Tag Archives: Africa

chemical factory blast


At least 12 people were injured and taken to hospital after an explosion on Thursday night in a chemicals factory outside Egypt’s main airport in Cairo.

A plume of smoke could be seen rising from at the scene of the explosion:

Egyptian army spokesman said the blast was caused by high temperatures in a storage facility belonging to a local petrochemicals company.

Aviation Minister Younis al-Masri said air traffic at the airport was unaffected by the explosion, which could be heard across the area.

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Obama announces ‘African summer read’


Former US president Barack Obama has tweeted a list of books by African authors that he recommends for his annual summer reading list.

They include: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Return by Hisham Matar.

Mr Obama said the authors were the “best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways”.

He made the announcement ahead of his trip to the continent, which will see him visit his ancestral home in Kenya and then head to South Africa where he will deliver the annual Mandela Day lecture.

Alarm over HIV rates in Mozambique army


Health authorities in Mozambique have expressed concern at the prevalence of HIV among the country’s militarily.

They say 11.5% of the force is HIV-positive.

The head of military health, Agueda Duarte, said the force also had a lower level of adherence to anti-viral treatment compared with the civilian population.

The agency has introduced a rapid testing and treatment programme which will see all HIV-positive soldiers receiving treatment immediately after diagnosis.

Mr Duarte said: “One of the biggest challenges continues to be the increasing number of people with HIV starting treatment and maintaining the regimen. What we want is continuous efforts to reduce the prevalence – reduce as much as possible.”

The Mozambican military received a lot of support from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

HIV prevalence among Mozambicans aged between 15 and 49 is 13.2%.

However, only 64% know their HIV status.

South Africa launches gold coin for Mandela anniversary


South Africa have launched a limited edition of bank notes and gold coins to mark the 100th anniversary on 18 July of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

The South African Reserve Bank said the notes depict key moments of Mandela’s life including his upbringing in rural Eastern Cape as the son of a chief, his 27-year incarceration and the end of apartheid in 1994 when he became president.

The launch forms part of events across the world, which will culminate locally in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former US president Barack Obama next week.

Mandela died in 2013 aged 95.

The gold coin was designed by Zimbabwe-born Sindiso Nyoni.

“Growing up and living most of my life under a dictatorship, we were not able to experience this feeling of democracy that South Africans have,” he is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to help end “vicious and violent” conflicts in Africa.


“Africa right now has got problems like few people would even understand,” he said at a Nato summit press conference.

“It is so sad, it is so vicious and violent,” he said, promising that his goal was to build up the US military and bring peace to the world.

The US is active in counter-terrorism operations and training African troops to fight jihadists in the Sahara

Nigeria’s first metro line opens


Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has opened the country’s first metro-rail service in the capital Abuja – some eight years after the project was initiated.

“The completion of this very important project is a dream come true,” Mr Buhari said during the opening ceremony.

“This accomplishment clearly demonstrates our commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects,” he added.

Mr Buhari and other digntaries took a ride from the Abuja Metro Station to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. A second line runs between the central business district to northern neighbourhoods.

The entire metro system, comprising 290km (180 miles), is being built by a Chinese firm at a cost of $824m (£623), Bloomberg news agency quotes officials as saying.

It will cover the entire city and will be developed in six phases.

Source: Bloomberg

South Sudan president’s term extended


South Sudan’s parliament has voted to extend President Salva Kiir’s term in office until 2021 amid failure to hold elections this year.

Mr Kiir has been in power since South Sudan’s independence in 2011 and elections in 2015 were also postponed.

Last month Mr Kiir signed a deal with his rival Riek Machar in which both agreed to a permanent ceasefire.

The agreement was supposed to be followed by further negotiations and the setting up of a power-sharing government – with Mr Machar reappointed as a vice-president and other opposition politicians also taking up positions in an expanded cabinet.

Mr Kiir’s critics accuse him of being an authoritarian ruler clinging to power. He denies the allegation.

The civil war was sparked in 2013 because of rivalry between Mr Kiir and this then-deputy Mr Machar, who had ambitions to succeed him.