Politics: Latest News
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.
Staff, 11:55 am
South Africa sees itself as a gateway to Africa and a spokesman for the continent. The rest of the continent doesn’t necessarily agree. African Union officials and observers of continental politics spoke anonymously on perceptions of South Africa’s policies and role in Africa. Respondents all raised similar concerns — paternalism, xenophobia, hypocracy and poor communication. Despite South Africa’s rhetoric of ubuntu (human kindness) and the African Agenda, its economic interests always come first, respondents said.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:00 am AFKI Original
Last week Davos 2017 took place in Switzerland, with the annual week-long World Economic Forum meeting bringing together the world’s economic elite to discuss global issues and solutions to challenges that face the world at large. Africa plays a key part in these discussions, with politicians, business people and others with an interest in Africa’s economic future making their way to the gathering in order to contribute to various discussions. Here are 12 insightful quotes from African representatives who were present at Davos 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 2:13 pm
After oil prices crashed, Angola could no longer service its US$25 billion debt to China. Since the loans were supposed to be paid in oil, most of Angola’s crude production now goes to debt repayment, leaving little to finance economic development. Spending has decreased by 40 percent and cuts to water sanitation and waste collection helped put Angola sixth-to-last on World Bank’s index of inequality. Unlike Angola, Mozambique’s foreign debt and accompanying economic problems cannot be traced back to Chinese loans. Instead they are the result of Chinese illegal fishing in its waters.
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.
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