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Turkey, Syria Earthquake Current Death Toll: Live Tracker



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At least 35,418 deaths have been reported in Turkey, while 5,800 people have died in Syria. The death toll is likely to keep rising.

The death toll from a magnitude 7.8 earthquake and its aftershocks, which struck the southeastern region of Turkey along the border with Syria, has continued to rise. The first earthquake struck at 4:17am (01:17 GMT) on Monday and was centred in the Pazarcik district of Kahramanmaras province. Less than 12 hours later, a second 7.6 magnitude tremor struck the same region. More than 100 aftershocks were recorded following the quakes with officials urging people not to enter damaged buildings due to the risks.

Which areas were affected?

In a statement carried by the state-run Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) listed the affected regions so far as Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis. Turkey has declared a three-month state of emergency in the 10 quake-hit provinces.

Thousands of people have also been affected across the border in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Latakia. The areas affected by the earthquakes on the Syrian side are divided between government-controlled territory and the country’s last opposition-held pocket of land, encircled by Russian-backed government forces.

Interactive_Turkey_Syria_Earthquake_MAPPING DESTRUCTION

Earthquake death toll

At least 35,418 deaths have been reported in Turkey, while 5,800 people have died in Syria. The death toll is likely to keep rising. Hopes of finding people alive have dimmed and experts fear the toll could rise sharply.

Turkish authorities say some 13.5 million people have been affected in an area spanning roughly 450km (280 miles) from Adana in the west to Diyarbakir in the east, and 300km (186 miles) from Malatya in the north to Hatay in the south.


International aid amid devastation

Turkey’s disaster management agency said more than 110,000 rescue personnel would be taking part in the effort with the assistance of more than 5,500 vehicles, including tractors, cranes, bulldozers and excavators. The foreign ministry said 95 countries have offered help.

Even though experts say trapped people could survive for a week or more, the chances of finding survivors in the freezing temperatures are dimming, with emergency crews now starting to shift the focus to demolishing dangerously unstable structures. Volunteers from across Syria and Turkey have travelled many miles to help victims of Monday’s earthquakes in any way they can. Away from the affected regions, people have rushed to donate blood, clothing and food for survivors.

Humanitarian organisations have said the earthquake has added another layer to the suffering of the population in northwestern Syria, where some 4.1 million people require assistance. “As many as 5.3 million people in Syria may have been left homeless by the earthquake,” the Syria representative of the UN high commissioner for refugees, Sivanka Dhanapala, told a news briefing.

“People are traumatised, they feel helpless,” Adnan Hazem, the Syria spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told Al Jazeera.

100+ powerful aftershocks

Since February 6, Turkey has been hit by more than 100 aftershocks of magnitude 4 and greater. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that occur in the same general area after a big earthquake.  At least 81 magnitude-4 quakes, 20 magnitude-5 quakes, three magnitude-6 quakes and two magnitude-7 quakes have been recorded in southeast Turkey since Monday.

Cold weather hampering rescue efforts

Rescuers are working in freezing temperatures to dig through the remains of buildings flattened by the earthquakes.

More bad weather is expected to hit the region, further hampering rescue operations. Downed buildings and destroyed roads have also made it difficult to find survivors and get crucial aid into affected areas. Several airports have also been closed after being damaged by the earthquakes.

Strongest earthquake in Turkey since 1999

Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake is the most powerful to hit the country since 1999.

In August 1999, a powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Marmara, a densely populated region to the south of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, for 45 seconds. Within days, the official death toll stood at 17,500.

Courtesy: Aljazeera

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After Niger’s Coup, the Drums of War are Growing Louder




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Nassirou mahamadou, a vegetable seller perched on a stool in Niamey, the capital of Niger, does not look like a fighter. Yet at the mention of threats by Niger’s neighbours to use force to reinstate Mohamed Bazoum, the president who was ousted in a coup on July 26th, he swells with anger. “If they come here, we [civilians] are going to war alongside the army.” He is outraged that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the regional bloc, is considering sending troops to battle the junta, even as it has done little to fight the jihadists that he says are the bigger threat. “ECOWAS has weapons to attack Niger but not to kill the terrorists,” he says. “It’s a disgrace.”

