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Africa Watch
Ethiopian human rights activists, members of opposition parties and those working in the media say their freedom of movement has been severely limited since the government declared a state of emergency. Urgent support call for Afrobarometer poling group that measures Africa’s road to the Continent’s future – Followed by map of US military operations in Africa, followed by an overview of the Boko Haram in Nigeria and all the Al-Qaeda aligned terrorist groups across Africa and Middle-East as they continue their operations. We provide a closer look at Boko Haram and al-Shabaab organization - READ MORE
Americas View
In this section we present the official U.S. government statements, public opinion polls and general comments America makes about Africa to keep Africa officialdom aware of the Africa temperament in the USA –and to see “What America Sees” –– in this post we report on a historic victory of a Somali-American Muslim woman in U.S. Legislative Elections; followed by a reprint of a Commentary which appeared in the recent issue of The New Yorker Magazine-READ MORE
Africa Comment
Conversely this section presents comments by Africa which the U.S. and other overseas quarters should be aware of and understand. Current posting reports on Africa’s showdown with the International Criminal Court (ICC). PLUS: Malawi is contemplating removing English from their classrooms. We also feature the African Transformation Report which outlines a view of Africa's possible or probable future- full report is linked for download. -READ MORE
Insight
This posting leads off with the unsolved murder of Burkina's revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara. Followed by "Made in Ghana "with great pride and ingenuity – Kantanka Group designed, produced and is manufacturing passenger cars in Ghana. Now that is NEWS! -READ MORE
Briefing

We name the top 10 philanthropists in Africa.

-READ MORE
Profile

Profile of Ghana President, John Dramani Mahama – PLUS eight other noteworthy African politicians Michael Sata, Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, Somalia Prime Minister; Re-elected President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Al-Bashir, President of Sudan; Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa

-READ MORE
Africa Inc
President Barack Obama spoke at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, addressing forum participants, Obama said Africa is "home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world." Followed by an insightful article of Sub-Sahara economic standing, plus a report of Recent Africa airlines meeting and the Open Skies developments. Africa Development Bank President warns of coming economic problems, followed by a report “Africa Loses More Money to Illicit Financial Flows Than It Receives in Foreign Aid”.. -READ MORE
Interviews
A message by Stephen Hayes, the Chair of the Washington DC based Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and disseminated to the organization’s membership, which is comprised of America’s major corporations, with most having business interests between the U.S. and the nations of Africa -READ MORE
Culture
Reporter pens picture of a complex Gambia. Many African children are given at least three names. Each is carefully selected to reflect the circumstances of the child's birth, the family history, the parents' status or the expectations for the child's future. Cuban Ganga finds his roots in Sierra Leonean village- a touching 175-year return to the Continent -READ MORE
The Arts
The global art world discovers contemporary artists, and is ready with $$$ millions - plus one of Nigeria’s most accomplished artist – Peju Alatisa, who is now a Museum Fellow of the African Art Museum in Washington D.C. With all the political events taking place in Egypt, its history and grandeur still comes to life - until a decade ago, no one knew of, an ancient harbor city Heracleion -READ MORE

 

Africa Kitchen
Safari Cuisine overview. Followed by Art of Sushi-Making African-Style. The unique drinks of Africa. Then we tell you of Morocco and its saffron crop. France's cherished culinary tradition holds big attraction for foreign visitors. But few tourists realize that many chefs and most kitchen staff in Paris and other big cities are immigrants from Africa. Review of a classic Nairobi restaurant Carnivore – Plus a great Senegal food article which appeared in the “Saveur” magazine, courtesy of Peirre Thiam, our chef colleague. Link to the U.S. based African Dinner website listing African restaurants in all the major metropolitan areas of the U.S.-READ MORE
Book Review
"Foreign Gods, Inc." a new must-read book by a Nigerian author reviewed. Nelson Mandela's autobiography turned into a film – our review. From orphan to author, the self-help guru is turning the spiritual world upside down by exploring a new concept, African Spirituality. “Our ancestors believed in African deities and gained their strength to survive one of the worst atrocities in American history," Followed by a review of a book by the President of Ghana “My First Coup D'état” – and a review of a 19th Century travel book of West Africa by Mary Kingsley, published in 1892, a must read before your visit to Sierra Leone - READ MORE
Career Info
The African Times/USA presents Career Opportunities as a community outreach resource to our readers and site visitors. World Bank seeking new talent; Africa Development Bank’s new career program is outlined; U.S. White House internship information, a way to work with the U.S. President; Fulbright Scholarship availability and contacts for US and non-US applicants -READ MORE
Travel
Visit to the land of the Black Pharaohs, Nubia, Sudan - TENERIFE – the sophisticated island retreat off Africa’s Atlantic coast with much to offer any visitor. Nairobi art galleries get a review and a look at Nairobi’s oldest hotel, the Stanley admits fabulous Exchange Bar. And then we tell you about a destination with a WARNING! The following is not a place to visit now, but you should put it on your Africa travel bucket list, because when all will become peaceful it will be the top Africa destination -READ MORE

