Tuareg separatist rebels who held a chunk of Mali’s vast north and still occupy the key town of Kidal are ready for talks to end the west African country’s crisis, President Dioncounda Traore said Friday.
Traore, who met French counterpart Francois Hollande at the Elysee presidential palace, also pledged that elections would be held on July 28 to replace his interim government.
The Malian leader “repeated that the elections will be held on the scheduled date and that is our position as well,” Hollande told journalists.
Traore meanwhile said the demand for the autonomy of the region of Kidal, held by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), was not a real stumbing block. (more…)
At a conference on the margin of the recent Spring Meetings, the bi-annual gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors hosted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, high-level representatives of Djibouti, Yemen and Morocco presented their respective programs for managing risk.
Yet the risk they were discussing was the deadly kind, a consequence of the increasing frequency of natural disasters. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) has become a critical component of national policy and planning. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the interplay of natural disasters, together with the impacts of climate change, water scarcity, and urbanization, have emerged as serious challenges for policymaker. While the number of natural disasters around the world has almost doubled since the 1980s, in MENA, the number has almost tripled. In recent years, floods and droughts have been particularly devastating to the region, bringing significant water shortages, economic losses, and adverse social consequences along with numerous fatalities. Earthquakes are the second most prevalent disaster in the region and have impacted lives and livelihoods.
The following provides further evidence of this growing threat to MNA countries and citizens: (more…)
Plans to secure 20% of Europe’s energy needs from a huge network of solar farms across the north African desert appear to have been shelved.
The Desertec Initiative, a $400 billion project to export generated solar energy from Middle Eastern and north African deserts over to Europe, was once lauded as one of the most innovative renewable energy projects in history.
But, the Economist labelled the project “audacious if fanciful”back in 2010, and according to Deutsche Welle, it is nowunlikely to happen. (more…)
The Middle East and North Africa region still lags behind other comparable countries in gender equality. Women’s access to opportunities continues to be restricted by socio-structural obstacles, inflexible mentalities and deep-rooted traditions.
The Arab Spring gave women hope that empowerment and greater participation in decision-making were possible, but a counter-movement of conservatism threatens to push back any current and future progress.
In Morocco, women have achieved impressive gains over the past decades, both legally and economically, and the human development index shows clear improvements in a wide range of areas, namely girl’s access to schooling or a decline in maternal mortality. But why do women in Morocco play such a small part in the political, economic and social arenas?
To address this issue, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank country office in Rabat held an informal meeting in March of this year. Nadira El Guermai, Governor and National Coordinator of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), and Nouzha Skalli, former Minister of Women’s affairs, met with World Bank Group staff and discussed ways to help mainstream gender equality and support government policies that empower women socially and economically. (more...)
Crime & Justice | 2013-05-17
Mauritania jails gendarme for al-Qaeda ties
Courts in Mauritania are imposing harsh sentences on al-Qaeda collaborators.
Politics | 2013-05-17
Libya interior minister seeks demission
Libyan Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail on Thursday (May 16th) said he wanted Prime Minister Ali Zidan to relieve him of his post, Tripoli Post repor…
Religion | 2013-05-17
Ansar al-Sharia defies government ban
Tunisian salafist movement Ansar al-Sharia on Thursday (May 16th) vowed to defy a government ban on its annual congress, AFP reported….
Sports | 2013-05-17
Soufiane Bidaoui joins Parma
Moroccan international striker Soufiane Bidaoui joined Italian side Parma on a five-year deal, Super Sport reported on Thursday (May 16th). The 23-ye…
The Arab Spring may finally be en route to Algeria.
With the president in a French hospital recovering from a stroke, the generation of aging politicians and generals that has run Africa’s largest country for a half-century is reaching its end. Adding to the mix, Algeria’s overwhelmingly young population is increasingly vocal in its demands for jobs and housing that its oil-dependent economy isn’t providing.
What comes next is of vital importance to Algeria — and the West.
Algeria has the most powerful and best-equipped military in North Africa and the Sahel and is an important bulwark against terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida. Any further instability in North Africa, where Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are already struggling, could embolden the armed militants. (more…)
Books: The Western Sahara conflict of Bahaijoub Analysis of conflict ‘undermining security Med area’
The future of Maghreb depends on the solution of a conflict which has been rocking Western Sahara for decades. A conflict forgotten by many which appears to have no end and dates back to a long time ago. What kind of divergences have opposed Morocco to Algeria, halting the self-determination of the Saharawi population? In which way has the Cold War influenced the balance of power in the North African region? And, most of all, what are the origins of the conflict in Western Sahara? Moroccan journalist and analyst Ali Bahaijoub has attempted to find answers to these questions by examining local as well as Spanish, French and British documents. His book ‘Western Sahara Conflict: Historical, Regional and International Dimensions’ ( North-South Books, 2013) was presented Thursday in Rome. The book, its author said, was first published in Britain in 2010 and then translated into Italian by cultural association Arabismo and represents the continuation of his Phd thesis completed in 1987 at the London School of Economics.
