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Africa Wide

#Internet Restrictions Hold Back Africa’s Economic Growth, Study Finds

A report by a non-profit group says Africa needs to increase internet access to boost its economies, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The advocacy group found that while Africa’s locally routed online traffic has increased, only one in five Africans has internet access.  High taxes and frequent internet shutdowns by some African governments have also discouraged online trade.The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa notes that only 20% of the continent’s population has access to the Internet.The Internet Society Group is urging African governments to expand internet infrastructure to rural areas, where most of the population lives, so that they can benefit from it..


#Nnamdi Kanu Speaks From Detention, Reveals How He Was Arrested in Kenya

Mr Kanu says he was held incommunicado and chained to a bare floor for eight days in a nondescript private facility in Kenya.

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the pro-Biafra group, IPOB, has spoken for the first time from detention since he was arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria about three weeks ago to face treason trial.

He is detained in the facility of Nigeria’s secret police, the SSS, in Abuja.

Mr Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, was allowed to meet with the IPOB leader on Wednesday, inside the detention facility, where he told him,The people that abducted him said that they were told by their sponsors that Kanu was a Nigerian terrorist linked to the Islamic terrorists in Kenya, presumably Al-Shabab. Mr  Aloy stated that the Nigerian government must have contracted a third party, probably outside the knowledge and involvement of the Kenyan government, for the “interception” of Mr Kanu, going by the revelations from the IPOB leader.

West Africa

#French President Macron Expands On Sahel Drawdown Plan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that Operation Barkhane, the French counterterrorism force fighting jihadis in the Sahel, will end in the first quarter of 2022. This follows a recent announcement that the French president plans to cut in half the French presence in the Sahel and reorganize what will remain as specialized regional forces, while also contributing to Task Force Takuba, the recently established EU force with a remit similar to that of Barkhane. 

The French mission to fight jihadism in the Sahel, bears some resemblance to the ongoing removal of American troops from Afghanistan.French political, economic, and, especially, cultural involvement in its former African possessions has been greater than that of the British to the destain of many Africans in the region.


#American Sports Personality Apologies to Nigerians for Insensitive Remarks

American sports personality Stephen A. Smith has apologised to Nigerians over the disrespectful comments he made about their basketball team.Smith had made a mockery of the names of members of the D’Tigers squad who pulled up a shocking win over the United States in the early hours of Sunday.Smith had come under intense criticism from Nigerians, including the diaspora, over his comments.

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and a handful of D’Tigers players had words for Smith after he shared the clip of his comment on Twitter.



#Somalia’s Only Female Presidential Candidate Says Time for Women to Lead

Lawmaker Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam says it’s time for a woman’s touch and on Tuesday announced her candidacy for president. But getting enough support from Somalia’s lawmakers, the vast majority of them men, will be a challenge.Fawzia says she will bring a new lease on life to the country, if elected, by prioritizing security, economic empowerment and education.  Her male counterparts, she says, have failed to do so. Somalia’s indirect elections, scheduled for October, will see members of parliament selected by clan delegates. Members of parliament then decide who will be the next president.


#Diamonds Worth U.S.$140 Million Vanish

Rough diamonds worth an estimated US$140 million dollars have disappeared from the supposedly impenetrable Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) repositories.The diamonds weighed 350 000 carats.According to previous auctions, Zimbabwean diamonds normally fetch about US$400 per carat, although this can rise to as much as US$12 000 per carat.

Auditor-General Mildred Chiri, in her report for 2019 which was recently released, revealed that both the MMCZ and ZMDC cannot account for up to 350 000 carats of diamonds which were kept in their vaults.

The matter has since been taken up by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development, which, at a hearing Monday, demanded answers.


#Ghana Sign a Memorandum of Understanding  with the US Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation

The United States of America and Republic of Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation (NCMOU), which will improve cooperation on nuclear energy and strengthen diplomatic and economic relationship.The United States and Ghana have an enduring diplomatic relationship, which includes long-standing cooperation in the fields of security, energy and commerce. Cooperation in nuclear energy, science and technology can lead to significant contributions to clean energy, agricultural improvements, clean water, advanced medical treatments, and more.

Nuclear Cooperation MOUs are diplomatic mechanisms that strengthen and expand strategic ties between the United States and a partner country by providing a framework for cooperation on civil nuclear issues and for engagement between experts from government, industry, national laboratories, and academic institutions.