The regional bloc had threatened to use force if Mr Bazoum were not reinstated by August 6th. Yet as the clock ticked down to that deadline, the coup leaders showed no sign of giving up power. Instead they filled a stadium with cheering supporters (pictured), who beheaded a rooster painted in the colours of France, the former colonial power. As the deadline day ended the junta closed Niger’s airspace altogether, claiming that two other African countries had been preparing troops for deployment to Niger. It said Niger’s armed forces were “ready to defend the integrity of our territory”. As this article was published ECOWAS appeared to be buying time by calling for an extraordinary summit on August 10th.

The rising tension highlights two related, and disturbing, trends in the region. The first is the rapid spread of jihadist terrorism over the past decade as groups affiliated with Islamic State and al-Qaeda have pushed into the Sahel, a desperately poor and arid region south of the Sahara. Among the worst affected places are the three core countries of the Sahel—Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger—where more than 10,000 people were killed in armed conflict last year. The second trend is the retreat of civilian rule as men in uniform have overthrown elected governments that had lost popular legitimacy because of their inability to end the jihadist terror. Since 2020 there have been coups in Burkina Faso and Mali (as well as Guinea and Chad, though for somewhat different reasons). In Burkina Faso and Mali the putsches have been followed by a downward spiral of deteriorating security.

When Niger’s government became the latest to fall, many leaders in the region hoped to halt this contagion of coups, not least because left unchecked it might give ambitious generals in their own armies ideas. Among the most strident is Bola Tinubu, the recently elected president of neighbouring Nigeria and chairperson of ECOWAS. Because he was briefly detained by a junta in 1994 he detests putschists and is understood to want to make opposition to them a cornerstone of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Others in the region seem to agree. “It’s one coup too many,” said Aissata Tall Sall, Senegal’s minister of foreign affairs.

Hopes of peaceful resolution to the crisis plunged on August 4th when an ECOWAS mediation team returned from Niger without having met either Mr Bazoum or General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the man who overthrew him. Later that day the defence chiefs of the region’s main powers said they had finalised plans for sending in a force. Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal all indicated they would contribute.

Yet the junta in Niger has allies of its own. The military rulers of Burkina Faso and Mali declared that they would consider any intervention in Niger to be a declaration of war on their own countries. Members of the Nigerien junta have also travelled to Mali where, according to Wassim Nasr, a journalist and researcher, they requested assistance from Wagner, a Russian mercenary group that has operated in Mali since 2021.

There seems to be little chance of either side backing down. ECOWAS, having drawn a line in the sand, would probably find it difficult to accept anything less than a full reinstatement of Mr Bazoum. And even if a fudge could be confected—perhaps involving the appointment of another civilian as the head of a transitional government and promise of elections—it would have to include the liberation of Mr Bazoum. Yet General Tchiani may see holding him as his best protection against another coup, or counter-coup, argues Nina Wilén of Lund University.

Even so, an ECOWAS invasion is not yet inevitable. War is “the option of last resort”, a high-level government official involved in deliberations in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, told The Economist after the deadline had expired. The “junta has reached out to the Nigerian authorities through back channels” but whether these talks succeed “depends on what they bring to the table”, the official said. Moreover, he said Nigeria’s government was concerned by domestic opposition to a military intervention “especially in northern Nigeria with imams preaching against it”. On August 7th Niger’s Prime minister, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, who is not in Niger, told a French television station that the junta had invited an ECOWAS delegation back for talks.

After a closed-door meeting of the Nigerian Senate, the body’s president, Godswill Akpabio, advised ECOWAS “to strengthen their political and diplomatic options”. Several reports suggest that a majority of senators at the meeting were against sending in troops. Under the constitution, Nigeria cannot deploy forces abroad without Senate approval unless there is an “imminent threat or danger” to national security.

ECOWAS has also struggled to win the support of other regional powers that share borders with Niger. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Algeria’s president, said he was “categorically against any military intervention” which would be considered a “direct threat to Algeria”. Chad also opposes the use of force.

