Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:55:00 +0000Measles in all 26 DRC provinces, 2019 death toll at 5,000 - WHO measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 5,000 people this year, many of them young children, the World Health Organization (WHO) has disclosed. Low immunization rates and high levels of malnutrition have fuelled the epidemic and high mortality rates, especially in North Kivu province, which is also suffering from an Ebola epidemic. A first measles vaccination campaign was launched to protect people against the infectious disease that has struck all of the country’s 26 provinces. A third phase of the campaign is planned, with the ultimate aim of reaching 18.9 million children across the country by the end of the year. Vaccination is most challenging in North Kivu due to insecurity following armed attacks that make some areas inaccessible to aid workers. The world’s second biggest Ebola epidemic on record has killed more than 2,200 people since mid-2018, but new infections slowed in recent months, the WHO said last week, while warning that Ebola was likely to resurge.Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:55:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's DSS attempts to rearrest leader of 'Revolution Now' protests Nigerian activist, publisher and politician who was released on bail on Thursday had to be smuggled out of the court when he reappeared for a hearing. Omoyele Sowore and another detainee were released after a High Court gave explicit orders to the state spy agency, the Department of State Services to execute a bail order. Previously, the DSS had flouted court orders for his release. On Friday (December 6), he was smuggled out of the courts by his lawyer Femi Falana after the DSS attempted to rearrest him. Sowore, who ran for president as an independent candidate in the 2018 election won by President Muhammadu Buhari, was arrested in August for calling for a revolution. In September, he pleaded not guilty to charges of treason, money laundering and harassing the president. He was granted bail on October 4 but has not been released by the Department for State Security which claimed the bail conditions had not been met. Last month Sowore’s supporters accused the security agency of opening fire on unarmed people staging a peaceful protest calling for his release. His continued detention has led to criticism of Buhari’s administration amid claims that human rights have been flouted in this case and those of other high profile figures such as the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria detained since 2015 without trial.Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:50:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com to adopt law against tribalism [Morning Call] plans to introduce laws against tribalism. The justice minister who defended the text amending Article 241 of the Penal Code in front of the National Assembly, said that the rise in tribalism and hate speech could compromise security and social cohesion. If the law is passed someone convicted of tribalistic crimes could face one to two years imprisonment and/or pay a fine of up to 3 million FCFA or 5000 USD. Africanews correspondent Lambert Ngouanfo updates us on the proposed law. @NyashaKMutizwaFri, 06 Dec 2019 08:45:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) decries anti-French sentiment in Sahel region [Morning Call] president Emmanuel Macron demanded West African leaders dismiss growing anti-French sentiment across the Sahel region if they want France’s military to continue its operations against Islamist militants. Rather than stabilising, security has progressively worsened making large swathes of territory ungovernable within the Sahel. There have been growing protests demanding France leave, accusing it of being in the region for economic reasons. Security and defense specialist, Dr Maurce Mahounon gives his analysis of the situation. @NyashaKMutizwaFri, 06 Dec 2019 08:40:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) of Gabon president appointed 'coordinator of presidential affairs' eldest son of Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, has been handed a political appointment at the presidency according to reports. He was appointed “coordinator of presidential affairs” on Thursday with the main mandate “to assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State.” The AFP news agency reports that the official announcement was made by the spokesman of the government, Edgard Anicet Mboumbou Miyakou, at the end of a cabinet meeting. The position of general coordinator of presidential affairs, which Noureddin Bongo, now holds was specially created at the end of the cabinet meeting. Its mission according to the government is to: “assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State and ensures the strict application of decisions.” Noureddin Bongo will therefore be a right hand man to his father Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009 winning his first seven-year term after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who led the country for 42 years. He won a second-term in contested polls of 2016. The mineral rich Central African country is currently undergoing a vast anti-corruption operation that has led to arrest of high-profile ex government officials including former leader of cabinet of the presidency, Brice Laccruche Alihanga. Eldest daughter discloses presidential ambition in 2016 Three years ago, Malika Bongo Ondimba Dossou, the eldest daughter of Ali Bongo wrote in a Facebook post that she had presidential ambitions. “I am mayor for two years now and I do not want to stop because I have huge ambitions for Gabon. Why not a woman President of the Republic of Gabon in 2022?’‘ she asked rhetorically. Malika, already into local politics was at the time mayor of the town of Akanda. Political opponents have routinely accused the Bongo family of wanting to turn the presidency into an ‘inheritance.’ Malika was educated in the United States, and also in France, where she studied international relations at the University of Sorbonne in Paris. She has worked with UNESCO and the UN in Geneva before returning to Gabon in 2009. She is married to Steve Dossou.Thu, 05 Dec 2019 20:45:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)'s anti-corruption march helped patrons keep fit - President president Yoweri Museveni says an extra benefit that citizens who joined an anti-corruption walk in the capital Kampala got was being able to exercise their bodies. Thousands of civil servants, police officers and supporters of the government took part in the December 4 march in Kampala. It ended with keep fit exercises at the end point. The president’s social media handle posted photos of the former military man engaged in the exercise routines. He said the march “symbolises our willingness to fight corruption. “Additionally, this walk has been a fitness exercise. The increase in cases of diabetes, heart diseases especially in urban areas is because people eat too much and do not exercise,” he stressed. The same time when the march was taking place, over in another part of Kampala, the police thwarted a rival protest organized by the main opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, for the same reason. Wednesday’s march however attracted tons of criticisms from some citizens and split opinion in the country. While the government machinery referred to it as an act of great commitment, members of the opposition said it is a sour joke, implying that the president uses corruption to stay in power. Since his rise to power in 1986, Museveni and his government have regularly been at the centre of cases involving the misappropriation of public funds.Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)'s cyclone-battered city of Beira submerged by rains city of Beira in Mozambique’s north has been submerged after heavy rains battered the place, the office of the Mayor said in a social media post on Thursday, December 5. The message accompanied with photos of the floods said large parts of Beira had been adversely affected by the rains. It said the situation had hit “at a time when the population seeks to rise after Cyclone Idai.” The Beira Municipal Council, added that it had okayed the opening of some canals to allow for water to run into the sea. It blamed the flooding largely on the irresponsible disposal of waste by residents. A journalist and rights activist, Zenaida Machado, wrote on Twitter that the city continues to experience extreme temperatures in the last few days. “Note… on Tuesday, thermometers in almost every Mozambican province, reached 40 degrees C. On Wednesday and Thursday it was bellow 20 in some places. No week passes without a heat wave or heavy rains. Heat waves used to be a thing of “once in a while,” she wrote in a tweet. Beira – gained international attention being the city most affected by Cyclone Idai. Beira back in March 2019 was was effectively cut off from the rest of the world and the country when the Cyclone arrived. It is simply: A port city in eastern Mozambique on the Mozambique Channel. The Channel in question is an arm of the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and southeastern Africa. Here are 10 key points about the barred, beaten and battered Beira: 1 – It is Mozambique’s fourth largest city coming behind Matola, Maputo City and Nampula. 2 – It is capital of the Sofala Province with an estimated population of 533,800 (2017 census). 3 – It is home to Port of Beira – a gateway for trade into the country as well as for land-locked Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. 4 – The city is situated at a point of convergence of the Buzi and Pungwe Rivers – two major water bodies of Mozambique. 5 – According to international Red Cross, 90% of Beira was destroyed by Cyclone Idai. 6 – The city was established in 1890 by the Portuguese. Its was originally called Chiveve – named after a local river. 7 – The name Beira was after the Portuguese Crown Prince Dom Luis Filipe who carried the title Prince of Beira. The renaming happened after the prince became the first royal to visit Mozambique in 1907. 