The Africa Report: 18 April

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

A mine shaft. Picture: AFP


A sustained slump in gold prices threatens to shut mines and curb investment in Tanzania.

On Thursday, the Business Report reported that the recent decline of 28% in gold prices presents "a new set of challenges for the beleaguered sector".

Tanzania, as Africa's fourth-largest producer of the metal, does not have gold like that of Ghana and South Africa, but is nonetheless considering shutting down goldmines.

The gold price decline presents a major knock to an otherwise celebratory time in African economics.

Whilst West Africa outpaces sub-Saharan African growth, sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to outpace the rest of the world in growth.

The International Monetary Fund predicts a 6.1% growth this year.

The global growth is expected to be at 4% thus, Africa is leading the field and anything that is going to hamper this growth is of concern to the continent.



Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is yet again awaiting a retrial.

Mubarak was in court for a planned retrial on Saturday.

He was found guilty and sentenced for life imprisonment for his part in the death of at least 1000 people during the 2011 Egyptian Arab Spring in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

He received the sentence, appealed, and was given a retrial.

Mubarak, who has experienced poor health since his first trial arrived in court on Saturday looking more cheerful than he had been before when he was wheeled in on a hospital bed.

At the retrial, presiding judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah suddenly withdrew the case which led to chaos.

Mubarak, his sons Alaa and Gamal, his interior minister, Habib al-Adli, and six security chiefs will appear with him on 11 May.



On Wednesday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signalled his consideration of offering amnesty to Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

The President's consideration comes as a result of an effort to end an insurgency that has killed thousands.

Nigerians, however, are outraged at Jonathan setting on a path to talk to the Islamist militants who have killed approximately 3000 people since 2009.

Jonathan has backed up this attempt with a reference to Winston Churchill's "jaw-jaw is always better than war war".

Meanwhile, Jonathan has set up a committee, made up mostly of Muslims from the northern part of Nigeria, to navigate a way in which the president can begin discussion of ceasefire and disarmament with the militants.