Politics: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 1:49 pm
The A.U. is divided on whether or not to collectively adopt a plan that Human Rights Watch described as having no timeline and “few concrete recommendations for action.” Unless the ICC undergoes reforms, African countries should make a coordinated withdrawal, according to the resolution. A proposal refers to the creation of an alternate regional African war crimes court. South Africa and Kenya have pushed for withdrawal. “They’ll be disappointed that the discussions about completely severing ties with the ICC will have to wait another six months for the next summit,” an analyst said.
Dana Sanchez, 3:49 pm
A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara is the last unresolved African case on the U.N. Committee on Decolonization. The debate on readmitting Morocco to the A.U. was “an emotional call for the fight against colonization.” South Africa and Algeria were opposed. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said Morocco’s acceptance back into the A.U. was the will of the majority of member countries. Resolving the Western Sahara question will have to wait for another day. “Africa wants to speak in one voice. We need all African countries to be a part of that voice,” she said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:48 pm
The U.S. president’s travel bans provided a rallying call today for African unity. Today’s African Union summit had divisive issues on the agenda, including Africa’s relationship to the International Criminal Court and Morocco’s readmission to the A.U., but outgoing A.U. head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma identified Trump’s refugee ban as one of the “greatest challenges to our unity.” A South African A.U. expert says the A.U. is more divided than ever, but it’s not over refugees. “You have all these calls for unity but actually… (it’s) over Morocco, the regional divisions and the ICC.”
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat replaces South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is expected to run for president of South Africa in a bid to replace her ex, Jacob Zuma. Mahamat, 56, previously served as the chairman of the A.U.’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council. His boss, President Idriss Deby, has ruled Chad for 26 years. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed was Mahamat’s main rival in the final round of voting. She is one of the most vocal critics of the International Criminal Court.
Tom Jackson, 7:55 am AFKI Original
As tech becomes more widespread in Africa, democratic processes will become more accessible. Internet and mobile technologies can reach remote areas and give voice to many. Rashaad Alli is a manager at South African nonprofit People’s Assembly, which supports websites that make parliamentary information more accessible to ordinary people. “Access to information is a great enabler to effect social change and deepen democracy,” Alli said. “Tech tools help increase transparency, expose corruption, strengthen democracy and hold governments to account.”
Dana Sanchez, 10:35 am
Ethiopia’s shoe-making industry is getting more attention in the U.S., where 87 percent of imported footwear is from China. A local group of 10 Ethiopian leather and footwear manufacturers have joined forces to supply footwear products destined mainly for the U.S. It’s part of a pioneering effort to persuade global buyers that Ethiopia is an alternative sourcing market to Bangladesh and Vietnam. Ten major brands visited Ethiopia recently. Most are are represented by the 1,000-member American Apparel and Footwear Association.
She’s There When African Governments Turn Off The Internet: Meet The Lawyer Advancing Facebook In AfricaBy Staff, 1:01 am
Some describe Ebele Okobi, 42, as Facebook’s secretary of state for Africa. Last year, at least 11 African governments shut down the internet for various temporary reasons. Where there are shutdowns, there is Okobi. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of her work is Free Basics, the Facebook-driven platform that provides a free version of the internet. Telecos in 22 African countries provide it. Facebook can control what is accessible, and many have criticized it for creating different classes of internet access. For its part, Facebook says half of all Free Basics users convert into paying internet customers within a month.
Dana Sanchez, 2:50 pm
About 90% of managed assets are concentrated in four countries including South Africa and Nigeria. SA leads, thanks to rules that allow them to invest 10% of assets through private equity. Nigeria is held back by trust issues. “The thought of using our pension fund for investment in public-sector infrastructure development is highly frightening given the well-known penchant for mismanagement inherent in public-sector institutions in Nigeria,” the Nigerian Labour Congress says. Pension funds are ideal for driving inclusive growth and social stability through long-term projects such as infrastructure, says consultancy firm RisCura.
‘This Is Huge’: Nigeria Seizes Africa’s Richest Oilfield From Shell, Eni In Corruption InvestigationBy Dana Sanchez, 12:54 pm
A Nigerian court has ordered petroleum giants Shell and Eni to temporarily forfeit assets and control of a massive, long-disputed oilfield to the government. The OPL 245 bloc is considered the richest in Africa — big enough to provide all Nigeria’s oil production needs for 11 years. Shell and Eni bought the bloc in 2011 for $1.2 billion knowing it was a fraudulent transaction, the petition said. The government is investigating conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering. “Generations of Nigerians have been robbed of life-saving services while oil men have grown rich at their expense,” an anti-corruption NGO said.
Dana Sanchez, 4:05 pm
The E.U. wants to pay for migrant holding camps in Libya or neighboring countries that will be run by the U.N. and aid groups. There, in a supposedly “safe place,” migrants who want to attempt the treacherous Mediterranean crossing will be processed and returned before they ever attempt it. A similar deal with Turkey worked. The E.U. approach fails to recognize that migration is a positive thing for African countries which receive remittances from workers abroad and get rid of people who could politically destabilize the country, an analyst said.
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