Category Archives: Central Africa

Liberia shuts down schools because of ebola

BBC

Liberia’s government has announced that it is closing down all schools across the country to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Some communities would be placed under quarantine as well, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said.

Non-essential government workers will be sent home for 20 days and the army deployed to enforce the measures.

The number of people killed by the virus in West Africa has now reached 672, according to new UN figures.

The BBC’s West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy says treatment facilities have reportedly been overwhelmed in the Liberian capital Monrovia.

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Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Coloured transmission electron micro graph of a single Ebola virus, the cause of Ebola fever
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Fatality rate can reach 90%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host

Profile: Dr Sheik Umar Khan

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Some wards have already filled up, forcing health workers to treat some patients at their homes.

President Sirleaf said that Friday 1 August would be a non-working day in Liberia to allow for the disinfection of all public facilities.

“All non-essential staff – to be determined by the heads of ministries and agencies – are to be placed on 30 days’ compulsory leave,” she added.

Rapid spread

The US humanitarian organisation Peace Corps said it was withdrawing 340 volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea because of the spread of the virus.

Two of its volunteers had been isolated after being exposed to someone who later died from the virus, it added.

A Peace Corps spokeswoman said: “These volunteers are not symptomatic and are currently isolated and under observation.”

Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected, but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

It spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.

The outbreak – the world’s deadliest to date – was first reported in Guinea in February. It then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

bbc

South Sudan parties want creation of prime minister post

Sudan Tribune
.July 29, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese political parties are demanding the creation of a prime minister’s position in the proposed interim government between the country’s ruling party (SPLM) and its opposition wing.

The group, in a position paper, said the president and prime minister’s posts shall be occupied by nominees from the rival factions of the SPLM, while the vice presidency be given to another party.

“The president and prime minister shall, respectively, be from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in government (SPLM IG and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). The vice-president shall be from the political parties other than the two mentioned above,” partly reads the position paper obtained by Sudan Tribune.

“The speaker of the national parliament shall be an agreed national figure,” it added.

The document also recommends formation of a 21- member cabinet and 18 other independent commissions, suggesting the prime minister as head of government, but reporting to the president in accordance with the conduct of government business regulations.

According to the position paper, some of the functions of the interim government will be the implementation of the peace agreement; conduct of census; registration of the political; oversee an integrated process of national reconciliation and healing; convene national constitutional conference, produce draft permanent constitution prior to conducting a popular referendum for adoption, prepare ground for the conduct of free and fair national elections, expedite reparation of the internally displaced persons, consolidate relations with foreign countries.

The country’s political parties also proposed a 60% to 40% power-sharing arrangement with the majority going to the governing party and its rival faction. The council of ministers, parliament, state assemblies, and state governments, it says, shall be composed of political parties as follows: SPLM factions 60% and other political parties taking 40%.

It also proposes dissolution of one branch of the national legislature, saying there shall be one national parliament composed of 250 members, while the 10 state assemblies each take 48 members.

“It cannot be overemphasised that our country will enjoy sustainable peace, just a stop of war, when and only the suggested and agreed reforms are implemented during the transitional period,” the proposal adds.

President Kiir

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http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51845

Zambia – Sata sickness creates big problems for Patriotic Front

African Argument

Zambia: Sata sickness opens up can of worms for Patriotic Front – By Arthur Simuchoba

The health of the 77-year old Zambian President Michael Sata currently ranks among the most sensitive of issues in the country and has come to be discussed only in hushed tones. His most recent public appearance and pictures released by his office, intended to stem increasing speculation, show him to be in startling physical decline. The details of his condition have however remained a closely guarded secret.

Discussion of the issue and the ‘hereafter’ is being systematically forced underground by a clampdown that has seen the cancellation of at least one scheduled public discussion and the prosecution of a Lusaka resident, Mr Michael Achiume, for “publishing false news with intent to cause fear and alarm.” Mr Achiume is alleged to have “spread rumours that President Sata will die by May 30.”

On the same day, a provincial chairman of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) was reported to have been interviewed by the police and a statement recorded from him. He too was alleged to have told a public meeting on June 7 that President Sata was ill and the country was headed for an election.

There were reports at around the same time of people being dragged to police stations by governing party activists as sensitivity grew and a campaign to quash the ‘rumours’ got underway.

But the disquiet only grew. Public interest increased after a Ministry of Information statement of June 22 said the president had arrived in Tel-Aviv, Israel on a working holiday at the invitation of its president Shimon Peres. It said Mr. Sata was scheduled to meet Mr. Peres, senior Israeli officials and some business people. No date for his return was indicated.

The online media (generally not a supporter of the administration) doubted this news, pointing out that the Israeli president would be away in the United States and insisted that the real reason for the visit was to seek specialist medical attention.

A Reuter’s report of June 26 from Jerusalem seemed to confirm that. It quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying: “Mr. Sata is here on a private visit and he is receiving medical treatment…He did not come here to lie on a beach.”

Subsequently, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that he had been discharged from the Sheba Medical Centre where he had been receiving treatment. This only heightened speculation back in Zambia.

Opposition MPs and some NGOs demanded a clear statement on the actual situation of the president, the nature of his working visit and when he would return. Mkondo Lungu, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, then directed the leader of Government Business, Vice-President Guy Scott, to issue a ministerial statement on the matter.

This he did. But he stuck to the official version that the president was on a working visit, conceding only that there could be a health aspect to it. He maintained however that it wasn’t feasible to indicate the date of his return.

Sections of the media reported him as having returned on July 4, but he in fact only arrived back the following day and was then pictured with close family members celebrating what was said to be his 77th birthday.

Apart from that picture, there was nothing else heard from or seen of him, which only added to the mounting calls for a clarification. MPs requested to visit him and asked Dr. Scott, who said permission would have to be sought to facilitate the visit. The president remained silent and out of sight.

Not until July 14 were pictures of Sata walking into a conference room to chair a cabinet meeting circulated. Few were re-assured. He was in a visibly weakened state and appeared to have aged considerably in a relatively short time. He subsequently traveled to South Africa to visit his son who was hospitalized there after a road accident. Once more, pictures of that visit were released to the media, but there still appeared to be no improvement.

The common understanding now is that President Sata is a sick man. He is not however without public sympathy and there would arguably be more if his situation was rendered more clear-cut. Government has kept the matter at arms-length and publicly at least has remained rather aloof, maintaining a studied nonchalance.

Public opinion is divided. Some share the government view that the clamour for information is both unnecessary and untoward. But there is also the urban elite, quite vocal and articulate, that favours more openness. Given the background of the death in office of President Levy Mwanawasa in 2008, the overriding sense is of déjà vu.

But if it did come to that, the succession would be more complicated this time. A controversial clause written into the constitution in 1996, that is widely thought to have been aimed at thwarting the political comeback of the first president Kenneth Kaunda, precludes Dr. Scott from holding the top job because his parents were not Zambian citizens.

He has not for instance acted as president even though he has been number two since 2011. He has recently said that he believes he could act in the interim, but that could be challenged.

Still, the problem wouldn’t be insurmountable. What is proving far more problematic is the absence, for whatever reason(s), of Mr. Sata from the political scene at this time. He is the governing party’s most charismatic figure and the party owes its 2011 electoral success largely to his appeal. Without him, it’s likely that the PF will struggle and perhaps flounder. It is by no means clear who or which party would then step into the breach.

Thus, it could well be that the official anxiety to stem debate is informed by the sheer number of imponderables ahead. But demands for a clarification of the situation have not died down, with some suggestions that he should take medical leave to allow him to recuperate.

There is so far no indication of that and the authorities would appear to be wielding the big stick, not only because as is commonly held it is ‘un-Zambian’ to speculate on such an issue, but more perhaps because the situation has the potential to open up a real can of worms with unfathomable consequences.

Arthur Simuchoba is a Zambian journalist. This article was commissioned via the African Journalism Fund.

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Cameroon – Bita sacks senior officers over Boko Haram attack

Reuters

(Reuters) – President Paul Biya on Tuesday dismissed two senior army officers in Cameroon’s far north following Boko Haram attacks in which at least seven people were killed and the wife of a senior official was kidnapped.

Militants of the Nigerian Islamist group seized the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister and killed at least three people on Sunday in an attack in the northern town of Kolofata involving more than 200 assailants. At least four soldiers were killed in two separate raids late last week.

According to the decree, announced over state radio, Colonel Youssa Gedeon, commander of the Gendarmerie Legion in the north, and Lieutenant-Colonel Justin Ngonga, commander of the 34th motorised infantry battalion in the same region, were both dismissed.

Both officers were at the forefront of Cameroon’s response to the rising number of Boko Haram attacks in the region. Nigeria says the militants are using Cameroon as a rear base.

Cameroon has already introduced measures to increase security on its long, jungle border with Nigeria, deploying more than 1,000 soldiers, but has failed to stop the raids. reuters

How gold and diamonds fuel sectarianism in Central African Republic

Eye Witness News

Gold, diamonds feed CAR religious violence

FILE:A protester holds a placard reading “No to the injustice of Samba Panza, No to partiality, Equality and freedom for all” as residents demonstrate in the ‘Muslim enclave’ of the PK5 district in Bangui to express their anger on 31 May, 2014. Picture: AFP.

 
NDASSIMA – Three young rebels, their AK47s propped against wooden stools in the afternoon heat, guard the entrance to the giant Ndassima goldmine carved deep into a forested hilltop in Central African Republic.

Sat in a thatched shack at the edge of a muddy shantytown, the gunmen keep the peace – for a price – among hundreds of illegal miners who swarm over the steep sides of the glittering open pit, scratching out a living.

The mine, owned by Canada’s Axmin, was overrun by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels more than year ago. It now forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in one of Africa’s most unstable countries, despite the presence of thousands of French and African peacekeepers.

Seleka fighters – many from neighbouring Chad and Sudan – swept south to topple President Francois Bozize in March last year. Months of killing and looting provoked vicious reprisals by Christian militia, known as “anti-balaka”, that pushed the rebels back, splitting the landlocked country of 4,5 million people into a Muslim north and the Christian south.

“We control the mine. If there is a problem there, we intervene,” said Seleka’s local commander Colonel Oumar Garba, sipping tea outside a villa in Axmin’s abandoned compound. “People don’t want the French peacekeepers here because they know they’ll chase them away from the mine.”

Axmin suspended activity at the mine in late 2012 after rebels occupied its camp. The firm says it is monitoring the situation. CEO Lucy Yan did not respond to requests for comment.

Thousands of people have died and more than a million fled their homes in Central African Republic amid the violence between the Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militia.

Scenes of cannibalism and the dismemberment of Muslims by Christian mobs in Bangui sowed fears of ethnic cleansing, prompting France to deploy 2,000 peacekeepers to its former colony. After tens of thousands of Muslims fled the south, the United Nations agreed to a 12,000-strong mission from September.

A ceasefire signed last week in the capital of neighbouring Congo Republic raised hopes of an end to the conflict. But many fear local warlords on both sides will resist attempts to break their grip over resources, especially diamond and gold mines.

At Ndassima, 60 km north of Seleka’s military headquarters in the northern town of Bambari, sweat-soaked labourers toil beneath the gaze of Seleka gunmen to produce some 15 kilos of gold a month – worth roughly $350,000 on the local market, or double that in international trade.

Weighing gold on a balance in a hut at the foot of the mine, Jimmy Adoum says buyers are scarce but some pay their way past rebel checkpoints to carry gold to Bangui and east to Cameroon.

Further north, diamond fields around Bria and Sam Ouandja provide revenue for rebels, who extract protection money and sell diamonds to dealers in Sudan and Chad, experts say. From there, the gems are trafficked to Antwerp, Dubai or India.

“Commanders on both sides are profiteering from this conflict. Both the anti-balaka militia and Seleka are involved in gold and diamonds,” Kasper Agger, field researcher for the Enough Project, a Washington-based think-tank. “If we are going to make peace, we need to offer them an economic alternative.”

