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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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Following is a transcript of a diplomatic note and press statement issued by the US State Department.

US Welcomes Transition of Power in The Gambia

Washington, DC
January 22, 2017

The United States welcomes the on-going peaceful transition of power in The Gambia and congratulates President Adama Barrow on his inauguration. We applaud the commitment to democracy and the restraint shown by the Gambian people over the past weeks. We commend the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other regional partners for their leadership in addressing the situation. We appreciate the decision by Yahya Jammeh to depart The Gambia peacefully and echo President Barrow's call for Gambians to unite and work together as brothers and sisters for the future of The Gambia. The United States is proud of our close ties to the people of The Gambia and looks forward to working closely with President Barrow and his team to achieve the aspirations of all Gambians.


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


Washington Has a New Chief and a New Direction

Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States, on January 20th. His rise through the Republican party’s ranks and then in bitter contest with U.S. Secretary of State and past Senator Hillary Clinton took over 18 months. During the entire campaign, Africa was never mentioned or acknowledged, although it is one of America’s important areas of economic, strategic and security engagements.

President Trump has assembled and his staff has identified many of the 600 appointments that need to be filled, in many cases it will take a little more time before all of them are finalized. The positions include all the U.S. Ambassadors serving in Africa. All of them have been asked to resign and per protocol all have tendered their resignation with the understanding to stay at their post till their replacement are in place or they are reappointed and asked to continue at their posts.

In this posting’s, America’s View, we list the initial Washington appointments which deal with Africa and are in the process of being approved and finalized, that The African Times/USA has been made aware of.

 

AFRICAN UNION

African Union (AU) leaders have chosen Chad's candidate, Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat as the next head of the AU Commission. Mr. Faki beat Kenya's top diplomat Amina Mohamed, by garnering 38 votes (of 54) in a hotly contested election during AU’s Heads of State Summit. While campaigning for the job, he said he dreamt of an Africa where the "sound of guns would be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories" and pledged to streamline the bureaucratic AU during his four-year term in office.

MOROCCO

Morocco has been readmitted into the African Union since it left in 1984 after the organisation’s recognition of the independence of Western Sahara. The readmission was approved during the 28th AU Summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa after Morocco formally announced its wish to rejoin six months ago. 39 Heads of State out of 54 voted for the return of Morocco as a full member of AU. Morocco garnered the votes despite strong opposition by countries including South Africa who support the Polisario Front’s call for a referendum on self-rule which Morocco opposes. Morocco asked the AU to readmit it, as it seeks support for its plan to offer autonomy to the disputed territory of Western Sahara while keeping it under Moroccan sovereignty.

GAMBIA

During the last weeks of ex-President Jammeh control over Gambia, directly before he was expelled and left Banjul, he and his then top military and security officials were recruiting mercenaries to help him retain power. It has been reported that Jammeh assembled mercenaries from former war-ravaged West African nations--mainly from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, and the Southern Province of Casamance in Senegal, an area of Senegal south of The Gambia including the Casamance River. The Liberian mercenaries, were led by former President Charles Taylor's elite security commander Benjamin Yeaten. This has lead for the high security before the new President Adama Barrow arrived from Senegal, where he took his oath of office; and in high measure continues to be of high concern for the new administration and the internal security of Gambia.

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland has detained former Gambian Interior Minister Ousman Sonko, who is accused of committing grave abuses under the regime of ousted president Yahya Jammeh. Sonko had been one of Jammeh's top allies, serving in his Presidential Guard before leading the Interior Ministry from 2006 to 2016. Jammeh sacked him in September and Sanko fled to Sweden where his request for asylum was rejected.

UGANDA

Uganda's government says hundreds of members of a Congolese M23 rebel group have fled a military camp where they had been awaiting amnesty since the signing of a peace deal with Congo's government in 2014. Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in statement that some members of M23, a Tutsi-led rebel group that once controlled vast territory in eastern Congo, "have been quietly escaping into the public." Opondo said Ugandan authorities have arrested 101 M23 members who were being ferried in trucks heading for Congo.

