Ed's Feed
Jun 25, 2015

Mozambique turns 40, high on gas prospects

MAPUTO (Reuters) – Mozambique turned 40 on Thursday, mixing formal military parades with exuberant African dancing as it turned from a generation of civil war and poverty to look to a more prosperous future, powered, it hopes, by vast amounts of natural gas.

In contrast to the early years of independence from Portugal in 1975, when the challenge was navigating the choppy waters of the Cold War, the southern African nation’s leaders now face the burden of the growing expectations of its 26 million people.

Jun 15, 2015

In Bashir fiasco, Pretoria makes clear Africa comes first

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – From the moment Omar al-Bashir touched down in South Africa, Pretoria had a choice: arrest the Sudanese president for alleged war crimes and face fury from the rest of the continent, or grant him safe passage home and take flak from the West.

The decision, confirmed by the departure of Bashir’s plane into the skies above the capital on Monday, spoke volumes about South Africa’s priorities – Africa comes first, and legal niceties such as the authority of domestic courts or international statutes a distant second.

Jun 15, 2015

South Africa court bars indicted Sudan leader from leaving

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African judge barred Sudan’s indicted president from leaving the country on Sunday, in a deepening rift between Africa and the West over what Pretoria called anti-poor country bias in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

President Omar al-Bashir, visiting South Africa for an African Union summit, stands accused in an ICC arrest warrant of war crimes and crimes against humanity over atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict. He was first indicted in 2009.

Jun 14, 2015

South African court orders indicted Sudanese leader not to leave

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African court issued an interim order on Sunday preventing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir leaving the country, where he was attending an African Union summit, until the judge hears an application calling for his arrest.

Bashir is accused in an International Criminal Court arrest warrant of war crimes and crimes against humanity over atrocities in the Darfur conflict.

Jun 11, 2015

Mega African trade bloc paves way for continental commerce

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A $1.2 trillion free-trade area stretching across 26 African countries from Cape Town to Cairo is a stepping stone to uniting the poorest continent as one commercial bloc within the next two years, Africa’s top trade official said on Thursday.

The Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) was signed into effect in Cairo this week, amalgamating three of Africa’s main trading blocs: the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Jun 3, 2015

Mobile phone access in Africa set to double in next five years

CAPE TOWN, June 3 (Reuters) – Eighty percent of sub-Saharan
Africa’s 800 million people should have access to mobile
telephones by the end of the decade, double the current rate,
although government help is needed to reach far-flung areas,
industry body group GSMA said Wednesday.

The growth of mobile data – an even more powerful economic
tool than simple voice services – also hinges on authorities
allocating sufficient spectrum, said Mortimer Hope, the Africa
director of GSMA.

May 28, 2015

Smarting South Africa minister defends “Mandela’s” World Cup

JOHANNESBURG, May 28 (Reuters) – South Africa’s sports minister jumped to defend the nation’s reputation on Thursday following U.S. allegations that the government was involved in bribery to secure the 2010 World Cup, the crowning achievement of the post-apartheid state.

The minister, Fikile Mbalula, was adamant the government had done no wrong in securing the event that South Africans associate with their first democratic president, Nelson Mandela, saying outside auditors had given a clean bill of health to all financial accounts relating to the soccer spectacular.

Apr 24, 2015

Fired up by king, Zulu nationalism confronts modern South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A crowd of stick-wielding supporters at a soccer stadium roared their approval as South Africa’s Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, insisted he was not behind a wave of violence against migrant workers he had compared a month before to head lice.

His words had been twisted by the media, he said. If he had really given the order for his legions of followers to attack, “this country would be ashes”.

Apr 17, 2015

South Africa seeks diplomatic support to defeat anti-immigrant unrest

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa sought diplomatic support from countries across the continent on Friday to defeat the “demon” of anti-immigrant violence in which at least four people have been killed over the past fortnight.

Foreign nationals have complained that the South African police are failing to protect them, raising the prospect of a row between Pretoria and its neighbors, as well as stirring hostility to South Africans working abroad.

Apr 16, 2015

Exclusive: How Nigeria’s ‘smooth’ election nearly went wrong

ABUJA (Reuters) – As Muhammadu Buhari closed in on Nigeria’s presidency, an aide to election commission chairman Attahiru Jega sent a text message to an independent voting monitor, warning of an imminent threat to the electoral process.

The aide had unearthed a plot by supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan to disrupt the public announcement of the national election results and kidnap Jega in a bid to wreck the count, according to pro-democracy advocates and a Nigeria-based diplomat.