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Arab and Sub-Saharan Countries Share Issues of Poverty, Unemployment

Sub-Saharan African countries are closely watching developments in North African and Middle East countries, according to a South African foreign policy analyst. Thomas Wheeler, who’s with the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg, is a former ambassador. In Libya, where violence has perhaps claimed hundreds of lives,...

Nigeria Ruling Party Rejects Criticism of Campaign Launch

A leading member of the ruling Nigeria’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) dismissed as unfounded media criticism of the party’s choice of Nasarawa State to begin its presidential campaign was aimed to “de-ethnicize” President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential bid. Party spokesman Rufai Ahmed Alkali also told VOA the choice had nothing to do with...

Kenyan Gays Battle Prejudice

Greasy cheese, pasta and minced meat splatter onto a table in a shabby restaurant in Nairobi’s city center.  Charles Ichuliza is coughing and spluttering into his meal after being asked to give his views on homosexuals. Abandoning a steaming plate of spaghetti and sauce, the young businessman seethes and says, “Gays! I hate them, I hate them; I...

Return of Islamic Leader Worries Some Tunisian Women

Last week, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi and other members of the Islamic al-Nahda Party returned to Tunisia after more than two decades in exile. Ghannouchi’s return—and the warm welcome he received at the Tunis airport—touched off concerns about a resurgence of political Islam in the North African country.  No one is more concerned than Tunisia's...

Africans Debate Wisdom of Expected Secession of Southern Sudan

For some Africans, southern Sudan’s expected independence is a cautionary tale; others see it as a pathway for their regions to gain full sovereignty. According to Bloomberg News, Somaliland’s foreign minister, Mohamed Omar, says his government plans to take a “more aggressive policy toward the African Union in its efforts to gain international...

Protests in Egypt, Tunisia Spark Turmoil

Egyptian security forces have deployed en masse across the capital, Cairo, Wednesday amid calls by protest leaders to continue demonstrating despite a ban. In central Cairo, Egyptian activists clashed with security forces stationed nearby as thousands of Interior Ministry troops stood watch along key roads and bridges to keep passersby from...

Delays in Nigerian Voter Registration Spark Calls to Extend Deadline

Frustration is growing over delays in Nigeria's voter registration and some governors are calling on the electoral commission to extend the deadline. The biggest problem so far is with the electoral commission's Direct Data Capture machines, which are meant to integrate laptops, cameras, fingerprint scanners, and printers to produce voter cards on...

SPLM To Split, Remain in Northern Sudan After Referendum

If southern Sudan chooses independence in Sunday’s referendum, the country of Sudan will not be the only thing splitting in two.  The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), currently the ruling party in the south and a primary opposition party in the north, will also be forced to divide. Yasir Arman is the head of the SPLM’s northern sector. ...

‘War on Graft’ Becomes Political in Kenya

As the Kenyan government returns for the New Year, the 'War on Graft' is heating up in the capital, but some are hitting back at allegations, accusing opponents of playing politics with the anti-corruption crusade. Just four days into 2011, the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission added yet another member of Kenya’s Cabinet to its list of high-...

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe Condemns Churches That Allow Gay Marriages

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has lashed out at churches that allow same-sex marriages, and said gay rights would not be included in a new constitution being written for the southern African country. "Some of the churches have very beautiful buildings but go against the Bible," Mugabe told tens of thousands attending the annual pilgrimage of...

Four Million Nigerian Girls Out of School, Says Minister

Four Million Nigerian Girls Out of School, Says Minister Over four million girls between the ages of 6 and 11 do not have access to primary education in Nigeria, a joint UNESCO-UNICEF report has said. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development Hajia Salamatu Sulieman disclosed this yesterday while on advocacy visit to Borno State. She described illiteracy as catastrophic for any child, especially...

Nigerian Governors Demand Amnesty for Kidnappers

GOVERNORS of the thirty-six states of the federation, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors' Forum, yesterday, called on President Umaru Yar'Adua to treat kidnapping in the country the way he addressed that of the militancy in the Niger Delta. Rising from its 5th meeting at the Kwara State Governor's Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, the governors while...

Rift Between Militia Groups Deepens of Somalia

Somalia's two main insurgent groups clashed today near the southern port of Kismayu and residents said Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam were squaring up for battles elsewhere in the Horn of Africa country. The rebel groups fought for control of the lucrative port and main airport in southern Somalia this week. Al-Shabaab won the battle, in which a...

Effort Afoot to Save Rickety Southern African Customs Union

Southern African countries have buried the hatchet in an effort to preserve the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), one of the few building blocks of regional integration. Its chiefs vehemently denied reports that Pretoria wants to pull out of the customs union. "It's interesting that outsiders have that perception," marvelled Namibian...

U.S. President Barack Obama's First 100 Days

The 44th President of the United States has a triple ancestral heritage. Obama is descended from Africans, from Muslims and from mainstream Americans. In the bid to be elected President of the US, Barack Obama emphasised his affinity with mainstream Americans, and underplayed his African and his Muslim ancestry. Yet, there are great expectations...