AFRICA NEWS BULLETIN @ 20h00
22 January, 2016
Assistant Producer: E.K.BensahJr
1. FOCUS:Civil Society Organisation SOTU Plans to Engage AU Summit Underway in Addis
2. EAST AFRICA:
a. Kenya’s capital, coastal region hit by power blackout
b. Tanzania sets March 20 as date for re-run of Zanzibar vote
3. CENTRAL AFRICA: Hilton Hotels & Resorts announces first hotel in Ndjamena, Chad
Member States of the AU are preparing for this year’s AU Summit. The continental organization has identified 2016 as the “African Year of Human Rights, in particular, with focus on the Rights of Women”. This theme puts human rights at the forefront of the AU Agenda for 2016, and relevant organs and institutions of the AU have begun to outline their programme of activities for the year, with a culmination of commemorations aimed for Africa Human Rights Day on 21 October 2016.
State of the Union(SOTU), a Nairobi-based civil society organization encouraging AU member States to comply to the signing of AU protocols, is one of those organisations geared to celebrate with a number of activities.
SOTU is to play a key role in the 6th Continental Citizens Conference (CCC), which is co-organised with other civil society organisations to deliberate on key issues affecting the continent. With the objective of making recommendations to the AU, the sessions will cut across diverse themes on human rights, governance, peace and security and economic justice.
During the plenary on Human Rights Enforcement, State of the Union (SOTU) Coalition Coordinator Osai Ojigho will be presenting findings from the SOTU compliance report and treaty monitoring on the consequences to citizens arising from non-compliance and non-implementation of AU standards and instruments. The meeting takes place at the Harmony Hotel in Addis between 21-23 January 2016. Roughly 150 participants are expected to participate and SOTU is directly supporting the participation of 50 civil society activists and citizens leaders.
SOTU will host 2 side events during the CCC. The first is on Mobilising Citizens for action. The session will address the challenges of mass mobilisation in the human rights and governance movement and reviewing advocacy plans for sustained citizens’ engagement including the use of new media. The second session is on Establishment of National Monitoring Mechanisms for implementing AU standards – The experience of Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda
During the summit, SOTU will have formal and informal engagement with key departments of the AUC: Department of political affairs (DPA), Information and Communication (DIC), ECOSOCC (Economic and Social Council) and policy makers on issues of human rights and on treaty implementation at country level.
2. EAST AFRICA:
In an unhappy coincidence for both Ghana and Kenya, the East African powerhouse, which is struggling with an aging energy infrastructure, also experienced a power outage in its capital city, Nairobi, the coastal region and central parts of the country on 21 January.
The sole electricity distributor, Kenya Power, said the blackout commenced at 4.33pm local time (1.33pm GMT). According to a statement issued by Kenya Power, “the outage occurred following a fault in the bulk supply transmission system at Juja substation in Nairobi.”
Still in East Africa, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission announced today that it will hold a re-run of its disputed general election on March 20.
Tanzania’s semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar held a ballot on Oct 25, 2015, but was annulled because of suspected fraud. Tanzania remains one of the Africa’s most politically-stable countries’, but Zanzibar is considered a hotbed of opposition to central government, with strong secessionist and Islamist voices.
3. CENTRAL AFRICA:Hilton Hotels & Resorts announces first hotel in Ndjamena, Chad
At a time when West Africa is bracing itself for possible attack by Islamic militants, Chad – a country that has been instrumental in the fight against Boko Haram under the AU/UN Joint Multinational Joint Task Force – opened its doors today to the multinational hotel resort.
This latest addition joins Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of 37 hotels in Africa, but with an overall presence in 100 countries and territories across the globe.
Ndjamena is home to the National Assembly of Chad, along with many other political organisations across the city.
4. WEST AFRICA:Legislators investigate fresh hostilities in Niger Delta
The House of Representatives Committee on Defence is to investigate the immediate causes of fresh hostilities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.
The decision was taken on Thursday after lawmakers deliberated on a motion moved by Honourable Julius Pondi, regarding the recent destruction of petroleum facilities in the Niger delta.
Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State was attacked last week, with its impact beginning to reflect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Nigeria’s legislature, the House of Representatives, is also urging the military high command to search for the perpetrators and also protect the innocent citizens in the area.
5. NORTH AFRICA: ISIS Sets Sights on overthrowing governments of Morocco & Tunisia
Amid civil unrest in Tunisia and Morocco, ISIS has called on Muslims to attack the two North African countries and oust what they call “apostate” democratic governments.
In a new media campaign launched Thursday and directed at Muslims in the Islamic Maghreb, several videos released by different ISIS provinces show jihadists calling on Muslims to join ISIS strongholds in Tunisia, Libya, Mali and Algeria to oust the apostate democratic governments of Tunisia and Morocco and replace them with an Islamic regime based on Sharia law.