1Spies and other Files as Zuma Appears at the Zondo Commission
Former president Jacob Zuma has told a judicial inquiry into corruption allegations that he is the victim of a plot by foreign intelligence agencies to seek his downfall. Speaking on the first day of five days of testimony, Zuma denied he had presided over an immense system of corruption and patronage that drained billions from the country’s exchequer. Zuma was ousted last year after almost a decade in power, following a bitter internal battle within the ruling African National Congress party. He faces five days of questioning by Raymond Zondo, a senior judge, mandated to investigate allegations of “state capture” in South Africa during his rule. In his first hour before the inquiry, Zuma claimed two foreign intelligence agencies had recruited spies within the ANC as part of a scheme to control South Africa and that the inquiry was designed to smear him. The inquiry was set up after an ombudsman’s report uncovered apparent evidence of improper contact between three wealthy businessmen brothers – Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta – and senior officials in Zuma’s administration. The report, which stopped short of asserting criminal behaviour, called for an investigation into whether Zuma, some of his cabinet members and some state companies acted improperly.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
2Terror Attack Douses Somali Journo Who Spread Light
“Passionate”, “brave” and “a shining star who was a force for good” – these were just some of the tributes that poured in for Canadian-Somali journalist Hodan Nalayeh, who died on Friday during a 14-hour hotel siege in Somalia’s port city of Kismayo. The 43-year-old, who was pregnant, was killed in an al-Shabab-claimed attack along with her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, a year after she moved to Somalia from Canada with a mission to showcase the east African country’s rich culture and natural beauty. As the founder of Integration TV, Nalayeh used the hashtags #SomaliaSuccess and #SomaliPositivity to post videos on YouTube of Somali youth and female entrepreneurs, as well as share pictures on Twitter of her travels in the country, including the fishermen of southern Ilisi Island and camel herders in Las Anod, the northern city where she was born. Her goal, she told BBC Africa earlier this year, was to keep growing Integration TV and “keep connecting Somalis around the world and keep sharing positive stories that uplift the spirit and inspire young Somalis around the world to take charge of their destinies”.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
3New Gateway for African Migrants to the Americas
Thousands of Africans are entering the region via Ecuador because of a visa policy that is lenient compared to those of most nations in the region: Citizens of most African countries can fly into the small South American country without a visa. In 2018, 1,283 people from the African continent arrived and left Ecuador, and this year that flow has grown — in just the first five months of 2019, 2,107 people passed through, according to figures from the country’s interior ministry. Since 2010, just under 15,000 people from Africa have traveled through Ecuador. From Ecuador, the migrants move by land north to Colombia and then through the treacherous rain forests of the Darién Gap to get to Panama. Then they bus through Central America, cross the Suchiate River on rafts from Guatemala into Mexico and arrive again by bus at border cities in Mexico’s north. The number of migrants from African countries seeking asylum in Mexico has doubled since 2014, from 36 to 72 this year so far, and detentions have also spiked. In the first week of June alone, more than 500 people from Africa were arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection just on the Del Rio part of the border in Texas. That’s compared to 211 African migrants who were detained there over the whole of 2018, according to a CBP media release. SOURCE: OZY
4How Will Africa’s New Trade Deal Affect Regional Pacts?
Analysts and businesspeople in the six-member Central African Economic and Monetary Community say that although the African Continental Free Trade Area launched in Niger last Sunday at an African Union summit brings hope for pan African trade, they are not sure CEMAC will be fully implemented anytime soon. CEMAC’s similar free-trade area has been plagued by corruption, national egos and a limitation of movement that have stunted the initiative. For instance, the Cameroonian town of Kiossi shares borders with Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and quite often, authorities in those two countries seal their borders without any comment. Last December, Equatorial Guinea sealed its borders for a month. That same month, Gabon was expelling foreign citizens, especially Cameroonians, from its territory for what it called security reasons. Trade between African countries has been held back by several bottlenecks, such as poor infrastructure, cumbersome border procedures, trade regulations, tariffs and the high cost of transactions. The U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, however, estimates an increase in intra-African trade of 52.3 percent by 2020, asserting it will increase employment, facilitate better use of local resources for manufacturing and agriculture, and provide access to less expensive products.
