Click here for a page by page view
Click here for a page by page view
Africa Watch
The news map of US military operations in Africa, followed by an overview of the Boko Haram in Nigeria and all the Al-Qaeda aligned terrorist groups across Africa and Middle-East as they continue their operations. We provide a closer look at Boko Haram and al-Shabaab organization, plus show you the U.S. Terrorist Most Wanted poster offering rewards of between $3m and $7m for the leaders of the Islamist militant groups in 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 caries a report by The African Times-USA Editor-in-Chief participation in the visit of President Buhari to Washington D.C., plus the remarks made by President Obama an President Buhari, followed by a reprint of a Commentary which appeared in the recent issue of The New Yorker Magazine-READ MORE
Africa Comment
Conversally this section presents comments by Africa which the U.S. and other overseas quarters should be aware of and understand. Current posting features the issue where Malawi is contemplating removing English from their classrooms. We also feature the African Transformation Report which outlines a view of Africa's possible or probable future- full report is linked for download. -READ MORE
Insight
This posting leads off with the unsolved murder of Burkina's revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara. Followed by "Made in Ghana "with great pride and ingenuity – Kantanka Group designed, produced and is manufacturing passenger cars in Ghana. Now that is NEWS! -READ MORE
Briefing

We name the top 10 philanthropists in Africa.

-READ MORE
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; Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa

-READ MORE
Africa Inc
Insightful article of Sub-Sahara economic standing, plus a report of Russian business probes in Cote d'Ivoire. China will earmark more than half of all of its foreign aid to Africa Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced during his Africa visit. PLUS -Oil industry executives believe that by late 2014 or early 2015, the US will stop importing Nigerian crude.-READ MORE
Interviews
Eyewitness account of the treacherous journey by sea and desert for a fife in Europe. Followed by 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
Children and grandchildren of African immigrants who sought refuge in the United States during the turbulent 1970's and 80's era of military dictatorships in the Continent are now clearly distinguishing themselves – we meet some of them. Followed by 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
We report of the world's most remote film festival - in a refugee camp in the Sahara desert, where nothing grows and few people visit. Followed by report where the Ebola epidemic has created new song that explains what not to do and what to do and become a radio hit. With all the political events taking place in Egypt, its history and grandeur still comes to life - until a decade ago, no one knew of, an ancient harbor city Heracleion -READ MORE

 

Africa Kitchen
Safari Cuisine overview. Followed by Art of Sushi-Making African-Style. 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. -READ MORE

 

World Press Africa Voice of America/Africa SABC - South Africa Crises Report/Africa This Is Africa/London Pravda - Moscow China Daily/Africa BBC/Africa News Al Jazeera/Africa

© Copyright The African Times Publications 2008

“The African Times/USA” and “Africa, Inc.” are trademarks of The African Times Publications.

All U.S.A. and international
rights reserved.


How Should Africa Be Governed?

The recent political history of Africa has thrown up three colorations of the characters of those
who have occupied the high office of President.
There is the first category to which the likes of  Benin’s Boni Yayi, Thabo Mbeki (South Africa),
Goodluuck Jonathan (Nigeria) and such others belong, who willingly relinquished power at the
end of their term to make room for a democratically elected successor.
 Then there are the Yoweri Museveni’s  (Uganda), Paul Kagame’s  (Rwanda) and Pierre
Nkurunziza (Burundi) of the Continent who inherited troubled nations, cleaned up the mess and
decided to stay put, ostensibly to ensure that  “the job is completed.”  This group constitutes the
second category.
The most insidious of all the categories is the third where the  Marcias Nguema’s (Equatorial
Guinea), Robert Mugabe’s (Zimbabwe), Ali Bongo (Gabon), Denis Nguesso (Congo Brazzaville)
can be found. These are full-blown despots whose sole ambition is to hold on to power for their 
own selfish and parochial interests.
The debate among scholars of African politics since the turn of the century has often centered on
what the best form of government for the various countries of the Continent should be. All agree
however that since the political antecedents , history and experiences of these countries is
disparate, it is therefore illogical to expect each of them to grow their democratic experiences on
the same trajectory. One size does not fit all, some of them argue.
The African Times-USA is of the opinion that the measuring stick for what works for
any African country should solely be determined by the people themselves. And  we believe that
there should be a continent-wide oversight on how elections are conducted and how power
should change hands by the African Union (AU). Whatever mechanism that are currently in the
books of the AU must be strengthened, with all parties as signatories.
We also believe that the people of each nation equally reserve the right to determine how they
should be governed, and above all, that the fundamental human rights of the individual citizen is safeguarded.


