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The Africa Report: 30 May

EWN's Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day's top African news

A municipal employee, flanked by other workers, signs documents during the fourth Mozambican general elections in Maputo on 28 October 2009. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - TENSIONS RISE IN MOZAMBIQUE AS PREPARATIONS FOR ELECTIONS BEGIN

Following the recent visit by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who congratulated Mozambique for progress after conflict, the African state is again facing rising political tension.

Preparation for the upcoming November local elections has begun amid heightened political tension, with the same voter registration to be used for the 2014 general election.

The technical glitches that occurred, such as computers breaking down and a shortage of ink, were only the prelude to potentially bigger problems.

The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) political party expressed dissatisfaction with the incumbent Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), calling the party tired, old and dangerous.

In addition to threatening boycotting the elections, Renamo - who only managed to secure 16.5% of the vote in 2009 - demanded a bigger stake in government as well as a cut of the natural resources being sold by the country.

RENAMO and FRELIMO were locked in conflict earlier this year that resulted in deadly clashes with police.

There remains fear of another civil war breaking out as was the case from 1977 to 1992.

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE TO KICK-OFF IN TOKYO

The fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is set to begin on the 1st June and conclude on the 3rd June.

The first TICAD was held in 1993 bringing together African and Asian countries to allegedly promote Africa's development.

TICAD is supported by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the African Union.

This year, 40 African countries are expected to attend.

It is assumed that Japan will attempt to gain access to some of Africa's resources that are vastly within the grasp of the Chinese.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma will leave for the conference on Saturday, accompanied by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, and Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane.

DIGITAL PLAN TO MATCH AFRICAN SKILLS WITH EMPLOYERS' NEEDS

Africa is home to the world's largest youth population who face an increase in unemployment.

Despite the continent's unprecedented economic growth, the 200 million African youth aged 15 - 25 years old (this number is predicted to double by 2025) are in a constant battle for employment due to a lack of relevant skills.

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced its seven-year $83 million programme to help counter the problem.

Digital Jobs Africa is aimed at six African countries and seeks to match employers' needs with the skills to be obtained by African youth.

An individual need only use a smartphone to find out what it is employers are looking for and where one can go to obtain the relevant skills.

It is hoped that Digital Jobs Africa will enable African youth to alleviate the high levels of unemployment and the resulting poverty crippling many African communities.

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