Top Africa stories: Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Africa

2016-10-04 16:57

Security hampers 10-year African governance growth

London - Governance in Africa has gradually improved over the past 10 years but has been held back by deteriorating security and the rule of law, an annual index tracking development showed on Monday.

At least 70% of African citizens now live in a country that has improved in overall governance since 2006, showed the 10th annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance, launched in London.

Across Africa, there were advances in human development; participation and human rights; and in sustainable economic opportunity. However, safety and the rule of law fell back.

Almost two thirds of Africans live in states where security and the rule of law have plunged, notably in Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Burundi.

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Zim war vets 'join opposition parties to demand electoral reforms'

Harare – Zimbabwe's war veterans have reportedly joined opposition parties in demanding electoral reforms, ahead of the country's 2018 elections.

According to NewsDay, the ex-freedom fighters led by former minister Christopher Mutsvangwa said that the government should listen to the calls made by the people in order to "reconnect with the masses". 

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya said that the country's former liberation fighters wanted to see peaceful elections where all political parties participated "freely".

He further said that the war veterans would stand up to any violence, killing or shedding of blood.

"We have had enough and enough of our people have died already especially during the war. The violence must stop and we are appalled at the direction the country is taking ahead of the 2018 elections," Mahiya was quoted as saying.


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'Elections don't change anything': Why Zimbabwe's middle-class women won't enter the political fray

Harare - They hold top jobs, are privately-educated and are deeply dissatisfied with politicians - but some young middle-class women in Zimbabwe still don't plan to vote.

A new study by the respected Research and Advocacy Unit in Harare paints a troubling picture of Zimbabwe's disillusioned under-35 middle-class female population and asks: Why do these women not want to get involved in challenging a status quo that has sometimes made them scale down their dreams?

The findings of this study - titled "Very constrained and confined: The lack of middle-class young women's voices in political discourse" - will worry those in crisis-hit Zimbabwe who are pinning their hopes on the 2018 elections bringing change. 

Put simply, elections don't work, some of the women told researchers. 'It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes' was a phrase that was cited. 

That's a reference to claims from the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change that every election since 2000 has been "stolen" by President Robert Mugabe and his party. Zanu-PF denies this.


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Africa makes slight improvement in governance over 10 years

Johannesburg - Africa's countries have struggled to improve their governance in the past 10 years, according to a comprehensive survey released on Monday.

The continent's 54 countries together advanced just one point on a 100-point scale measuring overall governance since 2006, according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

Although many individual countries did better than that, the continent-wide score was held back because of a widespread deterioration in safety and the rule of law, said the survey published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The organisation was founded by a mobile phone magnate from Sudan.

"The positive side is that governance on the continent has improved. It may be only slightly, but it is progress," Mary Robinson, former Irish president and a member of the foundation's board, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Perhaps the most worrying trend is the deterioration of rule of law and safety, personal safety."

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius consistently has been ranked by the survey as the African country with the best governance rating, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles, Namibia and South Africa.

Africa map

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Revenge against Nigeria's military leads some to Boko Haram

Lagos - The desire for revenge against Nigeria's heavy-handed military is a leading reason that people join the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, according to a new study published Monday.

Nearly 60% of 119 former Boko Haram fighters interviewed in rehabilitation camps in the country's northeast cited revenge against the military as having a strong, or being the only, influence in their recruitment.

"They kill innocent people that are not (Boko Haram) members ... I think they deliberately do so. So they (victims) join the group to fight the military," the study quoted one former extremist as saying.

The study also found that many interviewed said they were pressured into joining the extremists.

"Radicalisation has less to do with military action per se and more to do with abuses contributing to a need to take revenge," said the study, conducted by Helsinki-based Finn Church Aid group and The Network for Religious Peacemakers and South Africa's Vibrand Research in collaboration with Vienna's KAICIID dialogue center.

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Ethiopia arrests blogger critical of government

Addis Ababa - Ethiopian police have arrested a blogger who criticised the government, especially its handling of the ongoing protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions.

Government officials confirmed that Seyoum Teshome, an outspoken university lecturer who was frequently quoted by international media about the anti-government protests in Ethiopia, was detained on October 1 at his house in Wolisso town in the restive Oromia region.

Ethiopia's government spokesperson, Getachew Reda, told the AP on Tuesday morning that he knew of Seyoum's arrest and is investigating the reasons why.

Days before his arrest, Seyoum told The Associated Press that he was planning to start his doctoral studies at Addis Ababa University and was starting up his own blogging website, Ethiothinkthank. He wrote about Ethiopia's anti-government protests on his blogging site and Facebook page.

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Read more on:    robert ­mugabe  |  botswana  |  zimbabwe  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  southern africa  |  africa

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