Category Archives: West Africa – Senegal

Fmr Senegal Minister of Finance, Makhtar Diop gets World Bank appointment.

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Diop, currently World Bank vice president for infrastructure and previously vice president for Africa, will take his new post at the IFC on March 1.

The World Bank on Thursday announced it selected former Senegal finance minister Makhtar Diop to lead the agency responsible for private sector finance at a critical time for the global recovery.

He would be the first African to lead the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which leverages financing to support private firms in developing nations.

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The announcement comes just days after the World Trade Organization selected Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its new director-general, the first African and first woman to serve in that role.

File Photo: Former Senegal’s Finance Minister, Diop Makhtar | Noble Reporters Media | Adigun Michael Olamide | NoRM News

Noting his “deep development and finance experience,” World Bank President David Malpass said, Diop’s “skills at IFC will help the World Bank Group continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery.”

Diop, currently World Bank vice president for infrastructure and previously vice president for Africa, will take his new post at the IFC on March 1.

The Washington-based development lender said Diop’s key responsibilities will be to “deepen and energize” what it called the IFC’s 3.0 strategy to mobilize private capital, increase climate and gender investments and support countries facing conflict.

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“It also aims to expand IFC’s impact in the poorest and most fragile countries, with a goal to more than triple IFC’s annual own-account investments,” the World Bank said.

Diop, an economist who studied in Britain, worked in finance before entering government. He was named Senegal’s minister of Economy and Finance in April 2000, a position he held for just over a year.

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#Newsworthy

Trouble looms in Senegal.

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Sonko’s current whereabouts are unknown. Senegal’s government was also not immediately available for comment.

Dozens of supporters of Senegalese opposition figure Ousmane Sonko clashed with police in the capital Dakar on Monday, an AFP journalist said, after a beautician accused the politician of rape.

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Sonko finished third in 2019 election, which saw President Macky Sall win a second term in office, and is considered a future presidential contender in the West African state.

But controversy has dogged the politician since early this month when Senegalese media reported that an employee of a beauty salon had filed rape charges against him.

Sonko denied the charges in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday evening, explaining that he had visited the salon to receive massages to relieve back pain.

The 46-year-old head of the opposition Pastef party added that the rape accusation was an “attempt at political liquidation,” noting that two people had always been present during the massages.

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“I explicitly accuse Macky Sall… of fomenting this political plot against me,” he said.

A Pastef official told AFP that Sonko had refused to attend a police summons on Monday.

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On Twitter, Sonko said he could not attend because he had parliamentary immunity, but added that he would speak to investigators were his immunity lifted.

Supporters of the senegalese political figure Ousmane Sonko clashes with security forces on february 8, 2021. – Dozens of supporters of Senegalese opposition figure Ousmane Sonko clashed with police in the capital Dakar on Monday, an AFP journalist said, after a beautician accused the politician of rape. Sonko finished third in 2019 election, which saw President Macky Sall win a second term in office, and is considered a future presidential contender in the West African state. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP)

Dozens of supporters gathered outside Sonko’s residence in Dakar on Monday and hurled rocks at police officers, according to an AFP journalist. Officers fired teargas canisters to disperse them.

Sonko’s current whereabouts are unknown. Senegal’s government was also not immediately available for comment.

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The rape scandal comes amid uncertainty about whether 59-year-old Sall will run for a third term.

Presidents in the former French colony are limited to two consecutive terms.

However, Sall launched a constitutional review in 2016, raising suspicions that he intends to run again.

Other presidents in the region have used constitutional changes to extend their grip on power.

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Last year, in Guinea, 82-year-old President Alpha Conde won a controversial third term in October after pushing through a new constitution that allowed him to bypass a two-term limit.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, 78, was also elected for an equally contentious third term, after having revised the country’s constitution.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Inferno hit Dakar’s memorial market.

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Firefighters worked through the night in a bid to stop a huge blaze that destroyed Dakar’s historic market.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Teacher in Senegal crowdfunds school rebuild

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Schoolteacher Mamadou Junior Diakhaté is on a mission to rebuild a school in Senegal in time for students to pass their exams to enter high school.

