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Nigeria’s inflation slows to 16.01%

Nigeria’s National Bureau of statistics has announced a slow down in annual inflation in the West African country for a seventh month in August, easing to 16.01 percent.

Statistics from the bureau say the highest increases were recorded in clothing materials, passenger transport by air, motorcycles, shoes and other footwear.

A separate food price index showed inflation at 20.25 percent in August, compared with 20.28 percent in July.

Last week the statistics office said Nigeria emerged from recession in the second quarter of this year with Africa’s biggest economy expanding 0.55 percent year-on-year.

The Nigerian economy slipped into recession in early 2016 after contracting for two consecutive quarters.

Zambia: Edgar Lungu prescribes unity ahead of reconciliation talks

President Edgar Lungu of Zambia has called for unity among political groups ahead of reconciliation talks between the government and the opposition.

The leader of the opposition United Party for National Development, Hakainde Hichilema, was arrested with five others in April and charged with plotting to overthrow the government after his convoy failed to make way for Lungu’s motorcade.

Hichilema was freed from prison in August after the state dropped the charges, to pave the way for dialogue between the two sides following mediation by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

Opposition UPND members of parliament, who boycotted Lungu’s last address, attended Friday’s session, saying their attendance would give confidence to the dialogue process.

Soul singer Sampha wins prestigious Mercury Prize award

Soul singer Sampha was named the overall winner of Britain’s Mercury Prize for popular music for his debut album “Process” on Thursday (September 14). The 28-year-old south Londoner collected a trophy and a 25,000-pound award.

The musician born in London to Sierra Leonean parents dedicated the prize to his family.

“You know, they came over from Sierra Leone and just wanted to get us the best upbringing possible,” said Sampha.

After receiving the award, he took to the stage to perform ‘Like the Piano’, a song from his debut album, ‘Process’.

The album was selected from a shortlist of 12 albums produced during the past year by artists from Britain. He was one of the favourites for the award with bookmakers along with singer and poet Kate Tempest.

The singer-songwriter faced competition from previous Mercury Prize winner and producer, Jamie XX, and the likes of British hip hop singer, Stormzy and pop giant Ed Sheeran. Sheeran, who was a surprising nominee this year, couldn’t attend the event.

The Mercury prize is seen as an alternative to the more mainstream Brit Awards.

Blossoms, J Hus, Dinosaur, Loyle Carner, The Big Moon, Glass Animals and Alt J were also nominated.


Huawei sort to cheaper smart phones to boost market share in Kenya

China’s Huawei Technologies has changed its strategy in Kenya this month to showcase an affordable $100-200 range of smart phones, hoping the increased sales will boost its local market share, the company’s country manager said on Thursday (September 14).

Huawei is ranked number three in the fast-growing local smart devices market, behind South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and Tecno, owned by Hong Kong’s Transsion Holdings.

Derek Du, the local boss of Huawei, said the company had started offering three smart phones with retail prices starting at 8,999 shillings ($87) to 22,999 shillings ($220), as part of a strategy to lift its market share in that segment from 4 percent to 15 percent.

“This year, why we focus on this we found that Kenya market is price sensitive market and also entry level smartphone is popular here. So we also from this year not only launch high level we also in Kenya the market size is also the biggest so we highlighted this,” he said.

Safaricom, the biggest operator with 72 percent market share or 28 million users, said there are 13 million smart phones on its network, up from 10 million last year.

Consumers have been giving up their well-worn feature phones to take advantage of relatively fast Internet speeds and applications such as WhatsApp and those that facilitate banking and taxi-hailing services.

He said the new strategy will help the firm to boost its overall market share to 25-30 percent, from the current 14 percent, in the next two years.

“Actually we are growing a bit slow than our competitors like Samsung, Tecno and actually our market share is only 14 percent so we want to approach higher but actually Kenyan market is hard to say, its a different market in a low cost level,” said Du.

Huawei previously focused on the mid-range of smart phones, where it has a 30 percent market share. It also sells the premium “Mate” series phones in the Kenyan market for the well-heeled.

Huawei, which is based in Shenzhen, China, competes with Apple and other devices vendors for global consumers.

“They trend like right now we have launched the mid range phones where people do love them they move like daily we could sell like 10 to 20 phones,” said sales rep, Anthony Makau.

