Africa

Sisi aspires for greater African integration

The “Africa 2018” forum held in Sharm al-Sheikh comes amid aspirations to achieve greater regional integration and to facilitate intraregional trade as well as increase investments between African… Al-Masry Al- Youm Egypt Independent He explained that this would be achieved through the implementation of joint and cross-border projects, especially in infrastructure, energy and information technology in light of the launch of the… In his speech at the opening session of the forum, Sisi said that Egypt aspires to achieve these ... Read More »

‘Dark day’: migrant rescue ship Aquarius ends operations

Médecins Sans Frontières says ‘smear campaign’ by European governments hampered work in Mediterranean Reuters The Guardian Search and rescue ship Aquarius, which has saved tens of thousands of migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean, has ended its operations, said Médecins Sans Frontières, the charity that runs the ship. MSF and its partner SOS Mediterranee said they were forced to terminate its operations due to a “smear campaign” by European governments. The ship has been blocked at the French port of ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for Libya – many ... Read More »

South Sudan region ‘sees huge increase in rape’, says charity

Dozens of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other violence over the past 10 days in a northern region of South Sudan, Doctors Without Borders has said. BBC A midwife at the charity said 125 women came to its clinic in Bentiu, more than in the whole of the previous 10 months. They included girls under 10, women over 65 and pregnant women, she added. The country has been ravaged by civil war for most of its ... Read More »

As Italy’s first black minister, I suffered vile racist abuse. But this poison damages us all

Respect for human rights is at the heart of the EU’s ethos. Together, we need to fight all forms of discrimination Cécile Kyenge The Guardian Racial discrimination is now “commonplace” across 12 European countries, and one in three people of African descent has experienced harassment in the past five years, a report this weekfound. This doesn’t surprise me. Since my election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2013, I have constantly faced racist abuse. When I became Italy’s minister for ... Read More »

The suffering of sex slaves in the Congo: ‘I was one woman to 20 men’

Far away from the world’s attention, a vicious conflict in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo has resulted in countless women being used as sex slaves. David Wroe The Age Kabadi Tshibuabua’s daughter lagged only a few metres behind her, but it was far enough. The Bana Mura militia had come to their village of Cinq, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), at 7am one Sunday in April last year. Tshibuabua grabbed her two children and fled into ... Read More »

Making Ethiopia’s Electoral Board Independent New Appointment Furthers Gender, Political Reform

New Appointment Furthers Gender, Political Reform Felix Horne HRW There was good news from Ethiopia as former opposition leader, lawyer and judge Birtukan Midekssa was named head of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). Following years of almost completely closed political space, Ethiopia’s government continues to institute an important series of reforms. The appointment of a highly respected – and crucially, independent – new elections chair is another step in the right direction. The NEBE, like many of Ethiopia’s ... Read More »

Study sheds light on scourge of “fake” news in Africa

Concerns about “fake news” have dominated discussions about the relationship between the media and politics in the developed world in recent years. Authors: The Conversation The extraordinary amount of attention paid in scholarship and in public debates to questions around truth, veracity and deception can be connected to the role of “fake news” in the 2016 US presidential election, and… The term “fake news” itself is controversial because it’s poorly defined. The panic created by the spread of misinformation in general has led to introspection by journalists ... Read More »

Breaking Algeria’s Economic Paralysis

Political paralysis in oil-dependent Algeria has blocked much-needed economic reform. ICG To avoid a new era of instability, the government should increase transparency and accountability within state institutions and the private sector, as well as improve opportunities for the country’s burgeoning youth. What’s new?  Since the 2014 oil price drop, Algeria’s economic model, which emerged from the civil war in the 1990s, appears increasingly unsustainable. Despite repeated reform promises, the political system remains paralysed, led by an… Why does it ... Read More »

Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters are in the news. Eric Freedman The Conversation This problem extends far beyond the politics beat, and world leaders aren’t the only threats. At Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, we train students and professional journalists to report on what we view as the world’s most important beat. One hard fact is that those ... Read More »

Like. Share. Kill.

Nigerian police say false information on Facebook is killing people By Yemisi Adegoke and BBC Africa Eye * Nigerian police say false information and incendiary images on Facebook have contributed to more than a dozen recent killings in Plateau State – an area already torn by ethnic violence. When BBC Africa Eye got in touch with Facebook, the company disabled the account of a man in the UK who was spreading misinformation to thousands in Nigeria. Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners ... Read More »

Study finds ‘huge’ fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research. BBC The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a “huge and significant decline” among under-14s. The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman’s external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous. In the worst cases, victims ... Read More »

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks

In Mozambique, researchers are racing to understand the genetics of elephants born without tusks—and the consequences of the trait. Dina Fine Maron National Geographic The oldest elephants wandering Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park bear the indelible markings of the civil war that gripped the country for 15 years: Many are tuskless. They’re the lone survivors of a conflict that killed about 90 percent of these beleaguered animals, slaughtered for ivory to finance weapons and for meat to feed the fighters. Hunting ... Read More »

South Sudan faces collapse if peace pact fails again. This can be averted

South Sudan is arguably the most fragile state in the world. Lacking an institutional legacy at its creation in 2011, political, security, economic, and social indicators have all deteriorated amid civil conflict. Luka Kuol The Conversation As state legitimacy has eroded, the number of armed factions and tribal militias has increased rapidly, now exceeding 40 such groups. One consequence of the prolonged conflict is that South Sudan – a nation of over 13 million people – is now one of the main sources of ... Read More »

Madagascar elections: Rivals vie for presidency

People in Madagascar are voting in a presidential election that sees the incumbent president battling against two of his predecessors. BBC There are 36 candidates in all to lead the Indian Ocean island, which in recent years has been hit by periods of political instability. In May, the army threatened to take over amid huge street protests. The main candidates promised to boost the economy in a country where 80% of the population live in poverty. The front-runners have criss-crossed ... Read More »