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Africa Watch
Boko Haram in Nigeria and all the Al-Qaeda aligned terrorist groups across Africa and Middle-East continue their operations, re-equipped and strengthened by the weaponry and military materiel of Libya, their operational exit from Afghanistan and Pakistan freeing-up experienced and trained personnel, global funding from various source. In this posting we provide a closer look at Boko Haram and al-Shabaab organization. U.S. Terrorist Most Wanted poster offering rewards of between $3m and $7m for the leaders of the Islamist militant groups in West Africa. - READ MORE
Americas View
In this section we present the official U.S. government statements, public opinion polls and general comments America makes about Africa, with the intent to keep Africa officialdom aware of the Africa temperament in the USA –and to see “What America Sees” – This posting reports of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to Africa and his remarks outlining America's new direction towards Africa.-READ MORE
Africa Comment
2014 African Transformation Report outlines a view of Africa's possible or probable future- full report linked. Plus Nigerian tourists are the number 3 highest spenders in London, contributing 4% of U.K. shopping numbers. Kenya tourism report outlines some of the current problems and causes of Kenya tourism down turn. -READ MORE
Insight

Anti-Balaka fighters in the CAR are trying to "ethnically cleanse Muslims" PLUS - Has Western-Type Democracy really worked for Africa? And the big question: What is Democracy?

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Briefing

We name the top 10 African philanthropists.PLUS - members of civilian vigilante groups known as the “civilian joint task force” are taking an increasingly active role in the government’s fight against Boko Haram

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Profile

Profile of Ghana President, John Dramani Mahama – PLUS eight other noteworthy African politicians Michael Sata, Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, Somalia Prime Minister; Re-elected President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Al-Bashir, President of Sudan; Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria; Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa; Sharif Ahmed, President of Somalia

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Africa Inc
China will earmark more than half of all of its foreign aid to Africa and attach no preconditions, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced during his just concluded Africa visit. PLUS -Oil industry executives believe that by late 2014 or early 2015, the US will stop importing Nigerian crude, and Nigeria is still looking for the missing $20 billion from oil sales...-READ MORE
Interviews
Kenya Jihadist meets a reporter who is an atheist; the interviewee is Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, better known by his nickname, Makaburi. It means "graveyard" in Swahili. Ask around in the Majengo area of Mombasa and people will know where he lives. But ask around too much and you are likely to have a problem -READ MORE
Culture
Much Ado about the Meaning of a Name among Africans. Many African children are given at least three names. Each is carefully selected to reflect the circumstances of the child's birth, the family history, the parents' status or the expectations for the child's future. Cuban Ganga finds his roots in Sierra Leonean village- a touching 175 year return to the Continent -READ MORE
The Arts
With all the political events taking place in Egypt, its history and grandeur still comes to life, making it a grand art and tourist destination. Until a decade ago, no one knew if Heracleion, believed to be an ancient harbor city, was fiction or real. Now the researchers have found it .PLUS "Call Me Kuchu" political film is reviewed. -READ MORE

 

Africa Kitchen
We present you with the unique drinks of Africa. Then we tell you of Morocco and its saffron crop. France's cherished culinary tradition holds big attraction for foreign visitors. But few tourists realize that many chefs and most kitchen staff in Paris and other big cities are immigrants from Africa. Review of a classic Nairobi restaurant Carnivore – Plus a great Senegal food article which appeared in the “Saveur” magazine, courtesy of Peirre Thiam, our chef colleague. Link to the U.S. based African Dinner website listing African restaurants in all the major metropolitan areas of the U.S-READ MORE
Book Review
"Foreign Gods, Inc." a new must-read book by a Nigerian author reviewed. Nelson Mandela's autobiography turned into a film – our review. From orphan to author, the self-help guru is turning the spiritual world upside down by exploring a new concept, African Spirituality. “Our ancestors believed in African deities and gained their strength to survive one of the worst atrocities in American history," Followed by a review of a book by the President of Ghana “My First Coup D'état” – and a review of a 19th Century travel book of West Africa by Mary Kingsley, published in 1892, a must read before your visit to Sierra Leone - READ MORE
Career Info
The African Times/USA presents Career Opportunities as a community outreach resource to our readers and site visitors. World Bank seeking new talent; Africa Development Bank’s new career program is outlined; U.S. White House internship information, a way to work with the U.S. President; Fulbright Scholarship availability and contacts for US and non-US applicants -READ MORE
Travel
Festivals and Celebrations and Carnivals are a given in all parts of Africa, here are four very special ones that you should consider putting on your "To Do List". And then we tell you with a WARNING! The following is not a place to visit at this time, but you should put it on your Africa travel bucket list, because when all will become peaceful it will be the top Africa destination. Plus a report on the assistance the world organization UNWTO will be providing to Libya tourism -READ MORE

 

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Help Needed With Africa Growing Labor Force

By 2040, Africa's working-age population will be larger than either China's or India's. Africa has more people aged fewer than 20 than anywhere in the world and the continent's population is set to double to two billion by 2040. Sub-Saharan Africa is a region where people aged between 15 and 29 will continue to constitute about half of the population of most countries for the next three to five decades. Currently, the estimated median age in sub-Saharan Africa is under 19.

Those are the answers that now raise more questions.

Will this be a blessing or a big problem? Africa will have the largest labor force in the world. What must Africa do to deal with this demographic explosion that will demand vast amount of education, equipment and other types of enablement over the course of their working lives.

To avoid the most vulnerable being left behind, in particular young people from poorer backgrounds, it is crucial to have policies which foster social inclusion.

It is becoming increasingly clear across Africa that unless political leadership offers young people something to live for, social stresses such as unemployment can make them easy prey to those who offer them something to die for.

It is therefore important that in seeking to harness Africa's demographic dividend, the right leadership and prudent policies are prioritized.

At the moment, in too many countries, that is not the case.

China 2040-1.455.057.000 India 2040-1.564.763.000

It Was Twenty Years Ago

It was twenty years ago that all the People of South Africa were holding their first all-inclusive elections that brought Nelson Mandela to the Presidency. Their jubilation was hear worldwide, and celebrated worldwide. To say he and the old regime made a grave and important shift in the future and destiny of South Africa and her People would be an understatement – it was a day and time that South Africa shined and now needs to remember to live up to that legacy.

It was twenty years ago that the world witnessed one of the more staggering genocides – the Hutus of Rwanda killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsis, as the world stood by and did nothing. The horror of this, in terms of human lives was more tragic and horrendous than the World War II Holocaust. Over 800,000 Rwandans were killed by Rwandans, their neighbors, friends and even their own families, in a matter of hours – and Africa and the world did nothing.

These two twenty-year-old times need to be remembered and reflected upon – did Africa and the world learn anything from them – or are these only symbolic, state-holidays?

We hope not – both, South Africa and Rwanda need to remember, reflect and reconcile their twenty-year-old past that gave them a new future.


 

Nigeria Is Out-Of-Control

That the Nigerian government, its military and the national police have obviously proven themselves unable to resolve the Boko Haram situation has become a sore fact. Not knowing how to tackle this menace has not scored this West African country high on the radar of the global war on terrorism. Recently, we noticed that the blame-game and cover-ups have already started, and by no less an institution than the Nigerian Presidency that wily nilly decided to fire the nation's top military brass.

This is however in contrast to the government's swift and efficient execution of the anti-gay law, which makes it unlawful to be gay in Nigeria.

The government seems to have better records and ability to identify the gays than they have had with Boko Haram. In one day after the signing of the gay law, 34 gays were arrested and prosecuted under the new law.

On the political front, it is obvious to all that the ruling party is in disarray – President Goodluck Jonathan is currently at war with his own People’s Democratic Party (PDP). As a result, five state governors have defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), as have 37 members of parliament, depriving the PDP of a House majority.

We realize that with Presidential election coming up next year, there has been posturing and maneuvers. It is also being speculated that President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to run after he is alleged to have assured members of his party that he would not seek another term, after his 2011 election victory, following the death of President Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua whose term he completed.

What truly troubles The African Times is that with the Nigeria economy set to overtake South Africa as the continent’s largest and with the propensity to grow, the President is currently embroiled in a game of wits with the Governor of the Central Bank who is credited internationally with bringing about the Nigeria recovery from economic abyss. The Central banker’s only sin is that he asked the President’s team to account for the whereabouts of $50 billion USD of oil revenue!

We believe that there is dire need for a political, economic and social re-engineering in Abuja -- if Nigeria’s future is to be assured.

 


Debate - knowledge - opinions - ideas are all part of the AFRICA DIALOG. This is your opportunity to debate, come under the traditional village tree and become a part of the community.

We look forward to your comments:

editor@theafricantimes.com


 

 

Winter Snows In South Africa Come After The Elections

After the just completed South African Presidential elections, with Mr. Zuma retaining the Presidency, winter has arrived covering hills and highlands of South Africa with snow and making for an unusual spectacle in Johannesburg for the first time since 2007. This is a photo by A.J. Singh of the Wits University in Johannesburg showing the "snow storm" of 2014. The snows came just as South Africa enters what many are calling their post-election economic deep freeze; a somewhat chilling metaphor for an economy beset by everything from labor unrest and flat-lining output to rising inflation and waning external confidence. Recovery from the "snows" will be much easier than resolving the political and economic climates of South Africa's post-election winter.

 

MAURITANIA

Mauritania's President Ould Abdel Aziz has been re-elected for another five-year term after scoring an overwhelming majority in a vote that was boycotted by most of the opposition. The Mauritanian electoral commission stated Mr. Aziz won with nearly 82 percent of the votes, while the next closest candidate obtained just under 9 percent of the ballot. The commission said turnout in the June 21 election had been at 56.5 percent.

NIGERIA – KANO

Lamido Sanusi, former Nigeria Central Bank Governor was appointed the new Emir of Kano, replacing Emir Ado Bayero who died at age 83 and who had survived an assassination attempt by the Islamic militants in January 2013. The white-robed Sanusi received royal swords and traditional insignia in the Palace to mark his ascendancy. While the 52-year-old Sanusi won't be able to make government policy, as the second-most influential traditional and Islamic monarch, after the Sultan of Sokoto, he will strongly influence the Muslim community of Nigeria. Sanusi advocates education and economic opportunities for Nigeria's majority poor has become a key religious and traditional leader of the country's Muslims.

