French Airline Aigle Azur Leaves Thousands Stranded in Algeria
In an interview with French TV channel RMC, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, France’s secretary of state for transport said: “There are 13,000 passengers who bought their tickets and will need to be repatriated. Among them, 11,000 are in Algeria, six in Mali, then in Lebanon, in Moscow and in Senegal.” The airline, which carried around 1.9 million passengers last year, filed for bankruptcy last week and on Friday night canceled all of its flights. Djebbari confirmed that the airline’s failure has not only affected its 1,150 employees, including 500 crew members, but thousands of travelers too. Aigle Azur specialized in flying between France and Algeria, before pursuing an unsuccessful expansion “to the whole Maghreb,” according to Djebbari. The airline has received 14 takeover bids: among the bidders are Air France and EasyJet, while the The Dubreuil Group, which owns Air Caraibes submitted a partial takeover offer. Interested parties could be attracted by Aigle Azur’s landing slots at Orly, Paris’ second largest airport.
Foreign Nationals on Tenterhooks in South Africa
At the heart of the Mayfair neighbourhood of Johannesburg, the elders of the city’s Somali community hold urgent meetings about the attacks on foreign-owned businesses and traders that have been surging for more than a week. On Sunday, two people were reportedly killed and the police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse groups of men armed with machetes and sticks while shouting anti-immigrant slogans.According to community leaders, the attacks last week had been building for several months. Anti-immigrant rhetoric has been circulating on social media and among groups who allege immigrants cheat their customers with out-of-date produce in their shops, take jobs from locals and defraud the state. But Marc Gbaffou from the African Diaspora Forum, an umbrella group that campaigns for the rights of migrants in South Africa, said there was no political will to stop the violence. “Now the whole world has seen the truth,” he said.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
Standing in Solidarity Against Xenophobia
Over the last few days, South Africa has been deeply saddened by a wave of violence against our fellow Africans. We stand ashamed before our African brothers and sisters and before the world. On behalf of all of us at the Standard Bank Group, I offer our deepest sympathy to all who have suffered and lost. We stand in solidarity with our fellow Africans. We stand in solidarity with the great majority of South Africans who live by the values of our Constitution, which commands us to defend the rights and dignity of everyone who lives here. Like many other South African companies, our businesses throughout Africa are essential to our success and enable us to tackle unemployment, inequality and economic exclusion. When South Africans attack their fellow Africans, we are hurting ourselves. We call on all South Africans to support the authorities and civil society in their efforts to restore law and order and to ensure that all perpetrators answer for their actions in a court of law. I am very sad that this is the second time during my tenure as Group Chief Executive that I have had to write to the Group about xenophobic violence in South Africa. I hope and pray that I will not have to do so again.
Kenyan Officer Saves the Day
A Kenyan police officer is being praised for teaching pupils whose teachers failed to turn up for work after a non-governmental organisation posted a photo of him in class on Facebook. The Education Development Trust said Jairus Mulumia was found teaching a class at Forole Primary School, which is near Kenya’s border with Ethiopia. “When our team visited the school last week, some teachers had not reported due to insecurity obtaining in the area. The pupils were idle in class,” the NGO said. “After getting permission from the headteacher, Mulumia, a trained teacher, got into class five and started teaching mathematics.” It said that there had been a series of attacks in the area by bandits, which had left several people dead. The officer was part of a team deployed to the school to provide security for pupils.
Africa’s Largest Mobile Phone Maker Lists
Shenzhen Transsion Holdings Co., whose mobile handsets outsell iPhone and Galaxy smartphones in Africa, is planning an initial public offering on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style Star Board to raise about $423 million. Transsion, known as the “King of Africa” on the continent, according to the filing has overtaken Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. as the largest mobile phone maker there, tapping into a huge and fast-growing market. Since founding the Tecno Mobile brand in 2006, founder Zhu Zhaojiang has overseen an expansion that now claims a 48.7% market share in Africa, according to the filing. Transsion shipped 94.44 million mobile phones to Africa in 2018, out of a total of 124 million global shipments. The company plans to issue as many as 80 million A-shares in the IPO and will set the price on Sept. 17. Proceeds will be used to pay for mobile phone manufacturing base projects and research and development, the filing said.
