Africa at a glance

Tuesday July 9 2019

Ethiopia's Prime minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia's Prime minister Abiy Ahmed. He announced on Monday that Ethiopia would send 50,000 skilled workers to the UAE under a deal that targets to address unemployment in the country. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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  • Nigerian writer wins Caine Prize for African Writing

Lesley Nneka Arimah satirical short story, Skinned, has won this year's $12,000 Caine Prize which aims to expose African writers to international audiences.

She says her story which focuses on challenges faced by women in African societies still dominated by traditional rituals was inspired by a conversation about the difference between married and single women in Nigeria.

"Marriage gave unconventional women cover to be themselves, we observed,” Arimah, 36, told the Literary Hub.

  • Ethiopia to send 50,000 workers to UAE

Ethiopia will send 50,000 people to work in the United Arab Emirates which last year pledged to invest $3 billion in aid and investment in the Horn of Africa country.


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told Parliament on Monday the labour export was among short term measures the country is pursuing to tackle unemployment.

The exports of skilled labour would start this year targeting 200,000 heads by 2022 amid discussions with Japan and unnamed European countries for similar airlifts, he said.

  • Egypt asks Interpol to trace Tutankhamun mask over ownership docs

Egypt has asked international police agency Interpol to track down a 3,000-year-old Tutankhamun artefact that was sold in London for $6 million against Cairo's wishes.

Christie's auction house sold the 28.5-centimetre (11-inch) relic to an unknown buyer in early July at one of its most controversial auctions in years.

Egypt's National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation (NCAR) said after an urgent meeting that national prosecutors had asked Interpol "to issue a circular to trace" such artefacts over alleged missing paperwork.

  • Tunisia presidential hopeful charged with money laundering

Tunisian media magnate Nabil Karoui has been charged with money laundering, slapped with a travel ban and his assets frozen.
Karoui and his brother, Ghazi Karoui, have been under investigation since 2017 after anti-corruption watchdog I-Watch submitted a dossier accusing him of tax fraud.

A judiciary spokesman said the judge had decided to prefer charges against Karoui, who recently formed the Heart of Tunisia political party, 10 days ago.

In May Karoui said he would run for the presidency in November polls to succeed President Beji Caid Essebsi.

  • Malian jihadist 'terrorised Timbuktu', ICC told

The International Criminal Court has started hearing whether to commit a Mali jihadist to trial for war crimes over destruction of cultural artefacts.

ICC prosecutors accuse Al Hassan of demolishing Timbuktu's fabled shrines and also imposing a reign of terror on local residents, who were "scared out of their minds."

In the court's first case to focus on cultural destruction, the ICC judges sentenced Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi to nine years in jail after convicting him of directing attacks on the UNESCO world heritage site in 2012.

  • Aid charity report reveals inequality crisis in west Africa

A report by Oxfam shows that the combined wealth of Nigeria's five richest men - $29.9 billion - is bigger than the country's budget of 2017.

The report - Committing to Reduce Inequality Index (CRII) regional report - also shows that the wealthiest one per cent in the region own more than everyone else combined.

It found Cape Verde, Mauritania and Senegal were committed to addressing the crisis while Niger, Sierra Leone and Nigeria appeared unconcerned despite economic growth.

It proposes progressive taxation, agriculture and social spending, labour market protection and strengthening of land rights for peasant farmers as solutions to the crisis.

  • Ghana halts $200-million parliament plan after outcry

Ghana on Monday shelved plans to spend $200 million on a new parliament building following an online campaign against the project over its cost.

Cultural figures and civil society led the campaign #DropThatChamber and a street protest was planned for Saturday.

Parliament said it had halted the project due to the backlash from critics who argue that the West African nation had more pressing needs.

The project would have expanded the chamber's capacity, now at 275, and be funded by a loan from the Indian government.

  • Instagram moves on online bullying with pop-up warning

Instagram on Monday announced new features aimed at curbing online bullying on its platform, including a warning to people as they are preparing to post abusive remarks.

The warning will be generated by artificial intelligence to notify users their comment may be considered offensive before it is posted.

Another tool is aimed at limiting the spread of abusive comments on a user's feed, said Adam Mosseri, head of the visual social platform owned by Facebook.

  • Vatican lifts envoy's immunity over sex assault claims

The Vatican has lifted the diplomatic immunity of its Paris envoy under investigation for alleged sexual assault, sending a signal that the church will no longer shield wrongdoers.

Luigi Ventura, 74, faces four complaints of sexual abuse including that he molested a junior official at the Paris town hall.

French prosecutors had in March asked the Vatican to lift his immunity, a request which a French foreign affairs spokesman said was granted late last week.