8 – The city was one of the worst-hit during the civil war of 1977 – 1992, at a point a famous hotel housed an estimated 1,000 locals. 9 – The last major natural disaster that hit Beira was in 2000. Floods in and around the city left millions homeless. 10 – Some of its tourists hotspots include the following: Old Portuguese residencies, the Cathedral, Lighthouse, Macuti Beach, the port, small Venice and the Savanna Beach. Others are: Natural habitats the Forest in Inhangau, Praia Nova, Mira mar, the mangrove forests and walkways, the ruins of hotels, such as the Grande Hotel da Beira, Estoril, Don Carlos, among others. The local economy is also boosted by way of restaurants, cafes, bars or hotels and resorts that serve tourists who visit the area.Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:20:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) conditionally frees journalist after ex-diplomat's death after his arrest and detention by Somali authorities, a journalist who works with a number of international news outlets has been released, fellow journalists confirmed. “Said Fadhaye has got his freedom / passport back. He is now free to travel, seek medical help and continue with his journalism (work). But he will continue supporting the Somali government with their investigations whenever he is needed,” colleague Moulid Hujale said on Twitter. Said Fadhaye was reportedly held by Somalia’s security minister after a deadly incident in a suburb of the capital, Mogadishu. The incident in question was a firearm discharge at a security zone known as Halane. It led to the death of a prominent peace activist and former diplomat, Elmaas Elman. Said was with the deceased in the car when a bullet shattered the window killing her. He posted a Twitter thread of how the incident happened on November 23. Initial statement from the African Union mission in charge of the place said it was the case of a stray bullet because the base had in that period not recorded any firearm discharge. What happened on Wednesday (20th November) was the WORST & most traumatic experience in my life! My sister Almaas (AUN) & I flew from Nairobi that morning to Mogadishu for a workshop in Halane. 1/5— Said Fadhaye (@saidfadhaye) November 23, 2019 Somalia’s press rights record is one of the worst in Africa according to Reporters Without Borders, RSF. It is considered a dangerous terrain for journalists who are harassed by government and also targeted by insurgent group, Al Shabaab. The work of local journalists have been crucial in reporting on events across the country despite multiple threats. The press union has always pressed for authorities to respect the rights of its members.Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:25:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Orji Kalu, ex-Nigerian governor, jailed 12 years over $20.9m fraud former governor of Nigeria’s southeastern Abia State has been jailed 12-years for fraud by a court sitting in the commercial capital, Lagos. The country’s anti-graft outfit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, announced securing judgement on Kalu and two others in a fraud case that involved 7.65 billion naira (about $20.9m.) Also convicted were two other defendants, his firm Slok Nigeria and an official that served under him as Abia State governor. “The judge also ordered that Slok Nigeria Limited be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government,” EFCC statement added. He served two maximum terms as governor between 1999 and 2007. He is currently a sitting Senator representing Abia North. He won in the 2019 elections on the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress. He currently serves as Senate majority chief whip. BREAKING: N7.65Billion Fraud: Ex Gov. Orji Kalu Jailed Finally, a former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, who was prosecuted on a 27 counts by the EFCC has been jailed.#SayNoToCorruption #EFCCFightsForYou— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) December 5, 2019 State governors are powerful political voices and power brokers across Nigeria, most of them have serially been accused of high-level corruption but they are shielded by immunity whiles in office. A former governor of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose, is currently being probed by the EFCC. In the north central Kano State, the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, is the subject of a dollar bribe saga. Another ex-governor Rochas Okorocha is no stranger to controversy. He justified and built a number of statues with over $1m of tax payers money.Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:53:18 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) bans citizens from suing govt in African human rights court United Nations human rights office is urging Tanzania to reconsider its decision barring individuals and non-governmental groups from filing cases against it at the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. The continental court is based in the East African nation. Critics call this the latest act of repression by Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s administration. Amnesty International says the decision “will rob people and organizations in Tanzania a vital avenue to justice” in a country with a deeply flawed justice system. The rights group says most cases pending at the court are against Tanzania. Magufuli’s administration has severely restricted the activities of non-governmental groups and independent media. Tanzania’s government recently warned local media against quoting foreigners after the United States and Britain expressed concerns about irregularities in local elections. APThu, 05 Dec 2019 10:35:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com mishap off Mauritanian coast kills 58, over 80 survivors rescued of migrants who swam through rough Atlantic Ocean waters to safety from a capsized boat while 58 others drowned were receiving care Thursday in Mauritania after one of the deadliest disasters this year among people making the perilous journey to Europe. The boat that left Gambia a week ago had been carrying at least 150 people, including women and children. It was headed toward the Canary Islands when it tried to approach the Mauritanian coast to get fuel and food, Laura Lungarotti, chief of mission in the West African nation with the U.N. migration agency, told The Associated Press. “Many drowned. The ones who survived swam up to the Mauritanian coast close to the city of Nouadhibou,” she said. “The Mauritanian authorities are very efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present” in the northern city. At least 83 people swam to shore, the agency said. An unknown number of injured were taken to the hospital in Nouadhibou. It was not immediately clear whether anyone remained missing. Survivors said the boat had left Gambia on Nov. 27. There was no immediate statement from authorities in Gambia, where tens of thousands of people have set off in hopes of reaching Europe in recent years. Despite the country’s small size, more than 35,000 Gambians arrived in Europe between 2014 and 2018, according to the U.N. migration agency. A 22-year rule by former President Yahya Jammeh affected the country’s economy, especially for youth, and contributed greatly to the exodus. Since Jammeh fled into exile in January 2017 after a surprise election loss, European countries have been pushing to return asylum seekers. But Gambia’s economy still suffers. The coastal nation was shaken earlier this year by the collapse of British travel company Thomas Cook. At the time, Gambia’s tourism minister said the government convened an emergency meeting on the collapse, while some Gambians said the shutdown could have a devastating impact on tourism, which contributes more than 30% of the country’s GDP. APThu, 05 Dec 2019 10:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Sudan: U.S. plans ambassadorial presence after 23 years United States and Sudan plan to begin exchanging ambassadors after a 23-year gap, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday in the latest sign of warming relations between the two countries. The relationship between Washington and Khartoum has improved since the overthrow in April of President Omar al-Bashir and the formation of a civilian transitional government in August. The announcement that the two countries would begin the process of exchanging ambassadors again came during Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s first visit to Washington on Wednesday. “This decision is a meaningful step forward in strengthening the U.S.