THE Minister of Finance has been fired following a slump in the country’s economic situation stemming from crashed crude oil prices.
The sack, which was announced on Monday, by José Eduardo dos Santos, president of Angola come two months after the Angolan government pulled out of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over emergency funding.
A statement quoted by Reuters said Manuel, who was appointed in 2013 and whose term had been due to run to 2017, would be replaced by Archer Mangueira, capital markets commission head.
Over the last two years, Manuel had presided over an economic slump caused by a sharp drop in oil prices that sapped dollar inflows, hammered the kwanza — the Angolan currency — and led heavy government borrowing.
Like Angola, Nigeria has also been hit by the plunge in crude oil prices and a rapid depreciation of the local currency.
The kwanza slid more than 30 percent against the dollar in 2015, and in January the central bank allowed for another 15 percent, weakening to 155 against the dollar.
Nigeria has seen a depreciation of over 40 percent on the naira against the dollar in 2016.
Angola’s inflation had soared from 11 percent in August 2015 to 35 percent in July 2016, while Nigeria’s is from 9.3 to 17.1 percent within the same period.
Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi West, called for the removal of Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s finance minister over her “gross incompetence”.
“The finance minister has not only displayed gross incompetence on the job, she also lacks the basic and rudimentary grasp of economic fundamentals necessary to run a critical sector of the Nigerian economy like the finance ministry,” he had said.
“It is time for her to go now and pave way for a qualified and experienced person to steer the Nigerian economy away from the dark woods it has sunk presently under her stewardship.”
Like the Nigerian president, dos Santos is getting unpopular by the day due to the economic hardship caused by the fall in oil prices.
(BIN) - Muslim jihadists who kill in the name of Allah are heretics who are destined to dwell in hell for eternity, said the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, on August 20.
PARIS, FEBRUARY 6, 2016: (DGW) - The port town of Marka on Friday has again fallen under the control of al-Shabab militants following the exit of African Union troops and Somalia National Army, DailyGlobeWatch can authoritatively reveal.
Residents told our reporter that soon after the AU troops and Somalia National Army left the town, al-Shabab militants invaded the town and hoisted their flag. Also confirming the armed invasion of Marka which is about 100 kilometers southwest of the Somalian capital of Mogadishu, Shiekh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's spokesperson for military operations told DailyGlobeWatch that his men are now in control of the southern port town of Marka.
The blare of speakers calling faithful to prayers could be heard after which preaching to the residents commenced.
Somali's security operatives were nowhere in sight as of the time of filing this report. Eyewitnesses told our reporter that they stealthily moved away for fear of being attacked by the dreaded militants.
Recall al-Shabab had on January 15, 2016, staged a pre-dawn raid on a Kenyan military base in the country killing as many as 100 Kenyan soldiers.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she supports the call by Liberians to reduce the presidential term of office from two six-year terms to two four-year terms.
A constitution review commission set up by Sirleaf recommended last year to reduce the number of years the president can serve. The commission also recommended the term of office for senators be reduced from the current nine years to six, and representatives from six to four years. Information Minister Lewis Brown said Sirleaf’s support to change the presidential term to two four-year terms is part of her effort to build a democratic governance model that is transparent and that every Liberian can feel a part of.
“She has, in fact, written the legislature and she has asked to actually consider amending the presidential term to two four-year terms rather than what it is today which is two six-year terms. In effect, limiting the president to a maximum of eight years in office," he said.
Under the current 1986 constitution, the president and vice president serve six-year terms, senators serve for nine years and members of the House of Representatives six years.
Members of the Senate and House of Representatives can run for re-election for as many times as they wish as long they are elected by their constituents.
Brown would not say if Sirleaf is trying to set an example for other African leaders who are trying to change their countries’ constitutions to extend their stay in power.
“Well, if her example is anything to go by, then certainly it speaks to the fact that she will favor presidential term limit. Now, whether she is sending a message to the rest of Africa, I’m not in the position to say. But I know that her entire leadership has been around making sure that Liberia is best positioned, whether it be through economic transformation, whether it be political transformation, so that every citizen feels a duty to their country in the first instance and that we can deepen the institutional capacity of our society to build the kind of democratic governance model that is a bit more transparent, and a bit more accountable to the people,” Brown said.
Many long-serving African leaders have been using what has been dubbed by some as a “softer, gentler coup d’état” to stay in power by reforming their countries’ constitutions.
The tactic has been used by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang, Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who is in a tight re-election fight in polling scheduled for next month.
Most recently, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza won a controversial third term in an election that his critics said violated the constitution. In Rwanda, the parliament removed the two seven-year presidential term limit and paved the way for President Paul Kagame to continue in office.
Liberia's Constitutional Review Conference approved several recommendations, including a provision making Liberia a ‘Christian’ nation, the election of superintendents of the country’s 15 political subdivisions by the citizens rather than by presidential appointment, equal representation for women, and rejection of dual citizenship.
Brown said Sirleaf supports dual citizenship because she feels the country would benefit economically.
“It is not in the best interest of our country to alienate people who were born to Liberian parentage, people who are truly Liberians. And she used other economic indicators that dual citizenship has had a positive impact on the economy, especially at a time when we need to invest in our country,” Brown said.
The Liberian legislature, which returns to work next week from its summer break, will have to approve the term limits recommendations before they are put to a national referendum.
Liberia holds presidential election in 2017.
Cotonou (AFP) - Polls closed and counting began in Benin on Sunday after voting to choose a new president from a record 33 candidates, with monitors reporting few problems despite concerns about election cards.
Ballot papers were being collated and tallied across the tiny West African nation, with overall results expected within 72 hours.
Mathieu Boni, an official from a civil society group which has deployed more than 3,000 election observers, said there was "no major incident".
President Thomas Boni Yayi is bowing out after serving a maximum two five-year terms, marking him out among some African leaders who have tried to change constitutions to ensure third terms.
"My impressions are good for the simple reason that, with my departure, our democracy goes one step further," Boni Yayi told reporters.
Key issues in the election include urgent job creation, tackling corruption, improving access to health and education, and the economy in the country, which is a major cotton producer.
Despite its problems, largely agricultural Benin, which is dwarfed by Nigeria to the east, has been seen as a relatively stable country in often turbulent, West Africa.
Benin, an important centre of the voodoo religion that is now promoting itself as a major regional shipping hub, introduced multi-party democracy in 1990 after nearly two decades of military rule.
- Main contenders -
Front-runners in the election include Lionel Zinsou, the Franco-Beninese financier who stepped down as head of France's biggest investment bank to become prime minister last year.
The 61-year-old is standing for the ruling Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) party and is widely viewed as Boni Yayi's chosen successor.
View galleryOne of the leading contenders for the presidential …
One of the leading contenders for the presidential race and former head of the West African Developm …
He already has the support of two opposition parties but critics view him as an outsider "parachuted" in by France as part of Paris' continued involvement in its former colonies.
Zinsou, who in the 1980s was a speechwriter for France's socialist former prime minister Laurent Fabius, cast his vote shortly before midday in the Cocotiers area of Benin's commercial hub, Cotonou.
"I am not so presumptious to personally give a forecast," he told reporters. "It's up to the voters to choose with the freedom and calm of a great democracy."
Two of Benin's leading businessmen, Patrice Talon, 57, and Sebastien Ajavon, 51, are also among the favourites, pitching for the top job after previously bankrolling presidential bids.
Others include economist Abdoulaye Bio Tchane and financier Pascal Irenee Koupaki, both 64, who voted in the northern town of Djougou and Pomasse in the south.
With so many candidates, political analysts predict no decisive result on Sunday and believe whoever wins in the northern region will determine the overall result.
- Voters' cards -
Farmer Emile Sosa was one of the first to vote in Cocotiers, Cotonou, and said lack of opportunities for the country's young people was a major problem.
"I want the next president to encourage the youth to take to agriculture," said the 49-year-old father of four.
The first round of voting had been due to take place on February 28 but was rescheduled because of delays in the production and distribution of the 4.7 million voters' cards.
On Saturday evening, distribution of new voters' cards had not started in two central states (Zou and Plateau) and had not been completed in several of the 10 others that make up the country.
The head of the independent electoral commission, Emmanuel Tiando, said both old and new cards would be allowed "to avoid any tense situations and allow all voters to take part in the ballot".
In Zou and Plateau, voting would be allowed with identity cards rather than voter cards, he added, promising that all election material was available in polling stations across the country.
Voter Franck Tokannou said after casting his ballot in Cotonou: "This morning has been difficult for those who are organising it all but it seems that it's going OK. Everything is in order."
Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry, AFP | One of the two black boxes of the Russian airliner that crashed in Sinai Peninsula is photographed in Cairo on November 2, 2015
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt has confirmed there was an explosion on board Metrojet Airbus A321, French media reported Friday, citing an expert source.
Data from the CVR that was retrieved from the crash site in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has revealed that there was an explosion on board the flight, reported French weekly Le Point, quoting an unnamed expert.
“It was not a technical issue, but an outside action,” said the expert, suggesting the cause of the crash, which killed all 224 people on board, could be an explosion.
French investigators are part of an international team that includes Russian, German and Irish experts on the ground in Egypt.
The Metrojet Airbus A321 had two “black boxes” – as is the norm – on board: the CVR and the flight data recorder (FDR), which were recovered from the crash site and taken to Cairo offices of the Egyptian civil aviation authority.
Data from the CVR does not require complex interpretation as it merely records the voices and sounds in the cockpit. The FDR captures data on speed, altitude and steering mode, which typically requires careful analysis.
Russia and Egypt on Thursday had dismissed Western suggestions that a terrorist bomb may have caused the crash on October 31 that killed 224 people, saying the speculation was a rush to judgment.
Russia and Egypt insist the investigation into the crash must run its course before any conclusion is reached.
"The investigation team does not have yet any evidence or data confirming this hypothesis," Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal said at the time about the possibility of a bomb.
The chairman of the Egyptian-led probe into the Russian plane crash in Sinai will hold a news conference in Cairo on Saturday at 1500 GMT (4 pm Paris local time), the government press centre said.
He will be joined by the civil aviation minister, the statement said.
The US Department of Homeland Security announced new security measures on Friday, including tighter screening of items before they are brought on board flights to the US from some foreign airports in the region.
AFP | Tourists look out at a Russian plane on the tarmac of the airport in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on November 6, 2015
The son of a prominent activist was found dead in Burundi on Friday, just hours after he was arrested, his family and witnesses said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing and said he was alarmed by the escalating violence in Burundi.
The body of Welly Nzitonda, the son of Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, an activist publicly opposed to Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid for a third term as president, was found on the street of the capital Bujumbura, witnesses said.
Mbonimpa, who is in exile in Europe, confirmed his son's death.
Nkurunziza has announced a Saturday deadline for people to hand over illegal firearms or be treated as enemies of the state, in a bid, the government says, to stem months of violence and protests over his election to a third term in office this year.
The young man, like dozens of others, was leaving the capital's Mutakura district, where many feared violence.
Witnesses said they had seen him arrested, others said that they had seen his corpse on the roadside, lying alongside another dead body.
"When the police arrested him, there were many witnesses... we found him in the street alongside a second person," one witness said.
Mbonimpa was wounded when he was shot by a gunman on a motorbike in August and his son-in-law was murdered in early October in Bujumbura.
The United Nations condemned public statements in Burundi aimed at inciting hatred and violence, while voicing alarm at recent discoveries of corpses of civilians who appear to have been summarily executed.
“The recurring violence and killings must stop,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, adding that Ban Ki-moon said “inflammatory rhetoric is reprehensible and dangerous (and) will only serve to aggravate the situation in the country”.
On Friday, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said the UN Security Council would discuss the worsening situation in Burundi next Monday, and condemned “hateful speeches, including those of an unacceptable sectarian connotation”.
Burundi angrily rejected criticism of a planned security crackdown, saying on Friday that warnings of fresh violence reflected a bias against Nkurunziza.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said on Thursday she was extremely concerned that the arms ultimatum could “trigger widespread violence” if security forces started searching homes for weapons and opposition figures.
Regional and world powers have grown increasingly concerned about a wave of clashes and killings in the central African country, fearing a repeat of the ethnic violence that culminated in the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda.
"The language is unambiguous to Burundians and chillingly similar to that used in Rwanda in the 1990s before the genocide," the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank warned in a report issued late Thursday.
Opposition politicians say they are facing a growing crackdown and droves of people have been seen leaving their homes in the capital Bujumbura in recent days.
“We call on the international community to send us troops ... Tomorrow may be too late,” said Charles Nditije, chairman of the opposition UPRONA party and one of the few opposition leaders who remains in Burundi.
Power issued a statement saying the president of Burundi’s senate, Reverien Ndikuriyo, had at one stage told officials: “You have to pulverize, you have to exterminate - these people are only good for dying.”
“Such dangerous speech and the president’s call for a widespread, indiscriminate security crackdown exacerbate an already volatile situation and risk inciting even greater violence,” Power said.
Ndikuriyo’s office was not immediately available to comment on his reported quote.
But government spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba dismissed the warning of further violence, saying Power had “never been in favour of the government’s initiatives”.
“She has never been concerned about the barbaric acts committed by their friends, the insurgents,” he said.
Nkurunziza’s ultimately successful bid to stand again in July elections plunged Burundi into crisis, triggering an ultimately failed coup a decade after the country emerged from civil war.
Critics said his move broke the constitution, though he cited a legal ruling allowing it.