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African Weekend Review

Muhammadu Buhari Chide Igbo leaders on Biafra Sedition

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with a group of traditional rulers from the southeast of Nigeria in the capital Abuja. The president urged the leaders to support the unity of the country and put an end to the agitation for the secession of Biafra, in a statement released on Friday.

Over the past year, Pro-Biafra activists have launched protests and demonstrations demanding the re-establishment of Biafra and the release of  Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of a leading secessionist group, who has been in detention since October 2015.
An independent republic of Biafra was a region cut out from southeast Nigeria and was declared independent in 1967 by the late Ex-Nigerian military officer Odumegwu Ojukwu.This led to a three-year civil war and deaths of more than a million people, after a blockade of Biafra’s borders that led to starvation and the surrender of Biafran forces.

The president said “The question of having another country out of Nigeria is going to be very difficult,” said Buhari, according to a press release from the Nigerian state house. “From 1914, we have more than 200 cultures living with one another. God had endowed this country with natural resources and talented people. We should concentrate on these and be very productive.”

Nigeria gained independence from the U.K. in 1960, the then Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria was created into a single country by the colonizers. Nevertheless, the northern and southern regions remain culturally distinct: southern Nigeria is predominantly Christian, and the Yoruba and Igbo are the two main ethnic groups while northern Nigeria is mostly Muslim and dominated by the Hausa-Fulani ethnic groups, Biafra was mostly an Igbo state.
Gambia: Yahya Jammeh’s twenty two year rule ends as he concedes loss to Adama Barrow

President Yahya Jammeh, calling opposition leader Adama Barrow to concede  
Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in 1994 as a 29-year-old army officer following a military coup has conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow, accepting that the people have "decided that I should take the back seat".Jammeh, had won four previous polls in the tiny west African country.

Many Gambians stayed up all night tallying results as they were read out constituency by constituency.

Barrow's victory in Thursday's presidential election brings an end to Jammeh's 22-year rule, Speaking to the public late Friday night, Jammeh congratulated Barrow for his "clear victory", saying: "I wish him all the best and I wish all Gambians the best." He stated on Gambian television’

In an election that saw Gambians voting by placing marbles into drums marked for each candidate Barrow got 263,515 votes, while Jammeh had 212,099, in result announced by Alieu Momarr Njai, the electoral commission head on Friday.

Thousands took to the streets of Banjul in celebration, some on foot while others rode in cars and trucks even on motorbikes as confused soldiers looked on when news of Barrow's victory was announced.

South Africa Gets last Chance as S&P Leaves Credit Rating Unchanged

South Africa received a warning that political interference in government
policy could lead to a downgrade as S&P left its assessment of the nation’s foreign-currency debt unchanged at one level above junk, while lowering its local-currency rating.
In a statement Friday by the agency, the foreign-currency rating was left at BBB-, with a negative outlook; while the local-currency assessment was moved one level lower to BBB the second-lowest investment grade, In  a move that kept South Africa’s foreign-currency debt on par with that of India and Italy.

S&P noted that “Political events have distracted the country from growth-enhancing reforms, while low GDP growth continues to affect South Africa’s economic and fiscal performance and overall debt stock,”.
“Ongoing continued tensions and the potential for event risk could weigh on investor confidence and exchange rates, and potentially affect government policy direction.”

While Africa’s most industrialized economy is forecasted to expand at the slowest pace since a 2009 recession this year, Keeping the foreign-currency rating at investment grade will boost sentiment and support the rand after a year of domestic political upheaval and emerging-market uncertainty fueled by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as United States president.

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