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NAIROBI, April 18 (Reuters) – Sub-Saharan Africa is on course for economic growth of 3.1 percent this year, the World Bank said on Wednesday, marginally slower than it previously forecast but faster than last year thanks to rising commodity prices. By 2020 growth in the region should pick up to 3.7 percent, it said. Sub-Saharan African economies were hit hard by a crash in commodity prices which slowed growth, slashed government revenues and weakened several of the currencies on the continent. Growth was 1.5 percent in 2016, the lowest in more than two decades, before rising to an estimated 2.6 percent last year. “While Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola are expected to see a gradual pick-up in growth, economic expansion will continue at a solid pace in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), and strengthen in most of East Africa,” the bank said in its Africa’s Pulse report for April. – As of last week, there is a new global trade player, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). On Mar. 21, 44 African heads of state and government officials met in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign the framework to establish this initiative of the African Union.The AfCFTA will come into effect 30 days after ratification by the parliaments of at least 22 countries. Each country has 120 days after signing the framework to ratify. This will be one of the world’s largest free-trade areas in terms of the number of countries, covering more than 1.2 billion people and over $4 trillion in combined consumer and business spending if all 55 countries join. Here are four things you need to know about the AfCFTA.- Sudan has imposed a temporary import ban on selected foods and other items in an effort to protect its currency and narrow its budget deficit after the end of U.S. trade sanctions in October, the government said. The Sudanese pound has been weakening against the dollar since Washington lifted 20-year-old economic embargo, paving the way for traders to step up import volumes and putting pressure on already scarce hard currency. The central bank holds the official exchange rate at 6.7 pounds to the dollar, but a low supply in formal channels have meant traders have had to rely on Sudan’s black market for dollars. Meat products, fish and fresh produce were among the 19 items included in the temporary ban the trade ministry signed, according to a statement released late on Saturday. The ban was effective Dec. 7, the day it was signed. The central bank announced emergency measures last month after the pound fell to a record low of 27 against the dollar on the black market. The pound’s value has picked up since, trading at about 25 on Sunday. REUTERS – Angola’s 2018 budget predicts 4.9% growth. Angola’s government expects the economy to grow by 4.9% according to the 2018 budget-Ethiopia has released a veteran Somali journalist who was serving a lengthy jail term over anti-terror charges. Mohamed Aweys Mudey had spent three years in an Addis Ababa facility before his release.The journalist popularly referred to as ‘King of the Central’ has since returned to Mogadishu. Reports indicate that the government had intervened in his case and facilitated his release. He was found guilty under Ethiopia’s anti-terror laws and was sentenced to 27 years in jail. The National Union of Somali Journalists, NUSOJ, in 2014 had in a petition signed by 24,000 people, called on the Ethiopian government to release its member.- Weah, the 1995 World Footballer of the Year, is already a senator in his home country. The 51-year-old is now standing in the west African country’s presidential election today. He is favourite among the 20 candidates to succeed current leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Weah scored five goals in 15 Chelsea games on loan from AC Milan in early 2000. He joined City that summer, but made just nine appearances after falling out with boss Joe Royle. He previously won a sackful of trophies with AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, and played 60 times for Liberia. The former striker has already wowed vast crowds at rallies in capital city Monrovia. Sam Mannah, a member of Weah’s campaign team, said: “George feels good and very keen. People everywhere tell him they want to see change. “He stood for election in 2005, and then they said he lacked experience, but the fact he is now a senator plays a big role. “His former football career helps him a lot. It reminds Liberians of a lot of good things. “Back then he helped the nation, funded several hospitals, donated food, helped people move to America and even paid the national team’s players. “People know what he has done, and see him as the man to change their lives.” Liberian newspaper editor Othello Garblah added: “Weah is very popular. He promises to fight corruption, improve education and create jobs. “All the candidates have similar programmes, so voters choose personalities.- A Nigerian court has seized 7.6 billion naira ($21 million dollars) belonging to former Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke who is wanted for money laundering. The court ordered on Monday that the money in her local bank accounts be confiscated as investigations of corruption are ongoing.The minister, who is facing a series of cross-border corruption allegations, is suspected to be in the United Kingdom and has not responded to court orders. A group of protesters gathered at the offices of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja demanding the extradition of the former minister to face trial. The convener of the Concerned Nigeria group, Adeyanju Deji told the media that they are demanding her extradition because if she is convicted in the UK, “the jurisdiction may be an impediment to our [Nigeria’s] trial”. He called for all those accused of corruption to be investigated and prosecuted by the EFCC.- Some Beninese youths have burnt CFA franc bank notes to protest the use of the currency in Africa decades after independence. The bank notes are being burnt as a sign of support to Kemi Seba a Franco-Beninese activist in Dakar who was arrested for burning a CFA franc bank note.The CFA franc is used in West and Central Africa has come under heavy criticisms of recent. “We must do all it takes to ensure that the CFA franc is abolished for ever,” an anti-CFA franc activist, Boris Aké said. Kemi Sheba will be grilled by an investigating judge on Tuesday in Dakar. Activists have promised to extend protests to various African countries if he is not freed.“Kémi Seba will keep on suffering if he remains in prison. The more he stays, the more the anger of the youth will increase which could take the fight to another dimension. So I say either the CFA franc should be abandoned with the help of authorities in place or better still our leaders should stand against it and be removed from power alongside the CFA franc,” an activist told the crowd. Kémi Seba was arrested following a complaint from the Bank of West African States. He could be jailed for 5 years if found guilty. Girls are not wives –

C’est officiel : le président sortant Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, du Rassemblement pour le Mali et Soumaïla Cissé, de l’Union pour la République et la démocratie, vont s’affronter lors du second tour de l’élection présidentielle au Mali, en principe le dimanche 12 août prochain après validation par le Conseil constitutionnel des résultats du premier tour. L’annonce a été faite tard dans la soirée de ce jeudi 2 août par le ministre de l’Administration territoriale, Mohamed Ag ErlafK. Au premier tour qui s’est tenu le 29 juillet, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta est arrivé en tête avec 41,42 % des voix, contre 17,80 % pour Soumaïla Cissé, selon les résultats officiels provisoires portant sur l’ensemble des suffrages, a précisé le ministre lors d’une annonce à la télévision publique ORTM. La participation a été de 43,06 %. – CEDEAO : Démarrage d’un sommet tourné vers la Guinée Bissau. Les chefs d’Etats ouest-africain se réunissent aujourd’hui à Abuja à l’occasion du Sommet de la Cedeao. Cette réunion sera l’occasion pour le tandem guinéo-togolais composé des présidents Alpha Condé et Faure Gnassingbé d’essayer de trouver une issue à la crise politique qui déchire la Guinée Bissau depuis 2015- afrique.latribune.fr. – Sénégal : aéroport Blaise Diagne, à peine inauguré, déjà paralysé. Ni vol ni atterrissage depuis jeudi dans la nuit, 15 décembre, l’Aéroport international de Blaise Diagne (AIBD) du Sénégal, inauguré il y a seulement une semaine, vient d’être bloqué par le personnel navigant. Le syndicat des aiguilleurs demande de meilleurs conditions de travail.- Diaspora africaine – Des compétences et une force financière indéniables. Depuis une décennie, l’immigration inversée est en marche en Afrique, avec le retour d’une diaspora africaine sur le continent, créant des entreprises et participant activement au développement socio-économique du continent. Les apports de la diaspora africaine au développement de l’Afrique ne sont plus à démontrer par Souleymane KANAZOEE. [VENI, VEDI, VICI] Kemi Seba:”Grâce à votre mobilisation extraordinaire partout en Afrique, et à une justice sénégalaise impartiale (malgré les INCROYABLES pressions) , nous sommes acquittés et libérés. La BCEAO et autres amoureux de la servitude qui rêvaient de nous voir incarcérés sont VAINCUS. Merci à ces derniers de nous avoir permis de poser ce débat à un niveau mondial. Comme quoi nos méthodes prétendument scandaleuses permettent de mettre la lumière sur le débat. Cette lutte est un travail d’équipe. Nous mobilisons la rue pour ensuite faciliter le travail des économistes. On est plus forts en se donnant la main plutôt qu’en se tirant dans les pattes. Le combat ne FAIT QUE COMMENCER. Je vous aime à en perdre la vie. Rdv demain à 15h au centre de Mbopp à Dakar POUR UNE CONFERENCE DE PRESSE DURANT LAQUELLE BEAUCOUP DE VÉRITÉS seront énoncées…

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