Keeping an Eye on Ghana’s Farms
Smallholder farmers in Ghana are adopting drone technology for crop surveillance in a bid to increase yields and incomes. The new technology is being used as farmers’ cooperatives are slowly abandoning manual labor as they seek higher efficiency. Some, however, think the use of the drones is too costly and may shut out poor farmers. companies now sponsored by the Netherlands-based Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, a European Union-funded institute, in a bid to attract more young Africans to agriculture. CTA estimates that streamlining agriculture through technology could earn the continent $2.6 billion every year. While not all farmers can afford to work with drones and many fear they could lose their jobs to technology, some see it as a way of increasing yields, compared to traditional techniques. Delegates are meeting in Accra to discuss ways to transform agriculture on the continent, and drones are just one of the topics they are discussing as a way to improve Africa’s food security.
New Challenge for Sudan’s New Government
The flooding that has killed scores of people and destroyed more than 100,000 homes is the first crisis to test Sudan’s new prime minister, the African country’s first civilian leader in 30 years. The communities hit by the floods, which started in July, have been mostly left to fend for themselves or rely on aid with little help from authorities, just as they did under the previous regime, according to residents, community groups and charity workers. The flood crisis comes at a time of huge transition for Sudan, as months of protests ushered in a transitional government that must also tackle a full-blown economic crisis and internal conflicts, issues that helped bring down the three-decade rule of Omar al-Bashir.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA
Shell’s Daily Losses in Nigeria
Shell’s subsidiary in Nigeria says the oil giant is losing 10,000 barrels of oil a day to thieves in the West African nation – at a cost of $560,000 a day. The losses by vandals attacking oil pipelines in the southern Niger Delta are equivalent to $204.4m over a year. The announcement was made by Igo Weli, general manager of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, which is a joint venture between Shell and the Nigerian government. “These attacks were on critical assets that produce the crude oil, which accounts for over 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and the bulk of government revenue.” Since 2012 he said the company had discovered and removed 1,160 points where thieves were stealing the oil. But this did not seem to be stemming the problem as 9,000 barrels a day were being stolen in 2017, 11,000 last year and 10,000 this year.
SOURCE: CGTN AFRICA
The Africa x China Exchange
Direct airline flights between Africa and China have jumped over 600% in the past decade. Planes today are not only full of workers and traders seeking prosperity, but also short-term tourists and students, seeking leisure and knowledge. China’s “Go Out” policy, implemented in 1999, sent employees of Chinese state-run companies to Africa, as well as investment money. China’s official record shows there were around 200,000 Chinese construction workers, engineers, translators, company executives, and the like in Africa in 2017. Africans are also going to China to make money. Unlike the Chinese, they are often not supported by their home country. Some are traders and entrepreneurs going to China to make deals and export Chinese goods to their home countries and regions. There are also small business owners and fashion models, who faced social and legal hurdles. The largest African immigrant community in China is in Guangzhou, a manufacturing hub and trading port in southern China. The Chinese authorities counted 200,000 entries to the city by African visitors in 2016. Business travelers may have initiated the demand for easier air travel between Africa and China, but flights today are increasingly serving leisure-seeking tourists.
SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA
Ethiopia’s First Political Satire Show
Min Litazez, which translates to “How may I serve you?” In the three seasons it has been on air, Min Litazez has built an enthusiastic and loyal audience among a population starved for political commentary and a new kind of comedy after almost 27 years of dictatorship during which such things would have been unthinkable. “We’re not just trying to make people laugh, but raise awareness because we want to create a better country”, said Behailu Wase, creator of Min Litazez. But after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, he instituted a number of political and economic reforms, including loosening restrictions on the media and freedom of speech. The sitcom-satire is set in a cafe, meant to be a metaphor of the country as a whole. In each episode, the cafe owner’s life tries to mirror and reflect the challenges faced by the country’s new leadership. Past episodes have dealt with issues like government inefficiency, ethnic nationalism and authoritarianism – despite attempts to censor some of the content and, at times, even temporary suspension of the show itself.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA