Africa Top10 News

1How Trevor Noah Captivated a US Audience

Trevor Noah

When Trevor Noah took the reins of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, critics wondered whether he could live up to the reputation of his scathing satirist predecessor, Jon Stewart. Four years later, the question facing the South African comedian is much bigger: not whether he can survive in America, but whether his brand can conquer the world. Don’t believe it? Just consider that Noah, 35, with his made-for-television childhood (literally, now that his best-selling memoir Born a Crime is receiving a film adaptation), gives him a truly global perspective that none of his late-night contemporaries can match. Noah, the last Black man standing on late night at the major networks, stands out. And he’s gone from doubted to lauded — from the pages of Time magazine, which named him one of the most 100 influential people in the world last year, to The Hollywood Reporter, which placed him among the 35 most powerful people in New York media the last two years. In April, Comedy Central reported that The Daily Show was tied for the 2019 late-night talk show lead among men ages 18–34 — and generating a weekly average reach of 56 million video views on social media. Heady stuff for the Johannesburg native who not long ago performed stand-ups to nothing crowds while trying to transform his South African stardom into American relevance. 

SOURCE: OZY

2Calling Out Libya’s Warring Factions

United Nations envoy to Libya

The United Nations envoy to Libya says the airstrikes on a detention center for migrants outside of Libya’s capital that killed at least 40 people could be a war crime. Libyan health officials said in addition to those killed in the strikes late Tuesday, another 80 people were wounded. U.N. High Commission for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in the aftermath of the attacks that civilians must not be targets, that migrants and refugees should not be detained, and that Libya is not a safe place to return migrants who are rescued trying to make the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Grandi called on those countries with influence on the parties involved in Libya’s conflict to work together to end the fighting. African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat called for all sides to ensure the safety of civilians, especially detained migrants, while demanding an independent investigation into Tuesday’s airstrikes.

SOURCE: VOA

3Another Bungle in the Italian Trial Against African Smuggler

Italian Trial

The elite antimafia division of the Palermo prosecutor’s office has charged an adverb with the crime of human trafficking, defence lawyers and language specialists have said. Charges against “Mesi” were brought as part of a sprawling international investigation on human smuggling, but it appears Sicilian magistrates confused the word for “when” in the Tigrinya language of Eritrea with the name of a man they thought was a powerful smuggler. “Mesi is a human trafficker who has trafficked a woman named Martha from Africa to Europe,” the prosecutors wrote. A Tigrinya interpreter for the court has said, however, it is not a person’s name and believed it was a misspelling of meas, the word for “when”. Three Eritrean interpreters separately said Mesi was not used as a name in Tigrinya. Despite this, the prosecutors, who had already placed the suspected trafficker under investigation last year, have ignored the court interpreter’s official assessment and last week formally charged “Mesi” with human trafficking. The charges are part of the controversial trial in Palermo of a man named as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who the Italian authorities regard as the “Al Capone of the desert”. The person arrested in Khartoum in June 2016 with the help of the UK National Crime Agency appears not to be Mered but an Eritrean refugee named Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, who is a victim of mistaken identity.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

4Brain Drain is a Major Challenge Facing the Nigerian Health System

Nigerian Health System

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Nigeria is one of the three leading African sources of foreign-born physicians. Doctors leave for a variety of reasons depending on where they are in their careers. For example, many leave immediately after graduation. They usually leave for one or two reasons. Firstly, to pursue international residency training. Most in this category usually don’t return to the country. They prefer to work where their newly acquired skills can be put to better use. The second reason is if they fail to find a job or space for residency training. Most in this category also never return home to practice. The exodus has led to a drop in the quality of health care service due to the absence of skilled personnel. To reverse the brain drain, researchers say the Nigerian government should create a conducive environment that will ensure employment opportunities and reduce poverty. It must provide the needed infrastructure such as good roads and transport systems, affordable and functional education, water supply, security, stable energy in addition to good health care system.SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA

5Brewed in Zimbabwe a Hit on the Market

David Muganyura

A long-time Zimbabwean coffee grower, David Muganyura almost gave up on the crop when prices slumped to as low as U.S. 20 cents a pound at the turn of the millennium, and foreign buyers took flight after land seizures drove out more than 120 white commercial coffee farmers under the banner of post-colonial reform. But with companies like Nestle’s Nespresso arm now willing to pay a premium for Zimbabwe’s beans, small-scale farmers like Muganyura are returning to a sector that was all-but destroyed under former President Robert Mugabe. Coffee output in Zimbabwe was 430 tonnes in 2018, a 10% increase over the previous year. This year production is set at 500 tonnes, according to industry officials. Zimbabwe was never among the world’s top producers: output peaked at around 15,000 tonnes in the late 1990s. But its Arabica coffee is prized for its zesty and fruity tones, and the sector once provided a livelihood for more than 20,000 poor farmers. Nespresso, which started buying Zimbabwean coffee last year at a 30%-40% premium above international prices and pays farmers in U.S. dollars, is helping to drive the modest revival. Its limited edition “Tamuka muZimbabwe” (“We Have Awakened in Zimbabwe”) coffee, launched in 16 countries in May, sold out in three weeks. SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

