• Farmajo calls for arms embargo end to defeat al-Shabab

    Somalia’s president has called on the international community to lift an arms embargo on his country as government soldiers are battling to regain territory from the armed group al-Shabab. Speaking Thursday at a Somalia conference held in London and attended by world leaders, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo, said government forces would defeat the al-Qaeda-affiliated group in “a few years” – but that Somali troops had to be better equipped. “For far too long, our security forces and terrorist groups have been fighting using the same type of light weapons – mostly AK47s. The longstanding arms embargo on Somalia severely restricts our ability to procure heavy weapons,” Farmajo said.

  • Somalia, backers sign security pact to bolster army

    Somalia’s government and its foreign backers on Thursday signed a security pact which they presented as a road map towards building a functional national army capable of taking on the fight against al Shabaab militants. The al-Qaeda-affilioated Islamist militant group has lost much of the territory it once controlled in Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, but its deadly attacks remain one of the main obstacles to stability in the chaotic Horn of Africa country. A London conference on Somalia also heard that the United Nations was increasing its appeal for the country by $900 million to a total of $1.5 billion to allow aid agencies to cope with a severe drought that is causing a humanitarian crisis.

  • EU ready to work with African countries

    The European Union says it’s ready to cooperate with African countries in stemming the illicit financial flows from the continent. This emerged during the debate at the fourth session of the Pan African Parliament currently underway in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. In 2015 African leaders decided to launch an investigation into illicit financial flows because of the impact it has on the funding of socio-economic development programs. Africa needs massive capital injection to address challenges such as poverty eradication and job creation. According to the International Monetary Fund, it’s estimated that Africa loses 50-Billion US Dollars annually in illicit financial flows.

  • Also noted

    Women in Politics - Nigeria Can Emulate Burkina Faso | Liberian Parliament Speaker Applauds ECOWAS Leaders For Anti-Terrorism Campaign | Morocco Supports Côte d’Ivoire UN Security Council Candidacy | Again Boko Haram Strikes, Hits University of Maiduguri | Ex-CEO of Microsoft Morocco Launches London Academy Casablanca | In a fight for land, a women’s movement shakes Morocco | In Senegal, Iran and Saudi Arabia vie for religious influence | What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonize social sciences | How Africa can bear the burden of America’s foreign aid cuts Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo after three die | AU: Terrorism a major challenge for African security | African countries asked to reconsider tax incentives for FDIs as they erode revenues | Africa will transform when tech innovators collaborate | ECOWAS electricity market almost ready

  • Today’ headlines

    U.S. deploys ‘a few dozen’ troops to Somalia: Pentagon

    Clashes in northwestern South Sudan town kill at least 14 people

    African governments could be denied IP addresses as punishment for shutting the internet

    BSGR sues billionaire George Soros over loss of Guinea iron project

    Vaccinations underway as meningitis kills hundreds in Nigeria

    With Nigeria’s northeast facing famine, WFP funds could dry up in weeks – sources

    West Africa: ECOWAS committee urges probe of counterfeit medical products

    Nigeria: cult leader shot dead, five others escape with injuries in Ondo

    Niger’s president orders University of Niamey campus to reopen

    Mali: la force Barkhane indique avoir tué deux terroristes durant une opération

    Health workers end month-long strike in Mali

    Gambia: I’ll be even-handed, says Gambia’s new speaker of Parliament

    2 pirates killed while trying to hijack ship near Somalia

    Nigerian official gives haircuts, sparks outrage

    Guinea colonel accused of trafficking as police seize his ‘private zoos’

    Nigeria’s oil production falls to 1.2 million barrels

    U.N. Deputy Secretary General on why democracy in Africa has a way to go

    Visa for Egyptians aimed at preventing ‘terrorists’: Sudan

    Migrant boats: Thousands saved off Libyan coast over Easter

    Uganda troops announce withdrawal from the CAR

    Japan funds $370,000 border management training for seven African countries

  • Morocco’s counterterrorism initiatives are effective: Study

    The number of terrorist incidents in the Maghreb and Sahel regions of Africa rose 14 percent in 2016, reaching the second highest level since 9/11. A new study says that despite this alarming trend, Morocco and Mauritania registered zero terrorist incidents in 2016, and that Morocco has been the country least-affected by terrorism in the region over the past fifteen years.

  • Rise of terrorism in Africa

    The recent terror attack by al Shabaab in the port city of Barawe in southern Somalia, a suicide bomb attack by Boko Haram in Maiduguri in Nigeria, and an attack on a military post in Mali by an al Qaeda-linked terror group have brought the focus back on terrorism in the African continent. Over the years, terrorism has become the most important challenge to peace, security and development in Africa. The terror activities have grown exponentially in the continent, not only in terms of the number of attacks but also the number of countries affected due to increased proliferation of terrorist groups.

