As we wrap up the week, here are the top stories from Africa. Osimhen and others tested negative for drugs after the AFCON 2023 match.
Meanwhile, the list of the top 10 African cities with the highest crime at the start of 2024 raises alarm bells for safety. Out-of-control wildfires wreak havoc on parts of Cape Town, underscoring the urgency of environmental protection. In sports, the Rugby World Cup 2023 breaks records as the most-viewed rugby event ever, showcasing the global passion for the sport.
On the political front, the EFCC’s investigation into former Minister Sirika over the Nigeria Air deal reflects ongoing scrutiny into government transactions, highlighting the need for transparency and accountability.
Check out all the top stories below:
RUGBY WORLD CUP 2023 WAS THE MOST-VIEWED RUGBY EVENT OF ALL TIME
Just when you thought we were past the monumental 2023 Rugby World Cup, news comes in that it became the most-watched rugby event ever, with the Springboks appearing in the top two most-viewed matches of the tournament.
The Rugby World Cup 2023 in France had 1.33 billion viewing hours across all broadcast types, making it 30% more viewed than England 2015 and 19% more viewed than Japan 2019.
Despite the national team exiting in the quarter-finals, France recorded the highest viewership worldwide with 481 million viewing hours.
The RWC Final between the Springboks and New Zealand had the most viewing hours worldwide at 94 million, followed by the fourth quarter-final between France and South Africa at 69 million.
AFCON 2023: OSIMHEN, OTHERS TEST NEGATIVE TO DRUGS
Three Nigerian Super Eagles players at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) have undergone drug testing, and the results revealed that they tested negative for drugs.
Striker Victor Osimhen, forward Ademola Lookman, and captain William Troost-Ekong were the members of the squad who underwent testing.
The Confederation of African Football made this move following the impressive performance of Napoli star striker Victor Osimhen and his Eagles teammates against Cameroon in Saturday’s Round of 16 match, selecting them for a random drug test.
Nigeria eliminated Cameroon with a 2-0 victory in the AFCON match, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they will face Angola this week.
Osimhen’s performance in this recent match has attracted the attention of CAF, leading to his being picked for a random test.
TOP 10 AFRICAN CITIES WITH THE HIGHEST CRIME AT THE START OF 2024
Numbeo, a Serbian crowd-sourced global database, has revealed its latest data on the crime and safety index, indicating that urban areas experience higher crime rates than rural or suburban areas.
Numbeo classifies crime levels based on the number of offenses per person per year, offering insights into the safety of an area, with categories ranging from moderate (40-60) to high (60-80) and very high (above 80).
The data platform has revealed the list of the top 10 African cities with the highest crime at the start of 2024:
Other cities on the list include Algiers in Algeria, Cairo in Egypt, and Tunis in Tunisia.
MAN WANTED FOR ALLEGEDLY KILLING GIRLFRIEND AND LEAVING BODY AT AIRPORT
Kenyan police said Tuesday they arrested a man allegedly wanted for killing his girlfriend and leaving her body in a parking lot at a Boston airport before flying to Kenya.
Director of Criminal Investigations Mohammed Amin informed The Associated Press that Kevin Kangethe, aged 40, was apprehended at a nightclub on Monday following a tipoff.
Amin confirmed Kangethe’s extradition plans. Margaret Mbitu, 31, from Whitman, Massachusetts, was found deceased inside a car at a parking garage at Boston Logan International Airport in early November, just two days after her family reported her missing.
The U.S. Embassy also commended the efforts of Kenyan law enforcement in arresting the fugitive.
OUT-OF-CONTROL WILDFIRES HIT PARTS OF CAPE TOWN
Residents from small coastal towns near Cape Town in South Africa were evacuated after a wildfire broke out surrounding the mountains and burned out of control for a second day on Tuesday.
The fires broke out due to the hot, dry, and windy conditions lately, and the difficult terrain made firefighting efforts even harder.
One fire in the Kluitjieskraal area near Wolseley has been burning since 22 January, splitting into two firelines on both sides of the Obiqua Mountain.
Another fire outside Worcester in the Fairy Glen area has grown to over 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres), with areas of fire in high, hard-to-reach spots that haven’t been controlled yet, but they’re not posing any danger to people in Worcester.
