Africa Top10 News

1World Unites in Grief after Ethiopian Airlines Crash Kills 157

Ethiopian Airlines Crash

The World Food Program of the United Nations says seven of its employees died. Six employees from the United Nations office in Nairobi were killed, and two from the International Telecommunications Union also. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva said three of the agency’s staff died. Addis Ababa and Nairobi are home to United Nations offices. But the flight between the cities may have been carrying a particularly high number of United Nations workers because it was the day before a session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, described as the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. Meanwhile, the flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday have been recovered by investigators. The devices recovered from the crash site are the Boeing 737 Max 8’s cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder. Several airlines have grounded the model following the disaster.

SOURCES: NEW YORK TIMES | BBC

2Sombre Mood in Nairobi as Delegates Discuss the World’s Environmental Future

World’s Environmental Future

An assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has opened in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, under a dark cloud cast by the Sunday’s plane crash that killed 157 people, including 22 UN staff, many heading for the annual event. On Monday, delegates arrived at the event with the UN flag flying at half-mast, and the flags of the UN members that usually adorn the UNEP headquarters having been taken down. Nairobi hosts the global headquarters of the UNEP and is the regional seat for many UN agencies. The annual UNEP assembly gathers heads of state, ministers, business leaders and civil society representatives to work on ways to slash pollution and build a greener global economy.

SOURCES: AL JAZEERA

3A First of its Kind List by Forbes Woman Africa

Forbes Woman Africa

The New Wealth Creators is a collection of female entrepreneurs on the African continent running businesses and social enterprises that are new, offbeat and radical. These 20 women have been selected because they have created significant impact in their respective sectors by transforming a market or company, or innovating a product or service, and are pioneering their organization(s) in generating new untapped streams of income. They may be wealth creators but their businesses, ironically, did not stem from a need to make money, but rather from the need to solve Africa’s persisting socio-economic challenges. These women come from across the continent, from the villages and the suburbs, and are in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. They have all adopted sustainable development initiatives in one way or another to help solve Africa’s problems.

SOURCES: FORBES AFRICA

4Algeria’s Youth take on Ailing President

Algeria's Ailing President

Students have been at the heart of protests and a decision to start spring break on Sunday — instead of March 21 — will affect many whose family homes are far from campuses which are set to close over the holidays. “Algeria free and democratic!” cried students at the University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene in Algiers, where around 2 000 gathered to rally against the holiday decision and to keep up their protest against Bouteflika as more protest strikes shut down the capital’s public transport system and many schools across the country. The ailing president returned to Algeria from Switzerland over the weekend, his return comes as the country prepares for the April 18 elections. At 82, Bouteflika suffered a stroke in 2013, he left Algeria on February 24 for what the presidency on Sunday once again described as “routine medical checks”.

SOURCES: MAIL & GUARDIAN AFRICA

5Exposing Child Labor in Ghana

Child Labor in Ghana

A top Ghanaian official has promised action following a CNN report into child slavery on Lake Volta. Around 20,000 children work on the lake; enslaved by fishermen they call “master.” Most of them come to the lake from hundreds of miles away. They are sold by their desperately poor parents to human traffickers, sometimes for as little as $250. “It’s a heartbreaking story, and it’s a matter of concern for the government and the people of Ghana,” Ghana’s Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told CNN. He promised specific action “aimed at rescuing the victims, rehabilitating them, reintegrating them into society (and) prosecuting persons responsible.” In 2017, the country hosted its “National Child Labor Day” in the lakeside town of Kete Krachi, to call awareness to the issue. There is also an effort to register all the boats on the lake, which could make it easier to track down and punish fishermen using child slaves.

SOURCES: CNN

6The Decline of Nigeria’s Universities

Nigeria’s Universities

Higher education in Nigeria includes universities (federal, state and private) as well as polytechnics (skills-intensive and experiential learning programmes) and colleges of education. With over 160 universities, 128 polytechnics and 177 colleges of education, it constitutes the largest higher education system in Africa. Researchers have found that the country’s universities lag well behind equivalent emerging global economies like South Africa, Egypt, Thailand, Turkey and Brazil. They also lag behind traditional world leaders. Part of the problem is that the education budget in Nigeria has seen little or no change over the last few years, and government funding of education remains low. In 2018, it was just over 7% of the national budget. This level of funding, as a percentage of the total budget, has remained stagnant since 2009 when it was 7.25%.

SOURCES: THE CONVERSATION

7The Hidden Economic Costs Of Displacement

Costs Of Displacement

While the impacts of displacement on wellbeing are well-known, one group has pointed to the equally burdensome economic costs for those displaced as well as host communities. In a new report, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) examines the financial costs of internal displacement across major crises around the world, raising awareness of the importance of preventing future displacement as well as responding to such situations efficiently. The report also notes that the impacts of internal displacement are far higher in low-income countries, partially due the lack of capacity to minimise impacts of crises. The Central African Republic (CAR) is one such low-income country, with over 70 percent of the country estimated to be living in poverty. CAR has seen decades of instability and violence, and its most recently conflict has resulted in an ongoing, dire humanitarian crisis and the displacement of over 1 million people, more than half of whom have stayed within the country’s borders.

SOURCES: AFRICA.COM

8How to Decipher Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis

Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis

While policymakers use technical vagaries to explain away the crisis, an ordinary Zimbabwean has created the most succinct explanation through a two-minute animation. “I created it because I had the impossible task of explaining what happened to the money to my daughter’s Grade 7 class,” Kuda Musasiwa told Quartz Africa. The animation achieves what policymakers and analysts have struggled to do: distil the crisis to its simplest form. Importantly, it explains how the banking system affects consumers. In it, dollars are cows and bond notes are goats, and Musasiwa tries to explain how the Reserve Bank forced consumers to believe they held the same value. It takes a tragicomic turn when Musasiwa has to explain Zimbabwe’s use of mobile money due to a currency shortage. Musasiwa, a rapper who also runs a vegetable delivery service and an advertising agency, knows the very serious consequence of the currency shortage or a crash in the mobile service network.

SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA

9The Big Wins on Cairo’s Stock Exchange

Cairo’s Stock Exchange

An exchange-traded fund focused on Egyptian equities had the biggest weekly inflow since 2014 as foreigners increased bets on this year’s second-best-performing stock market. The VanEck Vectors Egypt Index ETF attracted $11.5 million in the five days ended March 8, more than any other week since September 2014. The assets under management climbed to $52 million, the highest since August. The U.S.-based fund invests more than 40 percent of its assets in real estate, chemicals and telecommunications shares trading in Cairo.

SOURCES: BLOOMBERG

10Screenings, Parties and Debates over the Future of African Cinema

Future of African Cinema

Burkina Faso, known as the spiritual home of African cinema, values film: taxi drivers can recite the festival schedule, for the pan-African film and television festival of Ouagadougou, with precision, and one of its most prominent roundabouts (often prestigious spaces in African cities) is a tower of cinema reels represented in orange and green-painted cement, with statues of previous best picture winners nearby. But cinemas across the African continent have closed in droves as they are expensive to attend compared with watching pirate versions on the mobile phones that more and more people own, or on televisions in informal “video clubs” in residential neighbourhoods.

SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN