AFRICA

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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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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Cameroon’s President Biya, 85, says he will run again

Cameroon’s president, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, says he will run again in October’s election. The 85-year-old President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, has announced that he will be a candidate in the 7 October presidential election that would, if he wins, extend his 35-year-rule. Biya tweeted in French and in English on Friday: “I am …

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Nigerian political parties form grand coalitions ahead of 2019 polls

In the run-up to Nigeria’s next general polls in 2019, the country’s political parties have started building alliances to fight an electoral battle that many analysts are already dubbing a watershed in the country’s democratic experience. Twenty-four hours after a group of 38 parties, led by the biggest opposition party People’s Democratic Party (PDP), announced the formation of the Coalition …

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Nigeria’s first metro line opens in Abuja

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has opened the first phase of the country’s first metro-rail service in the capital Abuja – some eleven years after the project was initiated. Abuja Rail Mass Transit, commonly known as Abuja Light Rail, is a commuter rail transport system in the Federal Capital Territory. The first phase of the Abuja light rail system has two …

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Amnesty International accuses Nigerian government of encouraging Fulani killer groups

Many international organisations have expressed concern over violent attacks perpetrated by suspected cattle herders from the Fulani ethnic group in the central Nigerian state of Plateau early this week. The state government say more than 200 persons, including women and children, were killed in the military-style attack on 11 villages across three local government areas without the intervention of security forces. …

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Nigeria: RCCG kick-starts campaign encouraging Christians to vote at 2019 polls

Obviously to change the observed apathy of devout Christians to politics in Nigeria, one of the country’s leading churches has now started a campaign encouraging its members to register to vote at next year’s general election. The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has flagged off a political awareness campaign tagged ‘Let my people vote’, signalling what  many describe as …

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ICC overturns war crimes conviction of Congolese politician Bemba

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday overturned the war crimes conviction and 18-year prison sentence of Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba, a huge blow to prosecutors that could also impact politics in Democratic Republic of Congo. Judge Christine Van den Wijngaert said Bemba, once the leader of Congo’s main opposition party, could not be held responsible for crimes carried out …

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