Day: February 2, 2009

King of kings

The BBC reports that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been chosen as this year’s chairman of the 53-nation African Union at the AU summit in Ethiopia.

The BBC’s Elizabeth Blunt in Addis Ababa says it was the turn of North Africa to lead the bloc, and Col Gaddafi was seen as the obvious choice. However, some African leaders believe the Libyan leader is too erratic to be AU chairman.

Before he arrived at the summit, he circulated a letter saying he was coming as the king of the traditional kings of Africa and he wanted to be seated as the king of kings, our correspondent says.

Col Gaddafi has previously outlined his vision for African unity.

He wants a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move within the continent.

Last August, a meeting of more than 200 African kings and traditional rulers bestowed the title “king of kings” on the Libyan leader. 

Hat tip: Leopoldo

Iceland: a chillier Dubai

In an interview for the Sunday Times, Dorrit Moussaieff, the wife of Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, describes her view of Iceland’s future. Excerpt:

Indeed, she’s hoping to turn the country into a sort of deluxe haven where cosseted clients from around the world can come and pick up treats: a chillier version of Dubai, with fish and geysers instead of sand. Moussaieff has stumbled upon a disused airbase in Iceland and hopes to transform it into a store for art collections that people will then be able to visit. She has teamed up with her great friend the art collector and heiress Francesca von Habsburg for the scheme.