1Uganda’s First Artificial Intelligence Lab
Housed at Makerere University, lab technicians examine blood samples suspected of containing malaria parasites or the bacteria that causes tuberculosis by using a cell phone. The program learns to create its own criteria based on a set of images that have been presented to it previously. It learns to recognize the common features of the infections.
2The DRC could have a New President by Christmas
The Democratic Republic of Congo will hold a presidential election Sunday that could lead to the country’s first democratic transfer of power, following decades marked by authoritarian rule, coups and deadly conflict. The outcome of the long-delayed vote to choose President Joseph Kabila’s successor is far from certain, after a campaign marred by violent crackdowns on opposition rallies and the destruction of thousands of the capital’s voting machines in a fire last week.
3Nigeria Accuses Rights Groups of Siding with Militants
Over the weekend, the military banned operations by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria’s volatile northeast claiming the agency spied for Boko Haram terrorists operating in the region. The army claimed UNICEF staff was sabotaging its counter-terrorism efforts by alleging human rights abuses by the military. With the dust over that spat yet to settle, the military has now alleged Amnesty International, the human rights group, is out to “destabilize” and “dismember” Nigeria.
4Colleges in South Sudan Adapt to Cater for Eager Minds
Thanks to flexible institutions and a high demand for education, universities are sharing resources, relying on donations, pushing evening and weekend classes so students can keep their day jobs, and boosting staff. The creativity and resolve spell success for South Sudan and also offer a model for other war-torn nations.
5Saffron Farmers in Southern Morocco Anxious about Knockoffs
In Morocco, PDO-certified saffron sells for about $3.5 a gram. To maintain their PDO-label, producers submit their harvest for various tests that check for moisture content, taste, colour and smell. Counterfeit saffron can sell “for less than a dollar a gram at the famous Derb Omar market in Casablanca”. Local producers say counterfeiters often use chemical dyes and remains of other plants in an attempt to pass poor quality saffron off as a top-shelf spice.
SOURCES: Mail & Guardian
6How a Temporary Refugee Camp became the Fourth Largest Town in Mauritania
The Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania is home to thousands of people who fled Mali in the early 1990s to escape rebel attacks in Timbuktu. The United Nations says there is a need for greater international cooperation for sharing responsibility and ensuring host countries have the financial support needed to welcome them.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
7Inside the Streets of Sierra Leone
Film explores how women on the streets of Freetown suffer extortion, exploitation and imprisonment because of sex work. Many of Sierra Leone’s estimated 26,000 sex workers come from poor backgrounds and entered the trade as minors. A lack of education and training makes it hard to break out of the cycle and find other employment.
SOURCES: The Guardian
8Taking Farm Workers’ Health Seriously
Thousands of migrant workers flock to Mpumalanga each year from within South Africa as well as neighbouring countries, such as Mozambique, in search of work on the province’s farms and mines. To make it easier for migrant workers living with HIV to stick to their antiretrovirals, the Hlokomela Training Trust has set up clinics on Mpumalanga farms.
9Egypt has had No Shortage of Archaeological Discoveries Lately
Archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved, 4,400-year-old tomb of a royal priest and his family in Egypt, in a “one of a kind” find. The tomb was unearthed in Saqqara, a city south of Cairo and a vast necropolis from ancient Egypt.
SOURCES: New York Times
10Exploring Seychelles’ Gems
Plants and animals unique to the Seychelles, including the insectivorous pitcher plants can be found in higher sections of Morne Seychellois National Park; just be ready to climb up over 100 m of granite rock in order to see them. The mountain chain that gives the park its name, Morne Seychellois, reaches a height of 905 m and overlooks the city of Victoria — perfect for your undercover adventurer.
SOURCES: AFK Travel