Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:24:01 +0000Oil search: Rwanda may invite investors for exploration is hoping to join the circle of oil-producing countries around the world. Kigali is considering partnering with oil and gas companies for the next phase of oil exploration in Lake Kivu. According to Director General of the Office of Mines, Oil and Gas, Francis Gatare, the country has carried out the first series of shallow boreholes for geo-chemical tests in Lake Kivu, says Bloomberg. It is at the end of the second series of shallow drilling tests currently underway, that the State will decide whether to invite private investors to finance 2D or 3D seismic studies. However, the Director General of the Rwanda Mining, Oil and Gas Board said that the country should take a decision on this issue by the end of the year at the latest. Rwanda already extracts methane from Lake Kivu, which borders Lake Albert, where neighboring Uganda has found 6.5 billion litres of oil. Rwanda, which derives most of its resources from agricultural products such as coffee and tourism, would like to expand its sources of income through the exploitation of hydrocarbons and mines. According to Rwanda’s statistical agency, the extractive industries represent about 2% of the country’s gross domestic product.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:24:01 +0000editorial@africanews.com Coast local polls results out as ruling party leads 92 mayors and 18 regional councilors, the ruling party of Ivory Coast is ahead of Henri Konan Bédié‘s PDCI, which has obtained 56 municipal and 6 regional councilors. It was an election that saw the rise in the strength of independent candidates. After the final results, it is time for electoral litigation. Candidates still have a few days to submit their applications. The PDCI, which alleges electoral fraud, has filed appeals before the country’s Supreme Court. The party of former President Henri Konan Bédié is challenging the results in several constituencies. On the HRDP side, it is considered that all accusations of fraud made by the former ally or the opposition are totally misleading. The violence linked to the October 13 polls has officially claimed the lives of five people. The elections will be held again in Port-Bouet, in the south of Abidjan, following the clashes. The Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara sees the victory for the RHDP as a win for 2020.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:29:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com frees 1,174 detainees held over Addis Ababa violence authorities have freed over 1,100 youth arrested over violent protests in and around the capital Addis Ababa in September 2018. Police chief Jemal Zeinu confirmed that out of the 1,204 youth were detained – according to Amnesty International, arbitrarily – 83 of them are to be put before courts on suspicion of committing crimes. Zeinu in an interview with state-affiliated FBC disclosed that the soon-to-be released detainees had undergone a month-long training in the area of staying away from crimes and other related issues.. “If the necessary logistic are fulfilled, they will be released on Thursday (October 18); or else, they will be freed latest by Saturday,” he added. FBC and other local portals confirmed they had been released. #Ethiopia: Police today released 1,274 youth who were detained in connection with security problems in #Addisababa city.— FANA BROADCASTING C (@fanatelevision) October 18, 2018 Authorities added that those found to be without employment were to be engaged in various work sectors by organizing them in micro and small enterprise in collaboration with the city administration. Violence that raged from Sept. 12-17 and included attacks on minorities in Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromo heartland outside Addis Ababa, was a blow to new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts at reconciliation. Amnesty cautions govt against arbitrary arrests Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa said in a statement: “While the Ethiopian authorities have in recent months made a commendable attempt to empty the country’s prisons of arbitrary detainees, they must not fill them up again by arbitrarily arresting and detaining more people without charge. “The government must renew its commitment to a new era of respecting and upholding human rights. The majority of people were arrested for perceived offences which are not recognised criminal offences under international law, such as smoking shisha or consuming khat. “They must be either charged with a recognizable criminal offence or released. Those arrested for taking part in protests on the recent ethnic clashes must all be released immediately and unconditionally,” Joan Nyanyuki stressed. Back in September police admitted the arrests and spoke about a rehabilitation process: “1,204 are in custody, but they are now being rehabilitated for a short period of time,” the police commission’s Degfie Bedi said. The arrested included people suspected of holding “illegal rallies”, burglaries and other crimes, he added. @alfaafricanWed, 17 Oct 2018 11:54:20 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) commemorates poverty eradication day United Nations has commemorated the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with its Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivering a speech on the significance of poverty alleviation efforts. Over 200 UN officials and representatives from international organizations attended the Wednesday event and called on actions to alleviate poverty. “Poverty is not inevitable. It is not a natural state of being or occurrence. It is most often the outcome of choices that societies have made. Today we must choose to build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all. We need policies that create a strong enabling economic environment and that promote access to education, health services, decent work and social protection to everybody. And we need policies that dismantle barriers that contribute to the perpetuation of poverty”, Guterres said. Guterres also said that 10 percent of the world’s population remains in extreme poverty adding that more than 700 million people are unable to meet their basic daily needs. The UN chief stressed the timeliness to recall the proclamation of “freedom from want” as being among the highest aspirations of the world’s people. Designated to promote awareness about the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993. ReutersThu, 18 Oct 2018 12:57:51 +0000editorial@africanews.com protest soldiers were against ongoing reforms - PM hundreds of soldiers from Ethiopian army’s elite unit marched with arms to the National Palace, they were said to be demanding pay rise and better service conditions. They were disarmed and invited to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who gave them assurances that their grievances were going to be looked into. A week on, PM Abiy has told lawmakers that the soldiers were part of elements that are against ongoing political reforms. The 42-year-old former soldier said he had managed to defuse the situation and to prevent it from becoming dangerous. Abiy was widely reported as ordering the soldiers to do press-ups which he joined in, despite it being a reprimand for the soldiers who are said to have used the wrong procedure to protest. They have since apologized whiles state-owned FBC reported over the weekend that a number of officers had been arrested for their respective roles to the spectacle. Abiy told lawmakers that even though photos showed all happy situation after he met the soldiers, “inside I was very unhappy.” “The situation was brought under control, some forces, were heard saying that ‘he escaped before we could kill him’. So, we should not see the situation lightly,” he added. This becomes the second known attempt on his life. In June this year, bombs went off during a pro-government rally at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. HE PM Abiy Ahmed listened to the grievances carefully, reprimanded them for the wrong procedure they followed to express those grievances, but concluded the meeting with a promise to meet properly in the near future to positively consider their demands. #Ethiopia— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) October 10, 2018Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:35:45 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) musician Baloji returns to native home DRC jackets, hats, boas and shirts soaked with sweat, Belgian rapper, MC and hip hop artist, Baloji performs after returning to native Congo, a country that haunts his musical universe. The MC has to prove himself to young people from Kinshasa, who came mainly for an urban music festival featuring local rappers. The crowds go wild as he performs with guitarist Dizzy Mandjeku, a living legend of Congolese rumba that connects the rapper to Papa Wemba’s legacy. The day after the concert, the artist runs behind the camera on the busy Boulevard “24”, for the shooting of the song “Spitting fire, fetishes and fanfare”. The recording is full of energy inventiveness, just like its natural setting and its director Baloji, meaning “sorcerer” in Swahili, was thrown on the roads of exile in Belgium. Born out of wedlock and separated from his mother by his father, he heals the wounds of the past with music. He speaks how it has enabled his success abroad. The artist addresses the troubles of his childhood on albums Impala Hotel and 137 Boulevard. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 18 Oct 2018 11:25:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com Coast: Ghana's Slave Castles [The Morning Call] to this travel episode with Nyasha K Mutizwa. Today we kill two birds with one stone. We travel back into time by travelling to Ghana. We head to Cape Coast, a town in the centre of the seaboard of Ghana. It lies on a low promontory jutting into the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean about 120 km southwest of the Ghanaian capital of Accra. However this town is haunted by ghosts of the past. This former European colonial capital, originally named Cabo Corso by the Portuguese, was once the largest slave-trading centre in West Africa. It initially traded gold before it became a hub for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. About forty slave castles, trading posts and forts were built in Ghana, but the biggest of them is the Cape Coast Castle which today is one of the major tourist attractions. These castles provided the last experience that men and women had in their homeland before their final departure. Trans-Atlantic slavery was abolished in 1870. We jump to the 21st century! Cape Coast is an easygoing fishing town with an arty vibe. Crumbling colonial buildings line the streets, seabirds prowl the beaches and fishermen cast nets where slave ships once sailed. There are a lot of American guests who visit to follow the footsteps of their ancestors.One such guest is former American president Barck Obama who visited the site in 2009. You can attend one of the 32 festivals held there or go to see the Kakum National Park. If you are food lover you can try the very popular Baobab House known as a vegeterian’s dream. So take a visit to Cape Coast and allow yourself to take a step back in this now fast paced world and remember the sacrifices our ancestors made for us to be here. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 18 Oct 2018 06:09:29 +0000editorial@africanews.com, Angola diplomacy on the brink Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday threatened to take international action over Angola’s recent, and allegedly violent, expulsion of some 200,000 illegal migrants from its west African neighbour. Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu said at a press conference in the capital Kinshasa that the Angolan government is “to carry out a thorough investigation in order to establish who was responsible for these reprehensible acts,” Unless this is done the DR Congo government “would be obliged to take the matter to the relevant authorities,” he warned, adding that his country will not stoop to “brutally expelling” Angolans in any tit-for-tat response. Since the start of the month Angola has expelled around 200,000 Congolese living clandestinely in its northern province of Lunda Norte, which borders DR Congo. Some 30,000 of these were “brutally” kicked out of the country, and some were killed, according to a report by the Congolese cabinet chaired by President Joseph Kabila.