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The President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya, attends the 34th session of the general conference of Unesco, 23 October 2007 in Paris.

Cameroon Commences Regional Elections Amidst Opposition Party Boycott

Cameroon's President Paul Biya has commenced regional elections despite opposition party's boycott which has called for Biya's 40-year presidential rule to end.

Cameroon has reportedly held its first ever regional elections, this according to Al Jazeera. This comes after national protests erupted in September against current President Paul Biya. Cameroonian government reportedly stated that the regional elections, held this past Sunday, are a democratic correction that will ensure greater political autonomy. However, opposition parties boycotted the elections and have reportedly called the process a ruse to strengthen Biya's political rule.


Read: Cameroon Protests Call for End to President Paul Biya's 40-Year Rule

According to Africa CGTN, polls opened on Sunday morning in the capital of Douala at 08:00AM. A reported 24 000 electoral college comprised of traditional chiefs and regional delegates were expected to vote. The election determines 900 regional councillors in Cameroon's 10 regions distributed at 90 councillors per region. Biya stated that regional elections are a way to decentralise government by fulfilling a law that was passed in 1996, while he was president, but was never acted on. Coincidentally the elections comes at a time when the overwhelming majority of the regional electoral college are Biya supporters.

Cameroon's two main opposition parties, Maurice Kamto's Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) and the Social Democratic Front (SDF) boycotted the polls. The parties' boycott appeared to have no effect on the elections which reportedly went on smoothly according to Africa CGTN. Kamto lead nation wide anti-Biya protests in September.

Regional governments will have authority of over infrastructure and regional matters but will have no say in national laws or matters of the Senate in Yaounde. Biya reportedly implemented the election to quell separatist violence which began in 2016 and became increasingly violent in 2017. The country has a long running conflict between English speakers and French speakers. A largely French-speaking country, protests have been rising from English speakers who have demanded the right to work in English. According to VoA, one voter fatality has reportedly been caused by separatist forces in Cameroon's English-speaking Northwest region. Election results have yet to be officially released. Paul Biya at 87-years-old has been president for 40 years.

Music

Listen to a Fela Kuti Tribute Album Featuring D'Angelo, Questlove, Nile Rodgers​ & More

2002's Red Hot + Riot albumis available on streaming platforms for the first time.

Red Hot has made the their Fela Kutitribute album Red Hot + Riot available for the first time on all streaming platforms to mark its 20th anniversary.

Red Hot + Riot features notable contributions from an all-star guest ensemble that includes D’Angelo, Questlove, Femi Kuti, Talib Kweli, Sade, Tony Allen, Macy Gray, Nile Rodgers, Jorge Ben Jor, Baba Maal, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dead Prez, Kelis, Roy Hargrove, Archie Shepp, and many others.

The updated 20th anniversary version includes bonus material including a remastered version of the entire project. The project also includes a cover of “Sorrow Tears & Blood” by Bilal, an acoustic version of “Trouble Sleep” with Baba Maal accompanied by the legendary kora player Kaouding Cissoko and an extended version of Sade’s “By Your Side” by Stuart Matthewman.

The original album had to be heavily edited to fit the time limit of a physical CD. This new version includes a vast amount of bonus material that includes an extended versions of many tracks, including early mixes, acapellas, instrumentals and more.

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Sports

All You Need to Know About the African Teams at the World Cup

We break down how Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia's national teams are looking ahead of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

African football has come a long way.

Egypt was the first African team to ever participate in a FIFA World Cup. They did it in Italy in 1934, where they only played a game, which they lost 4-2 to Hungary. Back then, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) didn’t exist, so the Pharaohs played two qualifier games against British Palestine.

CAF was eventually formed in 1956, but the World Cup would only see another African team in Mexico 1970, when Morocco qualified. Years later, Pelé, the legendary Brazilian player, predicted that an African team would win a World Cup before the year 2000, he was mocked mercilessly. For many, it was not an unlikely outcome, it was an absurd proposition.

And yet, African footballers have become more and more often part of the footballing elite, playing in the best leagues, and becoming some of the most famous players. While, still, only European and South American teams have won World Cups.

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Featured
Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Travel Diary: The Warmth & Beauty of Senegal is Unparalleled

In OkayAfrica's latest Travel Diary, Nigerian photographer and storyteller Sope Adelaja heads to Senegal to learn what it's like to embrace the "Teraanga" lifestyle.

After about 10 hours of flying and stopovers I landed in the city of Dakar, Senegal at about 11pm. I approached immigration to have my passport stamped and then proceeded to get my luggage. I immediately noticed that almost everyone spoke French and very few people understood English. I understand little French, so I knew then that it was going to be a struggle. With the help of Google Translate, I was able to then negotiate and hire a cab to drop me off at my residence for the night.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

The language barrier was not as much of as an obstacle as I thought it would be. This largely had to do with the generosity and warmness shown by the community during my visit.

Senegal is known as the “ Land of Teraanga." Teraanga, which is a Wolof word, is often defined as meaning “ hospitality." But that is a very loose way of translating it. It's so much more complex than that. It is a process of discovery and expression. It is a way of Life. Teraanga is aimed at showcasing a narrative of hospitality and beauty that exists across different cultures.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Unity over adversity is a running theme of Saint-Louis, a town located on an island at the mouth of the Senegal river. It is an outstanding example of a colonial city by its natural setting and colonial architecture which gives it a distinctive appearance and identity. (These features are why the island is on UNESCO's World Heritage Site list.)

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Saint-Louis is a city that will charm you. Beyond tourism, this community has come to embody its resourceful spirits. A big part of the way of life is fishing. It is the main occupation of people living in Saint-Louis, also known to the locals as Ndar.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

When shooting in Africa, it’s easy to lean on visual crutches — like ornate jewelry or bright, striking clothing. But that’s only skimming the visual surface of the community of people. Digging deeper requires an extended stay, as well as collaborating with locals who have grown up in the area.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

In the course of digging deeper, i discovered Ndar had a lot more to offer beyond beautiful aesthetics, very rich culture, and history it holds strong remains of past colonial times.

Next up was Gorée Island and the destination is an exceptional testimony to one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity: slave trade. Even with its complicated history, Over the years, Gorée Island has become a well known destination, with figures like Nelson Mandela and even Unisted States President Barack Obama and his family visiting the island.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Storytelling is so powerful. And as a photographer, it's my intent to show the warmth, beauty, and hospitality of Africa across different regions. I strongly believe we as people of Africa have a responsibility to further shape the narrative of Africa’s unique culture and people.

See more photos from Senegal below.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja


Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Music
Photo via Mavin Records

The 9 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Mavin Records, Asake, Stormzy x Amaarae x Black Sherif, Fally Ipupa, Pheelz x French Montana, and more.

Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.

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Abby Ajayi’s 'Riches' Packs in the Glitz Along with the Drama

The Prime Video series, which stars Deborah Ayorinde from 'Them' and Emmy-nominated 'Ted Lasso' actress Sarah Niles, promises to be another unmissable show from the writer of 'How To Get Away with Murder' and 'Inventing Anna.'