“Its nice its not that much expensive, its good, the price is ok, not expensive, actually right now am going to look for something and then I come for it,” said Bill Koremo, a customer.

The annual average Kenyan wage is $1,200, official figures show, so most people cannot afford expensive smart phones.


NGO rescues over 100 migrants at sea, watched by Libyan coastguard

Afraid and exhausted, more than 100 migrants were pulled from a rubber dinghy floating in the Mediterranean sea on Thursday (September 14) under the watchful eye of the Libyan coastguard.

NGO workers operating for SOS Mediterranee from their ship Aquarius plucked 142 people to safety, including three children under the age of five.

Women cried with relief as they boarded the rescue boat and men wiped tears from their eyes as the reality they were now safe sunk in.

Arrivals in Italy from North Africa, the main route for migration to Europe this year, dropped by more than 50 percent in July from a year earlier. The decline is put down to armed groups stopping migrant boats from setting off across the Mediterranean from a city west of Tripoli that has been a springboard for people smugglers.

The Italian-trained Libyan coastguard is also turning around migrant boats before they reach international waters and sending them back to Libya. Several NGO’s have ceased to operate in the Mediterranean after an increasing hostility by the Libyan authorities and the coastguard.

The dinghy used by the migrants was set alight by the Libyan coastguard after the rescue so it could not be re-used by people smugglers.


Nigerian entrepreneur turns traditional meal into hot commodity [Business Africa]

Nigeria entrepreneur: Pap in a pack

A traditional staple meal made from maize or sorghum and consumed widely across Africa in different forms, Pap is being sold in Nigeria in a labeled, convenient pack with a guarantee that it is hygienically prepared and fit for export.
Entrepreneur Ijeoma Ndukwe has big plans to take this simple porridge to Nigeria’s huge Diaspora population.

Have a look!

Pineapple production in Benin bounces back after suspension [Business Africa]

Benin: Pineapple quality control

‘Sugarloaf’ and ‘Smooth Cayenne’ are the two main varieties of pineapple grown in Benin republic , but there have been some reports showing a high concentration of Ethephon used to speed up the pineapple ripening process.
To that effect, the cultivation and exportation were suspended in December 2016 until of recent .

Burundi tea growers

Unlike the coffee sector in Burundi, where privatization has failed, the tea sector is experiencing a boom.
Quite a number of changes were brought into the sector since its privatization in 2011.

Tea is Burundi’s second-largest source of hard currency behind coffee and supports 300,000 farmers in a nation of 10 million people. The tea growers seem satisfied with the liberalization of the tea sector.

William Bayiha, Africanews journalist was on set to speak further on the challenges of Agribusiness in Africa.

[Photos] Somalia’s Hijab-wearing model: from refugee camp to U.S. runway

Halima Aden is a 19-year-old Somali who currently enjoys respect in fashion and modeling circles in the United States.

In between her native Somalia and the United States, Halima has close ties to Kenya, where she was born and grew up.

She made history in 2016 as the first hijab-wearing contestant in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant, that feat and other engagements earned her a place on the cover of Vogue Arabia magazine in June 2017.

Another feat was to follow closely, when she became the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of the top American women’s beauty magazine, Allure.

Halima donned Nike’s high-performance hijab on the cover of the publication with the caption: “This Is American Beauty”. Another top fashion mag, Galmour, in August announced that Halima was due on their September cover – the headline read: “It’s my job to open the door for others.”

From Refugee camp to the cover of Allure_magazine ! Thank you for the opportunity of a life time ! I am so beyond grateful ❤️— Halima Aden (Kinglimaa) June 20, 2017

#HalimaAden (Kinglimaa) takes the September '17 issue cover of GlamourMag.— IMG Models (@IMGmodels) 8 août 2017

Seven years at the time, Aden moved to the United States with her mother and was raised as a Muslim. She told the magazine that she started wearing the hijab at the age of eight by imitating her mother. “Every little girl looks up to her mom so much – that’s your first hero,” she said.

Addressing the issue of religion and fashion, she said: “Anything in life if it’s not your choice, it’s oppressive. So I’m not going to argue against that. But for the majority it’s a choice you know.