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:49:21 +0000editorial@africanews.com deal: Liberia finance ministry bans wigs, coloured hair employees at Liberia’s finance ministry are to be subjected to a new regulation – nothing financial but strictly hairy. The ministry has disclosed a decision to enforce a 2014 policy that bars employees from wearing coloured hair extensions or dying their hair, the BBC Africa Live page reports. A number of women the BBC spoke to slammed the move as discriminatory and a move to police what women wore. “The policy at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is discriminatory, how does the hair colour of a woman affect the contribution she has to make to the overall goal of the ministry of finance?” A respondent quizzed. “The laws and policies that are being crafted in our country is really influenced by our patriarchal system that attempts to control a woman’s body, the way she looks, the decision she makes, so that is the key problem,” she stressed. “For me, I am from an international background, so the work (or) the goal, has nothing to do with the dress code. Because the way they dress, that is how they feel comfortable especially with the hair colour or the hair style. Once it does not contradict your work,” another resident said. Another person however supported the policy saying: “... looking at our environment and seeing people come in with other lousy colour of hair more especially for employees, for me I think is a good one. At least to know how they dress, pink hair; you find it in a club, not to a working environment.” The date of the promulgation of the law indicates that it was during the second and final term of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected leader who left office early this year. She was replaced by incumbent George Weah. According to 2017 law, hair products are part of materials that are subject to tax under Section 1140 of Liberia’s revised revenue code. It reads as follows: Section 1140. Cosmetic Aids, And Non Alcoholic Beverages (a) Tax Imposed. Excise tax, at the rate of not less than 5 or more than 10 percent, as determined by Regulation, shall be levied on any cosmetics or cosmetic aids imported or produced in Liberia, including perfumes, toilet preparations, hair products, and nail-care products; and non alcoholic beverages. (b) Exempt Goods. Notwithstanding the tax imposed by subsection (a), the following goods are exempt from excise: (1) soap; (2) toothpaste; (3) toilet tissue; and (4) disinfectants.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:33:49 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Cyber harassment against journalists [The Morning Call] Without Borders released a report on Tuesday October 17, 2018 citing concerns on the increased cyber harassment campaigns against journalists, bloggers and activists in Algeria. Especially those addressing issues like bad governance and corruption.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:48:45 +0000editorial@africanews.com Killing of aid workers raises fears [The Morning Call] Liman and Saifura Ahmed Khorsa were aid workers in Nigeria who met their death after they were recently executed by the Boko Haram Islamist militants. They had been abducted in March this year along with another aid worker in Nigeria’s north eastern town of Rann. Hauwa Liman and Saifura Khorsa were Muslim midwives who worked at a government health care center supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Khorsa was shot dead in September and a month later her colleague, Liman, was also murdered. The militants had given the Nigerian government an ultimatum to meet their demands, though it’s not clear what their demands were. But according to the group, the government ignored them.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:12:58 +0000editorial@africanews.com levels double in DR Congo [The Morning Call] food situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is raising concerns. Hunger levels in the country have doubled as compared to the 2017 statistics. 15 million women, men and children in the country do not have enough food to eat up from 7.7 million last year. All this was revealed in a new report by the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and DR Congo’s Ministry of Agriculture. The deteriorating hunger situation is concentrated in the ten provinces most adversely affected by violence. And some people are even joining armed groups and going into prostitution as ways to find money for food.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:10:40 +0000editorial@africanews.com Initiative immortalizes cultural icons [The Morning Call] initiative in Egypt is raising awareness on the country’s iconic figures. These are individuals on the national monuments, entities, and influential individuals that are considered symbols of the Egyptian civilization. Authorities say 200 influential individuals have already been chosen, and the search for more continues. According to them, the project aims to an effort to pay homage to Egypt’s cultural icons and to introduce them to future generations.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:07:36 +0000editorial@africanews.com Review of October 18, 2018 [The Morning Call] review the headlines of Africa’s top newspapers on The Morning CallThu, 18 Oct 2018 12:05:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ex-Biya appointee 'disturbing' Cameroon presidential polls Kamto was not the leading opposition figure going into Cameroon’s October 7 presidential polls. The Social Democratic Front, SDF’s Joshua Osih was. All that has changed in a matter of weeks. The main opposition tag at least per media reports and post-vote incidences is Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM. The lawyer and former ministerial appointee of incumbent Paul Biya has thrust himself to the forefront of Cameroonian politics with a bit of controversy, legal mastery and strong presence – on social media and conventional media. He entered a belated political alliance with a fellow lawyer, Akere Muna, to join forces to wrestle power from Biya, who has been in power for over three and half decades. The election body, ELECAM, had cleared nine aspirants in total. Political watchers said the immediate impact of the Kamto-Muna coalition could not be ascertained until after the elections. The election body, ELECAM, refused to remove Muna’s ballot papers saying it was too late in the day to do so. The controversy around unofficial victory claim Barely twenty-four hours after the vote and even before provisional results could be released, Kamto called a press conference and claimed he had won the vote with a clear majority. The ruling CPDM and the government slammed the move. Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary, tagged Kamto as irresponsible for what he said was an illegal declaration. Team Kamto through a spokesman fired back stressing that he had claimed victory and not declared himself winner as government was alleging. Demand for probe into fake Transparency International Observers The Kamto camp were again out in full force demanding a probe into circumstances surrounding the emergence of fake election observers passed as staff of anti-corruption group, Transparency International, TI. TI issued a release falsifying a report by state broadcaster, CRTV, that observers from the group had okayed the conduct of the polls. Sveral opposition parties joined calls for a probe. Government cancelled a planned press conference to respond to the ghost reporters. Local media reported that Minister Tchiroma Bakary had been barred by the presidency over the issue, Africanews could not confirm the veracity of that report. Kamto press conference blocked, turns to Facebook Then came the unconfirmed and supposedly leaked 71% victory of Biya, Kamto jumped in categorically rubbishing it. When a planned press conference was blocked by security forces in Yaounde, he turned to Facebook to address his supporters. Kamto had meanwhile, joined some 17 others – individuals and parties – in depositing papers of a poll petition with the Constitutional Council. His party was seeking cancellations in certain areas. Kamto springs surprise, demands six judges to quit over partiality When it was time for the poll petition hearing to begin, Kamto, who was part of his party’s legal team made a quit demand on the part of members of the Constitutional Council. Citing reasons that six of the members were allies of the ruling CPDM party, Kamto asked that they recuse themselves from the hearing or better still that the petition be heard by another judicial body. The application was rejected by head of the Council, Clement Atangana, who has serially been accused of being an ally of Paul Biya. Meanwhile, after sixteen of eighteen petitions were dismissed Kamto’s legal team are taking turns to prove to the council as at October 17, the need for the process to be totally scrapped. Kamto’s lawyer says funds were made available 3 days to campaign in cash and not bank transfer. Kamto’s lawyers call on Constitutional council members to examine their consciences and render judgement that will protect their legacy. CRM lawyers say Maurice Kamto wrote to ELECAM to have details on the format and location of posters to no avail, state-owned CRTV said in a series of tweets.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:11:51 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) police arrests lawyer over 'Addis Ababa ruler' declaration in Ethiopia have slammed the arrest on Wednesday of a known human rights defender. Reports said lawyer Henok Aklilu was arrested and held by the police. According to leading blogger, Befeqadu Hailu, police had searched Aklilu’s office, seized his computer before detaining him at the Sostegna police station in the capital, Addis Ababa. Hailu described the detainee as “a human rights lawyer who defended many politically motivated charges against activists.” Award-winning journalist who was recently released from jail, Eskinder Nega, also described the arrest as a ‘bad sign,’ that a known advocate of prisonsers of conscience be imprisoned. In explaining the reason behind the arrest, blogger Atnaf Brhane, disclosed on Thursday that Aklilu was being held with another person, Mike Melake. The duo were presented before court over accusations that they had disseminated information that “Addis Ababa cannot be ruled by an outsider.” Confirmed! Police accused Henok Aklilu and Mike Melake for disseminating information that 'Addis Ababa can not be ruled by outsider'. Court Adjourned the case for 7 days for further investigation. #Ethiopia— Atnaf Brhane (@AtnafB) October 18, 2018 “Mike Melake who is forming ‘Palestine Solidarity Movement’ here in Addis was accused of having a contact with Palestine Consul here in Addis,” Brhane added. The Abiy-led government have since April been tagged an administration that had done a lot to break from the past of arbitrary arrests. Amnesty International, AI, in September this year cautioned government against sliding back into the ear of arbitrary use of state authority. Their warning came in the wake of mass arrests in and around the capital Addis Ababa after days of ethnic-based attacks that claimed lives. Police have said over 1000 of the detainees are to be released today or latest by Saturday whiles about 80 others are to be arraigned before the courts for complicity in violent acts. WHY is one of the best known advocates of prisoners of conscience,HENOK AKILILU,, imprisoned?...BAD SIGN!!!....... ሄኖክ አክሊሉ ለምን ታሠረ?.....አረ ወዴት እየሄድን ነው?.....ጥሩ ምልክት አይደለም!!!— Eskinder Nega (@eskinder_nega) October 18, 2018 Henok Aklilu, a human rights lawyer who defended many politically motivated charges against activists, is arrested today. Police searched his office and cofisicated his computer. He is now held in Sostegna Police Station. No explanation of why he was detained.— BefeQadu Z. Hailu (@befeqe) October 17, 2018 ታጥቦ ጭቃ! As the crackdown on innocent 'Addis Ababawiyans' continues – Henok Aklilu, a human rights lawyer and political science expert – arrested today. I am sure you will fight through this bogus politically motivated charges my friend.