Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Wed, 22 Jan 2020 09:20:00 +0000Displacements in Ethiopia's Oromia region amid recent fighting fighting between state forces and armed groups in Ethiopia’s Oromia region has led to displacements in the region, the largest and most populous in the country. The privately-owned Addis Standard portal quoted the United Nations as confirming that displacements had taken place in the Guji zone of Oromia region. Specifically in various kebeles of Seba Boru woreda, “hundreds of people have been displaced to the neighboring Darme town, the capital of Darme woreda administration,” the portal said. Most of the displaced ware without proper shelter and are struggling to make ends meet. “The IDPs are now living in a deplorable situation in Darme town, about 200 killometres from the zonal capital, Negele,” the UN said, adding that “Most of the IDPs had no time to bring their properties with them because of the tense fighting between the UAG and Government forces.” UAG are “unidentified armed groups” operating in parts of the Oromia region. The U.N. agency OCHA’s Humanitarian Needs Overview report of January 2020 identifies such groups as key drivers of conflict in Africa’s second-most populous nation. The report read in part under “Conflict and inter communal violence”: During 2019, there were frequent incidences of inter-communal violence as well as clashes between Government forces and unidentified armed groups (UAG) in various pocket areas. While violent events were registered in all the country’s regions, the bulk of hostilities occurred in western and southern Oromia. The national army has been deployed to deal with security situation in parts of Oromia after a number of regional state officials were killed by armed groups. Security has been a key issue for upcoming national elections in the country. Analysts and political watchers cautioned government to ensure durable security before during and after the elections which are seen as a stern test for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The government flatly denied proposals for a postponement of the polls on the issue of security. Ethiopia’s internal displacement figures topped globally in 2017 and 2018. Millions were resettled amid complaints that some of the over 1 million people were being forced to insecure areas.Wed, 22 Jan 2020 09:20:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com will seek extradition of Isabel dos Santos - Chief Prosecutor authorities have vowed to explore all possible means to bring back Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of the country’s former president. Thousands of recently leaked documents claimed that Dos Santos, dubbed Africa’s richest woman, made her fortune by ripping off the Angolan people. Speaking on public radio on Monday, Helder Pitra Gros, Angola’s prosecutor general, said he would invoke international mechanisms to bring Isabel Dos Santos back to the country. The prosecutor did not specify what channels they would use to bring Dos Santos back. She stopped living in Angola after her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos, stepped down in 2017. Dos Santos denies the allegations made in the leaks. She says she is the target of a campaign meant to discredit her and her father. The Angolan judiciary accuses Isabel dos Santos, along with her husband of having embezzled, more than a billion dollars from public companies such as state oil firm, Sonangol. As part of the accusations, Dos Santos was slapped with an asset freeze by a court in Luanda at the end of 2019. She’s is one of the high profile victims of president Joao Lourenco’s war on corruption which began when Dos Santos was removed as boss of Sonangol in 2017.Wed, 22 Jan 2020 09:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com attack, burn market in Burkina Faso killing 36 attacked a market in Burkina Faso’s Sanmatenga province, killing at least 36 people and wounding several others, the government said Tuesday. The gunmen then burned the market, according to a government statement. The violence is the latest in a surge of attacks in the West African nation’s north that led to the displacement of more than half a million people last year. The government urged people to collaborate with defense and security forces to restore safety. President Roch Marc Kabore called for two days of national mourning beginning Wednesday for the victims of the attack. For years, Burkina Faso was spared the kind of Islamic extremism that affected neighboring Niger and Mali, where it took a 2013 French-led military intervention to dislodge insurgents from power in several major towns. Militants staged a January 2016 attack in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, that killed at least 30 people at a cafe popular with foreigners. The following year, 18 people were killed at a Turkish restaurant in the capital. Attacks intensified in 2019 across northern Burkina Faso, and jihadists have gained more ground. APWed, 22 Jan 2020 09:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com widening gap between the rich and poor [Business] recent study released by the Government Accountability Office in the US reveals that the expanding gap between rich and poor is not only widening the gulf in incomes and wealth in America. But that it is also helping the rich lead longer lives, while cutting short the lives of those who are struggling. Almost three-quarters of rich Americans who were in their 50s and 60s in 1992 were still alive in 2014. Just over half of poor Americans in their 50s and 60s in 1992 made it to 2014. Over the past 40 years, the gap between rich and poor communities has increased dramatically, an American Sociologist, Robert Manduca believes a large measure of the change can be chalked up to rising income inequality. In view of this, the UK-based non-governmental organisation Oxfam as world and business leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos released a report highlighting that the gap between rich and poor is widening globally. The report, titled “Time to Care,” comes out amid anti-inequality protest movements taking place in many parts of the world. Oxfam India’s Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Behar explained that the unequal distribution of income and wealth is problematic and contributes to exacerbating poverty across the globe.Wed, 22 Jan 2020 05:20:38 (DIBIE IKE Michael) Cameroon's hyper-erotic dance giving women an artistic 'voice', a dance celebrating sexuality and relationships, has taken centre stage across Cameroon in the past three decades. The form arose in patriarchal communities where women were forbidden “to raise their voices in public”, Cameroonian ethnomusicologist Jean Maurice Noah wrote in his book on the subject. Olivia Beyene, Bikutsi singer said: “That’s the soppy, frilly side, that’s what it is. It’s a bit seductive too, it’s part of bikutsi, especially on stage and it’s specific to Cameroon, it’s specific to the Cameroon bikutsi show.” An artistic director says Bikutsi is hyper erotic, sensual and expresses what is basic. The, ground, the earth, the essence and at the end of the day, and at the end of all that we have done, there is what is essential to man, to human being, a rapprochement between man and woman. Olivia adds: “It’s kind of popular. In Cameroon the population likes it, the population likes the perverse side, that’s what attracts attention. It’s just to attract attention and to play to the gallery. But if not, behind all this, there is always a message to convey.” Bikutsi was born in pre-colonial times in the fang, bulu and beti ethnic areas of central and southern Cameroon, where women would gather together after a hard day’s work, without the men, to sing and dance of joys, sorrows and frustrations. In this era of freedom, some women expressed, the pain of living next to a violent husband, while others shared the secrets of a successful marriage with the younger ones.Wed, 22 Jan 2020 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com to waive visa fees for Africans, Commonwealth, OIF citizens - Kagame is considering waiving visa fees for a broad category of visitors entering the country, president Paul Kagame is reported to have said in London. The waiver if eventually passed will mean that all Africans, citizens of Commonwealth nations and the Francophonie will be admitted into Rwanda without having to pay visa fees. According to the state broadcaster, the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, RBA, Kagame disclosed the proposed exemption as part of his engagements in London, where he attended the maiden United Kingdom – Africa summit. “The Commonwealth is a community of values, with continued relevance for today’s world. More than one-third of its member states are African. These are the reasons why Rwanda chose to join in 2009. “In that connection, we are soon considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda,” President Kagame said. Next June, Rwanda will host the 26 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM 2020. Rwanda’s visa-openness has earned it top place as one of the most open in the yearly visa openness index publications. Rwanda from January 1, 2018 started a global visa free entry for all travelers. A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said all travelers could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime. That being the case, some entrants were required to pay a fee where applicable. The November 16, 2017 document read in part: “30 days visa upon arrival – Citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior approval, starting 01 January 2018. Before that, only African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.”Wed, 22 Jan 2020 04:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) president assures of peaceful 2020 polls, mute on candidacy president Alassane Ouattara says he is ready to ensure that peaceful polls are held in the West African nation later on this year. The president was speaking at event organized by Chatham House in London. Ouattara was in town for the maiden United Kingdom – Africa summit which was held on Monday, days to the UK’s exit from the European Union. The session was under the theme: “Elections in Côte d’Ivoire in 2020: ensuring stability and inclusion,” as part of his presentation, the president presented the Ivorian model of economic development from 2012 to 2019. “I want to reassure the audience about the political stability and control of the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and to reiterate my commitment to work for the organization of peaceful, free, transparent and democratic elections,” he said. The president was however mute on whether or not he will be a candidate in the next elections. Ouattara had earlier this year said he would propose “modifications to the country’s constitution,”: even as he rubbished claims by the opposition that he plans to sideline opponents from this year’s presidential elections. In ceremonies to mark the New Year, Ouattara said, “In the first quarter of the year, I will put to parliament proposals for modifications to the constitution.” The aim is to make the constitution “more