KW 45: Ethiopia swears in first female Supreme Court chief, German government focuses on investments in Africa, Germany ties development aid to tougher conditions

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Ethiopia swears in first female Supreme Court chief: Human rights lawyer Meaza Ashenafi was sworn in Thursday as the head of Ethiopia’s Supreme Court by the country’s parliament. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has pushed for more female representation in his Cabinet. Meaza has been an adviser on gender and women’s rights at the UN Economic Commission for Africa based in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa. She founded the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and served as a High Court judge. Her most famous case, however, was turned into the 2014 Ethio­pian film “Difret,” which was promoted by Angelina Jolie as executive producer and went on to win the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film is based on a court case, tried by Meaza, that resulted in outlawing the tradition of kidnapping girls to be forced into marriage in Ethio­pia.,

German government focuses on investments in Africa: Germany has introduced tax incentives for its companies to set up plants in Africa, reflecting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s view that state aid must give way to private investment if jobs are to be created in their millions. Merkel addressed African leaders as they gathered in Berlin for the G20 Compact with Africa conference last week. The Berlin summit, attended by 12 leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, was geared towards showcasing the continent as a stable destination for German investment. While European Union countries invested $22 billion in Africa in 2017, breakneck economic growth will be needed to help bring down the migrant numbers.,

Germany ties development aid to tougher conditions: German Development Minister Gerd Müller plans even stricter conditions for the allocation of development funds from Germany to other countries. He included this in a new strategy paper recently published by his ministry that is aimed at fighting corruption, increasing respect for human rights, and aiding the establishment of constitutional structures. The ministry wants to reduce the number of partner countries and ensure compliance with conditions.

Militants killed after attack in Egypt: Egypt has announced that it had killed 19 militants linked to an ambush that left seven Christian pilgrims dead. The Interior Ministry said Egyptian forces had killed the militants during a chase through a mountainous area in the desert west of the ancient monastery where gunmen opened fire on three buses filled with pilgrims on Friday. Six of the seven pilgrims killed in the attack came from the same extended family, Coptic Orthodox officials said. It was the latest in a series of attacks by extremists on Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority.,

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Tanzania’s LGBT community fearing for their lives: Members of Tanzania’s LGBT community are fearing for their lives, hiding in their homes and even fleeing the country after threats from a powerful politician to round up gay Tanzanians, activists said. The LGBT community in Tanzania has suffered through community and police harassment before, but last week the regional governor of Dar es Salaam vowed to set up a task force to round up and arrest people suspected of being gay. „I am announcing this to every citizen of Dar es Salaam. If you know any gays, report them to me,“ said Paul Makonda in a news conference with local reporters. Tanzania is a deeply conservative country and, unlike in neighboring Kenya, hasn’t seen progress on LGBT rights. On the contrary, under the current administration of John Magufuli, rights groups believe that the situation has gotten worse.

South Sudan rebel leader returns to mark peace deal: South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar returned to the capital Juba on Wednesday to celebrate a peace deal, more than two years after fighting erupted in the city and forced him to flee the country. To further reinforce the peace deal, President Salva Kiir ordered the release of a jailed advisor to Machar, and a spokesman to his rebel group. The world’s youngest nation plunged into conflict in 2013 after Kiir sacked Machar as vice president. Troops loyal to both men clashed in the capital that December and ethnically charged fighting soon spread across the state, shutting down oil fields, forcing millions to flee and killing hundreds of thousands of people.


The pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. has delivered more than 30 million doses of a vaccine for rotavirus to four countries in West Africa — Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali and Sao Tome and Principe. But Merck is ending a long-term agreement to supply the lifesaving vaccine for children in West Africa. The company has started sending the vaccine to China, where it will likely be sold for a much higher price.


„The core idea of the Compact with Africa is not only to talk about Africa, but to talk with Africa.“

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to bring together reform-minded African governments to coordinate country-specific plans in a continent that Merkel said has been too frequently overlooked.


German retirement homes in Senegal: On the sidelines of the G20 Investment Summit for Africa in Berlin there was talk of many new ideas and visions for cooperation. In addition to building power plants and promoting start-ups, Senegal’s President Macky Sall talked about his country as a location for German retirement homes. „Dealing with the elderly in Africa is a value in itself,“ said Sall.

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