Africa Briefs

Press freedom still a distant right in Africa

Press freedom still a distant right in Africa

(GIN)—At a U.N. sponsored conference in Helsinki last week, Unesco’s director general, Irina Bokova, described World Press Freedom Day as “one of the most inspiring moments on the global calendar…  a moment to shine light on the right to access and share information, and a moment to stand with all journalists to defend their safety.” […]

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Swiss, Russian banks blamed for catastrophic ‘iceberg of debt’ in Mozambique

Swiss, Russian banks blamed for catastrophic ‘iceberg of debt’ in Mozambique

(GIN)—Banks that saw dollar signs in the developing economies of Africa are being blamed for a looming fiscal crash in Mozambique over so-called “tuna bonds.” Emblematic of the easy lending by western banks, 24 fishing boats meant to be a modern tuna fleet are gathering rust in the port of Maputo. The boats were paid […]

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Ethiopia plans to export more coffee, local vendors object

Ethiopia plans to export more coffee, local vendors object

(GIN)—Strike while the iron is hot and for Ethiopia, that means sell—coffee beans in this case—while the market for good coffee is booming around the world. Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, would like to become the second largest coffee producer in the world. But, farmers have been doing well locally and prices at home are […]

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U.S. delegation among foreign nations saluting winner of dubious poll

U.S. delegation among foreign nations saluting winner of dubious poll

(GIN)—After the disputed re-election of the longest-serving ruler of Equatorial Guinea, opposition leaders and local organizations decried it as “not credible.” According to the election results supervised by a minister of his own party, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo swept the polls with 94 percent of the vote. But, most known members of the opposition […]

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Civil disobedience planned worldwide against fossil fuels

Civil disobedience planned worldwide against fossil fuels

(GIN)—The highly-touted Paris Climate talks last year were supposed to produce an agreement among the world’s nations to “keep the oil in the soil” and reduce global greenhouse emissions, thus avoiding the threat of dangerous climate change. Scientists warn that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the threshold will be passed beyond which global […]

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Former first lady has message for Ghanaians—‘Deal Me In!’

Former first lady has message for Ghanaians—‘Deal Me In!’

| May 3, 2016

(GIN)—Those ringing words–‘Deal Me In!”—that thrilled fans of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in the U.S.  could be sending a similar message of hope and change to voters here in Ghana. Although Africa has done better promoting women to the presidency, few Ghanaians were expecting to see the wife of former President Jerry Rawlings toss her […]

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Press group calls hate speech ‘dangerous trend’

Press group calls hate speech ‘dangerous trend’

(GIN)—Journalism must take a lead in countering hate-speech and propaganda. That’s the message of the Ethical Journalism Network, a press freedom watchdog on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. Adopted in 1993 by the UN General Assembly on the recommendation of UNESCO at their general conference, Press Freedom Day on May 3 serves as […]

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Action on year-old housing audit could have saved Kenyan lives

Action on year-old housing audit could have saved Kenyan lives

(GIN)—A poorly-constructed Nairobi building collapsed to the ground after days of heavy rain, taking 21 lives with 135 others rescued from the rubble. About 69 residents are still unaccounted for in the April 29 disaster. City officials now say the building had no occupancy permit although a neighbor, Jacob Kiruma, noted that the 6-story building […]

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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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