coherent… to further consolidate the state of law and bring institutions closer to our fellow citizens,” he said. He has been in office since 2010 he secured a second term in office in 2015 with elections meant to be held for his replacement. One of his main rivals, former ally and National Assembly president Guillaume Soro is currently in forced exile. Ivory Coast, one of the world’s biggest cocoa producers experienced a brief civil war prior to Ouattara coming into office. The country has been stable for the better part of the last decade except for a mutiny by soldiers which threatened to shut down the economy, it was later resolved.Wed, 22 Jan 2020 04:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) pipeline incident kills 4 in Nigeria's economic hub Lagos people were killed and several shops and vehicles destroyed by a fire after a vandalized oil pipeline went up in flames near Lagos over the weekend, according to local emergency services contacted by AFP. Mobile phone footage showed a huge blaze and thick smoke from the accident scene. Ibrahim Farinloye, an area coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, told AFP that his team found the bodies of two men, a woman and her baby at the scene of the fire. The incident took place in the Abule Egba region near the economic capital Lagos. This first-ever incident this year is the latest in a long series that has been going on for years. Pipeline accidents are common in oil-rich Nigeria. People looking to steal oil attack pipelines resulting in fires and oil spills which contribute to ecological disasters. In the Niger Delta region, attacks on pipelines to siphon fuel for sale on the black market has become common place. Fuel shortages which are common in Africa’s biggest oil producer have fueled smuggling rings. The looting of oil pipelines followed by fires has become commonplace, fuelling a growing traffic of fuel that goes beyond Nigerian borders. AFPWed, 22 Jan 2020 04:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Haram beheads Christian leader in Nigeria Haram insurgents beheaded a Christian leader in their captivity on Monday, according to Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist closely covering the crisis in Nigeria and across the Lake Chad region. The journalist in a tweet said Reverend Lawan Andimi along with a soldier were were killed by the the terrorists at the same time. They released a video which the journalist described as “appalling executions.” Local media reports said the reverend belong to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN. He was a local leader of CAN in the Michika Local Government Area in northeastern Adamawa State. The CAN leadership in the state confirmed the execution adding that negotiations for ransom payments were well underway. The reverend was abducted early this year when the insurgents stormed Michika, they were repelled by the military but made away with the reverend as they fled. I am greatly saddened by the fact that the terrorists went on to kill him even while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties. This barbarism is condemnable. We will ensure that these terrorists pay a heavy price for their evil actions.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) January 21, 2020 Adamawa State CAN chairman, Stephen Mamza, deplored the circumstances leading to the murder, he said the insurgents had asked for £2 million but they had been able to raise only 50 million naira which was flatly rejected. The insurgents had told the deceased’s wife that they will execute him last Saturday but waited till Monday to undertake the act. Mamza spoke about how another clergyman was killed on Monday. “It is now clear that Christians are not protected by the government. We don’t feel like we have a government,” he is quoted to have said. The State governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, also condemned the incident as has Amnesty International’s local branch. On the subject of attacks on Christians, the CAN leader echoes a sentiment that is gaining currency but has routinely been rejected as untrue. Boko Haram violence does not discriminate be it age, sex, religion or social standing. One case that stands out in their abductions is of Leah Sharibu, a sole Christian abductee, in the 2018 Dapchi Girls swoop. Whiles all her colleagues were released, Leah was held because she reportedly refused to disavow her Christian faith. To break some news items can traumatize. I'm battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday. Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family.— Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) January 21, 2020Wed, 22 Jan 2020 03:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) died at Ethiopia Timkat event, 250 others injured - Official officials in Ethiopia on Tuesday confirmed 10 deaths and 250 people injured after a wooden platform collapsed during a religious event the day before. Thousands of people attended the colorful Epiphany celebration known as Timkat in the northern city of Gondar. “Ten people have lost their lives,” the Ethiopian Press Agency quoted the city’s police chief, Ayalew Teklu, as saying. “Thirteen people have sustained serious injuries, including four members of the security services.” Ashenafi Tazebew with Gondar University Hospital said more than 250 people had received medical care. Some 80 people remained at the hospital, Ashenafi said. The collapse occurred inside the Emperor Fasilides Bath in the city where several thousand Ethiopians and tourists attended the celebration commemorating the baptism of Jesus. The Ethiopian News Agency reported that more than 15,000 foreigners attended the event in Gondar. UNESCO late last year added Ethiopia’s Epiphany festivities to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which attracted more attendees. APWed, 22 Jan 2020 02:30:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com qualifiers for 2022 World Cup: Second-round group pairings Nile Ritz-Carlton hotel located in Egypt’s capital Cairo hosted the high and mighty in African football when the second-round draw for African World Cup 2022 qualifiers was held on Tuesday, January 21. Africa’s race to elect representatives for the next World Cup now enters the second-round with today’s draw. Forty teams were pooled into 10 groups of four after the draw. This qualifying phase starts in March 2020 and comes to an end in October 2021. Ten teams will make it after this stage. For the third and final round, the ten group winners will be drawn into five two-legged knockout ties to be played in November 2021. The forty teams pooled today comprised – the 14 winners of the first-round of qualifiers. They were joined by the 26 highest African nations in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking (as of December 2019). Only the section winners advance to the third round and final round. How the groups played out GROUP A Algeria Burkina Faso Niger Djibouti GROUP B Tunisia Zambia Mauritania Equatorial Guinea GROUP C Nigeria Cape Verde Central African Republic Liberia GROUP D Cameroon Ivory Coast Mozambique Malawi GROUP E Mali Uganda Kenya Rwanda GROUP F Egypt Gabon Libya Angola GROUP G Ghana South Africa Zimbabwe Ethiopia GROUP H Senegal Congo Namibia Togo GROUP I Morocco Guinea Guinea-Bissau Sudan GROUP J DR Congo Benin Madagascar Tanzania The pots Pot 1: Algeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Congo DR Pot 2: Burkina Faso, South Africa, Guinea, Uganda, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Benin, Zambia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire Pot 3: Madagascar, Mauritania, Libya, Mozambique, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Niger, Central African Republic, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau Pot 4: Malawi, Angola, Togo, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Djibouti Nothing more special than being reunited with your loved ones ??#WorldCup #WCQ FIFAcom</a> <a href="">FIFAWorldCup [via marceldesailly</a>] <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CAF (CAF_Online) January 21, 2020 How they shape up: FIFA Analysis of groups Pot 1: Maghreb nations looking strong The continent’s big guns line up in Pot 1, among them the five nations that represented Africa at the last FIFA World Cup: Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt and Senegal. Reigning CAF Africa Cup of Nations champions Algeria are in the hat with them. The Desert Foxes missed out on a place at Russia 2018 and will be anxious to return to the World Cup scene for the first time since Brazil 2014. The same goes for Ghana and Cameroon. Completing Pot 1 are Congo DR and Mali. The Leopards have not graced the world finals since Germany 1974, when they went by the name of Zaire, while the Eagles have never qualified. Pot 2: Côte d’Ivoire the team to avoid Two sides with World Cup experience figure in Pot 2: the formidable Côte d’Ivoire, who will be led by their fearsome strike duo of Nicolas Pepe and Wilfried Zaha; and South Africa, who have failed to make the big stage since hosting the 2010 tournament, an absence they are keen to end. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon and Naby Keita’s Guinea are two ambitious sides that will also pose a threat, despite their record of never having qualified. Burkina Faso, Uganda, Cape Verde, Benin, Zambia and Congo are also capable of big things and should not be underestimated. Pot 3: Outsiders with big ideas None of the teams in Pot 3 have ever qualified for the biggest tournament in football, though the likes of Madagascar and Mauritania have made significant progress in recent times and look increasingly capable of taking that last step. Joining them are Namibia, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, who have all been on the qualification campaign trail for several months now. The quartet emerged from a tricky first round and have designs on going further. Rounding off the pot are Libya, Niger, Kenya and Central African Republic, who all fancy their chances of causing an upset and making the third round. Pot 4: Potential surprise packages The fourth and final pot is an indication of the quality on show in the group phase, containing as it does two previous World Cup qualifiers in Togo and Angola. Alongside them are teams of the calibre of Tanzania – back in the limelight after appearing at their first Africa Cup of Nations in 40 years – Malawi and Liberia, who respectively knocked out Botswana and Sierra Leone in the last round. Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea also negotiated the preliminary phase and are aiming to make their presence felt in what promises to be an exciting second round.Tue, 21 Jan 2020 15:07:22 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) African Airways cancels flights as financial woes deepens African Airways financial crisis deepens, forcing the airline to cancel several local and international flights Tuesday. Eight more flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town will be cut this week. Twenty between Johannesburg and Durban, the airline said in emailed statement. Ten flights between Johannesburg and Munich were also canceled. The statement noted that ‘‘SAA will be reviewing further possible flight-schedule amendments over the coming days.’