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Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has expressed the desire to take stringent action against suspected arsonists behind market fires in the capital city Lusaka.

He said upon arrival from the African Union Heads of States Summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa that the security services will “up their game” to curb such occurrences. “If it means taking measures which are unprecedented we will do just that; some people will have to lose their rights. People who have lost their property have lost their livelihoods. So if I become a dictator for once bear with me,” President Lungu was quoted by local media. He interacted with victims of the market fires who he assured of compensation and government support to restore their livelihood.

If it means taking measures which are unprecedented we will do just that; some people will have to lose their rights … So if I become a dictator for once bear with me.

“Please do not take the law in your hands,” Lungu added as he spoke to the City Market victims when he visited the incident scene. Lusaka’s biggest City Market was razed on Tuesday morning, hours after another market was also burned down. The act is believed to have been perpetrated by arsonists as security services conduct their investigation. Main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has called on security services to “take a professional and thorough look as to what could have caused this unfortunate incident”. It said in a statement signed by its National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango that it is too early to speculate. “It is in the same vein that we call upon those that find comfort in politicizing such tragedies to lay off their hands and let independent professionals do their job unhindered,” the statement added while consoling with victims. The Zambian police has increased the 300,000 Zambian kwacha ($32,894.74) reward it earlier announced to 500,000 Zambian kwacha ($54 181,63) for those who give information leading to the arrest of the suspected arsonists.

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Madam Roman Tesfaye, wife of Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has been elected President of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA). The election took place during a meeting of the group on the sidelines of the 29th African Union (A.U.) summit in Ethiopia. It is, however, the 19th Ordinary General Assembly of the OAFLA. Until Tesfaye’s election, the post was held by first lady of Ghana. Her vice-president will be Burkinabe first lady, Adjoavi Sika Kabore.

 

Mrs Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia and newly elected president of OAFLA Wife Of the Nigerian President Mrs Aisha Muhammadu Buhari

First Lady of Central African Republic Mme Brigitte Touadera Madam Hinda Deby Itno First Lady of Chad

First Lady of Ghana Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo First Lady of Malawi Dr Gertrude Mutharika First Lady of Mali Madame Keita A. Maiga

First Lady of Zambia H.E. Madam Esther Lungu OAFLA have at its meetings recommitted to their fight to make Africa a continent free of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as well as maternal and child mortality. At its 17th Assembly meeting in Kigali last year, the group stressed the need to continue its advocacy for increased investment in the health system; accelerate advocacy for enhanced health education; and to support youth and civil society in policy and program initiatives that promote young women’s well-being as leaders and agents of social change in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and national governments. They also committed to continue to ensure the launch of the campaign to End Child Marriage in all their countries.

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Sudan will extend a unilateral ceasefire with rebels until the end of October, a decree by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday, two weeks before the United States plans to lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan. The U.S. said on Jan. 13 it would lift the embargo but would wait 180 days before doing so to see whether Sudan acts further to improve its human rights record and resolve political and military conflicts, including in warring regions such as Darfur. On Jan. 15, Bashir extended the ceasefire – in place since October 2016 – for six months in response to the U.S. move.

The U.S. said then that it would unfreeze Sudanese assets and lift financial sanctions as a response to Khartoum’s cooperation in fighting Islamic State and other militant groups. Fighting between the army and rebels in Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out again in 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. Conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms against Sudan’s Arab-led government. Sudan previously announced short-term truces in these regions in June and October 2016, after which fighting eased in the southern Blue Nile and Kordofan but carried on in Darfur. Sudan’s economic problems have been building since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of oil output, the main source of foreign currency and government income. REUTERS

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The Tanzanian president has ordered the mining ministry to suspend the granting of new licenses, a statement from State House said on Tuesday, the latest twist in an ongoing row between the government and mining companies.

“President Magufuli has ordered the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to suspend the issuance of new special mining licences and renewal of expired licences,” the president’s office said in a statement.

This follows the passing of three bills giving the resource-rich East African nation the right to tear up and renegotiate contracts for natural resources like gas or minerals, and removing the right to international arbitration.






