- Reforms in the Zimbabwe could see the country’s media regain its independence with the airwaves also opening up for the much needed independent reporting of events in the country.
This week saw at least two major media groups regain their operational licenses after years of isolation and banning orders.
One the country’s best selling newspaper, The daily News, banned in 2003 has received its licence to re-launch, while the government also lifted restrictions of the BBC to broadcast in the country.
Zimbabwe became a living hell for media workers and opposition voices since the start of the decade, with media houses being attacked or operating under constant threats from government agents. The government of President Mugabe adopted tough media laws in 2002 which made it difficult for both local private and foreign media to work, as the country started its visible political and economic sinking.
The unity government in Zimbabwe, formed in February by President Robert Mugabe and opposition’s Morgan Tsvangirai, been under pressure to implement political and media reforms as a sign and commitment to a route of no return to full democracy.
A number of foreign donors and governments had also expressed lack of confidence in the unity government deal, saying there were still some unclear obstacles to lifting sanctions or committing to an open assistance to Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, reports from Washington have indicated that US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will try to press South Africa to use its influence on fast tracking Zimbabwe’s reforms.
The US was one of the countries that did not hide its displeasure on Mr Mugabe staying on power, as 2008 appeared to be drowning with the Zimbabwean citizens amidst a compounding economic and political crisis, cholera and total collapse of services.
According to US officials, Mrs Clinton would urge the regional diplomatic heavyweights to get Mr Mugabe to fully implement a power-sharing deal with opposition leader, for the return to democratic rule.
South African President, Jacob Zuma is seen in America to have taken a harder line on Zimbabwe than his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.
The United States has continued to hold on to sanctions against Mr Mugabe and some of his supporters, saying there was a need for more evidence of political, social and economic reforms, before any official aid could be committed.
Targeted US sanctions include financial and visa restrictions against selected individuals, a ban on transfers of military items and a suspension of non-humanitarian aid.
Mrs Clinton leaves on Monday for a seven-nation trip to Africa, which will also include Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Liberia, Nigeria and Cape Verde.
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.