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Spotlight on Africa

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Paris, France


RFI France


A round-up of the week's news in Africa




Hurricane Irma shatters paradise image of Caribbean

Shortly after Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean, the islands were awash with tales of looting and claims of discrimination in the repatriation of islanders. In the dual nation island of Saint Martin, the storm has unearthed deep-rooted frustrations. This week’s Spotlight on Africa is a special report on the Caribbean disaster, home to Africa’s first Diaspora community. In the days after Hurricane Irma ravaged several Caribbean islands, scenes of looting and violence began to emerge on...

Duration: 00:10:34

Kenya election ruling wins Africans' admiration

The Kenyan Supreme Court's decision to scrap last month's presidential election, has been held up as an example of judicial independence on a continent where judges are often seen as corrupt. Opposion parties across Africa hope the shock overturn will have ripple effects in their own countries. The court found that the electoral commission “committed irregularities in the transmission of results.” That was enough to convince a majority in Chief Justice David Maraga's panel to annul the...

Duration: 00:09:39

It’s just gotten tougher for Israel's African migrants

New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a...

Duration: 00:09:54

Is Africa with Saudi over Qatar crisis?

Saudi Arabia recently issued a tough ultimatum to African countries in relation to the ongoing, dispute with Qatar – “You're either with us or you're against us.” The ultimatum has revealed the extent to which Middle Eastern rivalries are being played out on the continent. "The fact that everybody in the Horn of Africa at the moment is feeling under pressure to take sides is a very dangerous situation," Edward Paice, Director of the African Research Institute in London, told RFI. Several...

Duration: 00:09:39

Hijarbies - the unlikely star of Instagram goes global

In this edition of Spotlight on Africa, RFI's Zeenat Hansrod speaks to the Nigerian artist who makes Hijarbies, that's Barbie dolls wearing the hijab. They are already Instagram celebrities and are being sold worldwide.

Duration: 00:09:52

Fate of Kenya's Somali refugees overshadowed by general election

Three years after Kenya put in place a voluntary scheme for Somali refugees to go home, the UN's refugee agency, (UNHCR) announced on Friday that over 65,000 of them have done so. Nairobi has previously threatened to shut down Dadaab, one of the world's largest camps. Critics are worried that the fate of its refugees will be overshadowed by the general election. “I’ve seen many people write their names to the UNHCR to go back to Somalia, but mine not yet," Somali refugee Mohamed Aboubakar...

Duration: 00:09:45

Ugandan survivor speaks out against human trafficking

With mounting reports of abuse against its citizens, Ugandan authorities in March issued a warning to job hunters to avoid some countries in the Middle East. RFI's Christina Okello spoke to one victim, *Maria, who agreed to share her story. *Maria was 23 when a recruitment agent approached her with the promise of a lucrative 500 dollar salary per month and benefits. "It was easy because the person who got me the job had people he was working with. So you don't really know what's going on....

Duration: 00:09:58

French ex-minister joins African diaspora to reject National Front

With just days to go before France elects its next president, opponents of National Front leader Marine Le Pen fear a victory for her could mean a rise in xenophobia. One organisation is trying to break down barriers through cooking. RFI's Christina Okello went to meet them. The power of a shared meal to break down cultural barriers - this is what one group of French people ais counting on to resist the rise of the far-right National Front (FN). The organisation Culture without Borders...

Duration: 00:10:07

"This democratic hold-up is killing Africa" Mamane

An African failed state with an autocratic leader, rigged elections, a complacent international community, angry and persecuted activists: deja vu you may argue. It’s also the ingredients of comedian Mamane’s first movie, Welcome to Gondwana. Released in France on April 12th. “This movie deals with reality. All these things happen all over Africa in Gabon, Congo, Cameroun, Chad… There’s a president who doesn’t want to leave power. So, he rigs elections”, says Mamane. “And the international...

Duration: 00:11:33

Laws in Africa failing to prevent rape; keeping tabs on Guinea’s president

Spotlight on Africa this week looks at how laws against sexual violence are failing to protect women and finds out about a new project which aims to keep Guinean President Alpha Condé to his word. A report released this week analyses 82 different legal systems across the world and reveals how they are failing to prevent sexual violence. The investigation by human rights organisation Equality Now coincides with International Women’s Day on 8 March. As well as not preventing rape, many legal...

