Monday, June 8

East Africa roundup

--Another journalist killed in Somalia (NYT):
Two gunmen opened fire on two Somali broadcast journalists in the capital’s busy Bakara market on Sunday, killing one and wounding the other, witnesses reported. The dead journalist was identified by the witnesses as Muktar Mohamed Hirabe, director of Shabelle Media Network, a local radio and television station, and the wounded journalist as Ahmed Omar, a Shabelle reporter.
He's the fifth Somali journalist killed this year, and the 14th since 2007, making Somalia the deadliest country in Africa for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.

--Global military spending hasn't suffered much in the recent economic climate (BBC):

Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (£914bn) - up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri.In contrast with civilian aerospace and airlines, the defence industry remains healthy.


Peace-keeping operations - which also benefit defence firms - rose 11%.

Missions were launched in trouble spots such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

--Northern Ugandan bamboo bicycles, coming soon to California (New Vision):
A NEW project in northern Uganda will soon start exporting bicycles made out of bamboo to California.

The African Ellipsi Project, a church based organisation, is finalising plans to build a factory in Gulu town to make the bicycles known as Bamboosero.

--Maybe this is why the U.S. doesn't want flights from Kenya. From the Washington Post:

A stowaway who apparently hid aboard a flight from Ethiopia to Washington was found in the plane's baggage hold by workers at Dulles International Airport, authorities said last night.

As baggage handlers unloaded the Ethiopian Airlines flight Saturday morning, they spotted an arm protruding from between luggage pallets, officials said.

--In interesting news elsewhere on the continent, Gabon's president may have died, but he might not have. Interestingly, all the news reports refer to Omar Bongo as Africa's longest serving-leader, but unless I'm mistaken, he's the longest-serving head of state anywhere, now that Fidel's out, having been in power since 1967. Either way, seems like it's about time for a fresh face. From AFP:

The Gabon government on Monday summoned France's ambassador to protest over reports that President Omar Bongo Ondimba, Africa's longest serving leader, had died in a Spanish clinic.

"Omar Bongo Ondimba is alive and well," Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong said in Barcelona after he and several Gabonese cabinet ministers and family members visited the president on Monday.

2 comments: said...

I work with the bamboo bicycle project in Gulu, Uganda. We are very excited about starting the factory and training local people from Gulu to make the bamboo bikes. If anyone would like more information, feel free to contact me. Our website is under construction, but should be launched next week at

Please stay in touch,

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