TANZANIA

The proposed super highway intended for construction across the Serengeti National Park has been declared unlawful by the East African Court of Justice. The Judges have restrained the Tanzanian Government from constructing the road. “The judgment in essence confirms that the treasured Serengeti ecosystem is an invaluable world heritage site; and that it deserves optimal protection and restraint from high impact development that can interfere with the functions of the ecosystem and have adverse effects on animals and humankind,” the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) which filed a lawsuit, said in a statement following the ruling.

SOMALIA

President Barack Obama is set to announce the first American ambassador to Somalia since the civil war erupted more than 20 years ago, according to a US diplomat. "As a reflection both of our deepening relationship with the country and of our faith that better times are ahead, the President will propose the first US ambassador to Somalia in more than two decades," statement made by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. Ms. Sherman stated an announcement from President Obama was expected "soon" and confirmed that, initially, the new ambassador would be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

GUINEA

More than 200 people have died from the Ebola virus in Guinea in one of the worst-ever outbreaks of the disease, the World Health Organization reported. . The UN's health agency said recently it had registered 328 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in the country, including 208 deaths, with 21 deaths registered between May 29 and June 1 alone. Neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia have also reported more infections, said the WHO, which has described West Africa's first outbreak as one of the most challenging it has faced. To date, 79 confirmed and suspected cases have been reported in Sierra Leone, the agency said. Six people have died of the disease.

NIGERIA

Nigeria's ruling party toppled the main opposition candidate in a state governorship vote giving President Goodluck Jonathan a boost ahead of national polls next year. Ayodele Fayose of The People's Democratic Party's (PDP) took almost 60 percent of the vote in southwestern Ekiti state, unseating the opposition incumbent Kayode Fayemi,. Governors are among the most powerful figures in Nigeria controlling budgets bigger than many African countries and play a significant role in selecting presidential candidates. The victory in Ekiti - where organizers said voting was fair and peaceful - was a rare piece of good news for a ruling party that is likely to see its sternest test yet in the 2015 national election.

USA

U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of President Obama's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. On August 5, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies will co-host the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum, focusing on trade and investment opportunities on the continent. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the Forum while speaking to group of business leaders in Lagos, Nigeria. Pritzker and former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will host the Forum, and President Obama will be the keynote speaker. The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of Obama's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first summit of its kind and the largest event that any U.S. President ever has convened with African heads of state or government, the Commerce Department reported. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will convene leaders from more than 45 sub-Saharan and North African nations to discuss regional economic, political and development issues, aiming to forge deeper trans-Atlantic ties as well as explore comprehensive, collaborative ways to unlock economic growth and opportunity.

LIBYA

A group of senior officers led by General Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, Chief of Staff under the late Colonel Moammar el Gadaffi, is drawing militias to its banner from across Libya in a bid to take control of the country. Haftar claims to head a body called the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in Libya and demands that a Supreme Judicial Council be formed to oversee the election of a new Parliament. Libya's current Parliament, the General National Council (GNC), is controlled largely by Islamists. Haftar's forces, who call themselves the Libyan National Army, are drawn primarily from the remnants of the official armed forces. General Hifter is winning support from a disparate band of allies, including some Libyans angered by the outsize influence of militias, which have been accused of assassinations and other political violence.

SOUTH SUDAN

South Sudan’s Minister of Information said the government, including its security forces, has never threatened the lives of its citizens. Michael Makuei said that includes those allegedly involved in a plot to overthrow the government. Makuei said those who accuse security forces of intimidation are creating false reasons to substantiate their affiliations with the rebels. First week in June, a South Sudanese Member of Parliament, Richard Mulla, defected to the rebels of former Vice President Riek Machar claiming security forces tried to make him "disappear." In another opposition move from the government, Francis Nazario, Executive Director in the office of the Foreign Minister resigned his post citing what he called the rising intimidation of civilians by security forces. Makuei said it has been long understood that Mulla was a rebel, just like Riek Machar. As far as Nazario, Mankuei said he is a disgruntled former ambassador who is lashing out at the government after being recalled from the United Nations for casting votes not in the interest of South Sudan.

D.R.C.

At least six people have been killed after 301 inmates staged a dawn jailbreak from an eastern Democratic Republic of Congo prison. Gunfire rang out shortly before sunrise June 6 at the prison in the city of Bukavu, residents said. The inmates managed to force their way through the main gate a short while later. "We have just finished the tally, there were a total of 301 escapees, but 35 have already been recaptured," a police officer told AFP news agency, requesting anonymity. The inmates managed to open the prison doors after taking weapons from guards, according to the officer. Congo's UN-backed Radio Okapi reported six deaths in the breakout, of which three were inmates and three police. At least 1,600 prisoners were in the prison at the time of the breakout. Congo's prisons are notoriously overcrowded and mismanaged, and escapes are common. In late 2011, almost 1,000 prisoners escaped a jail in Katanga province following an attack to free a militia leader.