The Great Lakes Research Journal

In-depth reviews of issues and challenges facing Central Africa – ISSN: 1554-0391

Germain Ngota, managing editor of the Cameroon Express, died in prison. He was held under the charges of using false documents and fraud. He was one of the three reporters being held by authorities under the same charges.

Reportedly, Mr. Ngota suffered from high blood pressure and did not receive any medical attention while in custody.

SNJC’s (journalist union) Henriette Ekwee said, “I am shocked and appalled by his death.”

“The authorities failed to provide Ngota with adequate medical treatment despite repeated requests by his family and colleagues,” the CPJ’s (New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists) Tom Rhodes said in a statement.

According to CPJ, at the time he was brought into custody, Mr. Ngota was in the process of investigating a corruption scheme between a state-run oil operation and a presidential adviser.

According to Reporters Without Borders, “draconian laws regularly put journalists behind bars.”

The circumstances under which Mr. Ngota are suspicious indeed. Hopefully a more thorough investigation is able to shed some more light on the situation, although it seems like it will be a tough task with the way the country is run.

Ultimately, it is reporters who are able to shine the light of truth on entities such as the government, and one hopes that this incident doesn’t scare off Cameroonian journalist from doing their jobs.

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One of the key figures of Ghana’s squad, Michael Essien, announced that he may not be able to play in South Africa this summer because of injury. He first suffered a tear in his hamstring in December, followed by a knee injury while playing in the Africa Cup of Nations.

“If I make it for the World Cup then great – if not I have my whole career ahead of me,” he told Chelsea’s official website.

“The last thing I want is to rush back and cause more problems down the line.”

“The World Cup is the best and most difficult football tournament in the world and I would rather be there fully fit,” he said on his official website.

“We will just have to wait and see. If not I’ll have to sit at home and support the team like every Ghanaian.”

It would be a huge blow for Ghana if he were to miss the World Cup, since he is a very skilled player and a big part of the team.

Having one of the better African teams weakened by injury is another issue, as Ghana is one of the more hopeful African squads that might be able to go deep into the tournament, or maybe even hoist the cup.

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The landmark elections held in Sudan did not meet international standards but, according to observers they should still be recognized.

“It is obvious that the elections will fall short of international standards,” said former US president Jimmy Carter, who was present during the elections along with his group from the Carter Center.

According to Carter’s mission, “unfortunately, many political rights and freedoms were circumscribed for most of this period, fostering distrust among the political parties.” It also “observed important flaws and found that the process fell short of Sudan’s obligations and related international standards”.

The Carter mission added that the elections “lacked sufficient safeguards and transparency necessary to verify key steps and build confidence and trust in the process.” It listed problems such as voter identification issues, ballot box seals, and ink.

Despite these problems, Carter stated that the elections gave the people of Sudan “an opening to participate and present their views,” and that the results should be recognized worldwide.

“My belief is that most of the international community, as represented by their governments, will accept the result of the election,” he said.

While it’s a shame that the elections had so many problems, it was still a huge step for the country and people of Sudan. Hopefully lessons can be learned and applied to future elections in which the citizens of Sudan can continue to form their own future.

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Richard Mugabe, current president of Zimbabwe admitted that the educational system in the country is in ruin. One of the problems being that teachers don’t receive much of a salary.

“To the teachers, it is with regret and apologies that your reward has been nothing but a mere pittance, not worthy to be called salaries at all but just allowances,” stated Mugabe.

“Quite a number of children have dropped out of school and it pains us because we had developed our system to a level that it was admired by many in Africa, if not the world,” he added.

The country’s educational system used to be the envy of the continent but, has slowly deteriorated over the years to the point where 15 students share one textbook.

A public school teacher in Zimbabwe earns $165 a month, forcing 20,000 teachers to move to greener pastures.

“Our standards have fallen,” Mugabe said. “But, of course, there is always room for improvement and the hopes that things will get better.

“Let’s keep the spirit that shows there is always optimism on the part of parents, children and government that we are moving ahead, that there is progress not regression,” he said.

If Zimbabwe is to recover from the economic collapse it has suffered over the last few decades, then they’ll have to implement major educational reforms. Every country that has been able to turn around their economic situation has been able to do so by improving their educational system.

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