KENYA

With Kenya's general election fast approaching - scheduled for August 8, 2017, Kenya's opposition politicians are consolidating their parties for their battle with President Uhuru Kanyatta and his new party, the Jubilee Party, by unveiling a brand-new coalition: the National Super Alliance. The coalition consists of six major political parties, with 15 others lined up to join later. The main parties are the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), the Wiper Party, Amani National Congress, Chama cha Mashinani, the Narc Kenya Party, the United Democratic Party and the Muungano Party.

GHANA

Ghana's main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the west African country's presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama. In his first comment since the election, Mahama said on Twitter he would wait for official results, in a seemingly softer tone when a senior member of his National Democratic Congress (NDC) camp said Mahama was ahead. "Let's allow EC (Electoral Commission) to carry out its constitutional mandate. We'll make Ghana proud no matter outcome" of the election, he said in a tweet on his official account. Ghana's record of peaceful elections since 1992 and regular changes of government through the ballot box stands as a beacon in a region that has seen a series of civil wars and coups.

ZIMBABWE

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party confirmed at a party conference that Robert Mugabe will be its official Presidential candidate for 2018 elections, He will be 94 at the time of the election. It seems that only Mugabe’s death, or a revolt from within his party, will end his more than three decades in office.

SENEGAL

Representatives from Senegal's Diaspora will be granted almost 10% of seats in Parliament, underlining the key role migrants play in the west African nation's economy. More than half a million Senegalese live outside their homeland, sending back more than $1.64bn a year in remittances to their families, according to International Organization for Migration (IOM) figures. Senegal is home to 13 million people. Moustapha Diakhate, an MP with the country's ruling coalition of parties, reported that the Parliament had passed the bill increasing the number of lawmakers by 15 to 165 [9.1%], who would be elected to serve the interests of the Senegalese Diaspora.

NIGERIA

Nigeria's anti-corruption agency is reviving a five-year-old scandal involving one of Africa's richest oil bloc Malabu OPL 245, in which a former Petroleum Minister and his allies allegedly made off with $1.1 billion dollars and the state oil company $210 million. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed suit in the federal high court charging former Petroleum Minister Dan Etete, former Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke and businessman Aliyu Abubakar with fraud and money laundering in the sale of the bloc. The issue of the Malabu OPL 245 oil bloc is also being investigated in the United States, Britain, Italy and France.

MOROCCO / NIGERIA

Nigeria and Morocco have signed a joint venture to construct a gas pipeline that will connect the two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe, Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs reported. The agreement was reached during a visit by the Morocco's King Mohammed to the Nigerian capital Abuja, Geoffrey Onyema, the minister, said, adding that the pipeline project would be designed with the participation of all stakeholders. "In this agreement both countries agreed to study and take concrete steps toward the promotion of a regional gas pipeline project that will connect Nigeria's gas resources, those of several West African countries and Morocco," Onyema said the project aimed to create a competitive regional electricity market with the potential to be connected to the European energy markets.

SAO TOME - PRINCIPE

The government of Sao Tome and Principe cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan on Dec. 21. In response, Taipei severed ties with the West African island nation and put plans in motion to close its embassy, recall its technical mission and end all bilateral cooperation projects, according to the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry. The pair first established diplomatic relations in 1997. Taipei accused China of using Sao Tome and Principe's financial problems to pressure the country to end ties with Taiwan and recognize Beijing’s “one China” policy, which bars countries from maintaining official relations with both Taiwan and China.

MOROCCO / ETHIOPIA

Morocco signed an agreement to invest over two billion dollars in Ethiopia over a five year period to build a fertilizer factory. The $2.4 billion to be invested between 2017 and 2022 in the 100 acre factory near the eastern city of Dire Daoua is expected to make Ethiopia self-sufficient by 2025. The deal was signed during the official visit of Moroccan King Mohammed VI to Ethiopia to strengthen its political and South/South partnership. The agreement is between Moroccan phosphate producer OCP Group and the Ethiopian government with the former financing the project.

NO DIRTY FUELS

Five countries in West Africa have decided to stop importing "dirty fuels" from Europe, the UN Environment Program says. A recent report revealed that European companies were exploiting weak regulations in West Africa to export fuels with high levels of sulphur. Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire agreed on the import ban. The UN says the move will help more than 250 million people breathe safer and cleaner air. The sulphur particles emitted by a diesel engine are considered to be a major contributor to air pollution and are ranked by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the top global health risks.