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Africa Weekend Review

Opposition leader Akufo-Addo wins Ghana's presidential election

Ghana's national election was won by Opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo at his third attempt thereby cementing the country's reputation as a bearer of democracy in a region that has been torn apart by coups and civil wars.
Incumbent President John Mahama got 44.4 percent, while Nana Akufo-Addo received 53.8 percent, according to the electoral commissioner Charlotte Osei on Friday, sparking celebration in the capital Accra.
Dancing and fireworks were freely used to celebrate by followers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as the election result tick in.
Akufo-Addo told a jubilant crowd in the garden of his residence "I make this solemn pledge to you tonight: I will not let you down. I will do all in my power to live up to your hopes and expectations,”
Akufo-Addo, 72, previously lost close battles for the presidency and served as foreign minister and attorney general in the NPP government that ruled between 2001 and 2009.
Before Osei's statement Mahama called the president elect to offer congratulations and later addressed his supporters.

Yahya Jammeh, President of Gambia said in an announcement made on state

television early Friday he rejects the outcome of last week's election that he lost to opposition leader Adama Barrow and called for fresh elections, throwing the future of the West African country into doubt. Jammeh after the election results was announced last week conceded defeat, prompting wild celebrations over the defeat of a government that is being accused of detaining, torturing and killing opponents by human rights groups during the president's rule.

Jammeh said "After a thorough investigation, I have decided to reject the outcome of the recent election. I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which reportedly transpired during the electoral process,”
"I recommend fresh and transparent elections, which will be officiated by a god-fearing independent electoral commission," he concluded.
Banjul, the capital was quiet overnight, and there was nervousness in the country from the President's statement, that he would deal with any mischief-maker who take to the streets according to Witnesses.

Mankeur Ndiaye Senegalese foreign minister, called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council while issuing warning to Jammeh not to harm Senegal's citizens or interests in Gambia.
The U.S. State Department’s reaction was swift saying in a statement that Jammeh's rejection of the results was an egregious attempt to undermine a credible election and remain illegitimately in power.
The electoral commission’s Official results gave Barrow, who once worked as a security guard at retailer Argos in London, 45.5 percent of the vote against Jammeh's 36.7 percent.

General Ousman Badjie Army chief earlier called Barrow to pledge his allegiance, the latter's spokesperson said, although sources say they expect a faction from Jammeh's Jola ethnic group to remain loyal to him.

As dwindling oil income has driven the Nigerian economy to the brink the

country is turning to farming in its first full-year contraction in more than two decades.1 trillion Naira ($3.2 billion) is set aside by the government to capitalize state-owned Bank of Agriculture Ltd, so that it can lend at less than half the commercial rate for farming projects.
Also the African Development Bank and World Bank are to set up staple crop-processing zones with electricity and roads to attract more money from the private-sector.
In the 60s, Nigeria grew almost all the food it consumed and topped global palmoil and groundnut production, but ignored farming during the oil boom, making the economy depend on crude oil for almost 90 percent of all its export earnings.
Africa’s most-populous Nation Nigeria, with 180 million people, according to the statistics bureau’s data on foreign trade spent more than 1 trillion Naira importing food last year, causing an income squeeze brought by decline in crude prices.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest importer of wheat, sugar and rice, other food imports range from fruit to tomato paste.
Farming in Nigeria consists mostly of crops such as cocoa, of which it is the world’s fourth-largest producer, cassava, rice and palm oil, the industry expanded in the first nine months of 2016, and employs 70 percent of the working population, according to the World Bank.
Aiming to kill two birds with one stone, the government want to use its farming campaign for self-sufficiency in farming.

According to Lagos-based investment bank FBNQuest  “Nigeria’s farming is “on the move,” partly because of the continuity of government policy from the previous administration, “A total of 14 million farmers are registered on the ministry’s database to access inputs in February, and a target of 30 million has been set,” it said in an e-mailed note. type/full

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