The most important in this week’s headlines out of and about Africa, for those who need help catching up.

A woman examines a list of candidates in Zanzibar.Daniel Hayduk/AFP
A woman examines a list of candidates at a polling station in Zanzibar

In this week’s news, many countries head to the polls, Egypt makes a major discovery, and Nigeria deals a blow to its women.

Major Elections Held in Six African Countries

On Sunday, voters in Benin, Cape Verde, Congo, Niger, Senegal and Zanzibar turned up to vote in Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The elections have been met with a fair amount of disorder and unrest. The Republic of the Congo has enforced a media blackout during the elections, prohibiting the use of telephones, the internet, and texting. Groups in Niger and Zanzibar have accused their governments of voting fraud, leading to calls for a boycott in Zanzibar.

Meanwhile, voters in Senegal are deciding if they should install Presidential term limits, and the polls in Benin have so far been reported as peaceful. Results from these elections will become available later in the week.

Hidden Chambers Likely in King Tut’s Tomb

Egypt’s Antiquities Minister is 90 percent certain that there are two undiscovered chambers in the tomb of the famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun. Various pieces of evidence – from high-definition photos to radar scans – suggest the presence of the extra rooms.

It is believed that the famous queen Nefertiti – King Tut’s step-mother – might be buried in one of the tombs, a theory that western news media has latched onto since it was first announced last year that there may be extra chambers. However, the only way to find what is in the chambers is to explore them but Egyptian archaeologists want to be 100% certain they are there before they try to open them.

Nigerian Senate Strikes Down Gender Equality Bill

A Nigerian bill designed to increase the rights of women has been struck down by the Nigerian senate.

The bill would have helped protect women from physical and sexual violence, allowed them to inherit property, and give them the right to vote and seek political office. Senators cited religious opposition to the bill, saying it was a religious attack on both Christians and Muslims, and rejected it on these grounds.

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