May 30, 2018

BBC journalist Laeïla Adjovi wins Dakar Biennale art prize

BBC journalist Laeïla Adjovi wins Dakar Biennale art prize The BBC's Laeïla Adjovi has won a top prize for contemporary African art with a series of photos on the theme of breaking free. She won the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor Grand Prix at the 13th Dakar Biennale of contemporary African art, along with French photographer and documentary maker Loic Hoquet. Their work is intended to be a response to the way Africa is portrayed in the media. Image copyright Laeïla Adjovi/Loic Hoquet The artwork is a series of photos telling the story of a fictional character named Malaïka Dotou Sankofa. She was given an androgynous look with a "drab skimpy suit". This was "to show that not everyone must fit in the costume of western modernity," says Laeïla. Image copyright Laeïla Adjovi/Loic Hoquet The series of photos was taken in an old court house. Image copyright Laeïla Adjovi/Loic Hoquet "I wanted to give life to a creature that would express the idea that we are still struggling to bring abo..
May 30, 2018

The Gambian village transformed by graffiti

The Gambian village transformed by graffiti In a bid to lure tourists, internationally-renowned graffiti artists were invited to create artworks in a village in The Gambia, writes the BBC's Clare Spencer. Image copyright Clare Spencer The Belgian graffiti artist ROA is known for painting huge murals of animals on multi-storey buildings in large cities, like London, Berlin and Mexico City. But in the village of Galoya, in The Gambia's Kombo Central District, the scale of his work is much smaller. Image copyright Clare Spencer He paints animals native to the location, like the meerkat, above, and pangolin, below. But that is almost all that is known about him. The person who invited him to The Gambia, Lawrence Williams, knows him simply as Peter. "He is very secretive about his identity" said Mr Williams. Image copyright Clare Spencer ROA was one of many artists to come to Galoya and its neighbouring villages from 2011 for a project called Wide Open Walls. It all started w..
May 30, 2018

Anne Soy: Why DR Congo is confident it will halt Ebola

Why DR Congo is confident it will halt Ebola Image copyright AFP Despite its vast size and dilapidated health system, the Democratic Republic of Congo is confident that it will be able to contain the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease, which is thought to have killed 22 people. There has been one case in Mbandaka, a densely populated city of one million. This has led to fears the disease could spread rapidly through the city, as happened in West Africa four years ago, causing more than 11,000 deaths. Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe was among the researchers who first identified Ebola in 1976 in DR Congo, and has been on the teams that have responded to each of the eight subsequent outbreaks in the country. The disease was even named after one of DR Congo's many rivers. "I am confident because I think we have very good experience of this disease and we'll stop this outbreak as soon as possible," he told the BBC. All previous outbreaks in DR Congo have been relatively small...
May 30, 2018

Tara John: How the US and Rwanda have fallen out over clothes

How the US and Rwanda have fallen out over second-hand clothes Image copyright AFP US President Donald Trump's "America First" stance on global trade has hit Rwanda, by imposing tariffs on clothing exports from the tiny East African nation. The issue revolves around an obscure import, second-hand clothes, and Rwanda's refusal to back down from the fight. When did the dispute start?In March 2018, the US gave Rwanda 60 days' notice that it would be suspending the landlocked country from selling clothes to America duty free - a status it enjoys under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Agoa is the flagship US trade legislation designed to boost trade and investment in qualifying African countries by granting duty-free access to 6,500 exported products. "The president's determinations underscore his commitment to enforcing our trade laws and ensuring fairness in our trade relationships," Deputy US Trade Representative CJ Mahoney said at the time. Those 60 d..
May 30, 2018