“JEALOUSY, NOT RELIGION”                                                                                                            

Before Seleka seized power in March last year, Central African Republic ranked as the world’s 12th largest diamond exporter. Thousands of artisanal miners produced more than 300,000 carats a year from thin alluvial deposits.Much of the fiercest fighting centred on these deposits, especially in the west. In the mining town of Boda, nestling in forests 100 km west of Bangui, the anti-balaka militias have besieged thousands of Muslims in the market district.

French troops, their armoured personnel carriers aligned on an escarpment overlooking the town, now keep the two sides apart. Opposite the Muslim enclave stand ruins of Christian homes destroyed in fighting after Seleka withdrew in January.

Both sides accuse the other of starting the clashes. Christians have seized Muslims’ mining equipment and cattle from nearby pastures. Some who venture from the Muslim enclave have been killed by militia, their bodies dumped in the river.

“If the Muslims stay there 40 years, we’ll wait for them. We want to kill them,” said Nicaise Wilikondi, 45, an ex-teacher who lives in a camp for displaced Christians.

Like elsewhere in Central African Republic, in Boda it was Muslim middlemen who controlled the diamond trade and reaped its profits, while most of the poorly paid mine labourers were Christians, fuelling sectarian resentment.

Cherif Dahirou, Boda’s main Muslim diamond trader, said the Christian militia had seized the nearby artisanal pits, but he refused to leave the town where he has lived for 38 years.

“This isn’t about religion: it’s jealousy,” he said under an awning in the grounds of his large house in Boda, in the besieged Muslim enclave. Originally from Chad, he spoke in Arabic, not the local Sango language: “I know the anti-balaka commanders, Romeo and Malou: they used to work the mines.”

The region west of Bangui is controlled by Christian militia leader Alfred Yekatom, a veteran soldier known as “Rombhot” after the movie hard man Rambo, who has profited from several uprisings. He collects thousands of dollars a week from roadblocks staffed by his fighters, according to UN experts.

In Boda, militia leader Habib Saidou, a former soldier loyal to Rombhot, said the Muslims would be left in peace provided that 14 people who controlled the diamond trade – including Dahirou and Mayor Mahamat Awal – left the town forever.

“Until then, the Muslims have to stay behind the red line. If they cross over, we’re going to kill them.” EWN

Is Africa really rising?

allAfrica

document

Photo: Tami Hultman/AllAfrica

Kingsley Moghalu

London — Public Lecture at the London School of Economics by Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability), Central Bank of Nigeria and Author, Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter (Penguin Books, 2014)

Is Africa Rising?

In the past decade Africa has emerged in the world’s consciousness in the context of an evolution in the continent’s image. Africa is not yet seen as the place to be, to go to, or to be envied in terms of economic and societal progress. Indeed, still too many people around the world hold a decidedly different view. Gradually but surely, however, Africa is increasingly viewed less as a “hopeless” continent and more as one with promise for economic development, less as a haven of poverty, war and natural disaster and more as a continent that offers economic opportunity. In short, Africa is seen more as a “normal”, even if less prosperous place than many other parts of the world, than as the decidedly “abnormal” place off the map of the mental imagination that it once was.

This recent emergence and the positive evolution of the continent’s image has led to the growth of an “Africa-Rising” industry of analysts, commentators, scholars and business executives in which the continent is seen as the next big thing in the world’s economy. The continent in this view can lay claim to a looming African century close on the heels of the economic rise of Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Three main factors have shaped this trend.

First, many of the wars for which Africa was famous have ended. The wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the Great Lakes region of Africa including Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the long armed conflicts in the Horn of Africa in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan were and are only a few of the destructive orgies of annihilation of human capital, political stability and economic possibilities that shaped perceptions of Africa as a war zone writ large in the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. As most of these conflicts have ended, more recent ones have raged in Mali and the Central African Republic, keeping the world’s peacekeeping armies in business. But the continent is far more at peace now than it once was, clearing the path for a shift in attention to democratization and economic development.

Second, macroeconomic stability has been broadly established across the continent in the past decade. Inflation is down, at an average of 10 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa compared to the nearly 25 per cent in the 1980s and the 1990s. This trend can be traced to the evolution of better monetary policy by increasingly independent central banks, as well as improved fiscal management. At the same time, GDP growth has continued apace. Average GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa in the decade leading to 2013 was 5 per cent, with a third of Africa’s countries reaching growth rates of 6 per cent and others, such as Nigeria, growing at average rates of 7 per cent.

According to the African Development Bank, Africa’s economies are growing faster than those of any other continent. Nearly half of Africa’s countries are now classified as middle income countries, the numbers of Africans living below the poverty line fell to 39 per cent in 2012 as compared to 51 per cent in 2005, and around 350 million of Africa’s one billion people are now earning between $2 and $20 a day.

The third factor is the global financial crisis and the subsequent recession in the Eurozone and other Western economies at a time in which African economies were growing rapidly. This has led to opportunistic focus on Africa by several multinationals and global investment funds as the “final frontier” for wealth creation, with returns on investment that can only be the stuff of dreams in the world’s industrialized countries.

But the reality is more nuanced. Contrary to the breathless prognostications of enthusiasts, while Africa has become an economic opportunity in the world economy, the continent is yet to fully emerge, let alone rise, as an economic presence and a co-creator of global prosperity.

Let us look at another set of statistics. Africa’s share of world trade is a minute 3 per cent, with less than 4 per cent of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows going to the continent. With a combined GDP of S1.6 trillion, the combined GDP of the continent’s 54 countries is just about that of Brazil. The GDP of the entire sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, is just about equal to that of Belgium or that of metropolitan Chicago. All the electricity produced in sub-Saharan Africa, half of which is, in fact produced by South Africa, is equivalent to that of Spain which has 20 times fewer people than Africa.

