News in brief
- Tuesday 13 February
Gabon: Jean Ping consults allies over upcoming polls- 09h14
Gabon’s 2016 presidential contender, Jean Ping has begun reaching out to other opposition leaders and civil society figures about the socio-political situation in the country with the upcoming legislative elections in mind, a source close to him revealed to APA.Dr Ping, a former president of the African Union Commission (AU) who still claims he is the winner of the presidential election two years ago, met with other heads of the Coalition for the New Republic (CNR) of which he is leader.
The legislative polls slated for next April were featured on the agenda of the meeting.
The former top diplomat under Omar Bongo is still vehemently challenging current president Ali Bongo Ondimba over the 2016 polls.
The outcome of the polls was called into question by the European Union (EU) observer mission
- Tuesday 04 July
Suicide bomb attack kill four in Homaka- 11h55
Four persons have been killed during a boko haram suicide attack in Homaka.
The attack which occurred Monday evening follows an earlier attack on a military camp.
- Friday 23 June
Tanzania to ban pregnant girls from going back to school- 14h22
Tanzania has promised to build a nation where everyone should have the opportunity to get a high school diploma, except if you’re a pregnant teenage girl.
“After getting pregnant, you are done!” President John Magufuli told a crowd, the BBC reported on June 22.
The president was speaking at a rally in the town of Chalinze, where crowds greeted his statements with applause. In 2015, Tanzania implemented a free education policy for high school, but the president now says that right does not extend to young mothers.
Kenya’s President promises free sanitary napkins to school girls- 14h07
Kenya’s president has promised to give all school girls free sanitary napkins.
Less than two months before Kenyans go to the polls, president Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Basic Education Amendment Act which compels the government to provide “free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels to every girl child registered and enrolled in a public basic education institution.”
- Friday 02 June
Ghana shuts down all internet links of videos, photos of Mahama’s killing!- 16h16
Captain Mahama has been shutdown.
Aggrieved family members of the soldier had called for government to clean social media of all videos and pictures of his killing.
Following concerns raised by Captain Mahama’s family over the spread of videos and photos of his killing, government has finally shutdown all links to the graphic videos and pictures of the Captain’s killing.
- Wednesday 24 May
Tanzanian president asks minister to quitBBC - 14h40
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has called on Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo – a personal friend of his – to consider resigning after an investigation found that mining companies were under-declaring the value of their exports, resulting in the state losing millions of dollars.
Mr Magufuli sacked the head of the state-run mineral audit agency, Paul Masanja, and dissolved its board, but fell short of dismissing the minister.
Mugabe insult charge to be ‘withdrawn’bb - 14h37
Insult charges against a former member of Zimbabwe’s ruling party, who was accused of swearing at 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, will be dropped, state lawyers have said.
The announcement was made after William Mutumanje approached the Constitutional Court today to throw out the case.
The state acknowledged that the court had already declared the insult law unconstitutional, and said the charges would be dropped when Mr Mutumanje appears before a lower court next month.
Mr Mutumanje, also known as Acie Lumumba, was arrested in July and charged with undermining the president’s authority after he allegedly swore at Mr Mugabe while launching his political party, Viva Zimbabwe.
He withdrew his Constitutional Court application after the state said the charges would be dropped.
Trump holds first meeting with Pope- 14h33
US President Donald Trump has met Pope Francis for a short private audience on the third leg of his overseas trip.
The Vatican said after the meeting that there had been an “exchange of views” on international issues, and spoke of the need to continue good relations. Mr Trump said they had a “fantastic meeting”. The two men have in the past clashed on issues such as migration, climate change and a Mexico-US wall.
Mr Trump also met Italy’s president and prime minister while in Rome. He is now flying on to Brussels for a summit of Nato, the Western military alliance. He arrived in Europe from Israel and the Palestinian territories, where he vowed to try and achieve peace in the region. The US leader began his foreign trip with a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, urging Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation.
- Tuesday 16 May
Female suicide bombers attack, kill 2 in Borno- 17h08
Three female suicide bombers have attacked a herding community in northeast Nigeria, killing two people and injuring seven others, according to a village elder and a civilian militia member.
Ali Musa said the trio, believed to have been sent by Boko Haram jihadists, struck at Shuwari Buri village, 38 kilometres from Maiduguri at around 9:20 pm (2020 GMT) on Monday.
“Two of them rushed into a thatched hut and detonated their explosives, killing two brothers who had retired for the night,” he added.
