Top stories of the week (2 – 6 July)

Global Voices Summit begins today (Global Voices)

Photo: Global Voives / Flickr)

300 bloggers, activists and technologists participating in the Global Voices Summit 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya have just been seated for a two-day meeting of public discussions and workshops about the rise of online citizen media movements worldwide.

Among the highlights in today’s program is the opening panel on the Global Rise of Citizen Media led by Global Voices co-founder Ethan Zuckerman.

We will also be introducing Kenya citizen media, discussing the rise of #Occupy movements around the world, and exploring the influence of diaspora populations on citizen media and national public debates.


Somali Presidential Elections: six ways to win power (African Arguments)

If it all goes according to plan, 135 clan elders who represent a convoluted power-distribution model that arbitrarily compartmentalizes Somalis into four and half clans, will select 225 members to the new parliament sometime in July. The new MPs will in turn elect a speaker and his deputies on August 4, and a president on August 20.

More than 60 men have declared their candidacy for the top job, but fewer than a handful stand a realistic chance to becoming the 8th president of the Somali Republic, since independence in 1960.

And even among the few who are considered front-runners, they’d have to meet most – if not all – of six factors that are the litmus test to becoming the president of Somalia. The factors are listed in the order of their importance. Read more…


Macky Sall’s coalition wins landslide in Senegal poll (Reuters)

Sall’s supporters (Photo: AFP)

A coalition backing newly elected Senegalese President Macky Sall, won a landslide victory with 119 seats in a July 1 legislative election, provisional results announced by the west African nation’s election commission showed on Wednesday.

Sall’s Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition won a controlling majority of the total 150 seats, while the former ruling Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) won 12 seats, Demba Kandji, president of the national electoral commission said.

A breakaway faction of PDS won four seats while other smaller political parties shared the remaining 15 seats, Kandji said.

Voter turnout was 36.67 percent of the more than 5 million registered voters.


UN stops short of endorsing intervention in Mali (Reuters)

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday endorsed West African political efforts to end unrest in Mali but stopped short of backing military intervention in the West African state, where al Qaeda-linked militants control significant territory.

Mali’s neighbors have been seeking U.N. backing for armed intervention to stabilize the country. In June, the Security Council asked the African Union and West African group ECOWAS to explain more precisely what kind of resolution they want.

Thursday’s council resolution did not give them the backing they sought, but did not rule it out in the future. It also expressed full support for ECOWAS and AU mediation efforts in Mali.

The French-drafted resolution said the council «expresses its readiness to further examine the request of ECOWAS once additional information has been provided regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the envisaged deployment.»

Foreign direct investment into Africa to double by 2014: UN (Reuters)

Foreign direct investment inflows into Africa fell in 2011 for the third consecutive year but could more than double by 2014, as stronger economic growth, ongoing reforms and high commodity prices improve investor perceptions, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said Africa’s FDI prospects for 2012 were promising and forecast average flows of between $55 billion and $65 billion in 2012. It projected this would grow to $70-$85 billion in 2013 and $75-$100 billion in 2014.

«Inflows to Africa are expected to recover as a result of stronger economic growth, ongoing economic reforms and high commodity prices, as well as improving investor perceptions of the continent, mainly from other emerging markets,» the report said.

For the first time, FDI inflows from developing economies into Africa, outstripped those from developed economies, the report showed.

Commodity-rich countries, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, attracted the bulk of FDI in their respective regions. Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and most populous nation, received inflows of $8.92 billion, representing a fifth of all flows to the continent.

Picture of the week

A plantation where an inedible crop called jatropha is grown to produce biofuels. The biofuel company has acquired 19,753 acres of villagers’ land in Kisarawe Photograph: Tom Pietrasik/ActionAid

Tanzania: land rights v biofuel development – in pictures (The Guardian)

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