 

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The People Win!
This is an unexpected and exciting update to our below editorial.  Gambia’s just-concluded Presidential election has ended the 22-year repressive rule of Yahya Jammeh, the outgoing President.  The overwhelming popular vote made it clear, without any doubt, that the opposition candidate Adama Barrow is the President-elect. Jammeh who seized power in a 1994 coup, conceded the election on a televised telephone call to President-elect Barrow.
The African Times/USA congratulates the People of Gambia and their new President Adama Barrow.

The Gambia’s Dubious Election

On December 1, Gambians will go to the polls once again to vote to determine who will be President since Yahya Jammeh came to power through a coup de tat some 22 years ago.
During those twenty-two years, Jammeh has gone through a very dramatic neurological set of changes – too numerous to list. This time around, he has instructed his followers, the ones who benefit from his grip on POWER to ensure his re-election.
This has become a deadly problem for Gambia, or more precisely “The Gambia” as he renamed the country; a beautiful and previously peaceful, small country on the Atlantic coast of Africa, surrounded by French speaking Senegal.
The political situation took a turn for the worse between April and May when government security agents violently disrupted a peaceful protest by members and supporters of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) and arrested 90 of them as they agitated for electoral reforms before the December elections.
Thirty of the arrested opposition activists were prosecuted without being accorded due process and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
The arrests, prosecution and even application for bail for the others did not accord the accused due process as prescribed in international human rights law and Gambia national laws. Their application for bail and trial have continued to be frustrated nearly seven months after their arrest.
The run up period is distinctly a testing time for human rights and governance. Previous experiences have shown that opposition members, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society organizations and voters face a high risk of serious human rights violations if they attempt to express dissenting opinion to those held by the sit-tight President and his discredited entourage.


Debate - knowledge - opinions - ideas are all part of the AFRICA DIALOG. This is your opportunity to debate, come under the traditional village tree and become a part of the community.

We look forward to your comments:

editor@theafricantimes.com


Africa, Oh Happy Days, Just Listen And Enjoy

In Africa there are happy times and things that take place every day – just listen to the South African Youth Choir. Their rendition of “Oh Happy Days” will make your day.

Here is the site to go to on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AheC9ul5w1A

And as you enjoy, remember that the children and the youth are Africa’s future, and that Africa is a happy place as well…

 

AFRICAN UNION

Rwanda President Paul Kagame of has picked a team of eminent persons to work with him, as he leads efforts to reform the African Union into a more credible and self-reliant body. President Kagame was given the assignment at the 27th AU Summit to lead the overhaul of the continental body. Reliable sources say President Kagame has picked Dr. Carlos Lopes, outgoing Executive Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and former President of the African Development Bank Dr. Donald Kaberuka to spearhead the process. The two are said to have met the President earlier this month in Kigali to discuss the way forward. Others are Econet Wireless Founder Strive Masiyiwa and Cameroon's Acha Leke, a senior partner at the global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company.

ICC – International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC), the world body designed to prosecute those who commit the gravest atrocities, initially had widespread support by African nations, which made up 34 of its 124 signatories. But after prosecutors pursued cases against Africa’s sitting Presidents — African leaders began to complain that the court was biased against the Continent. This discontent has raised fears of an African exodus from a tribunal. Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said The Gambia is planning to withdraw from the ICC, following similar announcements by South Africa and Burundi, Bojang accused the court of unfairly focusing its efforts on African rulers, while ignoring crimes committed by Western leaders. Kenya, Sudan, Malawi and Namibia have also indicated that they might leave the ICC as well; and most recently add Russia to the list.

