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The Africa Report 20 May

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

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi. Picture: AFP

DRC TO HOUSE WORLD'S LARGEST ELECTRIC DAM

Exciting times lay ahead for Africa as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is to house the world's largest hydroelectric dam.

The Grand Inga project, as this upcoming dam is currently known, will produce 40,000 megawatts which would make it almost twice the size of China's Three Gorges Damcurrently the world's largest hydro energy dam.

At present, there are two hydroelectric sources along the Congo River already, second only to the Amazon in terms of volume.

Two Congolese sources said the dam falls about 300 metres over a stretch of 10 kilometres and already produces a great deal of power.

The Grand Inga is predicted to light up half of Africa with the World Bank estimating that if completed and running at full capacity, the dam could provide electricity to up to 500 million African households.

Work on the Grand Inga will begin in October 2015 and South African involvement is expected.

BOUTEFLIKA'S HEALTH CENSORED

In news from Algeria, authorities have censored two newspapers for alleging that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was in a deep coma.

Mon Journal and Djaridati reported that Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke in April and was hospitalised in Paris, returned from France and was in a deep coma in Algeria.

However, authorities are refuting these claims, saying that Bouteflika remains in France and that he has made a serious recovery.

The Algerian authorities have asked that the two publications remove the story on Bouteflika, but editors have refused to self-censor, causing officials to block the publication.

This act of censorship, the first to occur in 10 years, further fuels speculation that Bouteflika, of the last of Algeria's 1960s liberators, will not return to power.

MORSI REFUSES DIALOGUE WITH KIDNAPPERS

On Sunday, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi refused to engage in any dialogue with the kidnappers of policemen and soldiers.

Four soldiers and three policemen were abducted on Thursday in the Sinai Peninsula.

The kidnappers are not yet known although suspicion has fallen on Islamist militants.

A YouTube video of the seven victims appeared online with the men pleading that their president gives in to the kidnappers' demands to release political prisoners.

Morsi has refused to negotiate leading to fellow police officers and family of the victims to close Egypt's border crossing with Gaza and Israel as they stage a sit-in protest.