— Solomon (@xsolotx) October 17, 2018 The regime of Abiy Ahmed has ended its honeymoon period. The system has started to display its real advent by detaining the #Addis Ababa youth and renowned human right lawyer Henok Aklilu. #Ethiopia— Getachew Gebrekiros (@GetachewSae) October 18, 2018 @alfaafricanThu, 18 Oct 2018 09:10:10 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) electoral body says voting machines for Dec. polls are ready Independent National Electoral Commission also known as CENI of the Democratic Republic of Congo has said, voting machines for the impending general elections are ready. CENI made this known in a statement despite opposition to the use of the digital tools for the December 23 elections. Opposition parties, members of the Congolese clergy and a large part of the population fear, the use of the voting machines will breed fraud to favor the candidate of the ruling party. But for Joseph Kabila’s government, there is no turning back on the use of these machines for the next elections. Since demonstrations against the use of these machines are often banned, and sometimes even violently repressed, the opposition seem helpless. According to the CENI president, nearly 20 containers of voting machines have already arrived in the DRC.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:49:24 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, October 17, 2018 samples the pictures of the day’s news.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:44:56 +0000editorial@africanews.com court outlaws ban on protests by police’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a law that allows police to authorize protests could be misused by state machinery. The court has by their position outlawed section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act, POSA. The development effective means that citizens can protest without police clearance, the NewsDay portal reports. The report says a full bench of the court led by Justice Rita Makarau handed down the judgment on Wednesday. She cited issues of lack of fairness and lack of scope by the regulatory body as core basis for the ruling. “In addition to failing to pass the test on fairness, necessity and reasonableness, there is another feature of section 27 of Posa that I find disturbing. It has no time frame or limitation as to the number of times the regulating authority can invoke the powers granted to him or her under the section,” Justice Makarau said. “Thus, a despotic regulating authority could lawfully invoke these powers without end. This could be achieved by publishing notices prohibiting demonstrations back-to-back as long as each time the period of the ban is for one month or less. “It, thus, has the potential of negating or nullifying the rights not only completely, but perpetually. On the basis of the foregoing, it is my finding that section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act (Chapter 11:17) is unconstitutional,” she stressed. The Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZRP, until now had to be contacted in case any group planned protests anywhere in the jurisdiction. ZRP had to be notified with respect to giving security to persons and easing the instance of social disruption by protesters but the court is of a different view. Civil society organizations, CSOs and opposition parties have been at the forefront of calls for a repeal of the law. The case was taken to the court by a group of political and human rights CSOs earlier in May. Section 27 of POSA stipulates that: “Temporary prohibition of holding public demonstrations within particular police districts can be made if a regulating authority for any area believes on reasonable grounds that there might be public disorder.” Enforcement of the judgement has however been suspended for a period of six months. The ruling said the period was to allow for relevant authorities in the case to duly amend the said law if they are so inclined. “It is just and equitable in my view that the second and third respondents (Police Commissioner-General and Home Affairs minister) be allowed time to attend to the defects in section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act if they are so inclined,” she said. “The question referred to this court by the Supreme Court is answered as follows: ‘Section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act is unconstitutional. “The declaration of constitutional invalidity of section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act is suspended for six months from the date of this judgment. The matter is referred to the Supreme Court for the determination of the appeal. Each party shall bear its own costs,” she added.Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:41:58 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) appoints peace envoy to South Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday appointed a peace envoy to South Sudan, mired in conflict since it won independence from its northern neighbour in 2011. Former ambassador to Juba, Jamal al-Sheikh, was put in charge of “following the implementation” of the peace deal signed last month by warring South Sudanese parties, Bashir told a gathering of Sudanese diplomats. Civil war in the world’s youngest country erupted in December 2013, killing tens of thousands, displacing millions and triggering a regional refugee crisis. South Sudanese arch-foes President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar signed their latest peace deal on September 12 in Ethiopia after talks hosted by Khartoum. AFP @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 18 Oct 2018 07:44:23 +0000editorial@africanews.com petition: Kamto 'defends' victory, SDF presents case today poll petition, Team Kamto ruffle Council, SDF case to he heard today Hearings will continue today, October 18, in Yaounde where two main opposition parties are challenging the presidential polls of October 7 before the Constitutional Council. Sixteen of eighteen petitions were dismissed by the Council on the first day of its sitting earlier this week. The only two admitted were that of main opposition parties, the Social Democratic Front, SDF, and the Cameroon Renaissance movement, CRM. The CRM, led by former minister Maurice Kamto, went into the polls in a coalition with Akere Muna’s Now Movement. Kamto has since close of polls claimed that he won the vote. Maurice Kamto: The ‘star player’ in Cameroon polls? He stressed before the Council that he stood by the declaration: “My declaration on 8th October was based on information from my representatives in some polling stations in most regions,” state-owned CRTV quoted him as saying. Himself, Muna and a team of lawyers have taken center stage at proceedings before the Council. First, asking some members of the council to recuse themselves over partiality and demanding a neutral body sits on the petition, both instances were rejected as being without locus. #237Vote #Crtv2018 Kamto's lawyers call on Constitutional council members to examine their consciences and render judgement that will protect their legacy.— CRTVweb (@CRTV_web) October 17, 2018 On the substantive case, Team Kamto, have taken turns to present evidence before the Council to prove their case of gross electoral infractions and the subsequent need to scrap the entire process. The ruling CPDM and elections body, ELECAM, have responded by saying the claims where wholly untrue. The SDF’s legal team will take their turn today to present the facts underlying their call for a total cancellation of the vote. Meanwhile, reports indicate that a ruling is expected today on the Kamto team’s submissions. Cameroon throws out 16 poll petitions, Kamto’s fight against ‘biased’ council flops Cameroon’s Constitutional Council yesterday, October 16, dismissed as many as sixteen of eighteen post-poll petitions presented before it by aggrieved opposition members and parties. Among those whose applications were dismissed were Cabral Libii. Self acclaimed poll winner, Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, was himself present in court to make submissions. Kamto had advanced an argument of partiality on the part of the Council as he sought the disqualification of six members. He accused them of being persons who had the interest of the ruling CPDM at heart and thus unfit for the exercise. He was ruled as not having a strong enough basis to demand for another judicial body to sit on the issue. The sitting which took place in Yaounde was suspended at a time Kamto’s party was to adduce evidence on irregularities in areas it wanted results cancelled. Leader of the Council, Clement Atangana, has long been accused of been a loyalist of incumbent Paul Biya. Biya is seeking a seventh term in office, his fourth under the multi-party era. READ MORE: Biya’s multi-party era winning record No-show on ‘ghost observers’ presser, poll petition starts Today is the day elections petitions – 18 in all – are expected to be heard by the Constitutional Council sitting in the capital Yaounde. Individuals and parties are seeking partial and in some cases total cancellation of the October 7 presidential polls. Yesterday, there was a no-show despite widely publicized news that the government through information minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, was to explain the “ghost observers,” who claimed to be from Transparency international, TI. READ MORE: Biya’s multi-party era winning record The said observers had given top marks to the election process last week but also attracted a disavowal by TI who said they had no observers dispatched to Cameroon for such reasons. The camp of self-acclaimed poll winner Maurice Kamto has also been buzzing. Kamto’s camp were barred from holding a press conference in Yaounde yesterday even though he issued a statement on Facebook dismissing reports of a Biya victory of 71%. Kamto’s also received his party’s treasurer who was released from jail after over a week. The CRM Treasurer, Okala Ebode, had been behind bars for 8 days because he denounced electoral fraud, local portals said. Maurice Kamto receives CRM Treasurer, Okala Ebode shortly after the latter's release. He has been behind bars for 8 days. His lone crime is that, he denounced electoral fraud.#MimiMefoInfo— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) October 15, 2018 Date set for petition hearing, Biya victory leaked? State-owned Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV, late last week reported that a date had been fixed to hear election petitions filed in relation to the October 7 presidential elections. The date is October 16, 2018 at the Yaounde Convention Center. The election body, ELECAM, has confirmed receiving 18 petitions filed at the Constitutional Council. The petitioners including major opposition parties are seeking partial and in some cases total cancellation of the results. Already, one candidate, Maurice Kamto has claimed victory in a move widely condemned by government and the ruling party. Meanwhile, local media portals are reporting that a leaked result shows that president Paul Biya was in the lead with over 71% of votes cast. The government or ELECAM has yet to confirm or deny the information. The fight against fake news was one of the core campaign issues ahead of the election. Yaounde had gone as far as seek the help of social media giants, Facebook, to help combat the menace. UNCONFIRMED Supposedly 'leaked' election results. #Biya claiming 71% in total, 77% in SW Cameroon and 81% in NW #Cameroon, the two Anglophone regions. I think that tells you all you need to know about this 'election'. Not even a pretence of democracy.