| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Women are likely to be elected for the first time to some of Kenya's powerful governor positions after making historic gains in party primaries this week, experts said, heralding a political breakthrough for the patriarchal society. Kenya has East Africa's lowest female representation in parliament - at 19 percent - and women have struggled to make gains in the face of violence, intimidation and sexism. That looks set to change in August's elections. "This time, at least two women are almost guaranteed for the position," said Macharia Munene, a professor of international relations at Nairobi's United States International University. "They might win because they have proven themselves as capable leaders in previously held positions." Kenyans...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed attempts to restart talks between Morocco and the Polisario independence movement over the Western Sahara conflict and has extended its peacekeeping mission for another year. The resolution late on Friday came after the U.N. mission confirmed the Polisario had withdrawn troops from disputed territory's Guerguerat area, where they faced off since last year with Moroccan forces. Rabat pulled back its forces earlier this year. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month called for Morocco and the Polisario Front, who fought a war over the region until a 1991 ceasefire, to enter new negotiations that would include proposals from both sides. "This action should improve the prospects of creating an environment that will...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was dramatically fired by President Jacob Zuma, has warned that the ruling ANC party could lose power in the next election. Gordhan -- widely seen as a bulwark against government corruption in South Africa -- also appeared to back deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma. "I think there are many of us who are extremely worried that if we continue as we are in the African National Congress (ANC), we are...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Kenya's opposition lined up Thursday behind a single candidate, veteran political leader Raila Odinga, in an unprecedented step to strengthen their challenge to the government in August's polls. Former prime minister Odinga, 72, was named presidential candidate by senior leaders of the National Super Alliance (NASA) at a large rally in the capital Nairobi. Odinga will, for the second consecutive time, challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta in a repeat of a 2013 election that he lost in the first round. However, this time five of the country's main opposition leaders have united, something they always failed to do previously.
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Nigerian officials on Thursday sought to allay fears about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari after his absence from the last two cabinet meetings. Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu said there was "no need for apprehension" that he had missed the meetings but he was only following medical advice. "As eager as he is to be up and about, the president's doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said Thursday he will be leaving office next year and "graciously hand over" to his succesor. In his last state-of-the-nation address, delivered on the country's 56th independence anniversary, Koroma said he was leaving a "legacy of peace and unity" that all Sierra Leoneans should be committed to defend. A presidential election has been scheduled for March 2018. Koroma commended the country for its resilience, noting that over the years, he has observed that...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, will visit Khartoum on Sunday for talks on the conflict in the North African country, the Sudanese foreign ministry said. Kobler, on his first visit to Sudan, is expected to meet Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and other senior officials in Khartoum. "He will discuss efforts made by Arab League and African Union to solve the Libyan crisis," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Ghandour will also attend a...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The UN Security Council on Thursday postponed voting on a draft resolution on the Western Sahara conflict amid signs the Polisario Front independence movement was preparing a pullback from a tense zone of the contested territory, a council diplomat said. The US-drafted text included a strong appeal to the Polisario Front to immediately withdraw from the Guerguerat strip, which has become a potential flashpoint between the independence fighters and Moroccan troops. "The council wants to see if there is any...
(New Zimbabwe 04/28/17)
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has lambasted home affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo for threatening to dispossess beneficiaries of the land reform who are found supporting the opposition. Chombo recently told farmers at a field day that they were not free to join a party of their choice because they were given land by the Zanu PF-led government. PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the utterances are disturbing and unconstitutional as the liberation party has no legal standing to deny any citizen...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo remembered the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during a two-day state visit to Uganda where he stressed on pan-Africanism. Obiang Nguema told the media at the Ugandan State House in Entebbe on Wednesday that Africa’s problem is due to lack of unity to counter its challenges. “I remember our hero Gaddafi who used to promote this African solidarity but sadly most countries would not still agree with him … The instability Africa is suffering is due to the egoism of each country,” he was quoted by local media Daily Monitor.
