Africa at a glance

Wednesday October 16 2019

Gita Gopinath, IMF Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department,

Gita Gopinath, IMF Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department, speaks at a briefing during the IMF and World Bank Fall Meetings on October 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. PHOTO | OLIVIER DOULIERY | AFP 

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  • Mozambique holds peaceful election after violent campaign

Vote counting has begun in Mozambique after orderly parliamentary, presidential and provincial elections that President Filipe Nyusi said should help anchor peace in the southern African nation.

Acceptance of the results of Tuesday's elections is seen as the next key test of a peace deal signed in August between the ruling Frelimo party and its old civil-war-foe-turned-political-rival, Renamo.

The ceasefire agreement brought a formal end to hostilities but security fears still kept some people from the polls, scattered incidents of ballot-stuffing were reported and some observers said they were impeded in their work.

  • New clashes in Guinea as toll from unrest rises to six protesters

A young demonstrator was killed in violent protests in the Guinean capital Conakry on Tuesday, his father said, a day after five civilians and a policeman died in clashes.


Authorities have refrained from confirming most of the protest deaths reported by family members and medical workers.

An opposition alliance of unions, political parties and civil society groups urged the public to pursue protests against President Alpha Conde, whom they accuse of seeking to lift constitutional blocks on a third term in office.

  • Nigerian painting fetches $1.4 million after Google search

A painting by the Nigerian artist responsible for the "African Mona Lisa" sold at Sotheby's auction house in London on Tuesday for £1.1 million ($1.4 million) after its owners googled the signature and realised its importance.

"Christine", by 20th century master of African modernism Ben Enwonwu, who died in 1994, had been in the sitter's family home ever since it was painted in Lagos in 1971.

The work precedes the artist's 1974 painting of Ife royal princess Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, which Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri said it was thought of in Nigeria as "the African Mona Lisa".

  • Somalia national army recovers herd from Al Shabaab

About 300 animals were seized from militant Islamist group al-Shabaab in an operation on Tuesday in Reydab village, 40km north of Baardheere in southern Somalia.

The national army's radio station quoted operation commander Ali Mohamed Hassan saying the militants, several of who were captured alive, had forcefully taken the animals from locals.

Al Shabaab - who want to overthrow the central government - impose taxes on locals and engage in activities like charcoal trade to fund their operations.

  • Zimbabwe rights groups accuse govt of 'abuses'

Zimbabwe rights groups on Tuesday accused the government of continued abuses saying military violations were "rising to new levels".

A coalition of local rights groups said the new government, headed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, was "complicit in human rights abuses and violation".

Six people were killed in August last year when soldiers opened fire on protesters in Harare demonstrating against delays in the announcement of election results.

A government-appointed investigation blamed the military and police for the fatalities, but no one has so far been prosecuted.

  • Kenya opens second phase of new railway line

The second phase of Kenya's new railway line, running 120 kilometres from the capital Nairobi to Naivasha town, will be opened on Wednesdayfor passenger services only.

Cargo services will have to wait for the construction of a dry port, which could take longer than planned after the local Maasai community moved to court to oppose its construction.

The $1.4 billion project has been dubbed the 'rail to nowhere' because it has no connections to nearby towns and there's no funding yet for a $3.5 billion extension to Kisumu after China pulled out.

  • Global economic outlook 'precarious,' IMF warns

The world economy is slowing to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis, as the US-China trade war and other factors like Brexit undercut business confidence and investment.

The IMF warned that the outlook was beset by risks, and urged policymakers to work to find resolutions to trade disputes, since there are limited tools to respond to a new crisis.

For the past year the fund has every three months cut projected growth for 2019 as trade conflicts worsened, trimming the latest forecast to 3.0 per cent and 3.4 per cent for 2020.