Credit: UNESCO

Credit: UNESCO - Photo: 2020

After Downing Statues, Africans Turn to Change at Home

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – Africa has been pulling down statues for years – from Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town to Britain’s Queen Victoria in Kenya, to King Leopold of Belgium in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now, change is moving ahead in Sudan, Gabon and other countries as the momentum for social and economic justice continues to grow. In Sudan, the country’s highest governing body has ratified a law outlawing female genital mutilation (FGM) – three months after the cabinet approved amendments to the criminal code that would punish those who perform it.

The transitional government, established in August 2019 following the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir after months of protests, approved the new measures recently.

“It is a very important step for Sudanese women and shows that we have come a long way,” women’s rights activist Zeinab Badreddin said.

In Gabon, President Ali Bongo Ondimba, has appointed the country’s first female prime minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda.

Ossouka Raponda, 56, was promoted from the defence ministry. An economist by training who graduated from the Gabonese Institute of Economy and Finance, she specialized in public finance.

In 2012, she first became budget minister and then the first female mayor of the capital Libreville in 2014, as a candidate for Bongo’s Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG).

Across the continent, people are organizing and demanding jobs and investments in infrastructure.

In Tunisia, hundreds of protesters shut down a major oil pumping station in a demand for more investment in regions hit by high unemployment and failing infrastructure.

The demonstration follows weeks of unrest in Tunisia’s south, burdened by above-average unemployment, failing infrastructure and an weak private sector.

In The Gambia, the news magazine – The Point – has been covering the latest scandal implicating former president Yahya Jammeh who may soon lose his $3.5 million mansion in Maryland after a motion was filed by the U.S. Justice Dept.

It’s just one of 281 properties registered in his name or in which he holds shares.

It was purchased through a trust set up in his daughter’s name, Mariam, using 3.5 million dollars embezzled from The Gambia’s public funds and business bribes, according to the Justice Dept. complaint.

Former Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said former President Yahya Jammeh belongs to the past and urged his supporters to move on with their lives because Jammeh caused too much harm to deserve a political comeback. [IDN-InDepthNews – 20 July 2020]

Photo: After Downing Statues, Africans turn to Change at Home. YouTube screenshot.

IDN is flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate

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