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Again, ECOWAS leaders gather in Ghana over coup-hit countries. But how much can they achieve?



Leaders of West African regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), once again gathered in Accra, Ghana, with the main agenda of the summit being the ongoing efforts to resolve political crises in the coup-hit countries of Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.

The meeting, which was yet another in a series of summits by leaders of the bloc have failed to produce positive results with the bloc at a cross roads on how to resolve the impasse and return the nations to democratic rules despite various sanctions placed on them.

A similar summit last month had put on hold further economic and financial sanctions on the three nations though they were suspended following the military coups that truncated civilian rules while the junta leaders have also been non committal in charting a path for a quick return to civil regimes.

So far, only the Malian junta has announced a transition roadmap which includes a scheduled presidential election for February 2024 and a March 2023 constitutional referendum, but ECOWAS has kicked against the transition period and it remains to be seen whether the leaders in Accra will accept the proposal.

The Guinean and Burkina Faso juntas also proposed three-year transition periods which ECOWAS rejected outright, arguing that the time frame for an elections was too long.

ECOWAS had earlier in January sanctioned Mali by shutting down the country’s land and air borders which dealt a huge blow on commercial activities in the impoverished country and almost crippled its economy.

The spiralling wave of military coups in the West African region started in August 2020 in Mali when Col. Assimi Goita, led other mutinous to overthrow President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

Nine months later, Goita staged a second coup where he sacked the country’s civilian transitional leader, Bah Ndaw and assumed the presidency himself.

Seemingly inspired by Malian coup, the head of the Guinean Special Forces, Col Mamady Doumbouya, struck in September 2021 and overthrew President Alpha Condé, and made himself the head of the interim government.

It was the turn of Burkina Faso when in January 2022, Lt Col Paul-Henri Damiba led other soldiers to overthrow the democratically elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore whom he arrested and placed under house arrest for many months.

But how far will the ECOWAS summit go with resolving the political deadlock in the three nations remains to be seen.


Inflation rate rise to all time high at 9.6% in Algeria in three years



For the first time in three years, the inflation rate in Algeria has risen to an all time high of 9.6 per cent at the end of August, in what economists in the North African country say is as a result of rise in the prices of basic commodities globally and its impact on local markets.

The Deputy Director-General of the Algerian National Office of Statistics, Hamid Zaydouni, who disclosed this during a hearing at the Finance Committee of the People’s National Assembly on Thursday, said Algerian market recorded an inflation rate of 7.23 per cent during 2021, the highest in nearly three years.

“Algeria is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the prices of various products, some of which have increased by more than 100 per cent, amid warnings by consumer protection associations that the rise would weaken people’s purchasing power,” Zaydouni said.

“Over the past three years, the inflation rate in Algeria ranged between 3.5 and 7.5 per cent.

“The high prices have affected subsidised goods such as cooking oils, semolina and farina,” he added.

Zaydouni added that from 2021, the inflation rate of 7.2% was calculated but the average inflation rate has been 8.8% per year since then.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2019, most African countries have been on the threshold of rising inflation as global economy had experienced enormous pressure.

The war between Russia and Ukraine which broke out in February has also contributed to the economic crisis in the continent with inflation growing at an alarming rate, often forcing countries to raise interest rates, hoping to slow down the inflation which has continued to rise to all time high.

According to, the “overall inflation rate in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 is expected to grow today whopping 12.2 percent, with the surge following a global tendency, as consumer prices soar all over the world, impacting advanced as well as emerging and developing economies.”

As at August, Sudan had the highest inflation in Africa as of 2022 with the rate reaching 245 percent.

Sudan is closely followed by Zimbabwe with the second-highest inflation on the African continent, averaging 90 percent.

Countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, amongst others have had to raise their interest rates at some point due to inflation.


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Egyptian police officers jailed six years for torturing man to death



Two Egyptian policemen who tortured a civilian to death in their custody have been sentenced to six years in prison by a court on Thursday.

The convicts were found guilty of murdering Mahmoud Khamis Gaber while he was in police custody, by a Minya Criminal Court which also heard that the torture included electric shocks and sexual abuse on the victim in 2019.

The victim’s lawyer told the court that Gaber was arrested after public prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him following accusations that he possessed a firearm and ammunition without a licence.

The court was told that he was tortured to death in an effort to get him to confess to the possession of an unlicensed weapon.

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