Congo joins OPEC

1 day 5 hours ago

The Ministry of Hydrocarbons for the Republic of the Congo has announced that the country has become the fifteenth member of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The country’s membership was concluded during the 174th Ordinary Meeting of OPEC.

The Republic of the #Congo Joins Global Producers as Newest #OPEC Member #OOTT https://t.co/n4VKvQoj1X OPECSecretariat OPECnews— Africa Oil & Power (@AfricaOilPower) June 22, 2018

Congo Joins OPEC, Economic Impacts In Sudan After U.S Lifting Sanctions https://t.co/BVzjwqsm2R pic.twitter.com/nph7BwKeYf— Icon Adeyemi Matthew (@IconAdeyemi) January 19, 2018

Membership in OPEC now gives the Republic of the Congo a voice in a powerful organization committed to balancing the global economy and maintaining a secure and dependable supply of petroleum to consumers.

OPEC is responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s oil production and more than 80 percent of established oil reserves.

“The Republic of the Congo is thrilled and honored to be joining OPEC and to do our part to preserve an equilibrium in global oil markets and ensuring a sufficient flow of investments into hydrocarbons,” said H.E. Jean-Marc Thystère-Tchicaya, the Minister of Hydrocarbons. “Severe oil market downturns like the one the world experienced recently remind us of the essential role that institutions like OPEC in ensuring stability. We are proud to cooperate with the world’s oil leaders.”

Congo joins the ranks of OPEC member countries. Africa is on the move https://t.co/UTjShodgKo— Carl Mbeng (@carlmbeng) June 22, 2018

In 2017, the Republic of the Congo was amongst 11 non-member countries that joined OPEC in historic production cuts of 1.8 million barrels of oil per day.

The so-called Declaration of Cooperation was widely regarded as successful in restoring the vitality of global oil markets and Brent oil prices reaching their highest level this year since 2014.

The Ministry of Hydrocarbons wishes to thank H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the Secretary of General of OPEC, and all the members of OPEC for accepting the country’s membership.

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UN report finds millions of Ghanaians not benefiting from booming economy

1 day 5 hours ago

A United Nations report finds millions of people in Ghana are not benefiting from the country’s booming economy, but remain mired in poverty. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has submitted the results of his 10-day fact-finding mission to Ghana in April to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

U.N. Investigator Philip Alston says Ghana is the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the three fastest growing economies in the whole world. He says this success is making the rich richer, while a high proportion of the population continues to live in poverty.

He says the poor are losing out amidst the country’s growing wealth because Ghana spends 50 percent less than its peer countries in Africa on social protection.

Professor Philip Alston’s report on the state of the economy of Ghana today is healthiest reward to the country. https://t.co/Hm2rxdgKU4 https://t.co/V8zIbWQYvH— Gregory Ofei Obuobi (@sibpub) April 20, 2018

Ghana’s main economic initiatives will do little to reduce poverty, warns UN expert

GENEVA (20 June 2018) – Ghana’s flagship policies might well stimulate the country’s economy but they won’t do much to get rid of… https://t.co/XSLa2LXqOS— Franklin CUDJOE (@lordcudjoe) June 21, 2018

According to him says most of the country’s resources are being plowed into private investment projects designed to make the wealthy better off. He says this policy comes at the expense of providing better employment opportunities and welfare benefits for the poor.

“So, the risk is that Ghana continues to be the great economic success story in the continent, but that very little of the wealth will trickle down to a fairly extensive number of Ghanaians, who continue to live in poverty,” said Alston.

Statistics show one in five Ghanaians live in poverty and one in eight live in extreme poverty. Alston says he finds it particularly troubling that 28 percent of children live in poverty.

“ #Ghana beyond #aid needs to be a WISE economy – #wealthy, #inclusive, #sustainable, #Empowered.” Going #digital will help with this. Panel discussion at #ATF2018 AcetforAfrica #dialogue4action pic.twitter.com/cm3kf98Yme— Karishma Banga (karishma_banga) June 21, 2018

Millions of Poor Not Benefiting from Ghana’s Booming Economy https://t.co/z56awkVnSU pic.twitter.com/xs8M2e3F0E— The Voice of America (@VOANews) June 24, 2018

He said Ghana has a very big problem of corruption and the failure of the government to collect taxes strips the country of important revenue.

