News in the Humanosphere: No winner for African leadership prize, again

Sudanese telecoms magnate Mo Ibrahim failed to award a $5 million African political leadership prize on Tuesday, the second year running the gong designed to foster regional democracy has gone begging due to a lack of suitable candidates. Since its launch in 2006, the Ibrahim Prize has only been awarded four times – to Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano, Botswana’s Festus Mogae, Cape Verde’s Pedro De Verona Rodrigues Pires and Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2014. Candidates have to be democratically elected African heads of state or government who have left office in the previous three years at the end of their constitutional terms. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2lTfxlN)

Stat of the day: Conflict, persecution and violence newly uprooted at least 3.2 million people in the first half of last year, and low- and middle-income countries played the greatest role in sheltering the world’s displaced, a new report has found. (UNHCR http://bit.ly/2lkNQ3m)

Top Stories

A Philippine nurse held by Islamic State in the Libyan city of Sirte said on Monday that she and her colleagues had been forced to treat militants and give them medical training. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2lQ76cL)

Women and children making the dangerous journey to Europe to flee poverty and conflicts in Africa are being beaten, raped and starved in “living hellholes” in Libya, UNICEF said. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2m411tH)

Pope Francis said he wants to make a trip to South Sudan together with the head of the Anglican Church to bring attention to the suffering of people stricken by civil war and famine. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2m3MlKW)

Millions of South Africa’s most vulnerable people, including the disabled and the old, are in danger of missing their social security payments because of a service-provider dispute, setting the government racing to meet an April 1 deadline. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2lQ6lAk)

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde fired three ministers, according to a decree read on state television on Monday, following violent protests over a teachers’ strike last week in which seven people were killed and dozens more were injured. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2lkQZ3f)

A woman named a Time magazine person of the year in 2014 for her frontline work fighting Ebola in west Africa has died from childbirth complications in Liberia. Hospital staff were reluctant to treat her because of the stigma that still surrounds the disease, according to her family. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2lkQN42)

Harasta, in Eastern Ghouta in the Damascus suburbs was attacked for the third time in ten days with a suspected chemical agent. The two areas are facing fierce bombardment, while running very low on the capacity to provide medical aid, relief and supplies. (UMCRO http://bit.ly/2lTd0YF)

Leaked court documents raise concerns that the murder of the Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres was an extrajudicial killing planned by military intelligence specialists linked to the country’s US–trained special forces. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2lTgg6m)

Global warming could mean that mountain snow melts at a slower pace, researchers said, a peculiar finding that might be bad news for the West and other regions that depend on snow for water. (AP https://yhoo.it/2lkXdAj)

Opinion/Blogs

Cutting the Foreign Aid Budget Is Going to Be Harder than Trump Thinks (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2l8yyDI)

Countdown to AMISOM withdrawal: Is Somalia ready? (IRIN http://bit.ly/2m3ESf2)

Stemming Illicit Financial Outflows (IPS http://bit.ly/2m3JjX9)

In support of Dodd-Frank conflict minerals regulation (IRIN http://bit.ly/2mB3Hg2)

South Africa: Would a Cabinet Reshuffle Help Zuma or Backfire Against Him? (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/2lQ8dZN)

How Do Economies Bounce Back After a Disaster? (TRF http://bit.ly/2lkHtgz)

Is China Displacing Traditional Aid Donors in Africa? (The Conversation http://bit.ly/2mBBAxd)

Will Uganda’s mega-project spending spree generate growth or drive up debts? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2mBmloj)

On the Significance of the Declaration of Famine in South Sudan (Reinventing Peace http://bit.ly/2m3UKht)

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