- The Algerian constitutional council has announced six presidential election contenders for the April 2009 election. The official campaigning will begin on 19 March and lasts until 7 April.
The council president, Boualem Bessaih, said only six contenders of the 13 have met the constitutional requirements which requires candidates to get at least 600 signatures from elected officials and 75 000 from voters.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Ms Louisa Hanoune, the two Islamist politicians, Mohammed Said and Djahid Younsie and Nationalists Moussa Touati and Fawzi Rebaine have been approved by the Constitutional Council for the 9 April polls.
However, opposition parties have reportedly claimed to boycott the coming elections, alleging that they are already rigged for Mr Bouteflika who will be seeking a third term in the elections but as an independent candidate.
The Algerian parliament last year approved and enacted the law that abolished term limits for presidents, giving the 71-year-old President Bouteflika a chance to tighten his grip on power.
His leadership has overseen a return to relative peace, though there has been a series of suicide bombings over the last two years blamed on militants linked to al-Qaeda.
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.