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Africa 2008 reviewed: News highlights [Jul – Dec].

Last Updated: 1/3/2009 4:18:56 PM

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As usual the year gone by has been a busy news year for Africa from the chaos of the Kenyan elections through athletic triumphs at the Olympics to the military coup in Guinea we review the news from Africa in 2008.....

Africa News Review
Africa News Review

July : In the aftermath of the fractious Zimbabwean elections, Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai agree to hold talks that culminate in a historic power sharing agreement that sees Mugabe stay on as President and Tsvangirai appointed Prime Minister.

Zambia’s President Levy Mwanawasa suffers a stroke while attending the African Union summit in Cairo. He is flown to Paris for treatement but fails to recover and dies aged 60.

August : It is all about the Beijing Olympics which saw another strong performance from Africa in athletics and some unexpected heroes in other sports like Zimbabwe’s Kristy Coventry (swimming), Togo’s Benjamin Boukpeti (Canoe \ Kayak) and Julie Bruno of Mauritius (Boxing).

Zimbabawe’s newly constituted parliament sits after July’s elections and for the first time in its post-independence history elects a Speaker who is not a member of the ZANU-PF, the honour goes to Lovemore Moyo chairman of the MDC.

September : Nigeria is gripped with speculation as rumours that its President Umar Yar’Adua has passed away in a hospital in Saudi Arabia sweep the nation. Long-running concerns about the President’s health are the basis for the rumours which are eventually proven false.

In a shock turn of events South African President Thabo Mbeki resigns from his post over allegations that he interfered in the corruption trial of his political rival Jacob Zuma. He is replaced by Kgalema Mothlanthe who will serve as President until elections in 2009.

October : The race to see who represents Africa at the 2010 World Cup hots up. The 2010 World Cup will the first ever to be staged in Africa and there is a fierce completion among the 20 countries left in the qualification to reach the finals in South Africa in 2010.

In another demonstration of the power of the Internet, South African MP Nhlanhla Nene becomes an unwitting Internet star as his interview at SABC goes horribly wrong.

November : The scourge that is Somali piracy netted its biggest catch after pirates seized the Saudi super tanker the Sirius Star which was laden with US$100 million worth of crude oil equal to a tenth of Saudi Arabia’s daily output.

Africa loses a musical great as Miriam Makeba passes away at a concert in Italy. The South African government honours the great African icon with a public memorial service in Johannesburg.

December : The Marathon that is the Ghanaian presidential and parliamentary elections begin on December 7. The opposition NDC wins the most sits in the parliamentary election, while the presidential has no conclusive winner and goes into a run-off before John Atta-Mills emerges as Ghana’s next President.

In Guinea the death of long service President Lansana Conte sees a military coup led by Captain Moussa Camara which leaves the country in political uncertain as it takes days before it is clear that the coup was successful and Captain Camara is the new Guinean President.

>>News in Review : Jan - Jun 2008


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