Day: August 13, 2019

Letter from Africa: The power of an apostrophe

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Getty Images

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Kwame Nkrumah (second from right) led Ghana to independence in 1957, but was he the only founder?

In our series of letters from African writers, Ghanaian journalist and former government minister Elizabeth Ohene explains the politics – and grammar – behind a new public holiday.
I don't know if schoolchildren are still given lines to write as punishment for doing something wrong. If such punishments are still given, then teachers in Ghana surely have their work cut out for them now.
I can foresee pupils across the country being instructed to write the line “I SHALL TAKE PUNCTUATION SERIOUSLY” many times over. That's because even if we didn't know it before, we now know that the placing of an apostrophe can make a lot of difference.
Ghana has got a new public holiday – on 4 August. Since the holiday this year happened to fall on a Sunday, it was celebrated on the following day.
This new holiday in our national calendar has..

The children sent to a DR Congo ‘holiday camp’ never to come back

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Benoit De Freine

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Abdula Libenge holds a picture of his missing daughter

A court in Belgium is investigating an orphanage for alleged abduction and trafficking of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Children were brought to Belgium and adopted by families who had been told they were orphans. Years later, DNA tests have proved that in some cases they were not.
Hundreds of miles north of DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, is the village of Gemena. Most people make a living from agriculture or fishing; others are carpenters or shopkeepers.
Abdula Libenge, a 34-year-old tailor, is the father of one of four families in the area who in May 2015 sent a child away to Kinshasa on what they thought was a holiday camp.
Their children never came back. Without access to legal representation or assistance from local authorities, all they could do was wait.
About two years after Mr Libenge's daughter disappeared, he received an unexpected visit tha..

The children sent to a DRC ‘holiday camp’ never to come back

Image copyright
Benoit De Freine

Image caption

Suriya Muyombe in the village of Gemena holds a picture of her missing daughter

A court in Belgium is investigating an orphanage for alleged abduction and trafficking of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Children were brought to Belgium and adopted by families who had been told they were orphans. Years later, DNA tests have proved that in some cases they were not.
Hundreds of miles north of DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, is the village of Gemena. Most people make a living from agriculture or fishing; others are carpenters or shopkeepers.
Abdula Libenge, a 34-year-old tailor, is the father of one of four families in the area who in May 2015 sent a child away to Kinshasa on what they thought was a holiday camp.
Their children never came back. Without access to legal representation or assistance from local authorities, all they could do was wait.
About two years after Mr Libenge's daughter disappeared, he receive..

Rwanda : selon le Financial Times, Kigali aurait modifié ses statistiques sur la pauvreté

Au menu du journal de l’Afrique, l’enquête du Financial Times qui épingle Paul Kagame. L’investigation du journal britannique conclut que Kigali a truqué les résultats sur la pauvreté du Rwanda, en amont du référendum de 2015. Cela offre la possibilité à l’actuel président de rester au pouvoir jusqu’en 2034, s’il remporte les prochaines élections. Cette longue enquête arrive aux mêmes conclusions que celles menées par France 24 en 2015.

The Troubles: Does South Africa hold lessons for Northern Ireland?

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Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

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A peace wall that divides communities in Belfast

I arrive in Belfast on a chilly morning. I had spent many sleepless nights reading and preparing for the trip to Northern Ireland.
Everyone I'd talked to about what to expect had spoken about the peace lines – physical walls keeping two communities apart.
“There is nothing like it,” a colleague who grew up in Belfast had told me.
Growing up in South Africa, segregation was stark, but even I'd never seen anything like it.
On Divis Street, one wall painted with murals, mostly political, included the face of my first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Apartheid in South Africa

The Troubles: What led to Northern Ireland's conflict?
How race relations in the 'rainbow nation' have become toxic
These seemingly demarcated areas reminded me of apartheid South Africa in a time of police curfews where there were spaces only whites were allowed and blac..