The Argument for a New Paradigm of African Development

What all this suggests is that real questions regarding the “rise” of Africa include that of what parameters are used for measuring the continent’s progress and who does the measuring. Is Africa aspiring to holistic development that encompasses human development as a reflection of the real quality of life of Africans or is it focusing on economic growth statistics that do not necessarily translate into more jobs for its citizens and better education and healthcare? Have African economies become industrialized manufacturing economies, and will job creation outpace population growth and put Malthus to shame? What is the role of science, technology and innovation in African economies? Is Africa assessing its own progress against benchmarks it has set for itself, or is its “rise” the received wisdom from global institutions and the ambassadors of global capital seeking new frontiers of profit?

In Emerging Africa I make the case that Africa needs an endogenous growth model that is inside-out in its perspective, rather than the presently dominant one that is outside-in and globalization-centric. Africa needs to manufacture goods for its own markets as a first foundation, spreading out regionally from that base and emerging as economic power in its own right through competitive advantage or at least self-sufficiency. What is being celebrated as Africa’s rise is the fact that the continent has increasingly become a market or a playground for globalization.

Africans appear to have become excited merely to be participating in the wider globalization process, and the external economic players for whom the continent has become the new frontier are excited at the novelty of playing in new territory and the benefits it has brought or potentially will. This is quite a different thing from structural economic transformation, which is what has happened in many Asian economies and which is what Africa really needs to achieve for itself and its peoples. Without a doubt, GDP growth is necessary for such a transformation, but is not an alternative for it because the two are not the same thing.

Africa’s recent economic growth statistics have been derived largely, but admittedly not completely, from a structural dependence on primary commodity products. This growth is thus not transformative, and it is only transformed economies that can truly rise, in the manner in which we speak, for instance, of the rise of China. The continent needs to decide whether it will continue to engage with the world as (a) a destination market for consumer goods and ideas, (b) a self-sufficient player based on endogenous growth, or (c) as a dominant actor. I argue that the first option is not an option for real progress, the third one is not realistic in the near to medium term given how far behind Africa really is in terms of the structure of its economies, while the second is realistic and achievable within the next 30 years.

The required approach to creating the real economic rise of Africa must be based on at least three things. The first is what I call fundamental understandings, a philosophical approach to wealth creation and economic prosperity that prioritizes the role of individual and collective minds in economic and social progress. In this context, what is required is nothing short of the reinvention of the contemporary African mind. That mind must better understand foundational realities and its inherent power to alter these realities in favour of the continent. The second approach is the need for strategy and the active management of risk. The third is the role of governance, the rule of law, and institution-building.

Fundamental understandings – worldviews and globalization

The point of departure for Africa is the need for African states, their governments and their citizens to understand how the world is structured in reality, and why this is so. They will then need to develop mechanisms that can enable them arrive at a different interpretation from their own perspective, and stamp that interpretation as an alternative reality in their environment. That is to say, African governments must create worldviews, and in that context develop a proper understanding of globalization as a dominant economic context, the implications of this concept and context for Africa in the world economy, and the possibility of creating an “African century”. Nothing is written in the stars in terms of Africa’s destiny. The continent can create the destiny it wants, just as other parts of the world have done.

This requires a reappraisal of a number of fundamental assumptions that have prevented Africa’s economic development and transformation such as a misunderstanding of where responsibility lies for the continent’s transformation. From this point of departure, the fundamental understandings of issues such as globalization, foreign aid, capitalism and international economic governance as a framework for economic development, and so forth, can be applied to economic activities such as industrialization, finance, agriculture, foreign investment, science and technology, and world trade.

I argue in Emerging Africa that the fundamental reason for Africa’s condition of underdevelopment is the absence of a futuristic worldview. This is the most fundamental aspect of the African development dilemma. A worldview is basically how we see the world, understand and interpret it, and how we engage with the world around us and beyond us. It is that inner world of the mind of an individual or group, which he or she or they project in their outward actions, and which influences the world around them by creating certain realities.

The Belgian philosopher Leo Apostel and his research collaborators identified seven core components of a worldview. These are: (a) a model of the world – an understanding of how the world is structured and how it functions; (b) an explanation of where we have come from and why the world is the way it is; (c) rational futurology, which addresses the question of where we are going, the possible destinations, and the options and alternatives to promote or avoid; (d) values, including systems of ethics that guide what we should or should not do; (e) action – how to get to our goals by developing and implementing plans; (f) knowledge – how to construct knowledge systems, addressing the questions of what’s true or false; and (g) building blocks that construct a worldview from what already exists in theories, concepts or models across various disciplines or ideologies.

Worldviews matter enormously, because their outcomes are never neutral. Indeed they are often reflected in or as world orders. Although initially subjective, they can with dogged application result in “objective” reality. The transatlantic slave trade was a world order based on a worldview – repugnant as it was – of the “superiority” of slave owners and the “inferiority” of the enslaved peoples. Emancipation and the abolition of slavery was also based on another worldview, and the hardiness of the worldview of the transatlantic slave trade, faced with a strong opponent in abolitionism, transmuted into colonialism in order to ensure and continue the economic benefits of the exploitation of Africa and the Africans.
Thus, the projection of these worldviews, backed up by the sustained deployment of certain comparative advantages such as military prowess based on technology, established realities that are accepted as “facts of life”. This has been demonstrated in diverse climes such as the Western world, with its worldview of scientific rationalism and individual freedoms leading to economic progress along a certain model, and the East, which has risen, represented by China, along another model of stability as an end in itself, and the importance of the clan or society above the individual.

From this foundation we can then situate globalization, its impact on Africa’s economic trajectory, and why Africans need to engage the phenomenon from a somewhat different and more sophisticated standpoint. Globalization is the process of increasing interconnectedness of the economies of previously well demarcated nation-states; the phenomenon of the instant transmission of ideas, events and culture over long distances through the instrumentality of technology, and the impact of these processes on local environments.
Thus, for our purposes here, there are two highly relevant dimensions of globalization. The first is that it has two main elements, the economic and the social, with technology as its chief instrument. This is why we all believe that the internet has made the world a much smaller place, and Africa now has over 600 million mobile telephone users, more than the United States and Europe.

Second, a more comprehensive understanding of globalization must involve both its scope and its motives. We must go beyond issues such as the extent and the geographies, the boundaries of which have been breached by globalization, to the questions of who is globalizing and why. [1]

This is what has been termed “global intent” or strategic intent, without which globalization will not be what it is and would not have had the economic and other impacts it has had.