On Monday, residents were told to leave parts of the nearby town of Betty’s Bay, while authorities instructed a complete evacuation of Pringle Bay, a coastal village loved by holidaymakers located approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Cape Town.
Annelie Rabie, mayor of the Overstrand municipality, reported up to six wildfires, with one heading directly toward Pringle Bay while four were contained.
AFCON 2023: QUATER-FINAL MATCHES
FRIDAY, 02 FEBRUARY 2024
- Nigeria vs. Angola (7pm)
- DR Congo vs. Guinea (10pm)
SATURDAY, 03 FEBRUARY 2024
- Mali vs. Ivory Coast (7pm)
- Cape Verde vs. South Africa (10pm)
NEARLY 400 ETHIOPIANS HAVE DIED OF STARVATION IN RECENT MONTHS
The national ombudsman announced on Tuesday that almost 400 people have died from hunger in Ethiopia’s Tigray and Amhara regions in recent months.
Local officials have reported starvation deaths in their districts before, but Ethiopia’s federal government says these reports are “completely wrong.
Ethiopia’s ombudsman sent experts to regions affected by drought and recovering from a recent civil war, reporting 351 hunger-related deaths in Tigray and 44 in Amhara over the past six months.
According to a memo seen by The Associated Press, only a number of people in Tigray are getting food assistance, even though aid groups started giving out grain again over a month ago after stopping because of theft.
Only 14% of the 3.2 million people in Tigray targeted for food aid got it by Jan. 21, according to the memo by the Tigray Food Cluster, a group of aid agencies co-chaired by the U.N.’s World Food Program and Ethiopian officials. Humanitarian groups are urged to act fast, warning that “failure to take swift action now will result in severe food insecurity and malnutrition during the lean season, with possible loss of the most vulnerable children and women in the region.”
MOTHER OF 11 ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO SELL TWO SONS
In a troubling incident in Nigeria, a 38-year-old woman named Chinyere Chukwu was caught while attempting to sell two of her sons for N1.8 million, citing economic hardships as the reason behind her actions.
On Tuesday evening, the state Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, accompanied by security operatives, apprehended the suspects after receiving information about the alleged transaction and pretending to be interested buyers for the children.
According to the Anambra State Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, prior to their apprehension, Chukwu, a resident of Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, was allegedly involved in a scheme with her 17-year-old daughter, Joy Chukwu, to sell her two sons.
During interrogation, Chukwu revealed that she had 11 children and, unable to care for them, opted to sell two due to the country’s economic difficulties.
“I have 11 kids and when I could not cater to them, I decided to sell two of them because of the economic hardship in the country. Since they are boys, the prices were kept at N1m each but after serious bargaining by the commissioner, who posed as the buyer, we decided to sell them at N1.8m, instead of the initial N2m. I developed an interest in the business and decided to embark on such adventure after my neighbour successfully sold one of her kids. This was my first attempt at the business. I had only two kids for my husband and got the remaining nine children after my husband’s demise and ever since then, I have not been able to give them adequate care and support.”
EFCC INVESTIGATING EX-MINISTER SIRIKA OVER NIGERIA AIR DEAL
The former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the controversial Nigeria Air deal, as revealed by Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development.
While speaking on Channels TV Politics Today on Wednesday, Keyamo stated, “There is a criminal investigation going on. I have called for the report.”
In addition, the minister emphasized that no local airline would be appointed as a national airline, emphasizing, “We will establish a proper national carrier.”
Sirika has faced criticism for the suspended Nigeria Air project.
Shortly after being sworn in as minister in August, Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), criticized Sirika’s deal and suspended the entire arrangement for a thorough contract audit. Nigeria Air was unveiled shortly before the end of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, leading to controversy, which ultimately prompted veteran aviator Girma Wake to resign as Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines.
GHANA BLACK STARS SEARCHING FOR A NEW COACH
After Ghana dismissed coach Chris Hughton due to their failure to advance to the top 16 group stage in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Black Stars are currently in search of a new coach.
The committee led by GFA Vice President Mark Addo is actively searching for a highly qualified individual to take charge of the Black Stars.
The deadline for applications is Friday, 2 February 2024, at 11:59 pm local time.