5Why Millennials In Africa Are Turning To Bitcoin
There is already a case that Africa presents the perfect continent for Bitcoin to grow. One of the core arguments is that Africa already has a culture that is based on transferring money by unconventional means. Whereas Europeans and Americans may always opt to send money by bank transfer, Africans tend to favour money transfers by smartphone apps. For many millennials in Africa, they are fresh out of university and on the job market. However, the economies in many African countries present limited opportunities even for society’s most well educated and qualified professionals. Buying, investing in or trading Bitcoin is one of these lucrative avenues for millennials without a job or in need to raise more money for a better quality of life. SOURCE: AFRICA.COM
6Navigating the Dating Scene in Nigeria
First date questions in many parts of the world usually revolve around hobbies or favorite TV shows. But in Nigeria, the first date conversation is more likely to be about your DNA than if you watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or where you like to vacation. Many people don’t want to waste time dating someone who carries the genes that cause sickle cell disease (SCD). The likelihood of this happening is very high in Nigeria, which has one of the highest incidences of the lifelong disease in the world. Communications specialist Damilola Ogunnupebi recently got married in Ogun State, southwest of Nigeria but paramount in her dating journey was the search for a partner with the right genotype. “Before I met my current partner, I was always on the lookout for someone whose genotype was compatible with mine. All my dates had the ‘what is your genotype?’ question,” Ogunnupebi told CNN. A genotype is the set of genes in a person’s DNA responsible for a particular trait, and genotypes are considered important in Nigerian relationships because they determine who sickle cell disease carriers are. SCD is the world’s most common hereditary blood disorder, and many people who are interested in having children, like Ogunnupebi, emphasize genotype testing to avoid giving birth to children with the disease. Sickle cell comes with excruciatingly painful complications known as a ‘sickle cell crisis’ where sudden episodes of severe pain afflict the patient’s body. Strokes, paralysis, and leg ulcers are also frequent complications.SOURCE: CNN
7Art Revives Place Where Trains Go to Die
In the heart of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, alongside seemingly abandoned train carriages and overgrown tracks is a blossoming artists’ community. Just metres from a busy road, but screened by tall trees and long grass, it is hidden in plain sight. This has been home to the Bombsquad, or BSQ, Crew for just over a year. The graffitied train carriages belong to Nairobi’s railway museum and it feels as if they were parked behind its main exhibition hall decades ago. The management agreed to rent a carriage to BSQ’s three original members last year, who turned it into a studio. But as the group has grown to include 15 artists, the work has spilled into the adjoining yard. There, on any given day, with music blaring from the small radio, artists are standing and sitting at easels or squatting over a canvas, peering closely at their work. Advertisers and musicians want to use it as backdrops and clients are commissioning large murals. SOURCE: BBC
8Keeping the Peace in Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) named the security adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as head of the restive Amhara region on Monday after his predecessor was killed in a violent attempt to seize power there. Dozens were killed in fighting during the foiled coup by a rogue state militia in Amhara that claimed the life of regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and other top officials. The same night, the army’s chief of staff and a retired general accompanying him were killed in the capital Addis Ababa in a related attack, the government said. The Amhara violence was the strongest challenge yet to the rule of Abiy, who has rolled out ambitious political and economic reforms in what was once one of Africa’s most repressive countries since coming to power in April 2018.SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA
9Road to Afcon Finals
Senegal reached the Africa Cup of Nations final for the second time with a Dylan Bronn own goal giving them a 1-0 win over Tunisia on Sunday in a tense last-four clash in Cairo. With 11 minutes gone in extra time, goalkeeper Mouez Hassen pushed a free-kick against the head of Bronn and the ball went backwards into the net. Tunisia thought they would have a chance to equalise when Idrissa Gueye handled in the box, but the Ethiopian referee rejected their penalty appeals after checking the incident on the VAR monitor. Both teams missed penalties in regular time with Ferjani Sassi the Tunisian culprit before Henri Saivet failed for the Senegalese. Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez’s stunning free kick in stoppage time gave Algeria a 2-1 win over Nigeria in a tense Africa Cup of Nations semi-final played in a volatile atmosphere on Sunday. It was a goal from the moment it left Mahrez’s left foot as he stepped up and bent his shot into the far corner to leave goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi helpless and send Algeria to their first final since 1990 – the only time they won the tournament.
SOURCE: SUPERSPORT | IOL
10Nets and Losses for Africa’s Netball Teams
Malawi’s Queens won their first game in Group F, defeating Northern Ireland, 47-43. The win is Malawi’s third in a row, and the team ranked 9th in the world, have only lost one match at this year’s World Cup, their opening day loss to New Zealand. Zimbabwe’s bid for a semi-final berth suffered a setback when they lost first game in Group F to New Zealand. The match that ended 79-36 in favor of the Silver Ferns. Uganda’s She Cranes won their second game at the Netball World Cup, beating Scotland by 52-43. The win ensured the East African nation finishes second in Group A, behind hosts England. All four of Africa’s representatives at the Netball World Cup have now qualified for the next stage, where they will play for a place in the semi-finals.SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS