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By Nayrouz Talaat

CAIRO, August 7, 2018 -- The Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Food Security Committee of the African Union (AU) began its meeting on Tuesday in Cairo at the headquarters of the House of Representatives.

Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture reviewed its vision for co-operation with the other African countries in agriculture, food security, fishing farming and water management.

The Pan African Parliament’s Vice President for North Africa, Moustafa el-Gendy welcomed the African guests and thanked President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for setting Africa as a top priority.

Mandela’s grandson, who attended the meetings, thanked the Egyptian government for its great hospitality and confirmed the importance of Egypt and the rest of Africa, exchanging their ideas about agriculture and food security.

He added that the African countryside and the urban areas had equal political rights and giving priority to the rural areas would put the African countries on track for development.

Mai Mahmoud, the secretary of the African Affairs Committee in Parliament, said that Egypt was giving top priority to agriculture, the environment, and food security in Africa, which is the world’s food basket.

At the start of the meetings, the timetable for the committee’s activities was approved and then a workshop on climate change was held. The workshop discussed preparations for climate change, reducing gas emissions and ways of adapting to the effects of climate change.

The undersecretary of the African Affairs Committee in Parliament, Maged Abu el-Kheir, said that Egypt was seeking strong co-operation with the other African countries.

Abu el-Kheir added that establishing an African Affairs committee was a new article in the current Egyptian constitution. He said he hoped all the African parliaments would join the Egyptian initiative to help build strong connections between African countries.

Ambassador Ashraf Mawafy, from the Foreign Ministry, said that this was the first meeting to be held outside the headquarters of the AU committee in Cairo, following the instructions given by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi during the African Union Summit.

 

 

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SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, Aug 5, 2018 (MENA) - Investment and International Co-operation Minister Sahar Nasr said President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had laid down an ambitious vision for a comprehensive socio-economic reform programme to build a powerful state and place the Egyptian economy on the right track.

She made the remarks during annual meetings of the African Caucus for the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which kicked off on Sunday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh under the patronage of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli.

The government seeks to achieve national goals and at the same time is giving top priority for the development in Africa, she said, stressing commitment to the African Union's agenda for achieving the 2063 global development goals.

She said Egypt is furthering cooperation with fellow African countries under certain programmes for economic integration.

She added that the meetings offer an opportunity for forging a unified vision for promoting cooperation among African states, the World Bank and the IMF.

Egypt - as the head of the African group at the WB and the IMF - urges international financing institutions to play a larger role in supporting economic development in Africa, she said.

She added that the meetings should support national programmes and projects as well as economic and trade cooperation.

She called for focusing on power linkage projects as well as new and renewable energy resources in order to magnify the harnessing of natural resources for sustainable development.

She also invited the attendees to partake in the Africa 2018 conference due to be held under the patronage of the president in Sharm el Sheikh to promote investment as well as women's role at the economic level.

MOSCOW, August 5, 2018 (News Wires) — The bodies of three Russian journalists who were killed in Central African Republic have been brought back to Moscow, where they are to undergo a forensic examination.

Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for Russia's Investigative Committee, said on Sunday the bodies had been turned over to committee experts and would be examined "with the goal of establishing the cause of the Russians' death."

The journalists were ambushed and killed Monday outside the town of Sibut. They were investigating a Russian private security company that was operating in CAR as well as

Russian ties to the local mining industry. The project was funded by exiled opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a longtime foe of President Vladimir Putin.

Officials in CAR say the journalists were kidnapped by men wearing turbans and speaking Arabic. Their bodies had gunshot wounds.

RABAT, July 21, 2018 (News Wires) - African football will conduct a soul-searching session at a two-day symposium in Morocco after all five of the continent's sides failed to get over the first hurdle at the World Cup.

Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria and Senegal were all eliminated in the group phase in Russia, leaving Africa without a representative in the knockout rounds for the first time since the 1982 finals in Spain.

Coaches and officials of the five countries will discuss the disappointing results at a debrief in Rabat organised by the Confederation of African Football and the Moroccan Football Federation on Sunday and Monday.

