1The Man behind the Ghana Robotic Academy Foundation
As a young boy, Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu was fascinated by the planes that flew in and out of the airport. But his dreams were not to be a pilot; his imagination was more unique than that. Many years after, the young dreamer is now a lead engineer on InSight – NASA’s spacecraft which recently landed on Mars. He is in charge of the mission’s robotic arm mechanism.
2Investigation Documents Plagiarism in African Biomedical Journals
The research, published in November, examined 495 papers published online in 2016 by 100 Africa-based journals. Of those, 313 articles showed evidence of plagiarism, ranging from one or two to over six copied sentences. The paper showed lifting of sentences or complete ideas was more common in the introduction and discussion parts of the paper and less so in the results. Even though the sample was conducted only in English in 30 African countries it skewed towards a few countries—Nigeria and South Africa—moderate plagiarism, three to six sentences, was still rampant across most of the articles.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
3Yabacon Valley Sees Techpreneurs Strive Despite Challenges
Any entrepreneur in Nigeria faces high operating costs brought on by the country’s unstable power supply, shaky internet and a fluctuating currency. Undaunted, Nigeria’s tech startups have proliferated; kick-starting a young but thriving tech scene. But the ecosystem needed to support these new ventures has yet to mature, say investors and entrepreneurs, in addition to the physical infrastructure challenges. At stake is the opportunity to build the next “unicorn” (a startup valued at $1 billion) in a country that in just over three decades is projected to surpass the U.S. in terms of population, reaching 400 million people by 2050.
4Africa’s Cocoa Industry Reneges
Conservation group Mighty Earth says big chocolate companies and the governments of Ghana and the Ivory Coast continue to be responsible for the deforestation of tens of thousands of hectares of land over the past year in former rainforest-covered nations, despite their solemn promises to end the practice last November.
SOURCES: The Guardian
5South Sudan’s Colourism Issues are Way More than Skin Deep
Skin bleaching is a popular practice in many parts of the world – from Africa through Asia and the Middle East to North and South America – that promotes light skin as the standard of female beauty. Conservative estimates put the value of the global market at around $10bn annually. But in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country and home to some of the darkest people worldwide, skin whitening and the issue of colourism – commonly defined as prejudice or discrimination against dark-skinned people – is linked to a complex history.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
6African Leadership School
What does it take to become a great leader? Lebawi Academy shows that the journey of being a great leader starts from your foundation and by providing building blocks to young Africans; the school is at the forefront of mentoring Africa’s next generation of leaders.
7Egypt is Promoting itself as a Linchpin for Intra-African Trade
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is due to chair the African Union in 2019, and wants to model its economic model reform across Africa, “we will seek with sincere effort to build on what has been achieved over the past years and to complete our continent’s development agenda.”
SOURCES: CGTN Africa
8What does the UN African Migration Pact mean for Africans?
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says migration “should be well managed and safe, not irregular and dangerous” as he praised a group of more than 150 nations for adopting a global pact meant to improve the way the world handles the flow of migrants.
9Writing her Way into Uganda’s History Books
From a total of 110 submissions from 11 nations in Africa, two works of poetry stood out this year. One of them is by a Ugandan – Harriet Anena. After being announced joint-winner of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Anena was delighted at her achievement and later tweeted saying she was “super happy”.
SOURCES: New Vision
10Kenyan Bridal Wear brings Pop of Colour for “the Dress”
Could the traditional white wedding dress be a thing of the past? Ogake Mosomi from Nairobi in Kenya designs colourful wedding dresses and says the demand is growing.