The bills were introduced on Thursday and rapidly passed, despite pleas for more time from an association representing mining companies.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer and has made vast natural gas discoveries but remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

Mining companies that could be affected by the proposed law changes include AngloGold Ashanti, Acacia Mining Plc and Petra Diamonds.

Acacia, which has most of its operations in Tanzania, has been particularly at odds with Magufuli’s government.

Reuters

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Botswana is the most attractive economy for investments flowing into the African continent, according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016 by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab. According to the Index, Botswana, scores highly based on a range of factors that include improved credit rating, current account ratio, and import covers and ease of doing business. “Despite considerable external challenges and the fall in oil prices, many of the African nations are demonstrating an increased willingness to achieve sustainable growth by diversifying their economies and introducing favourable policies to attract inward investments. Botswana is a case in example – its strategic location, skilled workforce and a politically stable environment have attracted the attention of international investors leading to a significant influx of FDI.” Prof Mthuli Ncube, Head of Quantum Global Research Lab said.

According to the report, the top five African investment destinations attracted an overall FDI of $13.6bn. Botswana is followed closely by Morocco, Egypt South Africa and Zambia respectively. Mthuli further commented: “With a population of over one billion people and rapidly growing middle class, Africa clearly offers significant opportunities to invest in the continent’s non-commodities sectors such as financial services, construction and manufacturing amongst others. However, structural reforms and greater private sector involvement are crucial to unlocking Africa’s true potential.” Quantum Global is an international group of companies active in the areas of private equity investments, investment management as well as macroeconomic research and econometric modelling

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The Nigerian Army has reported that over 700 Boko Haram fighters had surrendered to troops engaged in the fight against the insurgent group. A statement on the army’s website said the repented ‘terrorists’ handed themselves in on Monday July 3, 2017 “due to sustained series of bombardment on suspected location of Boko Haram terrorists.” “Meanwhile, out of the 700, 70 have come out of hiding and are being profiled. The rest are expected to come out from hiding in the coming days.

Preliminary investigation has shown that among them were key commanders and influential members of the terrorists group, one of whom matches suspect number 225 on Boko Haram terrorists most wanted list released by the Nigerian Army.

“Preliminary investigation has shown that among them were key commanders and influential members of the terrorists group, one of whom matches suspect number 225 on Boko Haram terrorists most wanted list released by the Nigerian Army. “So far, the surrendered terrorists have been making useful statements and it is expected that many more of them will surrender. The fight against the Boko Haram group is being executed under the Operation Laafiya Dole – Peace by all means, mandate. The army has reclaimed areas held by the group as at 2015 when President Buhari took office. The group has since 2015 been restricted in the nature of their attacks more often than not using suicide bombers to hit civilian populations in capital of Borno State and place of its birth, Maiduguri. The Boko Haram crisis extends beyond Nigeria where it started, neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad region – Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – have all been affected by their attacks. A humanitarian crisis has been birthed in the region as people continue to flee the attacks by the group.

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Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, on Monday handed a cheque of $1 million to the African Union (A.U.) Foundation as part of efforts aimed at lessening the body’s dependence on foreign aid. The 93-year-old formally handed over the cheque to the A.U. Commission (AUC) chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on the floor of the AU headquarters during the 29th Heads of State summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The state-owned Herald newspaper reported that the amount had been raised from the sale of cattle donated by Zimbabwean farmers following an appeal by Mugabe to help the A.U. self fund its operations.

As a farmer and an African, donating cattle which is a sign of wealth, comes naturally.

President Robert Mugabe has just handed over a cheque of $1million dollars to the African Union Foundation #29thAUSummit

— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) July 3, 2017

‘‘As a farmer and an African, donating cattle which is a sign of wealth, comes naturally,’‘ Mugabe said during the donation.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe hands over a donation of Cheque to African Union (AU) Foundation from sale of his cattle #29thAUSummit pic.twitter.com/OcqfiyE4SQ

— CGTN Africa (@cgtnafrica) July 3, 2017

The issue of financing its own activities has been prominent in the A.U’s recent agenda. It came up strongly a year ago during the 27th Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Rwanda. Even though the Kigali summit was under the theme: “2016: Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women,” it’s main highlight was the launch of the African passport and the continent’s resolve to fund its own activities in the immediate short term. Zimbabwe has its own share of economic issues stemming from sanctions by western governments – which Harare continually accuses of strangling the southern African country economically.

