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Africa united in fight against polio outbreak

An extensive vaccination campaign across 19 West and Central African countries is to begin today in an attempt to stem a year-long polio epidemic in the region.

A child receives oral polio vaccine

The United Nations and international aid agencies plan to immunize 85 million children under five. More than 400, 000 volunteers and health workers will take part in the campaign, visiting children in their homes.

The current polio epidemic has been going on for a year and there have been outbreaks in the last six months in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

These countries will be the focus of the campaign, along with Benin, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Read More…

On this day September 22, 1960

Great Mosque of Djenné

Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali - Largest adobe building in the world

The Sudanese Republic is renamed Mali after the withdrawal of Senegal from the Mali Federation.

In the colonial era, Mali fell under the control of the French beginning in the late 1800s. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of French Sudan. In early 1959, Mali (then the Sudanese Republic) and Senegal united to become the Mali Federation.

The Mali Federation was a country in West Africa. It was formed by a union between Senegal and Mali  It was founded on April 4, 1959 and became entirely self-governing when it gained independence from France on June 20, 1960.

The Federation’s president was Modibo Keita who quickly established a one-party state, adopted an independent African and socialist orientation with close ties to the East, and implemented extensive nationalization of economic resources. The Federation collapsed shortly after independence when Senegal withdrew on 20 August due to political disagreements, allowing the Sudanese Republic to form the independent nation of Mali on September 22, 1960.