Economic globalization has, in fact, hurt Africa more than it has helped the continent, contrary to the received wisdom. The gains for African countries from opening up to international economic forces without adequate internal preparation have been limited and far outweighed by the adverse of the continent’s engagement with economic globalization. Economic policies enunciated by the Bretton Woods institutions in the 1980 and 1990s led to lost decades of development opportunities and outcomes. Structural adjustment and liberalization without the proper foundations as a core condition led to the effective de-industrialization and unproductiveness of the continent by weakening the manufacturing sector and promoting import-driven economies. Trade liberalization under WTO regimes has not brought benefits. It has removed incomes from tariffs that have not been replaced by effective internal revenue mobilization.

It is against this backdrop – that of an uncritical embrace of globalization and its institutions or agents in the mistaken belief that these forces are benign in intent or impact, or agnostic in belief, or that African countries are obliged to do so as members of a presumed “international community” or “global village” – that Africa’s “rise” must be evaluated. The road to progress begins with asking and answering the right questions, and African countries must do so. Who is responsible for Africa’s development? Who will shape Africa’s destiny?

The answer: Africans and no one else. Not foreign investors; not development “partners”; not the supposed international community; not foreign aid.

Nevertheless, one of the paradoxes of globalization is that the phenomenon has so opened up the world and its inhabitants to each other that the prospects and opportunities economic advancement are now almost universal. This process, underpinned by the invention and innovation of industrial technology, is not a secret. It is open to any country or region of the world that is prepared to harness it. Perhaps the secret lies in what’s beneath the surface – the full understanding of all the dimensions of that process and the preparation to harness the recipe. It does not have as much to do with presence or absence of natural resources, with Africa is endowed more than any other continent. If it did, Africa would be the richest continent rather than the impoverished one it has been for far too long.

Paths to Economic Transformation

The first application of these fundamental understandings to take a very clear-headed approach to capitalist economics, the paradigm through which virtually all African states are now seeking to develop in the aftermath of the Cold War and the collapse of communism and socialism. Most of the growth of Africa’s economies is driven by the private sector. That’s ok, but not unreservedly so. To be clear, I am a capitalist.

But, to drive real economic transformation, capitalism must be managed by the state in a number of ways. The first is that clear choices must be made between the different kinds of capitalism –indeed there must exist in African governance and public policy an understanding of these different strands, and the implications of each as a possible choice for each African country. Thus, African states must choose between state capitalism as practiced by China, welfare capitalism, crony or oligarchic capitalism, and entrepreneurial capitalism. I recommend a blend of at least two of these according to the peculiarities of each African country, but have a bias for entrepreneurial, small-business capitalism because that is what most suits Africa’s historical development, societies, and its large informal economies.

Second, African countries must revisit the role of the state as a guiding hand as opposed to the misguided abdication of the responsibility of the state to the private sector. This creates wealth but with too much inequality in the distribution of that wealth, which is in itself a long-term risk. There must be a public-private private approach to the three fundamental requirements for successful capitalism – access to finance, property rights, and innovation.

The next step in the application of fundamental understandings is that African countries must embrace industrialization. This imperative also extends to the industrialization of agriculture, a mainstay of many African economies but presently largely at a subsistence level. It would be foolhardy to be caught in the fanciful conceptual trap of a supposed post-industrial society that is assumed to have developed in the West, with 3-D manufacturing supposedly threatening traditional industries and service economies challenging manufacturing ones.

Africa must first create industrial societies because that is what creates jobs, which African countries need to outpace population growth and maintain economic growth and social stability by avoiding a youth bulge in the future. Moreover, 55 per cent of world trade is based on manufacturing, while 7 per cent is based on agriculture. And massive infrastructure networks of electric power and transport infrastructure connecting the continent’s countries to one another and their component parts have rightly been recognized as a priority by many African governments which are moving to create such infrastructure over the next decade.

The next two key drivers of economic transformation are science, technology and innovation on the one hand, and education and human capital development on the other. Both must be linked. African countries need to make technology and innovation a strategic priority from the standpoint of a worldview that Africa can invent and innovate, and must do so if it is to liberate itself from the oppressive dominance of globalization. Some African countries such as Kenya are making strides in the development of innovation with the development of an ambitious, $15 billion “silicon savannah” in Konza, a 2,000 hectare city 60 kilometres outside Nairobi that is designed to turn Kenya into an attractive location for technology businesses and incubators, and challenge South Africa’s dominance in this area.

Science, technology and innovation is one of the main paths which Africa can exploit to make a great leap forward in the world economy. Talent abounds in the continent, but African governments need to create an enabling environment for innovation and create incentives, institutions and markets to support it. Here the link between innovation and taking innovations to market as commercial products that are priced competitively to counter imports is key. Human capital development in which African countries improve the falling quality of education in several countries and focus on education that builds technical and technological skills that are linked to industrial policies and job-creation strategies will play a major role in economic transformation.

Governance, Leadership and Institution-Building

The intervention of military governments in most African countries in the three decades between the 1960s and the 1990s set back the hand of the clock in Africa’s economic development because it led not to benign dictatorships that drove economic development as happened in some Asian countries, but to the restriction of the space for the evolutionary development of good, accountable governance. With the return of virtually all African countries to democratic status, this challenge remains, alongside that of economic development.

Governance and leadership determine to a large degree how much progress a country can make on the economic front. If the governance of an African country is based on the search for the economic progress of citizens, and the effort is well directed and managed, economic transformation can occur. But if governance is based on rent-seeking and competition for the spoils of public office, the resources of the state will be drained far more than real wealth can be created, in which case the dividends of democracy become questionable.

The best way to utilize governance as a tool for creating the wealth of Africa’s nations is for governments to create a number of paradigm shifts through public and economic policy. These include the establishment of economic complexity through an industrial policy that supports manufacturing. Countries such as Nigeria and Ethiopia are making progress in this direction. Building strong, independent institutions that will ultimately have a positive impact on economic activity by assuring the rule of law and protecting investments from arbitrariness, and creating a level playing field for economic actors is also critical. Another fundamental requirement of good governance as a wealth creator is the manufacturing of consent of the citizens to a vision of economic transformation to which a nation’s collective energies can be channelled in a united manner.