“That means that they do not have revenue for additional spending.So, they need to crack down seriously on corruption and on tax evasion and some of the resulting money, even a small part of it needs to be actually spent on these social protection programs,” said Alston.

Ghana is the second fastest growing economy in Africa of 2018.— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) April 23, 2018

In response, Ghana notes inequality often affects rapidly expanding economies such as its own. But, it says the government is committed to reducing poverty and to achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating poverty by 2030.

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South Africa officially appeals IAAF Hyperandrogenism rule

1 day 6 hours ago

Athletics SA (ASA) has joined the fray against the new International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) female eligibility rules and formally lodged its statement of appeal with the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

This comes after Caster Semenya announced on Monday she would take the rules on review.

“As a loyal member federation of the IAAF and to that extent, ASA has a duty to protect all its athletes, including female athletes who may fall foul of these regulations,” the ASA said on Saturday.

Athletics South Africa has lodged its statement of appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport which will challenge the IAAF’s new regulations concerning athletes with hyperandrogenism. The ruling is seen to target SA’s World and Olympic champion Caster Semenya. pic.twitter.com/nHiWo9MW2R— ZiFM News (@ZiFMNews) June 24, 2018

Athletics South Africa confirm that it has formally lodged an appeal with CAS in relation to the IAAF’s Eligibility Regs on the basis that they discriminate against certain female athletes which is an infringement on their human right to dignity #Semenya https://t.co/3VzEM4txEg— Laura Sports Law (@laurasportslaw) June 23, 2018

The ASA has engaged the IAAF directly since May 10, declaring its intention to oppose the implementation of the regulations.

“Subsequently, the IAAF’s legal representatives have been corresponding with lawyers appointed by ASA to represent its interests.”

IAAF Hyperandrogenism rule

The IAAF introduced a new policy in April attempting to regulate women who naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre of blood. For now, the regulations are limited to athletes who compete in events ranging from 400m to the mile. The ASA said it had requested a meeting with the IAAF executive, with the SA federation’s president Aleck Skhosana set to meet the parent body’s head, Lord Sebastian Coe, in the coming week.

It has also applied for the implementation of the regulations to be suspended pending the outcome of the CAS arbitration. The IAAF during the week said it would “stand ready” to defend its new female eligibility rules after the CAS confirmed an arbitration procedure had been opened.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport has informed the IAAF this morning (Tuesday) that it has received a request for arbitration filed by Caster Semenya vs/ IAAF,” the IAAF said in a statement.

“We await further information and stand ready to defend the new regulations.”

Semenya’s lawyers released a statement on Monday saying their client would challenge the IAAF’s rules “to ensure, safeguard and protect the rights of all women”.

The ASA’s challenge is led by a legal and medical team supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

Athletics South Africa appeals over female classification rules #IAAF #ASA #CasterSemenya https://t.co/baVl1rotEo pic.twitter.com/PdnLDP6vJb— Africa News 24-7 (@AfricaNews24_7) June 24, 2018

Athletics South Africa has formally lodged its statement of appeal to challenge the IAAF’s rule change on testosterone levels at the Court of Arbitration in Sport #SSAthletics— SuperSport Blitz (@SuperSportBlitz) June 23, 2018

The SA athletics body said in its statement of appeal it contends the regulations “discriminate impermissibly against certain female athletes on the basis of natural physical characteristics, and/or sex”.

“The regulations, and their implementation, constitute an infringement of the right of the affected female athletes to a private life, which includes the right to the protection of a person’s physical, moral and psychological integrity, as well as the right to choose or to exercise personal autonomy. These are inviolable human rights.

“There is insufficient scientific evidence to assert that testosterone is the predominant factor which causes male athletes to perform substantially better than female athletes and, accordingly, if testosterone does not determine male performance, it can logically not define the difference between male and female performance.

“There is insufficient scientific evidence that: (a) endogenous testosterone significantly improves athletic performance in female athletes; and (b) 5nmol/L is the scientifically correct threshold at which female athletes are in the “normal range” of endogenous testosterone for females.

“The regulations are disproportionate in the context of: (a) the fact that they discriminate on the basis of a natural physical characteristic and/or sex; (b) violate fundamental human rights of affected athletes.”

Caster Semenya to challenge #IAAF testosterone rule in court
“I am very upset that I have been
pushed into the public spot light again. I don’t like talking about this new rule. “I just want to run naturally, the way I was born” #Athletics #SouthAfrica
https://t.co/IMExI6A1cB— Ade Adedoyin (@ade_adedoyin) June 18, 2018

Where is Athletics South Africa??? https://t.co/8lHhBR7qGf— Motheo (@Motheo_wrote) June 18, 2018

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Cyril Ramaphosa condemns Zimbabwe bomb blast

1 day 7 hours ago

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the bomb blast at a stadium in Bulawayo‚ Zimbabwe‚ during a ZANU-PF rally on Saturday.

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa was addressing an election rally at White City Stadium when the incident happened‚ but he managed to escape unharmed.

The Australian Embassy condemns the attack at the political rally in Bulawayo. Political violence of any sort is unacceptable and in no way helps Zimbabwe’s democratic reform. We extend our sympathy to those affected by the explosion.— Bronte Moules (@AusEmbZim) June 24, 2018

Media Statement

24 June 2018

President Ramaphosa condemns bomb blast in Zimbabwe

The President of the Republic of South Africa and Chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), His Excellency… https://t.co/Pfk6bacRH4— DIRCO South Africa (@DIRCO_ZA) June 24, 2018

#ANCLimpopoConference Ramaphosa condemns the blast in Zim which target that country’ president Emerson Mnanangwa says they stand behind him— Simon Nare (@simonphomo) June 24, 2018

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was also reported to be safe. It was reported that several people had been injured but the extent of the injuries had not yet been established.

Zimbabwe is getting ready for elections next month.

Speaking also as the Chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)‚ Ramaphosa said acts of violence and criminalities had no place in the democratic process of any sovereign state within the SADC region.

Ramaphosa and SADC condemn Zim blast|https://t.co/8d8qkZn99z pic.twitter.com/GTCcxNgQTZ— Afro Worldview (@afroworldview) June 24, 2018

Ramaphosa: SADC ‘to evaluate Zim rally blast and take appropriate steps’ https://t.co/K7gtEd9c7r (via )— Ntungamili Nkomo (@ntungab) June 24, 2018

Ramaphosa said it was vital that the political and security situation in Zimbabwe remained stable in the run-up to the general elections to be held on July 30.

The president concluded by saying that the SADC would evaluate the incident and take appropriate steps.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa: SADC ‘to evaluate Zim rally blast and take appropriate steps’ https://t.co/iaibQgFEMC pic.twitter.com/WAe1cOcNhm— TODAY (@todayng) June 24, 2018

#Zimbabwe Ramaphosa said acts of violence and criminalities had no place in the democratic process of any sovereign state within the SADC region. https://t.co/xKxTSvdAVQ— Times LIVE (@TimesLIVE) June 24, 2018

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Zimbabwe rules out state of emergency after Bulawayo blast

1 day 7 hours ago

Zimbabwe’s presidential spokesman is ruling out a state of emergency after an explosion at the president’s campaign rally that state media has called an assassination attempt.

George Charamba told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the historic July 30 election will go ahead as planned despite the blast that occurred shortly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a stadium crowd in Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold, on Saturday.

RT timelivenews: Zimbabwe’s leader escapes bomb blast in Bulawayo – https://t.co/Xwden4oirr #GoogleAlerts— Twim Bo (twimboz) June 24, 2018

At least 49 people, including both of Zimbabwe’s vice presidents, were injured in the explosion that Mnangagwa said occurred just “inches” from him.

Dramatic footage showed him walking off the stage and into a crowded tent where the blast occurred seconds later, sending up smoke as people screamed and ran for cover.

Mnangagwa was unscathed and later pointed out he’d had numerous attempts on his life in the past, saying he was used to them by now.

