News Brief
George Weah 2017 presidential campaign poster

George Weah Will be the Next President of Liberia

The football superstar has won the runoff election and will be sworn in next month.

Third time's a charm for the popular Liberian footballer turned politician, George Weah. After losing twice to incumbent Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Weah has secured a victory in the Liberian elections against Sirleaf's far less popular vice president Joseph Boakai.


With 98.1 percent of votes cast, the Liberian National Elections Commission reports today that Weah is ahead by a decisive margin with 61.5 percent of the vote.

Weah, 51, is a former FIFA player of the year and a winner of the Ballon D'Or, the soccer-world's most coveted individual prize. He's famous internationally for his tenure with the clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s and later with Chelsea and Manchester City in the UK.

But while Weah's soccer abilities are well known, his political instincts are harder to pin down and Liberians are trying hard to anticipate his coming administration. Many are hoping his win signifies a new chapter of change in a country disillusioned with the widespread corruption and stasis of Sirleaf's administration.

Reuters reports:

At his party headquarters outside Monrovia, tears streamed down Weah's face as he greeted supporters from a balcony. Outside, young fans ran through the streets and blared car horns as dusk fell over the city.

Notable is that Weah is from Clara Town, a vibrant working class neighborhood northeast of Liberia's capital-city, Monrovia. It's a place where both football pitches and homes must be constantly protected from encroaching tides on one side and evictions on the other. It's the kind of neighborhood where the majority of Liberians will live at some point and a milieu where no former Liberian president has ever come from.

His man-of-the-people bonafides aside, Weah has made some pretty odious alliances to get to the presidency. His running-mate and incoming Vice President, Senator Jewel Taylor is Liberia's former first lady during the presidency of her former husband President Charles Taylor, one of the main architects of Liberia's brutal civil war and convicted war criminal. Jewel Taylor is widely known as the lead proponent of Liberia's "kill-the-gays" bill that would impose a maximum penalty of death onto Liberians "guilty" of homosexuality.

Weah was also supported by former Liberian warlord Prince Johnson, notorious for his brutal style as a rebel general during Liberia's recent conflicts. Interestingly enough, Weah is also said to have been endorsed in all-but-name by Sirleaf herself who is said to have had a falling out with Joseph Boakai.

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Photo by Carielle Doe/AFP for Getty Images.

Anti-Government Protests Engulf Liberia Amid Economic Crisis

Thousands of Liberians have taken to the streets to protest against the country's spiraling economy under President George Weah.

A few hours ago, the Liberian police was deployed after at least 3000 Liberians took to the streets of Monrovia in anti-government protests.

Aljazeera reports that the police fired tear gas and water canons on Liberians protesting the country's spiraling economy under the leadership of President George Weah. The protest is the second massive demonstration to take place in less than year.

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(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100)

Tiwa Savage, Sauti Sol, 2Baba, Toofan & More to Perform at AFRIMA Music Village Festival

The star-studded event will take place ahead of the award show and includes a host of artists from across the continent.

The 6th annual All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) celebrations, which recognize African talent from across the continent, are set to take place between November 20-23 in Lagos, Nigeria. Several events will take place ahead of the award show, including the star-studded AFRIMA Music Village Festival which will feature performances from some of the top artists in the industry.

The show's lineup has just been announced and it features over 30 acts from all regions of the continent.

The AFRIMAs once again are not to be confused with the AFRIMMAs (African Muzik Magazine Awards) which took place in Dallas, Texas in October.

UPDATE: See the full list of AFRIMA 2019 winners here.

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Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun in "Noyé." Photo: Ben Depp.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Makwa x Maraza x AKA, Joeboy, Zlatan, Nadia Nakia, TOBi x The Game, Yilian Canizares, Aewon Wolf and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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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 is 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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