- As two controversial ex-Presidents head the run in Guinea-Bissau's upcoming presidential elections, the leader of the Portuguese speaking countries' community (CPLP) warns that donors again could get tired by the never-ending political crisis in the country. Both ex-Presidents had a poor fame in the international donor community.
Luís Fonseca, the Executive Secretary of the CPLP, has warned of the risk that the international community may "get tired of the situation in Guinea-Bissau," an ex-Portuguese colony plagued with persistent instability that has deprived the Bissau-Guinean people of the funds and aid that is "desperately" needs.
The Cape Verdean diplomat emphasised that the Portuguese speaking community did not want to get involved with internal questions of Guinea-Bissau. However, he said, the CPLP could not abstain from expressing its concerns in the same way that had been previously done by the UN Security Council, the European Union (EU) and the Portuguese government.
In particular the EU has sent a clear signal that it is dissatisfied with the candidature of ex-President Kumba Yala in the upcoming elections. Mr Yala's candidacy was expected to cause further political instability and divisions in Guinea-Bissau, according to Brussels. The ex-President, who runs for the main opposition party, officially is banned from politics until 2008, according to a transitional constitution that also his party has signed and agreed to.
Mr Yala was also very controversial during his presidency. While democratically elected President Yala is widely accused of having thrown Guinea-Bissau into an economic and political chaos, causing donors to shy away from the poor country. Also the other main candidate, ex-President and military dictator João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, has a bad reputation among donors, especially due to his government's poor record on human rights and corruption.
Mr Fonseca of the CPLP does not want to go as far as the EU, naming particular candidates. "We do not pretend to give lection, or teach, or interfere, but only to call for attention," the diplomat says. "It is a question of common sense, and if there is no common sense in the country, it runs a very great risk," the CPLP leader adds.
Mr Fonseca emphasised that the task of the Community was to help establishing stability in Guinea-Bissau. This, he said, was to be achieved by sending a permanent representative of the CPLP to Bissau even before the June presidential polls, sending an election observer mission to the polls and participate in the monitoring of the campaigns and vote counting.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.