#AnglophoneCrisis— Billy Burton (@billyb2009) October 14, 2018 18 poll petitions deposited at Constitutional Council, ELECAM confirms. Elections body, ELECAM, on Thursday confirmed that it had been served legal challenges to the October 7 presidential polls. A total of 18 individuals and parties had approached the Constitutional Council. “They are thus allowed 48 hours to submit their replies, against a receipt. Section 133 (3) od the Electoral Code,” it added in a tweet. Meanwhile a local journalist is reporting that the main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, candidate, Joshua Osih in his application to the Council is seeking a total cancellation of the process. ELECAM has fifteen day period to release results but opposition parties hold that it is largely a period during which results are manipulated. An Aspirant, Maurice Kamto claimed victory on Monday with a government response branding him as “irresponsible and lawless.” October 11: Opposition seeking total, partial cancellation of results State broadcaster, CRTV, have confirmed reports that a number of opposition parties had approached the court over the October 7 presidential elections. CRTV said in a tweet on Thursday, four days after the vote, that a total of 17 applications had been made to the Constitutional Council demanding partial and in some cases total cancellation of the vote. They confirmed that among the applicants before the top court were main opposition leader Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, and Maurice Kamto who led an opposition coalition that involved Akere Muna, a famed lawyer. October 10: Kamto camp wants probe into CRTV report Local media in Cameroon are reporting that the camp of opposition contender Maurice Kamto on Wednesday afternoon held a press conference in the capital Yaounde amid deployment of heavy security. Kamto’s spokesperson among other demands called for a probe into the false report carried by state broadcaster, CRTV. Kamto’s camp said the TV and ministry responsible for accreditation needed to be probed. CRTV had carried a news item on Tuesday alleging that Transparency International, TI, had given high marks to the October 7 process. TI in a statement denied the report. Other issues he raised were that: There was a ploy to blame violence on Kamto, that there was growing tension in the country. He also flatly denied that Kamto was being financed by politicians held in prison over an anti-corruption crackdown, Operation Epervier. Et la police anti émeutes, le GMI 1, plus un discret dispositif de gendarmerie viennent de se positionner face au QG Kamto…#Etoudi2018 #Cameroun— Hemisphere Africa (@HmpAfrica) October 10, 2018 Kamto, leader of a two-party alliance declared on Monday, barely twenty-four hours after the vote that he won an emphatic victory. Government slammed his announcement describing it as “irresponsible, illegal.” The spokesman clarified in later reports that Kamto had only claimed victory based on figures and projections. “Maurice Kamto did not proclaim himself president, he claimed victory, it’s not the same thing,” Olivier Nissack reportedly said. Photo credit: @HmpAfrica October 9: State TV accused of fake observer report Cameroon radio and television, CRTV, the state broadcaster has been exposed by international rights group Transparency International, TI, over a report that the group’s observer team had ‘blessed’ the conduct of the October 7 presidential polls. CRTV shared a video that purported to have observers with TI but the group in a press statement said it had not sent a team to observe the polls. “Transparency International confirms that it has no international election observation mission in Cameroon. A recent television report featuring individuals described as working for Transparency International is false and untrue,” a statement read. It is the most significant development surrounding the polls since opposition candidate Maurice Kamto declared that he had won a clear mandate from the people. The former Biya minister had been dismissed by the government describing his move as irresponsible and illegal. Kamto’s coalition ally, Akere Muna, is a former TI top official. He resigned to contest the presidential polls but entered an alliance with Kamto less than 24-hours to the vote. October 8: Kamto makes unofficial victory declaration Voting closed in Cameroon in Sunday evening and counting of ballots started in earnest. Main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, vowed to police the counting and results declaration process. But it is the declaration of victory by Maurice Kamto, a former Biya minister that has thrown the process into a state of shock. Kamto who led a two-party alliance involving famed lawyer Akere Muna said the goal of his party had been reached. A summary of the issues he raised in his victory speech (in French) is as follows: Cameroonians have chosen to go down a historic path by voting out the incumbent. He has won a clear mandate he is ready to defend firmly. Called on Paul Biya to make transition arrangement to avert needless post-poll crisis. His supporters can remain joyful and proud of the achievement. The moment KamtoOfficiel</a> declared himself winner of the presidential elections (loosely translated):<br>"I received the mandate to take a historic penalty kick. I took the spot kick. The goal was scored." <a href="">#elections</a> <a href="">#Cameroun</a> <a href="">#Cameroon</a> <a href="">#Etoudi2018</a> <a href="">#237Vote</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Israel Ayongwa (iayongwa) October 8, 2018 The government has yet to officially react to the development but electoral laws suggest that it is an offense to declare oneself winner of the elections. A point that had been stressed by government in the run up to the vote. Sections of the Electoral System stipulates that the President of the Republic is elected for a seven-year term by universal suffrage and by direct, equal and secret ballot. According to the Cameroon electoral code, the president is elected by a single-round majority ballot and the candidate having obtained the majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected. It also states that election will not be complete until Cameroon’s Supreme Court rules on requests for annulment and announces the results. October 7, 2018: Cameroon polls take place amid high security in English-speaking zones Cameroonians voted on Sunday (October 7) in a key presidential election which could end or extend the 36-year rule of President Paul Biya, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders. Polls opened at 0800 local (0700GMT) across much of the country including areas in the restive English-speaking regions. Security has been heightened with armed personnel deployed outside most poling stations. Reuters reports that three separatists have been shot dead in Bamenda, capital of the northwest region of the country. The northwest and southwest regions have been the epicenter of what has become known as the Anglophone crisis. A security source told Reuters that the trio had been gunned down for attempting to disrupt the voting process. Separatist groups have vowed to stop the polls from taking place in both regions. Red carpet for Biya, aspirants cast ballots BREAKING NEWS. Cameroonian President Paul Biya has arrived to cast his ballot.— Saddique Shaban (@SaddiqueShaban) October 7, 2018 #Cameroon Opposition candidate Cabral Libii casts his vote; says that the opposition coalition were treating him like a child and questioning his intentions. {Photos Courtesy: oliverwjarvis</a>} <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CGTN Africa (cgtnafrica) October 7, 2018 #Cameroon: Akere Muna's ballot papers – electoral commission said couldn't be pulled from polling stations despite him withdrawing from race and throwing his support behind Maurice Kamto. #Etoudi2018 #237Vote #Cameroun— Daniel Finnan (@Daniel_Finnan) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Updates Mr and Madame Kamto in the polling station in Yaounde #MimiMefoInfo— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Updates JoshuaOsih</a> at Lycee Joss this morning <a href="">#MImi_Mefo_Info</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Mimi237 (Mimimefo237) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Updates The Prime minister Head of Government Philemon Yang and the North West Governor Adolf lele L'Afrique just voted at Up Station Bamenda #MimiMefoInfo— Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) October 7, 2018 Multiple reports of gunshots in NW capital, Bamenda At 1:30pm Cameroon time,ear-splitting gunshots still being heard across Bamenda.voters Can't go out.streets are deserted.cameroon's premier voted in Bamenda instead of his native Oku village were he registered due to worsening security concerns there.#Etoudi2018— Alphonse Tebeck (@AlphonseTebeck) October 7, 2018 Gunshots in #Bamenda this morning, according to RFI_English</a> correspondent <a href="">AlphonseTebeck, two suspected separatist fighters killed, town deserted, heavy presence of security forces. #Cameroon #Cameroun #Etoudi2018 #237Vote— Daniel Finnan (@Daniel_Finnan) October 7, 2018 Two separatists have been reportedly killed around hospital roundabout in Bamenda few mintes b4 polls opened in the region. Thr are reports of on going shooting between the military and the separatists. It is nt clear whether voting will continue in this region #cameroondecides— Adesewa Josh (@AdesewaJosh) October 7, 2018 #Etoudi2018 Elections day, #Bamenda wakes up to gun shots in several neighborhoods around 6:30 am Jesus, take the wheel— Comfort Mussa (@ComfortMussa) October 7, 2018 Did you know that diaporans are voting? Indeed, Cameroonians in the diaspora are joining in the process of choosing the next president of the country. Elections body, ELECAM, shared photos of people casting their ballot outside of the country. Among other places, people in Malabo, Cairo, Brussels and Tel Aviv are all voting. #237vote : bureau de vote de Tel Aviv— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 #237Vote : électeur Camerounais à Bruxelles— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 #237Vote : une électrice camerounaise entrain de remplir son devoir civique à Malabo en Guinée Équatoriale.— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 #237Vote: affichage de liste des électeurs à l’entrée du bureau de vote au Caire.— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 7, 2018 Will opposition coalition count for much? In a surprise and belated move with about 24-hours to opening of polls, two opposition members announced a long-expected alliance. Former Biya-era minister Maurice Kamto agreed a coalition with famed lawyer Akere Muna. Muna’s correspondence to the elections body, ELECAM, to step down as a candidate was however turned down. He has asked his supporters to vote for Kamto. A reported third coalition member, Serge Espoir Matomba, denied agreeing to join late Saturday. Political watchers said despite the coalition being a welcome move, it had come too late in the day but that its impact will be properly assessed after the close of polls and in the stage of results declaration. Ex-Togo PM leads AU observers, EU backed out The European Union, EU, said it will not deploy observers to Cameroon as it has done in almost all previous votes across Africa. But the African Union, AU, has a team in the country led by former Togolese Prime Minister, Artheme Ahoomey Zunu Kwesi Agbefia Seleakodji Lolonyo. The EU and UN have all called for peaceful and transparent process. #ArthemeAhoomeyZunuKwesiAgbefiaSeleakodjiLolonyo former Prime Minister of #Togo is leading the _AfricanUnion</a> Election Observation Mission for <a href="">#Cameroon</a> presidential election <a href="">AUC_DPA AUC31</a> <a href="">AU_PSD Africanelection</a> <a href="">OIFfrancophonie AfrikParliament</a> <a href="">AGA_Platform Elecam2018</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Guy Cyrille Tapoko (GuyCyrille) October 7, 2018 Biya, the 85-year-old long-server gunning to soldier on A victory for Biya, who has ruled since 1982, would usher in a seventh term for the 85-year-old and see him stay until at least the age of 92, bucking a tentative trend in Africa where many countries have installed presidential term limits. It would maintain a long held status quo in the oil and cocoa producing Central African country where, despite relative economic stability and growth of over 4 percent a year since Biya was last elected in 2011, many of its 24 million citizens live in deep poverty. Most have only known one president. Of Biya’s biggest challenges has been the year-old secessionist uprising in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions that has cost hundreds of lives and forced thousands to flee either to the French-speaking regions or into neighbouring Nigeria. It further complicates Cameroon’s security mix, that is, for a country that is still battling Boko Haram insurgents in its Far North region. A new security region was set up in Bamenda in what was seen as a security solution to the separatists.Sun, 07 Oct 2018 08:47:14 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) 'This Is Africa' - The Republic of the Congo countries have their peculiar challenges like all countries the world over. Amid these challenges are particular characteristics of countries on the continent. ‘This Is Africa (TIA)’ is an Africanews initiative aimed at sharing information about African countries and helping our audiences better discover the continent – in a small but significant way. For the next twenty weeks, we shall be sharing salient information about an African country such as their currency, political leader, population, date of independence etc. [Photos / Information] Ten of Africa’s long-serving political leaders Country of the Week: The Republic of the Congo 1 – National capital / official languages = Brazzaville / French 