Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi seemed to anticipate this week exactly what a lot people were thinking about his government’s plan to double the poor country’s GDP and wean it off food aid within just five years.
“I think that this is a very ambitious plan,” he said.
“This is indeed an extremely ambitious plan,” a few minutes later.
And, once more for luck, “We have put in place a high-case scenario which is clearly very, very ambitious.”
So far, so ambitious.
But, after those disclaimers, a man many see as Africa’s most economically literate leader didn’t shy away from saying he thought Ethiopia could get there.
The “base-case” scenario of 11 percent average economic growth over the period was “doable” and the “high-case” scenario of 14.9 percent was “not unimaginable”.
Would you order three new jets just so your successor could use them?
President Goodluck Jonathan is keeping Nigerians guessing as to whether he plans to stand in elections due next January, but suspicions are growing that he will eventually decide to contest.
Plans he has set out range from boosting power supply – perhaps Nigeria’s most critical need – to improving roads. Those are certainly not projects that anyone could complete quickly. On Wednesday, cabinet approved the purchase of three presidential jets at a cost of $150 million – adding to the suspicions he sees himself making use of them.
Desmond Tutu was Cape Town’s first black archbishop and a vocal critic of South Africa’s apartheid government.
Last month the Nobel peace prize winner announced he would retire from public duties later this year, when he turns 79. He spoke to Reuters Africa Journal about his long career as a churchman and activist.
For a brief moment just after dark on Aug.4, Kenya’s referendum on a new constitution seemed to be heading towards the dangerous precedent set in the last election of 2007: disputed results, followed by violence that killed 1,300 people.
At the national vote tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, a cultural centre about 20 minutes drive from the Nairobi city centre, politicians and church leaders who opposed the new constitution accused electoral officials of rigging in favour of their opponents.
It’s well-known that peace talks can cause fighting. I remember before every round of doomed negotiations on Darfur since 2003, either the govenment or the rebels would start a military campaign to gain ground ahead of any potential settlement.
But the violence in the past week in the camps that are home for two million Darfuris displaced by conflict is different.
Nearly a week after Mauritania’s army and French special forces attacked a group of fighters from al Qaeda’s North African wing deep inside Mali, the dust may have settled, but many questions still need to be answered.
Seven Islamists are dead, including the Algerian military commander of al Qaeda in Mauritania and a Moroccan computer specialist, according to security sources. But so too is the 78-year-old French hostage Paris said it was trying to rescue.
Britain’s new coalition government made its priorities on Sudan very clear as Henry Bellingham, the minister for Africa, used 90 percent of his opening remarks at his first press conference in Khartoum to outline how Britain could increase trade with Sudan.
The other 10 percent dealing with the run-up to the south’s referendum on secession, which is likely to create Africa’s newest nation state, and the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for genocide all seemed like just an afterthought.
It’s odd to see a once powerful man walk slowly. And odder still to see him sit in the corner of a restaurant nursing a glass of water for more than an hour. But that’s exactly what delegates to an African Union summit in Ugandan capital Kampala saw former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown do on Saturday.
Brown has been treated as something of a fugitive by the British media since his May election defeat with a slew of “Have you seen this man? type articles published in the country’s newspapers. Speculation on what he was up to ranged from bashing out a book on economics to Alastair Darling’s “he’s reflecting”.
This week is 25 years since a bunch of bouffant-haired pop stars staged the most ambitious concerts of all time to help millions of starving people who had never heard of them.
Live Aid, organised to raise money to stop Ethiopia’s catastrophic 1984/85 famine, was a huge success by some measures. An audience of more than 1.5 billion tuned in around the world to watch simultaneous live concerts from London and Philadelphia — an incredible technological feat for the time — and a staggering $230 million was raised for the emergency.
from Photographers' Blog:
The 2010 World Cup has been a memorable and momentous occasion not only for me, but for South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world.
It has indeed been incredible. It has been a unifying factor, with people beginning to appreciate the importance of their national symbols such as flags.