A key consideration for ECOWAS must surely be whether foreign troops would be welcomed or opposed by Nigeriens themselves. Canvassing by Premise Data, a polling firm, for The Economist in the first survey conducted since the coup found that 78% of respondents support the actions of the junta and that 73% think it should stay in power “for an extended period” or “until new elections are held”. A slim majority of 54% said they were not in favour of an intervention by regional or international organisations. Of those supporting foreign intervention, an alarming 50% said they preferred it to be by Russia, presumably because they think it would support the putschists, as Wagner has done in Mali. Just 16% chose America, 14% the African Union and a paltry 4% preferred ECOWAS. These findings are not representative of opinion across the country because the poll was conducted quickly with a small sample. In this survey most of the respondents were relatively well-educated men and 62% were in the capital. Even so, the poll provides an indicative snapshot of the prevailing mood.

There are other significant hurdles facing an ECOWAS force besides a lack of popular support. One is cost. “Nigeria is too broke to conduct this operation, so needs funding for it,” says Cheta Nwanze of sbm Intelligence, a research firm in Lagos. “But the West can’t afford to be seen as being involved.” France has said it supports efforts by ECOWAS to reinstate Mr Bazoum but has not said if its armed forces would back an ECOWAS intervention or whether its treasury would help fund the operation.

Moreover, an ECOWAS mission would be far more complex and risky than any the bloc has mounted in decades. In 2017 a Senegalese-led force moved against the longtime president of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, after he refused to accept the result of an election he had lost. He folded as soon as troops pressed in. Yet Niger is more than 100 times larger than the Gambia and it has a Western-trained army that seemingly supports the junta, which is holding its legitimate president hostage. A closer parallel might be Sierra Leone, where in 1997 a group of soldiers ousted the elected president during a civil war. Some eight months later, after the putschists allied with gang-raping rebels, ECOWAS forces rolled in, removed the coup leaders and reinstated the president. Although the mission was successful, the Nigerian-led force was accused of human-rights abuses and of bombing civilian targets.

Sending troops into Niger in a similar fashion would be “madness”, argues Yvan Guichaoua, a Sahel expert at the University of Kent. This is because it is too late to mount a targeted operation to free Mr Bazoum, while a wider war could further destabilise both Niger and northern Nigeria.

Mr Tinubu may hope that large parts of Niger’s army will refuse to fight if ECOWAS troops cross the border. Yet if they do resist, the region’s troops may find themselves stuck in a three-way fight between the junta’s forces and the jihadists. Even were an intervention to succeed in restoring Mr Bazoum, he could be perceived as a puppet of foreign forces. “I pray to God that Bazoum comes out of this alive,” says a former adviser in the presidency. Yet even he counsels against ECOWAS sending in troops. “It will destroy human life for nothing and sink our country into war.” ■

This article appeared in the Print edition of The Economist print edition under the headline “After Niger’s Coup, the Drums of War are Growing Louder”


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The Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF), an independent Islamic economic development organization and the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (Lagos Branch), a chartered institution committed to the raising of professional economists in Nigeria have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with a general objective to have an association to foster the development of  Islamic economics, capacity building in Islamic finance and entrepreneurship in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The partnership also envisages a joint collaboration to support the Lagos State Government to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The partnership is a culmination of several exploratory engagements between AFRIEF and the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (Lagos Branch) on how to synergize their respective strengths, expertise, and resources to foster sustainable development in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Combining expertise in international investment facilitation, improving the quality of life and opportunities for citizens, or responding to the needs of Global changes, project planning and operations with a sophisticated knowledge of implementation strategies, the two organizations have also agreed to jointly launch a wide range of projects in areas involving trade and investment facilitation, public policy, economic and competitive intelligence, project and financial feasibility, market research, and economic development in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mr. Baba Yunus Muhammad Comments:

Mr. Baba Yunus Muhammad, President of Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF) has this to say: “this collaboration marks an exciting chapter for AFRIEF as it will inject its international experience, network and strength into the service portfolios and capabilities of ICEN (Lagos branch) to deliver training and consulting services in the Islamic economy, international trade and project development, institutional, technology and human development; and to support the Lagos State Government, public and private sector organizations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to accelerate the economic development and growth of Nigeria. We believe the two organizations have complementary capabilities and we are very excited at the power of combining these to create a full-service portfolio leveraging a larger pool of international and local talents and expertise. No doubt, this relationship will create strong synergies in both project and talent development, and it will help to accelerate AFRIEF’s mission of shifting the prevailing paradigm of economic development in Africa – and of the economy as a whole – towards a new system that is ethical, place-based, inclusive, collaborative and ecologically sustainable”.

