President Adama Barrow of the Gambia returns home after his predecessor finally steps down. Carl de Souza/Getty Images

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, the Gambia’s new president comes home, African clinics face tough times, and one of African literature’s most important voices passes away.

Adama Barrow officially becomes President of the Gambia

A week after he was supposed to give up power, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh finally stepped down, allowing his successor, Adama Barrow, to take over. Barrow had defeated Jammeh in an election last december, but Jammeh, who ruled for 22 years, refused to accept the results. Barrow took his oath of office in Senegal, and was reportedly warmly welcomed by Gambians when he arrived in the country. He has promised “significant democratic reform.”

African clinics face funding cuts

Medical clinics in Africa are facing funding cuts due to Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate a global gag-order on abortion. This could potentially lead to problems for low-income African women who depend on these clinics for various services, such as maternal and child care, birth control, counseling and advice, and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. This policy is not new; it was first passed under Ronald Reagan, and was most recently implemented by George W. Bush. However, Trump’s version of the policy is particularly strict, and could negatively impact low-income women all over the world.

Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta passes away

Buchi Emecheta, a Nigerian author known for writing about and championing for girls and women, has passed away at the age of 72. Emecheta was born in Lagos, and moved to London in 1960. Her first book, In The Ditch, was published in 1972. Her books explored women in different difficult, but unfortunately common, situations in Africa and in Britain, and how they found strength and determination despite their challenges. She was a well-respected author, and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2005.


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