-Sudan bilateral relationship, particularly as the civilian-led transitional government works to implement the vast reforms under the political agreement and constitutional declaration of August 17, 2019,” Pompeo said in a statement praising Hamdok. The prime minister discussed strengthening ties between the United States and Sudan during his meeting in Washington with David Hale, the U.S. State Department undersecretary for political affairs. “After a 23-year interruption, it is great to see the start of the ambassadors exchange operation between Sudan and the United States of America. This is an important step towards rebuilding Sudan,” Hamdok said on Twitter after the meeting. Washington and Khartoum had been at odds for decades. The U.S. government added Sudan to its list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1993 over allegations that Bashir’s Islamist government was supporting terrorist groups, a designation that makes Sudan technically ineligible for debt relief and financing from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Last month, a senior State Department official said the United States may remove Sudan from the list and that the two countries no longer had an adversarial relationship. Congress needs to approve such a removal. Months of demonstrations over price hikes for fuel and bread and cash shortages led to an uprising against Bashir, who was toppled by the military in April. Sudan’s transitional government was formed in August and it agreed with the United States that it could start engaging with international institutions while still on a list of countries deemed sponsors of terrorism. REUTERSThu, 05 Dec 2019 10:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com not in Sahel for 'neo-colonialist or economic reasons' - Macron warns Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday demanded West African leaders dismiss growing anti-French sentiment across the region if they wanted France’s military to continue its operations against Islamist militants. France, the former colonial power, has the West’s largest military presence waging counter-insurgency operations in Mali and the wider Sahel, an arid region of west Africa just below the Sahara desert. Rather than stabilising, security has progressively worsened with militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State strengthening their foothold across the region, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso. The French government has faced criticism at home that its 4,500 troops are bogged down, while critical voices in the region have increasingly scorned Paris for failing to restore stability and anti-French sentiment has grown. “I want them (leaders of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania) to clarify and formalise their demands regarding France and the international community: do they want our presence and do they need it? I want clear answers to these questions,” he said at a news conference after a NATO summit in London. Thirteen French soldiers were killed in Mali last week taking France’s death toll since intervening in Mali in 2013 to 38. The soldiers died when their helicopters collided in the dark as they hunted militants. It was the biggest loss of French troops in a single day since an attack in Beirut 36 years ago when 58 soldiers died. “I can’t have French troops on the ground in the Sahel when there is ambiguity (by authorities) towards anti-French movements and sometimes comments made by politicians and ministers,” he said. Whereas French troops were hailed as heroes in 2013 after preventing an Islamist militant push to the Malian capital Bamako, there have been growing protests demanding France leave or accusing it of being in the region for economic reasons. “Given what we have lived through, I believe they owe us clarity,” Macron said. “France is not there contrary to what’s heard sometimes for neo-colonialist, imperialist or economic reasons. We’re there for our collective security and the region.” The most notable example of anti-French sentiment was last month when Salif Keita, a popular Malian musician, released a video on social media telling his President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to stop being subjected to the little kid Emmanuel Macron. Macron said he had invited the five Sahel leaders to come to Pau in southwestern France, where a regiment of last week’s fallen soldiers is based, on Dec. 16 to discuss the issue. “Their response is today a necessary condition for our troops to stay,” he said. REUTERSThu, 05 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Human rights defender Mahamat Nour Ibedou detained [Morning Call] Secretary-General of the Chadian Convention for the Defense of Human Rights (CTDDH), Mahamat Nour Ibedou, was detained on Tuesday and kept in police custody overnight. He is accused of defamation by President Idriss Déby’s nephew, Bokhit Bahar Itno after statement issued by the convention revealed and denounced Itno’s history of committing acts of torture.Thu, 05 Dec 2019 07:45:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) legislative elections set for February 2020 [Morning Call] calls for boycotts from some opposition parties, the Cameroonian government confirmed that it will hold the legislative and municipal elections on 9 February and arrangements will be made to ensure the smooth running of the polls. The vote, originally scheduled for 2019, has been postponed twice for security reasons, including the armed separatism that has ravaged the English-speaking part of the country since 2017. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 05 Dec 2019 07:30:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) good December two most common things that happen during the December holidays, is one, lots of traveling, and second, it is the time when most people are most generous. One of the top travel trends of 2019 according to a report by World Tourism Organization(UNWTO),is that most travelers are traveling ‘to change’, live like a local, in a quest for authenticity and transformation. It is in this line of thinking that some people choose to travel to volunteer. Giving their time, skills, and energy to an issue or cause to help make a difference in communities around the world as part of their vacation package. Which is popularly known as voluntourism. While there are those that travel for the sole purpose of volunteering and everything else is a bonus. “For me voluntourism is not what I would qualify as volunteering, however I know that it has the benefits, for example when we have our friends coming over to visit our tourism sites or you know, so within the process, they want to take some time and support a community project here, a community project there, which is good, but I also want to believe that this can be done in a much more better way, in a much more organized way and gradually again we are realising that some tour companies are organizing themselves in a way that when these tourists come, they also want to allow them time to volunteer. As a volunteer champion I would clearly tell someone, if you want to come for holiday, if you want to come for safari, just specifically come and do your tour in whichever way you please because we still welcome everyone who wants to come to our country, we still welcome any of our friends who are coming to our continent. But when you want also make sure that you are contributing, then find a best way that would make an impact of your contribution, find the best way you can do it in a more sustainable manner,” said Fredrick Sadia with over 20 years of volunteering and now part of management of the volunteering fraternity in Kenya, said it is important to note the difference Are African’s really keen on volunteering? The difference between traveling as a tourist and volunteer can be clear cut sometimes. Like the case of Faroe Island when it recently made headlines when it closed to tourists for maintainance but called for volunteers to help it rebuild. According to its website volunteers from 95 countries worldwide including Africans are taking part in the restoration of the north Atlantic nation. 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report by UN volunteers says that there are 12.1 million full time volunteers in Africa. “Volunteering in Africa is ripe within the formal sector as much as within the informal sector. So yes, there has been a lot of volunteer work and people are rising, I would tell you not necessarily the ordinary citizens but even the governments working towards assuring that volunteerism is one cross cutting means of implementation that is appreciated across board. For example, in Kenya, we’ve worked on a national volunteering policy which appreciate the efforts made by individual volunteers as well as organizations. And even at the moment we are working on a legislation that is going to anchor efforts that we want to make as a nation in the constitution. In Africa specifically we have countries that have taken a lead step for example we have in Togo, We have in Sierra Leone where they have a network there, something is happening in Malawi, something is initiated in Mozambique, we have volunteer initiatives in South Africa,” said the secretary and national coordinator, volunteer involving organizations society, Fredrick Sadia. What is the impact of volunteering? A 2017 Doing Good is Good for you study found that volunteering improves mood, lowers stress and builds self eteem, I would say so does travel. According to go oversees organization more than half the number of people who volunteer abroad have also volunteered in their home country. Fredrick said that measuring impact can be tricky, saying“There is an attempt we made as Kenya, to determine the contribution of volunteering to the economy. A baseline survey that was conducted comissioned by the ministry and the findings were up to almost 3.5 percent is what the volunteers or the volunteering efforts in Kenya are contributing to the GDP. So whether you want to look at it from the social sector, political sector, the economic sector, volunteerism still fits in. And we are working very closely with a team of researchers globally who are looking at, what would be the best template that we can come up with to help map the contribution of volunteers. Volunteerism has actually made me.I am a product of committing to serve communities. But what it has done in my life is to be abe to understand really, the need within communities and how, we can together work to achieve best solutions to respond to these challenges. So as an individual you see that it has given me the leverage to be really to understand what is happening around the world, it has also made me visit and travel across the world, and it has also helped me be able to learn how to appreciate the troubles or the challenges that each of us from across this world are facing.” Volunteering or voluntourism, whatever your cup of tea is. I say go out there and do some good this december. Happy holidays. @fmlemwaThu, 05 Dec 2019 07:18:20 +0000editorial@africanews.com now Paris: Rwanda signs tourism promotion deal with PSG signed a deal on Wednesday with French soccer club Paris St Germain to promote tourism in the east African nation, its second such agreement since last year. “We invest part of our tourism revenues in strategic collaborations such as the one with Paris St Germain because we understand the positive