The Africa Report: 22 May

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

Malawian President Joyce Banda


Malawian President Joyce Banda has set a precedent for other African heads of state after selling off the presidential jet to raise funds.

Banda, who took office in 2012 following the death of her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika, has yet again made evident that she is cognisant of the sufferings of her country.

Roughly 50% of the Malawian population of 15 million live below the poverty line and many survived on the aid given by the country's main donor, Britain.

However, Britain has since withdrawn its aid and Banda has reacted admirably by selling off Mutharika's plane as well as his fleet of luxury cars.

The plane in question, a 15-year-old Dassault Falcon 900-EX, cost Mutharika $22 million and was sold for $15 million to a Virgin Islands company.

An additional lesson to be learned by African leaders from Banda is to be like her and fly commercial when going abroad.



Nigeria has been in a week-long fight with terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, and has begun negotiations with the militants.

After his military captured 120 Islamist militants, as was reported in Tuesday's Africa Report, President Goodluck Jonathan is engaging in a "peace bid" with Boko Haram by releasing suspects held for "terrorist activities" as per the militants' demands.

All female suspects have been released and the curfew set for the terrorists' stronghold, Maiduguri, has been lifted.

As the offensive continues, Jonathan has engaged in talks with Nigeria's neighbours, Niger and Cameroon, in attempts to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, Red Cross has reported that approximately 2400 people have fled the north-eastern areas of Nigeria to escape the violence.



The United Nations' Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has referred to Mozambique as "an important success story for the global community".

On Tuesday, as part of his visit around the continent before the African Union summit, Ki-moon visited Mozambique where he stated that the country has proven that it can grow from conflict, having ensured peace for 20 years.

The Secretary General went on to applaud Mozambique for its economic growth after being the poorest country globally, but has since recovered to become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

However, he also warned that with new-found resources and with almost half of the population of Mozambicans living below the poverty line, the government should be aware of heightened expectations for delivery.



United States President Barack Obama has announced his much-anticipated state visit to Africa.

The countries to be visited are South Africa, Tanzania and Senegal.

This will be the second time Obama visits the continent, but probably the most significant as his previous visit, which was to Ghana, was brief.

Obama will arrive in South Africa on 26 June.

The purpose and significance of his visit to Africa is to fulfill his ambitions of assisting the continent in ensuring healthy democracies, building transparency, and establishing good governance.