SUDAN

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has said that his country wouldn't serve as a launching pad for any armed opposition activities against South Sudan. Ghandour said “Sudan wouldn't allow any armed opposition to be launched from its territory against South Sudan," he said, pointing his country continued to play an essential and active role in all regional and international initiatives aiming to achieve peace in the newborn nation. Sudan's top diplomat underscored his country's keenness to achieve peace in South Sudan, saying peace can't be achieved in the two Sudans unless it was achieved in the other country.

EGYPT

Egypt's Interior Ministry reported that it killed a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader it said was responsible for the group's "armed wing" and another member of the group in a shootout. Mohamed Kamal, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's top leadership, had disappeared the group said on its telegram account. The Brotherhood which is banned in Egypt maintains that it is a peaceful organization. Kamal had been sentenced to life in prison on two counts in absentia, the ministry said in its statement. Muslim Brotherhood has been waging attacks in Egypt since the 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, who was a member of the group. Meanwhile, security forces have forcefully clamped down on the group.

AFRICAN UNION

Kenya has nominated its Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to contest for the AU Chairperson, the top, influential post in Africa, currently held by South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The other three candidates who are battling with Ms. Mohamed are former Ugandan Vice President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, the Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and his Botswanian counterpart Pelonomi Venson Moitoi.

TANZANIA

Starting next year, Tanzania's first graders will be required to report with, in additional to their new books, a tree seedling. The primary school children are not alone. Those joining secondary schools will also be mandated to bring with them three seedlings. The Environment Minister January Makamba said the new directive, which is part of government efforts to protect the ecosystem, will apply to both public and private schools, and will form part of the end-of-school assessment. Mr. Makamba said the children must take care of and nurture the young trees they plant through their schooling years - a new requirement for granting of leaving certificates.

WEST AFRICAN COAST

Twenty years ago, Fuvemeh was a thriving community of 2,500 people, supported by fishing and coconut plantations that are now completely underwater. But in the past two decades, climate change and industrial activity - such as sand mining and the construction of dams and deep-sea ports, which trap sediments and prevent them from reaching the coastline - have accelerated coastal erosion here. Gradually but inexorably, the ocean has swallowed up hundreds of feet of coastline, drowning the coconut plantations and eventually sweeping away houses. For a time, villagers retreated, rebuilding destroyed houses farther away from the advancing shoreline. But eventually they ran out of land to fall back on: The narrow peninsula is now less than 1,000 feet across, and high tides routinely wash over the entire sandy expanse.

SOMALIA

Somalia lost $1 billion to graft. A former top financial manager in the Somali government has released a report detailing how over $1 billion was diverted from the national budget between 2013 and 2015. Abdirazak Fartaag worked as the head of the Public Finance Management Unit between 2009 and 2011. In the report titled Breaking Point in Somalia: How state failure was financed and by whom, the whistleblower says the government receives and spends more money from donors and domestic revenue than they account for. "The deliberate deficiencies of the government in developing functional structures and accountable management controls have been conduits for budget diversion. The money is used to fund insurgencies, private investments and Islamic institutions, which fuels further anarchy in the country," said Mr. Fartaag.

MOROCCO

"The Kingdom of Morocco has officially submitted a request to accede to the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act, and therefore, become a Member of the Union," the AU said in a statement. Rabat first announced its intention to return to the AU in July, with King Mohammed VI saying his country wanted to "take up its natural place within its institutional family." Morocco quit the AU in protest in 1984 when the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) – commonly known as Western Sahara – was admitted as an AU member. Morocco has occupied the sparsely populated Western Sahara area since 1975 in a move that was not generally recognized by the international community.

SOUTH SUDAN

Leaders of the two sides responsible for mass killings and rapes in the South Sudan conflict have amassed enormous wealth inside and outside the country, much of it illegally, according to an investigative report released by a Washington advocacy group The Sentry, an initiative co-founded by actor George Clooney. The families and top associates of President Salva Kiir and his rival and former Vice President, Riek Machar, whose forces have been engaged in a civil war since 2013, own multimillion-dollar properties, drive luxury cars and stay at expensive hotels, "all while much of their country's population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war and, in many places, experiences near-famine conditions," according to the report. The report said the leaders had "benefited financially from the continuing war and have effectively ensured that there is no accountability for their human rights violations and financial crimes.

