12-10-2016  4:19 pm      •     

Angola receives 60 Cuban doctors

Cuba has sent about 60 doctors to Angola to reinforce the African nation's crumbling health system and strengthen ties between the two Cold War allies, Angola's state-run news agency said last week.
The medical personnel include surgeons, pediatricians and other specialists and are expected to begin work at public hospitals in and around the Angolan capital this week, Angop reported.
Although it is sub-Saharan Africa's second largest oil producer and also rich in diamonds, Angola is struggling to finance the reconstruction of hospitals and other infrastructure devastated during a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. It has one of Africa's worst infant mortality rates, with about one-quarter of children dying before the age of 5.
Thousands of Cuban soldiers were stationed in Angola after the African nation won independence in 1975, helping the government in its civil war with rebels supported by the United States and South Africa.

Mozambique: another giant dam fires up opposition

Another giant dam on the Zambezi River is raising fears among local residents that it will add to the damage caused by the existing Cahora Bassa dam, one of the largest hydroelectric projects in Africa.
The new dam, Mphanda Nkuwa, would be built downriver of Cahora Bassa in the northwest of the country. Most of the power will be exported to neighboring South Africa, although surplus electricity could lure investment in domestic heavy industry.
Few of the almost three million people living in the Zambezi Valley, including some 1,400 who would be displaced by the new dam, are expected to benefit from the project which would create few permanent jobs, while local populations would nonetheless bear all the environmental costs.
Mini-floods from Mphanda Nkuwa would destroy riverside fields, "essential for ensuring food security during the dry season," according to the International Rivers Network, a U.S.-based organization which campaigns for the protection of rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them.
The Export-Import Bank of China has said it would help finance the estimated $2 billion project, which is yet have a schedule for construction.

Youssou N'Dour: next African president?

Senegalese pop star Youssou N'Dour says that, if asked, he will run for president of the new United States of Africa, a concept under intense debate at the current session of the African Union.
N'Dour, named by Time magazine as one of 100 men and women transforming the world, has begun promoting his vision of a unified and industrious Africa.
"I am someone who is very interested in Africa ... I believe in my capabilities and I have a vision for Africa. I also believe that Africa needs those of its sons with vision and some experience to become involved in the drive to create African unity," N'Dour says.
The atmosphere at the African Union summit was charged as a group of states led by Libya's Moammar Gadaffi and Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade argued for immediate steps toward creating the U.S. of Africa, while South Africa's Thabo Mbeki took a more gradualist approach.
Almost all the 53 member nations agree with the goal of African integration and eventual unity but the push for a U.S. of Africa may split the group.
Kwamena Bartels, information minister of host nation Ghana, said, "Africa could do with a united front."

Nigerian elected first Black mayor in Ireland

A Nigerian man who sought asylum in Ireland has become the country's first Black mayor, highlighting how far he — and indeed, Ireland itself — has progressed in reversing the country's image as one ignorant of other cultures to one that encourages assimilation and integration.
Rotimi Adebari was elected mayor of Portlaoise, west of Dublin, Ireland's capital, in County Laois last week Thursday, after running unopposed.
"Ireland is really changing. The immigrant community in the town has been growing, especially since the accession countries joined the European Union on enlargement in 2004," Adebari said in a recent BBC News report. "That is not to say that I did not have my own share of the prejudice that would be out there against maybe Nigerians, or immigrants or asylum seekers. But I don't let the attitude of a very small minority over-shadow the fact that the people are wonderful."
Adebari holds a degree in intercultural studies from the Dublin City University. Born in Okeodan in Ogun State, he runs a radio show called "Respecting Difference" on Midlands 103.

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