The teacher nicknamed “Junior” used his social media accounts to crowdfund the rebuild and has raised about 3,000 euros.

The institution was shut due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and only pupils who were sitting the tests could partially return in June, coinciding with the heavy rain period.

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“This school must host students on September 14th for exams and look at the state of the classrooms. So we came to give a hand,” said Diakhaté.

“With the money we buy equipment, then we publish on social media the invoices, everything the money was use for. We show before and after photos and regular updates. So people trust us because they see that their donation is used for something and not used for other purposes .”-

Thanks to his popular Twitter page, he has raised about 3,000 euros. But he says one headteacher accused him of playing politics.

But many other schools in the country are in the same state. He’s received about 40 requests from schools in similar conditions.


#Newsworthy…

Akon City Underway In Senegal.

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Business Development in Africa
Akon City, the futuristic pan-African city named after and envisioned by Senegalese-American Hip hop R&B recording artist Akon, is officially underway. Located in Mbodiene, Senegal some 100 kilometres from the capital, the grammy-nominated star intends for this project to provide much-needed jobs to the Senegalese and serve as home to people of African ancestry in the Diaspora who feel out of place due to racial injustice they face outside the Motherland.

Akon City is afrofuturistic
He explained, “I wanted to build a city with or a project like this, that will give them (Black Americans) the motivation that there is a home back home and it’s something they can relate to. That they are familiar with, and it’s something they don’t have to fear and they also have a choice. Because the system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way.”

Afro Diaspora and Africa
Akon, who was born in the United States to Senegalese parents, spent much of his childhood in the West African country.

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Senegalese authorities have embraced him as a native son, introducing him by his given name Aliuane Thiam and praising him for investing in Africa at a time of such global financial uncertainty.

Alioune Sarr, Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, expressed his admiration and appreciation for such a huge investment in Senegal, “This is how we show ourselves in Africa, that while Covid-19 makes all the countries of the world doubt the confidence they have in their economy, during this time, a Senegalese, an investor, who could stay in the United States all his life, decides to come and invest in his country.”

It was a true celebratory kickoff indeed on Monday as the first phase of the $6 billion project will begin in 2021 — with a third of the financial investment already secured by as yet unidentified investors due to non-disclosure agreements.

Afrofuturistic Paradise
Akon could not contain his excitement, “When this project came about that was actually before the movie (‘Black Panther’). But when the movie came it was almost like a blessing, almost like God allowed this movie to be successful for me to get compared to such success to give people that mind state that this can be possible in Africa. And it also motivated us too when we were creating the city from an architectural standpoint that it has to feel and it has to be futuristic.”

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RIP Chadwick Boseman and “Wakanda Forever” perhaps in the form of Akon City

Akon City is to be an African utopia with everything available to its inhabitants. Its own hospital, police stations, plus a seaside resort, a tech hub and even a recording studio. A hotel within the city plans is to feature rooms with themes of each of the 54 African countries. The city will also boast a zone dubbed “Senewood” that developers hope will evolve into a thriving film industry in Senegal and even have its own cryptocurrency already named AKoin.

The almost surrealist, water-like designs of Akon City will be structured out of glass and metal – and were inspired by forms of traditional African art found in villages continent-wide since the beginning of Africa’s long history.

Many compare Akon City to Wakanda, the fictional technologically advanced African kingdom in the blockbuster record-breaking movie ‘Black Panther.’ A huge honour for Akon, especially after having just lost the Chadwick Boseman at 43 years to colon cancer — the iconic and beloved actor who portrayed the royal superhero in the film and was a real-life hero to many in the global Afro community.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Universities in Senegal reopening

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Senegal’s universities began reopening their doors on Tuesday after being closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the county’s largest university, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, the 78,000 students were split into three groups.

Some will attend classes in person on rotation with others who will do online classes.

Senegal has eight universities but other institutions will open later in the week.

They must now adhere to COVID-19 safety rules, which include social distancing measures.

There have been over 13,500 coronavirus cases in the country with more than 250 deaths, according to data from The World Health Organization.


#Newsworthy…