“The third bomber detonated her explosives among residents who had gathered … injuring seven.”
The three bombers had earlier told villagers they were travellers and asked them for accommodation for the night. But they were refused on security grounds.
Ibrahim Liman, a member of the civilian militia assisting the military with security, gave an identical account.
Shuwari Buri is in the Konduga area, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, which has been repeatedly hit by suicide bombings and gun attacks.
Boko Haram has increasingly used suicide bombers to attack civilian targets including mosques, schools, markets and bus stations.
Many of the bombers have been women and young girls.
The phenomenon has increased as the Islamist militants lost captured territory to the military due to a sustained counter-insurgency that began in early 2015.
- Monday 08 May
Boko Haram attack Chadian soldiers, kill 9- 17h00
Boko Haram militants have killed nine Chadian soldiers in an attack on a military camp on Friday in the north of the Central African country close to the Nigerian border.
A Chadian army spokesman reported said on Saturday, May 6 that nine soldiers died and 28 were wounded during the attack. It is reported that 28 militants were killed.
It should be recalled that, Boko Haram has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million in its bid to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. A regional force that includes troops from Chad has retaken much of its territory in the last two years.
The sect has largely focused its attacks on northeast Nigeria, neighbouring Cameroon and Niger, with attacks in Chad less frequent.
- Thursday 04 May
PDP sympathises with President over his health- 11h04
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has sympathised with President Buhari over his health condition.
According to Punch, Dayo Adeyeye, the spokesman of the Makarfi led faction of the PDP, said “We sympathise with the President on his health and we pray that God will lay His hands on him.”
Adeyeye also said that for Buhari to miss the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, May 4, 2017, it shows that he is critically ill.
The PDP spokesman also alleged that the country is now being run by a cabal.
Adeyeye said: “However, it is now certain that the country is now being ruled by a cabal. Members of the cabal are not known.
“Who is in charge of the country now? We don’t know. Nigeria is now on auto pilot. We don’t know who is rocking the country and who exactly is churning out orders or exercising the executive powers of the President anymore.
“This can’t happen in saner climes. We have a President who has not been seen in public for some days and the government is not worried.”
- Wednesday 12 April
Climate change adds to pressures on endangered penguins in Africa- 17h17
Climate change and overfishing have left already endangered young penguins in Africa confused about where to find food, and they are dying in high numbers as a result, researchers said Thursday.
The report in the journal Current Biology describes a dire predicament for African penguins, whose young population is projected to be down 50 percent in some of the most affected areas of coastal Namibia and South Africa.
“Our results show that juvenile African penguins are stuck foraging for food in the wrong places due to fishing and climate change,” said lead author Richard Sherley of the University of Exeter and University of Cape Town.
The problem happens when the young penguins leave their colonies for the first time and travel long distances, searching the ocean for signs that an area has plenty of fish and the smaller creatures they feed on, called plankton.
These signs include areas of low sea temperatures and high chlorophyll-a, which indicates plankton is near, and likely also the sardines and anchovies that feed on it.
“These were once reliable cues for prey-rich waters, but climate change and industrial fishing have depleted forage fish stocks in this system,” said Sherley.
“These signs can now lead them to places where these fish, the penguins’ main prey, are scarce.”Link
- Wednesday 05 April
France election: Le Pen and Macron clash over Europe in TV debate- 13h31
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was attacked from all sides over Europe as presidential candidates went head to head in the second live TV debate.
The centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron said Ms Le Pen’s nationalist proposals amounted to “economic warfare”.
But she was also accused from the right of not being tough enough on France’s membership of the EU.
Francois Fillon, meanwhile, said that France needed Europe when up against the US and China.
Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Front (FN) party, promised to restore control of France’s borders and scrap the euro, or else hold a referendum on EU membership.Link
Malaysia MP say its ok to marry rapists- 13h29
A Malaysian MP has drawn outrage for saying it can be OK for rapists to marry their victims and that some 12-year-old girls were “physically and spiritually” ready to get married.
Shabudin Yahaya from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition said marriage could help victims “lead a better life”.
Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, has just passed a new law on sexual offences against children.
Despite opposition efforts, the law does not ban child marriages.
It remains legal for Muslims under 16 to get married in Malaysia under certain circumstances.Link
- Thursday 30 March
UN experts found dead in DR Congo- 17h47
Two UN experts who were missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been found dead, officials say.
