archives : August 2009


Gabonese were at the polls, Sunday, to elect a new president to replace Omar Bongo Ondimba, who died last June after spending 41 years in power. The counting has began. The leading trio, made up of Ali Ben Bongo, Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou, according to initial estimates, are in the lead. - Monday 31 August 2009

Morocco - Western Sahara
As campaigners for justice in Western Sahara world were preparing to mark the 26th International Day of the Disappeared on 30th August they received news that a 19 year old peace activist, Ms Hawassi Ngiya, had been abducted by Moroccan police. - Monday 31 August 2009

The Zimbabwe government, fresh from a three week strike by doctors, is now bracing for yet another strike from teachers. The strike is likely to throw into disarray efforts by the inclusive government to resuscitate the ailing education sector, which is still smarting from last year’s crippling job boycotts. - Monday 31 August 2009

Sudan - International
Barely a week after the official declaration of an end to the six-year Darfur conflict in Western Sudan, two members of the joint UN/African Union (Unamid) peacekeeping forces have been kidnapped in the region. - Monday 31 August 2009

A Blackman mysteriously turns into a Whiteman. What was supposed to be a pictorial prowess ended up as a clumsy patchwork by Microsoft on one of their international campaign posters in Poland. Unmasked by the Internet, the multi-national firm is accused of racism. Having apologized, they intend to repair their error. But how is this error to be repaired in a country where high ranking officials, in the ruling party, have expressed their horror following a Blackman’s election into the highest U.S. office? Would a dog in the Microsoft campaign be more acceptable? - Sunday 30 August 2009

Eleven Gabonese presidential candidates and Gabon’s largest ethnic group, Fang, has opted to throw their weight on one of the presidential candidates, so as to prevent late president Omar Bongo’s son, Ali Bongo, from succeeding his father. - Saturday 29 August 2009

Ethiopian authorities briefly detained a reporter for the Washington Post newspaper this week, before a top government official said she was free to go. - Friday 28 August 2009

A new bio-fuel share company, expected to raise a capital of 250 million birr from interested parties, is set to start cultivating and extracting oil from jatropha and castor plants in Ethiopia within the next 18 months. - Friday 28 August 2009

Panafrica - South africa
OneApp, a new Microsoft platform, provides access to most Internet services - Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, online payment - without necessarily changing an older or less efficient mobile phone for a more recent one. Monday, South Africa was named as the first country to test the new service. The exercise, according to Microsoft, will be extended to other emerging countries. - Friday 28 August 2009

Western Sahara
Dakhla refugee camp emerges from the dust, a sprawling single-storey town built of the desert sand. Our Landcruiser is approaching at speed along a network of dirt tracks after a bone-shaking journey through the fierce heat of the Sahara. - Friday 28 August 2009

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