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎ Central African CFA franc 3 – Current political leader = Denis Sassou Nguesso 4 – Population estimate = 5 092 million (2017 est.) 5 – Date of independence = Aug. 15, 1960 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+242), internet (.cg) Profile of the country Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Country An art gallery in the poto-poto school of painting Flag of the country Central African CFA franc Country of the Week: Federal Republic of Somalia 1 – National capital / official languages = Mogadishu / Somali, Arabic 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎ Somali shilling 3 – Current political leader = Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed 4 – Population estimate = 14.74 million (2017 est.) 5 – Date of independence = July 1, 1960 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+252), internet (.so) Profile of the country Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Country Somali shilling Independence Monument Flag of the country Country of the Week: Republic of Madagascar 1 – National capital / official languages = Antananarivo / Malagasy and French 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎ Malagasy ariary 3 – Current political leader = H.E. Mr. Rivo Rakotovao (Interim president) 4 – Population estimate = 24.89 million (2016 est.) 5 – Date of independence = 26 June 1960 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+261), internet (.mg) _ Profile of the country_ _ H.E. Mr. Rivo Rakotovao, interim president of the country_ _Tsingy de Bemaraha, an impressive greystone plateau of razor-sharp spikes located northwest Madagascar _ Malagasy ariary, country currency Flag of the country Baobab Avenue located around western Madagascar Country of the Week: Liberia 1 – National capital / official languages = Monrovia / English 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎ Liberian dollar 3 – Current political leader = George Weah 4 – Population estimate = 4,689,021 (July 2017 est.) 5 – Date of independence = July 26, 1847 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+231), internet (.lr ) Country Profile George Weah, Liberian President Liberian dollar Flag of the country Down Town Monrovia Country of the Week: The Kingdom of Morocco 1 – National capital / official languages = Rabat / Arabic 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎ Moroccan dirham 3 – Current political leader = Mohammed VI (King of Morocco) 4 – Population estimate = 33,986,655 (July 2017 est.) 5 – Date of independence = April 7, 1956 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+212), internet (.ma) Profile of the country Mohammed VI, King of Morocco Moroccan dirham Moroccan flag Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat Country of the Week: The State of Eritrea 1 – National capital / official languages = Asmara / Tigrigna, Arabic, English 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎Eritrean nakfa 3 – Current political leader = Isaias Afwerki 4 – Population estimate = 5,918,919 (July 2017 est.) 5 – Date of independence = May 24, 1993 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+291), internet (.er) Eritrea country profile Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea Eritrean Flag The great Asamara Mosque Eritrean nakfa Country of the Week: Equatorial Guinea 1 – National capital / official languages = Malabo / Spanish, French, Portuguese 2 – Currency in circulation = ‎Central African CFA franc‎ (‎XAF‎) 3 – Current political leader = Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo 4 – Population estimate = 1,267,689 (2017 est.) 5 – Date of independence = 12 October, 1968 6 – Country codes: telephone ‎(+240), internet (.gq) Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea The Freedom Tower found in the city of Beta Central African CFA franc‎ (‎XAF‎) Flag of the country Brief profile of the country Country of the Week: Libya 1 – National capital / official languages = Tripoli/ Arabic 2 – Currency in circulation = Libyan dinar 3 – Current political leader = Fayez al-Sarraj (United Nations-backed Prime Minister) 4 – Population estimate = 6.2 million (2016) 5 – Date of independence = 24 December 1951 6 – Country codes: telephone (+218), internet (.ly) Fayez al-Sarraj, Head of the Libyan Government of National Accord Tripoli, capital city Libyan Dinar _ Flag of the Country_ Country of the Week: The Republic of Mozambique / República de Moçambique (Portuguese) 1 – National capital / official languages = Maputo / Portuguese 2 – Currency in circulation = Mozambican metical 3 – Current political leader = Filipe Nyusi 4 – Population estimate = 26,573,706 (July 2017) 5 – Date of independence = June 25, 1975 from Portugal 6 – Country codes: internet (.mz), telephone (+258) Mozambque President, Filipe Nyusi Mozambican metical Capital city of Maputo Flag of the country Country of the Week: Republic of Benin / République du Bénin 1 – National capital / official languages = Porto-Novo / French 2 – Currency in circulation = West African CFA franc, XOF 3 – Current political leader = President Patrice Talon 4 – Population estimate = About 11,520,000 (2018) 5 – Date of independence = 1 August 1960 6 – Country codes: internet (.bj), telephone (+229) President Patrice Talon. Flag of the country. The West Africa CFA (XOF), currency used by most French countries in the region. A general view shows the Tokpa district in Cotonou, Benin’s largest city and economic center. Country of the Week: Republic of Kenya 1 – Capital / official languages = Nairobi / English, Swahili 2 – Currency = Kenyan Shillings (KES) 3 – Current president / PM = President Uhuru Kenyatta 4 – Population estimate = Over 49 million (2017) 5 – Independence Day = December 12, 1963 from Britain 6 – Country codes: internet (.ke), telephone (+254) The Kenyan flag Kenyan Shillings Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta Aerial photo of Kenyan capital, NairobiThu, 09 Aug 2018 12:49:56 +0000editorial@africanews.com Russia-CAR ties signal renewed relationship with Africa’s donation of arms to Central African Republic (CAR) has cemented the former’s ambition to exert influence and win support on the continent. When CAR appealed for help against militia groups last year, Russia’s donation of weapons was chosen over former coloniser, France which offered guns it had seized off Somalia. “We presented our problem and Russia offered to help us, subject to Security Council approval,” said Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, CAR’s presidential spokesman. “If peace is restored tomorrow in CAR, I think everyone will be happy.” By early February, Russia had sent nine planes with weapons along with dozens of contractors to train local soldiers and secure mining projects, marking the start of its highest-profile military foray in sub-Saharan Africa for decades. Besides sending arms and contractors to CAR, Russian national Valery Zakharov is a security adviser to President Faustin-Archange Touadera and Russia’s defence ministry said last week it planned to establish a five-person team at CAR’s defence ministry. Beyond CAR During the Cold War, the Soviet Union forged close military and diplomatic ties with many African countries. It was involved in proxy wars in states such as Angola, Ethiopia and Mozambique and helped independence movements fight Western colonial powers. Russia is now trying to revive some of the relationships that lapsed after the Soviet Union’s collapse. As part of Russia’s renewed push, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov went on a five-nation tour of Africa in March, attended a summit in South Africa in June and visited Rwanda, chair of the African Union, this year. Ethiopia signed its deal in April, a month after Lavrov visited to discuss nuclear energy, agriculture and transportation projects. Russian firms have signed mineral deals in Sudan, which cooperates with Moscow in defence technology, and Russia is looking at diamond and platinum projects in Zimbabwe as well as energy projects in Chad. ALSO READ: Egypt’s Sisi to discuss a strategic partnership with Putin Over the past decade, Russian trade with sub-Saharan Africa has increased fast, albeit from a low base. From 2010-2017, total trade rose to $4.2 billion a year from $1.6 billion, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies Understanding Russia’s geopolitics Since Western nations sanctioned Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014, Moscow has signed 19 military cooperation deals in sub-Saharan Africa, including with Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, according to its foreign and defence ministries and state media. The continent’s 54 member states at the United Nations – three of which sit on the Security Council at any given time – form the organisation’s largest voting bloc and one of its most coherent, making them attractive allies for Russia. “The West is not very much loved by many countries. And many (see) Russia as the country that will oppose the West,” said Dmitri Bondarenko, an anthropologist and historian at Russia’s Institute for African Studies. Russia plans investment in Eritrean port as foreign ministers meet— africanews (@africanews) August 31, 2018Wed, 17 Oct 2018 22:28:44 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ugandans celebrate iconic cable-stay bridge over River Nile are celebrating the commissioning of a new cable stay bridge over the river Nile in the Eastern town of Jinja, described by president Yoweri Museveni as ‘spectacular’, after he toured it by night. The Source of the Nile Bridge, commissioned on Wednesday, is expected to enhance economic and regional integration with neighbouring countries like Kenya, provide safer travel and enhance tourism. Described as an architectural and engineering marvel, the new bridge constructed over four years, at a cost of Uganda Shillings 313 billion ($82m), has the following features; 72 harp-like white cables connecting the bridge deck to two 69-metre tall inverted-Y pylon towers Lightning arrestors, which run from the deck to each tip of the inverted-Y pylon towers There are 202 Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) bulbs at the base of the cables, but with the meridian of the deck, that light up the 72 stay cables The 525m-long bridge has a central span of 290m, end spans of 135m and 100m on the east and west banks respectively It has a dual carriageway 7.0m wide with a pedestrian walk way of 2.25m wide on both ends “We did best quality assurance and rigorous quality control and tested the construction materials with state-of-the-art equipment, both within and abroad in Singapore and Japan,’‘ said Eng Lawrence Pario, the contractor manager of the bridge whose construction was financed by the Japanese government. Ugandans officially embrace the #SourceofTheNileBridge .First walk!First run! To miles of smiles.— UNRA_UGANDA (@UNRA_UG) October 17, 2018 #SourceoftheNileBridge as seen from above. Uganda newest baby. Pic #PPUUNRA_UG— Sarah Kyobe N. (kyobesarah) October 17, 2018 Black ? Yellow ? Red ❤ = ?? Stunning sights of the new #SourceOfTheNileBridge— Uganda Media Centre (@UgandaMediaCent) October 17, 2018Wed, 17 Oct 2018 22:25:26 (Daniel Mumbere) pledges to address human rights challenges has defended its election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), arguing it is party to several human rights treaties and has submitted periodic reports regarding its record. The statement issued by the information ministry, follows an outcry by human rights activists and groups, who challenged the election of Cameroon, Somalia and Eritrea on HRC. The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. While Eritrea routinely jails its dissidents, and has been previously called out by the United Nations itself for arbitrary arrests and detention, the information ministry statement describes such as ‘challenges’. ‘‘Like all Member States, Eritrea faces human rights challenges, and it recognizes the work ahead towards better and higher human rights standards,’‘ reads part of the statement. The statement however pledges to harmonise existing legislation to meet international human rights standards. ‘‘Moreover, the Government is making the necessary preparations to accede to the remaining core international human rights treaties.’