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Video: ECOWAS open to ‘all avenues of engagement’ over Niger crisis 

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Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu said during the ECOWAS Leaders Extraordinary Summit on Thursday that the subregional bloc was prioritizing diplomatic negotiations and dialogue as the bedrock of its approach to addressing the political situation in the Niger Republic where President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted by a coup led by the head of the presidential guard and Niger’s self-declared Head of State, Abdourahamane Tiani.

“We still look to engage the parties involved, including the coup leaders, in honest discussion to convince them to relinquish power as suggested and reinstate President Bazoum.

“It is our duty to exhaust all avenues of engagement to ensure a swift return to constitutional governance in Niger,” the ECOWAS Chairman stated.

Tinubu’s latest remark reduces tension amidst concerns that ECOWAS under him favours the deployment of troops to forcefully remove the Niger junta after ECOWAS’ initial 7-day ultimatum.

The Niger development has drawn widespread reactions from countries and stakeholders across the world. Tinubu’s Nigeria has cut off power supply to Niger, and also recently announced financial sanctions on persons and businesses connected to the coup, while some Western countries have also reduced aid.

Niger is strategically significant for the United States, China, France, and Russia due to its wealth in uranium and oil, as well as its crucial role in the conflict with Islamist militants in the Sahel region.

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Video: ‘Need for climate action is unprecedented’; but what’s Africa’s case on the matter?

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In this video, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guiteras, in a special address on climate action titled, “A Moment of Truth”, stressed that ” the need for climate action is unprecedented, but so is the opportunity – not just to deliver on climate, but on economic prosperity & sustainable development”.

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With climate issues, it is widely believed that Africa is bearing the brunt of a crisis that it contributed little to. Africa has produced 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is much less than that of nations like China and the US. Nonetheless, among the countries most susceptible to the effects of climate change are those in Africa. Global warming caused by humans is expected to make Africa’s already volatile weather even more so.

Eastern and Southern Africa have both witnessed unprecedented drought in recent years. Across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the autonomous region of Somaliland, 10.7 million people are facing severe hunger.

The Climate Hazards Centre researchers also recently found that February 2024 was the driest in the 40-year data record for an area spanning much of Zambia, Zimbabwe, southeastern Angola, and northern Botswana. Meanwhile, Western and Central Africa like Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad have had their share in the form of incessant rainfall, turning to floods.

Nevertheless, opinions are divided on global positions on climate change with Western advocates campaigning against the continual use of fossil fuel and leading discussion for transition into green energy. On their part, some pan-African observers have argued that Africa— the home and source of a significant amount of global crude— cannot afford the transition as many of its biggest economies like Nigeria, Angola, and Libya depend on oil revenue for national sustainability, arguing that the industrialization of many Western economies came about through “burning energy.”

 

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Video: EISA Observer, Goodluck Jonathan commends, corrects South Africa’s 2024 election 

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As South Africa begins its general election today, former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, is leading a special observer mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy for Africa (EISA ) to observe elections, commending the country’s track as an electoral democracy.

Jonathan commended the effort of the electoral commission and the discipline of the voting public in the previous election. However, he noted that some voters were confused about ballot boxes and called for improvement to ensure easier identification.

The election is the seventh general election since the end of the apartheid system in 1994. It is anticipated that 27 million registered voters will cast ballots in these elections.

Seventy political parties are vying for various posts in the elections; the main ones are the Economic Freedom Fighters Party, the Democratic Alliance, which is in opposition, and the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

According to local reports, polling stations opened at 7 am (05:00 GMT) and will close at 9 pm (19:00 GMT).

Watch the video below:

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