Who / What did we Celebrate in Africa in 2019?

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Laurent Gbagbo

1. The liberation of President Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé (How long shall they kill our prophets…?) from the Hague after 8 years unjustly accused of crimes against humanity. All charges were dropped, Laurent Gbagbo, Former President of Cote d’Ivoire, was acquitted of War Crimes, yet Blé Goudé and him are still persecuted by the prosecutor, and Blé Goudé is still stuck in the Hague unjustly, while Gbagbo is in Belgium; both are unable to return home to Côte d’Ivoire. This is another case of Deportation of African Heads of States. Our prayers have been answered, and we will continue until they can both return home, and until Côte d’Ivoire is rid of all the nonsense brought by France there.  As Agostinho Neto Neto said: “La luta continua e la victoria e certa!”

2. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)‘s first democratically elected president, Felix Tshisekedi, was invested on 24 January which marked a historic day in the life of the DRC. Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi marked the first peaceful transfer of power in the history of the DRC in 60 years, since the Belgium granted it independence.

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Abiy Ahmed, Prime minister of Ethiopia (Source: sa.breakingnews.co.za)

3. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year. We celebrate it, but it has become quite controversial as he was awarded the Nobel for his work in ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea…. the question remains as to why wasn’t his Eritrean counterpart recognized as well … doesn’t it take two to tango? Remember how F. de Klerk and Mandela were both awarded the Nobel peace prize for the end of apartheid? Both sides were recognized… so why not in the case of Ethiopia and Eritrea?

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Kais Saied,  new president of Tunisia getting sworn in (Source: Al Jazeera)

4. Tunisia celebrated the election of Kais Saied aka ‘The Robot’: The Political Outsider Who Won the Tunisian Presidential Election. Saied, a political outsider and retired law professor, won the presidential election with a landslide victory. We cheered with the Tunisian people for a good election and hopefully a good choice.

5. Cameroon’s opposition leader Maurice Kamto was freed after almost 10 months of unjust arrest. This has helped us all uncover yet another scandal: Cameroon and the Double Standard of the ‘International Community’. Kamto had been locked up with over 200 of his supporters at the capital’s maximum security prison for a peaceful march. He has now been freed, and all charges dropped, while the situation in Cameroon keeps disintegrating under the leadership of France’s puppet Paul Biya and his croonies.

6. Rwanda announced the opening of the first mobile phone manufacturing plant in Africa. The mobile phones will be entirely made in Rwanda… for Rwandans. Rwanda opens first entirely homemade smartphone factory. The Mara Group, a pan-African business headquartered in Dubai, says the factory will deliver “high quality smartphones at an affordable price.” Volkswagen will also open its first ever car assembly factory in Africa in Rwanda.

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Eliud Kipchoge after crossing the sub-2hour marathon line (Source: Standard.co.uk)

7. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran a sub-2 hour marathon to become the first person in recorded history to run a marathon in such times.

7. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei set a jaw-dropping new women’s world record at the Chicago marathon with a time of 2:14:04, breaking the record set by British runner Paula Radcliffe in 200316 years ago.

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The Fennecs of Algeria celebrating their title at the CAN 2019 (Source: The Guardian)

8. The Fennecs of Algeria won the African Cup of Nations 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. The Fennecs of Algeria defeated the Lions of the Teranga of Senegal 1-0 to become Africa’s new champions. This was their second title since 1990. They were clearly the tournament’s best team. The revelation of CAN 2019 tournament was the Barea of Madagascar which for their first participation ever to the African Cup of Nations, performed extremely well, and went as far as the quarter finals.

