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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 reprints a Commntary 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

 

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Burnishing Nigeria’s Badly-Battered Image…

The recent national elections in Nigeria that threw up Muhammadu Buhari as President has put one of Africa’s most important nations back in the limelight. And this time, we hope it is for good. It was not at all a surprise that most Nigerians opted for a candidate whose antecedence can be traced back to the dark days of military interregnum but whose record as a military ruler reminds Nigerians of the order and sanity which Buhari foisted on the national psyche in 1983.

This is why expectations are justifiably high on both the domestic and international scenes as the new government in Abuja braces up to tackle the myriad of problems that bedeviled the country.

The African Times/USA sees Nigeria as a nation that has all the propensity for greatness if the Buhari team exercises the will to cut through the imperiled past and align with forces who can assist in re-focusing on tangible deliverables. We have been able to clinically gauge how America views Nigeria from the banking industry, to entertainment and media down to the service sector. The verdict is not flattering. Not even with the over $38 billion US investment in Nigeria’s economy.

We believe that given the beating that Nigeria’s image has taken in the last eight years, the new government in Abuja’s first order of duty should be the swift and immediate rehabilitation of the country’s image while at the same time tackling the other socio-economic issues such as Boko Haram, endemic corruption and inadequate power supply.

We therefore counsel that President Buhari must have a marshal plan not just for Nigeria’s major problems but one that is a highly focused and decisive stratagem for the rehabilitating of her image as a corrupt, inept, politically volatile nation that could morph into another Somalia or Iraq.

Today’s perception becomes tomorrow’s reality. And between the worldwide goodwill garnered by the election of Buhari May 29 and an influential Diaspora community around the world especially in the United States, Nigeria could have finally found the winning key that can unlock a future way beyond her imagination.


Kleptocracy

The U.S. Department of Justice Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is designed to crack down on corrupt foreign officials who steal money of their country and use it to live the high life in the U.S.

Thus far, this anti-corruption initiative has seized nearly $600 million from corrupt officials of Nigeria, Taiwan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The largest seizure, $480 million, came against the estate of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who died 16 years ago.

The most recent case breaks with the common pattern of waiting until the official has ended his or her nation's rule before prosecuting them under the Kleptocracy Initiative.

The most recent Kleptocrat is Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son and heir apparent to the Equatorial Guinea’s President, now "serving" as the country's Second Vice President. As part of the case resolution, Obiang must sell his lavish Malibu, California mansion, a Ferrari and Michael Jackson memorabilia to raise $20 million, which the U.S. Government will give to a charity working for the people of Equatorial Guinea and $10.3 million to the U.S. which will also be used to benefit the people of Equatorial Guinea.

However, this resolution before an actual trial, missed an opportunity to expose the workings of corruption in the oil-rich nation, putting Obiang on trial would have brought revelations that ... could have been of inestimable value to expose the nature of the corruption system in Equatorial Guinea, as well as the role of lawyers, bankers and other professionals who grease the wheels of abuse.


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


Burundi Election, A Coup and Third Presidential Term. Now What?

Burundi is embroiled in a crucial and deadly face off. President Pierre Nkurunziza wants to stay in power by winning the postponed elections – to assure this, thus far there has been an assassination of one of the opposition leaders, assassination of the head of the ruling party, there was a coup that was “put down”, many in Burundi called it a coup orchestrated by the President, closing down of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp with protests ongoing and the police and military out on a daily basis, with hundreds in the opposition to the “third-term” killed. The presidential elections are now projected to take place July 15. As a most recent development, Burundi civilians and army deserters may be planning an armed struggle to topple the nation’s leadership after 50 days of street protests that have swept across the country, both government and opposition members have claimed. According to a source close to the opposition, civilians are now seeking "to get weapons so that they can face police with similar fire power".