effect they have on the overall perception of the country globally,” the Rwanda Development Board’s chief executive, Clare Akamanzi, said in a statement after the signing. Akamanzi did not say how much Rwanda would pay for the deal. A source close to the French club said it was worth between 8 and 10 million euros. Under the deal, PSG will promote Rwandan products, while messages promoting Rwanda will be displayed on its women’s team kit and in the club’s stadium. PSG said on Twitter that it had signed a deal “inviting the world to participate in the remarkable transformation of Rwanda”. Last May, Rwanda signed a sponsorship and tourism promotion deal with the English soccer club Arsenal. Rwanda earned $380 million from tourism in 2018, the central bank said last month, and was forecast to earn $405 million this year. It expects to earn $800 million by 2024, mainly from conferences and high-end tourists who trek with gorillas. REUTERSWed, 04 Dec 2019 16:40:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com govt orders 'meddlesome' EU envoy to pack off of the European Union delegation to Malawi, Sandra Paesen has been ordered to leave the southern African nation over what government says is her meddling in its internal affairs. Local news outlet, Nyasa Times reported earlier this week that the ambassador had been given a week to leave the country. Malawi had officially written to the EU protesting the involvement of ambassador Paesen in local issues among others joining an anti-rape protest few months back. The protest was associated with an allegation that police had raped some women in a suburb of the capital, Lilongwe. She asked government to “shed light on what happened.” NEWS UPDATE: The Head of European Union in Malawi, Sandra Paesen, will leave her post barely a year after assuming the role. Various diplomatic sources have confirmed her departure but there are conflicting reports on what has prompted her departure #NationOnline— NationOnline (@NationOnlineMw) December 2, 2019 “We want an investigation, (and) we do not want any violence against women in this country or any other country,” she is quoted to have said. The police says a panel had been formed to probe the incident which was reported by a local NGO that said it had documented instances of sexual assault against policemen. Paesen is the latest EU envoy to be asked out of an African country. Weeks ago, Benin also expelled the EU envoy over what meddling in internal affairs of the West African country. Neighbouring Zambia recently also engaged in a spat with the United States ambassador over the jailing of a gay couple. Daniel Foote said he was horrified by the ruling but Lusaka hit back pointing him to the fact that president Trump’s policy direction was in the direction of pro-family and anti-LGBTI ideologies. That’s right. #NoToSexualViolence #NoToViolence eu_eeas</a> <a href="">juergenborsch koen_vervaekeEU</a> <a href="">KoenDoens IrlEmbMalawi</a> <a href="">HollyTett— SandraPaesenEU (@SandraPaesenEU) October 25, 2019Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:54:05 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) and Côte d'Ivoire make progress on cocoa price agreement [Business Africa] yields for farmers in the cocoa sector. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire implementing the upward price adjustment of cocoa prices in their respective sectors. A win for Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire which are successfully implementing long-term sustainability initiatives aimed at giving both cocoa producers and farmers decent livelihoods. This project was established after several meetings and discussions with all relevant partners involved in the cocoa production and processing process in both countries. Kenya Airways strives to stay afloat Kenya Airways hopes to capture a larger market share in the coming weeks. The airline is ready to do anything to maintain its stability and has not hidden its huge ambitions to make a profit despite the enormous losses recorded in recent months. The company has undertaken numerous reforms, including the appointment of a consultant to, among others, oversee the nationalization process.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:07:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com and gas exploration vs climate change [Business Africa] the African continent stop the exploitation of its energy resources such as oil and gas in order to conserve the environment? We get the perspective of the African Chamber of Energy in this episode of Business Africa. “The energy transition should be gradual and take into account the severe lack of electricity in Africa.” The statement from the African Chamber of Energy calls for a more responsible use of resources by Africans, in the face of the current climate change challenge. Emphasis is also placed on access to renewable energy, which unfortunately remains unrealistic in several African countries. In 2018, more than 645 million people had no access to electricity on the continent, according to the International Energy Agency. To discuss further, we are joined by El Hadji Alioune Diouf, a Commissioner for Economic Investigations and Professor of International Economics at the National School of Administration and the Polytechnic University of Dakar in Senegal.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:04:55 +0000editorial@africanews.com police blocks opposition leader's rival anti-corruption walk’s police on Wednesday blocked opposition leader Kizza Besigye from leading an anti-corruption march in competition with one organized by the president. Kampala’s Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango alleged the opposition was planning to create chaos in Kampala, the capital. “They were planning to cause chaos in the city,” said Onyango. Besigye “is at home and he is not under any form of arrest,” said Onyango. Besigye had been driving to the place where the anti-corruption walk was supposed to start when police stopped him and forcefully returned him to his home, which is still under police guard. Earlier, Besigye criticized Museveni for leading a government march against corruption. “He cannot be pretending to fight corruption because he is at the apex of state corruption in Uganda,” Besigye said of Museveni. After the walk, Museveni told government officials to recruit public servants based on their integrity. According to Transparency International’s 2018 rankings, Uganda is 149th of 175 countries for corruption. APWed, 04 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com animals stay off same-sex relations, we won't budge: Zambia prez’s President has stood by his nation’s strict anti-homosexuality laws. In an interview with Britain’s Sky News on Monday Edgar Lungu described homosexuality as “unbiblical and un-Christian,” and went on to liken it to bestiality. “We know that there could be people who are homosexual in Zambia. But we don’t want to promote it, because we frown upon it, the practice. Most of us say it’s wrong. It’s unbiblical, un-Christian and we don’t want it. “Even animals don’t do it. Why should we be forced to do it because we want to be forced to do it because we want to be seen to be seen to be smart, to be seen to civilised and advanced and so on. “If there are such countries which will allow bestiality, let them do it. But not here,” the president added. His comments comes amid a spat between government and the United States ambassador to Zambia over the recent jailing of a gay couple. Ambassador Daniel Foote said he was “horrified” by the 15-year jail term. Zambia’s Foreign Minister in a strongly worded statement asked the ambassador to refer to ongoings in Washington where president Trump was pushing pro-family and anti-LGBTI policies.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 11:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of Egyptian farmers rise as Ethiopian dam plan continues the construction of the “renaissance” dam is nearing completion, Egyptian farmers are already feeling the impact of this project on their crops. Under the shade of a tree, Mohamed Omar joined other farmers who were arguing about who would water his field first, while water from the Nile is scarce. Mohamed Ahmed, an Egyptian farmer and beneficiary of the Nile waters said: “When I discover it (the dam) would affect the amount of water, I worry. Not only me, but we’re all worried. It will be a devastation for all of us.” Another farmer, Ahmed Said, disclosed that the realities of the negative impact of the dam had already started manifesting: “Water was available every day for anyone to irrigate, but now we irrigate in rotation. “We wait for each other to irrigate, which causes problems between us for who will irrigate first, some wait 20 or 30 days. Lack of water puts pressure on us because we all want to irrigate our crops because they are at risk of rotting. It would cause losses,” he stressed. Egypt has been in a serious water crisis for years, due to population growth from 35 million in 1970 to 100 million today and also due to climate change. The Blue Nile supplies the country with most of its water for domestic use. Egypt hosted talks with Sudan and Ethiopia on Monday and Tuesday on the rational management of the Nile River following the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, GERD. Despite, Egyptians fearing the negative impact of this dam, Ethiopia has stated strongly that it was not going to retreat in its efforts to complete and operationalize the dam. Sudan on the other hand who are beneficiaries of the dam and also have concerns are however torn between considering the energy benefits that they are likely to get from the GERD. The latest round of talks between the three parties was after a November meeting convened in Washington, where the respective delegations met with President Trump and Secretary of the treasury, agreeing to resolve all differences.