‘ Placed into bankruptcy protection last month, the SAA is waiting for the government to fulfill a pledge to provide it with some 2 billion rand or $138 million life line. This will enable it to keep flying. The Ministry of Public Enterprises, which oversees the airline said it is working to raise the money.Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:28:59 +0000editorial@africanews.com'2020, year of protests and action' - Zimbabwe opposition chief’s main opposition leader said Tuesday he will roll out anti-government street protests this year, declaring that the collapsing economy will improve only if political issues, including a long-disputed election, are resolved. Nelson Chamisa told hundreds of Movement for Democratic Change party supporters in the capital, Harare, that he will use the protests to push for a ”transitional authority” to run the southern African nation until credible elections are held. “This year is going to be a year of demonstrations and action,” he said to cheers. “It is time to fight for a Zimbabwe we all want, and have been dreaming of. Come what may, we will not be intimidated.” Zimbabwe held largely peaceful elections in 2018 in a transition from former leader Robert Mugabe’s nearly four-decade rule. But days later the military shot dead several people in Harare as opposition supporters protested a delay in releasing results. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe protege, has said Chamisa should accept the election results, but the opposition leader still asserts the vote was rigged even though the constitutional court threw out his legal challenge. Zimbabwe’s military and police have crushed subsequent anti-government protests, while opposition events are routinely banned. Police were uncharacteristically absent at Tuesday’s rally, although officers mounted roadblocks on roads leading into downtown and circulated with loudspeakers shouting: “Don’t be used, please go to work.” Local churches have failed to bring Mnangagwa and Chamisa to the negotiating table, while former South African president Thabo Mbeki, with the support of the regional Southern African Development Community, visited Zimbabwe late last year to push for dialogue. The economy has continued to deteriorate, erasing hopes of improved fortunes that greeted the fall of Mugabe in 2017. At the rally on Tuesday, his first this year, Chamisa said the military, which led the coup against Mugabe and continues to hold significant influence in political matters, should take part in any future dialogue. APWed, 22 Jan 2020 05:51:13 +0000editorial@africanews.com president picks new Prime Minister President Kais Saied on Monday appointed former finance minister, Elyes Fakhfakh as a new prime minister designate. Fakhfakh has been mandated to form a government as soon as possible,” the presidency said in a statement. The new PM designate proposal will have to gain the approval of a divided parliament, which this month rejected an earlier attempt to form a government. After months of negotiations that followed elections last October, parliament dismissed a cabinet list proposed under the leadership of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party. Ennahdha won more seats than any other party in October’s legislative election, but was still far short of a majority. AGENCIESTue, 21 Jan 2020 13:40:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com insecurity in Nigeria's northeast region [Morning Call] of Nigeria’s army Tukur Buratai has said counter-insurgency operations in the North East and other operations against insecurity in the west african country were on course. Buratai speaking on Monday in Abuja explained current indicators had revealed tremendous successes across the region. But how true is this going by the spate of kidnappings and insecurity in the Northeast? Our correspondent Ibrahim Abdulaziz gives us the latest from the regionTue, 21 Jan 2020 12:24:01 (Jerry Bambi) schools remain shut as unions suspend talks [Morning Call]’s teachers union have suspended talks and discussions with the government aimed at ending a strike that has paralysed the country’s education sector. Schools in the country have remained shut since January 9, 2020, in what has now become a recurring experience for pupils and students in the West african country.Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:23:35 (Jerry Bambi) PM to be questioned by police over wife's murder’s embattled prime minister Thomas Thabane is set to be questioned by the country’s police over alleged links to the 2017 murder of his estranged wife. The brutal assassination of Lipolelo Thabane sent shock waves through the tiny mountainous kingdom, which is entirely surrounded by South Africa. She was gunned down outside her home in Lesotho’s capital Maseru on June 2017, two days before the inauguration of her husband — with whom she had been embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings. The case was brought back into the spotlight this month by a letter from Lesotho’s police chief, which claimed that communication records from the day of the crime picked up Thabane’s mobile phone number. Dated December 23, 2019, it became public in court documents filed over a separate matter. On Monday, police summoned the prime minister to their office to “cast a light” on the 58-year old’s murder. “This case does not only attract the attention of Basotho nation (Lesotho) but it is of international concern,” deputy police commissioner Paseka Mokete said in a statement. Thabane, 80, said last week he planned to resign after senior members of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party accused him of hampering investigations into the killing. He gave no timetable for when he would be stepping down. He is expected to report to the police on Wednesday and vowed to cooperate with the justice system. “As the prime minister I have undertaken an oath to respect and protect the constitution and all other laws of Lesotho,” he told reporters in Maseru, promising to “get to the bottom of this matter”. Several high-profile figures have also been summoned to provide information on the case, including Thabane’s current wife Maesaiah Thabane. But police have been unable to trace her whereabouts since she failed to turn up for questioning on January 10. A court has since issued a warrant for her arrest. APTue, 21 Jan 2020 12:18:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Alpha Conde addresses Libyan crisis, Sahel, domestic politics [Interview] an exclusive interview with Africanews, Guinean President Alpha Condé reiterated his belief that the African Union must take the lead in solving crises on the continent. The 81-year-old leader was refering to Turkey’s recent entry into the Libyan crisis. Regarding the crisis in the Sahel, he however commended the agreement reached in France on the need to strengthen cooperation and concentrate forces in the areas bordering Niger, Burkina and Mali. On the political crisis in his country, he justified the need for a new constitution and spoke about the deaths of demonstrators .Tue, 21 Jan 2020 11:06:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com 2020: securing Africa's interests at World Economic Forum political and business leaders will join their counterparts at the annual World Economic Forum that kicked off on Tuesday in the Swiss city of Davos. Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo and United States president Donald Trump are among 3,000 leaders of business, politics and civil society expected at the forum. In this article, we will keep track of major news, speeches, meetings, deals and takeaways for the African continent from this meeting of the elite global business community. Who is attending? Ghana’s president who was in London on Monday for the Un ited Kingdom-Africa Summit is one of the African leaders who will be at the summit, along with leaders from the African Union. Actively participating and chairing sessions at 50th anniversary of #WEF in #Davos. #DigitalEconomy #Africa #Integration #energy & #transport are on my agenda— Amani Abou-Zeid (@HEDrAbouZeid) January 21, 2020 Notable absentees ‘Africa’s richest woman’, Isabel dos Santos is conspicuously absent from the meeting where she usually interacts with world leaders. Isabel, who is now a fugitive in her native Angola, is relentlessly using Twitter to defend herself from allegations of corruption and embezzlement of state resources. The Davos Forum organisers however insist that her participation was cancelled this month, before an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and 36 media partners alleged that she fleeced her country of more than $1 billion through unscrupulous dealings. It is not clear whether the forum or the daughter of longtime Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, cancelled the participation. READ MORE: Africa’s richest woman using Twitter to ‘clear’ her name The Presidency can confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa will not attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from 21 to 24 January 2020, and the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Monday 20 January 2020.— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) January 16, 2020Tue, 21 Jan 2020 10:03:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com shines beyond gloom of Libyan conflict, Brexit [SciTech] United Kingdom which will be leaving the European Union at the end of this world on Monday welcomed African leaders and innovators, with whom it hopes to strike mutually beneficial trade deals. Having toured several innovations from Africa, including a pavement that generates electricity, a solar-powered well and remote-controlled robots, the prime minister Boris Johnson took some time to highlight his country’s own tech offering. ‘‘We have the tech. We have ed tech, med tech, fin tech, bio tech, green tech, nano tech. Tech of all kinds. And we have by far the biggest tech sector anywhere in this hemisphere, the premier said. “If you want to come here to study in those universities, if you want to play a part in the high tech revolution, if you want to work with the titans of our financial world then you’ll be pleased to hear my friends that one thing is changing – our immigration system.’‘ Libyan engineers innovate for amputees A group of Libyan engineers are using smart technology and design to transform the lives of amputees in the country. They’ve formed a non-profit making social enterprise which fits people with high tech prostheses enabling them to live normal lives. “We first know what the amputee needs are, what he wants to do with this prosthetic hand, does he want to use it in his daily work…so we know his needs from this hand, how he wants to use it, so we envisage how to make this hand beneficial to him,’‘ Ayoub Khalifa, a Mechanical Engineer explained. The company, Abhath has a fully equipped laboratory for research and development, which provides the latest technologies for 3D printing and artificial intelligence. “We prepare a hand arm model from a mechanical standpoint and design it using programs such as SolidWorks or ANSES and then applying some tests to it using the computer, then comes the role of printing, which is the 3D Printing, we print the artificial hand, then we conduct tests on it using software first and then in reality.” @danmumbereTue, 21 Jan 2020 09:36:10 (Daniel Mumbere) - Berlin: Next Libya summit will be in Congo - and it's AU-led next meeting on Libya crisis will take place in Africa and it is an African union, A.U.