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Algeria inaugurates Africa’s largest Mosque

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Algeria on Sunday inaugurated Africa’s largest Mosque on its Mediterranean coastline after years of political upheaval and delays over funds and cost overruns.

The gigantic worship centre, which is the third largest in the world, was constructed by a Chinese construction firm throughout the 2010s.

Known as the Great Mosque of Algiers, the edifice features the world’s tallest minaret measuring at 869 feet (265 meters) and is the third largest mosque in the world outside Islam’s holiest cities.

The prayer room accommodates 120,000 people while the modernist design contains Arab and North African flourishes to honor Algerian tradition and culture as well as a helicopter landing pad and a library that can house up to one million books.

The General Secretary of World Union of Muslim Ulemas, Ali Mohamed Salabi who spoke at the inauguration, “the Mosque would guide Muslims toward goodness and moderation.”

Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune who inaugurated the mosque, said it was in fulfilment of his promise to open it with great pomp and circumstance.

Before the official inauguration, the Mosque had been open to international tourists and state visitors to Algeria for roughly five years.

The timing of the opening also allows the Mosque to officially open to the public in time to host nightly prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins next month.

The Mosque was originally a project of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who designed it to be the largest in Africa at a cost of $898 million

Local media said at the time that Bouteflika wanted it to be his legacy and called “Abdelaziz Bouteflika Mosque” much like Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco named after the former King of Morocco, Algeria’s neighbour and regional rival, which was once touted as Africa’s largest Mosque.

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Davido’s ‘Unavailable’ achieves milestone with 100 million views on YouTube, Spotify

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Nigeria’s Afrobeats sensation, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has landed another milestone after his hit single, “Unavailable’, surpassed 100 million streams on both YouTube and Spotify.

According to a release on Wednesday by his management team, the track which features South African artist, Musa Keys, also hit a major milestone as its music video crossed 100 million views on YouTube.

The hit track which was released on April 11, 2023, as part of Davido’s chart-topping album “Timeless”, grew to become the most streamed Afrobeats song of 2023 and received high praise, including being named by Rihanna as her favorite single of the year.

“The single, Unavailable, has also surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify to become Davido’s first single to achieve this feat,” the statement said.

“With the music video surpassing 100 million views, it becomes Davido’s fourth song to surpass the 100 million streams mark following his 2017 hit releases ‘If’, ‘Fall’, and ‘FIA’.

“Following the success of Unavailable, Davido released a remix EP that includes collaborations with Jamaican Dancehall star Sean Paul and American rapper Latto.

“Described by Rihanna as her favourite single of 2023, Davido’s Unavailable was the most streamed Afrobeats song released in 2023.

“Additionally, the single recently earned a SNEP Gold plaque after reaching 15 million streams in France, cementing its status as a global hit,” it added.

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Cameroon opens museum dedicated to oldest, influential kingdoms

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The Cameroonian government has inaugurated a historical museum which is dedicated to honouring its oldest and most influential kingdoms.

Known as the Royal Bomaun Kings Museum, it was inaugurated on Saturday, April 13, in Foumban, the Bauman Kingdom’s traditional capital, located in the western part of the country.

The edifice which is next to the royal palace of the Bamouns, has been described as an architectural masterpiece, pays homage to the emblem of the Bamoun – a double-headed snake, a spider, and a double-mounted gong, and houses over 10,000 historical artefacts most of whom are century-old objets d’art.

It was inaugurated by King Nabil Mbombo Njoya, the 20th ruler of the Bamouns, alongside Culture Minister, Pierre Ismaël Bidoung Mkpatt.

Foremost Cameroonian historian and anthropologist, Professor Francois Bingono Bingono, who was among the visitors at the opening of the museum, spoke glowingly of the project.

“I was privileged to visit the museum. I can tell you that it is not only the culture of western Cameroon, the culture of the Bamouns that is celebrated inside those walls.

“I recognized the culture of the forest, meaning the culture of the inhabitants of southern Cameroon, a heavily forested region.

“I also recognized the cultures of the regions of East, Centre and South Cameroon. One can also come across the cultural heritage of Loum, of the Hauts-Plateaux department, and that of northern Cameroon.

“This museum is the ideal place for those who wish to go back to their roots or take a deep dive into the culture heritage of Cameroon.

“You can see valuable items inside such as thrones and chairs used by the King. Really anything that has to do with the Bamoun dynasty from the first rulers to the current monarch.

“This is patrimony that is handed down to future generations. For the Bamouns, it represents an achievement and a celebration of their culture. For Cameroonians at large, it is part of their history.”

The Bamoun Kingdom is one of the oldest in sub-saharan Africa with historians dating its creation to the late XIVth century.

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