No reported arrests

The president “will not be driven by vengefulness or a spirit of retribution,” Charamba told The Sunday Mail. “Until the investigators pronounce themselves and present the evidence for arrest and prosecution, no one should ascribe motive or blame.”

Mnangagwa shortly after the attack told the state broadcaster, without elaborating, that those responsible must have come from “outside Bulawayo.” He added, “I can assure you these are my normal enemies.” Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, condemned the attack.

The president has vowed to hold a free and fair election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure. Allegations of violence and fraud marked past votes.

“We’ll not be driven by vengefulness or retribution.”

Zimbabwe rules out state of emergency measures after yesterday’s bomb blast edmnangagwa⁩‘s political rally in #Bulawayo. 41 people including the country’s two Vice Presidents were injured. https://t.co/I2rpoQgTEL— stanley kwenda (stanleykwenda) June 24, 2018

Mnangagwa, a longtime ally whose firing as Mugabe’s deputy after a ruling party feud led to the transfer of power, is under pressure to deliver a credible election that western countries see as key to lifting international sanctions.

He has invited election observers from the United States, the European Union and elsewhere for the first time in 16 years. Mugabe rejected Western observers, accusing them of bias.

Reports have emerged that Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly survived a bomb blast at a ZANU-PF rally he was addressing in Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon https://t.co/F00zHiSP2i— Nazareno Claudiani (@nickhavannah) June 24, 2018

41 people wounded by blast in White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. pic.twitter.com/5Q3YAKyOaG— Katlego Maseng (@KatlegoMaseng1) June 24, 2018

AFP

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Zimbabwe police says 49 people injured in Bulawayo blast

1 day 7 hours ago

Zimbabwe police said on Sunday 49 people were injured in the explosion at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s a political rally on Saturday, with the number expected to change.

“We expect the number to rise as some victims might come forward during the course of the day,” national police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told journalists.

Bulawayo blast. ZRP update pic.twitter.com/bKKTHpUvtX— Nyakasikana Chitse (@NyakaChitse) June 24, 2018

She said “comprehensive investigations” were underway at Bulawayo’s White City stadium where the incident occurred and offered a “substantial reward” for any information that would help police investigations. She did not give details.

#Zimbabwe South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the bomb blast at a stadium in Bulawayo, Republic of Zimbabwe, where the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa, was addressing an election rally.— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) June 24, 2018

Mnangagwa has called the blast a cowardly act which would not derail the July general election, Zimbabwe’s first since the downfall of Robert Mugabe after November’s de facto army coup.

The Bulawayo incident was front page news in local newspapers, with the state-owned Sunday Mail leading with “Attempt on ED’s Life”, referring to Mnangagwa’s names Emmerson Dambudzo.

The Standard, a weekly newspaper critical of the president and the ruling party led with “Mnangagwa, VPs escape death.”

REUTERS

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Second person dies from Addis Ababa grenade attack

1 day 7 hours ago

A second person has died after a deadly grenade attack in Ethiopia’s capital on Saturday which injured more than 150 people at rally attended by new prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

On Sunday, police were at the scene of the attack gathering evidence, officials told Reuters.

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A second person has died after a deadly grenade attack in Ethiopia's capital on Saturday which injured more than 150 people at rally attended by new prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

from Reuters: World News https://t.co/8lezegI7Ji
Sec… https://t.co/XK5LGFvNMK— Nayasol (@nayasol123) June 24, 2018

Nine police officials, including the deputy head of the capital Addis Ababa’s police commission, have been arrested for what authorities said were security lapses.

Six other suspects are being held over links to the attack that occurred in a square where tens of thousands of supporters had gathered, although security officials have not said publicly who might be responsible.

Health Minister Amir Aman said on Twitter that as of 11 am on Sunday, two people had been killed and 156 wounded, with five of them in critical condition.

“I’m so sorry to learn that we have lost another Ethiopian victim of yesterday’s attack who was in ICU at Black Lion Hospital,” he said.

The attack took place moments after Abiy had finished his speech in Meskel Square in the centre of Addis Ababa.

REUTERS

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