Monthly Archives: May 2015

Ghana’s VP says African leaders need to tackle youth unemployment

May 29, 2015 The issue of youth unemployment in the continent has prompted Ghana’s Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur to make a call to his colleagues and African leaders to deal with the problem.

Mr. Kwesi believes ignoring the worsening issue could lead to mass social unrest and agitation in Africa, and that it remains a blot on the conscience of African governments even in the midst of economic achievements. The VP made the appeal in Abidjan at a meeting with an Ethiopian delegation which was led by the Ethiopian Finance Minister, Mr Sufian Ahmed.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur told the delegation that people, especially the youth, need more than statistical evidence of progress in their lives. He stated that having job opportunities is an inescapable topic which governments cannot keep postponing. The Ghanaian leader also pointed out that African governments have the duty to give youth access and hope to their future by finding the most appropriate ways of transforming their talents to benefit them and the economy of their countries.

Mr. Ahmed welcomed the Vice President and talked about both countries’ relationship which could be traced back in time to the days of Ghana’s First President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Emperor Haile Selassie. He commended Ghana’s role in the liberation struggle of Africa and the strides to deepen democracy and good governance on the continent. Mr Ahmend especially agreed with the points Mr. Amissah-Arthur made on youth unemployment, saying it could unravel the modest gains of economic development and the social improvement in the lives of the people which many governments have carried out in Africa.

 

Thomas Sankara’s body has been exhumed

May 29, 2015 The body of the assassinated Burkina Faso leader, Thomas Sankara has been exhumed by Authorities in the country, nearly thirty years after he was killed during a coup in the West African country.

Thomas Sankara was a revolutionary Marxist and African hero who stood for the rights of women and his people, and was widely admired across the world. He was betrayed by his former best friend, Blaise Compaore who assumed power but was eventually ousted by the people. His family seeks more answers now that the man who overthrew Sankara has no power to stop them, unlike in 1997 when his widow, Mariam tried to investigate.

Sankara was believed to have been buried along with 12 others, but some have questioned whether the remains in the exhumed grave are in fact his. Medical experts from Burkina Faso and France are overseeing the exhumation and will conduct DNA tests to identify the bodies.

Experts are expected to be able to also determine what kind of bullets killed Sankara and how many hit him, according to family lawyer Benewinde Sankara, who is not related to the slain leader. Benewinde confirmed that the bodies had been buried in the soil without caskets, and that the first remains were found at a depth of 1 ½ feet and included bits of red fabric.

It is recalled that in Sankara’s four years in power, Burkina Faso doubled the number of children in schools, reduced infant mortality, redistributed land from feudal landlords to peasants and planted 10 million trees that still help shade the capital.

 

Rhino horn smuggling kingpin is apprehended in Namibia

May 29, 2015 Authorities in Namibia got a major breakthrough when they recently arrested a Chinese man, Wang Huii, believed to be the kingpin in one of Namibia’s biggest rhino-horn smuggling cases.
The 40 year old accused was arrested while he was enjoying himself and gambling at the Windhoek Country Club. He has now been charged with the possession and export of controlled wildlife products after appearing at the Windhoek Regional Court in Katutura.

Huii has been linked with three Chinese men who were found in possession of 14 rhino horns worth over 2.3 million Namibian dollars and a leopard skin valued at 50 000 Namibian dollars last year at the Hosea Kutaku International Airport on their way to Hong Kong via Johannesburg.

He is also being investigated in connection with other poaching cases in Namibia, and is thought to travel a lot between China and Namibia.  The Chinese national lives in Otjiwarongo in Namibia where he owns the Happy Life Import Export Company. The case has been adjourned until June 10 for the Prosecutor-General to decide his fate.

 

Asisat Oshoala is BBC Women’s footballer of the year.

May 29, 2015 Asisat Oshoala from Nigeria has emerged the winner of the very first BBC Women’s footballer of the year award.

The 20 year old, who was the youngest player among the shortlisted ladies, was last year’s top scorer at the Under-20s World Cup in Canada last year. She was also voted the tournament’s best player, not shocking when you consider her dazzling performances which helped her home country Nigeriareach the finals. Asisat was also a major influence in the senior Nigeria team who won the African Women’s Championship in October.

The rising star described the award as a big lift for Nigeria before the World Cup, saying it would inspire young players in Nigeria.

According to her, “It’s a really good thing for us as a team because we now know that we have something great and now we want to go at the trophy. We can do it, we did it in 2014 we can also do it this year as well. There is going to be a lot of motivation for women’s football in Nigeria now because of this award because there are a lot of fans out there. Support for women’s football in Nigeria is now growing very high. I know my Liverpool Ladies coach is going to be happy right now. Before I left the UK he called me and said to me ‘don’t worry I hope you win the award and we’re going to celebrate it when you come back’.”

Congratulations to you Asisat!

 

President Jonathan signs two important bills into law

May 28, 2015 Reuben Abati, Special Adviser on Media and publicity to the outgoing President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, has confirmed that two bills that were earlier passed by the National Assembly, have been signed by the president into law. This comes about four days before the president leaves office.

The new Acts are the Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 and the Immigration Act 2015.  The Violence Against Persons Act prohibits female circumcision or genital mutilation, and also prohibits forceful ejection from home as well as other harmful widowhood practices.

