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Mali president in state visit to Senegal

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita arrived in Senegal on Sunday for a two-day "state visit", a delegation source told AFP. Keita was welcomed by his counterpart, Macky Sall, in the capital Dakar. He is due to hold talks with Sall on Monday morning before addressing Senegalese lawmakers later in the day. It was not clear whether the two presidents would discuss the situation of former Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure, who fled to Senegal after being overthrown in a military coup two years ago.

Senegal obtains $7.7 billion to finance growth drive

Senegal has obtained 7.7 billion dollars from international creditors to enact an economic and social development programme to boost the country to emerging economy status by 2035. "Senegal has the confidence of creditors for its economic and social development plan," said Senegalese President Macky Sall late on Monday. He spoke after the first day of talks in Paris by the consultative group for Senegal which groups creditors at the offices of the World Bank. The agreement on official help is worth 3,729 billion CFA francs or 5.6 billion euros.

Investors pledge $7.8 billion to kick-start Senegal growth plans

PARIS (Reuters) - Senegal secured pledges worth about $7.8 billion at a donor conference that began in Paris on Monday to help kick-start a development plan aimed at doubling economic growth rates over the next decade. Senegal is one of West Africa's most stable democracies. Its president, Macky Sall, has been praised for anti-corruption measures he has implemented since winning office in 2012. But his government is under pressure to create more jobs and diversify the economy.

Senegal media boss detained after criticising president

The owner of one of Senegal's largest media groups was detained overnight after accusing President Macky Sall of building up wealth through corruption, the company said on Tuesday. Sidy Lamine Niass, founder and CEO of Walfadjri, was taken into custody on Monday after being summoned to a police station in Dakar, and kept until he was bailed on Tuesday, his television station announced, without saying whether charges had been brought against him. "I thank the religious leaders, the press and all Senegalese," he said as he left a court in Dakar, without elaborating.

Senegal media boss in custody after criticising president

The owner of one of Senegal's largest media groups has been detained after accusing President Macky Sall of building up wealth through corruption, the company said on Tuesday. Sidy Lamine Niass, founder and CEO of Walfadjri, was taken into custody on Monday after being summoned to a police station in Dakar, company spokesman Abdourahmane Camara said. Dakar police refused to comment and Camara said he wasn't able to specify the charges against his boss but local media said Niass was accused of "disturbing public order and insulting the head of state".

Senegal vows to close wealth gap

Senegal's new prime minister vowed Monday in her first policy address to parliament that her government would prioritise closing the gap between rich and poor, boosting economic growth and cracking down on criminality. Almost half of households in the struggling west African nation live in poverty, Animata Toure told the national assembly in a televised speech, with the problem accentuated in the countryside. "We understand the desire of our people to live better, to meet their basic needs, have jobs and increase their income," Toure said.

Son of Senegal ex-president remanded in custody over graft

A court in Senegal has extended the pre-trial detention of the former president's son Karim Wade, who was in April charged with illegally amassing a fortune of over $1 billion, his lawyer said Thursday. A fresh accusation was also added to Wade's charge sheet when he appeared before a Dakar court on Tuesday, El Hadji Sall told AFP, calling the move an excuse to remand his client in custody beyond the legal limit. The new charge relates to an unexplained sum of 98.6 billion CFA francs ($205 million) which prosecutors say Wade deposited into several Monaco bank accounts.

Son of Senegal ex-president remanded in custody over graft

A court in Senegal has extended by six months the pre-trial detention of the former president's son Karim Wade, who was in April charged with illegally amassing a fortune of over $1 billion, his lawyer said Thursday. A fresh accusation was also added to Wade's charge sheet when he appeared before a Dakar court on Tuesday, El Hadji Sall told AFP, calling the move an excuse to remand his client in custody beyond the legal limit.

Senegal seeks French, Chinese help as water crisis hits capital

By Diadie Ba DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal has appealed to France and China for help to repair damage to a water pipeline that has deprived much of the capital of running water for two weeks, triggering pockets of violent protests. President Macky Sall cut short his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly this week to tackle the crisis, which is the most serious since he came to power last year and has highlighted pressures on basic services in the country.

Senegal minister rules out lifting ban on gays

Senegal's new Justice Minister Sidiki Kaba has ruled out legalising homosexuality in the deeply conservative Muslim country despite being a former leading campaigner for gay rights, reports said on Friday. As head of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Kaba fought to reform a law outlawing gay relationships, but he told reporters in Dakar on Thursday he had dropped his opposition to prosecuting gays.
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