-led process. It will take place in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. The January 30, 2020 meeting was communicated in a press release by the AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat after taking part in a Berlin conference over the weekend seeking to bring peace to the troubled North African country. The meeting will be under the aegis of the A.U. High Level Committee on Libya. The body “is expected to convene a follow up meeting in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 30 January 2020. “(it’s aim will be) to study the evolution of the situation in Libya, ahead of the February 2020 AU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” a the AU chief said in a statement. The list of people expected to attend has yet to be released. The Committee established in 2011, same year Gaddafi was overthrown, is currently headed by Congolese president Denis Sassou-Nguesso. Sassou was part of the leaders in Berlin over the weekend seeking a resolution to the crisis. In the last few weeks, Libya has been top of the agenda of mostly European countries. Two significant meetings were held first in Moscow, where a ceasefire agreement failed to hold as rebel chief Khalifa Haftar refused to sign. The Berlin meeting called by German Chancellor Angela Merkel invited international actors including all the permanent member states of the United Nations Security Council, with the view to to assist the United Nations to unify the international community in their support for a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis. Full Statement: Communique on the Libya Conference in Berlin The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat attended a conference on Libya in Berlin, Germany, at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel, alongside President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Chairperson of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya. The conference, which invited international actors including all the permanent member states of the United Nations Security Council, had for its objective to assist the United Nations to unify the international community in their support for a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis. The Chairperson reiterated the African position in support of a full and unconditional ceasefire, the respect for the UN arms embargo and the need for violators to face sanctions, and the return to an inclusive Libyan-led and owned political process that includes an effective follow-up monitoring mechanism. The African Union High Level Committee on Libya, established in 2011, is expected to convene a follow up meeting in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 30 January 2020, to study the evolution of the situation in Libya, ahead of the February 2020 AU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Tue, 21 Jan 2020 06:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Coast mourns Allah Therese, its icon of traditional music the president to prime minister, the Ivorian arts fraternity, other politicians through to Ivorians on social media, the West African nation is mourning one of the country’s most iconic traditional singers. Thérèse Allah, better known as Allah Thérèse, a traditional singer, loved across the country died at the age of 70 on Sunday evening at Djekanou General Hospital after suffering a short illness. She is revered as a pioneer of traditional Ivorian music music, and for her works was was made a Knight of the Ivorian Order of Merit in 2014. She was known for her signature hairstyle, “Akôrou Koffié.” She hailed from the village of Gbofia in the sub-prefecture of Toumodi located in south-central part of the country. President Ouattara led the tributes to her as did ex-National Assembly Speaker, Guillaume Soro. “It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of our dear Allah Thérèse, icon of traditional Ivorian music. Ivory Coast has just lost a great Lady, an artist admired by all, who will have marked many generations of Ivorians,” the president wrote in a social media post. “I offer my sincere condolences to the family of our dear Allah Thérèse, to his relatives, as well as to the entire Ivorian Nation,” he added in another post. No official communication has been made with respect to funeral arrangements. Her death follows that of young artist DJ Arafat who died in a motor crash in 2019. He was also mourned across the country and throughout Francophone Africa for birthing the “coupé-decalé” genre of music. C’est avec une grande tristesse que j’ai appris le décès de notre chère Allah Thérèse, icône de la musique traditionnelle ivoirienne. La Côte d’Ivoire vient de perdre une grande Dame, une artiste admirée de tous, qui aura marqué de nombreuses générations d’Ivoiriens.— Alassane Ouattara (@AOuattara_PRCI) January 20, 2020 C’est avec une grande tristesse que j’ai appris le décès de l’immense icône de la culture baoulé, Allah Thérèse. Au nom de tout le Gouvernement ivoirien et en mon nom propre, j’adresse mes sincères condoléances à sa famille. Puisse son âme reposer en paix.— Amadou Gon Coulibaly (@AmadouGon) January 20, 2020 Allah Thérèse en plus de 60 ans de carrière, avait su, au-delà des époques, incarner l’âme profonde de nos peuples et de nos terroirs, à travers ses chansons. La Côte d’Ivoire vient de perdre une icône. Repose en paix, Mémé. #GKS#CI225 #CIV #RIP— Guillaume K. Soro (@SOROKGUILLAUME) January 20, 2020 ▫️Nous avons la profonde tristesse de vous annoncer le décès de l’artiste Allah Therese, décès survenu cette nuit à 23h 10’à l’hôpital général de Djekanou. Elle y avait été admise ce matin suite à un malaise? Allah Thérèse, est une chanteuse traditionnelle originaire de Gbofia— La Côte d’Ivoire est Chic?? (@CotedIvoire_off) January 20, 2020 [#NEWS] C’est avec consternation et une grande tristesse que nous apprenons le décès de la célèbre chanteuse ivoirienne Allah Thérèse, décès survenu dans la nuit de ce dimanche 19 janvier à l’hôpital général de Djekanou où elle était admise pour divers malaises.— Life Magazine (@LifeMagazine_CI) January 20, 2020 La légende nous a quitté. La mémé Allah Thérèse vient de nous quitter. Décès survenu dans la nuit du dimanche 19 Janvier, à 23h, à l’hôpital de Djekanou. Vive éternellement l’artiste. RIP.— badciss (@Badciss) January 20, 2020Tue, 21 Jan 2020 05:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Leaks: Africa's richest woman using Twitter to 'clear' her name has proven the preferred outlet of defense by Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos in the wake of damning investigative report that said it had uncovered how she fleeced the country whiles her father was in charge for decades. The controversy surrounding dos Santos increased this week when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, and 36 media partners accused her of “two decades of unscrupulous deals.” Dos Santos took to Twitter to dismiss the investigation as lies. “The ICIJ report is based on many fake documents and false information, it is a coordinated political attack in coordination with the “Angolan Government”. 715 thousand documents read? Who believes that?#icij #lies” ICIJ report: This is perpetrated by political agenda to neutralize Isabel dos Santos. “Information” leaked by angolan intelligence services was used to manipulate ICIJ, and to further Angolan Authorities political agenda. Already:ICIJ Panama papers were disproved in UK High Court— Isabel Dos Santos (@isabelaangola) January 19, 2020 This ??????is what I do ! I build companies and enterprises, I invest and create jobs. This where my wealth comes from : BUSINESSES, please watch this video- building Candando my supermarket:— Isabel Dos Santos (@isabelaangola) January 19, 2020 According to the report, dos Santos, her husband and their intermediaries put together a web of more than 400 companies in 41 countries that over the past decade were awarded consulting jobs, loans, public works contracts and licenses worth billions of dollars from the Angolan government. The allegations were based on more than 715,000 confidential financial and business records provided by the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa, an advocacy group based in Paris, as well as hundreds of interviews. The cache of documents is known as Luanda Leaks, named for Angola’s capital, Luanda. December 2019 court order freezing Isabel’s assets Last December, a Luanda court froze dos Santos’s major assets, which include banks and a telecom company. The government says it is trying to recover $1.1 billion it says the country is owed by dos Santos, her husband and a close associate of the couple. Angola anti-corruption activist Rafael Marques urged Angolan and Portuguese authorities to investigate dos Santos for crimes. “Isabel dos Santos and her facilitators have to be investigated,” said Marques to the Portuguese New Agency, Lusa. ”“We are talking about money laundering schemes that have harmed Angola and the Angolans and should be seriously investigated.” One of the firms that worked with companies controlled by dos Santos was accounting firm PwC. Its CEO, Bob Moritz, told The Associated Press in Davos that it is conducting an investigation and has “ceased doing work for her and the organizations around her.” “I’m personally tremendously disappointed in terms of the association we had, and the fact that we didn’t get out of that relationship earlier,” he said. “But I’m thankful that we’re getting out of it now.” He declined to elaborate. PwC had longtime business dealings with dos Santos. Isabel pulls out of Davos summit The rapidly changing circumstances for Isabel dos Santos, widely known as “Africa’s richest woman,” is evident by her absence at the the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Instead of hobnobbing with world leaders in Davos, she is confronted with calls for her to be investigated for criminal corruption and is hotly defending herself on Twitter. Forum organizers said the participation of dos Santos, daughter of longtime Angolan strongman Jose Eduardo dos Santos, at the forum’s annual gathering in Davos was cancelled this month, well before an investigation alleged that she bilked her country of more than $1 billion through unscrupulous dealings. Forum spokesman Max Hall refused to specify whether the forum or dos Santos cancelled her participation. However, the forum says it’s maintaining its ties to one of the companies controlled by dos Santos. The forum said dos Santos’s company, Unitel, “remains a partner.” Such partner companies can pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of associating with the forum, which this week is hosting U.S. President Donald Trump and some 3,000 leaders of business, politics and civil society. The dos Santos era and calls for