“Like for me it was a choice. I was the one asking my mom to give me the hijab and I wanted to resemble her and I wanted to fall in love with my religion,” she told Reuters news agency in an interview.

There’s always room for improvement. My life philosophy is: If I did good yesterday, I could do better today. Even with these shoes, Nike is not thinking for the customers today, they’re keeping in mind the customers 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 60 years from now. What is that brand going to be remembered for? I'm excited to share with you these images created for NikeSportswear's #ad #AirMax97 Ultra. #Movement97

Une publication partagée par Halima Aden (kinglimaa) le 23 Août 2017 à 9h59 PDT

Along her responsibilities as a student at the St. Cloud State University, she is signed to international model management firm IMG Models and has walked in the Yeezy season five show at New York Fashion Week in early 2017.

“I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny,’ ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hips,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap.’ I don’t have to worry about that,” she said in an interview with Allure.

Went HAM ON THIS Kinglimaa #Visibility VogueArabia— MrZakSalad (@MrZakSalad) 10 juillet 2017

Nigeria military declares Biafra separatists ‘militant terrorist organization’

The Nigerian army has declared separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a terrorist organization, local media portals are reporting.

The Defence Headquarters is said to have branded IPOB as a ‘militant terrorist organization,’ and cautioned parents to dissuade their wards from associating with the group.

The declaration comes on the back of clashes between the army and members of the group in Nigeria’s southern state of Abia. A state of emergency was declared following the deadly clashes by the state government.

The state governor announced that the Army had agreed to pull out of the state where they were undertaking an operation codenamed, ‘Python Dance.’

The current development means that IPOB has joined Boko Haram – a militant insurgent group birthed and based predominantly in the northeastern Borno State. The army is also reported to have refused to suspend its operation as communicated by the governor.

The leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, was was detained for over a year and half on charges of treason. He was only released in April this year.

Kanu is pushing for a separate republic of Biafra nearly 50 years after a previous declaration of independence sparked a civil war which left more than a million people dead. Members of the group have occasionally clashed with members of Nigeria’s security apparatus during protests.

Here are the top five South Sudanese tribes that make good husbands

They say a good husband is one who is able to make his wife happy and I agree with that. Men should always be there for their wives or girlfriends or families no matter what. But of late, that’s not the case; most women go for money and having a “good tool” is an added […]

The post Here are the top five South Sudanese tribes that make good husbands appeared first on Hot in Juba.

‘Africans have no real desire to leave the CFA franc zone’ – EU president

The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says Africans are not showing the real desire to leave the CFA franc zone which consists of 14 countries in Africa who use the two CFA franc currencies.

Juncker made the remark on Thursday in response to a question about the agitations of some Africans against the currency, which was posed by a social media user Abdel en Vrai during a special interview on Euronews on his State of the Union speech.

“I don’t see a real desire of Africans to leave this zone which gives a certain degree of visibility to Africa. Something that i am not particularly keen about is to give young African people the impression that Europe or France is imposing its currency in Africa,” he said.

“I will like to see more emancipation in Africa. We have regular meetings with the concerned countries in order to evaluate the scope of the problems which are faced in the franc zone,” he added.

Abdel en Vrai drew his mind to the fact that the governments like the CFA franc but millions of Africans are against the currency. He also asked him what he will do if he had the power to get rid of it.

“I am interested in the views of the young African people here and their desire to liberate themselves … I am wondering, if all the countries have their own currency, will it be a better situation?” Jean-Claude Juncker answered.

On the migrant situation, Juncker said Europe has to invest in Africa if they want Africans to stay in their continent.

“You have to know that Africans are 1.2 billion people and in some decades from now we will have 2.5 billion. We have to be there when it comes to internal solidarity in Africa,” he said.

The 14 African countries using the CFA franc are affiliated with one of two monetary unions.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo comprise the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), while Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon comprise the Central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC).

The CFA franc was originally created in 1939 as the currency of the French colonies in Africa. It went through several transformations and some countries like Guinea left the zone.

The currency has been criticized by some Africans for its dependence on the Euro and the command France has over it.

A French activist of Benin origin Kemi Seba was recently expelled from Senegal where he burned 5,000 CFA franc notes in protest against the currency and French-Africa relations.

