Photo credit: IOM 2017/Amanda Nero

Africa’s population is growing at an astonishing rate. By 2050, the number of people on the continent will climb to 2.5 billion. By the same year, the United Nations predicts that nearly half of the countries in Africa will double their populations. While regions such as Europe have virtually stopped growing, Africa’s population growth shows no signs of slowing.

Campaign posters flood Abuja

In this piece, Abdullah Dass examines the preparations for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary and the chances of party in next year’s general elections.

It is generally believed that President Muhammadu Buhari has a near unshakeable stranglehold on the electorate in the North, especially in the Northwest zone consisting of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara States.

Former US President Barack Obama.(Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)

Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2018: Obama's full speech 

Former US President Barack Obama delivered the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday 17 July 2018. Here's the full transcript of his speech, based on the theme "Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World".

York Declaration on 19 September 2016 made an historic contribution to forging consensus on managing the world's movements of migrants and refugees. It expresses the recognition by world leaders of the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.

 All though we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery (Deepak Chopra). The word sanitation also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.

Postal operators need to wake up to their true potential and start using their enormous reserves of data, vast logistical fleets and infrastructure to lead the world on e-commerce, financial inclusivity and economic development.“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Charles Dickens, but for the world’s postal operators, it must sometimes appear that the good times are gone.

A high turnout was recorded at the polling stations as could be seen in this photo (Sierra Leone Telegraph)

ANALYSIS

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma last week took a break from attending to state matters to join the campaign trail. His first stop was Kabala in the northern Koinadugu District.

At the African Infrastructure Development Partnership (AFIDEP), our sole aim is to promote cooperative working between international business and bankable African projects. We work tirelessly to assist both sides to recognise the potential and implement strategies that lead to long-term prosperous business relationships, which are key to helping Africa stand on its own two feet and move it away from the aid culture that has been propagated for so many years.

Feature OPINION People displaced by fighting wait to get water at a United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp in Malakal, Upper Nile State [Andreea Campeanu/Reuters] One last push to end South Sudan's deadly civil war Africa Link Winnie Byanyima / Al Jazeera 16 December 2017 I know and have seen war and its horror and cruelty in my own country. I have supported peace processes in conflicts since. But all of that didn't quite prepare me for my trip to South Sudan earlier this year. Since civil war broke out in December 2013, South Sudan has spiralled into a deeper state of emergency. It's a brutal conflict, steeped in claims of ethnic cleansing. A deadly hunger crisis reigns over parts of the country: It is the civilians, the women and the children who are paying the price. The palpable hope of South Sudan's independence in 2011 - something so many of us celebrated in our region -  now seems very distant.  Women - strong, hard-working and self-sacrificing women - told me, "We want to walk freely, we want to farm, we want to feed our families." They live in a city called Malakal, on a "Protection of Civilians" (POC) site. "At home, we used our hands for our work, now we have been turned into beggars, and we cannot provide for our families," Mary* told me. She lives on the site now, and like many women has been widowed by the conflict. I visited what felt like a ghost town. Malakal used to be South Sudan's second largest city after the capital, Juba. Now, most of its former residents have fled to neighbouring Sudan - the country that they fought for independence from so fiercely - or they live in the POC camps. The camp I visited is now home to many displaced women and girls; it is guarded by UN peacekeepers who line its outskirts, in tall watchtowers. They carry heavy weaponry in case the camp is attacked - which it has been, on several occasions. “I urge our leaders to give space at the negotiating table not only to those wielding a gun!” It is not a stretch for me to compare these camps to open-air prisons. This is not because these people are detained - they are not. It is also not a criticism of the United Nations for creating these sites - they are needed and have undoubtedly saved countless lives so far.  The camps do however signify the tragedy that the people of South Sudan face: people are there because they need protection from armed groups. I was told that should a person walk out of this camp they face the risk of persecution, harassment, even death. I will never forget the women I met who told me they have to choose between their children going hungry, or risking rape if they leave to search for food. The stories I heard are too awful to repeat. I saw the squalid conditions people have to live in, and I heard of the hunger people are enduring. A war of this nature, which is now so deeply rooted, is unlikely to end without a huge diplomatic effort - something which up to now, has fallen short.  Ending the war in South Sudan must be at the very top of African leaders' political agendas. It is a catastrophe for the entire continent, and our region's biggest refugee crisis. It is a shameful failure of leadership in Africa. The people of South Sudan and our region need renewed negotiations to begin, in order to bring genuine and long-lasting peace to the country. Peace may feel distant, but it is not unreachable. In December, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will be holding the High-Level Revitalisation Forum in Addis Ababa. It is a critical opportunity to bring together warring parties to seek a long-term solution to this bloody conflict. I call upon our regional leaders to push the warring parties to make the hard choices for peace. And together with our partners, Oxfam demands that regional and international powers throw their diplomatic weight behind a transparent and inclusive peace process.  The voices of the people affected by the conflict - women like Mary - must finally be heard. I urge our leaders to give space at the negotiating table to them, not only to those wielding a gun. Any political process must formalise the involvement of the South Sudanese people, including the millions of refugees now living in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC and Kenya. This is the best way to establish a peace that lasts. Citizens have the right to determine the future of their country. Oxfam is supporting South Sudanese civil society, including refugees, to come together to deliver their message to this forum. This week, representatives from South Sudanese civil society, including refugee communities, will present their vision to IGAD on how to create long-lasting peace in their country.  The longer the international community is complacent, the more they risk being complicit. Failure is not an option. To ensure a credible peace process, we need timelines, indicators and accountability. This latest push for peace could end this war. Let us ensure it is guided by its people - not just the political elites. No person I met in South Sudan wants - and none of our leaders should want - countless more lives to be ruined through this war. *Name changed for privacy reasons The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy. Winnie Byanyima is the executive director of Oxfam International. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Winnie Byanyima is the executive director of Oxfam International.

OPINION
I know and have seen war and its horror and cruelty in my own country. I have supported peace processes in conflicts since. But all of that didn't quite prepare me for my trip to South Sudan earlier this year.

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