‘ While the statement rightly points out that ‘Eritrea is making important contributions to regional peace, stability, and security in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa’, critics insists that the country must improve its human rights record. Diplomatic reset, same old repression – HRW jabs Eritrean govt They call for release of political prisoners, an end to the indefinite national service and opening up of the political and democratic space as some of the key reforms that would set Eritrea on the path of respecting human rights. Full statementWed, 17 Oct 2018 22:30:25 (Daniel Mumbere) e-commerce takes off, despite few internet users low numbers of internet users and sluggish speeds, e-commerce businesses are popping up in Somalia, hoping to tap in as measures to increase access in the Horn of Africa country come online. University worker Safiya Ahmed In her office in Mogadishu buys a blender with just a few clicks of a mouse. Somalia has one of the lowest internet penetration rates globally, But developments in recent years, such as the launch of fibre-optic services in 2014, have given rise to new online customers and businesses. “Today people know how to order goods through online markets and they even shop online overseas. As you know, the internet (use) in Somalia used to be very low because not everyone could get access. But now everyone can get internet via mobile, at home and elsewhere, so Somali online businesses will be successful in the near future,” said Ahmed, a financial officer at Mogadishu’s Golden University. A study by M-Lab, a global consortium that measures internet speeds, found in July that Somalia has an average download speed of 0.60 megabytes per second. a mere three places from the bottom of 200 countries whose speeds were tested. In comparison, Singapore, which is ranked number 1, has an average speed of 60.39 megabytes per second. But that has not deterred firms like Soomar, which offers all sorts of goods from electronics to food on its website. It was the first e-commerce business established in Somalia, in 2016, and remains one of the biggest – though it does have competitiors such as Sami-Online and Hubaal. Soomar makes more than 25,000 sales transactions every month, and growing, said its chief executive, Mohamed Mohamud. He said customers can also book tickets for travel and doctors’ appointments. “There are many challenges we face. The infrastructure of the main cities of Somalia and most of the roads were broken in the war and our delivery cars and motorbikes struggle to get to a place. In some cases there is no home or postal address for you to follow when someone orders goods online,” Mohamud said. According to Somalia’s Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Technology, just 1.88 percent of Somalis used the internet as of 2016.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 15:38:32 (Michael Ike Dibie) Muslim-Jewish childhood friends reunite in Tunisia after 4 decades Al Arabiya news channel has shared the story of two childhood best friends who were recently reunited in Tunisia. Zeinat, a Jewish lost contact with Rabee’a, a Muslim for over 40 years. She decided to return to the neighbourhood to look for her long lost friend. Al Arabiya English’s Twitter handle shared a video showing the women meeting outside the home of the Rabee’a. It turned out to be an emotional reunion in the company of other acquaintances as Zeinat relates how she longed to see Rabee’a again, going as far as looking for her through Facebook. A transcript of their interaction was as follows: Do you remember me? Rabee’a: Najwa, guessed wrongly. Zeinat: I’m the jewish girls you used to play with back when we were children. Rabee’a: Zeinat! (both get into a long embrace to the point of shedding tears) Zeinat: I told them I know a woman that I’d never forget. I’d love to see her. Rabee’a: Subhaanal Laah, mentions words of praise to Allah Zeinat: I tried to reach you on Facebook, but I couldn’t find you. Rabee’a: I always remember you. Zeinat: talking to the cameras I haven’t seen her since 1978. Rabee’a: Even for much longer. Al Arabiya’s video of the reunion WATCH: Emotional reunion between Jewish-Muslim childhood best friends in #Tunisia— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) October 17, 2018Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:05:16 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) financial cost of natural disasters around the world often people assume it is only in Africa that worst natural disasters occur after the recent floods in northern Nigeria due to the Benue river breaking its bank…. A new report on natural disasters over the past 20 years by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction suggests Africa is not the continent when it comes to natural disasters wreaking havoc on people and the environment. the report measured the economic impact of these disasters in relation to Gross Domestic Products countries affected by natural disasters. The worst affected countries include Puerto Rico which lost 12.2% of its GDP to disasters, followed by Haiti with 17.5%, Honduras 7%, and Cuba with 4.6%. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s annual losses represent 7.4% of its GDP. The cost of natural disasters is impressive. That is still 20 years later: $2.9 trillion in recorded damages, four times the budget of the US army which is estimated at $610 billion. On a human level, the bill is high. Over the past 20 years, 1.3 million people have lost their lives which is more than the population of Equatorial Guinea with 4.4 billion people injured as a result translating to 4 times the entire African population.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:56:41 (Eric Oteng) Review of October 17, 2018 [The Morning Call] review the headlines of Africa’s top newspapers on The Morning CallWed, 17 Oct 2018 07:00:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa: The fight against corruption [The Morning Call] corruption scandal implicating high ranking executives in South Africa. The deputy leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party Floyd Shivambu is accused of receiving $700,000 from his brother Brian Shivambu from the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank. It is also alleged that President Cyril Ramaphosa failed to take action despite having knowledge of the widespread corruption at the bank.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:33:52 +0000editorial@africanews.com banana beer [The Morning Call] before Europeans introduced Africans to their beer brewing techniques, Africans were already using locally available crops to do this. The brewing of traditional beer is a common practice among Africans in rural areas. Varieties and types of beer depended on local customs and resources. Among various beers brewed locally are ginger beers and honey beers. But apart from that, there’s sorghum, there’s maize and East Africans are particularly known for making banana beer. We head to to Burundi to find out more.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:04:34 +0000editorial@africanews.com, Ethiopia foreign ministers in Somalia for high-level talks Affairs Ministers of Eritrea and Ethiopia arrived in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, October 17, for talks. Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Isse Awad received his counterparts, Osman Saleh, Eritrea; and Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia, on their arrival at the airport. Reports indicate that the meeting will culminate in the meeting of leaders of the respective countries. It is seen as the latest sign of strengthening of relations across the Horn of Africa. Political watchers say it is a boost for regional cooperation, diplomacy and security. There has been no date announced with respect to when Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki will be expected in town. The last time the three ministers met in the region was in Asmara after their leaders signed a tripartite cooperation agreement. The trio were dispatched to Djibouti to mediate in soured relations between Eritrea and Djibouti. Since the meeting between the ministers, Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki and Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh have met under the auspices of the Saudi king to begin efforts at resolving their decade-long disagreement. Away from the region, the trio also represented their countries at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York. With a common theme of Eritrea sanctions lifting running across their address. @alfaafricanWed, 17 Oct 2018 09:37:04 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) of the day, October 16, 2018 samples the pictures of the day’s news.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:15:32 +0000editorial@africanews.com Zimbabwe president gets cholera vaccine at cabinet meeting leaders across the continent wake up to different challenges of nation running and building. In Cameroon, the president is awaiting an election challenge. Egypt’s Al-Sisi is in Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin, Ethiopian Prime Minister recently joined protesting soldiers to do press-ups even though it was meant to be a reprimand. Over in Zimbabwe, scarf-loving social media president Emmerson Mnangagwa took a break from Tuesday, October 16, cabinet meeting for a health intervention – to get his cholera vaccine administered. He shared the photo on his Twitter handle with an accompanying message: “There is no bad time to get your cholera vaccine, even during a cabinet meeting! “We have embarked on a vaccination drive to help protect our communities from this disease, & we encourage those in high density areas to get vaccinated. Let’s work together towards a healthy Zimbabwe.” People have died especially in the capital Harare following a cholera outbreak weeks back. Scores have also been hospitalized following the outbreak. Government has been seeking funding to help curtail the situation.Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:14:11 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban)'s Minister of Peace: the country's most powerful woman? was only last week when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the formation of a Ministry for Peace, at the time its mandate was said to be unclear. Days on, the ministry’s mandate has all but become clearer and handed to a history maker, Muferiat Kamil. Kamil, Ethiopia’s first woman speaker of parliament was named first Peace Minister in an equally historic cabinet. Abiy presented a gender balanced cabinet to the House of Peoples Representatives, HPR, and had it duly approved. Muferiat was one of ten women on the cabinet with 10 male appointees completing the set. Muferiat Kamil leads the Southern Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDM) one of the constituent bodies of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). She is also the sole female leader on the four-bloc coalition. When she was voted speaker back in April 2014, she replaced Abadula Gemeda of the Oromo bloc – then OPDO now ODP, who had been in the role since 2010. Ministry of Peace – Ethiopia’s most powerful cabinet appointment? Reports indicate that Muferiat’s role has a peace title but spans a high security structure. According to the Addis Standard portal, the Ministry of Peace will oversee the National Intelligence & Security Service (NISS). The Information Network Security Agency (INSA); Federal Police Commission; & Finance Security & Information Center. It will also assume the roles of Federal & Pastoralist Development Affairs, the portal added. It will further oversee: the National Disaster Risk Management Commission; the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs; Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute; and the Main Department For Immigration & Nationality Affairs. Abiy makes good a promise on gender parity Back in April, one of the biggest issues raised by legislators during Abiy’s presentation of his cabinet was the absence of women on the list. He promised that more women will be named in a subsequent list. Abiy seems just to have stuck to his word six months on. Abiy became the first ethnic Oromo to become PM. His first cabinet reshuffle in April brought in 29 ministers. Ten of them being new entrants, six reassigned portfolios. Brief about Minister Muferiat Kamil In 2008, Muferiat Kamil, became Minister of Women’s Affairs at the age of 32, at the time, the youngest appointee of the late Meles Zenawi. She was born in Jimma, the largest city in south-western Ethiopia. She Graduated from Haramaya University with BSc. degree in Agriculture in 2000. She held different women affairs roles and from 2002 till her appointment as Public Relations Advisor to the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) President in 2007. She has worked