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TAKE OUR POLL: Is Burundi’s President Out Of Line For Giving Unwed Couples An Ultimatum To Get Married By End Of This Year?

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TAKE OUR POLL

Is Burundi’s President Out Of Line For Giving Unwed Couples An Ultimatum To Get Married By End Of This Year?

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Unmarried couples have until the end of this year to legalize their relationships, the Burundi government said, as part of an effort to reform morals in the country.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

The order follows the launch of a campaign in May by President Pierre Nkurunziza “to moralize society” in Burundi. Interior ministry spokesperson Terence Ntahiraja told AFP the country was facing a population explosion which he blamed on “illegal marriages”, polygamy, bigamy and “hundreds of schoolgirls getting pregnant”.

He said church and state-sanctioned weddings were the solution and were a patriotic duty. Nkurunziza said Burundians should show their love for each other – and their country – by getting married. The government has since been pressuring unwed couples across the country to tie the knot.

Consequencies

Pierre, a 27-year-old farmer living with his partner in Ngozi, in the north, said local officials had threatened him with a 50 000 Burundian franc ($25) fine and said any child born out of wedlock would not be eligible for free education and medical costs.

The Obstacle

Pierre said he had not married because he could not afford the bride price demanded by his girlfriend’s family.

CHECK OUT RELATED POST: Should Bride Price Be Abolished?

“She told me she was pregnant. As I am poor, we decided to come together to raise our child,” he said. “We thought we would legalize our union as soon as we could afford it.”

That was five years ago and the couple is now onto their third child.

No Excuses

A mass wedding. To enact the Burundi president’s orders, officials have begun organizing mass weddings. PHOTO | FILE

To enact the president’s orders, officials have begun organizing mass weddings, something one civil society activist opposed as “a violation of human rights because the state has no right to attack two adults who have decided to live together without being married.”

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Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo Welcomes Biometric Identity Management Into Ghana

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, received his National Identification Card, dubbed the new “Ghana Card”, at a ceremony held at the premises of the National Identification Authority, on Friday, September 15, 2017.

President Akufo-Addo, described the new identification card signals the dawn of a new day in biometric identity management in Ghana, and the virtues of a public-private partnership arrangement in meeting the country’s development needs.

The President indicated that the launch of the card “constitutes a practical demonstration of the fulfilment of yet another promise of my party, the New Patriotic Party, made during the 2016 campaign.”

The campaign promise, he recounted, was that “we would modernize and formalize the Ghanaian economy through the establishment of a credible national database, and using the National Identification System (NIS) as the primary identifier, as prescribed by law.”

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Trump’s Revised Travel Ban Indefinitely Bars Most Travel From Three African Countries

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President Trump on Sunday issued a new order indefinitely banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

Starting next month, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be banned from entering the United States, Mr. Trump said in a proclamation released Sunday night. Citizens of Iraq and some groups of people in Venezuela who seek to visit the United States will face restrictions or heightened scrutiny.

People seeking access to the United States as refugees are not covered by the proclamation, officials said. Entry of refugees is currently limited by the president’s original travel ban, and officials said the administration was preparing new rules for refugees that should be announced within days.

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Ghanaian technology entrepreneur receives Buffett Institute award

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A cartoon of a man who used a rocket strapped to his back to fly, inspired Ghanaian technology entrepreneur Regina Honu to make a rocket for herself. When she presented her creation to a teacher, he told her, “Girls don’t build rockets.”

Honu, who is now the founder of a Ghanaian software development company and advocate for girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, received the Buffett Institute for Global Studies’ award for emerging global leaders Tuesday in Scott Hall. Buffett Institute director Bruce Carruthers said by presenting recipients with the $10,000 award, the institute hopes to celebrate and encourage the recipients’ initiatives.

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