justice Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled the oil- and diamond-rich nation for 38 years until 2017. Human rights groups have long accused the former president of stealing vast amounts of state money during his rule. Despite the country’s wealth, poverty is widespread among Angola’s 30 million people and its standards of health and education are abysmally low, according to U.N. surveys. Isabel dos Santos said that she has amassed her fortune, estimated by Forbes Magazine at $2.2 billion, through hard work. She has said on Twitter that she will use all possible legal means to fight the legal actions against her and her companies. In London, Angola’s Minister of Economic and Social Development, Manuel Nunes Júnior, said Monday that no one is above the law. Junior spoke in London while attending the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, opened by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attended by Prince Harry. “We need to have a true rule of law in Angola. We believe that the rule of law is the essential element for the confidence of agents in the society in which we operate,” he said, according to Lusa. In response to questions from journalists the Angolan minister said that “no one can be above the law, the law must be the same for everyone.” APTue, 21 Jan 2020 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Haram cuts off Maiduguri from Nigeria's national power grid, capital of Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State is without electricity after Boko Haram insurgents cut off power supply from the national electricity grid. The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), confirmed in a statement on Monday, that the insurgents had damaged the electricity equipment serving the state capital and its environs. Ndidi Mbah, TCH spokesperson said the agency was making efforts to restore electricity supply in the area as soon as possible. “The Transmission Company of Nigeria hereby inform the public that Maiduguri and its environs have been cut off from the National Grid since January 17, 2020, due to damages to TCN’s equipment by insurgents,” Mbah said. “The incident affected the 330kV transmission line between Maiduguri and Damaturu. Also, the Damboa – Maiduguri 132kV transmission line has equally been disconnected from the grid for sometime, for the same reason. “TCN has located the fault on the Maiduguri – Damaturu line and has arranged to repair the line. Bulk electricity would be restored to Maiduguri on or before January 20, 2020. “TCN pledges to continue to work to ensure bulk electricity transmission and grid expansion nationwide. The company wishes to use this opportunity to commend the Nigeria Armed Forces for their continued support especially in areas prone to insecurity. “TCN regrets inconveniences caused by this problem to electricity consumers in the affected areas.” Reports indicate that the insurgents have carried out a series of attacks on villages located along a major road, Damaturu-Maiduguri, in the last one month. People have reported severally on social media how the road has become a death trap and have urged commuters to avoid that stretch. Maiduguri is birthplace of the decade-old insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions. The crisis has extended beyond Nigeria across the wider Lake Chad region. Cameroon’s Far North region has had its fair share of deadly attacks as has Niger and Chad.Tue, 21 Jan 2020 04:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) activist turned politician 'cries' over security idleness amid attacks politician and media owner Jawar Mohammed is accusing security forces of being passive during an attack on a building complex housing his media outfit, the Oromo Media Network, OMN. The activist turned politician shared photos of a damaged office complex he said was located in Harar, in eastern Ethiopia. He said aside OMN, offices of the party he belongs to, the Oromo Federalist Congress, OFC, were also attacked. The photos showed smashed glass windows on the building and also damage to a vehicle parked in front of the edifice. “Buildings hosting OMN and OFC offices in Harar were attacked today. While the mob was carrying the attack, security personnel were photographed watching idly,” he wrote. The incident was linked to a security situation that warranted federal intervention to restore order during skirmishes that arose in the celebration of the Epiphany also known as the Timket, an Orthodox celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ. Leader of the OFC confirmed to the OMN that their offices were attacked and property damaged. There has yet to be official word of any arrests over the incident. A stage collapse in northern city of Gonder also claimed ten lives according to AFP. Ethiopia heads to national polls in August, according to a tentative poll date, the issue of security has been top of the agenda as Prime Minister Abiy looks to oversee a democratic process for a fresh mandate. Celebrations were interrupted & gunshots were briefly heard when members of the fed. army intervened. Late this afternoon,Prof. Merera Gudina,Chairman of the opposition #Oromo Federalist Congress (#OFC), told OMN that OFC’s Harar office was attacked & its properties were damaged— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) January 20, 2020Tue, 21 Jan 2020 04:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Arabia unperturbed about ban on Iran hosting games of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation has said he is not concerned by Iran’s threat to boycott the 2020 Asian Champions League (AFC). Yasser Almisehal said Saudi clubs will be playing as usual. “The Asian Football Federation assesses the situation in the hosting countries, and the AFC Competitions and Executive Committees make decisions based on that, and when they think the situation is not safe to host matches in some country, they take the necessary measures. Saudi teams are ready to play anywhere. We only focus on our matters and interest. This issue is an internal one, it only concerns Iranians and we don’t want to comment on it”, he said. Saudi club Al Hilal won the title last year. It was the first time a team from the country had triumphed in Asia’s top club competition since Al-Ittihad triumphed in 2005. Iran has threatened to boycott the 2020 AFC Champions League if they are banned from hosting international matches. APTue, 21 Jan 2020 05:42:13 +0000editorial@africanews.com trains stakeholders to tackle fake drug menace the main streets of Brazzaville, or at the total market, several street drug stalls have been erected at the mercy of dust, bad weather and sunlight. This vendor, who sells street drugs is defending the practice. “First of all, they’re almost the same medicines. For me as a salesman, I can say that it cures like any other drug sold in a pharmacy or elsewhere. But, the preservation is what borders us because seeing these drugs exposed to the sun is a bit absurd”; Hermann Stephane Mabiala told our Congolese correspondent, Laudes Martial. Despite the obvious risks, consumers say these products are cheaper than those available in the pharmacies. “I prefer to buy on the street because they are expensive in the pharmacies. When they give you a prescription, you go into the pharmacy to ask for prices. But the money we often have at our disposal allows us to buy only on the street. Forgive us for buying on the street”, Riva Massa said. But not everyone falls for this. Others are well aware of the dangerous practice. “I like to go to the drugstore because the products on the street don’t work too well. Everything is exposed to the sun. I don’t really like to take this. It’s not good to sell the drugs on the street. In pharmacies they are rather well preserved. To keep my life, my health, I prefer to buy them in pharmacies”, fake drugs patron, Dany Massamba said. At a recently held training program for health sector workers in Brazzaville, experts recommended the population to purchase drugs from certified pharmacists. Dr. Edrène Mampouyath is an official with the Congolese health ministry. “When you think about that, you realize that you can’t really fight fake drugs if the ‘‘pharmaco-vigilance’‘ system is not well executed. Because it’s through ‘‘pharmaco-vigilance’‘ that you can strengthen the fight against fake drugs”, Mampouyath said. Street drugs are a real public health problem in Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 100,000 people die each year from fake drugs.Mon, 20 Jan 2020 21:13:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com skeptical about Isabel's bid for presidency are skeptical about the candidacy of Isabel Dos Santos for the presidency. In the capital Luanda, locals are uncertain about the political prowess of the eldest daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s ex-president. Jao Lusevikueno is a political analyst. “The big reality is whether she has political popularity to be elected. But I don’t think she does. “It’s hard to be wrong, especially with social media, where sometimes people want to take advantage of others for various reasons,” he said. For Luanda-based resident Diabanzila Barros, “I think she is free and has the right to run for president, but it is the Angolan Constitution that allows her to do so. “I am not sure, but if that is the case either her political party, the MPLA, presents her on a list of candidates or she has to create her own party. But the big question remains whether that party will be accepted,” Barros said. Isabella Dos Santos, run state-owned national oil company Sonangol when her father was president of the Central African nation. She revealed her intentions to run for the country’s 2022 presidential election, But this week, leaked documents revealed that Africa’s richest woman garnered her wealth through corrupt deals, according to New York-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Dos Santos took to Twitter to refute the claims. “My fortune is built on my character, my intelligence, education, capacity for work, perseverance”, she wrote. AFPMon, 20 Jan 2020 20:40:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com reactions greet post Berlin-Libya conference reactions on the streets of Tripoli following the aftermath of the Berlin conference on Libya. The conference led to an international agreement to re-launch peace processes in the country. “The truth is that the Berlin conference is like previous conferences in Skhirat, France or Rome. The most important thing is that there must be a consensus among Libyans themselves. There was no need for a different conference. Libyan reconciliation is necessary to reconcile our country”, Abdul Rahman Miloud, said. “The results of the Berlin conference so far, if both sides adhere to them, they will be successful. Firstly, the ceasefire will prevent bloodshed in the country. Libyans must sit down together and solve their problems”, Mohammed Boukhatouh said. But a peaceful solution to Libya’s protracted conflict remains uncertain despite the deal, according to some analysts. The two rivals Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-backed Government of National Unity, and his rival Khalifa Haftar refused to meet at the conference in Germany on Sunday. AFPTue, 21 Jan 2020 05:42:17 +0000editorial@africanews.com Union Sportive of Douala the best Cameroonian club side in history, Union sportive of Douala a one time national treasure today represents a shadow of its past. Nasara Gamakai in crisis, we take you over to Douala for the details. A series of top rated derbies on the continent as we take you to Zambia where Zanaco and Zesco united crossed the sword over the weekend, Supersports united beaten at home by Sundowns and we shall also look at the Senegalese top flight plus what made news in Liberian football over the weekend.   