He and other activists are calling for the CFA franc to be abolished because they believe it is a symbol of French imposition of power in Africa.

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20 candidates gearing for Liberia’s October 10 polls, second debate held

Liberia held its second election debate ahead of the October 10 presidential election which will be contested by 20 candidates including one woman.

Two candidates withdrew from the race leaving the 20 who are actively campaigning to secure enough votes to replace outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The second presidential debate held last Saturday at the town of Tubmanburg in the Bomi County was participated by only nine aspirants.

They include Dr. Joseph Mills Jones (Movement for Economic Empowerment), Simeon Freeman (Movement for Progress Change), MacDella Cooper (Liberia Restoration Party), MacDonald Wento (United People’s Party), Isa Gbombadee Wiles (Democratic Justice Party).

The rest are Jeremiah Whapoe (Vision for Liberia Transformation) and independent candidates Rev. William Kpadeh, Yardpajuwur N. Mator, and Oscar Cooper.

The nine aspirants laid down their plans for the Liberian people if elected into office. They discussed issues including same-sex marriage, education, healthcare, economy and job creation.

On the subject of same-sex marriage, they all agreed that it was illegal in Liberia and maintained that they will not support any legislation that will change the country’s position on same-sex marriage, local media portal daily Observer reports.

However, the only female candidate MacDella Cooper said the gays and lesbians in Liberia should be protected by allowing them to enjoy their human rights as stipulated by the constitution.

She also called on churches to do its work in ensuring that the moral fabric of the society is upheld.

“Let’s not forget, we do have a gay and Lesbian community here in Liberia; they are our children. Now it is up to the church to work on the moral and ethical issue of our people,” she said.

The debate is a follow up of the first debate held in August which saw only four candidates out of the six invited aspirants attend.

Those who made it to the debate included Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party (LP), Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP).

The absent candidates were George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), and the former governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Dr. J. Mills Jones of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE).

The other candidates who have not been seen on any debate platform yet are Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh (Liberian People’s Party), Kennedy Sandy (Liberia Transformation Party), Prince Johnson (Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction), Tuder Williams (New Liberia Party), Wendell McIntosh (Change Democratic Action) and George S. Dweh (Redemption Democracy Congress).

The October 10 elections will also see 986 candidates standing for 73 seats in the House of Representatives.

2,183,683 million people out of the country’s 4.6 million population have registered to vote. There are 5,390 voting centers across the country in 2080 voting precincts.

Large turnout at Mogadishu Book Fair, Somali president hails reading culture

Hundreds of Somalis converged at the third annual Mogadishu Book Fair held for three days in the Somali capital.

At least 40 local and international writers including intellectuals, authors, scholars, playwrights, poets, musicians and book enthusiasts graced the occasion that involved book readings, sales, exhibitions, performances and interactive sessions.

The fair is touted as the biggest event in the country where the al Shabaab insurgency has become a stumbling block to social development.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo said he was proud of the capital city and the country for organising the fair.

“A society that reads is a society that’s ready for progress,” he tweeted on the first day of the fair on Wednesday.

It’s the first day of the #Mogbookfair. Proud of #Mogadishu and #Somalia. A society that reads is a society that’s ready for progress. #guul— Mohamed Farmaajo (@M_Farmaajo) September 13, 2017

Among the participants are award-winning photojournalist and activist Boniface Mwangi from Kenya, Somali language researcher Peter Chonka from the United Kingdom and book publisher Dominique Uwase Alonga from Rwanda.

Boniface mwangi, a renowned Kenyan activist at the #MogadishuBookFair #MBF2017— Som.Stud.Ass in Ke (@SoSake17) September 14, 2017

#Turkey’s ambasador to #Somalia, olganbekar, also joints the mass event. #MBF2017— Mogadishu Book Fair (MogBF) September 14, 2017

Mohamed Sheik-Ali Ahmed, the founder and organizer of the event, said the fair was created to promote reading, Somali culture and heritage by bringing together literary creatives and young people.

Another organiser Said Bashir told local media portal Goobjoog that the event was postponed from the August date to September so as to be able to accomodate the international participants as well.

He added that they focused on new writers to show the world what they had to offer.

In attendance were Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, Turkey’s Ambassador to Somalia Olgan Bekar and the United Nations Special Representative to Somalia Michael Keating.