The American Elections and Our Interests

For all intents and purposes, the upcoming US Presidential election has earned the American political system an unparalleled notoriety across the globe for multiplicity of reasons. Wherever you may be – Africa, Asia, Australia or any part Europe, you most probably have been riveted by events that are leading up to these elections which have been marked by unusual sets of events.
To those of us who hitherto did not know, the electioneering events have served the veritable purpose of revealing the fault lines of American politics, and that the US is a nation that is polarized between a liberal-leaning Democratic Party and a conservative Republican Party.
Before the Fall elections arrive, the world will be treated to the party primaries in July where each party will choose its presidential flag-bearers and their running mate – a lesson in American civics for all new comers. At this stage of the process, voters will have the opportunity to evaluate the contestants to determine who will better handle the nation’s business.
This year’s elections are most likely to have immigration as a hot button issue, which has been a very contentious subject given the acerbic political rhetoric of some of the aspirants. And we are aware that the rest of the world is watching to see how the leader of the free world interprets the letter and spirit of the U.S. constitution when it concerns the fate of one of most vulnerable among us.

Meanwhile, The African Times will also be watching closely how the candidates address the issues that affect Africa, the Diaspora, immigration, issuance of visas, trade and commerce. How each party and candidate stack up on these issues will undoubtedly form the basis for advising our readership on how to effectively make their votes count.  

 


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

Regional Trading Firm Is Set To Triple Trade Between Guinea-Bissau and the United States

The smallest and quite possibly one of the most forgotten countries in continental Africa has done only $3.2 million worth of business with the United States in 2013, almost all in the grains and edible fats sector. That number is about to change thanks to the efforts of the recently established Guinea-Bissau Trade & Investment Commission and a highly ambitious Bissau based trading company, West Afritrade.

From a dilapidated warehouse in the capital of this former Portuguese colony the company began as a humble commodity trading firm. In the early days they distributed rice and cooking oil to remote parts of the country. Today they distribute hundreds of products all over the ECOWAS countries, from Chinese plastic goods to cosmetics and auto parts West Afritrade overseas a diverse portfolio.

From 2014 the company's North American import manager, David Wright has set a new direction for the company and his division. "We've noticed that despite what you see on the news, there's a growing middle class in West Africa that is ready to pay higher prices for better quality goods", said Mr. Wright, who is a native of Canada. He arrived in West Africa 5 years ago on a charity mission and fell in love with the continent. "I love the people. I admire the natural beauty and now I believe the time is right to do serious business here." Today he runs West Afritrade's North American trading desk. "Our goal is to open new markets for US and Canadian companies and open their eyes to a forgotten emerging market.” added Jose Da Costa, managing director of West Afritrade.

With the Ebola crisis David's division found an early niche market. They began importing sanitation and medical supplies. "My favorite product that we tumbled on is a personal water filtration system by a US company called, Sawyer". The system allows anyone to produce 1000 liters (250 gallons) of clean drinking water for less than $12. It's small enough to fit in a fanny pack. "I've seen children tending their goats and turning dirty creek water into drinking water.” added Mr. Wright. West Afritrade also gave these away as gifts in the Northern regions of Guinea-Bissau. But it's not only medical supplies and water filters that Wright's company is importing from North America. We've found strong demand for quality auto parts. Since most of the vehicles are old models imported from Europe and their longevity is a key issue, customers need reliable quality auto parts. We're selling generators, filters, windshield wipers and other products in seven West African countries now.

"We are very pleased to see that trade is increasing between the United States and Guinea Bissau", said Andrew G. Szabo head of the Guinea Bissau Investment And Trade Commission and government economic advisor. He sees the next step in development in showcasing Guinea-Bissau companies and artisans in North America to keep trade balanced between the two countries.

Officials in Bissau are also welcoming the changing trade winds. The country has emerged from years of military rule, a series of coup d’états and economic recession. The capital is abuzz with businessmen and new factories opening up.

The Prime Minister Domingo Simoes Pereira has also recently praised West Afritrade.  "These businesses and projects are part of the regional development program, as outlined in the strategic vision presented by the government at recent roundtable meeting in Brussels.” said the 51 year old Prime Minister.


Prologue to Kenya’s 2017 Presidential Elections

A Nairobi police officer in camouflage and body armor, a riot shield in his hand, with his booted foot over the protester. The scene was captured on May 16th in downtown Nairobi, the capital of what is meant to be one of Africa’s most stable and hopeful countries. It is an ugly glimpse of a potentially difficult year ahead, as Kenya prepares for presidential elections scheduled for August 2017. This incident took place during a protest organized by the main opposition party, CORD. The protesters were demonstrating against Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, pushing for the resignation of the Commission officials who are generally allied to the Kenya Presidency. The opposition says the Electoral Commission, as it is currently constituted, cannot be trusted to carry out a free and fair 2017 election.

