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West African blogs round-up

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana

Under the acacias, whilst giving a brief round-up of some news from Burkina Faso writes about Rains, locusts and hunger in a blog entry titled: “What's happening in Burkina? [1]

The rains have started in the south of the country, and good rains are predicted for the Sahel. Steve tells me there has even been at least one rain in the north, although this is too early to be the start of the season there. Last year's harvest was good, but as we enter the toughest time of year, long-term effects from the 2004-5 food crisis continue due to “depletion of household assets including high livestock mortalities and indebtedness, notably in the northern part of the country, where very high malnutrition rates continue to be reported.” The UK is giving £1.5 over the next three years to the West African Sahel region to try and help tackle the vulnerabilities of the area.

Locusts fortunately seem unlikely to be a problem this year.

The FIFA World Cup is on, and so is the excitement amongst soccer fans worldwide.
the (wish I was in) Ghana journal shares an opinion about Ghana's chances in the Germany 2006: God bless our homeland [2]

Last October, when Ghana qualified for the World Cup, a gigantic street party broke out in the middle of Osu, my old neighbourhood. I was having dinner with the JHR crew and we stumbled on the street party and joined in to the dancing, and were promptly swarmed by all teenage boys within arms’ reach. It was an incredibly good time, one of my favourite memories. I had rushed to file a story for the Toronto Star, the power went out, and then the dancing. So with the big event starting today, I read this story and was pretty shocked. Even when Ghana got smoked at the African Cup in January, footie was on everyone's mind. I've been hearing how Ghana doesn't have a chance, is in such a tough group, etc. But the Black Stars gave me two of my favourite memories from my time there (the other: watching them smoke Uganda in a qualifier in Kumasi) so I will be cheering until they're back on the plane.

Another Ghanain blog, The Trials & Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen…of Ghana, joins in: Excitement Reigns Supreme in Ghana as Black Stars Play Italy this Evening [3]

Over the past couple of weeks, many column inches have been dedicated to praising the Black Stars over their possible defeat of the Italian Azzuri in the FIFA 2006 World Cup. Considering Ghana is in the World Cup for the first time ever, pundits might speculate wrongly and dismiss the Ghanaian team as underdogs.

Oluniyi David Ajao adds his voice: Africa in the World Cup (Germany 2006) [4]

Africa is parading five nations in this years edition of one of the world’s most popular sports event, the World Cup. Out of the five nations, four are featuring in theWorld Cup for the first time ever. These countries are Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Angola with the exception of Tunisia who have featured in the World Cup before.

Over the past few days, Cote d’Ivoire was beaten by Argentina in a match that ended 2 – 1 whilst Angola was beaten just yesterday by a lone goal in a match with Portugal.

Away from soccer, Scribbles from the den looks at Independent Candidates: The Much Needed Tonic for Cameroon’s Lethargic Democratic Process? [5]

Since the 1990s when multiparty politics once again became the norm across Africa, the possible participation of independent candidates in elections has been the subject of heated debates on the continent. Increasingly, the idea is gaining ground as many African countries now allow independent candidates to take part in local and national elections. In fact, all over Africa many independent candidates now control local councils, occupy seats in parliament, and in the case of Benin’s Yayi Boni, occupy the Presidency of the Republic.

Home of the mandinmories shares some Images of Torture [6]

Tortured Gambian jornalist

Reporters without borders release the above photos of the tortured body of a Gambian journalist at the hands of the security forces.

Read the rest of the accompanying press release at the blog.