- Due to a planned industrial strike by airport workers in Dakar, Senegal, South African Airways (SAA) will operate three of its four flights to the United States enroute Dakar on the island of Sal, Cape Verde, from 9 to 13 February. The SAA route is one of West Africa's most important intercontinental connections.
Senegalese airport workers, including those responsible for handling and other services, have planned to down their tools today at 8 pm, demanding for better conditions of services. Although the Senegalese government has engaged the strikers on negotiation, SAA officials felt the need to activate their contingency plans.
Yesterday, the airline's flight, SA204, from New York had enrouted via the Cape Verdean island of Sal while SA203 from Johannesburg would operate to Dakar with a technical stop in Sal.
"SA203 to New York, SA207 to Washington and SA204 from New York will be affected by the re-routing but the changes will not create delays for passengers connecting within the US," SAA said in a released statement, adding that all passengers scheduled to fly to or from Dakar during the next five days would be informed.
SAA officials said the contingency plans will be temporal.
"Should the matter be resolved before Tuesday, SAA will work to ensure normal operations resume as quickly as possible, operating once again through Dakar. Affected passengers will be contacted by the airline," SAA officials assured.
Shortly before going to press, afrol News was informed that the strike had been postponed to next weekend. "It was true that local airport workers have threatened to strike if they are not paid some benefits but they decided to defer it to next weekend," confirmed an airport official.
Strikes have over the years become common phenomenon in Senegal, where people from all walks of life show their discomfort with government policies, deteriorating working conditions and the region's highest price level. For several months, teachers have been striking for not being paid their promised allowances.
However, Senegalese police tear gas and beat opposition leaders and their supporters for striking against the government's postponement of legislative elections for the second time, a clear testimony that the country's officials are sick and tired of strikes.
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.