 Dr Yusuf Sopeyin Comments:

Dr Yusuf Sopeyin, Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (Lagos Branch) has this to say: “This partnership with AFRIEF is in line with our mission as professional economists to form strategic partnerships with effective economic stakeholders particularly already thriving organizations such as AFRIEF, having the real interest of Africa and Africans at heart and a focus on complementing  the efforts of the Lagos State Government on effective public policy solutions that can drive an all-inclusive real economic growth through collaborative private sector participation towards sustainable growth and development in Nigeria. Also to help identify critical socio-economic and infrastructure challenges and address these challenges effectively through informed leadership, experience and creativity of the international investment and finance community. This partnership with AFRIEF therefore provides us with the rare opportunity to combine our collective experience and expertise, connection and network to propel Nigeria’s rapid economic and social development.

 About the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF)

The Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF) is an independent Islamic development organization that provides a distinctive Islamic perspectives on economic and social issues. Registered and incorporated in the Republic of Ghana as a non-profit organization, the work of AFRIEF encompasses a range of advisory, research, policy development and field-building activities on themes around the Islamic economy and the capital markets to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa.  It sets the benchmark on public policy and economic development by drawing together the most innovative thinking available from some of the world’s foremost experts and applying that thinking to the challenges facing Africa.

About Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (Lagos Branch)

The Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (I.C.E.N) was established out of burning desire to promote and encourage the study and development of the art and science of economics in public practice, industries, commerce etc and to inculcate professionalism and specialization in the economics profession in Nigeria. The Institute is mandated by the Act establishing it to regulate the activities of all the different aspects of Economics such as Monetary Economics, Industrial Economics, Business Economics, Educational and welfare economics, Economics of International relations, Agricultural Economics, Petroleum Economics, etc.

Media to Contact:
Baba Yunus Muhammad                            


Africa Islamic Economic Foundation

Al Furqan Building

Tamale, Ghana



Cell: +233 243 65 54 46.
WhatsApp: +234 80 96 34 27 95

Dr Yusuf Sopeyin FCE, Pf.D              

Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria-ICEN (Lagos Branch)


Cell: +234 81 811 71 226

WhatsApp: +234 81 811 71 226


















Tamale, Ghana.

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Nigerian Elections: Eight Issues Young People Want the New Government to Address




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Nigeria has a youth population of about 52 million people. With such a massive group it would be wise for the new president and government – who are being voted in later this month – to take their needs seriously. Young people in Nigeria have been vocal about the upcoming elections on social media and what their key issues are. Tope Shola Akinyetun reveals that they want to be heard, empowered, protected from harassment and conflict, and given equal opportunities.

As Nigeria prepares for the 25 February presidential elections, it’s interesting to consider what young Nigerians are expecting. There are plenty of them: 52.2 million people aged 18-35. That’s about 28% of Nigeria’s total population and more than the entire populations of Ghana and Benin Republic put together. In spite of the prospects that this number holds, young people in Nigeria are largely marginalised from governance.

This election holds immense significance for young Nigerians, particularly in light of the current economic difficulties, insecurity and their exclusion from the political process and decision making. I have focused various studies on the political expectations of the youth. One of my more recent studies looked at the relationship between youth political participation, good governance and social inclusion in Nigeria. It involved 1,208 participants selected from Nairaland.

Nairaland Forum is a Nigerian website created in 2005 that now has millions of readers. The online discussion site gets an average of 8.8 million visitors daily. It has become a place for young Nigerians to voice their opinions on a wide range of economic, political and social issues. I am not assuming that the perspective of Nairaland users is representative of young Nigerians as a whole. But I contend that it provides valuable insight into how they see the world. In this article I focus on expectations around governance.

My study found a positive relationship between youth political participation and good governance. It suggests that involving young people in politics will promote political development, improve transparency and enhance human capital.