The difference between the wealth and poverty of nations, their success or their failure, lies in the existence or absence of strong institutions. Institutions, when they function well, function dispassionately as systems that make predictable decisions based on benchmarks and thresholds that are clear to all. They serve to remove the system of economic incentives from the tyranny of the whims and caprices of individuals. Where institutions are weak and caprice reigns, there will be little or no progress because there is no meritocracy. Rewards are aligned not to creativity or productivity, but along lines of unproductive patronage networks that sustain political power but do not create wealth for a nation. A society that functions in this paradigm is fundamentally unable to transform its economy because the playing field is not a level one. Rent-seeking is rampant, but creates pools of plenty for the tiny few that are linked to the patronage network within vast pools of poverty.

The manufacture of consent is absolutely essential for economic transformation in Africa. Because development is the result of the deployment of creative talent and economic activity in a productive direction, it is necessary for African governments to define economic policy visions and directions and obtain the buy-in of the citizens to such a vision. We have seen this approach utilized by every dominant economic power in the world, whether it is the United States which applies a free-market oriented economic culture or China, which has achieved massive leaps in economic development in the past 30 years through an adaptation to state-directed capitalist activity while maintaining the dominance of the Communist Party. In all instances, this has been achieved through propaganda and mass mobilization.

Strategy and Risk Management

African countries have often not lacked an understanding of what the challenges to their economic development are. The real challenge has sometimes been to just get on with “doing it” effectively and creating the required transformation. This requires an understanding of strategy as a modern management concept and its application to governance. Sadly, this is still lacking inside African governments, with only very few exceptions.

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, had a famous strategy unit in 10 Downing Street that drove his governance agenda and ensured that a single thread of vision, communication and execution priority – in this case, education – ran through all the narratives actions of his ten years in office. Strategy and risk management have just come into their as legitimate functions in Africa’s private sectors. Their application to the role of the government and the effectiveness of the state – which encompasses the private sector commercial space – is even more consequential for the future of Africa.

Strategy and risk management need to become embedded in governance thinking and architecture in Africa. Strategy is about shaping the future. It is about how to create the future of our imagination. If we are to create an African century, African countries will not succeed without a clear strategy and strategic thinking. That “how” is the difference between dreaming and visioning, and bridging the gap in between.

Strategy is first of all about thinking and about a way of thinking, before it becomes a matter of plans. As Max McKeown writes in the context of corporate organizations, but also applicable to nations, it is about “outthinking your competition”. Thus strategic intent and ability are linked to the concept of worldviews, since strategy first requires strategic thinkers whose minds are open to vast possibilities. Second, worldviews, strategy formulation and strategy execution are intricately linked. Many African countries have been “planning” for decades but without the sort of strategic intent that has moved Asia forward in massive leaps. This requires focused objectives, an understanding of strategy management, especially in the context –framing choices and strategic possibilities, making the choice, and strategy execution management.

Africa’s Future

To conclude, then, contrary to the prevailing popular view about Africa Rising, the continent has no automatic, inexorable future. Growth, though a significant factor in economic development, is quite a different thing from transformation, which is what Africa really needs. Transformation means fundamentally improved indicators in such things as education and healthcare, infant mortality, life expectancy, infrastructure, and industrial production, not resource-driven economic activity or subsistence agriculture that produces a “growth myth”, the myth that increases in GDP will make poor countries catch up with rich ones based on numbers that, while generally accepted as a standard of measurement, in fact have debatable exactitude.

The Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang makes the provocative but thoughtful point that a society can become better off without marked increases in GDP [2]. Thus the focus for African countries must remain that of a fundamental transformation in the structures of their economies, not the growth numbers that the current structures throw up. This implies a transformation away from the prevailing model that is presently being celebrated as the Africa “rising”.

Africa’s future is thus not on auto-pilot to some gilded age, but will be one that Africans create by their economic and public policy choices. What exists now, without doubt, is an opportunity for a turn-around in the continent’s trajectory from that of its not-too-distant past. In this context, then, there is no need for a return to defeatist Afro-pessimism, but what the continent needs is realism and a determined focus on the right priorities.

The most important factors that will influence Africa’s future, then, include: (a) whether African countries can develop and execute transformation strategies effectively and with discipline; (b); how Africa handles the continent’s burgeoning population, projected by some estimates to hit 2.4 billion people by 2050 – will it yield a demographic dividend or a youth bulge?; (c) how African countries handle the challenge of jobless and non-inclusive growth; and (d) whether the continent can develop and effectively deploy its human capital, the most important investment for competitiveness in a globalized world.

All of this, of course, will have to be anchored on the foundation that is the real secret for the success of Africa’s quest for prosperity – the African mind. That mind-set needs to change from one that is predominantly focused on day-to-day or short-term survival or “progress” as defined through this prism – not of a well-ordered society but of individual affluence in the midst of mass exclusion from prosperity – to one in which the mind-set takes a long term, past and future view of the world and the place of the African in that world, and what it takes to get to that place.

The African mind-set needs to place greater emphasis on “thinking it through” because action that is transformational is one that is guided by a philosophical or conceptual compass – a worldview. As we have seen, worldviews are the secret of the rise of the societies of the West and the Rest (mainly Asia). These worldviews develop through a combination of historical and cultural evolutions, on the one hand, and through the instrumentality of propaganda and public diplomacy to the citizens of a state and the rest of the world. The place to begin is in the educational system. It is that combination of well-inculcated worldviews, knowledge and skills that produces human capital – the secret of transformation.

I rest the case for a truly Emerging Africa.

Thank you.