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Alvin Zhakata in Khartoum, Sudan (Source: Alvin Zhakata)

9. This year also saw several fans attempt the journey from Cape to Cairo: Trekking 10,000 km for the African Cup of Nations. One of them finished: Alvin Zhakata, of Zimbabwe, trekked 10,000 km to cheer for the Zimbabwean warriors at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo. Even though he arrived late, after his team had been eliminated, he was offered a VIP ticket to the final. What Zhakata did was no easy feat: he traveled from Cape Town to Cairo by foot enduring visa delays, internet blackouts and revolutionary protests all for the love of football. This was also a bold political statement to all African leaderswe need roads to connect each other; we need better visa system for Africans, safer travel, and increased trade among each otherwe need a united AfricaZhakata’s statement is one of Unity, … African Unity

10. To end the year in fanfare, Ethiopia celebrated the launch of its first satellite. This is an outstanding feat and we are happy to celebrate with Ethiopian scientists and all Ethiopians.

Cape to Cairo: Trekking 10,000 km for the African Cup of Nations

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Alvin Zhakata in Khartoum, Sudan (Source: Alvin Zhakata)

What would you do for the love of football? How far would you go for a chance to watch the biggest continental football event of the year? Will you cross mountains, rivers, plains, and valleys? Well, Alvin Zhakata, a Zimbabwean man, trekked 10,000 km to cheer for the Zimbabwean warriors at the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 in Cairo this past month. He traveled from Cape Town to Cairo by road enduring visa delays, internet blackouts and revolutionary protests all for the love of football. It took him a total of 44 days; he missed his team who were eliminated in the first round, but the CAF president gave him a VVIP ticket to the final between Algeria and Senegal last Friday.

Cecil Rhodes with his transafrican train project from Cairo to Cape Town - the most imperialist ever
Cecil Rhodes with his transafrican train project from Cairo to Cape Town – the most imperialist ever

What Zhakata did, is no simple feat. He did what even the infamous Cecil Rhodes could not achieve: go from Cape Town at the tip of Africa, to Cairo at the very top of the continent. For those who do not know: the words Cape to Cairo immediately bring to mind the European Scramble for AfricaCecil Rhodes and his ambition for Great Britain to control the whole of Africa from Cape to Cairo, and of course to link all British colonies via the Cape to Cairo Railway crossing Africa from south to north by rail. The Cape to Cairo Road was also planned to roughly connect the same countries; however, it is not praticable today, and has remained more of a dream or rather a possibility, which needs revamping.

What Zhakata did is not just a show of undying love of a fan for football, but also a political statement to all African leaders: we need roads to connect each other; we need better visa system, or rather a borderless Africa for better and safer travel, increased trade among each other: we need a united Africa. Zhakata’s statement is one of Unity,… African Unity. Enjoy the excerpt below from BBC.

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CAN 2019
Africa Cup of Nations 2019 in Cairo, Egypt

A Zimbabwean nurse travelled from Cape Town to Cairo by road enduring visa delays, internet blackouts and revolutionary protests all for the love of football.

Alvin “Aluvah” Zhakata had intended to make it to Egypt for the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations on 21 June, when Zimbabwe’s Warriors took on the hosts.

But he missed the match because his epic journey took much longer than expected.

Yet thanks to those following his adventures on Twitter, he has now become a celebrity – and the African football boss has presented him with a ticket to this Friday’s final between Algeria and Senegal.

When the 32-year-old arrived in the Egyptian capital last week, completing his 44-day 10,000km (6,200-mile) trip, he said it was well worth it despite some nerve-wracking experiences.

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Cape to Cairo (Source: BBC)

His other more sobering discovery was that “Africa is not friendly to Africans” – in terms of visas and borders. “And some of the visa fees for African countries, they are actually more expensive than visa fees when you want to go to Europe – and the waiting period takes too long. “I believe we need a borderless Africa.”

The journey began on 27 May on a route passing through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

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CAF president recognizing Alvin Zhakata for his feat, and presenting him with a VVIP ticket to the AFCON 2019 final

[…] His one disappointment has been the performance of the Warriors, who crashed out in the first round – amidst rows over pay.

But he says his achievement – which has become one of the biggest stories of this Africa Cup of Nations tournament – shows it pays to “dare to dream“.

If you have a passion for something, go for it. Pursue it until you get it. It may be delayed, but delay is not denial – be patient and be strong, because the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory,” he says.