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Nigerian presidential poll postponed, opposition slams decision

Africa

Buhari, in power since 2015, faces a tight election contest against Atiku of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and its top oil producer.

Nigerian authorities postponed Saturday’s national election by a week, just hours before polls had been due to open, prompting the opposition candidate to accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of seeking to “disenfranchise” voters.

A rescue worker moves out from a shaft as retrieval efforts proceed for trapped artisanal gold miners near Kadoma, Zimbabwe, February 16, 2019, REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Africa

The accident involving about 70 miners in Battlefields, 175 km (109 miles) west of the capital, happened on Tuesday night and has shone a light on the risks run by illegal gold miners,...

Zimbabwean rescuers pulled the bodies of at least 22 illegal gold miners out of shafts west of Harare that were flooded earlier in the week, and rescued eight more alive, officials and witnesses said on Saturday.

President Muhammadu Buhari (L) and opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar. Image credit - African Arguments

Africa

He said the delay was needed to hold a free and fair election.

Nigeria’s presidential election, which was due to be held on Saturday, has been postponed to Feb. 23, the chairman of the country’s electoral commission said on Saturday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Africa

The proposed amendments include an extension of the presidential term to six years from four in Article 140 of the constitution, and a “transitional” clause that would reset the clock, potentially allowing Sisi, 63, to stay in power until 2034.

 The Egyptian parliament on Thursday approved in principle draft constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2034 and tighten his control of the judiciary.

Legal battle for control of Djibouti Ports comes to Hong Kong

Africa

China Merchants Port Holdings controls the controversial 1,150-hectare Port of Hambantota, which Sri Lanka handed over to China on a 99-year lease

One of the world’s largest port operators has sued a Chinese state enterprise in Hong Kong over infringement of its exclusive port agreement with a strategically located African nation, in the city’s first court case involving China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

File image: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seen in Algiers

Africa

His re-election would provide short-term stability for the FLN, the army and business tycoons, and postpone a potentially difficult succession.

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said on Sunday he would seek a fifth term in a presidential election set for April 18, the state news agency APS reported on Sunday, putting an end to months of uncertainty caused by his poor health.

FILE- Victims of an explosion receive treatment at a ill-staffed health facility in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Sept. 21, 2015.

Africa

But 18 years later, Nigeria’s highest-ever budget share for health care was just 7 percent. Last year, it dropped to less than 4 percent.

In 2001, the government of Nigeria, along with all African Union countries, pledged to spend 15 percent of its annual budget on health care. But the country has never come close to reaching that goal.

Deben Tchoffo, Governor of the English speaking north west region of Cameroon in Bamenda, Feb. 6, 2019. (E. Kindzeka/VOA)

Africa

Fighting has been going on since Tuesday, February 5 in the English-speaking southwestern towns of Limbe, Buea, Mutengene, Kumba, Mamfe and Tombel, as well as in the northwestern towns of Bamenda, Kumbo, Ndop, Nkambe, Bafut and Kom.

Renewed fighting has killed 69 people in English-speaking regions of Cameroon, where armed separatists have ordered people to stay inside their homes as the country prepares to celebrate its national youth day.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (L), flanked by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (C) and Ethiopia's President Sahle-Work Zewde (R) attend the "Africa leadership meeting, investing in health", ahead of an AU summit in Addis Ababa, Feb. 9, 2019.

Africa

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi will officially take over the post of ceremonial head of the AU which rotates between the five regions of the continent at the start of the two-day summit in Addis Ababa.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who led an active, reformist tenure as African Union chair, on Sunday passes the baton to Egypt, seen as more likely to focus on security issues than expanding the powers of the body.

Nigerian candidate's U.S. visit was temporary reprieve from graft ban

Africa

He figured prominently in the corruption trial of former U.S. Representative William Jefferson, who was accused of trying to bribe Atiku in an effort to expand a technology business in Nigeria.

Nigerian presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar visited Washington two weeks ago to meet with top U.S. diplomats and lawmakers thanks to a temporary suspension of a travel ban linked to decade-old bribery scandals, according to people familiar with the matter.

FILE - Jean-Pierre Lacroix, second left, U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, and Smail Chergui, center, AU commissioner for peace and security, greet delegates after initial peace talks between Central African Republic and armed groups in Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 24, 2019.

Africa

Conflict in the Central African Republic has uprooted more than 1 million people, the United Nations said, and has until now shown little sign of abating.

The Central African Republic reached a peace deal with 14 armed groups following talks conducted in Khartoum, the United Nations said Saturday, potentially ushering in a period of stability in the volatile country.