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 10:55:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) president joins anti-corruption walk, Twitter users react president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni joined a broad-range of citizens for an anti-corruption walk on Wednesday. Thousands of people from government agencies, religious, traditional and civil society leaders joined other citizens for the walk, the president said on Twitter. “I am very glad we turned up in big numbers as we continue the war towards a corruption free Uganda,” he added. But citizens camped under the president’s tweet that featured an aerial photo of the walk, expressing views about the causes of corruption, about government’s complicity in corruption and why the fight was bound to be lost. Others simply chose to poke fun at the president. One user wrote: “this government is the first government in possibly the entire world to protest against itself.” Another user wrote: “When corruption walks against itself.” Last week when the information about today’s walk was published in the media, opposition lawmaker and musician, Bobi Wine, rubbished the walk describing the president as “the godfather of corruption.” Museveni has been in power since the mid 1980s and is expected to contest when elections are next held. A legislative vote that removed age limit that would have made him ineligible was passed amid chaotic scenes in the parliament.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 10:50:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) of the day, December 4, 2019 samples the best pictures of the day’s news.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com dissapointed over Sadio Mané Ballon D'or snub [Morning Call] 2019 Ballon D’or ceremony saw Lionel Messi take the coveted award – winning it over Senegal’s Sadio Mané. Since former footballer and now Liberian president George Weah’s victory in 1995, no African footballer has managed to reach the podium. Voices are being raised to denounce what is considered as contempt of African footballers in Europe. @NyashaKMutizwaWed, 04 Dec 2019 09:30:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) Anti-corruption drive in full force [Morning Call] head of cabinet Brice Laccruche Alihanga was arrested on Tuesday as president Ali Bongo pushes on with his anti-corruption drive. Dubbed ‘Operation Mamba’, the campaign has led to several former government officials being investigated for embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds. Africanews correspondent Gerauds Wilfried Obangomé gives us more details. @NyashaKMutizwaWed, 04 Dec 2019 09:00:00 (Nyasha K. MUTIZWA) in Gabon brand boosted by local jam [Grand Angle] Medza Allogho set up her own brand of jam, the small jars of Ogooué. A homemade jam from local products processed and packaged by by Jessica and her small team. The idea, according to her, is to promote a brand of jam accessible to all.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 08:25:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com owned just vintage cars and little else - Lawyer clarifies hours after government officially released list of properties owned by former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, his lawyer reacted to the report dismissing large portions of the government list. According to lawyer Terrence Hussein the late president did not own any of the properties listed as being part of his estate, he admitted however that his client owned vintage cars. The state-owned Herald on Tuesday published an article that said Mugabe left behind $10m in cash and several properties. The report added that a will had not be found yet. Lawyer Hussein said none of the properties listed were in Mugabe’s name. “The Zvimba homestead is communal land and no title exists. It is state land. The Glen Lorne and Mount Pleasant properties [in Harare] are registered in the name of Zanu-PF,” in reference to the ruling party which Mugabe was leader of for the better of close to four decades. “The 10 cars are a vintage car collection which frankly had value only to him,” Mr Hussein added. The Herald report quoted Mugabe’s daughter Bona Chikowore as having written to the Master of the High Court in October, listing her father’s estate as including $10m (£7.7m) in a local bank, 10 cars, four houses in the capital, Harare, his rural homestead, an orchard and a farm. Mugabe, a liberation war veteran was president of Zimbabwe for 37 years until 2017 when he was ousted by the military. He died in a Singapore hospital in September at the age of 95.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 06:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) anti-corruption swoop: ex-cabinet chief latest detainee former head of Gabon’s cabinet Brice Laccruche Alihanga was arrested on Tuesday as ailing president Ali Bongo pushed on with his anti-corruption drive. Several former government officials have been detained by anti-corruption investigators in recent days. They include Tony Ondo Mba, and Noël Mboumba – former Ministers of Energy, Petroleum respectively. In Gabon, the director of cabinet is a powerful bureaucrat and politician. He oversees ministerial appointments and supervision. Gabon’s public prosecutor said the men are being held for embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, misappropriation and money laundering. Critics have said arrests are part of a plot to purge Bongo’s rivals disguised as a campaign against corruption. Alihanga is said to have played a key role to ensure political stability in the central African country, as Bongo spent months abroad recovering from a stroke that nearly took his life. Prosecution said he was taken before a probe to record a statement.Wed, 04 Dec 2019 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com plans food assistance for 4.1m 'stranded' Zimbabweans United Nations said on Tuesday it was procuring food assistance for 4.1 million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the population in a country where shortages are being exacerbated by runaway inflation and climate-induced drought. Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa, is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by soaring inflation and shortages of food, fuel, medicines and electricity. “We are very much concerned as the situation continues to deteriorate,” Eddie Rowe, World Food Programme (WFP) country director, speaking from Harare, told a Geneva news briefing. “We believe if we do not reach out and assist these people then the situation would blow up into a major crisis,” he said. The 240,000 tonnes of food aid, to be procured on international markets, represents a doubling of the WFP’s current programme in Zimbabwe. The agency aims to purchase supplies from Tanzania, in the form of maize grain, as well as from Mexico, and pulses from Kenya and potentially the Black Sea area, Rowe said. Zimbabwe has only had one year of normal rainfall in the last five and “markets are not functioning”, he said. “There are families that go to bed hungry without a meal a day,” Rowe added. Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government will scrap its plan to remove grain subsidies next year, a move it says will protect impoverished citizens from rising food prices, state media reported last week. Rights groups say at least 17 people were killed and hundreds arrested in January, after security forces cracked down on protests against fuel price increases. Police have banned further protests. “For a country that used to be breadbasket of southern Africa, the situation is nothing short of tragic,” WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher said. REUTERSWed, 04 Dec 2019 04:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com explosion at Sudan factory claims 23 lives least 23 people have died in a huge explosion that tore through a tile factory in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, the government said Tuesday. The blaze also injured nearly 130 people, several critically, the cabinet statement added, suggesting the death toll from the blaze could rise as the burned were being treated at local hospitals. The government said the fire erupted when a gas tanker exploded unloading cargo at the factory and has ordered further investigation. Video footage circulated online showing an explosion launch a ball of fire into the sky, sending workers scrambling for cover. Huge plumes of dense black smoke billowed above the plant. Firefighters cleared the area, Sudan state TV reported, pulling bodies out and leaving the factory a charred ruin. The government expressed its “deepest condolences” to the families of victims and wished a “swift recovery to all wounded.” The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. Sudan has suffered from various industrial accidents in recent months, raising concerns about the adequacy of health and safety regulations. Earlier this year, a fire caused partial damage to the presidential palace in Khartoum. APTue, 03 Dec 2019 16:44:24 +0000editorial@africanews.com wins 2019 Ballon D'or award, Mane fourth still waiting for the day an African player will win the Ballon D’or award after George Weah’s success in 1995. The 2019 edition was won by Argentine Lionel Messi. Sadio Mané came a distant fourth. A whole continent was waiting for Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah to cherish his dream of a second Golden Ball. But Africa’s hopes was dashed once again on Monday when the trophy was awarded to Lionel Messi during a ceremony held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France. It was sixth Golden Ball won by the Barcelona striker, who surpassed his rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the player with the most award. Worse, despite his exceptional season, Senegalese striker Sadio Mané failed to reach the podium while his Egyptian team-mate in Liverpool, Mohamed Salah, finished in fifth place in a highly talked about ranking. The podium was completed by the Dutchman Virgil Van Dijk and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo. The group stage of CAF’s inter club tournaments kicked off over the weekend. First with the Champions League, which started