The bodies of US citizen Michael Sharp and Swedish national Zaida Catalan were discovered in the central Kasai region, a government spokesman said.
They were abducted two weeks ago after going to Kasai to investigate reports of abuses after local rebels took up arms.
Some 40 police officers were found beheaded in the region at the weekend. Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende confirmed reports of the discovery to the BBC. Mr Mende said that the bodies were found in a shallow grave, adding that “the woman was found beheaded, but the body of the man was intact”.
In a statement from UN headquarters in UN, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said they “lost their lives seeking to understand the causes of conflict and insecurity” in DR Congo. “The United Nations will do everything possible to ensure that justice is done,” he added.
- Thursday 23 March
France’s Le Pen calls for end to CFA franc currencyReuters - 16h05
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country’s decades-old relationship with Africa known as “Francafrique” and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies.
Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favour French business interests.
Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy.Link
- Wednesday 22 March
China’s Sinopec buys first major African refinery in Chevron dealReuters - 12h53
China’s Sinopec (600028.SS) (0386.HK) said on Wednesday it has agreed to pay almost $1 billion for a 75 percent stake in Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana, securing its first major refinery on the continent.
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner, said the assets include a 100,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban as well as 820 petrol stations and other oil storage facilities. They also include 220 convenience stores across South Africa and Botswana.
With a growing middle class, demand in South Africa for refined petroleum has increased by nearly 5 percent annually over the past five years, to currently total about 27 million tonnes, it said.Link
- Monday 20 March
Ghana treefall accident clear-up operation- 17h06
Ghana’s fire service workers have been clearing up the site of the freak waterfall accident in which at least 18 people died.
The victims were playing in the pool at the base of a popular waterfall spot in Kintampo when a tree fell on them.
The Ghana National Fire Service made this short video showing people cutting up the tree and carrying the logs away.
- Wednesday 15 March
Here is Obama’s Kenyan birth certificateAnswer Africa - 11h55
Malik Obama, brother to former US President Barack Hussien Obama has tweeted a birth certificate he claims carries the outgone president’s true place of birth. Obama’s half-brother who was once received in the White House by the president is said to have fallen out with the latter to the point that he became a Trump fan during the recent elections. His tweet comes to rekindle the thought-to-be-dead debate over Obama’s place of birth.Link
- Tuesday 14 March
Cameroon’s 2017 cycling tour: Eritrean cyclist wins third lap- 13h15
Erithrean born Tesome Hagos Meron of German Bike Aid Club, is winner of the third lap of the 14th edition of the International Cycling Tour of Cameroon.
The third lap took place along the Mbanga-Limbe highway on March 13, 2017 covering a distance of 101km. Tesome Hagos Meron won the race in 2h:44mins:29 seconds. He was closely followed by another German, Holler Nikodemus of the same club. Bellan Juraj from Slovakia of the Dukla Banska Bystrica club won the 3rd position. Many denizens in the Southwest region reportedly snubbed the tour due to the ongoing protest activities in the region.
On the overall classification table, 21-year-old Dutch cyclist, Van Engelen is on the lead
- Monday 13 March
Hosts Zambia beat Senegal to lift Under-20 Africa Cup of NationsBBC - 16h05
Hosts Zambia is the winner of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations
Zambia beat Senegal 2-0 in the final at the Heroes stadium in Lusaka. There had been fears that Zambia, who had looked impressive all tournament, may crack under the weight of expectation but the junior Chipolopolo held their cool to go into the break leading 2-0. For Senegal it was a tale of double disappointment having lost the 2015 final on home soil against NigeriaLink
- Friday 10 March
SA man and fiancee on ‘unlawful sex charge released’BBC - 16h14
All charges against a South African man and his Ukrainian fiancee over unlawful sex in the UAE have been dropped, South Africa’s Times Live newspaper reports.
Emlyn Culverwell‚ 29, and Iryna Nohai, 27, were reportedly arrested after a doctor discovered Ms Nohai, who had stomach cramps, was pregnant. They were arrested for sex outside of marriage, which is illegal in the UAE.
Mr Culverwell’s mother had pleaded for their release, saying “the only thing they did wrong was fall in love”. South Africa’s foreign ministry had not been able to help the couple as it was a matter of domestic UAE law, according to News24.
UK aid in Libya could be harmful – watchdogBBC - 12h42
An independent watchdog has warned that the UK’s aid programme in Libya could be harming vulnerable migrants.
