1DRC Independence Hero Patrice Lumumba Gets Honoured by Belgium
Campaigners say Belgium has taken a step towards acknowledging its dark colonial history by renaming a city square after the assassinated Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba. The famous “Bastion square” in Brussels is largely a Congolese neighbourhood and befitting that it was officially renamed “Patrice Lumumba square” in a ceremony at the weekend. Some of Patrice Lumumba’s relatives were there. As Congo’s prime minister, Mr. Lumumba won a large following at home and elsewhere in Africa through charisma and skillful oratory. He advocated independence, state-led economic development and neutrality in foreign affair, but unrest continued in the weeks following independence, and he was soon faced with a coup d’état by the military leader Mobutu Sese Seko with the backing of Belgium and western allies.
SOURCES: New York Times, The Brussels Times
2Are these Libya’s Defenders of Peace?
The Madkhalists are growing in influence across Libya’s different warring factions, promising security and an Islamist future. After seven years of civil war, Libyans crave order. The Madkhalist group, a Salafist organization founded by a Saudi cleric, is known for providing just that. Despite its founder’s links to the despised late dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Its activities have spread along the country’s populated coastline, brokering deals among Libya’s three governments and fighting the Islamic State group.
3The First Ever #eSwatiniPride
Rock of Hope, a local Swazi LGBTQIA nonprofit, as well as volunteers from home and broad are basking in the success of the country’s first ever gay pride. It wasn’t an easy event to organize in Swaziland, a largely conservative country where anti-sodomy laws exist, but after getting the necessary permission from police it went ahead as planned. Organisers shared their aim for the event with Mashabale, “We have planned, not only a march as is customary of the Pride events throughout history. Pride for us is also about demonstrating our diversity to include all citizens and to create a space for sharing and learning.”
SOURCES: Mashable, BBC Africa
4Social Media Tax Hasn’t Put off Ugandans from Using Data Services
As predicted by ICT experts, Ugandans have found virtual private networks (VPN) the ‘ultimate solution’ to bypass paying a daily excise duty charge on Over-The-Top (OTT) services. The social media tax affects social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Viber, Skype among others. ‘VPN’ search hit the maximum value (100) on July 1 at 1am – just an hour after the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) switched off the social media platforms. VPN masks the user’s exact location and circumvents the blockage.
SOURCES: The Observer, Daily Monitor, Quartz Africa
5Putting a Human Face to the Atrocities of Darfur
Emtithal Mahmoud found her voice when her grandmother died in Darfur, Sudan, when she could not get access to medication. Her poem “mama” won her the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam Championship in Washington DC, that’s the point her life started to become a little surreal. She was still a student at Yale, where she was studying molecular, cellular and developmental biology and anthropology, Mahmoud when she was chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspirational women in 2015, and wrote the poem to mark the honour.
SOURCES: The Guardian
6Crowdfunding in Africa to Reach R415.8 million in 2025
The Afrikstart Crowdfunding in Africa Report, named South Africa as the leading rewards-based crowdfunding hub in Africa in 2016. The report estimated that its value in the region will rise to that of R415.8m in 2025. The concept, which began as a Silicon Valley social experiment is now fast becoming a viable solution for entrepreneurs and creatives who might not necessarily capture the imaginations of loan officers or have access to other financial means to materialise their passion projects.
7Half a Million Burkinabés Will be Affected by Latest Ban
Authorities in Burkina Faso have banned small-scale mining for the next four months in an attempt to reduce deaths during the rainy season. Last week, at least four people died when their mine collapsed due to heavy rains. Miners have been told to close the mines or face heavy sanctions. Many of them mine for gold.
SOURCES: BBC Africa
8Togo Reveals its Electrification Strategy
Only 28% of the population have access to electricity, far below the West African average of 40%. It has to rely on Ghana, its neighbour to the west, to supply some of its power. Officials have come up with a plan to reach 50% of Togo’s 7.5 million-population by 2020, 75% by 2025 and achieve universal access by 2030. The crux of the strategy is for solar power to serve three million people in communities where the grid does not reach. To achieve this, the government would partner with private investors to build 300 mini solar plants across the country and distribute solar kits to 500,000 households.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
9Nollywood Actress Gets Oscars Nod
Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde told CNN that the decision to include African filmmakers and actors into the voting membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a sign Hollywood is ready to “move closer to African filmmakers.” She is one of 928 artists and executives who will become voting members and will decide the Oscars nominations for motion pictures. Jalade-Ekeinde, also known to her fans as ‘Omosexy,’ has appeared in more than 300 films and is one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
10The World Cup Match Zimbabweans Didn’t Watch
Patrick Kluivert, Fernando Morientes, Gianluca Zambrotta, Julio Baptista, Marcos Senna and other now-retired once-renowned footballers were in Zimbabwe for an exhibition match against retired local players in a government-driven initiative to market the country as a safe and attractive tourism destination. Zimbabwe’s former Finance Minister didn’t mince his words, telling Al Jazeera that “Everyone in Zimbabwe is watching the World Cup. How do you have that kind of counter-attraction? It was bound to flop. Whoever was involved in organising that nonsensical game was motivated by corruption and malice.”