 

NIGERIA/CAMEROON

Boukar Kaou, a Boko Haram leader, has been captured together with five of his aides by a joint military taskforce from Cameroon and Nigeria during a raid in which 58 militants died. Kaou and his aides were captured in the Madawaya forest in northeastern Nigeria near the border with Cameroon. Issa Tchiroma Bakary, a spokesman for Cameroon’s government said in a statement read on state radio. No soldiers died and 46 hostages were freed, including 18 women and 28 children, according to the statement. Three Boko Haram camps were destroyed and a consignment of weapons was found.

TUNISIA

Tunisian authorities prevented nearly 2,000 people from leaving the country and travelling abroad to join jihadist groups in the first three months of this year. Since January, Tunisian authorities have also dismantled 33 suspected “terrorist” cells and put on trial 1,400 people accused of belonging to a “terrorist organization. Thousands of Tunisians have joined militant groups in conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria and Libya over the past few years, most of the suspects prevented from travelling abroad to join jihadist groups were young people aged between 20 and 23. To help Tunisia bring greater control to the borders with Libya, the United States is providing planes, jeeps and communications technology to Tunisia.

CHAD

Former Chad dictator Hissene Habre was found guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and sex crimes during his rule and he was sentenced to life in prison, ending a trial more than 15 years in the making. He was convicted of being responsible for thousands of deaths and torture in prisons while in power from 1982 to 1990. A 1992 Chadian Truth Commission accused Habre's government of systematic torture, saying 40,000 people died during his rule. It placed particular blame on his police force. The Extraordinary African Chambers was established by Senegal and the African Union to put Habre on trial for the crimes committed during his rule. It was the first trial in which the courts of one country prosecuted the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes, and the first universal jurisdiction case to proceed to trial on the continent. Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam, speaking for the panel, said evidence showed Habre was directly responsible, having given the orders for imprisonment and torture, and having also committed some of the crimes himself.

KENYA

Kenyan police used tear gas against around 300 opposition protesters gathered May 16 outside of the country's electoral oversight commission. The demonstrators are rallying against what they view as unfair and biased actions by the elections commission in the lead-up to 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections. Police have used water cannons and tear gas twice in the past month to disperse opposition protesters. President Uhuru Kenyatta, elected in a 2013 election disputed by the opposition, is expected to run for a second term in 2017.

AFRICA

United States is looking at sites for 2nd Africa base, thus far the U.S. military has looked at 11 locations for a potential base, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), however he did not disclose which locations the military is considering, other than to specify that "Nigeria isn't one of them." The U.S. currently has one military base in Djibouti, East Africa. U.S. forces are now based in several Africa “hot spots” - in Somalia to assist the regional fight against al-Shabab, in Cameroon to help with the multinational effort against Boko Haram and the AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez reported that the U.S. military has trained members of Nigeria's intelligence corps as well as three Nigerian battalions, including one that "just recently" graduated.

NIGERIA

A continued strife over control of fertile lands in Nigeria has resulted to the deaths of many farmers and their livestock. Analysts say land disputes pose the greatest security risk after Boko Haram. According to media reports, heavily armed herdsmen stormed the village in the southeast of Nigeria at the end of April. Dozens were killed, houses and churches destroyed. Such raids are common in Nigeria. Herdsmen, often nomads, compete with farmers for fertile lands. In the past the conflicts were restricted to northern Nigeria. But now nomads, partly from neighboring countries, including Chad and CAR are reaching the south in search of greener pastures. In February over 300 people in central Nigeria died after such a raid and 7000 were displaced. According to SBM Intelligence, there were 400 such incidents between 1997 and 2015, mostly in the fertile green belt of Nigeria. Estimations show that more than a thousand people die every year.

RWANDA

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who has been in office since 2000 claims not to want to continue in office and that he had little say in last year’s constitutional changes allowing him to run for a third term. The President has said that he did not want a third term in office but had to bow to entreaties from his people, who were not ready to say goodbye to the architect of the nation’s recovery from the 1994 genocide. The changes, which allow Kagame to stay until 2034, were approved in a December referendum by a 98% majority that Rwanda’s tiny opposition and western diplomats said was suspiciously high. Kagame has overseen a remarkable economic recovery from the 1994 genocide, in which 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists. However, rights groups and political opponents – many of whom now live in exile – say this has been at the expense of civil liberties.