last Saturday. The start of the tournament was marked in particular by the very fine performance of two-time defending champion. Esperance of Tunis, who defeated Raja Casablanca 2-0, and are already leading Group D thanks to a better goal difference ahead of JS Kabily, who also won at home by 1 goal to nil against AS Vita Club of DR Congo. The group stage of the Confederation Cup also kicked off on Sunday. All the results are to be found on our website. The competition was an opportunity for the coach of Beninese club FC ESAE to outline their objective of participating in the Confederations cup. Egyptian club Pyramids FC are making waves in their maiden appearance in an African inter club competition by beating Enugu Rangers of Nigeria 3-2 at their own back yardTue, 03 Dec 2019 16:11:00 (Eric Oteng) Jumia closed two portfolios in 10-days: From Cameroon to Tanzania retailer Jumia Technologies , dubbed “the Amazon of Africa,” said on November 28 it had shut its e-commerce business in Tanzania in a review of its portfolio. Jumia, which has seen its share price plummet since a Wall Street debut in April, also suspended its e-commerce business in Cameroon on Nov. 18. It brings the number of running operations to twelve. “We have to focus our resources on our other markets. It is more important now than ever to put our focus and resources where they can bring the best value and help us thrive,” the company said in a statement. Its operations spans different regions of Africa from North to East, West and Central Africa. It operated in 14 countries as at April 2019. Its biggest operation was in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria. With an e-commerce business similar to Amazon’s and a classified portal like Alibaba’s, Jumia sells its own stock and takes a cut of third-party transactions on its website. But that business model has yet to pay off. Jumia missed revenue estimates for the second time in three quarters, according to results announced this month. Its Tanzanian e-commerce business ceased on Nov. 27, the statement said. Jumia said it would continue to service vendors and customers via its classifieds business. Jumia shares were trading at $6.31 on Thursday. Jumia became the first African tech stock to list on Wall Street in April 2019. Its shares tumbled in the months that followed despite a high after listing. The business, Jumia Technologies AG is a German-based e-commerce outfit. It operates an online marketplace for African consumers to buy and sell goods. The platform connects its 81,000 sellers with 4 million active customers as at close of December 2018. The company offers a number of products which includes dresses, leggings, skirts, polo shorts, belts, watches, sunglasses, health and beauty products, a range of kid products etc. REUTERSTue, 03 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com leader Mugabe left behind $10m, several houses - Report wealth of Zimbabwe’s former longtime president Robert Mugabe was long a mystery. Now the first official list of assets to be made public says he left behind $10 million and several houses when he died in September. Some in Zimbabwe view that estate as far too modest for Mugabe, who ruled for 37 years and was accused by critics of accumulating vast riches and presiding over grand corruption. The report by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday does not mention any overseas assets, though it is thought that Mugabe had properties in neighboring South Africa and in Asia. The report says there appears to be no will, though lawyers are still looking for one. The report cites the lawyers as saying the law stipulates that Mugabe’s wife, Grace, and children will inherit the property in that case. Mugabe also left behind a farm, 10 cars and 11 hectares (27 acres) of land that included an orchard at his rural home where he was buried. His daughter, Bona, registered the estate on behalf of the family, the report said. More than a dozen farms are publicly known to have been seized from both black and white farmers by the deceased’s family. Mugabe died of cancer in a Singapore hospital at age 95 nearly two years after he was forced by Zimbabwe’s military and ruling party to resign. Many in the southern African nation say the country he left behind has fallen deeper into economic and political crisis, with a growing hunger problem that a United Nations expert last month called “shocking” for a state not at war. Half of Zimbabwe’s population, or more than 7 million people, is experiencing severe hunger, the U.N. World Food Program said Tuesday, calling it a “vicious cycle of sky-rocketing malnutrition that’s hitting women and children hardest.” It plans to more than double the number of people it helps to 4 million but said delivering aid will be complicated by “surging prices” for basic items and a regional drought that has hurt food supplies. Critics blame the overall crisis on the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has struggled to fulfil promises of prosperity since taking power in 2017. APTue, 03 Dec 2019 12:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com in Congo's Goma call for justice after attacks by suspected Islamist rebels [No Comment] in the Democratic Republic of Congo are calling for justice from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) following the death of a colleague during the recent Beni protests.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 12:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com! Trump hails 'wonderful' Nigerian artist who drew his portrait of the United States, Donald J. Trump on Monday retweeted a portrait of himself done by a Nigerian artists who goes by the Twitter name Creative Doks. The artist said it was his second portrait of the American leader adding that he had spent 70 hours using a ball pen to achieve the portrait which stood at 24×21 inches. “This is my second portrait of President Trump, This time I really want him to see it… Please RT (retweet) till the president sees this,” the message accompanying his tweet read in part. He tagged the accounts of the president, that of his son, Donald Trump Junior and his official POTUS (President of the United States) account. But the president known for his prolific tweeting seems to have notice and responded same. “Not only did I see it Doks_Art, I think it is fantastic. You are a wonderful artist, never give up your dream!” Trump tweeted. Trump’s post has generated over 27,500 retweets and over 97,100 “likes” with the artist’s tweet beating Trumps retweets with 37,900 retweets and “likes” of 78,400. This is the second time that Trump is actively engaging an Africa-related tweet. Months back, he retweeted a video of a female football juggler. The exploits of the Tanzanian lady further went viral following which she was interviewed by a number of international news outlets.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 11:45:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) 'disowns' Jan. 2020 border reopening, Buhari says no set date president Muhammadu Buhari has clarified that there was no fixed date to reopen the country’s closed land borders. A tweet from the government’s official handle quoted the president as saying there was no date for reopening borders that have been shut since August triggering a trade crisis among its neighbours. The president added that the only condition that would precipitate a reopening will be when the reasons for the closure is resolved. The President has also commended the actions taken by the President of Niger Republic, Muhammadou Youssoufou, including the dismissal of officials and a ban on use of the country as a dumping ground for Nigeria-bound smuggled goods.— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) December 2, 2019 A recent report quoted officials as saying that borders were due to be reopened in early 2020. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, has stressed that the measure was to check the incidence of smuggling in and out of the country. Weeks back, Nigeria issued orders banning the sale of fuel within a certain radius of its borders. The move received backlash but the government has persisted in enforcing it. Analysts have expressed grave concerns within the context of Nigeria’s unilateral closure and refusal to budge despite repeated engagements by its neighbours. They also hold that the situation is a slap in the face of subregional protocols of free trade and movement by ECOWAS and also bad precedent as Africa readies to welcome the continental free trade area, AfCFTA.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 11:33:29 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) of the day, December 3, 2019 samples the best pictures of the day’s news.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com advisor Nathalie Yamb expelled from Ivory Coast [Morning Call] Yamb, political activist and executive advisor to the opposition party for freedom and democracy (LIDER), has been expelled from Ivory Coast. This comes after her criticisms of the French presence in Africa and the use of the CFA franc currency, made at the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in October. LIDER president Mamadou Koulibaly, explains the situation.