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Nigeria claims Africa’s highest GDP

News headlines worldwide are trumpeting the startling news Nigeria has now surpassed South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy. According to newly “rebased” statistics, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP of $509.9 billion — being the total value of the nation’s goods and services over a period of time — now tops South Africa’s and makes the West African nation’s economy the largest on the contine ...

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Rural clinics face closures as a private hospital drains funds

The health budget of one of Africa’s poorest and least healthy countries could be bankrupted by a privately-run hospital envisioned by the World Bank’s private sector arm as the future of African health care. According to a newly-released report by the development watchdog Oxfam, the operation and loan costs of the three-year-old hospital complex in the capital Maseru have exploded to $67 million a year — o ...

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Popular editor in leg irons for offending judge in an editorial

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists is protesting the “degrading” treatment of a newspaper editor whose editorial criticizing the Chief Justice of Swaziland angered the top judge. Editor Bheti Makhubu and human rights attorney Thulani Maseko were both called into court on contempt charges by Michael Ramodibedi, the justice spotlighted in separate pieces that appeared in the independent newsp ...

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Flame of Remembrance crisscrosses Rwanda on 20th anniversary of genocide

Ceremonies around Rwanda and abroad are underway to mark the 20th year since the devastating genocide, which, according to the Genocide Memorial Center in Rwanda, took over a million lives during a three-month killing spree. At a ceremony March 27 in the town of Kirehe, thousands of residents gathered in a field to hear genocide memories. Nsengiyomva Apollinaise, a local official, said the memorials help Rw ...

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Somalia: Diaspora not ready to buy one-way tickets home, yet

On a Friday afternoon men wearing kamis — long white traditional robes — climb the steps to Somcity Travel, a small family business and travel agency in Kisenyi slum, in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The agency boasts that they “fly all over the world” but to one destination in particular — Somalia. “In a day, we may have up to five customers — four of them will usually be Somali,” says Mohamed Abdullahi, 25, ...

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Pollution and climate change threaten Michiganders, Africans alike

The global issue of environmental justice was at the forefront of a recent community discussion in Detroit in late March, highlighted by the participation of two African activists working for climate justice. The talk, titled “One Struggle, Many Fronts,” was held at the Cass Corridor Commons and was sponsored by the East Michigan Environmental Action Council and the U.S.-Africa Network. Emem Okon (Nigeria) ...

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Uganda gives teens a turn at the news

Teenagers in Uganda are the stars of a new TV news show that producers hope will draw other young people to programs of in-depth social commentary. The rappers cover everything from entertainment news, sports to politics. Arnold Aganze, director, writer, actor and social worker from the Democratic Republic of Congo, says their medium, music, lets them say things other journalists might not. ...

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Doctors group sounds alarm over Ebola outbreak

The deadly Ebola virus, once limited to central and east Africa, has erupted in the West African nation of Guinea. The latest official statistics put the toll at 86 suspected cases and 59 deaths. “This is a rare disease,” cautioned Dr. Esther Sterk, tropical medicine advisor to Doctors without Borders. “Epidemics are limited, but they create panic every time because Ebola is fatal in 25-90 percent of cases. ...

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Reprisals expected for deadly attack on Mombasa church

As Kenyans grieve for the victims of a shocking attack on a Sunday church service March 23 in the city of Likoni, Mombasa, plans are afoot to raise the stakes of war in neighboring Somalia. Six people died in the attack including the mother of an 18-month-old boy who shielded the child with her body. Police have linked the shootings by at least two gunmen to the Somali al-Shabab group. The attackers escaped ...

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