ALGERIA

The Government of Algeria is building one of the world's largest mosques which officials say will serve as a buffer against radical Islam and crown the legacy of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The Djamaa El Djazair mosque is being built facing the picturesque bay of Algiers as part of a complex that will include a one-million book library, a Koranic school and a museum of Islamic art and history. It will also have a 265m high minaret – the world's tallest – as well as a 20,000 square meters prayer hall capable of accommodating up to 120 000 worshippers. The complex will be located between a future tourist hotspot and working class districts that were once a bastion for Islamist extremists.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe is once again experiencing cash availability problems. In 2008 Zimbabwe’s reserve bank was printing Zimbabwe’s Monopoly notes of up to Z$10 trillion face value each. That was the time to keep the presses at top speed with plummeting devaluation and galloping inflation then running into billions of percent. Ultimately the Zimbabwe dollar collapsed completely and the country converted to US dollars, as well as the South African rand and a few other currencies. That change - plus the advent of more sensible economic policies brought in by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) when it became part of the government of national unity in 2009 - helped to stabilize the economy, after a fashion. However, now the supply of actual U.S. notes is almost exhausted, thus the presses are in business again printing notes that promise to pay in U.S. dollars, i.e. fake U.S. dollars to keep the country and the ruling party, including the President, afloat. There are reports of ATMs running out of bank notes, with many of the banks having put in restrictions on using international bank cards to withdraw cash from their ATMs. In addition Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe pardoned more than 2,000 prisoners May 26 in a bid to relieve financial pressures on the country's overcrowded prison system. The President's order frees all female prisoners besides those on death row or those serving life sentences and also applies to juvenile prisoners. Authorities have already begun carrying out the order.

UGANDA

Directly following his reelection the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni promoted his son Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba to a two-star general, fueling speculation that Kainerugaba is being groomed to eventually succeed Museveni as President. Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for three decades, was sworn in for another term May 12, following a controversial election win in February marred by allegations of fraud and government crackdowns. While the President has denied priming his son as an eventual replacement, many in the country think his actions suggest otherwise. Meanwhile, Museveni's top rival in Uganda, opposition figure Kizza Besigye, is being held on treason charges.

CAMEROON

Local self-defense groups in the country's north have thwarted a rash of attempted suicide Boko Haram bombings targeting civilians near the border with Nigeria. During early morning prayers, the civilian group in this northern border town faced one such test. A young man appeared for the first time in their mosque, raising suspicions. When the stranger moved toward the imam, shouting that he should pray for peace in the world, vigilantes shot and killed the stranger with a bow and poisoned arrow. Then they used a long stick to search him from a distance, detonating the man’s explosive vest.

GUINEA-BISSAU

Bissau-Guinean President Jose Mario Vaz dissolved the country's government May 12 and called on the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) to appoint a new Cabinet. Unconfirmed reports surfaced that government ministries were placed under the control of security forces. A political dispute has simmered in the West African country since August 2015, when Vaz dismissed PAIGC leader and former Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira. Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by instability and military coups since gaining independence in 1973

SOMALIA

U.S. and newly trained Somali Special Forces conducted a joint raid on an al-Shabab base, killing or capturing an unknown number of the extremist group’s militants. Somali security official stated that U.S. forces played a "lead role" in the operation. Residents in the village of Toratorow, about 100 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, said soldiers dropped from helicopters on the village’s outskirts and then went to their target on foot. The operation lasted for two hour. The raid targeted an al-Shabab office that collected taxes. The al-Shabab officers who were at the office were killed in the raid. The U.S. has trained a Somali government commando unit — known as "Danab" or "Lightning" — of about 500 soldiers who conduct special operations such as this.

USA

The U.S. Congress may vote on a bill that will allow President Barack Obama to set aside all or part of Nigeria’s former Head of State, Sani Abacha stolen loot recovered in the U.S. for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency. Abacha, with his late brother, Ibrahim transferred over $110 million into their personal New York Citibank accounts. The recovered stolen loot has been in custody of the U.S. Department of Justice, since 1999. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents the 18th District of Texas, is sponsoring a bill, H.R. 528, which would allow the U.S. Government to use the recovered Abacha money to provide relief for families of Nigeria’s abducted Chibok girls.

MAURITANIA

Another door is closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their Middle Eastern country, this time in Africa. Mauritania is one of the last countries allowing free entry to Syrians. But now it also began demanding visas as officials in North Africa and the Sahel try to stem the flow of migrants and refugees traveling across the Sahara in hopes of reaching Europe. From Mauritania the refugees travel in cramped smugglers' trucks across northern Mali and Algeria, to the European enclave of Melilla, a Spanish city on the coast of northern Morocco. From there, they anticipate to take a boat to Spain – some succeed and others do not.