at the EPRDF office in Addis Ababa in April 2008, then as a junior public relations officer till her appointment as Minister of Women’s Affairs. Abiy’s 10 women appointees and their portfolios 1 – Muferiat Kamil -Minister of Peace 2 – Aisha Mohammed – Minister of Defense 3 – Adanech Abebe – Minister of Revenue 4 – Fetlework Gebregziabher – Minister of Trade and Industry 5 – Dagmawit Mogess – Minister of Transport 6 – Hirut Woldemariam – Minister of Science and Higher education 7 – Yalem Tsegaye Assfaw -Minister of Women’s’, Children’s’ and Youth 8 – Ergoge Tesfaye -Minister of Labour and Social Affairs 9 – Hirut Kassaw -Minister of Culture and Tourism 10 – Fitsum Assefa – Minister of Planning and Development Commission @alfaafricanTue, 16 Oct 2018 14:10:44 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Congo furious with Angola over violent crackdown on migrants’s government condemned what it called the violent expulsion by Angolan authorities of thousands of Congolese citizens during a crackdown on artisanal diamond mining. Congolese migrants and officials have said dozens of people were killed during a crackdown this month, an accusation Angola strongly denies. “The government condemns the human rights violations and the loss of human lives provoked by the expulsions,” its spokesman Lambert Mende said in a statement. Mende said about 28,000 Congolese had been “brutally” expelled, in violation of an agreement between the two countries on freedom of movement. Angolan officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but have previously denied abuses and said repatriations are voluntary. Relations between DRC and Angola The comments from Kinshasa will further increase tensions between the government of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and its erstwhile close ally. Two decades ago, Angola stepped in to rescue Kabila’s father, then president Laurent Kabila, from a Rwandan-backed rebel assault. But Angola has become frustrated by Kabila’s handling of several crises, including instability caused by his failure to step aside when his mandate ended in 2016, and a conflict in Kasai province that sent thousands of DRC refugees over the border. ALSO READ: Angola’s president says in talks with DR Congo’s Kabila about political transition In interviews with Reuters, more than 20 Congolese migrants who crossed the border between October 4-12 described violence, looting and forced displacement by Angolan security forces and a local ethnic group called the Tshokwe. Angola has in recent weeks stepped up efforts to tackle diamond smuggling and raise more revenue from the lucrative sector. ALSO READ: Angola to revamp system of selling diamonds in bid to attract investment REUTERSTue, 16 Oct 2018 22:03:16 +0000editorial@africanews.com ask Mnangagwa to 'vaccinate' economy, not cholera on social media reacted to a photo of president Emmerson Mnangagwa being vaccinated against cholera, by asking him to focus his government’s efforts on resolving the prevailing economic crisis. Mnangagwa posted a picture on his official Twitter account, saying ‘there is no bad time to get your cholera vaccine, even during a cabinet meeting!’ ‘‘We have embarked on a vaccination drive to help protect our communities from this disease, and we encourage those in high density areas to get vaccinated,’‘ read part of the tweet. Fifty people have died and more than 10,000 have been infected in the biggest outbreak of cholera, a water borne disease, since 2008. Fix the economy Mnangagwa’s followers on Twitter were however not impressed, replying the president’s tweet with passionate appeals for the government to urgently resolve the economic challenges prevailing in the country. May you do something on prices Cde President, that’s where the war is now. I think cholera is being won. How can a kg of beef cost $14? That’s too much for an ordinary person who is earning less than $250— langton nyoni (@langtonnyoni) October 16, 2018 A new transaction tax imposed by the finance ministry last week has triggered an economic crisis characterised by shortages, price hikes, panic buying and closure of businesses. READ MORE: Zimbabwe’s KFC closes as foreign currency shortage worsens The president last week urged the country to bear with the new taxes and economic reforms introduced by the finance minister, saying they were necessary to revive the economy. On Tuesday, the energy minister, Joram Gumbo announced a ban on jerrycans and fuel containers at service stations, to prevent hoarding of fuel. Fuel shortages were experienced last week, sparked by panic buying and foreign currency shortages.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 22:01:02 (Daniel Mumbere) Airlines resumes flights to Mogadishu the diplomatic breakthroughs sweeping the Horn of Africa region, Ethiopian Airlines announced on Tuesday that it will resume regular flights to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Nov. 2, its first in four decades. One of the biggest carriers in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines suspended its operations in Somalia following the outbreak of hostilities between the neighbours in the late 1970s. Conflict in Somalia which erupted in subsequent decades and continues to the present day has prevented air carriers from returning. ALSO READ: EU welcomes Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia pact An Islamist militant group has been waging an insurgency in Somalia since 2007. “Our flights will quickly grow to multiple daily flights given the huge volume of traffic between the two sisterly countries and the significant traffic between Somalia and the rest of the world,” Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines’ chief executive, said in a statement. Turkish Airlines is the only other major international carrier that flies to the country. Ethiopia Airlines continues to grow In June, Ethiopian Airlines resumed flights to the Eritrean capital Asmara after a two-decade hiatus following a dramatic diplomatic thaw between the feuding neighbours. The state-owned carrier is Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit, according to an industry body, generating $2.7 billion in revenue in the 2017/18 fiscal year. Since 2013, Ethiopian Airlines has acquired minority stakes in several African carriers to serve as bases for regional operations, including in Malawi Airlines and Zambia’s national airline. The firm also aims to create a new airline in Mozambique that it will fully own, and is in talks with Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea to set up carriers through joint ventures.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 22:05:11 +0000editorial@africanews.com Sisi to discuss a strategic partnership with Putin President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday commenced a three-day official visit to Russia where he praised relations with Russia in the spheres of nuclear energy and commerce as he arrived in Moscow. El-Sisi and the Russian Prime Minister, Dimitry Medvedev are scheduled to discuss “The state and prospects of developing bilateral trade and economic cooperation with an emphasis on large-scale joint projects in energy, industry, agriculture and other spheres,” the Russian government’s press service said. Sisi gave a speech in the Russian parliament and met with Medvedev, who said the two countries were to sign a ‘fundamental’ agreement on strategic partnership. “Tomorrow in Sochi you will hold talks with your colleague President Putin and a fundamental agreement on strategic partnership will be signed. This is indeed a new stage in the development of our relations which are already very friendly,” Medvedev said. The duo plan to sign a range of bilateral documents after the talk, the Kremlin added in the announcement. “I hope that over the coming years construction of the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant will be finished and I believe that this will become a new factor of development of cooperation between our two countries,” said Al Sisi. The Egyptian leader is then expected to fly to Sochi for an informal meeting with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:24:52 +0000editorial@africanews.com West records music in Uganda video of rapper Kanye West dancing freely to a new Nigerian song in an outdoor studio in Uganda. The video sparked excitement amongst some fans on the African continent. The footage shows the American star dropping low to ‘Immediately’ by artists Mystro and Wizkid, filmed by vocalist and music executive Bankulli, who posted it on his Instagram. Kanye West, recently rechristened Ye arrived in Uganda to record the concluding part of his upcoming Yandhi album. He arrived in Uganda along with his wife, Kim Kardarshian West and their daughter North West. Ye and his wife met with the President of Uganda, Yoweri K. Museveni, during their trip to Africa. They chatted about tourism and it seems experiencing a luxury safari left a huge impression on the musician. The pair signed and presented a pair of white Yeezy sneakers from the U.S. rapper’s fashion line to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni during a meeting in the lakeside town of Entebbe. They were reportedly both given Ugandan names, Kanye was given the name “Kanyesigye” loosely translated to mean “let me trust.” However it can also be taken as a play on words as the name is from the western part of Uganda where President Museveni comes from as well. Kim Kardashian West was given the name Kemigisha meaning blessings or one with blessings. ReutersTue, 16 Oct 2018 18:22:46 +0000editorial@africanews.com Faso: first stone monument in memory of Thomas Sankara first stone of a monument to the memory of Thomas Sankara was laid October 15 in Ouagadougou, 31 years to the day after the assassination of the father of the Burkinabe revolution. The bronze five-meter high statue, will be erected on ​​four hectares at the headquarters of the National Council of the Revolution, where President Sankara was killed by a commando on October 15, 1987 at 37 years old. A blow that brought to power his companion in arms, Blaise Compaore. Several hundred people, including members of the government, attended the ceremony followed by a procession to the “Burkina” building in front of which President Sankara was shot dead. Thomas Sankara, who came to power in a coup in 1983, sometimes referred to as “African Che”, was facing a rising challenge in the country because of his uncompromising choices, while his denunciation of imperialism and his links with the leaders of Libya and Ghana earned him strong enemies abroad. AFP @NyashaKMutizwaTue, 16 Oct 2018 17:59:43 +0000editorial@africanews.com to meet on Congo's Ebola outbreak as toll soars World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it would convene an emergency committee to decide whether Congo’s Ebola outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern as confirmed cases and deaths from the virus spiralled. The committee of experts may make recommendations to manage the outbreak, which was declared on Aug. 1 and has worsened, with a risk of the virus spreading from northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda and Rwanda. Congo’s health ministry said on Monday that in the past week alone 33 people were confirmed with Ebola virus and 24 of them died. The ministry said the latest cases were confirmed between Oct. 8 and 14. In total, more than 200 suspected cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever have been reported in this outbreak, all but a couple of dozen of them confirmed, while some 130 people have died since July. Most of the new cases have been in Beni, a city of several hundred thousand people, where experts had to suspend Ebola containment efforts for days after a rebel attack killed 21 people. The Congolese army has blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a notorious rebel group, for that attack. Ebola spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of its victims. The health ministry said 73 patients had received new experimental treatments. Of them, just over half recovered, 20 were still in hospital and the rest died. A plumber for the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in eastern Congo was confirmed to have Ebola on Friday, the first case of a U.N. worker contracting the disease during the current outbreak. ReutersTue, 16 Oct 2018 15:39:19 +0000editorial@africanews.com heads to AFCON 2019 after historic qualification will for the first time enjoy African football as spectators backing their national team. The country on Tuesday qualified for the first time to play in the African Cup of Nations, AFCON. The team did so in style as they became the first to join hosts Cameroon in the tournament scheduled for 2019. They beat visiting Equatorial Guinea by a goal to nil to seal their place. The goal was scored by Thailand-based Nijiva Rakotoharimalala at the taile end of the first half. CONGRATULATIONS ???