Category Archives: International

Ethiopia Restores Internet Service

By Chuma Kisu

According to some estimates, internet service has been disrupted four time since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has led the nation.

According to some estimates, internet service has been disrupted four time since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed first began leading the country in 2018.

According to international reports social media users indicate that internet connectivity has been restored across Ethiopia after four days of an unexplained shutdown.

The internet rights group, NetBlocks, were among the first to report of the outage
on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

Reports are unclear as to why there was an outage. However, according to reports, there was a similar outage about the same time in in 2016 and 2017.

The government and state-run operator, Ethio Telecom, has not commented on the issue officially. Some feel this agency may be behind the outage.

On Wednesday, text messaging also suffered an outage as people widely reported an inability to transmit messages. Despite the return of connectivity, SMS remains inaccessible.

Pro-democracy activists and journalists in the country have meanwhile chastised the government for turning off the internet at a time when reforms are being rolled out by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed-led government.

One activist, Atnaf Brhane, observed that the internet had been shut down for four times in the period that Abiy has been in charge.

Presidents of the Congo and Burundi Meet

President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi (left) and Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza

President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi (left) and Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza

By Chuma Kisu

According to international reports the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi met with Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza during his visit to the east African nation on Friday, June 14, 2019.

During the working visit the two leaders of the neighboring nations agreed to have a peaceful co-existence. According to the Burundi Presidency, the two committed to strengthening the bonds of friendship that unite their two countries.

“The two Presidents stressed the need to strengthen regional and sub-regional integration organizations in the promotion and consolidation of peace, security, stability and sustainable development,” said Ezechiel Nibigira, Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tshisekedi and Nkurunziza agreed to subdue militias in their nations as well.

“The two presidents decided to resolutely activate the joint mechanisms to eradicate armed groups operating on Congolese territory and to monitor very closely all security issues of two neighbouring states;” said Ezechiel Nibigira, Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tshisekedi had just come from the neighboring nation of Tanzania where he had successful discussions with President John Magufuli.

The President’s visit is part of his efforts to boost the chances of his country joining the East African Community.

Ghana, A Cultural Journey

By Ni-Ammun Onyemachi Safohin Kobiona Yankah

The "Wall of Return" symbolizes Ghana's desire to have members of the African diaspora to repatriate to the continent.

The “Wall of Return” symbolizes Ghana’s desire to have members of the African diaspora to repatriate to Africa.

In March 2019, the “Year of Return,” we traveled to Ghana with the support of Dionne Ferguson of Our Good Journey Together and toured this beautiful country with John Kweku Eduafo of Authentic Ghana Tours.

We were taken to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra. Dr. Nkrumah, who became the first President of an independent Ghana, is buried there. We then visited the Dubois Centre in Accra, which was the home of the great African-American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois after he moved to Ghana. His wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, a venerable freedom fighter in her own right, is also buried there.

We traveled to Kumasi and visited the Centre for National Culture, the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, and the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site. While in Kumasi we were told the story of how the Golden Stool came down from the sky onto the lap of Nana Osei Tutu I, who lodged a sword into stone and said that if someone comes for the stool, he must retrieve the sword in order to do so. Lastly, while in Kumasi, we visited a huge street market, which had approximately 11,000 vendor locations. This market has been said to be the largest open-air market in all of West Africa.

We also traveled to Lake Volta, which is man-made and was created in the construction of the Volta Dam under the personal supervision of Kwame Nkrumah. This was the only man-made lake in the world until one was constructed by China. This dam provides electric power to the nations of Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast as a measure of self-sufficiency and self-determination.

We were taken to the village of Apenyi in the Central region of Ghana, where I was formally welcomed into the village. I was given cloth & sandals that belong to the chief of the village. I was invited to sit alongside him and the queen mother along with the council of elders. Afterwards, I was invited into the chief’s home to share a drink with him & the queen mother. This was an overwhelming experience that I will never forget!

We were taken to Assin Manso “Slave River,” where as kidnaped Africans, we took our last bath in the Motherland before being forcibly taken to enslavement castles along the coast prior to sailing to the Americas and Europe. Thus we never saw our ancestral homeland again. Here, a wall of remembrance has been erected where Africans in the diaspora who return to Ghana can record their return on the wall itself. The Ghanaian government promised to engrave these recordings. An inscription was made in stone at this site, which reads, “NEVER AGAIN!“

We visited Cape Coast Enslavement Castle in Ghana, which has now been converted into a museum. Here we also saw the infamous “Door of No Return”, which was one of the last images of Africa many of our ancestors saw before sailing to the Americas and Europe. We learned that the “Door of No Return” was renamed “The Door of Return,” thus we now have returned to our Beautiful homeland.

We visited the Elmina Enslavement Castle, which is now a museum. The tour guide was very well versed in African history as well as the history of enslavement in this castle. The spirits, tears, anger, agony and dehumanization of our ancestors can still be felt there. Yet we exclaim in resounding unity with our sisters and brothers throughout the continent and all of the diaspora, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN!!!

AU Signs Memorandum with Huawei

By Chuma Kisu

Amb. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chair Person of the African Union Commission and Philippe Wang, Huawei's Vice-President for the Northern African sign memorandum"

Amb. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chair Person of the African Union Commission and Philippe Wang, Huawei’s Vice-President for the Northern African sign memorandum.

According to international reports the African Union (AU) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies to strengthen their cooperation in information and communication technologies.

The announcement was made Friday, May 31, 2019 by Huawei officials.

“The main objective of the MOU is to strengthen their partnership in the following 5 areas: broadband, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, 5G and artificial intelligence,” Huawei said in a statement.

The development comes at a time when Huawei is at the heart of the trade war between the United States and China.

The company was placed in May by Washington on a list of suspicious companies to which American entities cannot sell technological equipment.

The Trump administration suspects the Shenzhen group of spying for Beijing. China responded on Friday by announcing the creation of its own blacklist of “unreliable” foreign companies.

The agreement between Huawei and the AU follows a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed in February 2015.

“This collaboration demonstrates the African Union’s continued confidence in Huawei,” said Philippe Wang, Vice President of the Chinese Group for North Africa.

“Through this approach, we also want to put an end to rumors of data leaks from Huawei equipment, as the AU has carried out a full audit of its IT system throughout the organization, and the findings contradict the statements made in the media last year,” he added.

In 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that China had spied on the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, citing sources within the African institution.

According to the daily, the information theft had been taking place since 2012, when the construction of the brand new AU building, donated by China, was completed.

The President of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, had denounced what he deemed “totally false allegations”.

According to Le Monde, the AU’s servers had been changed in 2017, when the system flaw was discovered, and a new IT architecture was deployed.

As Africa’s largest trading partner, China invests several billions of dollars annually on the continent in infrastructure (roads, railways, ports) and industrial parks.