[1] Alex MacGillvray, A Brief History of Globalization (Constable and Robinson, 2006), 27.
[2] David Pilling, “Has GDP Outgrown Its Use?”, Financial Times Magazine, July 5/6 2014   allAfrica

© Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, 2014

Nigeria-Cameroon – Boko Haram abductions and church attack

 

BBC

‘Boko Haram’ abducts Cameroon politician’s wife

Cameroonian soldiers standing next to pick up trucks with mounted heavy artillery in Mora, northern Cameroon, on 17 June 2014 Cameroon stepped up its border security in the wake of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in April

The Cameroonian military says members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram have abducted the wife of the country’s deputy prime minister in the northern Cameroonian town of Kolofata.

A local religious leader and mayor was also abducted from the same town.

Separately, at least five people in northern Nigeria were killed in a blast – residents suspect Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks, as the army was deployed to the region.

Militants have kidnapped foreign nationals in northern Cameroon before, including a French family and Chinese workers.

‘Critical situation’

The wife of Deputy Prime Minister Amadou Ali and her maid were taken in “a savage attack” on his home by Boko Haram militants on Sunday, Information Minister Issa Tchiroma said.

But Mr Ali, who was breaking his fast for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan at the time of the attack, managed to escape to a neighbouring town, regional commander Col Feliz Nji Formekong told the Reuters news agency.

French hostage Georges Vandenbeusch, a French Catholic priest, disembarks from plane in Yaounde on 31 December 2013 French Catholic priest Georges Vandenbeusch was taken hostage in northern Cameroon and released over a month later

“The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you, the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” he added.

A local politician and his family were also abducted in a separate attack.

Meanwhile, Nigerian police say five people were killed when a bomb was thrown at worshippers as they were leaving a church in Nigeria’s main northern city of Kano on Sunday.

A young female suicide bomber also wounded five police officers as she rushed towards them and blew herself up in a separate incident, they add.

Eid festivities in Kano to mark the end of Ramadan next week have been cancelled as a result of the two incidents, officials told the AFP news agency.

Charges

Cameroon’s long and porous border with Nigeria means Boko Haram fighters can come and go at will, attacking police stations and villages, and spreading terror throughout the region, says BBC Africa editor Mary Harper.

The group has attacked Cameroon three times in as many days in the past week, killing at least four soldiers, Reuters reports.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau on 13 July 2014 Boko Haram loosely translates as “Western education is forbidden”

On Friday, more than 20 members of the militant group were jailed in Cameroon on charges of possessing illegal firearms and plotting an insurrection.

The armed group is seeking to establish an Islamist state in Nigeria.

Earlier this week, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger agreed to form a 2,800-strong regional force to tackle Boko Haram militants.

Efforts to step up regional co-operation gained momentum after Boko Haram caused an international outcry by abducting more than 200 girls from a boarding school in north-eastern Nigeria.

The girls are thought to be held in the vast Sambisa forest, along Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

Many Nigerian civilians in border towns have fled to Cameroon to escape from the Boko Haram attacks.

Map showing where militant groups are based

BBC

Cameroon – Boko Haram kidnap wife of deputy PM

Reuters
Boko Haram kidnaps wife of Cameroon’s vice PM, kills at least three
BY TANSA MUSA
YAOUNDE Sun Jul 27
(Reuters) – The wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants on in the northern town of Kolofata on Sunday, Cameroon officials said.

A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town’s mayor, was kidnapped as well, in a separate attack on his home.

Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.

“I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants,” Issa Tchiroma told Reuters by telephone.

“They unfortunately took away his wife. They also attacked the lamido’s residence and he was also kidnapped,” he said, and at least three people were killed in the attack.

A Cameroon military commander in the region told Reuters that the vice prime minister, who was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Ramadan with his family, was taken to a neighboring town by security officials.

“The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” said Colonel Felix Nji Formekong, the second commander of Cameroon’s third inter-army military region, based in the regional headquarters Maroua.

The Sunday attack is the third Boko Haram attack into Cameroon since Friday. At least four soldiers were killed in the previous attacks. Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants, who have been held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. It was unclear whether the events are related.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/27/us-cameroon-violence-boko-haram-idUSKBN0FW0CQ20140727

South Sudan – UN warns of catastrophic hunger

UN NEWS SERVICE

UN warns of ‘hunger catastrophe’ for South Sudanese children

25 July 2014 – Two United Nations humanitarian agencies today called for action to stop a potential famine in South Sudan which they said is being allowed to happen, just as it occurred in Somalia and the Horn of Africa three years ago.

“The world should not wait for a famine to be announced while children here are dying each and every day,” said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “We all have to do more, and quickly, to keep more children alive.”

Mr. Lake and World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin visited with displaced families seeking shelter at a UN base in Malakal, in the Upper Nile state of South Sudan.

The agency heads said they fear a repeat of famines in other parts of the world, where early warnings of extreme hunger and escalating malnutrition went largely unheeded until official famine levels were announced.

“WFP, UNICEF and our partners here on the ground have been working tirelessly to bring assistance,” said Ms. Cousin. “But if we are to rapidly expand our operations and save more lives, then we need more resources, and the international community has to act now.”

Nearly one million children under five years of age in South Sudan will require treatment for acute malnutrition in 2014, according to the UN. In addition, one out of every three people in the country, the equivalent of 3.9 million people, is estimated to be dangerously food insecure.

An estimated 1.5 million people have been uprooted in fighting that started with a political impasse in mid-December 2013 between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.

At a press briefing in Geneva, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said that the situation was particularly worrying for displaced people who have not been able to plant crops this year.

If the world fails to provide the help needed right now to accelerate and scale up life-saving food and nutrition efforts, UNICEF estimates that 50,000 children could die from malnutrition in the course of this year.

In addition, the children are at further risk from insufficient health care and access to safe water and sanitation facilities, according to the UN.

Also speaking out about the dire humanitarian situation was the Security Council, which expressed grave concern in a press statement about “the catastrophic food insecurity situation in South Sudan that is now the worst in the world,” as well as deep alarm that the crisis in South Sudan may soon reach the threshold of famine as a result of continued conflict, civilian targeting, and displacement.

The 15-member body urged all UN Member States, who together pledged more than $618 million in new funding for both South Sudan and the region in May at the Humanitarian Pledging Conference in Oslo, to swiftly fulfill those pledges and to increase their commitments.

