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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…

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Senegal president offers free land to Haitians

Abdoulaye Wade, the president of Senegal, has offered free land in his country to Haitians who were affected by the recent 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Abdoulaye Wade

Wade described his offer as “repatriation”, as he said Haitians were descendents from Africa since Haiti was founded by slaves, some of which were thought to be from Senegal.

“The president is offering voluntary repatriation to any Haitian that wants to return to their origin,” said Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye, the president’s spokesman.

“If it is just a few people, we will offer them a roof and a patch of land,” he added, speaking to the France Info radio station. “If they come in large numbers, we will give them a whole region.” Read More…

Thousands displaced after heavy flooding in Burkina Faso

According to the United Nations’ humanitarian agency, severe flooding in Burkina Faso has affected over 100,000 people, following the country’s heaviest rainfall for ninety years.

Thousands of homes in the vicinity of Ouagadougou, the country’s capital, have been destroyed by the waters. Officials requested international aid for those affected by the disaster.

“I would like to join the government’s appeal for blankets, clothes and food, because there really is an urgent need for these things,” Ouagadougou’s mayor Simon Compaore said. Read More…

Senegal names new prime minister

Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye replaces Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré as Prime Minister of Senegal.

Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye

Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye

Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye (born 6 August 1958) is a Senegalese politician previously Minister of the Civil Service and Labour in 2005 and Minister of State for the Maritime Economy from 2007 to 2009.

Ndiaye was re-elected as Mayor of Guinguinéo in the March 2009 local elections; he was one of the only ministers and PDS leaders to prevail in the local elections, in which the opposition made large gains.

Following the election, Prime Minister Soumaré resigned and President Abdoulaye Wade appointed Ndiaye as Prime Minister on 30 April 2009. Read More…

First Senegalese PM dies

Mamadou Dia, The first Prime Minister of Senegal has died today at the age of 99. The cause of death was announced as natural causes. Dia died in Dakar, the capitol of Senegal.

Born on July 18, 1910 in Kombolé, Senegal, he served as Prime Minister of Senegal from 1957-1962. Read More…

On this day September 5, 1960

Sir Léopold Sédar Senghor became the first President of the Republic of Senegal, elected on 5 September 1960.

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Léopold Sédar Senghor

Senghor (9 October 1906 – 20 December 2001) was a Senegalese poet, politician, and cultural theorist who served as the first president of Senegal (1960–1980).

Senghor was the first African to sit as a member of the Académie française. He was also the founder of the political party called the Senegalese Democratic Bloc. He is regarded by many as one of the most important African intellectuals of the 20th century.

Senghor was a supporter of federalism for newly independent African states, a type of “French Commonwealth”. Federalism not being favoured by the African countries, he decided to form, along with Modibo Keita, the Mali Federation with former French Sudan (modern Mali). Read More…