Africa Briefs

U.S. opens new chapter in Sudan relations, lifting sanctions

U.S. opens new chapter in Sudan relations, lifting sanctions

| October 10, 2017

(GIN)—Sudan’s strained relations with the U.S., decades long, have suddenly taken a turn for the better. In a move that caught some diplomats and human rights defenders by surprise, the U.S. State Department announced the lifting of some of its toughest economic and trade sanctions against Sudan. The initiative was reportedly hammered out in the […]

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Liberian president leaves mixed legacy with ‘fragile gains’

Liberian president leaves mixed legacy with ‘fragile gains’

| October 10, 2017

(GIN)—Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf winds up her presidential career this month with a major record of achievements as Africa’s first female head of state. The economy is four times its size when she took office in 2005. The national debt has been wiped out, schools are being built and enrollment is up. The country […]

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Rwanda jails women’s rights activist after presidential bid

Rwanda jails women’s rights activist after presidential bid

| October 4, 2017

(GIN)—Diane Shima Rwigara, who took on Rwandan President Paul Kagame in recent national polls, has been arrested and sits in jail, charged with “offenses against state security and forgery.” “These charges are false; and nobody in Rwanda believes the validity of these charges,” said Rwigara’s brother, Aristide Rwigara, who lives in the United States, speaking […]

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Nigerian ‘unsung hero’ tapped for major U.N. award

Nigerian ‘unsung hero’ tapped for major U.N. award

| October 4, 2017

(GIN)—Zannah Mustapha, a champion for the rights of displaced children growing up amid violence in north-eastern Nigeria, is the 2017 winner of the Nansen Refugee Award, U.N. officials announced this week. In the first online Facebook video of the U.N. agency, long-time journalist Yvonne Ndege recounted how Mr. Mustapha established the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation […]

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New twist in genocide case on behalf of Namibian Hereros

New twist in genocide case on behalf of Namibian Hereros

| September 21, 2017

(GIN)—The New York-based American Museum of Natural History is believed to be holding skeletal remains collected by a German racialist scientist who studied the Herero and Namaqua peoples of Namibia. The find was announced last week and will be included in a federal class action suit filed on behalf of the Hereros and Nama people […]

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Mugabe blames Mandela for leaving country to whites

Mugabe blames Mandela for leaving country to whites

| September 20, 2017

(GIN)—Thanks to the former South African leader, “Everything (today) is in the whites’ hands.” That was the harsh judgement of the legacy of President Nelson Mandela heard this week at a rally in Zimbabwe. It provoked a media whirlwind that rocked southern Africa. “The most important thing for (Mandela) was his release from prison and […]

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Nation remembers Steve Biko legacy

Nation remembers Steve Biko legacy

| September 20, 2017

(GIN)—South Africans marked the 40th year since the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre. An African nationalist and African socialist, Biko was at the forefront of a grassroots campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s. His ideas were articulated […]

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Kenyans set for rematch on flawed polls

Kenyans set for rematch on flawed polls

| September 6, 2017

(GIN)—To the surprise of many, Kenya’s supreme court overturned the country’s Aug. 8 presidential election, setting the stage for a rarely-seen voting rematch in Africa or anyplace. In its ruling, the court concluded the election “was not conducted in accordance with the constitution,” rendering the declared results “invalid, null and void.” Within the next 60 […]

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Tanzania greenlights hydroelectric plant in World Heritage game reserve

Tanzania greenlights hydroelectric plant in World Heritage game reserve

| September 6, 2017

(GIN)—To the dismay of environmentalists, President John Magufuli has called for bids on a 2,100-megawatt hydroelectric plant to be built in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal populations. The project in the UNESCO-designated Selous Game Reserve would more than double the country’s power generation capacity, ending chronic electricity shortages. The Energy and Minerals […]

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Africa’s floods largely unnoticed despite higher death toll

Africa’s floods largely unnoticed despite higher death toll

| September 6, 2017

(GIN)—“Floods in Africa in August killed 25 times more people than Hurricane Harvey did.” That was the headline of a recent story in Quartz online by Lagos-based writer Yomi Kazeem. “Like severe floods in southern Asia, the disasters in Africa have been largely under-reported compared to similar events in Houston where Hurricane Harvey, a once […]

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