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Nigerian Governor Wike’s Wife Crowns Miss University Africa 2017. (Photos)

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Miss University Africa (Somalia) was the first runner up, while Miss University Africa (Nigeria), Miss Chinomso Ibinabo emerged second Runner-Up.

The top eleven in the keenly contested pageant include: Miss University Africa (Mauritius), Somalia, Nigeria, Eriteria, Tunisia, Gambia, Ethiopia, Sao Tome and Principe, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

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Lead Judge at the Pageant, Mr Sonny Irabor said all five judges approved the list of winners after a painstaking and transparent selection process.

Coordinator of the Miss University Africa Beauty Pageant, Mr Taylor Nazzal thanked Africans for making the Pageant a huge success.

He said:”Rivers State has shown the world that it one of the safest places for conferences and business “.

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Crowning the Miss University Africa 2017 on behalf of the Rivers State Governor, Wife of the Nigerian Governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike assured that he will partner with the contestants to move Africa forward.

He said: “All the contestants have done well and I consider all of them my daughters. You can come to the state any time you choose. “We will be working together to lift Africa to greater heights. All the queens are very intelligent, warm and domesticated “.

The governor said that the theme of the Pageant, ‘educating the girl child ” is apt, noting that the continent will develop faster if majority of African girls access education.

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“Imagine if all African girls are like the contestants. Imagine the kind of Africa we will have. Africa is actually the future of the world ” Governor Wike said.

High point of the occasion was the presentation of an award to recognise Governor Wike as the champion of Women Empowerment in Africa.

The Pageant was laced with dance by the contestants, rendition of theme song, question and answer for top 11 contestants, displace of national costumes and casual wears by each contestant.

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Military patrols Ecuador’s capital as clashes resume and many defy curfew

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Armored military vehicles patrolled the streets of Ecuador’s capital, Quito, on Sunday after police and protesters clashed and many residents defied a curfew imposed by President Lenin Moreno in a bid to quell unrest triggered by fuel subsidy cuts.

Ecuadoreans posted videos on social media of burning road blockades and standoffs between crowds and security forces in downtown Quito ahead of the first round of talks aimed at ending 11 days of unrest.

The interior minister said a group of vandals had again set fire to the comptroller’s office and that some 500 people had defied police barriers in the city.

The unrest was the worst in the small South American country in more than a decade and the latest flashpoint of opposition to the International Monetary Fund in Latin America. Moreno has cast the dispute as a battle between Venezuela and other left-leaning forces and more market-friendly ideologies.

Nearly 60 roads in the city were closed, the municipal government said, without elaborating.

“Blocking roads is punishable by law and even more so during a curfew,” said councilman Bernardo Abad.

Indigenous protesters vowed to continue protests across the country until Moreno reinstates fuel subsidies, a sign that a potential breakthrough in the dispute announced on Saturday might fade under the government crackdown.

The first round of talks between indigenous leaders and the government was set to begin at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) in Quito, although no announcement had been made yet on who would take part or where exactly it would be held.

Moreno signed a $4.2 billion deal with the IMF earlier this year, angering many of his former supporters who voted for him as the left-leaning successor of his former ally, Rafael Correa.

Moreno has defended his decision last week to slash fuel subsidies as a key part of his bid to clean up the country’s finances, and denies it was required by the IMF.

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Algerians protest against proposed energy law

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Hundreds of Algerians protested in front of parliament on Sunday against proposed changes to the energy law that they say the caretaker government has no right to pass.

The draft law was agreed by the cabinet on Sunday, interim president Abdelkader Bensalah was quoted by state media as saying. It must still be approved by parliament.

Protesters said the law was draw up by the caretaker government to secure support of Western countries in a standoff over mass protests that have rocked Algeria for months. The government did not immediately comment.

“The draft will allow us to start deep reforms in the energy sector and implement a development plan for Sonatrach,” Bensalah said, referring to Algeria’s national energy company.

The law is aimed at attracting foreign investors to help Algeria strengthen its energy output and improve revenues using their superior technology, but would maintain a 49% limit on foreign ownership if passed into law by parliament.

Sonatrach has met several major international oil companies in recent months, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

“The current tax system does not allow Sonatrach to make new discoveries,” Mustapha Hanifi, the hydrocarbons director at the energy ministry, said at a conference on Sunday.

“We need to discover more oil and gas to ensure the country’s energy security and its revenues,” he added.

Algeria’s economy and state revenues are highly dependent on the energy sector, and foreign currency reserves have more than halved since oil prices began to drop in 2014.

The weekly mass protests since February have toppled veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika and forced the authorities to detain many senior officials on corruption charges.

The army, which has emerged as the strongest power in Algeria since Bouteflika stepped down in April, hopes a presidential election panned for Dec. 12 will help quell the protests.

But demonstrators have said the vote cannot be free or fair if the military and senior officials tied to Bouteflika retain political power.

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