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 09:25:00 (K. Nyasha MUTIZWA) countries cautiously embrace Artificial Intelligence [SciTech] giants, data scientists and entrepreneurs are exploring the potential that artificial intelligence can have in critical sectors like agriculture, health and education. In September, the Dakar Institute of Technology (DIT) opened its doors, offering artificial intelligence programming courses. Its mission is to train local people in using data to solve pressing issues like the impact of climate change on crops. In Cameroon, a new mobile phone app called Agrix Tech allows farmers to photograph a leaf affected by blight and then, using AI, diagnoses the problem and recommends treatment. A project launched in Kenya this year also uses AI to crunch big data and give smallholder farmers recommendations such as when to plant, in a bid to avert food shortages, according to French technology firm Capgemini. The Global Information Society Watch (GISW) last week published a report highlight the potential and actual impact of artificial intelligence on human rights, social justice and development in different countries in the Global South. We talked to Daniel Mwesigwa, a technology analyst who wrote the GISW report for Uganda. What are some of the AI projects highlighted in different African countries? The Huawei Smart Cities program is basically a project that helps governments to monitor cities, that is through installation of CCTV cameras that are equipped with facial recognition which is also part of AI, that can read people’s faces and know who they are, that can read number plates, and also can read how people walk, so even if you cover your face. So the smart city project in 12 African countries including Uganda, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and a couple of others. What some of the sectors where AI can do the most good in Africa? A very crude way of defining artificial intelligence is pattern recognition, so because computers and machines have become incredibly good at this stuff, it means that there is a very big opportunity in gaining efficiency, especially in sectors where Africa is lagging. In Agriculture for example, which is the biggest employer in very many informal economies, efficiency can be gained through use of collecting data. You can use drones equipped with cameras to surveil large fields and predict possible yields. Why do you caution Africans and their governments to keep their guard up as they embrace AI? I think its very important because if we do not heed to the advice of thinking cautiously about AI and its deployment, we are going to have catastrophic outcomes. Because most of the AI is being developed externally, we are getting technologies from China, telecommunications companies are getting AI tech from IBM. So most of this stuff is coming from outside and Africa is a test ground of sorts. And we are just taking this tech without thinking of its impact on livelihoods, security and the economy. What do you recommend should be done to lead this cautious approach to AI? I think its important that we have this conversation informally in the media or through townhall meetings, where people can know that they are being watched beyond the deployment of CCTV cameras. So we know that the government actually has a database where they are reconciling your face from the street to the national Id, and from the national id to your biometric and in turn this data is being fed to a telecommunication network to determine whether one should get a loan or not. @danmumbereTue, 03 Dec 2019 08:00:00 (Daniel Mumbere) withdraws boat donation to Libya over migrants mistreatment’s government has decided against sending six boats to Libya’s navy, amid aid groups’ concerns that the vessels would be used to take migrants to detention centers known for widespread abuses. Eight advocacy organizations sued the government earlier this year, saying the donation of inflatable boats would violate a European embargo on Libya and make France complicit in abuse. A French Defense Ministry official, without elaborating, referred Monday to “the situation in Libya” in explaining the decision to not go through with the delivery. The official was not authorized to be named in discussing the decision. Lola Schulmann of Amnesty International’s France branch said the aid groups’ legal team received notice from the Defense Ministry confirming the decision. Europe has relied heavily on the Libyan coast guard to intercept migrants. APTue, 03 Dec 2019 06:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com dam talks: Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan hold technical meeting in Cairo irrigation ministers of three key Nile basin countries have kicked off high-stakes negotiations in Cairo about Ethiopia’s soon-to-be-finished mega-dam project, which Egypt says threatens its water supply. Joining the ministers Monday were American and World Bank officials. It’s the second round of technical talks on the dam since a breakdown prompted Egypt to appeal for international mediation. The White House stepped in last month, hosting the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, who agreed to move talks forward. Months of meetings have so far failed to yield consensus on the dam’s most contentious issues, including a timetable for filling the reservoir. Egypt fears Ethiopia’s $5 billion project, set to be Africa’s largest hydraulic dam, could reduce its share of the Nile, a lifeline for Egypt’s 100 million people. APTue, 03 Dec 2019 05:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com president mourns 14 victims of 'barbaric attack' on church president of the West African nation of Burkina Faso has confirmed that 14 people were killed in an attack on a Protestant church in the country’s east. Going on Twitter, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said Sunday that he condemned “the barbaric attack” in the town of Hantoukoura. He said several people also were wounded. Kabore offered his “deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded.” Extremists have been active in Burkina Faso since 2015. Jihadists have attacked police stations and churches across the country’s north but also recently have struck in the east. In November, gunmen generally believed to be Islamic extremists attacked a convoy carrying employees of a mining company in that region, killing at least 37 people. APTue, 03 Dec 2019 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Navy to be based in Djibouti, command HQ in Bahir Dar (Report)’s naval presence is to be revived soon after its dissolution in 1991, a privately-owned portal, “Capital Ethiopia reported on Monday: Given that the country has no coast, neighbouring Djibouti will be hosting its operations whiles the headquarters will be based in Bahir Dar, located in the northern Amhara regional state. Reviving its naval operations was one of the major announcements Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made during his inaugural speech to the legislature back in April 2018. In March this year, during a visit to the country, French president Emmanuel Macron stated that his country was helping Ethiopia to reestablish its naval footprints. “We have just signed a new defence cooperation agreement, which provides the framework for enhanced cooperation and paves the way for specific support for France in setting up the Ethiopian naval component you have requested,” Macron said. Options that were available to Ethiopia aside Djibouti included Sudan and Eritrea – the latter’s independence is the reason Ethiopia does not have direct access to the sea. “A source following the case, told Capital that the government has decided to locate its initial base at Djibouti,” the report said. “Sources indicated that during his latest travel to Djibouti on the third week of October the naval base issue was discussed by Abiy with Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti,” it added.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 04:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com PM soldiers on with new party despite opposition from top ally Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is pressing on with plans of the new Prosperity Party despite an open opposition by a close ally and Minister of Defence Lemma Megerssa. Abiy on Sunday (December 1) met with other leaders of seven of the nine regions of the country to sign a document that officially marked the unification of the EPRDF into the new party. Megerssa, a former president of Oromia regional state – Abiy’s home region – told the VOA Afaan Oromo service last week that he opposed the new party and that the ruling party in Oromia – the Oromo Democratic Party, ODP, had issues to resolve before entering such an arrangement. The Prosperity Party, PP, is a national party that was formed following the dissolution of the current four-member ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF. The ninth regional state, Tigray, were not present because they had opposed the merger and subsequent dissolution of the EPRDF calling it an illegality. Abiy signed on behalf of the ODP which he leads, his deputy Demeke Mekonnen signed for the Amhara Democratic Party whiles the Southern Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Movement was represented by Peace Minister, Muferiat Kamil. The five other allied members of the EPRDF had their leaders signing at the event. They are now full members of the PP as Ethiopia heads into elections next year. The government insists the vote will go ahead despite security concerns.Tue, 03 Dec 2019 03:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com tells pro-gay US envoy: Trump's policies are pro-family, anti-gay United States ambassador to Zambia says local government officials have condemned him for saying he was “horrified” by the sentencing of a local gay couple to 15 years in prison. Ambassador Daniel Foote told reporters Monday he would not be intimidated by officials in the southern African nation, where same-sex relationships are criminalized. It is a legacy of British colonial-era laws, as with several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The ambassador’s statement last week said the men’s consensual relationship hurt no one while “meanwhile, government officials can steal millions of public dollars without prosecution.” Zambia’s foreign affairs minister, Joseph Malanji, says the government is sending a protest letter to Washington over the remarks and accuses the ambassador of meddling in Zambia’s internal affairs. The minister in a strongly worded statement pointed the ambassador to recent U.S. policy which under Trump is pointing towards anti-same sex legislations after the Obama era took a more liberal approach. Contents of his response posted by a local news website Mwebantu, read as follows: “I was persuaded to comment because of the current position