- A new government was sworn in last night in Guinea-Bissau. The government is made up of 19 cabinet ministers and nine state secretaries and Prime Minister Aristides Gomes is the head of the executive. Most parties are represented in the new government.
Eight of the cabinet ministers and two of the state secretaries are former leaders of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), the majority party in parliament following its win in the September 2004 legislative elections. They were also members of the previous government, which controversially was dissolved on 28 October by President João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira.
According to the Portuguese news agency Lusa, five of the ministers and four of the state secretaries are members of the Social Renovation Party (PRS) and two ministers and one state secretary members of the United Social Democratic Party (PUSD).
The Electoral Union and the Democratic Convergence Party are also represented in the new executive with one minister each. One ministry and two state secretariats are occupied by independents.
Prior to the swearing in of the new government, parliament had asked President Nino Vieira to reconsider his naming of Aristides Gomes as the country's new Prime Minister in light of constitutional norms. The constitution provides for the majority party, currently the PAIGC, to nominate the Prime Minister.
The resolution, approved by the Permanent Parliamentary Commission, considered that the naming of the new Prime Minister "was not approved" by the PAIGC as the majority party in parliament.
The parliament also said that the country is "at a standstill" and in a "grave" situation, and called the President's decision to install Mr Gomes as PM a "flagrant violation of citizens' fundamental rights."
PAIGC has also strongly protested the way the new Prime Minister was appointed by President Nino Vieira. Gomes was the party's first Vice-President until May when, after months of internal tension, he was suspended for openly supporting Mr Vieira's presidential bid against the PAIGC's official candidate, Malam Bacai Sanha.
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.