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Published 22nd January 2010

Vol 51 No 2


Nigeria

The nearly man

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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After President Yar’Adua’s two-month health crisis in Saudi Arabia, Vice-President Jonathan’s supporters urge him to seize the day

On 16 January, the Vice-President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, began to sound like a Nigerian President. His many supporters across the country say it's not before time: they are frustrated by the refusal of ailing President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and his aides to transfer full executive powers to Jonathan during the President's prolonged medical treatment. The usually affable Vice-President has been showing his irritation with press reports lampooning his apparent lack of political muscle as the power crisis in Abuja unfolds (AC Vol 50 No 25 & Vol 51 No 1). A day after Jonathan laid the wreath to mark Armed Forces Rememberance Day, his office issued a press release denouncing 'mischief-makers' who try 'to create mischievous scenarios of indecisiveness on the part of the VP'. This was in response to a story that he was awaiting directives from Turai Yar'Adua, the President's wife, to act on the High Court's ruling that he could assume presidential duties, in line with section 5(1) of the 1999 constitution.


The lucky friends

Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan is trying to build a broad consensus across political parties and ethnic regions, with advisors outside party and government circles who are mostly...


The international Islamist

The row over the fate of Jamaican Islamist Abdullah al Faisal points to political and security failures in Africa and the West

On 15 January, some five people died in clashes between demonstrators and police in Nairobi after protests against the detention of Jamaican Islamist preacher Abdullah al Al Faisal...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The tentative economic recovery in Africa that we report on pages 8-9 should not obscure the worsening crisis in education. Last year’s financial crisis pushed up food prices and unemployment but also prompted governments and institutions to cut education funding. Now the United Nations says its campaign to get every child into primary education by 2015 is faltering. Two reports published this week – from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the British aid agency Oxfa...
The tentative economic recovery in Africa that we report on pages 8-9 should not obscure the worsening crisis in education. Last year’s financial crisis pushed up food prices and unemployment but also prompted governments and institutions to cut education funding. Now the United Nations says its campaign to get every child into primary education by 2015 is faltering. Two reports published this week – from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the British aid agency Oxfam – say this education crisis requires the same type of effort that was launched to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. UNESCO estimates there is a US$16 billion shortfall in financing primary education in developing countries and that some 72 million children do not receive any education at all, although that is down one-third on a decade ago. To address this, Oxfam proposes a Global Fund for Education to be launched at the G-8 and G-20 summits in June. More than half of young adults in eleven African states have less than four years of education; in countries such as Burkina Faso and Somalia, more than half of all school leavers have less than two years of education. In northern Nigeria, more than 97% of poor Hausa-speaking girls have less than two years of schooling. Some governments are protesting at UNESCO’s reporting of ethnic differences in educational access, yet others are calculating the political cost of continuing to ignore the educational needs of their poorest voters.
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The UN looks for the exit

Internal scandals, management crises and new fighting in the east encourage the peacekeepers to leave while they can

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has until the end of April to report to the UN Security Council on the future of the peacekeeping mission, the Mission des Nation...


BRIC building

'African assets were undervalued and China's presence has helped correct that, whether in bonds or foreign direct investment', said Victor Lopes, Africa Economist at Standard Chart...


Sanctions and the unsanctioned

Africa Confidential has obtained a copy of the 2007 and 2008 confidential lists which the United Nations Panel of Experts submitted to the UN Security Council for designation under...


Who gets the money?

The governing Rwandan Patriotic Front has been quarrelling about money as well as politics. In recent years the RPF has been privatising its assets, notably Tri-Star Holdings, a co...


Democratic moves after the exit of Dadis

The shooting of the former junta leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, has triggered his exile and fresh talks about elections this year

After hours of bitter negotiation in Burkina Faso, soldiers from the junta and their civilian counterparts have agreed on a plan that will bar all members of the ruling Conseil Nat...


Problems on the home front

Despite President Kagame's rapprochement with both France and Congo-Kinshasa, he faces dissent among some of the former faithful

The new year started well for President Paul Kagame's international standing. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is encouraging a rapprochement. An independent inquiry (see P...


A slow return to growth

Africa suffered less than had been feared from the recession and its exports are set to recover this year thanks to buoyant demand from Asia

As the industrialised world struggles, a return to fast-growing commodity demand from Asia and a tentative Western recovery will boost African exports in 2010, although trade and b...


Who's who in the junta and beyond

General Sékouba Konaté had tried to escape the corridors of power during the 2008 coup but destiny caught up with him a year later, following the December 2009 shooting of Captain ...



Pointers

Murder mystery solved

Two years of inquiries by a Rwandan committee of experts have ended in the conclusion widely accepted at the time: the Falcon 50 carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana was shot dow...


Soccer shooting

President José Eduardo dos Santos's government is arresting human rights activists and claimed sympathisers of the Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda-Forças Armadas de ...


Is Colonel Massi dead?

After weeks of speculation, the wife and political allies of politician-turned-rebel leader Colonel Charles Massi, 57, are convinced he is dead, on the instructions of Central Afri...