The Act also forbids abandonment of spouse, children and other dependents without sustenance, battery and harmful traditional practices, while aiming to eliminate violence in private and public life, and providing maximum protection and effective remedies for those who have suffered violence.

Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, sponsored the bill, and the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, while presiding at the session where the bill was passed, said the passage of the bill would provide adequate protection for the vulnerable in the society and punish those who take advantage of them.

 

A Ghanaian lecturer has blamed poor leadership for lack of unity in Africa

May 28, 2015 The Africa Union Day was observed on Monday, the 25th of May and it elicited responses from some, like Dr. Lloyd Amoah, a lecturer at the Ashesi University in Ghana who believes Africa’s poor leadership is to blame for the continent’s inability to be fully integrated and free of social and economic barriers.

He said until the right infrastructures, such as leadership, are put in place, the goal of African unity will continue to be a mirage.

According to him, “If that infrastructure is neglected for quite a long time and not much effort [is] placed in that direction, it is not then strange that you begin to have the kinds of challenges that you have for a group of people [Africa],”

The lecturer said Africa’s problems are not innate or in our genetics but it is rather a question of the right infrastructure, which is leadership.

Also reacting to AU day was Selorm Branttie, a Policy Analyst, who opined that Africans are one of the most innovative people on the planet and that “the African is as good as anyone.”

He noted that, sadly the continent remains disunited, and with no common force for peace keeping purposes.

He is quoted as saying, “Most leaders are not able to think ahead or have a vision as to how new things can change the old order and I believe that because of that we are missing out on most opportunities, that would help the continent develop”

M.anifest, a popular rapper from Ghana also put in his contribution, saying the arts have the power to break barriers and boundaries, while recalling that his grandfather always told him that Kwame Nkrumah considered arts as a political priority because of its role in educating and breaking barriers for Africa unity.

 

Ugandan musician Bebe cool is advocating for victims of leaked personal photos

May 28, 2015 The rising cases of leaked personal or nude photos of mostly women in his country, including more recently that of a popular TV host has prompted  Ugandan musician Bebe cool, to take to social media to rant, while calling men who partake in this criminal act unprintable names.

In a long post shared on his social media platforms, Bebe Cool said leaking nudes is done only by cheap guys who could have failed to match the standards of their victims.

He says “How in your right mind do you tell a woman today you love her, you plead for some, she falls in love with you and surrenders herself whole heartedly.  Just because you can’t keep up with the game, sometimes the status of a woman goes higher than yours so you lose your self esteem then turn to exposing her privacy to the public. MEDICINE, ladies please always expose the face of the man who exposes your nudes so that the other women can know what they are capable of, then their fellow men can chant them of weakness cheapness, and localism”.

The man did not stop there, but for reasons of time, and especially language it’s perhaps best to stop here.

 

Ugandan Kickboxer calls for the people’s support as fight day approaches.

May 28, 2015 Talented Kick boxer from Uganda, Umar Semata is calling on those in the country to show him some love and support by turning up en masse to witness his upcoming bout against Lee Henry Garap of Papua New Guinea. He will be defending his title in the World Muay thai kickboxing title in a fight scheduled for September 4th, that’s in some months from now.  

Semata told the media that the title was important to him and to the country, due to Uganda’s history in it, especially with notable Ugandan Kick boxers such as Moses Golola, Andras Nagy, Ronald Mugula, Abdallah Hossein and currently with him as well.

The fight night is expected to host a second title fight with John Tumukunde of the UPDF versus South African kick boxer, Ximba Nkosinathi a holder of three titles, as well as two other non title fights.

Alice Namatovu of Lash Media, part organizers of the event said “Apart from Semata defending the title, we brought you world class fighters to witness what you always miss especially what happens in the Far East countries like Thailand and Malaysia”.

The assistant commissioner for sports, Sammy Odong, thanked all present and said government is working to develop all sports in the country. He also called on more stakeholders to sponsor the sector.

 

Ecowas states hold discussions towards reducing presidential term in their countries

May 25, 2015 Officials have revealed that West African leaders have met at a regional summit to discuss a proposal that will limit presidential mandates to two terms.

The talks by members of West Africa’s Ecowas bloc comes at a time where quite a number of long-standing African presidents are approaching legal term limits. In Burkina Faso and even more recently in Burundi, violence erupted when an attempt was made by some of these presidents to extend power.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a top United Nations official in West Africa, said countries in the region without term limits like Gambia and Togo would be encouraged to introduce them; he added that Ecowas can suspend members who do not comply with the regional measures.

 

Burundi’s elections are postponed for a week

May 25, 2015 Still on elections and leadership, Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza has delayed earlier scheduled elections by a week, after nearly a month of political unrest and a failed military coup.

Presidential adviser Willy Nyamitwe, said the decision by the president came after a recommendation by the election commission and after opposition politicians and the international community called for a postponement. Emotions are still high in the city and a  regular pattern of street protests against Nkurunziza has emerged, with demonstrators gathering and chanting for him not to seek reelection as president.

The protesters say Nkurunziza’s desire to extend his time in office violates the constitution and a peace accord which marked the end of the civil war in 2005