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African winner of Nobel book prize ignites debate in Zanzibar

(GIN)—Out of 118 Nobel Prize laureates between 1901 and 2021, only six have gone to African writers with only two to Black Africans. So, there was a measure of celebration, excitement, and pride when this year’s prize was awarded to Zanzibar-born writer Abdulrazak Gurnah. “The prize is an honor to you, our Tanzanian nation and Africa in general,” Tanzanian President Samia...

‘Our imagination was violated’: France to return African art

PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron said in early October that his country will return 26 African artworks—royal thrones, ceremonial altars, revered statues—to Benin later in the month, part of France’s long-promised plans to give back artwork taken from Africa during the colonial era. Discussions have been underway for years on returning the artworks from the 19th century Dahomey Kingdom. Called the...

Landmark report highlights untapped potential of Africa’s film industry

Africa’s film and audiovisual industries could create over 20 million jobs and contribute $20 billion to the continent’s combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, said on Oct. 5 in a new report highlighting this untapped potential. The African Film Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth is the first-ever mapping of the sector, which currently employs...

Questions about EU, World Bank, IMF ties with Sudan

Davoe Malpass recently landed in Khartoum, the first visit for a World Bank president to Sudan in more than 50 years, announced Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The prime minister of the East African nation hailed the visit as a sign that Sudan’s integration into the international community “is progressing in strides,” Hamdoks’s office said. Malpass tweeted that the World Bank “is...

Sudan downplays progress in Israel ties, dismiss plans for Israeli embassy in Khartoum

Eleven months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, the country’s foreign minister has played down progress in building ties with the regime, saying there are no plans to open an Israeli embassy in Khartoum. “There’s not any sign of normalization with Israel … and there is no talk at any official level,” Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi asserted in an interview with...

DR Congo: Abuse allegations amid Ebola outbreak ‘a sickening betrayal of the people we serve’

Sexual abuse and exploitation allegedly carried out by World Health Organization (WHO) staff during the UN health agency’s response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is “a sickening betrayal of the people we serve,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said on Sept. 28.  An independent panel commissioned by WHO identified more than 80 alleged cases of abuse...

Liberian leader announces year-long bicentennial to begin January, 2022

GIN)—On Feb.  5, 1820, the first organized group of emigrating freed slaves departed from New York to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa.  Next year, Liberia will mark the date with a bicentennial celebration beginning January, 2022 and running through December, 2022, according to a recent announcement by President George Manneh Weah. A steering committee constituted by President Weah will plan...

Zuma loses bid to stay out of jail, in latest top court ruling

(GIN)—Former South African President Jacob Zuma has lost his latest bid to remain out of jail after refusing to respond to a corruption inquiry.  “The application for rescission is dismissed,” Justice Sisi Khampepe said as she read the majority decision, which included an order for Mr. Zuma to pay court costs.  It was the latest legal setback for the 79-year-old anti-apartheid...

Elections represent an opportunity for stability and unity in Libya

With just over 100 days until landmark elections in Libya, political leaders must join forces to ensure the vote is free, fair and inclusive, the UN envoy for the country told the Security Council on Sept.10.  Ján Kubiš, special representative of the secretary-general and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) briefed ambassadors on developments ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due...

In Somalia, deputy UN chief encourages progress on women’s political participation, and peaceful elections

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, visited Somalia on Sept. 12, to express her solidarity with Somali women’s calls for full and equal participation in political life, and the support of the international community for timely, inclusive, peaceful and credible elections. In her various meetings in the capital, Mogadishu, Ms. Mohammed highlighted the country’s parliamentary elections as an...