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Egyptian Banks Reopen After Strikes, Unrest

Egyptian banks have reopened after being shut for most of last week, as Egypt struggles to revive an economy damaged by labor protests and an uprising the toppled its president earlier this month. The banks opened for business as usual Sunday, the first day of Egypt's working week, following a series of government-ordered closures and shortened...

Madagascar Crisis Sparks Worry, Hope Among Businessmen

Madagascar’s ousted President Marc Ravalomanana is due to return home Saturday from exile in South Africa despite a warrant for his immediate arrest. It has been almost two years since a coup d’etat and ensuing political standoff sparked an economic crisis in Madagascar characterized by the freezing of most foreign aid and investment. The...

African Union Panel Prepares for Ivory Coast Mediation

The leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, South Africa, and Tanzania meet in Nouakchott, Mauritania to hear from African Union officials about the stalemate between Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and the United-Nations-certified winner of November's vote, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.The five heads of state are...

U.S. Budget: Cuts Could Affect World’s Poor

As President Obama and the U.S. Congress consider major budget cuts to reduce the deficit, many aid organizations warn there could be severe consequences for the world’s poor. Jodee Winterhof, vice-president of policy and advocacy for CARE, is among those raising concerns about reductions in the International Affairs Budget. “The International...

Suspected Iranian Arms Dealer on Trial in Nigeria

A suspected Iranian arms dealer is on trial in Nigeria for a shipment of weapons that his attorney says were bound for Gambia.  Security is tight in the Lagos courtroom where state prosecutors are pursuing charges of importing prohibited firearms against Nigerian Ali Abbas Jega and Iranian national Azim Adhajani, who Nigeria's secret service...

Sierra Leone Police Official: Security Improving

Sierra Leone’s Inspector General of Police has told VOA the current security situation in the country is significantly improving following the country’s 11-year civil war that left at least 50,000 dead. Francis Munu said the country’s police administration has been able to curb the previously high crime rate, as well as nationwide insecurity,...

EU Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Renewed

European Union sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and most of his colleagues in the Zanu-PF party have been renewed despite requests from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that they be abandoned.  The EU has lifted restrictions against 31 people, mostly wives of those on the sanctions list and a few minor political...

Lack of Infrastructure a Major Challenge for South Sudan

South Sudan is due to become the world’s 193rd nation on July 9, following a referendum last month in which nearly 99 percent of its voters chose to separate from Sudan. Africa’s newest nation will also join the ranks of the world’s least-developed countries because of decades of war and neglect by the government in Khartoum. The new government...

The Egyptian Economy: Facing the Unknown

As Egypt works to replace the government of President Hosni Mubarak, the country’s financial future is still far from certain. Many Egyptians are confident that a new government will usher in a more efficient and equitable economy. With the country still in turmoil, though, the economic recovery could be as unpredictable as the political future....

West Africa Stock Exchange Suspends Ivory Coast Trading

West Africa's regional stock exchange has suspended operations in Ivory Coast because of the country's political crisis. It is the latest in a series of financial closures that deepen the economic impact of the standoff between rival presidents.The regional bourse [stock exchange] is suspending all operations until further notice at its Abidjan...

Labor Unrest Spreads Throughout Egypt

Thousands of Egyptian workers are on strike Wednesday, demanding better pay and work conditions, following anti-government protests that led to former President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.More than 10,000 workers in the country's textile industry renewed their strikes on Wednesday.  Workers have also walked off their jobs in other industries,...

UN: Smugglers Taking Advantage Of Tunisian Migrants

United Nations and international agencies are working to manage the recent influx of thousands of Tunisians into the small Italian island of Lampedusa. The agencies are warning migrants to beware of smugglers waiting to take advantage of them.The Italian government reports more than 5,200 people have arrived in Lampedusa since mid-January, with...

Economic Sanctions Hurting Ivory Coast Economy

The political crisis between rival governments in Ivory Coast is beginning to effect its economy, as sanctions against the incumbent president lead to fuel and currency shortages. The United States, the European Union and West Africa's regional economic alliance have all imposed sanctions against the government of incumbent President Laurent...

Life In Egypt Slowly Returning To Normal Following Weeks Of Protests

Most of Egypt’s pro-democracy protesters are putting down their placards and getting back to work Sunday, on the first full day of business since President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.  Only a few hangers-on remain in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, but the demonstrators that brought Egypt to a standstill for 18 days -- and peacefully ousted their president --...

Ethiopia Revokes License of US Adoption Agency

Ethiopia has revoked the license of an American adoption agency, accusing it of child trafficking. The agency has responded sharply, charging it is the victim of government retaliation. Ethiopia’s Charities and Societies Agency has notified the Minnesota-based Better Future Adoptions Services that its license to operate in the country has been...