The analysis focuses on the history of the war – from the beginning of the 19th century until 2010 – along with its regional and international dimensions – the balance of power in Maghreb and differences between Algeria and Morocco which perhaps will never be overcome. The only way to go, the book’s author said, ‘is the autonomy of the Saharawi people’. It is the only solution Morocco could accept, he said. (more…)
Vivendi (Paris:VIV) is carrying out a capital increase reserved for employees of the Group.
Vivendi intends to more closely associate its employees to the Group’s development and results.
The subscription period will take place from June 13 to June 28, 2013 inclusive. In Morocco it will take place on the same dates subject to the authorization of the CDVM.
The settlement-delivery of the shares is expected to occur on July 25, 2013. The principal terms and conditions of this offering are described below.
Maj. Gen. Del Turner, commander of the Security Assistance Command, recently visited Georgia and Morocco as part of the command’s strategic engagements with U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command countries. Turner was accompanied by USASAC Command Sgt. Maj. Rodger Mansker and Col. Marvin Whitaker, director for the command’s EUCOM/AFRICOM Regional Operations Directorate. (more…)
It estimates the gross mean prospective resource at 142mln barrels of oil, and it says there is follow on potential of a further 126mln barrels.
Cairn has a 50% stake and it is the operator of the venture, AIM quoted San Leon and Serica Energy are also partners owning 14.1667% and 8.333% respectively, while Toronto listed Longreach (CVE:LOI) has a 2.5% interest. Moroccan state oil firm ONHYM retains a 25% interest in the project as well.
Meanwhile Cairn also said plans are underway for the Juby Maritime venture, a 50:50 partnership with Genel Energy (LON:GENL), targeting the first well in late 2013 or early 2014.
The update on Moroccan projects came as part of a broader operations update, in which it also highlighted its other frontier exploration opportunities in Senegal and offshore Ireland.
Cairn says across its whole project portfolio it has 61 prospects and 124 leads.
With recovery prospects flagging in many countries, central banks are flooding the global economy with cheap money in an effort to revive growth. The first two weeks of May saw a wave of interest-rate cuts, betraying policymakers’ concerns about the growth environment. The extent to which monetary easing remains effective given the current climate is debatable, but the global economy is slowly repairing itself following the crises of the past few years. The Economist Intelligence Unit envisages at least some pick-up in momentum in major economies later in 2013, which will set the stage for a better 2014.
Our latest monthly forecast maintains the qualified narrative of recovery that we have set out in recent months, with slight revisions to specific projections. Most notably, we have adjusted our forecasts for growth in the US, Japan and China. Overall, we still expect world GDP at market exchange rates to grow by 2.1% in real terms in 2013, the same as in 2012. (On a purchasing-power parity or PPP basis, the picture is slightly brighter, as this measure gives a higher weighting to faster-growing emerging markets.)
Conditions in many economies are weaker than they were at the beginning of this year. China’s GDP growth eased to 7.7% year on year in the first quarter of 2013, from 7.9% in October-December. First–quarter growth in Russia was just 1.1%, the slowest pace since 2009. Above all, the euro zone’s economic woes still loom large. While the risk of a catastrophic break-up of the European single currency has subsided in the short term, debt and austerity are severely impeding growth. Unemployment is at record levels, and even previously resilient “core” economies such as France are showing more signs of stress. The uncomfortable truth is that the global economy cannot do well if its largest single economic bloc—the euro zone—is in recession. (more…)
Terrorism | 2013-05-16
Tunisia to review anti-terror laws
Ben Ali-era counter-terror statutes could get a facelift under a controversial new proposal.
Security | 2013-05-16
Benghazi insecurity persists
The security situation in Benghazi continues to be precarious, causing residents and political leaders to call for stricter security measures.
Security | 2013-05-16
Libya seeks to rehabilitate thwar
With tens of thousands of idle youths, Libya is looking for ways to train and educate the next generation.
Politics | 2013-05-16
Tunisia bans Ansar al-Sharia congress
Tunisian authorities on Wednesday (May 15th) banned Ansar al-Sharia’s annual convention, planned for Sunday in Kairouan, Jeune Afrique reported….
Security | 2013-05-16
International donors to help Mali
The international community on Wednesday (May 15th) pledged 3.2 billion euros as financial aid to Mali, PANA reported….
Economy | 2013-05-16
Morocco invests in automotive industry
Morocco is allocating 600 million dirhams (54 million euros) to investment projects in the automotive industry, MAP reported on Wednesday (May 15th)….