KW 42: Cameroon candidate Kamto declares victory, Rwanda’s foreign minister is new Secretary-General of La Francophonie, Achille Mbembe awarded Gerda Henkel Prize

– NEWS –

Cameroon candidate Kamto declares victory: Cameroon opposition candidate Maurice Kamto declared victory in Sunday’s presidential election, but incumbent President Paul Biya’s party dismissed his claim as fantasy and accused him of breaking the law by making it. The election, which was marred by low turnout and isolated incidents of unrest in separatist Anglophone regions, has been widely expected to extend the rule of Biya — one of Africa’s last multi-decade leaders who has held power for 36 years. „I invite the outgoing president to organize a peaceful way to transfer power“, said Kamto, who leads the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon. The deputy secretary general of Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, Labour Minister Gregoire Owona, accused Kamto of breaking the law.

Rwanda’s foreign minister is new Secretary-General of La Francophonie: Rwanda’s foreign affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo has been confirmed as the head of the world community of French-speaking countries. Rwanda’s human rights record and a decision to replace French with English as the official language in 2008, were pointed out as issues that dent its leadership credentials. Rwanda and France, who had fallen out over the latter’s role in the 1994 genocide in the East African nation, have pledged to resolve differences through bilateral meetings. In July, African francophone countries officially rallied behind Mushikiwabo, a position consistent with their policy of backing an African candidate sensitive to the needs of states that comprise more than half of the OIF membership. Above all, the support of French President Emmanuel Macron secured the victory for Mushikiwabo.

Achille Mbembe awarded Gerda Henkel Prize: The Cameroon-born scholar of postcolonialism, Achille Mbembe, has been awarded the Gerda Henkel Prize, one of Germany’s most renowned honors for scholarly research in a move the foundation hopes inspires others. Achille Mbembe has been one of the most important thinkers on the African continent since the early 2000s. In his books, including „Critique of Black Reason“ and „Out of the Dark Night“, he criticizes existing thought structures that are racist, a critique which has brought him worldwide attention. Born in Cameroon in 1957, Mbembe earned his doctorate in history from the Paris Sorbonne and has also taught in the USA. His books have been translated into several languages. The historian and professor of political science was one of 134 scholars to be nominated for the bi-annual award.

South Africa’s finance minister Nene resigns: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted the resignation of the country’s finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. In a nationally televised address, Ramaphosa said he accepted Nene’s resignation because of errors of judgment as a result of a controversy surrounding Nene’s testimony in an ongoing graft inquiry in South Africa. Nene had recently admitted to a series of meetings during his tenure with the Gupta family, wealthy Indian expats that are accused of large-scale corruption. He previously denied having those meetings. Ramaphosa announced that Tito Mboweni, a former South African Reserve Bank Governor, will replace Nene as finance minister.

Pik Botha, South Africa’s last apartheid foreign minister, dies at 86
Angola says 180,000 illegal migrants return to DRC
Engagement in Libya and Algeria: Putin woos the Maghreb states


Global Hunger Index 2018: Germany’s World Hunger Relief aid organization has published the Global Hunger Index, warning that gains made since 2000 have gone into reverse, with 821 million people, many of them children, undernourished. Worst-placed on the hunger severity index was the Central African Republic – where inter-militia conflict lingers despite a French-led UN intervention – followed by Madagascar, Chad, Zambia and war-torn Yemen. Child mortality and undernourishment due to insufficient calorific intake prevailed in Africa south of the Sahara. South Asia exhibited stunting and wasting among children under five, in part due to lack of essential vitamins and minerals, the report concluded.

First „Bring back our girls“, now president?: Nigeria’s presidential election was shaping up to be a contest between two veteran male politicians, but the candidacy of Oby Ezekwesili could change that. She is well known for leading the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to help free the 276 girls kidnapped from Chibok, northern Nigeria, in 2014. Ezekwesili has also served as the country’s education minister and vice-president of the World Bank, and she is now the most prominent Nigerian woman to challenge for the top job. For Ezekwesili the men she is facing represent a „mediocre political class that bumbles from one crisis to another“, as she told the meeting of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, where her candidacy was declared.


A commission that has been working for four years to deliver justice to victims of Tunisia’s decades-long dictatorship has received more than 62,700 complaints to investigate.


„Tunisia is a plant of hope, not only in the Arab world, but also on the African continent. If the democracy dividend does not materialize in terms of work and future prospects, there may be a relapse into authoritarian structures.“

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for Europe to invest more in the Maghreb states.


Bank heist in South Africa: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has rejected a newspaper report that he failed to stop 1.9 billion rand being illegally siphoned from VBS Mutual Bank. A report commissioned by the central bank titled “The Great Bank Heist” found the money had been looted by several people from VBS, a small lender that bailed out former president Jacob Zuma after a corruption scandal. The report by the central bank released last week on its website said VBS was “corrupt and rotten to the core”. In March, VBS was placed under curatorship by the central bank because of liquidity issues, meaning it can appoint an administrator to run the bank.

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