King Mohamed VI of Morocco greets President Paul Kagame of Rwanda upon being readmitted to AU.
This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, impactAFRICA proposals are being accepted across the African continent, Somalia’s newly elected president has dual-U.S. citizenship, and Morocco is readmitted to the African Union.

impactAFRICA encouraging innovation for budding journalists

ImpactAFRICA is the sister initiative of InnovateAfrica, a competitive program that seeks to strengthen and transform African news media by compelling applicants to combat fake news.

Through the use of emerging technologies, both organizations, under the International Center for Journalists and Code for Africa, award grants of up to $100,000 to participants who can help transform African news media into traditional, factual, evidence-driven reporting.

Applicants are required to have one African media partner to help co-develop and test innovation for their proposal. Round three submissions for impactAFRICA is closed, but the organization is currently accepting round 4 submissions.

Somalia Elects New President

The former prime minister of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed defeated long-time president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in elections last weekend. President Mohammed, also known as President Farmajo, was sworn into office after legislators cast their votes in Mogadishu, the capital city.

Mohammed immigrated to the U.S. in 1985 where he held a position in the Somali embassy in Washington D.C.  After his four year term, Mohammed moved to Buffalo, NY where he became actively involved in local politics.

Peace Talks Resume Between Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Morocco has not been a member of the African Union for the past 30 years. The kingdom originally left the Organization of African Unity(OAU) upon Western Sahara’s admission into the African Union(AU).

Quarrels over territorial borders and the independent status of Western Sahara(now Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) pushed Morocco to leave the AU. Morocco submitted their proposal to be readmitted into the union at the 27th Summit in July 2016.

Out of the 56 participating nations in the AU, 53 countries voted for Morocco to be readmitted. South Africa and Algeria voted against it. Morocco has formally recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as a sovereign nation.

It is the first time in 33 years that all nations of the African continent are represented in the AU.

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