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South Africa’s top court legalises private use of cannabis

South Africa’s highest court has legalised the private use of marijuana, upholding a lower court’s ruling that found the criminalisation of cannabis was unconstitutional. In delivering the Constitutional Court’s unanimous verdict, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday declared the law banning marijuana use in private by adults “is unconstitutional and therefore invalid”. “It will not be a criminal offence …

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South Sudan president signs final peace deal with rebel leader

Agreement reinstates rebel leader Riek Machar as vice-president, formally ending five years of bloody civil war. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signed a peace deal with main rebel leader Riek Machar on Wednesday, formally ending a five-year war that killed tens of thousands. The deal, mediated by Sudan and signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, reinstated Machar in his …

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A tribute to Kofi Annan, from his family

The family of former United Nations Secretary General have published a tribute to the man hailed as a reformer at the global diplomacy outfit.  It is published on the website of the Kofi Annan Foundation and produced here below. On 18 August, the world lost a leader and a statesman: Kofi Atta Annan. And we lost a brother, a husband, a …

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Angela Merkel to visit Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will from Wednesday, 29 August tour three West African countries, paying visits to Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria. Merkel is to spend Wednesday through Friday in the three countries, accompanied by an economic delegation, deputy government spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer announced on Friday in Berlin. Migration, particularly Merkel’s campaign to tackle the causes resulting in a stream of …

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DR Congo: President Joseph Kabila to step down

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila will not stand for re-election in December, a government spokesman has announced. Kabila’s ruling coalition nominated former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary as its presidential candidate, Lambert Mende, the government spokesman, said on Wednesday. The move put an end to years of speculation on whether Kabila would defy terms limits.  The government …

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Zimbabwe’s president calls for unity as opposition leader cries foul

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans to unite behind him after he was declared winner of national elections, but the opposition leader insisted he had won and said he would use all means necessary to challenge the result. Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa (40) said on Friday that he would pursue all legal and constitutional means of challenging last …

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South Sudan’s rival leaders sign power-sharing agreement to end war

The parties to the South Sudan conflict have signed an agreement on the outstanding issues on governance and security geared towards restoring peace in Africa’s youngest nation. South Sudan’s warring parties have reached a power-sharing deal to end a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions in the world’s youngest country. President Salva Kiir …

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Buhari elected chair of ECOWAS as bloc commits to increased integration

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected to preside over the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community West African States (ECOWAS). He replaced Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé. The leadership of the bloc revolves annually among heads of state of the member countries. Buhari was chosen to lead the regional political bloc at the end …

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DR Congo opposition leader Bemba returns home for presidential bid

Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba returned home on Wednesday after a decade in prison in The Hague for a presidential run expected to pose a stiff challenge to President Joseph Kabila or his successor in December’s election. Bemba, whose war crimes convictions at the International Criminal Court (ICC) were quashed on appeal in May, touched down at Kinshasa’s N’Djili airport …

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Government approves 10-year validity period for Nigerian passports

The Federal Government has approved a 10-year validity period for Nigerian passports. The Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, made this known during an interview with Channels TV on Thursday. He said the validity was extended with a view to reduce the stress Nigerians go through every five years to renew their passports. “One of the reforms President Buhari has approved is that …

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Zimbabweans vote in first post-Mugabe elections

Zimbabweans vote on Monday in the first election since the removal of former President Robert Mugabe, a watershed moment they hope will spark a recovery in its failed economy. More than five million have registered to vote, in the first poll since 1980 without Mugabe on the ballot, to choose their next president and members of parliament. Twenty-three candidates, 19 …

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Google launches Africa’s first free Wi-Fi hotspot in Nigeria

Google has launched a network of free Wi-Fi hotspots in Nigeria, part of its effort to increase its presence in Africa’s most populous nation. The U.S. technology firm owned by Alphabet Inc has partnered with Nigerian fibre cable network provider 21st Century to provide its public Wi-Fi service, Google Station, in six places in the commercial capital Lagos, including the …

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Nigeria’s ruling party hit by wave of defections by federal parliamentarians

In a high political drama on Tuesday, 14 Senators and 37 members of the Federal House of Representatives unexpectedly decamped from the ruling Alliance for Progressive Congress (APC) to two opposition parties. In the Senate, 13 of the decampees pitched their tent with the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and one moved to the African Democratic Congress (ADC). In …

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Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders get medal for making peace

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki have been awarded the United Arab Emirates’ highest honour. The two leaders were on Tuesday presented with the Zayed Award, “for their vision, courage and statesmanship to end war and bring about peace between the two countries”. The two men are in the UAE after their dramatic steps towards reconciliation …

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‘China relates to Africa as an equal’ – Rwandan president

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has defended China’s relations with Africa stating that the global economic giant treats Africa as equals in dealings between the two parties. “I also want to say a few words from the heart. The growing relationship with China is based as much on mutual respect as on mutual interests. That is evident in your personal commitment …

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Ethiopia appoints envoy to Eritrea, commercial flights resume after 20 years

Ethiopia has appointed an ambassador to Eritrea for the first time in 20 years, the latest in a series of peace moves between the neighbours. “Redwan Hussein has been appointed as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Eritrea — the first for 20 years, the foreign ministry said,” according to Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation. The announcement on Thursday follows a flurry of …

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Eritrea reopens embassy in Ethiopia after 20 years

Eritrea reopened its embassy in Ethiopia on Monday, taking yet another step in the implementation of the peace pact reached between two countries a week ago that effectively ended two decades of military stalemate. Eritrea has reopened its embassy in Ethiopia, another evidence of the rapid improvement of relations between the two countries that a week ago ended two decades …

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Nigeria: APC wins Ekiti State’s Governorship Election

A major blow was dealt the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday as its candidate in the Ekiti State’s governorship election lost to that of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The APC’s candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, emerged victorious securing 197, 459 votes, defeating the PDP candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka, a protege of the state’s outgoing governor …

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