Africa Briefs

Botswana’s Okavango Delta ‘World Heritage site’

Botswana’s Okavango Delta ‘World Heritage site’

| June 27, 2014

(GIN)–The Okavango Delta–Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness–has been listed as the 1000th World Heritage site by Unesco, the United Nations cultural body. The vast “Okavango wilderness” will be counted alongside such majestic formations as the Galapagos, Amazon, Arctic and Great Barrier Reef. It contains a number of endangered species and is unusual in that it is […]

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Africa’s last monarch risks loss of trade deal with U.S.

Africa’s last monarch risks loss of trade deal with U.S.

| June 25, 2014

(GIN)—The perks of being King Mswati III may be the last straw for a U.S. trade deal that gives developing countries the rich benefit of duty-free access to U.S. markets. Swaziland is edging toward suspension from the US preferential trade agreement known as AGOA (African Growth and Opportunities Act) because of the King’s failure to […]

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Mandela revival appears in books, films

Mandela revival appears in books, films

| June 25, 2014

(GIN)—Since the Long Walk to Freedom, the book and the movie, the life of Nelson Mandela continues to inspire a generation of writers and filmmakers. Now, on the heels of “Madiba A to Z,” a book by Danny Schechter in the U.S. and “Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me,” a film by Khalo Matabane of […]

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War resisters group holds first African confab in Cape Town

War resisters group holds first African confab in Cape Town

| June 14, 2014

(GIN)—War Resisters’ International, founded in 1921 by conscientious objectors to the First World War, will hold their first conference in South Africa from July 4 to July 8. Conference organizers plan to draw attention to the great cost to Africa of the global arms trade which prompted a report by Oxfam International titled “Africa’s Missing […]

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South African miners in historic strike stand firm on pay demand

South African miners in historic strike stand firm on pay demand

| June 12, 2014

(GIN)—South African miners are holding out for a living wage in the longest strike against mining companies in the country’s history. A June 9 deadline set by the government was reached without progress and the talks collapsed. The two sides are far apart on the wage issue with the Association of Miners and Construction Union […]

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Cables reveal U.S.-backed exit plan left Rwanda ‘knee-deep in bodies’

Cables reveal U.S.-backed exit plan left Rwanda ‘knee-deep in bodies’

| June 11, 2014

(GIN)—Six days before Rwanda would explode in a genocidal bloodbath, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations saw the storm clouds on the horizon and pushed to send all peacekeepers home, despite signs of an imminent disaster. In a recently declassified cable, Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright advised the Department of State that a “window of […]

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‘Hashtag’ campaign for kidnapped girls sparks dispute

‘Hashtag’ campaign for kidnapped girls sparks dispute

| June 10, 2014

(GIN)—Is the social media campaign to bring back the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls an effective tool to win their freedom or just trending until the next big thing comes along? That’s the question heating up the news wires with rescue efforts at an apparent standstill and new dramas coming on the media stage. Staff writer Joshua […]

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African Union to campaign against child marriages

African Union to campaign against child marriages

(GIN)—The West African nation of Niger has one of the highest rates of child marriage. About a quarter of all girls are married by 15 and on the road to child-bearing. That rises to nearly 80 percent by the age of 18. Prominent clerics in Niger staunchly defend the practice. Sheikh Abbas Yahaya at the […]

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New president of Malawi takes power under felony cloud

New president of Malawi takes power under felony cloud

(GIN)—In his second try for elected office, Peter Mutharika captured the winning margin of victory and edged out Malawi’s first woman president—Joyce Banda. The 74-year-old Mutharika, brother of a former president, was declared the victor last week in a disputed election. But he comes into office under a cloud, accused of attempting a constitutional coup […]

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Ugandan writer calls Libya ‘the biggest mess’

Ugandan writer calls Libya ‘the biggest mess’

(GIN)—Ugandan opinion writer Charles Onyango-Obbo took up his pen this past week to denounce the deadly meltdown in the north African nation of Libya and the apparent neglect of that country by black Africans. “Terrible things are happening in the Arab North, and the rest of Africa south of the Sahara desert, aka sub-Saharan Africa, […]

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