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AFRICA FREE TRADE – A NEW DAWN FOR AFRICA?

In what was described as a “new dawn for Africa,” leaders from 44 of the 55 countries of the continent ceremoniously signed a trade pact creating a huge single market from Cape Town to Cairo. The national leaders agreed to eliminate cross-border tariffs and make border posts more efficient. Twenty seven countries signed an additional protocol to allow for the free movement of people across borders, European ...

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WHITE AUSTRALIANS DEBATE FAST-TRACK VISAS FOR WHITE SOUTH AFRICANS SEEKING TO EMIGRATE

Australia’s national security minister has proposed fast-tracking immigrant visas for white South Africans facing “horrific circumstances” under the newly-elected head of the African National Congress. Minister Peter Sutton said Australia should speed up the visas for white farmers who, he claimed, are being “persecuted” since South African President Cyril Ramaphosa endorsed transferring land ownership from ...

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NO VOTING RIGHTS FOR THE DIASPORA, ZIMBABWE COURT RULES

Zimbabweans in the diaspora with money to invest are holding on to their wallets. An invitation to rebuild the country rings hollow without the right to vote, they say. This week, the Constitutional Court reviewed the case of three Zimbabweans living abroad and seeking voting rights. The court declined to rule on the case. “The State must amend its position,” said Thabani Mpofu, representing the Zimbabweans ...

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ASYLUM-SEEKING MOTHER AND DAUGHTER REUNITED AFTER IMMIGRATION NIGHTMARE

After an episode described as both cruel and horrific, an asylum-seeking mother and her daughter were reunited this month in Chicago. The daughter, who just turned 7, had been held thousands of miles apart from her mother since November. According to an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing the family, the mother and child fell into each other’s arms crying in a moment of tremendous emotion u ...

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GHANA GOLD MINERS THREATEN NATIONAL WALKOUT OVER PROFIT-DRIVEN MINING LAYOFFS

A South African mining company with a long-term contract to extract Ghana’s precious gold reserves is facing nationwide strikes after it announced plans to outsource some 2,000 jobs from their operations in Ghana. Gold Fields Ghana, which holds leases for 51,500 acres, produces about 550,000 ounces of gold per year at its Tarkwa mine and employs directly and indirectly about 8,000 Ghanaians, said that outso ...

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IN A SURPRISE TWIST, SIERRA LEONE OPPOSITION TAKES THE LEAD IN ELECTION COUNTDOWN

An opposition candidate has taken the lead out of a field of 16 hopefuls in a tight presidential race. If neither candidate receives 51% of votes cast, a runoff is required. Earlier in the day, presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party scored 848,438 (43.3%) votes cast while the candidate of the ruling APC (All People’s Congress), Samura Kamara, was behind with 83 ...

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U.S. STATE SEC’Y FIRED, CUTTING SHORT LONG-AWAITED AFRICA VISIT

An extended visit to Africa this month by the U.S. Secretary of State to mend fences after the President’s crude description of African and Caribbean countries was cut short this week by the dismissal of the embattled Secretary Rex Tillerson. It was the first tour of the continent by the ex-Secretary who was the first high level U.S. representative to visit the continent since the President’s vulgar remarks ...

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‘UNEQUAL REALITIES’ HOLD BACK RURAL WOMEN, SAYS U.N. ON EVE OF WOMEN’S CONFAB

On the eve of International Women’s Day, the United Nations is renewing its call for concrete actions to address the plight of rural women who make up over a quarter of the world population yet are being left behind in every measure of development. In an opening statement, UN Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka applauded a new era for women displaying “a remarkable gathering of strength, speaking ...

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FRENCH COUNTERTERROR SCHEME DRAWS FIRE IN BURKINA FASO

The so-called French pillar of counterterrorism in West Africa drew fire this week from Islamic extremists who struck the French Embassy in Burkina Faso and that country’s army headquarters. Seven soldiers were reported killed, as were eight attackers. Over 80 persons were injured. The incident took place in Burkina’s famed capital city of Ouagadougou just as regional senior officers who coordinate with Fra ...

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NEW ANC PRESIDENT ENDORSES TRANSFER OF LANDS FROM WHITES TO BLACKS

Barely a month into his presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa has taken sides on a hot button issue whose resolution had eluded previous leaders. He vowed to speed up the seizure of land from white owners and turn the properties over to blacks. “This original sin that was committed when our country was colonized must be resolved in a way that will take South Africa forward,” he declared. The resolution calling for ex ...

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