Category Archives: Africa

Nigeria election: Oby Ezekwesili to stand for president


Nigeria’s presidential election was shaping up to be a contest between two veteran male politicians, but the candidacy of Oby Ezekwesili could change that.

Women have run for the presidency before but she is the most prominent Nigerian woman to challenge for the top job, the BBC’s Nigeria reporter Chris Ewokor says.

Ms Ezekwesili is well known for leading the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to help free the 276 girls kidnapped from Chibok, northern Nigeria, in 2014. She has also served as the country’s education minister and vice-president of the World Bank.

But come February’s vote it will be a tough challenge to unseat incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, 75, or beat the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, 72, who both have formidable party machines behind them.

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Zimbabwe borrows its way out of fuel crisis


Crippling petrol shortages have prompted Zimbabwe’s central bank to release over $40m (£31m) for the commodity, it says.

Petrol queues had stretched for several kilometres at some stations before fuel ran out.

Food prices have risen and essential goods are in short supply because of a foreign currency shortage. A $500m credit line will also be used to import fuel, medicines and wheat, as well as soya beans to address a shortage of cooking oil, authorities say.

Some see this as a sticking plaster. The bigger problem – Zimbabwe’s foreign currency shortage – can only be resolved when the country increases its exports.

Cameroon election: Kamto declares himself winner


In Cameroon an opposition candidate has declared himself the winner of Sunday’s presidential election despite a government warning not to announce any unofficial results.

At a press conference in the capital Yaoundé, Maurice Kamto said he had received a clear mandate from the people and he vowed to defend it.

Mr Kamto provided no evidence to back up what correspondents say is both a controversial and provocative declaration.

No official results have yet been declared and the Constitutional Court has two weeks to announce the outcome.

Ahead of Sunday’s vote, President Paul Biya was widely seen as the favourite to win – he is seeking a seventh term in office.

KICD to forge ahead with new curriculum plans


The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has said it is proceeding with the implementation of the new curriculum after getting approval from the Education ministry.

Director Julius Jwan on Sunday said that the activity is being conducted within globally acceptable standards.

“Claims that the reform agenda had stalled are misleading and meant to cause unnecessary panic,” he said, adding that findings of an audit done by the agency were not conclusive.

“We cannot only rely on an internal evaluation. We need a third eye to generate comparative findings on our state of preparedness for a full rollout. That is why even piloting was necessary to bring out gaps so that they can be fixed.”

By CR

Zambia ex-VP avoids jail thanks to church


Former Zambian Vice-President Nevers Mumba has avoided prison after pleading that as a pastor, his congregation would suffer if he went to jail.

The cleric and politician was convicted on two counts of abuse of the authority of office by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The charges relate to his time when he served as Zambia’s ambassador to Canada between 2009 and 2011.

He was found guilty of awarding a contract to a Canadian company to do electrical works at the official residence of the high commissioner.

He was also found guilty of not following the correct procedure in the awarding of another contract for electrical and carpeting work, as well as the construction of a desk at the same residence.

After his guilty verdict was announced, Mumba pleaded in mitigation that his church members could not do without him.

The magistrate accepted this and Mumba, who served as vice-president between 2003 and 2004, will not serve any sentence as he was granted an absolute discharge.

Mumba is still involved in politics, and is now a faction leader of the former ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

Kenya banks fined over $78m corruption scandal


Kenya’s Central Bank has fined five commercial banks linked to an alleged $78m (£59m) corruption scandal involving the National Youth Service (NYS).

The missing funds were allegedly stolen in a scheme involving senior government officials and ghost suppliers.

Standard Chartered, Equity Bank, KCB Bank, Co-operative Bank and Diamond Trust Bank were collectively fined just under $4m.

They are accused of being conduits of fraudulent payments to suppliers of the NYS.

The NYS is an initiative by the government to train young people in life and business skills. It was part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s plan to fix Kenya’s high youth unemployment.

BBC Africa Business’s Hudheifa Aden says Kenya’s director of public prosecution is expected to determine the criminal culpability of the accused banks.

NYS boss Richard Ndubai, who was arrested in May, is among 20 officials already facing charges over the scandal.

Nigeria’s football kit up for design award


London’s Design Museum has 87 nominees for its Beazley Designs of the Year – and included in the fashion category is Nigeria’s World Cup football kit.

The Super Eagles went out in the group stages of the tournament in Russia – but their outfits definitely won the fashion stakes.

The home and away shirts sold out on the Nike website soon after they were released – and there were long queues at the beginning of June in London with fans anxious to get their hands on the shirts