Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Who is Africa’s best footballer?

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Never has there been as much bounty in terms of African talent as there is now. 

Although the continent has long been a conveyor belt of talent, genuine world stars from the African continent have been few and far between.

Liberia’s George Weah was winner of the World Player of the Year and also won Europe’s Ballon d’Or, but it could be argued both awards came in a quiet year.

Mozambique-born Eusebio achieved his fame and repute in the colours of colonial Portugal and has never had his achievements genuinely accepted by African fans.

Zuma: some views from abroad

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Jacob Zuma is cruising towards the South African presidency and the main question now is the size of the ANC’s majority.

So what do people from other African countries think of the man who will take over the continent’s most powerful economy?

S.Africa Election: Lessons for Africa

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Manoah Esipisu is deputy spokesperson at the Commonwealth Secretariat. He is co-author of “Eyes of Democracy: Media in Elections”. He writes in his personal capacity.

Next week South Africa will hold its fourth elections since the extinction of apartheid and the rise to power of freedom icon Nelson Mandela. The election will come four months after the cliff-hanger 2008 election in Ghana, and ahead of potentially critical elections in Angola, Malawi and Mozambique.

Talk is not cheap for Kenya activists

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In Kenya, it may be dangerous to speak your mind.

In a country that once prided itself on its freedom of speech and lively public debate,
political activists now say their lives are being threatened, and a U.N. special investigator has said that Kenyan police systematically intimidate human rights defenders.

“Dozens of prominent and respected human rights defenders have been targeted in a blatant campaign designed to silence individual monitors and instill fear in civil society organizations at large”, said U.N. Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings Phillip Alston, in a report he released on April 7.

Africans wary of World Cup ticket prices

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The first phase of ticket sales for the 2010 World Cup closed on Tuesday night with 1.6 million applications received.

This is more than two applications per available ticket although there is likely to be much more demand for the matches during the exciting knockout phase of the tournament than for the opening two weeks of group play.

G20. How did Africa do?

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Before the G20 meeting, there was a lot of talk inside and outside Africa about making sure the continent did not get left out while the world’s richest and most powerful set out plans to save their own economies.******So how did Africa fare?******On the face of things, perhaps not too badly.******“Our global plan for recovery must have at its heart the needs and jobs of hard-working families, not just in developed countries but in emerging markets and the poorest countries of the world too,” the communique says in paragraph 3.******In concrete terms:******• Resources available to the IMF will be trebled to $750 billion.***•  There will be support for a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights of $250 billion – something that could help poor countries***• There will be support for $100 billion more lending by Multilateral Development Banks (those include the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank)***• There will be $250 billion support for trade finance.***• Use will be made of resources from IMF gold sales “for concessional finance for the poorest countries”.***• Global financial institutions will be strengthened and reformed, ensuring that emerging and developing economies, including the poorest, must have greater voice and representation.”******The point on the gold sales was something for which Africa, represented at the summit by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, had made a particular push.******But not all appeared so impressed. In East Africa based Business Daily, Allan Odhiambo’s piece was headlined “Africa thrown to back burner at G20 meeting.”******According to Nigeria’s ThisDay newspaper, President Umaru Yar’Adua’s main lament was the fact that Africa’s most populous country was not there (South Africa, with the continent’s biggest economy, was represented).******South Africa’s President Kgalema Motlanthe was quoted as saying he was “quite pleased” with the results of the summit.******How well do you think the G20 did for Africa? Will Africa really have a bigger say over the global financial system in future? Will that help?

G20: A perspective from Africa

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- Iraj Abedian is the chief executive of Pan-African Investment & Research Services. The opinions expressed are his own -

Although Africa had no role whatsoever in causing the financial and economic crisis, the prevailing economic meltdown has put at risk Africa’s growth and development prospects.

from The Great Debate:

Africa and the global economic crisis

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- Jorge Maia is head of Research and Information for Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, established in 1940 to promote economic growth and industrial development. The opinions expressed are his own -

Serious shockwaves are hitting Africa's shores as the global economic crisis unfolds.

The promised land?

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Several hundred Africans have drowned off the coast of Libya in an attempt to escape to a better life in Europe.

The head of the United Nations refugee agency says the tragedy marks a grim start to what he calls the “smuggling season”, when the weather gets better and the perilous sea voyages pick up again after the winter.

At last: a positive look at Africa on U.S. TV

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American television audiences were treated on Sunday night for the first time to the show “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency”, which is based on the best-selling series of novels set in Botswana by Alexander McCall Smith.

The series, being aired in the United States by HBO, has already been broadcast by the BBC in Britain. Like the novels, it follows the light-hearted adventures of Precious Ramotswe as she seeks to solve mysteries with her keen intuition and big heart.

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