Nigeria’s governance ranking

Governance covers a wide range of issues, including security, the rule of law, participation, rights and inclusion, economic opportunity, human development, and public perception. Data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance reveals that overall governance in Nigeria declined between 2016 and 2021. Nigeria currently ranks 30th on the continent. My findings indicate that young Nigerians rank the largest declines as follows: media freedom, the representation of women, food security, corruption in the public sector, armed conflict, effective administration, undue influence on government by the political elite, and equality of socioeconomic opportunity.

1. Media freedom

Young Nigerians are deeply concerned about a lack of media freedom. They will want the incoming government to ensure that the media can operate freely in discharging its duties. The media, both mainstream and digital, must be protected by law and the government must ensure digital rights, internet freedom and digital sovereignty (the right of entity to control its digital data) are upheld.

2. Representation of women

Young people want women to be represented better in governance and in parastatals. The incoming government must promote gender equality in its appointments, without compromising on merit.

3. Food security

Food security is another pressing issue raised by young Nigerians. The challenges posed by climate change, such as flooding, drought and cyclones, have made people less food secure, particularly in communities near the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin.

Climate governance policies must be put in place to mitigate the risk. The ongoing conflict between pastoralists and farmers, made worse by the strain on resources, also needs resolution.

4. Corruption

The incoming government must address corruption on both the demand and supply sides. Nigeria currently ranks 150 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index. Corruption requires the collusion of both giver and receiver. Therefore, it is necessary to address the complicity of Nigerian citizens in such activities. Petty and grand corruption in the academic, judicial and administrative sectors needs attention.

5. Armed conflict

Young Nigerians want the incoming government to deal with armed conflict. In the Global Peace Index, Nigeria currently ranks 143 out of 163 countries globally. The causes of armed conflict in Nigeria are multifaceted and include water stress, competition for natural resources, climate change, identity crises, perceived relative deprivation and insurgent groups like Boko Haram. These conflicts are often driven by the proliferation of small and light weapons, porous borders, and ungoverned spaces.

The threat of insecurity looms large over Nigeria, casting a shadow over the prospects of peace and development for young people. The prevalence of police brutality has further eroded public trust and respect for the institution. The police allegedly use excessive force in their attempts to maintain order.

The EndsSARS protests of 2020 were an expression of discontent with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which was accused of harassing, brutalising and extorting young people. The youth-led protests were met with government force. This may influence voting choices in the upcoming general elections. The incoming government must address the grievances that underlie armed conflict and the factors that fuel it.

6. Effective administration

The government must also promote effective administration and equal socioeconomic opportunity. To close the well-documented equality gap, the government must empower people to succeed in business, agriculture and technology ventures.

7. Undue influence

The undue influence of the political elite, known as “cabals”, impedes transparency and diminishes trust in the government. The new government must run an open system devoid of cabals. It must be accountable and involve young Nigerians in decision making.

8. Equal socioeconomic opportunity

The Nigerian economy is currently beset by a host of challenges, including inflation, rising debt, susceptibility to external shocks, and high unemployment. Recent data from the International Monetary Fund indicates a negative trend across various indicators.

The government must demonstrate a genuine commitment to diversifying the economy by making it more conducive to investment, providing tax relief for tech companies, reallocating infrastructure spending to support local industries, and deregulating the downstream sector.

To help create opportunities for all young Nigerians, education needs attention. Nigeria currently ranks 33rd in education quality on the African continent. At the primary and secondary levels, teachers are underpaid and facilities are either obsolete or lacking. According to UNICEF, there are 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria. At the tertiary level, institutions and researchers are underfunded, lecturers are poorly paid, facilities are dilapidated and appointments are politicized. The incoming government must increase the budget for education at all levels and encourage new funding models.

Tough road ahead

The incoming government will have an arduous task ahead of it and will have to break with the status quo. Young Nigerians expect a government that is responsive and responsible, one that will rebuild the country and place it on the path to consolidated development.

Failure to meet these expectations will subject young people to poverty and increase their exodus from the country in search of greener pastures.

Tope Shola Akinyetun is a Researcher, Lagos State University of Education

Courtesy: The Conversation

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