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Nigerian Sect Targets Security Forces, Non-Muslim Civilians

Islamic militants in Nigeria belonging to the Boko Haram group are being blamed for a series of attacks in the city of Maiduguri including bombings on Sunday and Monday that killed at least 28 people. Boko Haram began in 2004 as a gathering of fundamentalist, middle-class university students united behind the meaning of the group's name, which in...

Ghana, Brazil Leaders Share World Food Prize

The world's top honor in food and agriculture this year goes to two former presidents who led dramatic reductions in hunger and poverty in their countries in the past decade.Ghana's President John Agyekum Kufuor and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva have received the World Food Prize for what the prize citation called "visionary...

West Africa Seeks Improved Business Ties with China

Senior officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) begin talks in China this week to find investors in agriculture, industry and roads and other physical infrastructure. The regional body is trying “to stimulate development and through that we [will]…pull ourselves out of poverty,” said Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications...

Michelle Obama's Africa Trip to Focus on Youth Leadership

The White House says First Lady Michelle Obama’s forthcoming trip to South Africa and Botswana is a continuation of her work to engage young people. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday ahead of next week’s trip, Tina Tchen, Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff, said the First Lady’s trip will emphasize youth leadership, education and health. “Our...

African Business Leaders Eye Expanded Exports Under US Trade

African business leaders are meeting in Zambia for talks on how they can take better advantage of U.S. trade preferences. The Obama administration wants Congress to extend those duty-free imports.In the 10 years of trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act [AGOA], exports to the United States have grown from $23 billion to $64...

Mobile, Wireless Devices Save Lives, Money

World Health officials have released the most comprehensive global survey to date of how mobile phones and other wireless communication technologies are improving health care delivery around the world. The World Health Organization survey notes that there are more than five billion mobile phone subscribers in the world today. That means more than...

Migrant Workers Stranded in Conflict-Ridden Libya

The International Organization for Migration expresses great concern about the plight of thousands of migrant workers stranded in conflict-ridden Libya. IOM says the migrants have been abandoned by their employers and have few means of survival.  According to the IOM, migrants in Libya had a tough life even before the conflict broke out.  It says...

Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans Remain Stranded in Libya

Many sub-Saharan migrants remain stranded in Libya as the conflict there continues. Most are from Ghana, Togo, Sudan, Nigeria and Cameroon, but many Malian and Egyptian migrants are also unable to return home. The International Organization for Migration [IOM] says the migrants, often unskilled and undocumented, have been without jobs since the...

Cell Phone Text Technology Helps Promote Health in Senegal

A pilot project in rural Senegal uses text messaging to remind women of upcoming doctor’s appointments and local health meetings.  Health reminders The sound of a text message, recognizable the world over, but in a small village tucked away down the sandy back-roads of Senegal, a few short beeps can be vital reminders.  For mothers living in and...

Nigerians Have High Expectations for New President

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is due to be inaugurated Sunday. He came to power in the political crisis that followed the prolonged illness and eventual death of former leader Umaru Musa Yar'adua. Ascending from the vice presidency, Jonathan vowed to continue the Yar'adua administration's focus on improving the economy and organizing free...

Mills: Ghana Will Not be Used to Destabilize Ivory Coast

Ghana's President John Atta Mills says his country will not be used as a base to destabilize neighboring Ivory Coast.Mills responded to Ghanaian newspaper reports that said that his country was harboring rebels loyal to Ivory Coast's ousted former president Laurent Gbagbo.After meeting Monday with Ivory Coast's outgoing ambassador in Accra,...

N. African Migrants Risk Lives to Reach Italian Island

More than 30,000 migrants have arrived from north Africa on the tiny southern Italian island of Lampedusa, so far, this year.  Most of the migrants leave the coasts of Tunisia and Libya onboard rickety fishing boats.  Thousands of people have died making the journey.  Despite the dangers, the ongoing violence in Libya is forcing many more people...

Ghana Ruling Party Not In Crisis, Says Official

A leading member of Ghana’s ruling National Democratic Congress [NDC] has denied reports that his party is in crisis after two prominent partisans announced plans to challenge President John Atta Mills for the party’s nomination. Baba Jamal, who is deputy information minister, says recent developments within the NDC demonstrate the ruling party’s...

Amnesty International Releases Annual Report on Human Rights

Amnesty International says in its latest annual report that recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa show that freedom of expression lies at the heart of human rights. 2010 ended with a public uprising in Tunisia that forced that country’s longtime leader from power.  Then in the new year, similar public demonstrations prompted Egypt's...

Study Shows Africa’s Middle Class on the Rise

The study by the African Development Bank indicates one-third of Africa’s 900 million people have more to spend on domestic goods and describes that group as middle class.However, the bank includes in the definition of middle class some 191 million Africans it describes as a floating class, who are able to spend between $2 and $4 per day per...