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The Africa Report: 24 June

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

US President Barack Obama will begin his eight-day three-nation African tour on Wednesday. Picture: AFP.

OBAMA'S AFRICAN TOUR BEGINS THIS WEEK

United States President Barack Obama will be embarking on his eight-day three-nation African tour, visiting Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa.

Obama will be leaving the United States on Wednesday, making his first stop in Senegal and will be arriving in South Africa on Friday.

Much has been reported about the cost of Obama's upcoming tour, with an estimated cost of up to $100 million.

The security measures have also been a talking point, with fighter jets providing 24 hour air coverage, three trucks' worth of bulletproof glass sheets and an offshore trauma centre.

The United States have invested $57 billion into the African continent in the last year.

President Obama will not be visiting his mother's country of birth, Kenya, because of the International Criminal Court's indictment against President Uhuru Kenyatta and first Deputy President William Ruto.

AL-QAEDA HOSTAGES "ALIVE AND WELL"

On Saturday, the North African branch of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) posted a tweet with a statement declaring that the eight European hostages who are in their captivity are alive and well.

تنظيم القاعدة ببلاد المغرب الإسلامي

بيان فيما يخص حال الرهائن الفرنسيين والأوربيين

http://t.co/JPKYrvrNt3

http://t.co/BhL7MR7pBE

The eight hostages, five of which are French, have been in captivity for 1000 days.

Al-Qaeda said they would post fresh footage of the hostages.

On Sunday, French President Francois Hollande said that he has every reason to believe that the hostages are still alive.

There have been demonstrations in several towns and cities of France in support of the hostages, coinciding with the release of AQIM's statements.

ALGERIA BLACKLISTING FOREIGN FIRMS FOUND GUILTY OF CORRUPTION

Algeria, a country rich in oil and gas, will be cracking down on any foreign firm found guilty of corruption on their soil.

Bolstered by the high price of oil in the past 10 years, Algeria has embarked on a series of ambitious infrastructure projects, many of which are now subject to corruption investigations.

Those firms found guilty will not get contracts and will not be able to form partnerships.

Algeria will also be seeking reparations from any firm that is found guilty of corruption.

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