 
An acute shortage of cash has not helped matters as the central bank moved to introduce bond notes to cure the shortage. A biting drought left hundreds without food leading the government in March 2017 to appeal for $100 million in aid. Despite these challenges, the government announced a reprieve in mid-July with a ban on grain imports into the country. The government announced that it had produced enough food to feed itself a year after the devastating drought. “Government stopped issuing Grain Import permits about four months ago and no maize imports are allowed at our borders,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Davis Marapira was quoted as saying.
 
 
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At the time, private media reported that dos Santos, Angola’s leader of the last 38 years, had suffered a stroke, although the government has declined to comment on his condition. Image courtesy: Afripost

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos returned to Barcelona on Monday on a “private visit”, the government said, a month after the 74-year-old leader spent several weeks in the Spanish city receiving medical treatment. At the time, private media reported that dos Santos, Angola’s leader of the last 38 years, had suffered a stroke, although the government has declined to comment on his condition. It did not say when he was scheduled to return from his latest trip.

Dos Santos, a Soviet-trained oil engineer and veteran of the guerrilla war against Portuguese rule, has presided over an economic boom in Africa’s second-biggest oil producer since the end of a long civil war in 2002. Several private media outlets said in May he was seriously ill. The government only confirmed the medical nature of his trip after sustained demands for information from the opposition UNITA party. The southern African nation of 23 million people is due to hold a general election on Aug. 23 that is likely to see dos Santos replaced as state president by defense minister Joao Lorenco, 63. However, dos Santos will remain leader of the ruling MPLA party, a position that many Angolans believe will allow him to exert considerable political influence behind the scenes should his health permit.

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An African single air transport market will be launched in January 2018 with 40 plus countries expected to be signatories by then. So far 20 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to African single air market. The statement was made by David Kajange, Head of Transport and Tourism Division, Department of Infrastructure and Energy at African Union (AU) on Sunday at a press conference on the sidelines on the ongoing 29th AU summit being held from June 27-July 4 in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. A single air transport market is one of the goals of AU’s Agenda 2063, aiming to connect Africa through aviation and other transport infrastructure to achieve integration and boost intra-Africa trade. The single air transport market also aims to boost African nations’ tourism, economic growth and economic development.

Kajange says Africa became the most expensive air transport market in the world because of individual nations’ policies and regulations that hinder air connectivity. According to Euroavia International, a firm specializing in consulting services for airports and aviation industry, air transport in Africa is on average twice as expensive as the world average. An African Open Skies vision has been there since 1980s, culminating in the adoption of the Yamassoukro Decision of African Heads of States of November 14, 1999. However, between 2004 and 2014, despite sustained economic growth on the continent, an increasing business and tourism sector and growing middle class, the market share of African airlines has dropped dramatically. The loss of market share by African airlines has been estimated by the AU to have been from 60 percent to below 20 percent.

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Leadership reports that Alhaji Sule died in a Cairo Hospital, Egypt this morning according to a close family source. Image courtesy: Daily Trust

Former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ambassador Maitama Sule has died, Nigeria media report.

Leadership reports that Alhaji Sule died in a Cairo Hospital, Egypt this morning according to a close family source.

Yusuf Maitama Sule was a Nigerian politician, acclaimed orator and diplomat. In 1976, he became the Federal Commissioner of public complaints, a position that made him the nation’s pioneer ombudsman.

In early 1979, he was a presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria but lost to Shehu Shagari.

He was appointed Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations after the coming of civilian rule in September 1979. While there he was chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid.

After, the re-election of President Shagari in 1983, Maitama Sule was made the Minister for National Guidance, a portfolio designed to assist the president in tackling corruption.

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