Africa Briefs

Somali-British poet penned verses in ‘Lemonade’

Somali-British poet penned verses in ‘Lemonade’

| April 26, 2016

(GIN)—Beyonce’s pick for lyrics setting off her latest production, LEMONADE, was Warsan Shire, a poet of Somali-British parentage. A 27-year-old born in Kenya to Somali parents, who published her first pamphlet, “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth,” in 2011, Shire went on to win the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2013. “I […]

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Tributes pour in for pioneer of popular ‘soukous’ sound Papa Wemba

Tributes pour in for pioneer of popular ‘soukous’ sound Papa Wemba

| April 26, 2016

(GIN)—To some, he was the King of Congolese rumba—a sound that layered luscious Cuban rumba with African instruments and beats. Papa Wemba, or Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, was rebellious, prolific, a style icon, at times notorious and always innovative. “The world of popular music has lost a giant—a consummate musician, a shape-shifter who challenged […]

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Dysfunction persists in Nigeria, despite power shift

Dysfunction persists in Nigeria, despite power shift

| April 26, 2016

(GIN)—Despite the guiding hand of a new president and a massive bailout by the federal government last year, salaries of government workers in most of Nigeria’s 36 states have not been paid—in some cases as long as nine months. According to local media, the states were in dire straits by the middle of last year […]

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Rivals settling old scores, imperil Burundi

Rivals settling old scores, imperil Burundi

| April 26, 2016

(GIN)—Like a train without brakes, Burundi is skidding towards a collision of ethnic and political factions with an alarming number of fatalities already reported among Hutus and Tutsis. More than 400 people, including high-ranking army officials, have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza in April bent the rules to give himself a third term in […]

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New questions arise about former child soldiers from Africa in Iraq War

New questions arise about former child soldiers from Africa in Iraq War

| April 19, 2016

(GIN)—Aegis Defense Service, a UK firm, may have recruited former child soldiers from Sierra Leone to provide security for U.S. bases in Iraq, according to a new TV documentary to premiere next week in Denmark. The film—”The Child Soldiers’ New Job”—includes testimony from interviewees who said they once served as child soldiers, and documents their […]

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Environmental fund taps six for major ‘green’ prize

Environmental fund taps six for major ‘green’ prize

| April 19, 2016

(GIN)—Once the ancestral land of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers, the Tarangire national park in Tanzania found itself in the crosshairs of tourist developers carving up the wilderness for fancy lodges, luxury tents and other rich tourist amenities. Lands once shared with the wildebeest, the zebra, and majestic old baobab trees were being “grabbed” by government or […]

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Zambian villagers seek justice for decades of pollution

Zambian villagers seek justice for decades of pollution

| April 12, 2016

(GIN)—A group of Zambian villagers will appear in London’s High Court this week for a case pitting the poorest inhabitants of Zambia against a UK-based mining giant that allegedly allowed the poisoning of communal lands and water by its Zambian subsidiary. The soil in the so-called Copperbelt used to be rich and highly productive but […]

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Africa’s billionaires among tax dodgers in Panama leak

Africa’s billionaires among tax dodgers in Panama leak

| April 12, 2016

(GIN)—Africa’s most talked-about and admired billionaires are among the dozens of world leaders named in the so-called Panama Papers—a huge trove of records listing tax dodgers and other misdeeds leaked to a media outlet in Germany and published in papers around the world this month. The massive leak of confidential documents from the Panama-based firm […]

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Somali arts blossom in Minneapolis

Somali arts blossom in Minneapolis

| April 12, 2016

(GIN)—Traditional Somali culture has found a home away from home. Scattered to the four winds during years of war and unrest, traditional handmade items have found their way to a safe place in the Somali Museum of Minnesota, amidst one of the world’s largest Somali diaspora population. It may be the only museum in the […]

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Massive leak of documents could offer clues to Africa’s missing wealth

Massive leak of documents could offer clues to Africa’s missing wealth

| April 5, 2016

(GIN)—It has been called the biggest leak in the history of recorded journalism. More than 11 million documents sent to a newspaper in Germany are providing a first time look into the whereabouts of the national wealth of nations in Africa, Latin America, Europe and the U.S. that had disappeared over the years without a […]

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