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AFRICAN NEWS & INFORMATION
Nigeria is in darkest phase of history: Goodluck Jonathan Tags: Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan War Politics West Afrcia

Abuja: President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday Nigeria had entered one of the darkest phases of its history, visiting the scene of a bomb blast that had killed 21 people in an upmarket district of the capital Abuja two days earlier. 

His sombre tone as he paid respects at the scene of the rush hour attack on a crowded central shopping district contrasted sharply with his tendency over the years to brush off the Boko Haram insurgency as a passing phase affecting only part of Africa's biggest economy and brightest investment prospect. 

"This is one of the darkest phases in the history of our nation but surely we will get over it," Jonathan said in front of the cordoned area, still littered by rubble and charred cars. 

"It is extremely painful that when some Nigerians are ... working hard to take care of their families and train their children, others are busy planning to kill people, intimidate." 

Wednesday's bomb attack was the third on the capital since April, but the other two - car bombings of a bus station and street both in the suburb of Nyanya that killed about 90 people between them - did not strike at the heart of the city. 

On Sunday, Jonathan told a delegation of African bishops that Boko Haram was "even worse than the civil war" against Biafran secessionists that killed a million people In the 1960s. 

"In a civil war you know the battle line ... you know where to run to. But this one, the enemies are in your pocket." 

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful" and whose insurgency has killed thousands since 2009, made world headlines when it abducted 200 schoolgirls on April 14. Authorities have accepted help from Western powers to try to free them but any rescue would endanger the girls. 

Jonathan cut short a trip to an African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea for the visit to the bomb site, highlighting how the insurgency may disrupt Nigeria's heavyweight regional influence. 

Abuja's Wuse II district is popular with expatriates and elite Nigerians, although major embassies have not responded by updating travel warnings. A security source said that was because the plaza itself was still mostly frequented by locals.

The military said on Friday that two suspects arrested at the scene were being interrogated. They had shot dead another who had tried to escape on a motorbike and recovered a bag from him containing explosives, defence spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement. 

A spate of deadly bombings outside of its northeastern heartlands - in Jos, Kano and Abuja - suggests Boko Haram is trying to push its sphere of influence outwards across Africa's top oil producer, security analysts say. 

Jonathan's administration has been bruised by criticism of its failure to contain the insurgency or protect civilians, especially in the volatile northeast, but argues that Boko Haram's hit and run tactics make it hard to defeat. 

Source: Reuters

Liberia's New Multi-Purpose Complex Constructed By NASSCORP Now Open (PHOTOS) Tags: Liberia News Developments NASSCORP

MONROVIA, LIBERIA. The National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) on Friday, June 6, 2014 dedicated its multi-purpose commercial complex located at the ELWA junction as a component of its investment portfolio; this building is now open to the general public.

The 11-million multi-purpose complex has given a mammoth face-lift to the ELWA junction and brought a new ideal and flavor in the construction landscape of the country. 

Her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf performed the dedication of the commercial complex. Members of the national legislature, the cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps, among others, also attended the ceremony.

FINAL project

When it was underconstruction

Building from ground UP

Source: NASSCORP

Snail Eating Prohibited In Ivory Coast Tags: Ivory Coast News West Africa

The director of the health district Lakota in the center-west of Côte d'Ivoire (LOH region Djiboua), Seydou Ouattara, invited last Wednesday, the people of the locality, to stop the consumption of snail and more than other prohibited by the Ivorian government to prevent the outbreak of Ebola animals. According to Ouattara Seydou, the snail is well positioned to transmit Ebola and other microbes, explaining that this mollusc "drags his flesh everywhere 

An outbreak of Ebola, triggered in February and confirmed in March outbreak in Guinea, a country neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, with 208 cases reported to date, including 136 deaths, do you remember. Faced with the threat, the Ivorian authorities arrested prevention measures including a ban on hunting and eating game, including rodents and bats.

Source: ivoireweb

Niger strives to lower maternal mortality Tags: Niger News Women

TAHOUA - With the world's highest birth rate in a country where first-time mothers are often barely past puberty, having a baby in impoverished Niger can be tantamount to a death sentence.

The West African state and humanitarian groups have worked to slash both birth and maternal mortality rates, but despite strides results are not good enough, the UN warned this week.

