West & Central Africa Correspondent, Dakar
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Jun 9, 2014

Analysis – Ageing farmers, low-yield crops hurt Cameroon’s cocoa ambitions

YAOUNDE/DAKAR (Reuters) – Cameroon’s ambition to triple cocoa production and become one of the world’s top three producers within a decade is being hampered by a failure to modernise ageing plantations and attract young farmers to the sector.

Booming consumption, particularly in Asia, is expected to inflate demand for the main ingredient in the $100 billion (59.5 billion pounds) chocolate industry by about 1 million tonnes, or around a quarter of world production, by 2020.

May 27, 2014

Cameroon sends troops to Nigeria border to tackle Boko Haram

DAKAR (Reuters) – Cameroon has deployed some 1,000 troops and armoured vehicles to its border region with Nigeria as it steps up its military presence to counter a rising threat from Boko Haram Islamist militants, a defence ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Boko Haram, which has outraged international opinion with the abduction of some 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria seven weeks ago, has also carried out several attacks and kidnappings in northern Cameroon.

May 21, 2014

China demand fuels illegal timber logging in Guinea-Bissau

BUBA, Guinea-Bissau, May 20 (Reuters) – When middlemen for
Chinese traders approached Yusuf Diallo to cut timber from his
farm in Guinea-Bissau, he says he knew he had no choice.
Soldiers had simply threatened his neighbours when they refused.

A clearing dotted with dozens of stumps now marks where lush
tropical forest once stood outside his farmhouse. To one side,
more than 300 logs were stacked, waiting to be removed.

May 16, 2014

Abductions seen as just one factor in coming Nigeria election

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s last-minute decision to cancel his first visit to the village where Islamist rebels abducted more than 200 schoolgirls has sharpened criticism of his handling of the crisis.

Yet the government’s performance since last month’s kidnappings is unlikely to prove decisive for Nigeria’s polarized electorate if Jonathan decides to stand for re-election next February, analysts and voters said on Friday.

May 16, 2014

Paris summit to try to rally region against Nigeria’s Boko Haram

PARIS/ABUJA (Reuters) – West African leaders meet in Paris on Saturday to try to improve cooperation in their fight against the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls and threatens to destabilize the wider region.

Outrage over the kidnapping has already prompted Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, criticized at home for his government’s slow response, to accept U.S., British and French intelligence help in the hunt for the girls.

Apr 16, 2014

Guinea-Bissau run-off vote pits ex-finance minister Vaz against Nabiam

BISSAU (Reuters) – Jose Mario Vaz, Guinea-Bissau’s former finance minister, will face Nuno Gomes Nabiam, a candidate seen closest to the army, in a May 18 presidential run-off due to complete the country’s return to civilian rule.

The presidential and parliamentary vote is meant to offer the nation a fresh start after decades of instability since independence from Portugal. Its last vote in 2012 was abandoned after the military seized power between rounds of voting.

Apr 14, 2014

Observers give Guinea-Bissau vote clean bill of health

BISSAU (Reuters) – Observers from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Monday said Guinea-Bissau’s weekend election was free and fair, and called on international donors to restart cooperation suspended in the wake of a 2012 coup.

Bissau-Guineans flocked to the polls in large numbers on Sunday to vote in long-delayed legislative and presidential polls meant to bring stability to the former Portuguese colony after years of putsches and political infighting.

Apr 14, 2014

Guinea-Bissau counts votes after big turnout in crucial poll

BISSAU (Reuters) – Vote counting began in Guinea-Bissau after a heavy turnout in Sunday’s legislative and presidential elections meant to bring stability to the West African state after years of coups and political infighting.

No major incidents were reported by the close of polls and monitors said they expected a record turnout. The electoral commission said turnout had reached 60 percent by 1430 GMT (10.30 a.m. EDT) but did not give more detailed numbers.

Apr 13, 2014

Long lines form in Guinea-Bissau poll aimed at turning page on coup

BISSAU (Reuters) – Voters in Guinea-Bissau formed long queues on Sunday to elect a new president and parliament they hope will bring stability to the West African state two years after a military coup.

The last attempt at an election, in 2012, was aborted when troops under army chief Antonio Indjai stormed the presidential palace days before a presidential run-off was due to take place.

Apr 13, 2014

Guinea-Bissau votes in poll aimed at turning page on coup

BISSAU (Reuters) – Voters in Guinea-Bissau began casting their ballots on Sunday to elect a new president and lawmakers in an election meant to draw a line under a 2012 military coup that plunged the West African nation into chaos.

The frontrunner in a field of 13 for the presidency is Jose Mario Vaz, the former finance minister and candidate of the dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

    • 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:
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