— CAF (@CAF_Online) October 16, 2018 The goal and three points subsequently shot the team up to top of Group A with 10 points. There are two more rounds of the qualifier to be honoured in November and March next year. Also in Group A are Senegal and Sudan. The Terranga Lions also look set to book their spot if they beat Sudan in their fixture slated for later today. Madagascar have qualified for the African Cup of Nations for the first time in their history! ??— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 16, 2018Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:29:40 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) rising in Africa after prolonged decline: WHO on World Food Day most people the world over, there is food available all year round. The same cannot be said of millions living elsewhere in the world. The United Nations under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture organization, FAO, has thus slated every October 16 annually as ‘World Food Day.’ Quite contrary to its name, it necessarily is not a day to share food but to raise global awareness on the food situation especially as concerns those with little or nothing to eat. There is usually a global celebration at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, but countries across the world also hold national and local level events to commemorate the day. Hunger on the rise: Bad news for Africa The World Health Organization, WHO, African region has today disclosed that hunger is on the rise in Africa after a prolonged decline. “Nearly 14 million under-fives are wasted, 59 million are stunted due to undernutrition. Food security is a must! “The African Region has the highest burden of foodborne diseases: 91 million fall sick and 137,000 die from foodborne diseases. Everyone has a right to safe food,” WHO said. WORLD FOOD DAY GLOBAL CEREMONY FAO Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition, the King of Lesotho and Queen Letizia of Spain will be joined by the UN Rome-based Agency Heads and other key players in the effort to achieve Zero Hunger at the global World Food Day ceremony held at FAO Headquarters in Rome on 16 October. FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 130 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. Together with the global ceremony at FAO headquarters in Rome, these events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. 821 million people are hungry. A #ZeroHunger ? where EVERYONE has enough nutritious food is possible. ?Let’s not waste food ?Let’s support our local food producers ?Let’s adopt a more healthy and sustainable diet Our actions are our future. #WFD2018— FAO Eastern Africa (@FAOEastAfrica) October 16, 2018Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:42:58 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) The app helping women and girls to stop sexual violence week’s sci-tech segment on the Morning Call will focuss on a mobile application that helps young girls and women to stop sexual violence. “App-elles” is an application developed by Diariata N’diaye, a woman involved in ending sexual violence against women and girls for nearly ten years. In her fight, she has had the opportunity to interact with 20,000 young people on the issue. It started with observations made in the field. First, victims of sexual violence often do not contact the police, when they are abused, secondly, they do not know who and where to turn and thirdly, the observation wanted to know the health impact of ignoring the consequences of sexual violence.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:43:07 (Eric Oteng) fishermen cash in on blue crabs crabs are one of the most recognizable varieties of shellfish. They are also one of the most popular sources of food for many coastal communities. In Tunisia, fishermen are now cashing in on the crabs which they nicknamed after the terrifying militants of the Daesh group. Once a native of the Red Sea, the blue crab first showed up in the Gulf of Gabes off Tunisia’s coast in 2014. “When we started to find him, we found a few of them getting stuck in the nets. People (fishermen) were surprised when they saw them. But then, when they invaded the sea, they became “Daesh” for real, a real curse. This species prevented us from fishing. The fish trapped in our nets, they ate them… damaged them,” said fisherman Jamel Ben Jemaa Zayoud. For those making their livelihoods from the sea, the transformation has been stark. In the first seven months of this year, Tunisia produced 1,450 tons of blue crab worth around 3.5 million US dollars, according to the ministry of agriculture. “All the parties involved in the sector, research, profession, administration have thought of putting in place a national plan to, in fact, exploit, promote and market this crab unknown by Tunisian fishermen,” emphasized Marouene Bedoui a researcher at INSTM. “We didn’t have a market, we didn’t have the proper marketing techniques and we didn’t have any knowledge of how to market or consume this animal. There were difficulties in marketing it on the Tunisian market because the Tunisian consumer did not know it. The fisherman therefore avoided fishing it. But when investors came and the administrations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries began to move as well as all the administrations concerned, we began to explore foreign markets in this field,” Karim Hammami, Deputy Director of Tucrab company said. The fishermen are now planning to limit themselves in order not to deplete crab stocks too much. Blue crabs actually help manage the populations of the animals and fish they eat, so during periods of overfishing, the loss of blue crabs has negative effects on the ecosystem where the crabs once hunted and ate.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 11:05:47 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa's EFF rejects complicity in collapse of black bank Africa’s radical opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF; on Tuesday held its much awaited press conference to address corruption allegations against its deputy president Floyd Shivambu. The presser at its headquaters was addressed by leader Julius Malema and Shivambu. Malema categorically rejected contents of a report that alleged that his deputy had benefitted from the collapse of black-owned VBS Mutual bank. Whiles refusing to comment on the validity of the report describing a pronouncement as premature, Malema said Shivambu had the EFF leadership had full confidence in the deputy leader. Malema told journalists that Shivambu brought his financial statements to EFF leadership and that upon perusal they could not locate any money from VBS or Sgameka etc. Sgameka is a company run by Brian Shivambu, brother of Floyd and an official of the EFF. Malema said there are financial exchanges from Floyd to Brian and Brian to him – also his brother Lucky and parents. An investigation commissioned by by the country’s reserve bank into the operations of VBS bank, which was in March, placed under ‘curatorship for the safety of depositors’, revealed that Brian Shivambu, an EFF member received over $1m (R 16m) from the bank. The Daily Maverick on Wednesday reported that up to $680,000 (R 10m) was received by Floyd through his brother, while the EFF party itself received $88,000 (R 1.3m) of the money. EFF responds The EFF in an earlier statement called for the criminal prosecution of implicated individuals and organisations in the ‘VBS defrauding’. The statement reiterated the party’s position that the bank should not be shut down, since it is critical for financial inclusion of black communities in the country. “A recovery plan that can save the bank or support of other black owned prospective black licence applicants to serve the people in rural areas…must be devised,” the statement read in part. About the VBS probe Established in 1982, the wholly black-owned VBS Mutual Bank, initially operated as Venda Building Society. Advocate Terry Motau, who led the VBS probe, recommended that criminal charges be brought against the more than 50 individuals and entities who orchestrated and benefited from the heist that saw at least 1.9 billion rand ($130 million) stolen from the bank. Motau’s probe found that VBS actively sought to attract deposits from municipalities and other state entities and that bribes were paid to solicit the money. Bribes were also paid to people who became aware that money was being stolen for them to keep silent, it also found. VBS was also in the spotlight when it gave Zuma a 7.8 million rand loan to reimburse the state for upgrades to his personal home.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 11:03:48 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) VP in South Africa for medical checks - govt’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is receiving treatment in South Africa for injuries sustained in a bombing in June at a campaign rally for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, state newspaper the Herald reported on Monday. Chiwenga, 61, a former military general who led the coup that ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe last November, is widely seen as the power behind Mnangagwa. Presidential spokesman George Charamba told the Herald that Chiwenga flew to South Africa on Tuesday last week. Charamba did not give details on Chiwenga’s condition but told the newspaper the vice president was receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the June bombing at a Mnangagwa campaign rally in Bulawayo that killed two security aides. “So he flew out last Tuesday alongside his wife who was also due for a review in South Africa, where they then went for medical checks,” Charamba told the newspaper. He added that both Chiwenga and his wife were “in good health” after treatment. “Barring the unforeseen, we expect the couple back into the country sometime this week.” Charamba could not be reached directly for comment. Mnangagwa, who took over from his mentor Mugabe, appointed Chiwenga vice president after the coup and retained him following his disputed July 30 election win. Speculation about Chiwenga’s health began circulating two weeks ago when the vice president, frequently seen at Mnangagwa’s side, disappeared from public view. REUTERSTue, 16 Oct 2018 10:03:44 +0000editorial@africanews.com Coast: Provisional results of local polls results of 189 of 201 municipalities in Ivory Coast are out. The ruling party RHDP has dominated with 89 elected officials far behind Henri Konan Bédié‘s PDCI with 47 elected officials. The RHDP won the victory in the largest municipalities in the Abidjan district, including Treichville, Koumassi, Yopougon and Abobo. This election was dominated by an increase in the number of independent candidates, who at this stage of the vote count, 57 elected. For its part, the PDCI has won the town hall of Cocody and retains the town hall of Le Plateau, the business centre of Abidjan. On the regional side, the RHDP provisionally won 18 seats against 5 for the PDCI and 2 for the PDCI-RHDP, out of 28 of the 31 regional councils proclaimed. Saturday’s elections were overshadowed by tensions within the ruling RHDP coalition. More than six million Ivorians were called to vote in these local elections, the main challenge of which was to measure the opposing forces before the presidential elections of 2020, particularly among members of the former ruling coalition. The two-party coalition, which comprises the RDR of president Alassane Ouattara and the historically dominant PDCI, has governed Ivory Coast since 2010. However, in the run-up to Saturday’s polls their alliance broke down, with each fielding rival candidates in many areas. Scuffles and clashes also occurred elsewhere in the area where campaigning took place in a very tense atmosphere.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 09:37:37 +0000editorial@africanews.com aeronautical lovers converge at the Saint-Exupéry [No Comment]“I’ll be a pilot, By God’s Grace,” said 12 years old Hiba, before his first flight from the Tarfaya sand track in the Moroccan desert. This legendary stopover of Aeropostale greatly inspired the famous Little Prince of Saint-Exupéry.Tue, 16 Oct 2018 09:12:29 +0000editorial@africanews.com