Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

t1larg.africa.care A negative image of Africa in the UK is harming efforts to raise food aid in the continent, charity Oxfam has said.

It found that three out of four people had become desensitised to images showing hunger, drought and disease.

Three-quarters thought it was possible to end hunger in Africa, but just one in five believed they could play an active role in achieving it.

Of the more than 2,000 people (more…)

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English: John Dramani Mahama, cropped from: UN...

English: John Dramani Mahama, cropped from: UNDP Administrator Helen Clark meets with Ghana’s Vice President John Dramani Mahama during her visit for the Regional Cluster Meeting. UNDP July 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s main opposition party on Friday asked the West African nation’s top court to overturn the result of a December 7 presidential election won by incumbent President John Dramani Mahama over what the party’s leader called irregularities. The poll, which passed peacefully despite technical problems that forced voting into a second day, was seen as a test of stability for one of Africa’s most mature democracies and fastest growing economies.

New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who came second in the closely fought contest that observers said appeared fair, said his party had evidence to show there were enough irregularities to affect the outcome. “A few minutes ago a petition was filed at the registry of the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of the result of the presidential election,” Akufo-Addo told a news conference in Accra. “This case is not about candidate Mahama or candidate Akufo-Addo. There is a much more important issue at stake which goes to the heart of our democracy and the future of our nation,” he said. (more…)

Supporters of Ghanaian opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, in Kasoa, December 1, 2012.

Supporters of Ghanaian opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, in Kasoa, December 1, 2012.

Unlike their Western counterparts, Africans take elections very seriously — rising up early to queue patiently in line for hours under the hot sun and cast their ballots. Any misguided attempt to nullify or steal their votes will evoke (more…)

Britain's Mohamed Farah celebrates winning the men's 5000m final at the Games on August 11Global press agency AFP have already released their selection of 2012’s best pictures — even though there is still a full month to go. The incredible images capture every major news story of the year so far, from triumph at the Olympics to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in the US and ongoing violence in Syria.  (more…)

Political violence soon took on an ethnic dimension after Kenya’s disputed 2007 elections. Africa’s democratic transition is back in the spotlight. The concern is no longer the stranglehold of autocrats, but the hijacking of the democratic process by tribal politics. Kenya’s 2007-08 post-election violence revealed the extent to which tribal forces could quickly bring a country to the brink of civil war.

The challenge to democracy in Africa is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to (more…)

In our series of viewpoints from African journalists, London-based Ugandan writer Joel Kibazo considers how the leadership of the big superpowers affects the continent. Sometimes it is so difficult to know which way to turn.

I was among the millions that abandoned sleep last Tuesday to watch the spectacle that is the US presidential election draw to a close. This after all is the most powerful nation on earth and what happens in the United States affects every soul on the planet. How could I possibly go to sleep without knowing (more…)

We are in the midst of furious campaigning ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December. Every available space is covered with billboards, posters and flags.

As there are eight presidential candidates, the number of posters that can be squeezed around one light pole on a street is best left to the imagination. The decibel level around the country generally has gone up and we cannot hear each other talk or, if truth be told, we do not want to hear each other because, to quote a friend, our minds are made up and we do not want to be confused with facts. Political campaigning in Ghana has its own rules and quirks. (more…)

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) will sweep approximately 52 per cent of the total votes in the December 7 presidential polls, while its rival, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) will get 46.9 per cent of the votes, a local research group, Marketing Social Research International (MSRI), has said.

The findings show that the other smaller parties would barely make one per cent of the collective votes.

The research was conducted between September and October 2012 across all the 230 constituencies in Ghana. (more…)

Israeli warplanes have struck Gaza militants for a fifth straight day as its military prepared for a possible ground invasion, though Egypt saw ‘some indications’ of a truce ahead.

Forty-seven Palestinians, about half of them civilians, including 12 children, have been killed in Israel’s raids, Palestinian officials said. More than 500 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israel, killing three people and injuring dozens. (more…)

He is the most badly burned survivor of the King’s Cross fire after his face melted away and his fingers fused together when he was hit by a 600C fireball.

But survivor Kwasi Afari Minta, a Ghanaian – whose face became the enduring image of the disaster – has said: ‘I feel lucky’.

The fire on November 18, 1987, killed 31 people and injured more than 60 others. The King’s Cross fire victim had to wear a medical mask to help skin grafts and treatment of his melted face after he was severely burnt

Bravery behind the mask: Kwasi Afari Minta, who was the most badly burned of the King’s Cross survivors, says he feels lucky

Hundreds were trapped underground as black smoke poured through the tunnels as panicking crowds, screaming in terror, hammered on trains which rushed past platforms without stopping.

Those that managed to survive from the furnace-like heat and smoke have since spoken of their horror 100ft below ground.

Kwasi was one of the survivors, but he has felt the pain ever since. (more…)