Mohammed Allie: ‘World’s oldest man’ wants to stop smoking

South African 'world's oldest man' wants to stop smoking Image caption Fredie Blom says there is no special secret to his longevity Fredie Blom spent most of his life as a labourer - on a farm and in the construction industry - in apartheid South Africa but he might soon be recognised as the world's oldest man, as the BBC's Mohammed Allie reports from Cape Town. Although he gave up drinking many years ago, Fredie Blom is still a regular smoker. "Every day I still smoke two to three 'pills'," - local slang for tobacco tightly rolled into a cigarette-length piece of newspaper. "I use my own tobacco because I don't smoke cigarettes. "The urge to smoke is so strong. Sometimes I tell myself I'm going to stop but it's just me lying to myself. My chest chases me to have a puff and I'm then forced to make a 'pill'. "I blame the devil for that because he's so strong," he says with mischievous grin. Celebrity statusThe firs..
May 30, 2018

Paris balcony boy family thank Mali ‘Spiderman’ Mamoudou Gassama

Paris balcony boy family thank Mali 'Spiderman' Mamoudou Gassama Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMalian "Spiderman" rescues Paris child - then meets French president The family of a small boy dramatically rescued after dangling from a balcony in Paris, France have expressed their thanks to the Malian man who saved him. "He's truly a hero," the boy's grandmother said of migrant Mamoudou Gassama, who scaled four floors to pluck the child from danger. The four-year-old's father, who had left him in their flat and gone shopping, faces charges of failing to look after his child, reports say. Mr Gassama will be given citizenship. French President Emmanuel Macron personally thanked him, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be offered a role in the fire service. Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Mr Macron personally thanked Mr Gassama More details have begun to emerge of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Why wa..
May 30, 2018

Libya rivals agree ‘historic’ election plan

Libya rivals agree 'historic' election plan Image copyright AFP Image caption Self-styled general Khalifa Hafta (R), whose fighters control the east of the country, was one of those who agreed to the plan Rival factions in Libya have agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on 10 December. The four groups, meeting in the French capital, Paris, also agreed to adopt the necessary laws by mid-September. French President Emmanuel Macron described the accord as historic and an essential step towards reconciliation. Libya has been in a state of lawlessness since the toppling and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Africa Live: More on this and other stories How realistic are Libya's election plans? Why is Libya so lawless? The North African nation is now controlled by disparate armed groups and fighting is continuing in the east and south of the country. European leaders see stabilising Libya as key to tackling jihadist threats and migration from the c..
May 30, 2018

Mozambique ‘jihadists behead’ villagers

Mozambique 'jihadists behead' villagers Image copyright AFP Image caption Security has been increased in Cabo Delgado province since attacks blamed on Islamist militants began in October At least 10 people have been beheaded in northern Mozambique by suspected Islamist militants, officials say. Children are reported to be among those targeted in the attack on Monjane village in Cabo Delgado province, a hub for mining and petroleum exploration. An Islamist militant group has carried out sporadic attacks in the region in the last year. It is believed to be making millions of dollars from selling timber and rubies. Known locally as al-Shabab, the group was formed in 2015 as a religious organisation and has no known links to the Somali jihadist group of the same name. Africa Live: More on this and other stories More about Mozambique One of the victims of the weekend attack was the leader of Monjane village, a local resident told the AFP news agency. "They targeted the chief as..
May 30, 2018

Ethiopia frees abducted Briton Andargachew Tsege on death row

Ethiopia frees abducted Briton Andargachew Tsege on death row Image copyright Kalkidan Yibelta Image caption A huge crowd gathered at Mr Andargachew's house to celebrate his release British citizen Andargachew "Andy" Tsege, who was being held on death row in Ethiopia, has been freed. He has been greeted by jubilant relatives and supporters at his family home in the capital, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian government had accused him of plotting a coup and he was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "pleased" with the development and praised his department's staff for their "tireless" work on the case. Almost four years ago, Mr Andargachew was apprehended at an airport in Yemen while in transit and turned over to the Ethiopian authorities. He denied the charges and was pardoned on 19 May, along with 575 other inmates, as part of the Ethiopian government's current effort to promote reconciliation. More about Ethiopia Ethiopia to..
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