Customarily we take you to Europe where African players as the case will be every weekend scored goals in some of the top five European leagues, Mo Salah stole the show at Anfield as Liverpool silenced Manchester united 2-0 on Sunday. Mon, 20 Jan 2020 18:12:00 (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN) will be arrested, charged if he returns - Gambia govt Gambian government has publicly addressed surging calls for former president Yahya Jammeh to return from exile in Equatorial Guinea. According to Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou, the former president will be arrested and charged with crimes committed during his over two decades in charge. The Minister did not spell out what charges will be leveled against Jammeh even though a government commissions – on reconciliation and finances – have revealed gross rights abuses and pillaging of public funds through the better party of Jammeh’s 22-years in office. After over a year of hearings into the Jammeh dispensation: “it can no longer be ruled out that crimes against humanity have been committed in The Gambia,” the Minister is quoted to have said. The Minister was speaking over the weekend at the opening of the judicial year in the capital Banjul. President Adama Barrow was the special guest of honour at the event. Members of Jammeh’s APRC party held a protest last week demanding that the government implements an 2017 agreement that spelt out conditions under which Jammeh could return from exile. The former president fled in January 2017 under threat of regional military intervention. He had attempted to unilaterally overturn an election loss to then president-elect Adama Barrow. The West African country has had a protest-filled last few months. First was by a group demanding that the president fulfills a promise to serve three-years in a post Jammeh government. Subsequently a group calling for Barrow to see out his five-year constitutional mandate also marched through the streets. The pro-Jammeh march was the third whiles activists have planned a fourth one to counter that of Jammeh’s party. A group representing victims of the Jammeh regime say they will march to protest against his return and that even if he does that he be arrested on charges of rights abuse – torture, killings, sexual assault – which littered his presidency.Mon, 20 Jan 2020 16:50:14 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)'s Rüdiger says 'Sierra Leone is home', donates $100,000 towards education and German international Antonio Rudiger has donated $100,000 towards free education project by the Sierra Leone government. The player said it was his contribution towards the development of the country of his parentage. He made the donation when he met with President Julius Maada Bio in London on the sidelines of the ongoing UK-Africa Investment Summit. Rudiger said he was donating the money as his modest contribution to the President’s flagship project, which aims to support over two million children in primary and secondary schools in the West African nation. He further stressed the importance of education to the human capital development of a nation, adding that that was the bedrock for every national development. “Sierra Leone is my home. I’m not the talking type of a person, I am about action. You can count on us and do not hesitate. We are here to support your vision and agenda, especially on education. I am ready to take on my responsibility to change the narrative and image of Sierra Leone,” he said. The player’s links to Sierra Leone is via his parents who fled Sierra Leone during the war and resettled in Germany. Rüdiger assured the President that he was committed to supporting his government’s effort at rebranding the natural resource-rich country with huge potentials for investments. The Minister of Education, Dr Moinina David Sengeh who was present at the ceremony stressed that the funds will put to best use. First Lady Fatima Bio, who has been a strong advocate for girl child education and protection was also present. The player presented customized jerseys to the First Couple. Rudiger’s humanitarian work back “home” goes beyond this donation given that he has in the last few years paid for corrective surgeries for children with cleft lips and burns.Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:51:41 +0000editorial@africanews.com after Timket stage collapse in Ethiopia's Amhara region have been reported during a religious celebration in Gondar, located in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state. According to a freelance journalist, Vincent Dublange, a stage collapsed during the Timket celebrations which left dozens of injured. At the time of filing this report he tweeted a death toll of seven people citing sources whiles the Mayor’s office put the toll as three. Gondar hosted a high-level government delegation that arrived in town for the celebrations. President Sahle-Work Zewde and mayor of the capital Addis Ababa were among the delegation that participated in the events. “Several deaths and dozens of injuries reported from the collapse of a stand inside the Emperor Fasilades Bath in Gonder. Families have began to take bodies and the hospital has been overwhelmed with many forced to be treated in makeshift beds,” journalist Samuel Getachew disclosed on Twitter. Thousands of Ethiopian and Eritrean orthodox worshipers have joined the faithful across the world to celebrate the Epiphany. A festival that commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ according to the ancient Orthodox calendar. The colourful festival, also known as Timket is one of the oldest and most important observed religious festivals in Ethiopia. Church leaders carry representations of the box built by Moses to house the 10 commandments known as the Ark of the Covenant, as worshippers sing and dance in the streets. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian nations in the world. Despite the growing influence of Islam and evangelical churches in the country, the traditional Orthodox Church remains strong.Tue, 21 Jan 2020 19:30:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com Brexit nears, UK's Johnson pushes for deeper trade ties with Africa United Kingdom is positioning itself to be the ‘investment partner of choice’ for Africa, holding a summit with leaders of 21 African countries on Monday, days before it leaves the European Union (EU). Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, who secured the country’s January 31st departure from the EU trading bloc is determined to enter into new agreements with other countries. British companies run several projects on the African continent including smart street lighting in Nigeria and environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya. They have reportedly signed deals worth more than $7.8 billion ahead of Monday’s summit. The UK government says it has signed 11 trade agreements with African countries, and is expected to unveil a new strategy for development in Africa, focusing on infrastructure and trade. The Department for International Development says it is now focusing on digital technologies, green energy and women entrepreneurs. READ MORE: UK PM Theresa May courts AfricaMon, 20 Jan 2020 21:21:07 +0000editorial@africanews.com conflict: foreign powers 'withdraw' military support, back ceasefire powers backing rival governments in Libya have agreed to stop military interference in the country, and rather support ongoing efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire that could facilitate a political solution to the conflict. The resolutions were arrived at during a Peace Summit hosted by Germany on Sunday. In attendance were the presidents of Russia, Turkey, France, Egypt and the United States Secretary of State. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that countries with interests in Libya’s long-running conflict have agreed to respect a much-violated arms embargo. “Yes, we spoke to them individually, because the differences between the two parties are so great that they are not speaking to each other at the moment,’‘ Merkel explained highlighting the work that still needs to be done to resolve the conflict. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russian mercenaries and African troops are backing military strongman Khalifa Haftar while Turkey and the United Nations back the Tripoli-based government. READ MORE: Who supports who in Libya’s complex battlefield Merkel added that the participants at the peace forum agreed to continue holding regular meetings to ensure the process continues “so the people in Libya get their right to a peaceful life.” The rival governments also agreed to name members of a military committee that will represent them at talks on a more permanent cease-fire. “I cannot stress enough the summit’s conclusion that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya. All participants have mentioned it several times, during the meeting. Even those that are more directly involved in the conflict itself,’‘ said Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General. The summit was overshadowed by the blockade of Libya’s oil exports by Haftar’s forces. Haftar blocked the country’s main ports on Saturday to protest Turkey’s decision to send troops tin support of Tripoli’s UN-recognised government led by Fayez al-Sarraj. Libya’s National Oil Company says it could lose up to $55m as revenue from oil exports, as daily crude production reduces from 1.3 million barrels to 500,000 barrels. The oil-rich North African country has been torn by fighting between rival armed factions since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed president Muammar Gaddafi and toppled his regime. AgenciesMon, 20 Jan 2020 10:25:20 +0000editorial@africanews.com stars are chasing citizenship in Africa [This is culture] saw a lot of U.S-based celebrities and business executives visiting Africa for various reasons, but especially to trace their roots. Why this new found love for Africa? Watch Claudia Nsono talk with Tracye Campbell Fofie, an African-American who relocated to Cameroon in 2009, to get an understanding of the trend. @claudiansonoMon, 20 Jan 2020 09:13:01 +0000editorial@africanews.com criminalizes trafficking of fake drugs has agreed to criminalize the trafficking of fake drugs on the continent. This was reached in Lome, Togo on Saturday where seven African leaders and their partners held a summit to tackle the menace. The trafficking of fake drugs affects over 100,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa. “This is the first time that we Africans have tackled the problem of fake medicines and their trafficking ourselves. A scourge of which our continent is the first victim and whose consequences are dramatic for our populations. Africa must take its destiny into its own hands and engage in the fight against this deadly traffic’‘, Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé said. Our Serge Koffi who covered the summit reports that ‘‘the seven Heads of State made a solemn commitment at the summit to implement the Lomé initiative. Does this convention herald the end of impunity for traffickers of fake drugs? It is now up to governments to work towards the establishment of a framework agreement extended to other African countries with a roadmap to put an end to this deadly menace”, he said.Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:12:10 (Serge KOFFI) African aims to break own world record’s a world record that arguably nobody knows. But South African Vernon Kruger is ready to beat it, by spending more than two months perched in a barrel hoisted 25 metres above the ground. The 52-year-old professional scuba diver is trying to break his own record for the longest human stay perched in a barrel. In 1997, Kruger spent 67 days and 14 minutes on a barrel. 22 years later, Guinness asked him to beat his own record, which is still unbeaten. “Sleeping in this barrel is not very easy, I’ve had a lot of cramps and back pain since I’ve been here. It’s a very small place to curl up and I have to lie down in the fetal position. I wash myself, I have a little tub that I can fit in here, and then I wash myself, say, twice a week I go and take a bath”, Kruger said. So on November 14, Vernon Kruger was hoisted unto a 500-liter wine barrel on top of a 25-meter mast for a stay that he knew from experience was very challenging. “It’s getting a bit frustrating here, especially because I can’t do a lot of things on my own, I have to rely on the ground team. I need to rely on others for absolutely everything”, the Guinness World Record hopeful said. His ordeal is almost over. By Monday, he’ll have broken his own record. But he has not said what day he’s coming off the pole as yet. “Vernon won’t go down when he breaks his record, which is Monday. He won’t go down, he’ll stay a little longer. We haven’t been given a date, which worries us because we have to get him off”, co-organizer, Fiona Jones said. Kruger is planning to extend his ordeal by a few more days to support NGO’s for children relief and epilepsy, for which he raises funds. Plus, to keep his name in the Guinness Book of World Records. AFPSun, 19 Jan 2020 12:00:10 +0000editorial@africanews.com Pro-Haftar forces block oil exports the eve of the international summit in Berlin to relaunch peace process in Libya, supporters of Khalifa Haftar, the eastern Libyan commander have hit hard. On Saturday morning, his forces blocked the country’s main oil terminals in order to economically cripple the UN-backed Government of National Unity in Tripoli. In a press release, the National Oil Company reported a halt of exports in the ports known as “oil crescent”. It stated that this blockade will cause the country’s production to fall from 1.3 million barrels per day to 500,000 barrels. The shortfall will cost $55 million per day, the company added. Pro-Haftar forces justified their action of blocking the ports of Brega, Ras Lanouf, Al-Sedra and Al-Hariga. They said it was a sign of protest against the Turkish intervention in Libya. According to them, the oil revenues distributed by the Government of National Unity were being used to pay fighters from outside the country, particularly from Ankara. AFPSun, 19 Jan 2020 07:38:55 +0000editorial@africanews.com woman appointed to top Vatican post Francis has appointed Francesca Di Giovanni to be the new undersecretary for multilateral affairs in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. It is a first at the Vatican for a woman. Di Giovanni said she did not expect the appointment, but was looking forward to advance a “feminine point of view” in her new role. The Pope “surprised us, as he often does, with this decision”, Di Giovanni said. Speaking to local media on Wednesday, she said she had not yet had the chance to speak with the Pope since her appointment, but that she intents to write to him. APSun, 19 Jan 2020 09:54:06 +0000editorial@africanews.com, Meghan will no longer receive public funds, drop titles Harry and his wife Meghan Markle will no longer use the titles ‘‘royal highness’‘ or receive public funds, the Buckingham palace said Saturday. The news comes after a deal was struck for them to step aside as senior royals as they had requested. “This is an abdication, in a sense, from the Royal Family, by Harry. And he and his wife are now free to a certain extent to go and follow the dreams that they have to pursue very good works it would seem, in the widest possible sense. But no longer part of the royal business”, royal commentator, Alastair Bruce said. The palace also said, the couple will repay 2.4 million pounds, almost 3.1 million dollars of public funds used in renovating their home near Windsor Castle. In a statement, Queen Elizabeth II of England, said she was pleased that ‘‘together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family’‘. APSun, 19 Jan 2020 09:30:07 +0000editorial@africanews.com Funeral for slain protesters held funeral ceremony for protesters killed during clashes at recent anti-government demonstrations in Guinea was held Friday. The victims were the latest of crackdown on anti-government protesters by law enforcement officials. “I am always saddened to find myself here at the morgue to see these bodies carried, those of young people who are cowardly murdered by the Guinean government that is supposed to protect them. It is always a source of consternation when this happens, especially since what the Guinean people are asking for is not that much, it is just respect for the laws and principles that govern our society”, FNDC protester, Abdoulaye Oumou Sow said. Mamadou Hasmiou So is father of a victim. “In this country, lying has become commonplace. It is the authorities who encourage these lies. By the grace of God, that will change one day. I pray for that”, he said. Opponents of President Alpha Conde are against his move to review the constitution for him to run for a third term in office. A coalition of opposition parties is spearheading the protest, which has led to the death of some protesters during clashes with security officers. The group has suspended protest to allow for peaceful funeral ceremony. It said further protests will be held on January 21-22, 2020. AFPSat, 18 Jan 2020 14:06:10 +0000editorial@africanews.com police quell protest in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo prevented a forbidden march in Kinshasa on Friday. They kept a close watch on its instigator, opponent and former presidential candidate Martin Fayulu. The latter denounced the massacres in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. One person was slightly injured in the head by police officers who dispersed the gathering by firing tear gas. “They took the money from me, they hurt me. I wasn’t even in the march. Do you see how hurt I am? Do you see how hurt I am? I wasn’t even in the march”, an injured student, Jean-Paul said in tears. “We’re here for a cause. The cause is balkanization. On the administrative level the DRC is already balkanized, it’s just the realization on the ground. We can’t imagine how we can slit people’s throats”, Fayulu supporter, Blaise Benazo said. The police escorted Fayulu’s vehicle on foot, taking him home and preventing him from walking with his supporters after a morning mass in the popular district of Ndjili. Fayulu claimed victory in the presidential election of December 2018. He had called the march to denounce the massacres of civilians in Beni and the alleged “balkanization” of the eastern DRC, which he said would benefit neighbouring countries, starting with Rwanda. AFPSat, 18 Jan 2020 14:52:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com protest hits Malawi over election petition case of thousands of people gathered in Malawi on Thursday to protest against corruption. It’s a movement that began after the country’s supreme court chief justice accused five judges overseeing a legal challenge to President Peter Mutharika’s re-election last year of taking bribes. The complaint, which was filed with the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Monday, prompted a call for demonstrations in Malawi’s three main cities, bringing together nearly 50,000 people in the capital Lilongwe. Timothy Mtambo chairs the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in Lilongwe. “We are going to come back to the streets and we are going to demand the head of Mr. Matemba, the head of the anti-corruption bureau to say he should resign because it will be clear that he is not ready to address this issue”, he said. “I am going to march the entire route because I want justice to be seen. We cast our votes on 21 May but it is evident that the votes were stolen, so we are fighting for justice”, Angess Banda said. Opposition leaders say the 21 May poll, which saw Mutharika narrowly defeat the second candidate, Lazarus Chakwera, was marred by fraud. In August, they asked Malawi’s highest court to annul the results. It’s a first time the presidential election results have been legally challenged since the country gained independence from Britain in 1964. AFPSat, 18 Jan 2020 14:27:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com against Khalifa Haftar held in Tripoli protest in Tripoli on Friday against General Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan Arab Armed Forces and his supporters. Protesters gathered at Tripoli’s Martyr’s square in the centre of the Libyan capital. They are against an impending meeting on Libyan in Berlin Sunday. “Our opinion regarding the Berlin meeting is that we reject it, but since our government has decided that it will go, I would like to tell it to put in its perspective the blood of the martyrs and the sacrifices of young, wounded and displaced people, and to not let us down and be as bad as the situation”, a Tripoli resident, Dalila Franco said. For Salah Belhaj “After nine months they say that there will be a meeting in Berlin. We now have the power and became able to return him (Hiftar) back from where he came, and I myself will not agree with any meeting nor will I be accepting any dictators. We are a free people, a decent people, and a people that have suffered, and we have the men and the capacity to return him from where he came.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host world powers for the summit to discuss efforts at restoring peace in the North African nation. Mass protests also took place in the same day in the city of Benghazi to support the Libyan Arab Armed Forces. APSat, 18 Jan 2020 14:30:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com$20m out of $2 bn: Kenya recoups 1% of looted funds - Chief prosecutor Africa, the fight against corruption is a topical issue with leaders promising to root out the cancer and with opposition and activists accusing governments of lacking the will to prosecute appointees who dip their hands into the kitty. Kenya, an economic giant in East Africa has over the years been dogged with issues of corruption and financial mismanagement. The offshoot of which is a series of high-profile corruption related arrests and ongoing prosecutions. The coming into office of Public Prosecutor Noordin Haji was seen as a boost for the fight against corruption. Under his leadership charges have been leveled against top personalities – amongst them: a former finance minister, Henry Rotich, and flashy governor of the capital Nairobi, Mike Sonko. Haji, however admits that there is a lot to be done in securing convictions but also importantly with recouping stolen public funds. He told the BBC in a recent interview that the state has succeeded in recovering only 1% of stolen assets – Kenya has accrued $20m from corruption cases. The estimated amount of stolen funds comes up to $2bn. The country is ranked 144 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (score of 27%). President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged prosecutors to do all it takes to secure good conviction rates for the year. The president is himself the subject of corruption allegations by activists. Kenyans have often taken to the streets protesting the spate of corruption and demanding that the state takes action to save the poor – who are adversely affected by graft.Sat, 18 Jan 2020 07:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) names 1000-seater China-funded edifice after ex-president Jawara Gambian government has named a new conference facility after the country’s former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Jawara, Gambia’s first president died last year. President Adama Barrow was at the opening of the 1000-seater multi-purpose facility located in Bijilo, a suburb of the capital Banjul. It is located in the Bijilo National Park popularly referred to as “Monkey Park.” The ceremony took place on January 12, 2020. “I am delighted to have inaugurated the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo. Its construction was prioritised as a pre-requisite for hosting the 2022 Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Banjul,” the president said adding that the facility was “one of its kind in the region.” VIDEO: Go inside the world class Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center that will host the 2022 OIC Summit. See for yourself! Full video:— The Gambia OIC Secretariat (@oicgambia) January 11, 2020 The facility was built as part of “China Aid” to the country. The entire facility which overlooks the sea sits on an area of 14, 000 meters squared. It is made up of a giant United Nations General Assembly – themed conference hall which seats a 1000 individuals at a time. The president added that he was hopeful that it will attract / host meetings, incentive travels, conventions, conferences and exhibitions. Some other facilities within the center include: four (4) 200-seat thematic meeting rooms, four (4) press rooms, and news centers, fourteen (14) meeting rooms, two large banquet halls, a VIP lounge, office spaces, and other accessory rooms. The facility is a grant from the People’s Republic of China to the government and people of The Gambia. The cost of the building is $50 million As part of the bilateral agreement, government is responsible for the provision of the 13 HA land at Bijilo, the availability of the utility connections (water, electricity and internet), and doing the soft landscaping for beautification. The design of the building is inspired by the white “waves” of the Atlantic Ocean. The project schedule started on August 31st 2017, and was completed in October 2019. A team of Gambian engineers and architects took part in the construction of the project Local staff will be trained to maintain the building Gambia, a majority-Muslim nation is a member of the OIC and has been chosen to host the group’s next summit in two years time. The country joined OIC in 1974. The bloc has 57 members with over twenty of them in Africa. OIC’s African contingent include Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Djibouti and Nigeria. Other countries include Uganda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Comoros, Burkina Faso and Gabon. Read more about the facility – Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center In addition to various facilities, the 14,000m2 floors and a 1000 persons sitting capacity conference hall gives the Centre the edge to host major international meetings. I am hopeful that it will attract/host meetings, incentive travels, conventions, conferences & exhibitions.— President Barrow (@BarrowPresident) January 12, 2020Sat, 18 Jan 2020 06:30:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban), ECOWAS react to Gambia protests: caution against 'coup' voices West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, and European Union delegation in the Gambia have commented on recent political ongoings in the West African country. Their statements called for the respect of the rule of law on the part of all groups staging protests for one reason or the other. It further stressed their support for democratic processes in the Gambia cautioning against unconstitutional calls for change of government. Gambians have held pro and anti-government protests in the last few weeks. The first was an anti-government, Three Years JOTNA, march asking president Adama Barrow to respect a promise to serve three terms in office. The pro-government march, Five-Years-JOTAGUL, staged last week said incumbent Adama Barrow had to serve his full five-year term. Then this week, there was a protest by the party of exiled leader Yahya Jammeh, demanding his return from Equatorial Guinea. A statement from the ECOWAS representative to The Gambia and carried by the local news outlet Freedom Newspaper read in part: “Though these protests have so far been peaceful, the ECOWAS Mission wishes to categorically state that it is totally against any group or party that seeks to undermine the constitution of The Gambia… “... and by extension any group that seeks to forcefully demand the removal of any constitutionally and democratically elected government, which contravenes the provisions of the ECOWAS 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.” In its statement the EU delegation also stressed that it was “not in any way associated with, neither supports any particular political movement seeking to illegally or unconstitutionally change the democratic order in The Gambia.” Press statement regarding the ongoing and announced public protests#PressRelease EUinTheGambia— EU in The Gambia (EUinTheGambia) January 17, 2020 The government through the Interior Ministry backed a police ban on a second round of anti-government protest. Police however okayed the pro-Jammeh protests and have yet to give the green light to a proposed march by Jammeh’s victims. The victims say they are marching to denounce the demand by Jammeh’s allies. The group insist that the former leader has a plethora of crimes waiting for him from killings and other gross rights abuses to financial crimes.Sat, 18 Jan 2020 06:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) parliament calls for release of 4 Burundian journalists European Union’s parliament has urged Burundi to release four journalists and who have been jailed since October. The European parliament on Thursday called on Burundian authorities to drop charges and immediately release the reporters for Iwacu, one of the few remaining independent media organizations in the country. The reporters, two females and two males, were arrested in Musigati district where they had traveled to report on an armed attack by anti-government rebels in the Kibira National Park, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the capital, Bujumbura. They were charged with undermining state security and the public prosecutor called for 15-year jail sentences. He also called on the judge to deny them the right to vote for five years. The European parliament’s resolution, passed in Brussels, Belgium, said the jailing of the journalists is part of the “continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi ahead of the May 2020 elections.” The plight of the journalists “is very alarming and concerning for everybody who cares about press freedom, freedom of speech and even democracy in Burundi and in the region,” said Muthoki Mumo, of the Committee to Protect Journalists. The jailing of the journalists comes after the Burundi government closed several local media groups. And last year Burundi stopped local operations of the Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Corporation, which aired broadcasts in the local Kirundi language. Tensions continue to rise as Burundi’s polls approach. Local authorities and the ruling party’s notorious youth league members have beaten, threatened, and restricted people’s access to basic services to force them to “donate” money to fund the elections, and committed rampant abuses against the opposition, according to Human Rights Watch. APSat, 18 Jan 2020 05:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com leaders in Togo to help fight fake drug menace African leaders are in Lome, capital of Togo, as a summit against fake drugs kicked off on Friday (January 17). The two-day summit is under the aegis of the Brazzaville Foundation. It is the first time African heads of state are gathering on the issue of fake drugs on the continent which continues to plague especially sub-Saharan Africa. Discussions at the political and health level are on the agenda to build a reliable strategy. President Faure Gnassingbe is hosting colleagues such as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Congo Republic’s Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou, Macky Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Adama Barrow from The Gambia. The Togolese described the phenomenon of fake drugs as a daily humanitarian scandal and that the time to act and stamp it out had arrived. “It affects millions of people, either indirectly because these drugs do not treat those who believe they are treating themselves, or directly because the falsified products used kill,” he said in a tweet. The Brazzaville Foundation, an independent NGO based in London is teaming up with Initiative Lome to address the problem of fake drugs which is a big public health issue in sub-Saharan Africa. Experts have stressed that porous borders and weak governance of health systems are some of the main factors that underline the proliferation of fake drugs. A number of former heads of state are also in town as is the head of the World Health Organization, WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus. Great to be in #Togo to join Mustafa Mujiyawa, Minister of Health ??, and launch the InitiativeLome</a> to fight falsified and substandard medicines in Africa. <a href="">#SafeMedicines</a> are key to providing <a href="">#HealthForAll</a>. <a href="">#FakeDrugsRealCrime</a></p>&mdash; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (DrTedros) January 17, 2020Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:30:10 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)