Duration: 00:09:57

'Ugandan football has come a long way': Milutin Sredojevic

Despite becoming the first team to be knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations, Uganda are holding their heads high. The Cranes were playing their first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in 39 years. Coach Milutin Sredojevic told RFI's Paul Myers that Ugandan football has come a long way - and now they're aiming to stay on top of their game.

Duration: 00:13:59

ANC in crisis over pressure for Zuma to go

President Jacob Zuma controversial leadership of South Africa and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is a costly business, according to critics who want him out before his second term ends in 2019. But ANC supporters argue that the president is not the problem, the party needs an overhaul. Will President Jacob Zuma last till 2019 considering the numerous scandals besetting his term in office? He was first elected president in 2009 and the last seven years have been a bumpy ride, to...

Duration: 00:11:51

Gambian presidential election must be free and fair, says opposition candidate

The main opposition contender in Gambia’s forthcoming presidential polls has called on the African Union to help ensure a free and fair election. Adama Barrow, who is representing a coalition of opposition parties, told RFI that he hopes to “bring back democracy” to his country by challenging an incumbent president who has been in power since 1994. “It’s very difficult to say whether it will be 100 percent free and fair,” Barrow said in a telephone interview. “But we expect this time it...

Duration: 00:09:54

US missionaries apologise for 'hurtful' Ugandan dance video

An American missionary group has apologised for a “disrespectful” dance video which created a “mockery” of Ugandan culture. The video, produced by Luket Ministries in Jinja, was set to Justin Timberlake’s hit song Sexy Back and depicted American missionaries carrying jerry-cans on their heads, washing their feet, using machetes to cut grass, eating traditional Ugandan food and riding on Boda Boda motorcycle taxis. The ‘dancing missionaries’ video carried a disclaimer stating that the video...

Duration: 00:10:13

Towards a conservation model working with indigenous peoples

Conservationists are pleading for new policies that will engage with the indigenous peoples living in protected areas instead of excluding them. They say enlisting their support is vital for ensuring their healthy survival as well as protecting wildlife Indigenous peoples' lands and territories cover 80 percent of the areas that are environmentally crucial for the world. These areas are the habitat they have known for generations, making indigenous peoples, arguably, vital to maintaining...

Duration: 00:09:34

Date rape drug Rohypnol appears in East Africa

Cases of sexual assault involving the drug known as Rohypnol, have been reported in universities in Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda. Healthcare professionals are warning the general public to be on the alert when going out to avoid having their drinks spiked. The last incident was reported only two weeks ago in Tanzania. "These cases lately have been rampant," confirmed Aristarch Kiwango, a law professor at the University of Dar es Salam, one of two institutions where students have allegedly...

Duration: 00:10:07

Cameroon moves to punish adultery, sparks outcry

Cameroon's Lower House of Parliament has passed a new law to reform the country's 50-year old penal code. The new text criminalizes what has been described as immoral behavior and includes controversial measures such as punishing adultery. Authorities say the changes are necessary to modernize Cameroon, but critics argue the new law is unconstitutional. "For a legal instrument this important, consultation was needed," Joshuah Osih, vice president of the main opposition party, the Social...

Duration: 00:09:13

Nollywood defies the odds to top film industry

For four days, Paris came alive with the vivid colours of Nigerian prints, and the sounds of Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo on the occasion of Paris' fourth Nollywood film festival that ended on Sunday. Spectators didn't just get a glimpse of some of the hottest films in Nigerian cinema, but a better insight into their hard-won success. It's seen as an African success story, that transcends the boundaries of even Nigeria. Yet the cradle of African cinema almost never made it to the big screen. "If...

Duration: 00:10:11

Germany grapples with integration after Cologne attacks

From June onwards north African migrants in Germany could find it more difficult to claim asylum or seek benefits. The German parliament is debating a new law to restrict migration from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, with claims that these countries are now safe and people leaving them do not really need asylum. But some rights groups say the debate is a response to attacks, blamed on migrants, against German women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. After waves of successive migration to...

Duration: 00:10:13

Breaking the mould of mental slavery

France on Tuesday observed the National Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade, Slavery and their Abolition.Paris was among the first countries to declare slavery a “crime against humanity”. Around the world some artists are choosing to honour black history as a way of breaking the shackles of their past. African American photographer James C. Lewis is one of a number artists who have declared their love of black skin. His photo series in Paris “Icons of the Bible” and “African Kings”...

Duration: 00:10:23

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