"Every two hours, a Niger woman dies from complications linked to pregnancy or childbirth," deplored Monique Clesca, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in the country.

Some 3,000 people, mainly women, gathered in the western city of Tahoua as part of a new push to rein in the birth rate and reduce maternal mortality.

"Dying while giving life is a social injustice," railed Malika Issoufou, wife of Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou, while visiting women suffering from gynaecological complications in the Tahoua hospital.

The trend has not been easy to buck in a culture that encourages early marriage, big families and pregnancies in quick succession, and where some clerics in mainly Muslim Niger have blasted contraception as against Islam and "dictated by white people from the West".

"The more kids you have, the more you're worth," said Clesca, describing traditional views. "When girls marry, they're under pressure to prove they're fertile within the first year."

This has left landlocked Niger, where more than 60 percent live below the poverty line, with the highest birth rate in the world, an average of 7.6 children per woman, official figures show.

In 2006, Niger made all pre-natal care free of charge, as well as birth by Caesarian, which up to then was prohibitively expensive. Contraceptive products are also distributed at no charge.

"Ten years ago, no one dared broach demographic questions. Now, everyone is talking about them, starting with the government, the president," said Isselmou Boukhary, Niger's deputy representative for the UN children's fund, UNICEF.

Even if the situation remains "quite worrisome", it's slowly improving, Boukhary told AFP.

With 535 mothers dying for every 100,000 live births -- meaning one woman for every 186 viable births, Niger is among the world's top 15 countries with the worst maternal mortality.

Yet the situation has improved since 2006, when 648 women died for every 100,000 births, according to Niger's health ministry.

During the same period, contraceptive use has gone from five to 12 percent, the ministry said.

A tradition of early marriage has not helped. Nearly 80 percent of Niger women are wed by the time they reach 18 and 40 percent before the age of 15, making complications frequent.

"At this age, the body is still fragile and not ready for maternity," said Yahaya Mani, a doctor working in the Niger countryside.

Official records bear this out, according to the UN which said a third of maternal deaths are among girls 15 to 19.

"The parents know the risks. But they prefer to marry their girls off early rather than risking a pregnancy outside marriage, which would damage the family's honour," said Clesca.

After the first baby others follow quickly, giving Niger one of the world's top population growth rates at 3.9 percent per year, according to official figures.

Young mothers often have "one baby on the breast, one on their back and another at their feet," which can leave them weak, said a humanitarian source.

High-risk pregnancies among older women are also abundant, along with a shortage of proper birthing facilities.

"The closest centre is often five kilometres (three miles) away. And by the time they find a cart to get there, it's often too late," said Doctor Mani.

Health ministry official Gali Asma said 80 percent of Niger's maternal deaths occur outside proper health facilities, and yet 70 percent of Niger women give birth at home with traditional midwives.

Some men still oppose their wives receiving prenatal care, and national family planning campaigns have particularly annoyed Islamic radicals and fundamentalists, whose numbers have grown in this country bordering Mali and Nigeria where Islamic militant activity has intensified.

They say it goes against the teachings of Allah and is part of a "Western attempt to stop births" in Niger.

The government, however, defends the drive as critical for Niger's future.

From three million in 1980, the population has hit more than 17 million today and, if nothing is done, could soar to 40 million by 2050, officials say, a level a country subject to drought, food shortages and malnutrition could never sustain.

Source: AFP

Am I African because I'm black or because I live in Africa? (VIDEO) Tags: News Africa Interviews Videos South Africa

Many will debate that the term African belongs to the black people, because all back people come from Africa - and other will counter that argument by saying that it does not matter what the colour of your skin is, as long as you were born and brought up in Africa and contributed to the economy.

Refiloe Lepere, the Content Producer of Sowetan LIVE and Sundayworld websites, says that the term 'African' is very loosely used and the true Africans are very generous with the term, dishing it out to everyone who want to call themselves African.

Lepere adds that being African is a simple fact. A black person no-matter where in the world they live is African.

Others in the team begged to differ, saying that whether a person is white, black, Indian; they can still be African because they were born and raised on the continent.

We took to the streets to hear what others had to say about this.

WATCH VIDEO

Source: sowetanlive

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"WHY ALL OF THIS ARE HAPPENING IN AFRICA.IS THIS A CASE OF END..."
In: African woman Naked Her Self For RICHES (PHOTOS, Cameroon)
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