This Is Africa

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10 irresistible African gems to celebrate Valentine’s Day

In Africa, as is the case across the globe, it’s the season of love once again. This year’s Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday and many couples are undoubtedly excited to leave work early and go wine and dine with their loved ones. Whether you’re getting ready for that romantic candlelight dinner, preparing an evening out with family and friends or celebrating solo, we have the perfect African love playlist for your February 14.

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South Africa: Violence mars the State of the Nation Address

The opening of the South African parliament shocked many across the continent. The State of the Nation Address (SONA) was marred by traumatic violent scenes in the house, expletives were exchanged by legislators, MPs for the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) disrupted proceedings and the speaker ordered for their removal, which turned violent. While the disruption of President Jacob Zuma’s address could be seen more as political antics at play, the violence is a cause for concern for a country trying to heal from a violent past, a history which continues to affect the society.

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Cartoon: Buhari requests for indefinite extension of medical leave

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has requested an extension of his 10-day vacation for a “routine” medical check-up in UK. It’s unclear when the president would return to the country. President Buhari was initially expected back by the 6th of February but has asked for more time for his doctors to “complete the test cycle before returning”. Buhari’s continued absence has set tongues wagging in a country facing numerous economic and security challenges. Pressure has been mounting for President Buhari’s administration, with ongoing protests against the worsening economic situation. Baba Go Slow’s leadership is sorely missed.

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Hope, rescued Nigerian toddler accused of witchcraft starts school

In a heart-warming story, Hope, a Nigerian toddler, who was last year rescued by an aid worker, Anja Ringgren Lovén, has started school. Hope was rescued on the 30th of January last year. The toddler was accused of being a witch by his family members and shunned by the community in Uyo, and the pictures of the boy caused a sensation. Hope has made such a remarkable recovery, and news of him starting school is being celebrated on social media. We applaud Lovén and her husband David Emmanuel Umem for the amazing work.

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Zimbabwe: Evan Mawarire #ThisFlag movement leader arrested on return

Police in Zimbabwe have arrested Pastor Evan Mawarire, who started #ThisFlag, a social media campaign, which encourages citizens to speak on poor governance, the ailing economy, corruption and poverty in the country. Mawarire was arrested upon his return, and he reportedly faces charges of subverting a constitutionally elected government. Mawarire’s arrest has been heavily criticized on social media, and his return has also divided opinion on various platforms.

The Gambia: Dawn of a new era. Cartoon
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Cartoon: The Gambia- Dawn of a new era

Last week, Yahya Jammeh boarded a private jet leaving The Gambia after 22 years at the helm of the small West African country. Jammeh’s departure came after protracted negotiations and a swift military intervention led by the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). His departure has been widely applauded and hailed as a monumental step, which could bode well for democracy and renewal in The Gambia. President Adama Barrow is expected in the country today, and there’s hope that President Barrow’s arrival will usher in a new beginning in a country which has had only two leaders since its independence attained in 1965.

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10 Pictures of Patrice Lumumba

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the death of one of Africa’s foremost liberation heroes and anti-colonial leader Patrice Émery Lumumba, murdered in a coup in 1961. As we remember the death of a remarkable African nationalist, we look at some important moments in Lumumba’s life captured on camera.

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Cartoon: Uncertainty shrouds The Gambia’s impending presidential inauguration

In a few days U.S. President Barack Obama will leave office paving way for President-elect Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday, 20 January 2017. Ghana recently witnessed a smooth transfer of power with the inauguration of President Nana Akufo-Addo. In The Gambia, things are not so quite clear, President Yahya Jammeh who lost last year’s election is supposed to leave office paving way for the victor, President-elect Adama Barrow. The inauguration is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 19 January 2017 when Jammeh’s term officially ends. The country is on tenterhooks as President Jammeh remains resolute that he will challenge the election result, despite having initially accepted defeat, and pledging to oversee a smooth transfer of power.