 

NIGERIA

President Muhammadu Buhari took office last month, vowing to beat Boko Haram. He announced that the military would move its headquarters to Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno, in his inaugural speech on 29 May. The aim is to centralize operations close to the action, cut bureaucracy and speed up decision-making. The policy and administrative arms of the military have been accused of being detached from the reality of the soldiers on the frontline. The military statement said the new centre in Maiduguri would serve as "a forward command base for the chief of army staff and other service chiefs".

ERITREA

Eritrea's government has dismissed as a "vile slander" a UN report accusing it of human rights violations on a scale "seldom witnessed elsewhere". The UN published the report after a year-long investigation. It said the government may have committed crimes against humanity, including a shoot-to-kill policy on its borders. President Isaias Afewerki has governed the East African nation for 22 years, and the country has never held elections since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Eritreans account for the second-largest group of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, after Syrians, with an estimated 5,000 fleeing every month. The report said Eritreans flee the hardship caused by systematic and widespread human rights abuses.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe government is discarding its virtually worthless currency, by exchanging “quadrillions” of their bank notes for U.S. dollars. The exchange rate is $5 U.S. dollars for each 175 quadrillions of the Zimbabwe dollars. Quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one thousand million millions) and that is a lot of paper; in fact the inflation that Zimbabweans live under made good market for plastic bags – they now have to carry plastic bags bulging with bank notes to buy basic goods like bread and milk. The exchange will legally end the local currency. Zimbabweans have until September to turn in their old bank notes, which some people now sell as souvenirs to foreign tourists.

ETHIOPIA

Two hundred suspected human smugglers have been detained as part of the Ethiopian government's efforts to stem the number of citizens trying to illegally migrate to Europe. Ethiopian Federal Affairs Minister Shiferaw Teklemariam told the Ethiopian News Agency. “The detentions are part of the government's efforts to bring perpetrators to justice. People should understand the fact that illegal migration is costing lives and leaving many injured. The youth in particular should stop considering migrating as an option and we are carrying out works to help in job creation at home.” Along with neighbor Eritrea, Ethiopia is the source of great portion of the migrants making the perilous journey by sea to Europe, often via Sudan and then Libya.

NIGER

In the desert town of Agadez in central Niger, almost anyone can tell you where to find the smugglers' compounds concealing African migrants headed for Europe and when the weekly convoy departs across the Sahara. Almost anyone, except the police. At a checkpoint on the outskirts of town, police officers turned a blind eye as dozens of smuggler's trucks packed with migrants drove past at nightfall on a regular Monday convoy, starting a three-day drive across the desert to Libya. "We cannot stop the migrant trucks. They do not pass by here," said one of the policemen, gesturing vaguely to the blackness. "They go around us, far off in the desert."  A confidential government report into illegal migration in Agadez states that the corruption is so entrenched that to tackle migrant smuggling would require replacing almost all military and police officials.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (CAR)

Central African Republic will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Oct. 18. The country descended into chaos in March 2013 when the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, sparking reprisals by "anti-balaka" Christian militia, who drove out tens of thousands of Muslims from the south in a de facto partition of the landlocked country. A transitional authority currently in place is charged with organizing elections and restoring democratic rule. The polls have repeatedly been delayed, and a national peace forum last month said that a previous timetable that would have seen elections held in June or July was unrealistic. Georges Ndamoyen, a spokesman for the transitional authority, said the new election calendar had been agreed upon following a meeting between government officials and donors. The polls will be preceded by an electoral census from June 27 to July 27 and a referendum on a new constitution on Oct. 4, he said. A second round of elections, if required, will be held on Nov. 22.

UN

The UN Security Council has held an open debate on children affected by conflict. It adopted a resolution to name and shame governments and armed groups which abduct children in armed conflicts. The resolution adopted by the Security Council expressed grave concern at the abduction of children in conflicts. It stated that abduction often preceded or followed other abuses against them, ranging from their use as child soldiers to rape and death. The Council heard that more than 200 million children were caught up in armed conflict. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the Council that "abduction is now being used as a tactic to terrorize or target particular ethnic groups or religious communities, and children have been a particular focus." Last year was one of the worst in recent memory for children living in conflict areas such as South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Syria and Nigeria.