"It was a disappointment for the African teams and the African continent," said former Nigeria international Emmanuel Amunike, who was part of FIFA's technical study group analysing the World Cup and will be at the symposium.

"A lot of people were expecting African teams to progress beyond what they have done previously, but unfortunately it didn't materialise.

"The truth is that we all are aware that football has developed a lot and will continue to change, and we in Africa, if we don't embrace the responsibility and see how we can develop our youth, will continue to live on dreams.

“I can tell you that there is a lot of raw talent but raw talent, without polishing them, will not give you a result," he said.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said last week that Africa’s failure to get a team past the first round had been discussed by the game’s top officials and was a concern.

“You need a little luck to get past the first round at a tournament like the World Cup. Senegal, Morocco and Nigeria all played very good football. But this is a concern and we have been talking about it with the president of CAF and we will intervene,” he told reporters in Moscow.

“To have success on the pitch, you have to do well off it and it is essential to work with the African federations to ensure everything is doing well with their organisation.”

Egypt were the first African country to play at a World Cup in 1934 and since 1970 there has been a consistent African presence at the tournament, rising to six teams in 2010 when South Africa hosted the finals.

But none have reached the final four and only three African sides have got as far as the quarter-finals: Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

DAKAR, Senegal, July 21, 2018 (News Wires) - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Africa on Saturday on a four-nation visit seeking deeper military and economic ties while his rival in a bitter trade war, the Trump administration, shows little interest in the world's second most populous continent.

This is Xi's first trip abroad since he was appointed to a second term in March with term limits removed, allowing him to rule for as long as he wants. That rang familiar to some of Africa's long-entrenched leaders.

China is already Africa's largest trading partner, and it opened its first military base on the continent last year in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, which this month launched a China-backed free trade zone it calls the largest in Africa.

After surpassing the US in arms sales to Africa in recent years, China this month hosted dozens of African military officials for the first China-Africa defense forum.

Xi is stopping in Senegal and then Rwanda ahead of his participation in a summit of the BRICS emerging economies in South Africa that starts on Wednesday.

The summit comes amid the United States' billion-dollar trade war with China and tough trade negotiations with other key economic partners.

Last month the foreign ministers of BRICS members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa criticized what they called a "new wave of protectionism," saying US measures undermine global trade and economic growth.

 

LAGOS, July 17, 2018 (News Wires) - With its colourful hammocks and table tennis table, a new tech hub in the Lagos metropolis wouldn’t look out of place among the start-ups on the other side of the world in Silicon Valley.

But the NG_Hub office is in the suburb of Yaba — the heart of Nigeria’s burgeoning tech scene that is attracting interest from global giants keen to tap into an emerging market of young, connected Africans.

In May, both Google and Facebook launched initiatives nearby.

This week, Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was in California to court US tech investors for what he said could herald a “fourth industrial revolution” back home.

But it isn’t just Nigeria that is piquing the interest of tech giants.

Last month, Google said it would open Africa’s first artificial intelligence lab in Ghana’s capital, Accra.

Demographics are a key factor behind the drive: Africa’s population is estimated to be 1.2 billion, 60 per cent of them under 24. By 2050, the UN estimates the population will double to 2.4 billion.

“There’s a clear opportunity for companies like Facebook and Google to really go in and put a pole in the sand,” said Daniel Ives, a technology researcher at GBH Insights in New York.

“If you look at Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, where is a lot of that growth coming from? It’s international,” he said.

Facebook is operating from the NG_Hub as it doesn’t yet have a permanent office in Nigeria.

The company’s Africa head of public policy, Ebele Okobi, said at the opening of the premises that the goal was to cultivate the nascent technology community.

The social network has pledged to train 50,000 people across the country to “give them the digital skills they need to succeed”, she added.

In exchange, Facebook, which currently has some 26 million users in Nigeria, gets more users and access to a massive market to test new products and strategies.

“We are invested in the ecosystem. Just the fact that they are engaging... that in of itself is a goal,” she added.

 

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