Cameroon's Arrested Opposition Leader Begins Hunger Strike

Africa

Biya is Africa's second-longest ruling leader — in power for 36 years — and his government has shown little tolerance for opposition.

Cameroon's arrested opposition leader Maurice Kamto and 29 of his imprisoned supporters started a hunger strike a day after being told they will face eight charges amounting to treason. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo appears before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Jan. 15, 2019.

Africa

He was granted a conditional release by the ICC. He must remain in his host country. He is also not allowed to contact any witnesses from his case or speak publicly about the case.

Belgium has agreed to take in former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo after his shock acquittal at the International Criminal Court.

Diane Rwigara, a critic of veteran Rwandan President Paul Kagame, gestures during an interview with Reuters in Kigali, Rwanda January 26, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

Africa

“I want it to be the channel through which Rwandan voices can be heard,” she told Reuters in her family home in Kigali.

Diane Rwigara says she will not let more than a year in detention derail her campaign against President Paul Kagame, the rebel-turned-statesman lauded for transforming the small African nation’s economy but criticized for smothering dissent.

Angolan president João Lourenço

Africa

The budget for military is projected to exceed the combined total allocated for health and education

For a country that has been at peace since the end of civil war 16 years ago and struggling to service its debts as well addressing rampant poverty, it is ironic that Angola is one of the African continent’s biggest spenders on military expenditure.

Pile of Mozambiqe's currency - the Metical. "

Africa

While the Mozambique undisclosed loans saga unfolds in domestic and international courts, there are growing indications that the scandal risks spilling over into Angola, where mounting evidence of similar opaque procurement deals threatens to undermine the government’s high-profile anti-corruption drive and nascent economic recovery in 2019

EXX Africa has published a special report on the risk of spill-over of the Mozambique debts scandal into Angola.

Nigeria's Buhari suspends chief judge, drawing opposition ire before election

Africa

“This act of desperation is geared towards affecting the outcome of the 2019 Presidential elections,” said Atiku.

Nigeria’s president suspended the country’s most senior judge on Friday, weeks ahead of an election in which the judiciary could play an important role and prompting the main opposition candidate to describe it as an act of dictatorship.

Issouf Sanogo, AFP | Burkina Faso's Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba looks on in front of the Splendid hotel during his visit on January 17, 2016, in Ouagadougou, following a jihadist attack claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) late on January

Africa

“The president of Faso accepted the resignation” and expressed “all his gratitude to Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and all its ministers for their commitment to the service of the nation,” the statement added.

Burkina Faso’s government and Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba stood down on Friday, according to a statement released by the country’s president.

ICC acquits ex-Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo of war crimes

Africa

Gbagbo was the first former head of state to stand trial at the ICC. His release will be a huge disappointment for victims of atrocities in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011, when he refused to accept defeat by rival Alassane Ouattara.

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo of war crime charges on Tuesday, ordering his immediate provisional release after more than seven years in custody.

Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)

Africa

Under Nigerian law, state officials must declare their assets before taking office and after they leave.

Nigeria’s chief justice will face trial on Monday for allegedly breaching asset-declaration rules, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) said on Saturday, a month before a presidential election in Africa’s most populous country.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube looks on during the swearing in of new cabinet ministers at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2018. Image credit - Zimbabwe Mail

Africa

Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 after it was wrecked by hyperinflation and adopted the greenback and other currencies, such as sterling and the South African rand.

Zimbabwe will introduce a new currency in the next 12 months, the finance minister said, as a shortage of U.S. dollars has plunged the financial system into disarray and forced businesses to close.

Felix Tshisekedi Declared Winner in DRC Election

Africa

President Joseph Kabila is scheduled to leave office this month after 18 years in power — and two years after the official end of his mandate.

After several days of intense speculation on the outcome of the DRC’s presidential elections, the country’s election board, CENI, proclaimed Felix Tshisekedi the winner.

FILE - Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 31, 2015. VOA image

Africa

A leaked December report in Kenya showed China was promised parts of Mombasa Port as collateral for financing a $3 billion railway it built from the port to Nairobi.

Uganda's growing debt is sustainable, and the country is not at risk of losing state assets to China, the country's finance minister, Matia Kasaija, said this week.

FILE - A Christmas tree is placed inside a banking hall of Consolidated Bank along Koinange Street in Nairobi, Dec. 10, 2018.

Africa

Manufacturing grew by 3.2 percent from a 0.1 percent contraction in the third quarter of 2017, KNBS said.

Kenya's economy expanded faster in the third quarter of this year than in the same period last year due to strong performance in the agriculture and construction sectors, the statistics office said on Monday.

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