U.S.A.

When the old orange, white and blue national flag that came to symbolize apartheid South Africa was hauled down for the last time in April 1994 as the country held its first free election, the defunct banner immediately became a symbol of white resistance. But within a few years it became an embarrassment as even those who once voted for apartheid governments sought to distance themselves from a shameful past. Now the flag has found new life with America's white supremacists alongside the green and white one of the short-lived republic of Rhodesia, another former racist state to South Africa's north. Dylann Roof, the man accused of the Charleston church massacre, that killed nine, is seen wearing both flag symbols on his jacket in a photo on his Facebook page.

SUDAN

Although Sudan has denied its troops threatened South African peacekeepers in Darfur, the Sudanese government of President Omar al-Bashir literally held a gun to South Africa's head to secure his safe return to Khartoum. About 800 South African soldiers in Darfur were held "hostage" by Sudanese troops when the drama around Al-Bashir's possible arrest in South Africa escalated. According to military experts, this effectively means Sudan blackmailed South Africa and the soldiers' lives served as a guarantee for Al-Bashir's safe return. Only after Al-Bashir safely touched down in Khartoum, were Sudanese troops withdrawn. President Jacob Zuma is the commander-in-chief of the defense force. The media report of the “hostage incident” quoted the South African National Defense Union spokesman, Mr. Pikkie Greeff, as confirming the incident.

CAMEROON

Cameroon has assembled all its Muslim leaders in the capital, Yaounde, to teach them how to identify and denounce promoters of the Islamic State group's radical ideology. The effort comes amid reports supporters of the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram have dropped their arms and are now preaching "extremism." Boko Haram earlier this year announced its adherence to the Islamic State group. Cavaye Yegue Djibril, speaker of Cameroon's national assembly, traditional ruler and Muslim spiritual guide, said Boko Haram fighters have dropped their guns and are now preaching Islamic State ideology. He said the Boko Haram terrorist group is now spreading a demonic religion that can lead to social unrest.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe blasted South Africa and Nigeria at the African Union Summi, saying Africa would never agree to them getting permanent seats on the UN Security Council. This was because they had both voted for UN Security Council Resolution 1973 in 2011, which authorized military action against the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. “They had betrayed the continent which could never trust them”, sources reported him as saying. Mugabe intervened in a meeting of the so-called "Committee of 10" at the Summit which was discussing possible amendments to the "Ezulwini Consensus" which stated Africa's position on reform of the UN Security Council. The 2005 Ezulwini Consensus was that Africa should demand at least two permanent and five non-permanent seats on the council as part of the protracted, wider reform to make it more representative of the world.

UGANDA

A former Ugandan prime minister who was fired last year announced he will seek the presidency in elections scheduled for next year. Amama Mbabazi, a lawyer and career politician who used to be the ruling party's Secretary-General before he was ousted in a power struggle with President Yoweri Museveni, announced the bid in a YouTube message to Ugandans. He said he would seek the ruling party's nomination for presidential elections, a direct challenge to Museveni, who last year sought to be designated as his party's candidate unchallenged.

CAMEROON

It was one of the most surprising–matchups of the FIFA Women's World Cup - : Switzerland vs. Cameroon. Cameroon’s women’s soccer team playing its first World Cup (one of three African teams in the tournament along with Ivory Coast and Nigeria) ranked 53rd in the world by FIFA, beat the Switserland team to become the only African team to progress to the knockout stage along with Costa Rica and Colombia. The Cameroon women team has become one of the great discoveries in the soccer world, and a good example of why expanding the field to 24 teams has been a good thing for both the national teams and women’s soccer as a whole. CHEERS FOR CAMEROON!!!