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The News from Africa

April 15, 2010

Sudanese Election — that’s just a mess! It started on Sunday and was supposed to take three days (ending Tuesday) but has been extended until tomorrow citing irregularities and an inability to register voters, etc. The paper claims that hundreds of thousands of Southern Sudanese are unable to register and to vote (which wouldn’t surprise me at all as they are generally religiously, ethnically, and linguistically divided from the north). Predictions are that the current ruler, Bashir, who has been in power for the past 27 years, is likely to retain the post, despite the fact that Bashir is wanted by the ICC (International Criminal Court) for crimes against humanity.

From Somalia – all radio stations (except Radio Mogadishu – which is run by the Somali government) have been ordered to stop playing all music (including jingles etc) because it was cited as being “un-Islamic”

Funny Misprint: Thai PM referred to as “Abshit” in headlines… actually name is Abhisit.

From Uganda – new oil wells are being excavated and there are rumors that the country will start producing its first barrels of oil next year. This could spell BAD things for the country – see Sudan?

China is lending Kenya 7 billion shillings for “geothermal power wells” in Naivasha – Hello AMERICA — time to get over colonization and get your grubby little fingers back into Africa if you’re so concerned about the rising threat of China.

Perverse Implications – The articles title is “Kenya lags in research papers: Country ranked sixth in a study that ties better output with economic growth.” In essence, the article (and the cited study) are saying more academic research papers by locals makes a more developed country?! I think there’s a highly spurious correlation in there somewhere….perhaps more developed countries naturally produce more papers because they can afford for people to sit around on their bums all day and think!?

 The paper has a diet section recommending eating bamboo. Even for a country where ugali is king and termites are a delicacy, I don’t think it’s going to catch on.

 10 million reported in Kenya alone surviving on one meal or less per day. Makes the whole “There are starving children in Africa” much closer to home.

 The Big Headline today – Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission – for investigating post election violence – Chairman has been asked to step aside pending an investigation into illegal activities and the finger pointing corruption has begun.

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