establish, and respect borders.

Additionally, the countries may opt to swap lands to avoid potential border disputes, Daily Sabah reports. All these demand thoughtful coordination between the two parties. Fourthly, parties would have to agree on areas to establish border and customs posts. This, too, requires the two countries to work together closely. Finally, as a sign of goodwill, the two countries would have to shun and renounce the use of opposition groups and proxies against each other.

Zuma son detained in Johannesburg airport

Duduzane Zuma, the son of former South African president Jacob Zuma, was briefly detained at Johannesburg main airport on Thursday relating to a corruption case, his lawyer said on Friday, July 6.

Duduzane Zuma, who was returning to South Africa to attend his brother’s funeral, is due at Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg next week to face separate charges of culpable homicide over a fatal 2014 car crash.

Zuma’s Porsche 911 sports car ploughed into a minivan taxi in Johannesburg, killing one woman and seriously injuring another who later died in hospital.

Zuma, who has previously said his car hit a puddle of water, will be contesting the charges.

His detainment at OR Tambo airport was in connection with a filed in Rosebank Johannesburg in 2016 corruption case, his lawyer Rudi Krause confirmed, adding that he didn’t have any other details.

Iceberg to quench Cape Town thurst

“Icebergs are made of the purest freshwater on earth,” Nick Sloane, the founder of Sloane Marine Ltd says, reflecting upon possible ways to save Cape Town from drought. “Thousands break off every year. Mother Nature has been teasing mankind with this for a long time, saying ‘this is here’.”

Nick Sloane estimates it would cost $100 million (S$137.3 million) to tow an iceberg to Cape Town that could take up to three months, and another US$50-60 million to harvest the water for one year as it melts.

In Russia, they have pushed icebergs away from oil installations, Sloane continues to explain his plan, pointing at existing experience. However Russian engineers managed  to push away only small icebergs of half-a-million tons. But Cape Town challenge requires a 100 million tons of ice to quench residents thrust.

Dr Chris von Holdt from Aurecon advisory practice, who has done a technical assessment and economic evaluation of the iceberg proposal, said: “I believe it has sufficient technical feasibility and economic merit to be considered seriously as a supply option for filling the supply gaps during periods of drought.”

Dr Olav Orheim, a former director or the Norwegian Polar Institute has analysed 271 000 icebergs, of which only 7% would be suitable, because the shape must be tabular, with a flat top and steep sides, and a thickness of 200m to 250m.

Once a suitable iceberg has been assessed, it will be “hacked”.

Two tugs will encircle the iceberg, pulling an enormous piece of geotextile material around it as a “skirt” that reaches down the sides of the iceberg beneath the sea.

A third tug stands by as back up. A tanker will then tow the iceberg, with the distance between the tanker and the iceberg about 1.5 km.

The two tugs will steam alongside, ensuring the iceberg stays on its course to Cape Columbine north of Saldanha Bay.

For reasons of the severe drought, the iceberg cannot go close inshore but will “anchor” itself on the seabed about 40 km offshore.

It will then be moored using a system similar to that used by certain offshore oil rigs.

In a way it will resemble one of the giant installations of artists Christo and Jean-Claude wrapped in fabric.

 

 

Al-Shabaab bans plastic bags

Following world outcry to protect nature, Al-Shabaab also prohibited plastic bags on territories under their control. According to their decision-makers the measure can improve the safety of the environment and prevent the livestock from the consumption of these dangerous materials.

Experts say the measure is not such a paradox as it might look at first glance, because Al-Shabaab is vehemently opposing Western culture with all it attributes, but also claims the spiritual guidance.

Policeman killed in Ouagadougou in counterterrorist raid

Burkina Faso security forces neutralised three suspected terrorists and arrested one more on Tuesday (22/05/2017) morning in an operation on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, state television reported.

One policeman was killed in the fighting in the Rayongo neighborhood, while five people, including one civilian, were injured, the report said.

Burkinian media reports the seizure of weapons, including explosives, while raiding the house of the presumed terrorist group.

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