At the frontline of the venue .We’ve HE SomaliPM,this proves that the leaders have time 4promoting culture of reading. #MBF2017 is RAISING!— Mogadishu Book Fair (MogBF) September 14, 2017

The Mogadishu Book Fair was first organised in 2015 and has since gained a wider attention. Other Somali cities including Hargeisa, Kismayo and Garowe also hold annual book fairs.

Below are some sights from the event.

I am in Somalia attending the 3rd Mogadishu Book Fair. The fair promotes books, a reading culture and heritage by bringing together #MBF2017— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) September 13, 2017

Before Day 2 kicks off, Let’s check out #selfie highlights from day 1 of Mogadishu Book Fair MogBF SRSGKeating bonifacemwangi #MBF2017— Integration TV (IntegrationTV) September 14, 2017

Intellectuals, authors, scholars, playwrights, poets, musicians and book enthusiasts all turned out in large numbers. #MogadishuBookFair— UNSOM (@UNSomalia) September 14, 2017

Abdirashid, Somalia’s popular singer with the famous song of “Anaa Anaa Soomaali, Wa Aftakhir” is now on the stage entertaining us. #MBF2017— Mogadishu Book Fair (@MogBF) September 13, 2017

At the frontline of the venue .We’ve HE SomaliPM,this proves that the leaders have time 4promoting culture of reading. #MBF2017 is RAISING!— Mogadishu Book Fair (MogBF) September 14, 2017

And now SomaliPM joins the #MBF2017 plz let's welcome the guests with warm greetings. Everyone in the room cheered!— Mogadishu Book Fair (MogBF) September 14, 2017

This young #Somalia artist (in a cap) too showcased products of his gifted hands in #Art at #MogadishuBookFair #MBF2017— Atulinda Allan 🇺🇬 (@Atulinda_Allan) September 14, 2017

FYI Peter speaks fluent Somali language “I’ll proudly deliver my session in Somali” he says #MBF2017.— Mogadishu Book Fair (@MogBF) September 14, 2017

Ballot papers for Liberia’s elections to be printed in Ghana, Slovenia – EC

Printing companies in Ghana and Slovenia are printing the ballot papers for Liberia October 10 presidential elections.

This was announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman Jerome George Korkoya on August 30 explaining that the ballots for the House of Representatives will be printed in Ghana, while ballots for presidential candidates will be printed in Slovenia.

“We’ve concluded discussion that the printing of the House of Representatives candidates’ ballot papers will be printed Ghana, while the presidential ballot papers will be printed in Europe. This is done in consultation with key stakeholders,” he was quoted by local media portal The New Dawn.

He added that the decision follows the approval by the political parties and candidates who he had earlier invited to witness the printing process if they wish, at their expense.

The printing companies were not named but they are expected to print 550 ballot papers for each of the 5,390 voting centers across the country.

The printing will cost the government US$ 1.5 million including printing cost for a second round, if need be, Korkoya said during an August 10 press conference.

The 2011 election ballots were printed in Ghana and the electoral commissioner said the printing company has a high reputation.

20 candidates are vying for president while 986 candidates are standing for 73 seats in the House of Representatives.

2,183,683 million people out of the country’s 4.6 million population have registered to vote. There are 5,390 voting centers across the country in 2080 voting precincts.

Somalia gets first forensic center to deliver justice in sexual assault cases

Somalia has been furnished with a new forensic center in the northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland to aid in delivering justice in sexual assault cases.

Newly launched state of the art #Puntland Forensic Centre to assist in justice for sexual offences is funded by SwedeninSomalia— UNFPASomalia (UNFPA_SOMALIA) September 11, 2017

Funded by Sweden in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund, the Puntland Forensic Center has been equipped with machines and laboratory equipment that can produce timely results.

According to the Puntland Attorney General Mohamud Hassan Aw-Osman, there is an increase in false reports of rape and the newly opened centre will play a significant role in exposing the truth, local media portal Garowe Online reports.

The facility will also end the delay of justice delivery especially when evidence will have to be sent abroad for testing, he added.

The UNFPA Representative for Somalia Nikolai Botev said the facility will exonerate innocent persons accused of sex crimes.

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