Liberia: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:09 am
ECOWAS is credited with persuading Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh to give up power. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it takes some external persuasion to remove a dictator. “Forget Trump,” a commentator said. “We in Africa were watching the Gambia and the drama there as African leadership for once, stood up to a tyrant and insisted he respect the outcome of an election.” This regional intervention represents a paradigm shift in African governance, an exiled Zimbabwean judge said. It’s no longer dictatorship as usual in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 1:15 pm
Tourism has been the fastest-growing sector of The Gambia’s economy until now, accounting for 18-to-20% of the country’s revenue. The country, population about 2 million, is marketed to vacationers as “the smiling coast of West Africa.” In the wake of the current political unrest, tourism revenue will likely fall 50%, a stakeholder said. The sector will have to rebuilt just as it was after the 1994 coup that brought longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh to power. “I feel sorry for everybody here,” an evacuating Brit said. “It’s going to take years for tourism to pick up again.”
Staff, 3:13 pm
Morocco’s investment in sub-Saharan Africa the past decade represents 85% of its overall foreign direct investment stocks. The story of its national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, testifies to its expansive economic ambition on the continent. Morocco has expanded economic ties with many African countries through trade and investments since it left the African Union. It now seeks to return to the A.U., boost these ties and settle the unresolved matter of the Western Sahara. It has support of 28 African countries. Leaving the A.U. was a “strategic mistake,” a stakeholder said. “Africa is our natural home.”
Staff, 1:38 pm
A four-page list of Africa-related questions from Trump’s transition team to the State Department suggests a U.S. pullback from development and humanitarian goals but not necessarily from trade. How does U.S. business compete with others in Africa? Are we losing out to China? How much U.S. funding is stolen due to corruption? Why should we spend these funds on Africa when people are suffering in the U.S.? Americans believe the U.S. spends 25% of its budget on foreign aid. In reality it’s closer to 1%.
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:03 am AFKI Original
Presidential term limits are a slippery thing. Occasionally they can seem like a good idea. Most of the time, not so much. That’s what makes these five upcoming African elections so riveting. Everyone is watching to see who replaces Liberia’s popular Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — Africa’s first female president. Will it be a former soccer player, or the ex wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor? He was convicted of aiding crimes against humanity. She’s one of the most powerful woman in Liberian politics. Or it may be a former Coca-Cola executive, a former central bank governor or an attorney.
Dana Sanchez, 7:00 am
You need a visa to visit Eritrea, and another permit to go to Eritrea’s Dahlak Archipelago, a chain of 124 small islands and two larger ones in the Red Sea near Massawa. Off the beaten path doesn’t begin to describe it. You can expect pristine beaches and unparalleled marine life with few other tourists for miles. Dahlak’s pearl fisheries have been famous since ancient times. Charter yachts can be hired for scuba diving and pearl fishing. During years of war, fishery came to a halt in the area. The unexpected result of isolation? There are lots of fish and they aren’t shy.
Kurt Davis Jr., 4:29 pm AFKI Original
A sense of what Zimbabwe can expect post-Mugabe. Partnership in the fight against terror for Tunisia. Better strategies combating poverty and HIV in Swaziland. These are just a few of the wishes that a U.S. investment banker visualizes for African countries as the old year winds down and 2016 gives way to 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 11:16 am
It wasn’t easy getting ECOWAS members to hold a conference in Israel. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States held their first-ever seminar outside West Africa. They learned hands-on about Israeli irrigation technology and how a tiny Middle Eastern country under attack from all sides has managed to thrive in adversity. “In Israel we make the impossible possible,” a conference organizer said. “This conference is an example.” Netanyahu plans to visit West Africa in a few months.
Kevin Mwanza, 3:15 am
Immigrants to the U.S. from Ebola hit West African nations face deportation from May when their work permits expire after the Department of Homeland Security declared their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will end on May 21, 2017. The decision has spread fear amongst thousands of immigrants from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone who were hard-hit by the Ebola virus that killed more than 11,000 people and led to economic stagnation in the three nations.
Dana Sanchez, 1:29 pm
Canada’s renewed commitment to Africa seems strategically timed to coincide with uncertainty about future U.S. commitment. President elect Donald Trump has tweeted almost nothing on the subject. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just returned from his first African trip as head of state, unveiling a host of spending initiatives that support gender equality. “I’m hoping that the new president of the U.S. will be inspired by Canada’s position,” a stakeholder said. Absent from Trudeau’s agenda was discussion of freedom of speech.
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