Togo’s opposition leader says joining the government of President Faure Gnassingbé has been a major learning curve, because although his party’s top brass had competencies in that they were well educated, “a PhD does not teach you how to run a treasury”.
Nduka Obaigbena, founder and owner of Nigeria’s This Day newspaper group and the lifestyle magazine Arise, is arguably one of Africa’s most influential media men. But just when many would have thought he had his hands full, the media mogul has taken on one more media venture – launching his own TV channel. We caught up with him to find out why.
Among the brightest stars in Ghanaian politics is undoubtedlythe newly-appointed foreign minister, Hanna Tetteh. A woman of keen intellect and amazing communication skills, she has managed to rise to her current position after only 13 years in politics, and without attracting negative publicity. Femi Akomolafe interviewed her in Accra on a wide range of issues, including why Ecowas had to wait for French intervention in Mali, before the regional grouping acted.
The M23 rebel leader in DRCongo, Brigadier-General Sultani Emmanuel Makenga, says he wants peace but if the Kampala peace talks between his group and the Congolese government fail, “the only option we have is to fight till the last man”. Richard Mgamba went to the M23 stronghold, 20km out of Goma, to interview Brig-Gen Makenga, who kept repeating that they are fighting to bring peace, unity and good governance to DRCongo, and they want the return of all Congolese refugees to their homes.
Getting Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo, to sit down for an interview is no mean achievement. But our associate editor, Osasu Obayiuwana, finally got him after an initial kerfuffle. As always, OBJ, as Obasanjo is affectionately called, was as colourful as he can be: “How do you fight a brotherly civil war?”, he asked, referring to Nigeria’s civil war (1967-70). His answer: “A war is a bad thing and a civil war is even worse.” Please sit back – OBJ is on the way...
She was perhaps the most unusual, and certainly one of the most interesting of a galaxy of speakers at the OECD Africa Forum. Céline Victoria Fotso is the founder and director of Ja Wanda Magazine, and she is determined to live the African dream. Stephen Williams learned more.
JP O’Malley meets up with Wole Soyinka, the rather elusive literary-great to, ostensibly, discuss his new book, Of Africa, but their conversation took a few necessary detours. In this exclusive interview for New African, the outspoken Nobel Literature laureate does not mince his words on a range of issues on Africa. From Boko Haram’s “ideology of death” to why there is “no such thing as African culture”.
The Senegalese judge, Justice El Hadji Malick Sow, served as an alternate judge for Trial Chamber II of the Special Court of Sierra Leone that tried the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor. For the five years that the trial lasted, Justice Sow sat on the bench with three other “main” judges who presided over the trial in rotation. As alternate judge, Justice Sow’s job was to step in and act as a “main” judge whenever any of the three main judges was unable to sit. He says during the five years, he “worked harder than anybody else because I took it very seriously, for me it was a very important trial because I was the only judge from the West African sub-region, and as such, I couldn’t come back home, face my people, and tell them lies about what I didn’t see or cannot justify.”