Africa Media Review for November 25, 2022

Coup Attempt Fails in Sao Tome: Prime Minister
A coup attempt has failed in Sao Tome and Principe, the prime minister of the island nation off the western coast of Africa said in a video message confirmed by AFP on Friday. Patrice Trovoada said that overnight four men, including the former president of the outgoing National Assembly, tried to attack army headquarters. One of them was a former military officer who attempted a coup in 2009, the prime minister said. In the footage, authenticated and sent to AFP in Libreville by Sao Tome’s justice minister, Trovoada is shown seated at a desk and says he wants to “reassure” the population and “the international community.” AFP

Ethiopian Airlines To Resume Flights to Tigray As Peace Holds
Ethiopian Airlines, the leading African flag carrier, said on Wednesday that it has finalised preparations to resume flights to Tigray region, the CEO of the airline confirmed. All commercial flight services to and from Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, were suspended after conflict erupted in November 2020. Flight services restarted for a period after government forces captured Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital, but were stopped again after Tigray forces retook the city. The plan to resume flights comes few weeks after a peace accord was reached to end a two-year long bloody conflict. East African

M23 Rebels Say Rwanda-DR Congo Ceasefire Deal Does Not Affect Them
The M23 rebel group said Thursday that a ceasefire announced a day earlier “doesn’t really concern us,” while calling for “direct dialogue” with Democratic Republic of Congo’s government. “M23 has seen the document on social media… There was nobody in the summit (from M23) so it doesn’t really concern us,” Lawrence Kanyuka, political spokesman for the M23 (March 23) movement said…DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta attended a mini-summit in the Angolan capital on Wednesday. At a media briefing in Kinshasa on Thursday, Congolese Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula said: “Tomorrow, 6:00 pm, the M23 must stop all its attacks.” AFP

Comoros Seeks Life Sentence for Ex-President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi for High Treason
Prosecutors in the Comoros on Thursday sought a life sentence for former president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi who was tried in absentia for high treason. Sambi, 64, the arch opponent to current president Azali Assoumani, faces charges related to the alleged sale of Comorian passports to stateless people living in Gulf nations. “He betrayed the mission entrusted to him by the Comorians,” said public prosecutor Ali Mohamed Djounaid before the elite State Security Court. He demanded life imprisonment for Sambi, who will be sentenced on November 29. Sambi, who led the small Indian Ocean archipelago between 2006 and 2011, passed a law in 2008 allowing the sale of passports at an exorbitant fee. “They gave thugs the right to sell Comorian nationality like we would sell peanuts,” said Togolese lawyer Eric Emmanuel Sossa, who is sitting on the prosecution bench. AfricaNews

French NGOs in Mali Concerned for Civilians in Wake of Suspension
French-backed NGOs in Mali fear their future is in limbo after military-run authorities ordered the suspension of their activities earlier this week. The announcement marks a further twist in the downward spiral between the Sahel nation and its former colonial power. On Monday, Mali declared that all NGOs financed or supported by France would be banned — a move that strikes at vital aid work in the country…The French government on Monday urged French NGOs to “conform to the regrettable decision of the Malian transitional authorities.” “We are dismayed and angry to see French public aid exploited and NGOs entangled against their will in these games of diplomatic relations,” said Olivier Bruyeron, head of Coordination SUD, a coalition of groups that includes around 40 French organisations in Mali. Foreign organisations play a key part in helping Mali, one of the poorest and most deeply troubled nations in the world. RFI

Ghana Plans To Buy Oil With Gold As Foreign Currency Reserves Dwindle
Ghana’s government is planning to go back to a barter system of trade. In order to protect the country’s fast-dwindling foreign currency reserves, Ghana wants to pay for oil with gold instead of shelling out precious US dollars, Mahamudu Bawumia, the country’s vice president said on Thursday.  Ghana’s gross international reserves  have fallen by about one-third — from $9.7 billion at the end of 2021 to around $6.6 billion at the end of September 2022, according to official data. The reserves will cover just 2.9 months of the country’s goods and services imports — short of the government’s target of covering three-and-a-half-months worth of imports for 2022, according to a copy of the country’s budget speech delivered by finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday. Business Insider South Africa

Nigeria: Decline in Oil, Gas Output Hampers Growth Amid Recession Fears
Nigeria is in a ‘technical’ recession, say experts. Prevailing economic challenges, as reflected in the business environment and rising inflation, which is further compounded by poor oil production in the last three months, have undermined Nigeria’s economy, as official figures show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.25 per cent year-on-year in Q3,2022, marking the slowest growth since the COVID-19 pandemic…Analysts said the biggest drag on the economy came from a decline in oil and gas extraction due to repairs of platforms, insecurity and sabotage. Some are even of the opinion that the country may be headed towards another recession if the challenges do not abate. Guardian Nigeria

Sudanese Protester Killed in Fresh Anti-Coup Demonstration
A protester was killed during an anti-coup demonstration in Omdurman on Thursday, medical and rights groups said. The protester was killed by a gunshot wound to the abdomen by “the forces of the coup authority” that used excessive force to disperse a protest in Omdurman, said the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD). “The gunshot caused a laceration of the liver and severe abdominal bleeding,” further said the committee. The death toll from violent repression has risen to 120 people killed since the coup of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, on October 25, 2021. The Resistance Committees, which reject any political settlement involving the military leaders,  continue to hold neighbourhood demonstrations to voice their rejection of the process. Sudan Tribune

Lack of Zimbabwe Witness Protection Law Hampers Fight Against Corruption
Zimbabwe has no witness protection law, a top civil servant said recently, raising questions about the country’s commitment to addressing widespread corruption. Despite years of public pronouncements by the government that it will step up the crackdown on graft, there has been little concrete progress.  This has cast the spotlight on the lack of legislation to help curb the amassing of unexplained wealth by politicians and public servants. In recent months, the police and the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) have made high-profile arrests that have included ruling party legislators accused of bilking public funds worth millions, but the courts are yet to secure significant prosecutions. Mail & Guardian

Four African Nations Barred From Attending US-Africa Summit in Washington
The United States will host 49 African heads of state, and the African Union envoy, in Washington for a three-day US-Africa Summit between 13-15 December.  The US views this as an opportunity to strengthen ties with Africa. However, four countries have not been invited – Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, and Guinea. There will be side events and meetings for civil society and business leaders from Africa to engage with the Americans. It is the second such summit under US President Joe Biden’s administration, with the inaugural one hosted around the same time last year. News24

How Do Budding African Footballers Make It to the Top?
“All of Senegal wants to come here,” smiles Bassouaré Diaby, the head trainer at Génération Foot, a football academy a few hours out of Dakar, the capital. It is easy to see why. Three verdant training pitches abut a small stadium complete with corporate boxes, a video-analysis suite and a briefing room for press conferences. Players as young as 12 live on the site, which also has a gym, a lycée to make sure aspiring footballers complete their schooling, and a barbershop. The players should all “be well groomed and in the same way”, says Talla Fall, who shows your football-mad correspondent around. “That’s part of discipline,” he says, adding: “We have put in place everything to give the boys the best chance to perform.” It is working. More than 15 current players, who joined the academy after extensive scouting and trials, represent Senegal in youth teams. This year Senegal’s national team, the Teranga Lions, won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time thanks to a penalty kick from Sadio Mané. Economist

 



Photo: Adam Jones