  • A deeper sense of Muslim Africa

    Africa is home to nearly 30 percent of the world’s Muslims, but the role of Islam in allowing Africans to transcend parochial identities and differences has not been appreciated. “Africa has been represented in academia as well as in popular representations as a continent of warring tribes. Look at the coverage of Africa in most TV channels. It is most of the time about tribal conflicts. What I argue in my book is that large sections of West African peoples have, in the past and the present, proven their ability to transcend parochial identities and differences in a common cause and have indeed claimed their independence of thought and common destiny. More than anything else, this is embodied in a long literary tradition in the Arabic and in African languages written with the Arabic script,” says Harvard professor Ousmane Kane, author of Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa.

  • Soudan, Soudan du Sud, Tchad: guerres sans fin, guerriers sans frein

    Des conflits ensanglantent différentes régions du Soudan presque sans interruption depuis l’indépendance du pays, il y a cinquante ans. Mais en réalité, le Darfour, le Kordofan du Sud, le Nil Bleu, les collines de la mer Rouge et le Soudan du Sud (indépendant depuis 2011 mais toujours en guerre) souffrent d’une seule et même guerre qui s’est installée dans la durée. Les communautés du Soudan et du Soudan du Sud, comme du Tchad voisin, fournissent des recrues en masse aux différentes forces en présence. Les civils, à commencer par ceux qui occupent des fonctions traditionnellement militarisées, sont recyclés en soldats de métier, contribuant à rendre floue la distinction entre civils et militaires. Dans tout le Sahel, la criminalisation des anciens combattants rebelles bénéficie surtout aux pouvoirs en place, qui, accusant leurs ennemis de n’être que des bandits, voire des terroristes, en profitent pour refuser de dialoguer avec eux.

  • A big-picture look at the world’s worst Ebola epidemic: West Africa, 2013-2016

    The 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic dwarfed all previous central African outbreaks of the virus, sickening more than 28,000 people and killing more than 11,000 of them. New study of the epidemic reveals insights into factors that sped or slowed the rampage – for example, that the epidemic unfolded in small, overlapping outbreaks with surprisingly few infected travelers sparking new outbreaks elsewhere, each case representing a missed opportunity to break the transmission chain and end the epidemic sooner. Scientists call for using real-time sequencing and data-sharing to contain future viral disease outbreaks.

  • Improving predictions of outbreaks of Ebola, Lassa fever

    Many of the major new outbreaks of disease, particularly in Africa, are so-called zoonotic infections, diseases that are transmitted to humans from animals. The Ebola virus, for example, which recently killed over 11,000 people across Africa, was most likely transmitted to humans from fruit bats. Potential outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and Lassa fever may be more accurately predicted thanks to a new mathematical model developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge. This could in turn help inform public health messages to prevent outbreaks spreading more widely.

  • Climate change: Less impact on drought than previously expected

    As a multiyear drought grinds on in the Southwestern United States, many wonder about the impact of global climate change on more frequent and longer dry spells. As humans emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, how will water supply for people, farms, and forests be affected? Reduced precipitation will increase droughts across southern North America, southern Europe and northeastern South America. But the results show that in Central Africa and temperate Asia—including China, the Middle East, East Asia and most of Russia—water conservation by plants will largely counteract the parching due to climate change.

  • Identifying, utilizing water resources in Africa drylands

    Researchers say that by 2050, almost half of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. In African drylands, it is not a water shortage problem, but an inability to capture water for food and other uses. Israeli scientists help villagers in Ethiopia, Zambia, and Uganda to identify water sources and test water quality – and also better capture and use water which is available.

  • Smart handpumps predict depths of groundwater in Africa

    The amount of groundwater in Africa is estimated to be over 100 time’s greater than annual renewable freshwater sources in the region. Around one million hand pumps supply groundwater to people in rural Africa. Groundwater is used by around 200 million rural Africans every day because it is a widely available, reliable, and safe source of drinking water. Yet according to a new research paper, although groundwater is critical to Africa’s growth and development, there is currently too little data to effectively manage this critical resource.

  • Space technology identifies land degradation in West Africa

    Researchers map regional droughts from space which can affect the livelihood of millions of people in West Africa. Soil moisture observations can map land degradation with more accuracy than typical rainfall data as soil moisture directly leads to plant growth. Study shows that the land conditions across much of West Africa have improved between 1982 and2012 based on soil moisture observations.