This Is Africa

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Cartoon: President Robert Mugabe threatens to fire his deputy Mnangagwa, as First Lady Grace Mugabe poised to replace embattled Vice President

President Robert Mugabe on Saturday threatened to fire Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who leads a faction within Zanu PF called Team Lacoste. In a ZBC broadcast speaking in Shona Mugabe declared: “Did I make a mistake in appointing Mnangagwa as my vice president? If I appointing him was a mistake I will drop him by end of day tomorrow. If he [Mnangagwa] and his backers want to form their own party they can go ahead”. The country’s First Lady Grace Mugabe is reportedly poised to take over the Vice Presidency and she has been endorsed by the Youth League and Women’s League. The First Lady this week declared that VP Mnangagwa should be fired from both the government and Zanu-PF, before the ruling party’s extraordinary congress scheduled for December.


Cartoon: Kenya faces further political uncertainty with possibility of lengthy legal battle

Kenya’s Supreme Court will once again be the centre of a likely lengthy legal battle following the recent re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta with opposition leader Raila Odinga refusing to accept the result. In his victory speech President Kenyatta who was declared winner of the poll with 98 percent of the vote said he expects his re-election to be challenged in the courts. The country remains in a precarious situation as it remains uncertain how the political crisis will unfold and if will be peacefully resolved.


Africa keeps gasping for air

The continent is facing major problems, from corruption, unemployment, lack of access to quality education and decent health care. The public health systems of many Africa countries are in shambles, in desperate need of financial investment but leaders travel to European and Asian nations to seek medical care. In August South Africa’s Health Minister Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said African leaders should be “ashamed” of the practice, and “We must promote our own,” public health systems. Corruption on the continent has also remained a major problem affecting social and economic development. This lack of political will and willingness to fight corruption has been fuelling the scourge on the continent, preventing millions of people from escaping the cycle of extreme poverty.


Forgotten Somalia: #MogadishuMourns #PrayforSomalia

Saturday 14 October marked a dark day for Somalia and indeed Africa with a terrorist truck bombing in Mogadishu which killed more than 300 people, and injured another 200. Some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition. The terror attack is the worst in Somalia’s history. While there has been an outpour of humanitarian support from various countries across the world, harsh criticism has been levelled against African countries over a lethargic response to the crisis. Social media users have also been questioning where the global solidarity for Somalia is. Questions have been raised why there are no trending hashtags on the tragedy similar to social media campaigns which emerged after terror attacks in America and Europe.

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Cartoon: UN condemns violence in Cameroon and commends calls for dialogue

The death toll has risen in Cameroon’s English-speaking region following clashes between security forces and protesters calling for independence. Rights group Amnesty International says at least 17 people were killed in clashes. People in the region have been pushing for independence from Cameroon after protesting of years of marginalization by the dominant French-speaking region. President Paul Biya on his Facebook page condemned the violence and called for dialogue. The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also strongly condemned the violence and commended the calls for a discussion on the issues raised by protesters.

The extent of Africa’s brain drain worrying. Cartoon: Mike Asukwo.
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The extent of Africa’s brain drain worrying

A country and continent’s true strength and potential is its young people. Currently at 1.2 billion, Africa’s population is projected to more than double by 2050. However, with the population increase comes new opportunities and challenges. Brain drain has increasingly become one of Africa’s biggest problems. The continent is suffering from brain drain as its young, skilled workers depart from the region, is search of greener pastures, leaving skilled and educated professionals in short supply. Last year the IMF in its World Economic Outlook report noted that the outflow of skilled labour and young people seeking better educational opportunities outside the continent’s borders will continue rising, and the trend is worrying.


Young Continent, Old Leaders

Currently at 1.2 billion, Africa’s population is projected to more than double by 2050 and quadruple by 2100, reaching 4 billion. Young people make up a large part of Africa’s population but the continent is home to aging and many of the world’s longest-serving presidents. Unemployment is a reality across the continent and with the projected doubling population by 2050 new political, social and economic challenges face Africa. While African youth still remain marginalised in terms of political and civic engagement/involvement, the trend is beginning to change, and Africa’s growing and large youth population presents great opportunities.