of the United States on the matter which appear to differ sharply with Ambassador Foote’s stated position. “But what is happening in the United States about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer summarised in the now famous acronym of LGBTQ? “It is clear to all observers, that by his actions, by his public statements, by his tweets, by his key appointments and policies, President Donald Trump is pushing pro-family policies, and has taken a strong stance against policies that promoted wanton procuring of abortions. “It also clear that he wishes to roll-back aggressive pro-LGBTQ policies and federal funding promoted by his predecessor, President Barack Obama. It should be stated that; President Obama hurt us, Obama hurt Africa!” he added.Mon, 02 Dec 2019 16:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com president vows safer roads after crashes claim 26 lives’s president is promising to improve his country’s poor road safety record after 26 people were killed in a bus crash — and then a car transporting one of the bodies was reportedly hit by a train. The Health Ministry on Monday raised the death toll to 26 from the accident when a bus carrying Tunisians on an excursion plummeted off a hill in the Beja region Sunday. Seventeen people were injured. Local radio Mosaique FM reported that a car carrying one of the victims was struck by a train Monday in the neighboring Kef region, killing a 21-year-old woman. Mourning the dead, President Kais Saied promised to “do everything in my power to deal with the consequences of the disaster and fix what can be fixed.” APMon, 02 Dec 2019 16:05:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com countries protest rogue diplomats: Zambia, Benin, Rwanda, Somalia, DRC, Burundi is a delicate business that is duly defined as the ‘art of dealing with people in a tactful way’, and comes in handy on occasions where different countries’ interests collide. African nations play host to several diplomats, who weigh in on the affairs of their hosts’ governments, and in the process take the risk of unsettling the relations between any two countries. Diplomats are often granted certain privileges and immunities to ensure they may effectively carry out their duties, and also allow for maintenance of government relations, including during periods of difficulties and armed conflict. While diplomats may not be prosecuted by the host countries, they can be ordered to leave, often within a short period of time. Article nine of the Vienna convention says the host country can declare any member of foreign diplomatic staff as “persona non grata” and require them to be removed. This can be done by a state “at any time and without having to explain its decision”, it adds. In this article, we look at actions by diplomats that have provoked their host countries to take the drastic action of expelling them. Zambia sends protest letter to Washington In December this year, Zambia protested the US ambassador’s reaction to jailing of a gay couple. The country’s foreign affairs minister Joseph Malanji told journalists he would send a protest letter to Washington. US Ambassador Daniel Foote said he was ‘personally horrified to read about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no-one’. Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba were last week sentenced to 15 years in prison by the High Court in the capital, Lusaka. ‘‘To question (the judiciary’s) decision by a representative of a foreign government is tantamount to questioning the Zambian constitution,’‘ Malanji said. ‘‘Until the Zambian constitution is changed to accommodate that, the courts will always rule according to the Zambian constitution.’‘ Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia. Benin expels EU ambassador Benin in November 2019 ordered the European Union’s ambassador to the country to leave citing political interference. The statement described Ambassador Oliver Nette as “harmful,” whiles reiterating that the West African country had nothing against the EU. “He has interfered too much in domestic affairs,” an anonymous government official told the AFP news agency as saying. “He constantly calls on civil society to protest against the government,” he added. Rwanda ‘expels’ German ambassador Germany’s ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. Peter Woeste left the country on March 30, three months after the Kigali government told authorities in Berlin, they would no longer work with him. Rwanda accused Woeste of making ‘inappropriate and abusive’ remarks towards the country and its president, Paul Kagame. “He made inappropriate remarks about Rwanda and about our President. We wrote to Germany showing why we could no longer work with him and they decided to recall him. Our relationship with Germany remains strong,” Olivier Nduhungirehe, State foreign affairs minister told the EastAfrican newspaper. Woeste presented his credentials in October 2016. The details of Woeste’s ‘inappropriate and abusive’ remarks are not yet known. This is the second time Rwanda is expelling a German envoy, having ordered the German representative to leave the country in 2008, after the arrest of its former chief of protocol, Rose Kabuye at an airport in Frankfurt. Somalia expels UN envoy This week, Somalia expelled the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, accusing him of interfering with national sovereignty. Haysom had written a letter dated Dec. 30 to Somalia’s interior security minister expressing concern over “the alleged involvement of UN-supported Somali security forces in the arrest of Mukhtar Robow on 13 December, the deaths of 15 civilians…on 13, 14, and 15 December…and the arrest of approximately 300 people involved in the demonstrations on 13, 14, and 15 December”. Robow, the individual referred to in the letter, is a former Islamist al Shabaab militant whose bid to become a regional leader in the country in an election last month was blocked. READ MORE: Somalia expels top U.N. official over arrest of ex-Shabaab leader DRC expels EU envoy Last month, the Democratic Republic of Congo took a decision to expel the European Union ambassador, Bart Ouvry as a reaction to the renewal of EU sanctions against Congolese officials including the ruling coalition’s candidate in a presidential election. The government had lobbied to have the sanctions against its officials lifted, but the EU Council voted in December to maintain the sanctions which were first imposed in 2016. ‘‘On 10 December 2018, the Council extended the restrictive measures currently in place against the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 12 December 2019. The sanctions comprise an asset freeze and a ban on entering the European Union and are targeted at 14 individuals.’‘ READ MORE: DRC gives EU quit notice, nationwide protest over excluded cities Burundi vs U.N. Human Rights office Burundi’s government has taken several actions against the United Nations office in its country, including asking that ‘all international staff are redployed’ and that the office closes ‘within two months’ from December 2018. In April 2018, Burundi cancelled the visas of human rights experts deployed in the country to investigate crimes against humanity, that could have been committed in the country. Burundi had suspended collaboration with the human rights office since October 2016, accusing it of “complicity” in the drafting of a UN report that highlighted “serious violations” of human rights and possible “crimes against humanity” by Burundian authorities. SUGGESTED READING: Burundi clashes with AU over arrest warrant against ex-President While the affected diplomats face the consequences of leaving the country hastily, and could end up on blacklists for those particular countries, relations between the governments and international institutions like the United Nations often continue.Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:33:00 (Daniel Mumbere) more than China's social media censorship: Nigerians dare govt reacted to the country’s call for social media regulation by tasking the government to match China’s development rather than simply emulating its social media censorship policies. The e reactions followed a call for social media regulation by Nigerian first lady Aisha Buhari. The first lady told the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs General Assembly and National Executive Council Meeting over the weekend that social media ought to be regulated before it gets out of hand. “If China can control over 1.3 billion people on social media, I see no reason why Nigeria cannot attempt controlling only 180 million people,” she reportedly said. “We should either fasten our seat belt, get up and do the needful or we will all regret it very soon.’‘ Nigerians online were not amused by the statement that comes as the senate considers a social media bill. Dear Aisha Buhari China also kills their corrupt Politicians, we would love Nigeria to start practising that first. Your Aide stole over N2bn, where he saw that money only you know.— King Nonny ? (@Zaddy_nomso) November 30, 2019 If China that has 1.3 billion people can have almost zero unemployment, what of Nigeria that has only 180 million If China that has 1.3 billion people can have good roads, water, hospitals, schools etc what of Nigeria that has only 180 mn Aisha Buhari should advocate for this— M Abba (@M_Abba_) November 30, 2019 If China can do this, if China can do that! We can't copy China to become a country that produces electronics, We can't copy China to become a super power. We only want to copy China when it comes to repressive policies. The Aisha Buhari delusions.— Young Otutu (@YoungOtutu) November 30, 2019 I agree with Aisha Buhari that China regulates TV. Aisha should also agree with China on the policy of hanging corrupt politicians. She should also agree with China on limiting the family members of their politicians from studying and living abroad.#mompha #NairaMarley— Emperor (@DeLordEmperor) November 30, 2019Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:00:00 (Daniel Mumbere)