NIGERIA

Nigeria's population reached 182 million this year with more than half its people under 30 years of age, putting a severe strain on a nation suffering from a slowing economy and declining revenue. The latest estimate is based on the population of 140 million recorded in the last census a decade ago, using an annual growth rate of 3.5 percent weighed against other variables such as rising life expectancy and a declining infant mortality rate, Ghaji Bello, Director General of the National Population Commission, said in an interview. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is witnessing a growing youth bulge, with those under 14 years accounting for more than 40 percent of its citizens, he said. This is happening at a time when the International Monetary Fund has forecast the West African nation's gross domestic product will shrink 1.7 percent this year, the first full-year contraction in more than two decades.

SOUTHERN AFRICA RAILWAY

The governments of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a regional railway line to link Francistown in Botswana to the Mozambican port of Techobanine, through Bulawayo, in Zimbabwe. Once completed, the Port Techobanine Inter-Regional Heavy Haul Railway Project would facilitate inter-regional trade through the movement of passenger rail traffic and up to 12 million tons of goods per annum through the three countries. Botswana's Minister of Minerals, Water and Energy, Kitso Mokaila, said the MOU that was signed in Bulawayo, committed each country to contribute $200 million towards the cost of the project. The rest of the work would be done through Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), with the private sector taking the lead.

SOCIAL MEDIA

It hasn't been a good time for internet freedom in Africa, with three countries imposing social media blackouts, according to the campaign “Keep It On”. Internet users in Bamako, Mali reported not being able to use Facebook and Twitter after protests against the detention of a popular radio host turned violent, resulting in three deaths. Meanwhile, users in The Gambia, which is holding a presidential election shortly, said WhatsApp stopped working. Internet and network outages were also reported in Zambia, where protesters have been demonstrating against a presidential election narrowly won by incumbent president Edgar Lungu. Cutting off access to social media is becoming a common tactic during elections and protests in Africa, as political mobilization increasingly moves online.

SOMALIA

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud appealed to the African Union peacekeeping troops and the local security forces to enhance security during the forthcoming elections. Mr. Mohamud said the Pan-African and Somali troops should work to secure the coming Parliamentary and Presidential elections beginning next month. The call comes after Somalia's Election Commission announced that the country's 2016 presidential election will take place on October 30. The elections will be a watershed because it will be the first time in more than 40 years that 14,025 electorates will elect the leaders. This will be an increase in representation compared to the last elections in 2012, where a council of 135 elders represented the electorate.

ZIMBABWE

Leaders of Zimbabwe's opposition have united as they denounced ageing President Robert Mugabe's hold on power and called for citizens and political parties to join hands in ending the ruling Zanu-PF party's alleged misrule. In a push to unseat Mugabe, five parties recently came together to create the the Coalition of Democrats - dubbed CODE - a coalition they hoped would challenge the the head of state and his ruling Zanu-PF party in the 2018 general elections. Mugabe has ruled with an iron fist, sidelining his rivals through a combination of shrewd politics and force. The nonagenarian has recently quashed any debate about his succession by stressing his intention to stand for re-election in 2018 when he is 94.

LIBERIA

Liberia could plunge back into civil war if the nation does not pass a historic bill protecting community land rights in a region where weak land rights have been tied to armed conflict, civil society organizations have warned. In 2014 and 2015, Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf proposed the draft Land Rights Act (LRA) and Land Authority Act (LAA), which would strengthen the rights of rural communities to land on which they have lived and worked for generations, per Human Rights Watch (HRW). In its proposed form, the act legally recognizes communities' rights to native "customary land"-defined as land owned by a community that is used in accordance with traditional practices such as crop farming.

ETHIOPIA

Since November 2015, Ethiopia has been experiencing a wave of anti-government protests unleashed by fears by the Oromo people that the government was planning to seize their land. Hundreds of people have been killed. In early August, anti-government demonstrations rocked the Oromia and Amhara regional states of Ethiopia. Thousands of demonstrators went on to the streets calling on the government to stop killing protesters, release those arrested, implement political reform, and respect justice and the rule of law. However, the response from government security forces, which used live ammunition against protesters, led to the death of about 100 unarmed people. Although the government security apparatus reported that the demonstrations had been contained, "the current political situation has become volatile.