The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.
This week we look at the threat posed by religious radicals in a Central African nation, the effects of technological innovation in many African countries, and a sporting extravaganza begins in Brazzaville.
1. Religious radicals risk instability in Cameroon
Despite the recent troubles caused by Boko Haram, the African nation of Cameroon is known to be a place of peace around the Lake Chad region of Africa.
For one thing, the country, unlike its neighbors, Nigeria and the Central African Republic, has never experienced massive destabilization caused by radical religious groups.
This picture may be changing, according to the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based non- governmental organization which specializes in risk assessment and the potentials for conflict in countries around the world.
In the Africa Report No 229, the group warns that the rise of Christian revivalist movements, or so called born-again Christians, as well as Muslim fundamentalists movements in the northern part of the country, especially pose a great risk to Cameroon’s stability.
With rapid changes taking place within these groups, the Cameroon government, the Crisis Group says, must take action to stem the destabilizing effects that are becoming visible.
“The struggle against the threat of religious radicalism in Cameroon requires a coherent and comprehensive strategy including a better understanding of the current religious changes, support for a charter on religious tolerance, the creation of representative bodies for the Muslim communities and Revivalist Churches, and the economic and social development of fragile regions.”
2. “The future Is African”
Even as there is a slow-down in the economies of many African countries, the technological changes sweeping across the continent continue unabated.
Technology has taken off in Africa, we are told.
“With smartphone prices plummeting, with ever-affordable, and fast, mobile data and with increasingly user-friendly services, tech has taken off in Africa.”
This analysis comes from Barret Nash, a contributor for Tech Crunch, a leading U.S. technology firm that profiles startups. Writing what he says is a “call to action”, Nash, CEO of Safe Motors, states:
“Until the world’s best and brightest decide to stay in Africa, instead of ignore it or flee it, there will be little headway in creating a tech ecosystem that innovatively confronts the opportunities and challenges of the continent — because no one understands them.”
Nash, who has spent a substantial amount of time on the continent, is asking American tech entrepreneurs, those he calls the dreamers, not to build the next Facebook or WhatsApp in America, but instead to do that in Africa.
3. 11th All Africa Games kick-off in Brazaville, Congo
Having hosted the first games in 1965, the Congolese capital is host to the 2015 All Africa Games, a continental multi-sports event organized every four years by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa.
Lyon-based Euronews, a multilingual European news channel says, “ The eyes of the sporting world will be on the central African country which in the past has made headlines beyond the sporting pages.”
The two-week event, from September 1 to 18, involves all 53 member countries of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). This year, 49 countries are participating, according to Euronews.