June 2, 2018

Egypt’s Sisi sworn in for second term with vow to fight terrorism

Egypt's Sisi sworn in for second term with vow to fight terrorism Image copyright AFP Image caption Jets accompanied the swearing-in ceremony in central Cairo Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been sworn in for a second term as Egypt's president with a vow to fight "those who choose violence, terrorism and extremism". Fighter jets flew overhead and there was a 21-gun salute as Mr Sisi took his oath in parliament. Mr Sisi won 97% of the vote in March but on a turnout of just 41% and with his only opponent a Sisi supporter. Supporters say he has brought much-needed stability, opponents that he has stifled democracy with arrests. Egyptian air force fighter planes flew overhead releasing smoke in the colours of the national flag as Mr Sisi, 63, approached parliament in his motorcade. After taking the oath of office he said in his speech he wanted to create a "common space" for Egyptians and that only those "who chose violence, terrorism and extremist thought as a way to impose their wil..
June 1, 2018

How Mozambique’s ruby smugglers nurtured jihadists

How Mozambique’s smuggling barons nurtured jihadists Image caption The army has increased patrols in northern Mozambique since the attacks began last year Attacks by young Islamist militants in northern Mozambique are fuelled by a mix of poverty and corruption, writes Joseph Hanlon. In the most recent attack, 10 people were decapitated with machetes in Palma district in the country's northerly Cabo Delgado province. More than 300 people have been detained by the police and army since the first attack in the port town Mocimboa da Praia on October 2017. Coastal northern Mozambique has a long history of trade and movement of people with the rest of East Africa, and people in this area are traditionally Muslim. The offshore discovery of one of the largest natural gas fields in Africa in 2010 triggered dreams of wealth, but so far there has been little impact locally. Gas will not be produced in the region until 2022 and there will be no serious government revenue until 2028 or la..
June 1, 2018

Kenyan officials to take polygraph tests to tackle corruption

Kenyan officials to take polygraph tests to tackle corruption Image copyright AFP Image caption Uhuru Kenyatta promised to deal with corruption when he was first elected in 2013 Top officials working for Kenya's government must undergo a lie detector test as part of a corruption crackdown, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said. Mr Kenyatta said the test, which would determine employee "integrity", was just one part of a raft of planned measures to deal with the problem. He was speaking after it was revealed 8bn Kenyan shillings (£59m; $78m) had gone missing from a government agency. Some 40 civil servants are facing charges over the alleged theft. Is Kenya serious about tackling corruption? Kenya country profile Africa Live: More on this and other stories The corruption scandal, which was brought to light by suppliers who had not been paid, saw funds allegedly stolen via the National Youth Service (NYS) through fake invoices and multiple payments. The investigation into the NYS - a ..
June 1, 2018

Uganda to build ‘Idi Amin museum’ to attract tourists

Uganda to build 'Idi Amin museum' to attract tourists Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images Image caption Idi Amin was forced from power after one of the bloodiest rules in African history Uganda hopes to attract tourists with a war museum showcasing some of the darkest moments from its history. Atrocities committed under ex-President Idi Amin's brutal eight-year rule and by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) are to be documented. "We want to put the record straight," Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Stephen Asiimwe told the BBC. The Uganda war museum, which has yet to be built, will also showcase pre-colonial and colonial history. Africa Live: News from across the continent"History gets richer, it's like red wine - it gets more interesting as the years go by," Mr Asiimwe said. He told the BBC's Newsday programme that the project was not intended to be insensitive or voyeuristic. "I lived through the Idi Amin era as a young boy, my fellow students..
June 1, 2018