(Washington Post 04/28/17)
A coalition of opposition parties announced Thursday that Raila Odinga, a three-time presidential candidate and former prime minister, would be its standard-bearer in elections in August. The announcement sets up a rematch between Odinga and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who narrowly won the last election in 2013. Odinga contested the results of that race, alleging irregularities in the counting of votes. But Kenya’s Supreme Court rejected the challenge and declared Kenyatta the victor. Odinga is now 72, and this is...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
South Africans gathered Thursday to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the country's first post-apartheid elections, but the annual Freedom Day celebrations were mixed with demonstrations calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Zuma addressed the main gathering of supporters in his home province of Kwazulu Natal. "This day must be the day on which we are happy to contribute more in building South Africa," he said. "Happy Freedom Day to you all." Speaking in Zulu, Zuma criticized opposition parties,...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday toured a model rural settlement project in eastern Rwanda. The Ntebe model village, in Rwamagana district, brings together communities where they can work together in sectors such as agriculture and share yields and profits, with easy access to schools, health centers, water, power and sanitation infrastructure, Rwanda's Minister of Local Government Francis Kaboneka said. Desalegn arrived in Kigali on Thursday on a three-day state visit. Rwanda and Ethiopia are expected to sign a...
(The Associated Press 04/28/17)
Germany's Parliament has approved a measure for closer cooperation with Egypt on security issues to fight terrorism, which rights organizations say could make Germany complicit in Egyptian human rights abuses. The agreement, signed with Egypt last summer, allows the countries to exchange experts and information to help fight terrorism and other crimes like drug trafficking and money laundering, and carry out operational measures upon request. Though the agreement is predicated upon "upholding human rights," critics say it lacks any effective...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
A major protest has taken place in South Africa against embattled President Jacob Zuma. Some 2,000 people gathered in Pretoria on Thursday to demand Zuma’s exit on the occasion of the “Freedom Day”, which marked the first free elections in the country’s history in 1994 as well as fall of apartheid. The group, “Freedom Movement”, combining parties and civil society groups hostile to Zuma, gathered in a park in the capital, holding placards that read “Zuma must go “. “Coalition...
(The New York Times 04/28/17)
“Heh, you people, you used to laugh at us. Look at you now. You can’t even buy a bottle of Coke!” It was the early 2000s, during the economic free-fall that had followed Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform program, which began 20 years after the country had won its political independence from Ian Smith’s settler colonial regime. My parents were visiting Zambia from South Africa and in the town of Livingstone met a woman who, upon discovering that they were...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
In Nigeria, the parliament’s upper house aims to pass the government’s 2017 budget next week, revealed Senate leader Ahmed Lawan (photo, left) on Thursday. “By next week… we should be able to finish our own work and pass the budget to Mr. President to sign,” Lawan said after a meeting with president Buhari. The leader explained that the parliament should have passed the budget in March and April but could not. Let’s recall that Buhari, in order to get the...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was booed off stage as he addressed a town hall meeting Thursday in a southeastern region rocked by protests and a general strike. Six years since a revolution ignited by grievances over joblessness, corruption and perceived marginalisation of the country's periphery, Tunisia has seen a wave of protests. Chahed and several government ministers arrived in the town of Tataouine to find a town closed down by a general strike. The market, banks and shops in...
(Geeska Afrika 04/27/17)
Public Diplomacy & Regional Security for Stability. By Fatah Al-Rahman Yousef (aawsat). Djibouti’s Defense Minister Ali Hasan Bahdon stressed that a military and defense agreement signed between Saudi Arabia and Djibouti in Riyadh on Wednesday lies in the interest of the two nations and the region’s security. General Abdurhman Al-Bunyan, chief of staff, Fahd Al-Isa, advisor at the royal court and general supervisor of the defense minister’s office, Maj. Gen. Taher Muhammad Ali, deputy chief of staff of Djibouti, and...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan has blamed Barack Obama for his 2015 presidential election defeat to Muhammadu Buhari, alleging the former US president headed a global conspiracy to get rid of him. Jonathan made the allegations in a new book out on Friday called "Against The Run of Play", which documents how he became the first Nigerian incumbent head of state to lose an election. He said Obama and his officials "made it very clear to me by their actions that they wanted a change of government in Nigeria and were ready to do anything to achieve that purpose".

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