afrol News, 16 October - So far, 18 candidates have put up their registration to contest for Madagascar's presidential polls scheduled to take place on 3 December this year. But officials say the country's High Constitutional Court will approve the final list on Thursday and one of the main opposition candidates risks being disapproved.
According to political pundits, President Marc Ravalomanana is waiting to sweep the polls. His main challenger is the exiled opposition leader; Pierrot Rajaonarivelo, whose efforts to return home to register his candidature was averted by police on Saturday who closed the airport, used tear gas and arrested members of his AREMA party for launching a protest.
However, his lawyers applied on his behalf today. Mr Rajaonarivelo served as a Vice Prime Minister under former President Didier Ratsirika, also of the AREMA party. But he flew to Paris along with other cabinet members after a political stand-off that brought the businessman turned politician to power in 2002. Believing that the elections were rigged, Mr Ravalomanana declared himself president, amid violent protest in the island.
Mr Rajaonarivelo, who was convicted of misuse of funds in absentia, has been threatened with arrest as soon as he returned home by state officials. He was sentenced to 15 years with hard labour and also banned from holding public office.
The famous opposition leader had earlier sent a public message that he was coming home but asked President Ravalomanana not to panic.
"I am returning to the country tomorrow, Saturday 14 October, but do not be afraid because my only weapon is my faith in freedom," he said, asking President Ravolomanana to be responsible because posterity would judge him by his actions.
"Our people want democracy and our long walk to freedom should be peaceful and if you stop me, it means you are stopping the freedom of the Malagasy people. The only solution that remains for you to do is to accept the democratic process," his public letter said.
A court in the capital Antananarivo today imposed a four year jail term on yet another opposition politician, Jean Eugene Voninahitsy, for his role in a July jail break.
Madagascar, which is described as the world's number one grower of vanilla, has experienced a lot of political unrest in the past. Its education system is also seen as one of the best in Africa but most of its citizens are heading to the West in search of greener pastures, mainly because of poverty.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.