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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
First African deaths in US attack
A Kenyan at the memorial for victims of the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi
The US attacks remind a Kenyan man of 1998
One South African man and a Ghanaian woman have become the first confirmed African deaths following Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Across Africa, people with relatives in the US are desperately trying to contact them - a difficult task as telecommunications are still badly affected.

Everybody is worried, panicking for their relatives studying and living in New York

Lucy, in a Kenyan cybercafe
Zimbabwe's ambassador to the US said that six Zimbabweans used to work in the buildings hit by hi-jacked planes and had not been accounted for.

Simbi Mubako said that at least five people worked at the World Trade Center and another was an engineer at the Pentagon.

The Ghanaian woman worked for a financial company at the WTC.

Computer programmer

The dead South African was a prominent businessman and The Johannesburg Star newspaper says that he was on board the first plane that was flown into the WTC.

29 year-old South African computer programmer, Nicholas Rowe, is missing and hopes are fading that he is still alive.

Blood donors at one of the medical centres
New Yorkers are helping any way they can

His sister Rachel Logan told the Johannesburg Star newspaper that her brother had been working in the US for three years.

The paper said he was on the 106th floor of the WTC when it was struck.

He was last heard of when he telephoned his boss to inform him he was at the building, said the Star.

According to the BBC's Alice Muthengi in Nairobi, the Lasards cybercafe is packed with people trying to make contact with family members.


One told the BBC: "I have heard nothing. I really don't know what is happening. I am really worried."

Another customer, Lucy, said: "Everybody is worried, panicking for those who are studying or living in New York. I made two calls last night but could not get through."

Every year an unspecified number of Africans go to New York to study, visit or in search of the "American Dream".

There is a large community of Senegalese street-traders in New York.

In Dakar, market-stall holder Mohamed Seye told Le Soilel newspaper that he has been unable to speak to his relatives in New York "because the phones don't work".

Economic impact

He was also worried that the supply of electrical goods like television sets, which the Senegalese traders in New York ship back home, would dry up.

Political leaders are already thinking of the impact the US attacks may have on their economies.

Rescue attempts in 1998
Over 200 Kenyans died in the 1998 attack on the US embassy in Nairobi

The disruption of international travel is also having an impact on Africans, although South African Airways has said that flights to the US would be resumed on Thursday.

A BBC correspondent in Accra said Ghana's finance minister is concerned that he may be unable to fly to Paris for the consultative World Bank meeting on debt cancellation.

However the price of gold, Ghana's principle export, has been steadily rising due to the uncertainty caused by the attack on the heart of the global financial system.

Lucy, an internet cafe customer in Nairobi
"I am sure everybody is worried, panicking waiting for a response"
BBC's Kweku Sakyi-Addo in Ghana
"Ghana's Finance Minister believes events across the Atlantic could affect Ghana's economic decisions"
See also:

07 Aug 01 | Africa
Kenya remembers bomb victims
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