About £9m is spent providing water and sanitation for refugees in detention centres, training Libya’s coastguard, and helping migrants return home. But the Independent Commission for Aid Impact says that support could be leading to more migrants being detained and denied a right to asylum.
The government said any such risks around aid had been considered. It added that it protected migrants’ human rights and improved their conditions. Libya is the main departure point for migrants attempting the sea crossing to Europe and is home to up to one million migrants and refugees, according to ICAI.
Nigeria sentences two policemen to deathBBC - 12h40
Two former policemen in Nigeria have been sentenced to death over the most infamous case of extrajudicial killing in the country’s modern history.Ezekiel Achejene and Emmanuel Baba were convicted of murdering two of the Apo Six – six young civilians who were shot dead in 2005.
Police initially tried to cover up the deaths, saying the victims were armed robbers who had opened fire first. But an earlier judicial panel of inquiry rejected that story. The government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo later apologised on behalf of the police for the killings and paid $20,300 (£16,700) in compensation to each of the families.
- Wednesday 08 March
Dakar Mayor detained for embezzlementJournal du Cameroun - 11h03
Khalifa Sall, mayor of Dakar, Senegal, has been arrested and detained for alleged embezzlement of public funds, falsification of documents and allegedly associating with criminals. He is accused alongside his collaborators who, according to the Dakar Magistrate Court are his accomplices.
- Monday 06 March
Kano Specialist Hospital rehabilitation: Dangote Fdn donates 200M nairaAfrican Press Organisation - 11h39
To complement its N7 billion Surgical and Diagnostic Centre (SDC) currently under construction, the Dangote Foundation has concluded the renovations of some sections of the Murtala Muhammed Specialists’ Hospital, Kano which gulped over N200 million.
The 900 bed capacity hospital, reputed for highest number of in-patients in sub-Saharan Africa has been lacking facilities that may detract from the new SDC being built by the Foundation, hence the decision to carry out the construction and renovation of the auxiliary facilities.
The Foundation is currently building a N7 billion Surgical and Diagnostic Centre at the hospital and the Foundation whose Chairman is from the State, said it was committed to its timely completion.
Africa, Middle East businessmen meet in SAAPO - 11h26
Sage, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll & HR, and payment systems, will highlight technologies taking business builders to a future of invisible accounting at the Sage Summit Tour in Johannesburg. Sage customers and business partners from around Africa and the Middle East will gather at the Sandton Convention Centre from 7-9 March 2017 to learn about new technologies, digital transformation and the future of work.
Speakers at the Sage Summit Tour will focus on how digital native young professionals and exciting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, mobility and automated data collection are re-shaping the workplace.
- Tuesday 21 February
Morocco king signs 19 deals in ZambiaAfrica Review - 13h00
Zambia and Morocco have signed 19 agreements and memoranda of understanding to boost trade and bilateral relations. The agreements were signed Monday at State House in Lusaka where President Edgar Lungu hosted his Moroccan guest King Mohammed VI. Some agreements with Morocco were for the Zambian private sector and their Rabat counterparts. Highlights of the agreements include the opening of the air space between the two countries that will see Moroccan planes land in Zambia.
President Buhari writes Nigerians not to worry about his healthVanguard - 12h47
President Muhammadu Buhari has written Nigerians, demanding a longer period of rest and thanking them for the goodwill messages they have sent and are still sending to him as well as for the prayers for his health and well-being. Buhari wrote through his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Tuesday.
President Buhari had initially wrote the Senate to proceed to London on a 10-day working leave. He had written the Senate that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo will act on his behalf as President for the 10 days that he would be on medical vacation.
However, at the elapse of the 10 days, the President wrote the Senate again, demanding an extension of the leave on grounds that he needed to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.
Three deadly viruses likely to spawn the next pandemicIRIN - 12h35
A disease doesn’t count as a pandemic until it spreads worldwide – Ebola killed more than 11,000 people across West Africa before it was brought under control, and that was just an epidemic. The most modern pandemics include the Spanish influenza, circa 1918 (as many as 50 million killed), and HIV/AIDS (35 million dead).
As Chinese officials attempt to stem the latest bird flu outbreak, global public health officials are racing to get ahead of what they call the next “big one”: a disease that will kill tens of millions. It’s all about preparedness, and a large part of that is spotting outbreaks early, so action can be taken to contain any situation before it spirals out of control.
It’s anyone’s guess when and where the next major epidemic – or pandemic – might emerge. Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Nipah virus, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are the likely.