Africa’s week in pictures: 24-31 May 2018

Africa's week in pictures: 24-31 May 2018 A selection of the best photos from across Africa and of Africans elsewhere in the world this week. Image copyright Reuters Image caption A Malian was at the centre of one of the week's biggest stories. Mamoudou Gassama scaled a building to rescue a child - his heroism earning him an invite to meet the French president on Monday. Image copyright AFP Image caption In Mali on Wednesday, a man is pictured sitting in a mosque in Mopti during a visit by UN chief Antonio Guterres. Image copyright AFP Image caption In Cairo, Egyptians cheer on a different hero on Saturday: Mo Salah as he played for Liverpool in the Uefa Champions League Final. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Over in the US on Wednesday, Ghanaian Shifa Amankwah-Gabbey, 12, searches for her own slice of glory at the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption On the same day, a 1930s "runner mask", or "Mabu", made by the Wum peop..
May 31, 2018

Nigeria’s Tramadol crisis: The drug fuelling death, despair and Boko Haram

Nigeria's Tramadol crisis: The drug fuelling death, despair and Boko Haram Image caption Maiduguri has been at the centre of the battle against Boko Haram for years - but it is also fighting a silent battle with drugs After a BBC investigation in April showed the extent of codeine addiction in Nigeria, the production of codeine-based cough syrup was banned in Nigeria. But codeine is not the only opioid scourge spreading across West Africa. Another painkiller, Tramadol, is fuelling widespread addiction - and as the BBC's Stephanie Hegarty found out, it may even be fuelling insurgency in the north-east. When Mustafa Kolo, 23, takes the bright red pills he feels like he can push a tree. It's like his body isn't his. They obliterate the negative thoughts. "When I take it, I forget everything," he says. It's 10:00, Mr Kolo and his friend Modu Mohamed are with their boss, the commander of a vigilante unit set up to protect the city of Maiduguri from Boko Hara..
May 31, 2018

South Africa outrage over ‘naked’ school choir performance

South Africa outrage over 'naked' school choir performance Image copyright DispatchLive Image caption The footage emerged earlier this week at a competition showing the girls dancing on stage, their breasts and buttocks exposed A "naked" choir performance by a group of South African schoolgirls has led to calls for investigation by the country's education minister. Angie Motshekga said she was "extremely disappointed" after seeing footage of the Xhosa girls performing wearing only a small apron, known as an "inkciyo". The basic education minister said it was an "indignity [which] goes against the values of our cultures". But the choirmaster has defended the choice - saying he was proud. According to South Africa's Daily Dispatch website, the unnamed teacher said: "We are proud of our Xhosa tradition. We are proud of 'inkciyo'. We are proud of Xhosa women and girls." The Xhosa are South Africa's second-largest ethnic group. Africa Live: Click here fo..
May 31, 2018

Uganda’s parliament passes controversial tax on social media users

Uganda's parliament passes controversial tax on social media users Image copyright AFP Uganda's parliament has passed a controversial tax on people using social media platforms. The law imposes a 200 shilling [$0.05, £0.04] daily levy on people using internet messaging platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber and Twitter. President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encouraged gossip. The law should come into effect on 1 July but there remain doubts about how it will be implemented. Africa Live: BBC News Updates Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in 'anti-fake news campaign' Uganda country profile The new Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill will also impose various other taxes, including a 1% levy on the total value of mobile money transactions - which civil society groups complain will affect poorer Ugandans who rarely use banking services. State Minister for Finance David Bahati told parliament that the tax increases were needed to help Uga..
May 30, 2018

Why Ghanaians are so slow to bury their dead

Why Ghanaians are so slow to bury their dead Image copyright AFP In our series of letters from African journalists, writer Elizabeth Ohene considers why bodies are not buried for months, sometimes years, in Ghana. This past week there was another one of those typically Ghanaian funeral stories in the news. The body of a chief who had died six years ago was still in the morgue as the family bickered over who should be designated as the "chief mourner". I was, as is usual with me, outraged. But the story did not attract much attention because we regularly leave dead bodies in the morgue for long periods to sort out the disputes that erupt after every death in this country. Our elaborate, expensive funerals and over-the-top dramatically carved caskets are well documented. In spite of the keen interest I have taken in trying to work out how funerals came to have such a hold on our society, there are some things that I still cannot understand after all these years. Fantasy coffins Image ..
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