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Saturday, January 10, 2015

(Reuters) - Ethiopia's sole opposition member of parliament said on Friday the country's electoral board had turned down all four election logos his party had submitted, preventing it from registering for the May election.
Girma Seifu said his Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and the board had been haggling over the logo for months.
"From the very beginning, (government) activities have not
been free and fair," Girma said.
"They do not want us to participate. It is a tactic."
Girma said however that the UDJ would not boycott the poll.
No electoral board or government spokesperson was immediately available to comment.
The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition of four regional parties, has been in power since toppling military dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.
Dissidents and rights groups say the government routinely cracks down on activists and journalists. The government denies this.
Opposition candidates won an unprecedented 174 out of 547 parliamentary seats in a 2005 election but many did not take them up, saying the vote was rigged, and the violence which followed that poll killed 200 people.
The opposition performed far less well in the 2010 election.

Authorities began registering voters on Friday.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/09/us-ethiopia-election-idUSKBN0KI1ZS20150109
An Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane crashed on Saturday overshooting the runway at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.
Early reports claim that three crew members injured on board the cargo plane have been rushed to the 37 military hospital in Accra.
The Corporate Communications Officer of the Ghana Airport Company, Newman Quartey said though the victims survived the incident, they had to be rushed to the hospital for medical attention, according to media reports from Ghana.
He also said that operations at the airport have normalized adding that “the normal flights are operating on schedule.”
Ethiopian Airlines has so far not issued an official statement on Saturday’s incident in Accra.
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo serves Accra, Douala, Bamako, Abuja, Malabo, Libreville, Ouagadougou, Port Harcourt, Cotonou and Abidjan via Addis Ababa and its new hub in Togo.
The Ethiopian Airlines Freighter fleet consists of two 757Fs and the belly holds of nine B767-300ER, six B757s and five 737-700 aircraft.
In addition, the airline said that it has obtained two B777F to transport floriculture and horticulture products to Europe.
Source: http://www.caperi.com/ethiopia-ethiopian-airlines-cargo-plane-crashes-in-ghana/

Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

By Dele Ogbodo 
Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Ethiopia currently account for about 413 million people living below poverty line in Africa. This is about half of the continent’s population.
The disclosure was contained in the 2014 Africa Progress Panel Report (APPR), released during the week. The panel which has 10 board members is currently chaired by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan. Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is also on the board.
The report stated:  "More than 413 million people still live below the poverty line. Just four countries: Nigeria, DRC, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, account for half of Africa’s poor."
While acknowledging that Africa remains one of the world’s fastest growing regions in the world, it said: "In the past decade and a half, the only global region to grow consistently faster than Sub-Saharan Africa has been developing Asia. Africa’s average incomes have risen by a third."
Oil, gas, and minerals, it added, have been driving much of this growth in countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Mozambique. But non-extractive sectors including agriculture have been key in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
However despite the impressive and robust population growth, too few people are benefitting from the continent’s natural resources, adding that inequality was on the upward growth.
The way out of the poverty menace, the report advised was for African governments to focus on agriculture to reduce poverty, a sector that supports two thirds of all African people. "Africa could feed itself but instead it imports food worth $35 billion per year." the Report explained.
APP said: "Food production in Sub-Saharan Africa is falling behind. It now exports less than Thailand."
However, it said Africa’s applied technology innovations showed African creativity when given the right opportunity.
"Developed by Africans for Africa and the world, this digital and mobile technology is accelerating Africa’s productivity growth.
Indeed Africa’s agricultural productivity could easily double within five years." It also added.
The Report further stated:  "Urbanisation, hunger, and the heavy cost of food import bills mean that Africa must produce more food.
"Global population is set to grow from 7.2 billion to 9.6 billion by 2050. Urban populations will grow even faster. Global food demand is expected to double. This is an excellent commercial opportunity for African agriculture."
The 2014 Report urged African governments to invest more in their agricultural sectors, which directly affects two thirds of Africa’s population. It however stressed that Zambia, Liberia, and Mozambique show that time, effort, and money can produce impressive agricultural growth, adding that growing the sectors can drive national growth.
"Illegal logging costs the continent an estimated $17 billion every year, while, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing costs West Africa alone a conservatively estimated $1.3 billion every year.
"Foreign boats are not just taking fish, they are stealing food, jobs, and income”, APPR asserted.
Africa has been losing an estimated 5.7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) an equivalent of $50 billion, to illicit financial flows, which is more than the continent spends on health.
Source: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/nigeria-3-others-account-for-half-of-africa-s-poor-says-report/198796/