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Nigeria lose World Cup qualifier, Ghana and Algeria win, Egypt held

Nigeria lose World Cup qualifier, Ghana and Algeria win, Egypt held

NIGERIA’S World Cup qualifying hopes took a heavy blow with a 2-1 defeat by Benin, but Ghana and Algeria salvaged wins while Egypt drew after all three were behind at halftime. Ghana's Jordan Ayew got a hat-trick as they beat the Central African Republic 4-3 in Kumasi after trailing 2-1 at the break, while Algeria were 1-0 down to Uganda in Kampala but second-half goals from Houssem Aouar and Said Benrahma secured a 2-1 win. Mohamed Salah came to Egypt’s rescue with a sensational equaliser for a 1-1 draw in Guinea Bissau. Nigeria lost away to Benin, who were forced…
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Benin-Niger spat deepens with arrests at crude pipeline terminal

Benin-Niger spat deepens with arrests at crude pipeline terminal

A prosecutor in Benin said authorities had detained five Niger nationals for allegedly entering Benin's Seme-Kpodji pipeline terminal under false pretences, deepening a dispute over exports of crude oil from Niger via Benin. In a statement, special prosecutor Mario Metonou said the group had entered the terminal clandestinely and accused at least two of the detainees of being agents of Niger's ruling military junta. "Investigations are ongoing to determine the real motives ... in a context where recurring information suggests the planning of acts against the security of the state of Benin," Metonou said. On Thursday, Niger's Oil Minister Mahamane…
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Niger PM says Benin’s oil export blockade violates accords

Niger PM says Benin’s oil export blockade violates accords

NIGER'S Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine said that Benin's blockade of Niger's oil exports, imposed in response to a border closure, violated trade agreements between the two countries and with Niger's Chinese partners. Speaking at a press conference in the capital Niamey, Zeine said Niger could not fully reopen its border with Benin for security reasons, in comments that escalated a dispute that saw Benin this week block supplies of Niger's crude oil to ships in its port. The blockade jeopardises landlocked Niger's plan to start crude exports under a $400 million deal with state-owned oil major China National…
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Police fire tear gas to disperse Benin wage protest

Police fire tear gas to disperse Benin wage protest

POLICE in Benin fired tear gas to break up a protest over the cost of living called by trade unions and they arrested several senior union figures, witnesses and union officials said. Armed police blocked access to the labour council in the commercial capital Cotonou, surrounding the area where the demonstration was meant to take place and turning away journalists. Some protesters nonetheless gathered nearby, carrying signs and wearing union T-shirts. Police used tear gas to disperse them. Moudassirou Bachabi, who heads the General Confederation of Workers of Benin (CGTB), and Anselme Amoussou, head of union CSA-Benin, were arrested alongside…
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West Africa’s Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone launch malaria vaccination

West Africa’s Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone launch malaria vaccination

BENIN, Liberia and Sierra Leone launched large-scale malaria vaccine programmes on Thursday under an Africa-focused initiative that hopes to save tens of thousands of children's lives per year across the continent. The three West African countries are the latest to participate after successful rollouts of routine malaria immunization for children in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, the global vaccine alliance GAVI said in a statement. The World Health Organization-approved vaccine is meant to work alongside existing tools such as bed nets to combat malaria, which in Africa kills nearly half a million children under the age of 5 each year.…
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African champions Ivory Coast held to draw by Benin

African champions Ivory Coast held to draw by Benin

Oumar Diakite scored a second-half equaliser to spare the blushes of newly-crowned African champions Ivory Coast who were held to a 2-2 draw by Benin in a friendly in Amiens, France. It was the first game for coach Emerse Fae since his side lifted the Cup of Nations title on home soil last month, but they had to come behind twice to draw after a lacklustre performance. Benin midfielder Junior Olaitan opened the scoring before winger Max Gradel equalised just before the half-hour mark. Olaitan’s second goal put Benin on course for victory before Diakite equalised again after 69 minutes.…
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Five African countries to join tier-topping economic growth list amid GDP rebound

Five African countries to join tier-topping economic growth list amid GDP rebound

BENIN, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania are on course to post some of the strongest economic growth rates globally - a show of resilience in the face of troubling global headwinds. A robust combination of domestic policy reforms, increased investment and strategic sectors will mark those nations' outstanding economic outcomes, according to the African Economic Outlook 2023. The countries are bright spots in a continental economy still shaking off residual pandemic shocks. Amid a flurry of global and local challenges, African economies are exhibiting impressive overall resilience, however, with average growth predicted to stabilise at 4% in 2023-24, surpassing…
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Angelique Kidjo in line for a record sixth Grammy Award

Angelique Kidjo in line for a record sixth Grammy Award

ANGELIQUE Kidjo, the energetic singer-songwriter and activist from the Republic of Benin, represents a rare African phenomenon. In many respects, she belongs to the illustrious musical lineage of “Mama Africas” – the likes of South Africa’s Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Cape Verde’s Cesaria Evora and Mali’s Oumou Sangare. Author SANYA OSHA, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Humanities in Africa, University of Cape Town These powerful maternal personages are distinctive for their regal bearing, a grand sense of responsibility in sharing Africa’s cultural heritage, and protecting the dignity of the African woman. They may not always articulate…
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Voodoo dances, rituals wow tourists at Benin festival

Voodoo dances, rituals wow tourists at Benin festival

PULCHERIE ADJOHA and SERAPHIN ZOUNYEKPE ON Benin's national voodoo holiday, performers dressed as guardians of the night swirled in costumes resembling technicolour haystacks, delighting worshippers and tourists alike. Over a thousand people gathered in the small Atlantic coast town of Ouidah on Tuesday, once an important port in the slave trade, to watch the elaborate annual rituals of dance and drumming to honour the 500-year-old religion's panoply of gods and spirits. "They come in increasing numbers because voodoo is no longer considered sorcery, it is no longer considered barbarism," said voodoo spiritual leader Daagbo Hounon Houna II, adorned in colourful…
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Benin holds election set to test democracy

Benin holds election set to test democracy

PULCHERIE ADJOHA VOTERS in Benin went to the polls for a parliamentary election seen as a test of democracy as opposition parties are back on the ballot after boycotting or being excluded from the most recent presidential and legislative votes. Benin's image as a bastion of democracy and stability in West Africa has been dented under President Patrice Talon, who went back on a pledge not to run for another term and oversaw an opposition crackdown since coming to power in 2016. Seven parties are competing for 109 parliamentary seats in Sunday's vote, including the Democrates party linked to Talon's predecessor and…
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