KW 51: Egyptian companies are building a huge dam in Tanzania, Isis kills six captives in Libya, Saudi Arabia pledges Tunisia financial aid

– NEWS –

Egyptian companies are building a huge dam in Tanzania: Tanzania will build a three billion dollar hydroelectric plant in a Unesco world heritage site under a contract announced on Wednesday involving Egyptian companies despite concerns about the impact on wildlife. Tanzanian President John Magufuli has pushed for the project to start despite concerns raised about the effect on the Selous Game Reserve. Known for its elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, the reserve covers 50,000 square km and is one of the largest protected areas in Africa, according to Unesco. The planned hydropower dam puts protected areas of global importance, as well as the livelihoods of over 200,000 people who depend upon the environment, at risk, the World Wildlife Fund conservation group warned.
reuters.com

Isis kills six captives in Libya: Militants of the „Islamic State“ group have executed six hostages they kidnapped almost two months ago from Libya’s central town of Fug’ha, a Libyan official confirmed Sunday. The town is south of the coastal city of Sirte, a former Isis-held bastion. The United Nations condemned the act. The Libyan parliament called for a military operation to liberate more hostages. A civil war has been raging in Libya since 2011.
dw.com

Saudi Arabia pledges Tunisia financial aid: Saudi Arabia has pledged financial aid to Tunisia worth about 830 million dollars, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed told reporters on Saturday after a visit to Saudi Arabia. Chahed said that $500 million was expected to finance the budget, $230 million to finance foreign trade and about $100 million to finance projects. Tunisia is struggling to cut its budget deficit, stabilize falling foreign currency reserves, and manage expectations of international lenders demanding reforms such as trimming the public wage bill.
uk.reuters.com

Gandhi statue removed from University of Ghana: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi has been pulled down from a university in Ghana after lecturers complained the celebrated Indian independence leader was racist. Academics at the University of Ghana in the capital, Accra, launched an online campaign against the effigy soon after it was erected in 2016. The lecturers highlighted remarks in which Gandhi repeatedly referred to native Africans using a slur and indicated that Indians were superior to Africans. The petition also noted that the University of Ghana’s campus did not have statues of African heroes and heroines.
independent.co.uk, npr.org

Somalia president’s impeachment flops as 14 MPs back down africanews.com
Royal Air Maroc Takes Delivery of Its First Boeing 787-9 aviationtribune.com
MSF: More migrants at risk of dying without Aquarius aljazeera.com
Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh blocked from entering US aljazeera.com

– BACKGROUND –

Mounting tensions ahead of elections in the Congo: Presidential elections will take place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on December 23rd. Just ten days from the election, a warehouse fire in the capital has severely complicated the country’s preparations. The blaze, which broke out this past Thursday, destroyed the voting equipment for 19 of Kinshasa’s 24 polling stations. The ruined ballot machines were among 10,000 due to be used in the December 23 vote. Police are working to determine the fire’s cause, according to local reports. Voting materials from other parts of the country will be sent to Kinshasa, and election preparations will continue as planned, the electoral body said. Meanwhile, the United Nations has raised the alarm over fighting in the Congo, warning that violence, which is unfolding alongside an Ebola outbreak, could hamper the elections.
npr.org, cnn.com, aljazeera.com

Morocco’s new high-speed bullet train: Morocco is banking on a French-built bullet train being an investment draw card for the country by linking its major cities and sprucing up its image internationally. The train will take around two hours to travel from Casablanca to Tangier along the Atlantic coast, slashing the commute by half, with speeds expected to reach up to 200 miles per hour. The TGV Morocco is expected to sustain 1,500 direct jobs and 800 indirect ones. Rail authorities are aiming for six million passengers a day, nearly double the current usage, in the next three years to cover costs for the project. But critics question the need for a high-speed train when the railway system is itself decrepit and transport infrastructure is poor.
qz.com

How Nigeria’s elite avoid bad education: In the BBC’s series of letters from African writers, journalist Sola Odunfa reflects on a controversial proposal to ban the children of government officials and top civil servants from completing their education abroad. Universities remain poorly funded and the lecturers‘ union – known by its acronym ASUU – is more militant than ever, routinely threatening to close down universities in its battles with the government. The ASUU pushes for the government to increase investment in higher education. Recently, some parliamentarians came up with a proposal that, they said, would do exactly that. They proposed a ban on the children of top officials from travelling abroad to complete their studies. They argued that this would compel government officials – many of whom send their children to foreign universities – to increase funding for the domestic education sector.
bbc.com

– NUMBER –

Clashes in Nigeria between farmers and semi-nomadic herders have killed more than 3,600 people since 2016, according to Amnesty International.
aljazeera.com

– QUOTE –

„The ‚Pyramid f***‘ was the dumbest idea I could get on. Western, privileged youth at its worst. All that is missing is a joint and a bottle of vodka.“

Danish man Andreas Hvid angered Egyptian authorities with a picture of himself and a woman in a sexual pose apparently on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, a decision he now regrets.
theguardian.com, thesun.co.uk

– AT LAST –

Egypt unearths tomb in Cairo: Archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved, 4,400-year-old tomb of a royal priest and his family in Egypt, in a one of a kind find, the Egyptian authorities announced on Saturday. The tomb was unearthed in Saqqara, a city south of Cairo and a vast necropolis from ancient Egypt. The tomb had remained untouched, said Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of Egypt’s supreme council of antiquities. Its near-perfect condition makes it one of a kind in the last decade, Waziri said.
nytimes.com

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