The Council, in a separate press statement, strongly condemned the series of attacks launched on 20 July by armed youth and opposition forces, and the 23 July attacks by Government of South Sudan forces, as they fight for control of Nassir Town in Upper Nile state.

“The members of the Security Council expressed deep regret at the lack of progress towards peace and reconciliation in South Sudan,” the statement added.

“They reiterated their full support for the mediation efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and urged all parties in South Sudan to immediately cease hostilities in accordance with the signed cessation of hostilities agreements, and to resume comprehensive and inclusive peace talks.”  un

BBC

South Sudan’s food crisis ‘worst in the world’ – UN

South Sudan’s food crisis is the worst in the world, the UN Security Council has warned, calling for urgent action.

It said there was a “catastrophic food insecurity” in the country, urging donor nations who pledged $618m (£364m) in aid to make good on their promise.

The UN children’s fund, Unicef, said some four million – a third of the population – could be affected.

It said that 50,000 children may die of hunger in the conflict-torn country unless international help increased.

More than a million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted between different factions of South Sudan’s ruling party last December.

Thousands have now died in the conflict that started as a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar but has since escalated into ethnic violence.

Months of fighting have prevented farmers from planting or harvesting crops, causing food shortages nationwide.

The onset of the rainy season has added to the problem, dashing hopes that displaced farmers plant crops to feed themselves in the future, the BBC’s Rob Broomby reports.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, topped the list of fragile states in this year’s index released by The Fund for Peace, a leading US-based research institute.

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Map of South Sudan states affected by conflict Fighting erupted in the South Sudan capital, Juba, in December 2013. It followed a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar. The squabble has taken on an ethnic dimension as politicians’ political bases are often ethnic.
News graphic showing the ethnic groups of South Sudan Sudan’s arid north is mainly home to Arabic-speaking Muslims. But in South Sudan there is no dominant culture. The Dinkas and the Nuers are the largest of more than 200 ethnic groups, each with its own languages and traditional beliefs, alongside Christianity and Islam.
Map showing the location of oil fields in South Sudan Both Sudan and the South are reliant on oil revenue, which accounts for 98% of South Sudan’s budget. They have fiercely disagreed over how to divide the oil wealth of the former united state – at one time production was shutdown for more than a year. Some 75% of the oil lies in the South but all the pipelines run north.
Map showing the geography of South Sudan The two Sudans are very different geographically. The great divide is visible even from space, as this Nasa satellite image shows. The northern states are a blanket of desert, broken only by the fertile Nile corridor. South Sudan is covered by green swathes of grassland, swamps and tropical forest.
Map showing access to water in South Sudan After gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan is the world’s newest country – and one of its poorest. Figures from 2010 show some 69% of households now have access to clean water – up from 48% in 2006. However, just 2% of households have water on the premises.
Map showing education levels in South Sudan Just 29% of children attend primary school in South Sudan – however, this is also an improvement on the 16% recorded in 2006. About 32% of primary-age boys attend, while just 25% of girls do. Overall, 64% of children who begin primary school reach the last grade.
Map showing food insecurity rates in South Sudan Almost 28% of children under the age of five in South Sudan are moderately or severely underweight. This compares with the 33% recorded in 2006. Unity state has the highest proportion of children suffering malnourishment (46%), while Central Equatoria has the lowest (17%).

BBC


 

Sierra Leone ebola escapee dies

BBC

Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone escaped patient dies

Medical staff take a blood sample from a suspected Ebola patient at the government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, 10 July, 2014. The Ebola virus has killed hundreds in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

A Sierra Leone woman who fled hospital after testing positive for the Ebola virus has died after turning herself in, health officials have told the BBC.

Her family had forcibly removed her from a public hospital on Thursday.

Saudatu Koroma’s is the first case of Ebola to be confirmed in the country’s capital Freetown, where there are no facilities to treat the virus.

Since February, more than 660 people have died of Ebola in West Africa – the world’s deadliest outbreak to date.

Nigeria has put all its entry points on red alert after confirming the death there of a Liberian man who was carrying the highly contagious virus.

The man died after arriving at Lagos airport on Tuesday, in the first Ebola case in Africa’s most populous country.

The outbreak began in southern Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Reports on Saturday said that a prominent Liberian doctor, Samuel Brisbane, had died after a three-week battle with the virus.

And later it emerged that a US doctor working with Ebola patients, Kent Brantly, was being treated for the virus in a hospital in the capital Monrovia.

Street protest

The virus, which kills up to 90% of those infected, spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.

Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive treatment early.

Ms Koroma was the first registered Ebola case in the capital Freetown.

Both she and her parents – who are suspected of having the virus – had been taken to Ebola treatment centres in the east of the country, health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis told the BBC.

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Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Coloured transmission electron micro graph of a single Ebola virus, the cause of Ebola fever
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Fatality rate can reach 90%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the virus
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The woman had been one of dozens of people who tested positive but were unaccounted for, the BBC’s Umaru Fofana reports from the capital, Freetown.

Her case highlights Sierra Leone’s lack of preparedness in responding to the outbreak, our correspondent says, with no laboratory or treatment centre in Freetown.

The Ebola cases in Sierra Leone are centred in the country’s eastern districts of Kenema and Kailahun, just over the border from the Guekedou region of Guinea where the outbreak started.

Police said thousands of people joined a street protest in Kenema on Friday over the government’s handling of the outbreak.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the doctor leading Sierra Leone’s fight against Ebola was being treated for the virus.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization said that 219 people had died of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) wearing protective gear walk outside the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital, on 23 July 2014 in Conakry There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, which spreads via bodily fluids including sweat

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said that all other passengers on board the flight with the infected man had been traced and were being monitored.

The patient had “avoided contact with the general public” between the airport and the hospital, he said.

“All ports of entry to Nigeria, including airports, sea ports and land borders have been placed on red alert,” he added.

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WHO: West Africa Ebola outbreak figures as of 24 July

Map
  • Guinea - 314 deaths, 415 cases
  • Liberia - 127 deaths, 224 cases
  • Sierra Leone – 219 deaths, 454 cases

WHO update

BBC