West & Central Africa Correspondent, Dakar
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Dec 12, 2014

Sierra Leone to ban Xmas parties, plans “surge” to curb Ebola spread

DAKAR/FREETOWN (Reuters) – Sierra Leone plans to ban parties and other festivities over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and to launch a “surge” to cut the risk of Ebola spreading further in the West African country now with the most infections, officials said on Friday.

Sierra Leone is struggling to reduce the spread of the viral hemorrhagic fever as the death toll in West Africa continues to rise, fueled in part by increasing infections in the country.

Dec 9, 2014

Miners fear tax hikes, uncertainty in Burkina mining review

OUAGADOUGOU/DAKAR (Reuters) – A plan by Burkina Faso’s new leaders to review the mining industry after years of opaque management is spooking operators who fear losing tax cuts that they say make operating in the landlocked nation attractive.

Over the last decades Burkina Faso has cultivated its gold mining industry. Two dozen firms operate in the sector, including Semafo, IamGold and Avocet Mining, enjoying corporate tax rates lower than other nations in West Africa.

Dec 9, 2014

Analysis – Miners fear tax hikes, uncertainty in Burkina mining review

OUAGADOUGOU/DAKAR (Reuters) – A plan by Burkina Faso’s new leaders to review the mining industry after years of opaque management is spooking operators who fear losing tax cuts that they say make operating in the landlocked nation attractive.

Over the last decades Burkina Faso has cultivated its gold mining industry. Two dozen firms operate in the sector, including Semafo (SMF.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), IamGold (IMG.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) and Avocet Mining (AVM.L: Quote, Profile, Research), enjoying corporate tax rates lower than other nations in West Africa.

Nov 6, 2014

Ebola surging in Sierra Leone amid lack of treatment centers: U.N

DAKAR (Reuters) – The number of Ebola cases is surging in Sierra Leone due to a lack of treatment centers, the United Nations said, while scarcity of food may also be forcing some people to leave quarantined areas, risking further spread of the virus.

The warning by the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) came as Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Health said Ebola had so badly damaged confidence in the West African country’s health system that many people were dying from other diseases as the sick refused to come to clinics for treatment.

Nov 6, 2014

Analysis – Beyond Burkina Faso, Africa’s ‘Black Spring’ hopes may be premature

DAKAR (Reuters) – Inspired by protests in Burkina Faso that ousted one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, opposition activists across much of the continent are hoping for a “Black Spring” to mirror the Arab Spring. The experience of Clement Mierassa suggests their hopes are premature.

Mierassa, an opposition leader in Congo Republic, wanted to capitalise on last week’s uprising that ousted Blaise Compaore after he tried to change Burkina Faso’s constitution to extend his 27-year rule. He organised a meeting to oppose any similar move by his own veteran President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

Nov 6, 2014

Beyond Burkina Faso, Africa’s ‘Black Spring’ hopes may be premature

DAKAR (Reuters) – Inspired by protests in Burkina Faso that ousted one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, opposition activists across much of the continent are hoping for a “Black Spring” to mirror the Arab Spring. The experience of Clement Mierassa suggests their hopes are premature.

Mierassa, an opposition leader in Congo Republic, wanted to capitalize on last week’s uprising that ousted Blaise Compaore after he tried to change Burkina Faso’s constitution to extend his 27-year rule. He organized a meeting to oppose any similar move by his own veteran President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

Oct 27, 2014

Mali eyes $9.5 bln rail projects to unlock iron ore, bauxite deposits

BAMAKO, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Landlocked Mali aims to diversify
its mining sector away from gold with Chinese-built rail
projects worth $9.5 billion that would link it to the Atlantic
coast, even as slowing Chinese growth and falling commodity
prices cool investment.

The West African nation – the continent’s third-largest gold
producer – said last month it had signed a string of investment
deals with China totalling $11 billion, with most of this going
to finance the rail deals. Chinese authorities, however, have
not confirmed the investment.

Oct 16, 2014

Don’t shun Ebola survivors: give them frontline roles, say officials

DAKAR (Reuters) – Ebola survivors could play critical frontline roles as care givers and blood donors in the battle against the deadly virus – because of their built-in immunity to it, top charity and government officials in Sierra Leone said on Thursday.

Andrew Brooks, a senior U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official, said developing a network of those who had survived the highly infectious disease and could be involved in the response against it would be a way of more effectively addressing the outbreak that has killed nearly 4,500 people.

Oct 3, 2014

Liberia imposes media restrictions on ‘invasive’ Ebola coverage

DAKAR (Reuters) – Journalists will need official permission to cover many aspects of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, under new rules that the government said aimed at protecting patient privacy.

The move was announced on Thursday, the day an American cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia became the first foreign journalist to test positive for Ebola. There was no indication that the new rules were related to that case.

Oct 2, 2014

Liberia says may prosecute man who flew to U.S. with Ebola

DAKAR, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Liberia could prosecute a national
who flew to the United States and was diagnosed with the Ebola
for making a false statement on travel documents, the head of
the West African nation’s airport authority said on Thursday.

Binyah Kesselly said the Liberian patient, Thomas Eric
Duncan, was asked in a questionnaire as he left Monrovia airport
if he had come in contact with any Ebola victim or was showing
symptoms of the disease and he had replied ‘no’.

    • About Bate

      "Bate Felix is a Dakar-based West & Central Africa Correspondent. He joined Reuters in 2007 as a graduate trainee and has worked in Johannesburg, London, Brussels, Paris and Amsterdam. He now covers economics, politics and general news stories in over a dozen countries in West & Central Africa."
      Joined Reuters:
      2007
      Languages:
      English, French
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