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Polling Stations Have Officially Opened in Botswana

At least 1.2 million Batswana people will be casting their votes today in a highly contested election.

At least 2000 polling stations have officially opened as of this morning in Botswana, according to EWN. Yesterday, the Botswana Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced that it anticipates 1.2 million people casting their votes for both national parliament and local government councils. All results are expected to be in by Friday in what has been described as one of the most highly contested election in years.


Four political parties have dominated Botswana's election campaigns. The BBC reports that three of the opposition parties have all united as a coalition government under one party termed the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). While the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has been in power since the country obtained it's independence from the British back in 2016, it is believed that it stands a real chance of losing this year's election.

Recently, the country's former president, Ian Khama, took a swipe at his successor Mokgweetsi Masisi. Khama has been embroiled in a bitter feud with Masisi following certain policy changes and has reportedly accused him of undermining Botswana's democracy as a result. Speaking to the Financial Times in Gabarone, Khama said that “Our whole reputation is being undermined locally and internationally. Our democracy is now in decline." He added that, "We won't be the example that we have been for so many years. All that will be eroded." Khama even went as far as saying that he hopes that the BDP loses the election. The former head of state left the BDP and went on to join the newly-formed Botswana Progressive Front (BPF) a few months ago, according to City Press.

While the potential victory of the UDC may represent a strengthening of the country's democratic processes, there are concerns that the UDC's manifesto contains “too many populist promises" with regards to creating employment and increasing both the minimum wage and pensions.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Trump Plans to Extend Travel Ban to Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Eritrea & Three Other Countries

Here's what the travel ban could mean for these nations.

On Tuesday it was announced that Donald Trump's administration plans to extend its infamous travel ban to include seven new countries, many of them in Africa.

The countries named on the list, include Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and the Eastern European nation of Belarus. Politico first broke the news.

According to The Washington Post, the move would likely not be a complete ban on citizens looking to enter the US, however it could place various visa restrictions on some government officials and on those seeking certain type of visitor and business visas.

Some nations could also be banned from participation in the diversity travel lottery program, which grants green cards. Trump has threatened to sack the program in the past.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Yemi Alade Enlists Djimon Hounsou for New Music Video 'Remind You'

The veteran Beninese actor stars in the sultry music for Yemi Alade's latest single.

Yemi Alade shares her latest music video for her single "Remind You," and it stars none other than celebrated Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou.

"Remind You" is a sultry R&B track from the singer's latest album, 2019's Woman of Steel. The vibrant music video, directed by Ovie Etseyatse, sees the singer gallivanting in an empty mansion in various elegant gowns. Honsou graces the screen throughout the video as well, but the two don't meet until the very end, when things take a funny and unexpected turn.

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Photo courtesy of Afro Nation.

Interview: Afro Nation Festival's Smade On Unifying Africans Across the Continent & Diaspora

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Afro Nation co-founder Adesegun Adeosun aka Smade to talk about how it all started and what the future holds.

Within minutes of speaking with Adesegun Adeosun, it's apparent that Afro Nation is much more than an urban music festival.

The Afro Nation co-founder, better known as Smade, talks passionately about connecting Africans across the globe. In less than a year since its debut edition, Afro Nation has successfully done this and gone on to establish itself as the largest festival celebrating African culture on the continent and in the diaspora.

This year, Afro Nation will touch down in Puerto Rico for the first time over spring break—from the 18th to the 21st of March—on the beach of Balneario de Carolina. Headliners will include Burna Boy, Chronixx, Davido, 2Baba, Naira Marley and many more.

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Smade to talk about Afro Nation, how it all started and what the future holds.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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