– NEWS –
Africa preparing for coronavirus: In recent years, close economic ties have developed between China and many African countries. These could now endanger the health situation in Africa. The growing passenger and freight traffic demand great precautionary measures. Flights between Kenya and China were discontinued, and thermal cameras scan the passengers at airports. So far, only one coronavirus infection has been found across the continent, in Egypt. The World Health Organization takes the risk very seriously. Health care systems are weak in many African countries.
German President Steinmeier travels to Kenya and Sudan: President Frank-Walter Steinmeier started a five-day trip to Kenya and Sudan on Saturday. Kenya is considered the engine of the East African economy – Steinmeier wants to get a better picture of the developments on the ground. Kenya is a pioneer especially in the area of digital financial services – cashless payment is normal here. Steinmeier described the visit as “overdue”. In Sudan, the president will also want to experience current events up close. In a preliminary interview, he said that he had great respect for the many courageous transformations in the country.
South African row over apartheid: Frederik Willem de Klerk has apologized for “quibbling” over whether or not apartheid was a crime against humanity. He had caused outrage with comments that many interpreted as an attempt to rewrite history and play down the seriousness of apartheid. In an interview, the former president had said he was not fully agreeing with the presenter who asked him to confirm that apartheid, the legalized discrimination against non-white people, was a crime against humanity. De Klerk went on to acknowledge that it was a crime, and to apologize profusely for his role in it, but he insisted that apartheid was responsible for relatively few deaths and that it should not be put in the same category of “genocide” or “crimes against humanity”.
Presidential election in Togo: Vote counting in Togo began on Saturday in the country’s presidential election, which followed protests against the dynastic rule of one family that has lasted half a century. Incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe is looking to secure a fourth term in office. He has led the country of eight million since 2005, when his father Gnassingbe Eyadema died after 38 years in the role. Polling day was reported to be calm with a moderate turnout, although many voters had vowed not to take part in an election they describe as neither free nor fair. Six challengers have aimed to persuade the 3.6 million registered voters to remove Gnassingbe and potentially usher in change. Agbeyome Kodjo, who served as prime minister under Gnassingbe’s father, is seen as a potential dark horse after winning the backing of an influential Catholic archbishop.
Rwanda gospel singer dies in custody: Kizito Mihigo, a popular gospel singer who was a fierce critic of President Paul Kagame, hanged himself in a Rwandan police cell, according to a police report. He was found guilty in 2015 of conspiracy to murder or harm the president. He had been pardoned in 2018 but was rearrested last week. Police said the singer, a devout Catholic known for songs promoting healing and forgiveness, had been trying to flee to neighboring Burundi to join groups fighting the Rwandan government. Diane Rwigara, another Kagame critic, cast doubt over the police report on his death. She said that she could not see how suicide could have been possible. Police said Mihigo had been allowed to meet family members and his lawyer. It was not immediately known whether he had been in a solitary cell.
Baden-Württemberg wants to boost cooperation with Ethiopia: The economics minister of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, has announced the opening of a second country office in Ethiopia. According to Hoffmeister-Kraut, the country has great potential for economic development. President Abiy Ahmed’s peace efforts are also improving the economic environment. In the Baden-Württemberg office in Addis Ababa, entrepreneurs can find out about possible cooperation between the two countries and market entry strategies.
How Morocco promotes technology from Africa for Africa schwaebische.de
Little hope of change in West Africa’s oldest family dictatorship dw.com
Troubled election year in Africa neues-deutschland.de
Welthungerhilfe fears “apocalyptic” consequences of the locust plague in Africa wz.de
– BACKGROUND –
Supporting Sudan – securing Darfur: In a recent guest article, Wibke Hansen, Head of Analysis at the Center for International Peace Operations (ZiF) and Volker Perthes, Head of the Science and Politics Foundation (SWP), explain why it is the right choice to accompany and promote Sudan’s transformation. The economic upswing strengthens stability and the whole of civil society. The country has also made clear efforts to deal with the past. At the same time, the international community must insist on extending the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. There are 1.8 million internally displaced persons, whose security must be ensured.
Regulation to counter internet hatred – critics fear censorship: In Ethiopia, lawmakers have submitted legislation against hate speech on the internet to control incitement and violence in social media. Even before the law has come into force, journalists warned that it could lead to censorship and oppression. An increasing number of African countries are using the German network search law as a model to combat aggression on the internet – however, there is a tendency for regimes to act autocratically and to silence journalists and opposition figures.
Security situation in Nigeria worsens: Terrorism and violence are causing a growing number of problems in Nigeria. An analysis by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation suggests that violent forces are increasingly destabilizing the system. Poverty and demographic development provide the perfect breeding ground for more violence and escalation. Islamist terrorists are not the only dangerous actors, armed gangs are especially present in the north of the country.
Photographer Olaf Heine dedicates photo series to Rwanda’s women: Olaf Heine traveled to Rwanda and photographed women and their daughters – the core focus being on the civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi factions. Rwanda’s women are a major driving factor in the economy and have the highest share of parliament seats in the world, but there are a number of challenging nuances in everyday life. Heine recorded the relationships between mothers and daughters, who had to ask themselves who their fathers were, how many rapes have taken place and what kind of traces the conflict has left.
– NUMBER –
75 percent of Africans are younger than 35 years.
– QUOTE –
“It’s important that we act together in Europe and that everyone doesn’t keep making their own individual offers.”
German Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for a joint EU Africa strategy.
– AT LAST –
Professional tennis player Federer wants to play in Africa again: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal came together in February in front of a sell-out crowd of 51,954 at Cape Town stadium, the biggest ever to watch a tennis match. It was Federer’s first match in his mother’s country of birth, and the country the Swiss great rates as his second home. The exhibition at Cape Town Stadium was to raise money for the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports early childhood education in six southern African countries, including South Africa. Federer has announced that he would like to return to Africa for more games.