6Activists say Evictions at DRC Mine are Just a Band Aid

Evictions at DRC Mine

Illegal miners at a copper and cobalt mine run by Glencore in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) defied a deadline to vacate the site on Tuesday, a union official said, raising fears of a potentially violent standoff. A landslide last Thursday at the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) concession, majority-owned by a Glencore subsidiary and located in the southeastern part of the country, killed 43 people, prompting the government to vow to remove the miners. The army’s inspector general, that an operation to clear the estimated 2,000 miners is underway.  Union officials and global activist groups – including Amnesty International – argue that expulsion does little to address underlying factors, such as poverty and unemployment, that push people to brave dangerous conditions and engage in illegal mining. “Without an alternative, the artisanals won’t leave and the army will move in. When soldiers are sent into the field, we all know what happens,” said Charles Kumbi, regional programme director with the IndustriALL union.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

7Private Sector Impact Investment Partnership To Deliver SDGs

Private Sector Impact

In a refreshing partnership of multiple parties collaborating to present a new and exciting different view from the mainstream Development, Philanthropy, Banking, Business, Finance and Social Ventures, organisers are looking forward to advocating and forming new partnerships with our top decision makers, many of whom accepted our invitation to get an introduction to the immense potential of Impact Investment for Ghana and the Region. The call to action was simple: rethink Development Financing and how we are going to meet the SDGs in practical terms. The world has changed, investors and business leaders will be exposed to the global shifts in investment trends, develop the appropriate contextual solutions and tools to do this effectively. To achieve this step change in Ghana will need extensive support and collaboration with stakeholders including government, big business, SMEs with social impact, Development partners and academia/research institutions. SOURCE: AFRICA.COM

8East African Citizen Groups Sue Uganda and Rwanda 

East African Citizen Groups

Three civil society groups, on behalf of communities along the border, said they had filed a complaint with the East African Court of Justice demanding reparations from Uganda and Rwanda for their losses. Trade has been severely disrupted since late February when Rwanda abruptly closed the border with its northern neighbour, severing a major economic land route used daily by merchants and business people on both sides. The closure followed months of rising acrimony between Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, former allies turned foes who have exchanged public accusations of spying in each other’s territory. Apart from a brief interlude in June the frontier has remained shut, damaging the local economies of both countries reliant on cross-border trade to survive. The court, in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, was set up to rule on matters of the East African Community, a six-member bloc including Rwanda and Uganda, as well as Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and South Sudan.SOURCE:  BUSINESS DAY LIVE

9Zimbabwean Migrants Uses Art to Illustrate her Journey

Zimbabwean Migrants

You might have seen her work at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, in London or Marrakech. For those who missed the recent Virginia Chihota show at Tiwani Contemporary’ London gallery—it closed on 29th of June—the Zimbabwean artist is known for images expressing various forms of cultural dislocation. Virginia represented Zimbabwe at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and was awarded the Prix Canson in the same year. Her work is represented in the collections of Tate, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Deutsche Bank, Saatchi, JP Morgan Chase, the US Department of State and FRAC-Picardie. Knowing Virginia’s various expressions of cultural dislocation, we asked Eva Langret, the director of Tiwani Contemporary, if she herself felt like a world nomad. “I was born in the early 80s and so my experience of travelling is marked by globalisation, late-capitalism and technological advances: a connected global context that is particularly visible in the creative (and privileged) fields. There are organisations, signs, patterns of behaviour that I recognise, and see myself in, all over the world and so this has tempered my experience of dislocation. My international context is widely different from that of my father, for instance, who came from the Congo to France in the 70s, and who experienced dislocation in a way that I never did: a sense of longing for home that I am relatively free of.”SOURCE: TRUE AFRICA

10Burundi’s Rebranding Campaign Misses the Nation Building Mark

Burundi's Rebranding

President Pierre Nkurunziza has controversially renamed the country’s national landmarks to reflect the historical contribution of the majority Hutu ethnic group. Renaming the national stadium, the presidential palace and main airport was meant to “remind Burundians of their history,” he said in his independence-day speech on 1 July. The main stadium in the former capital city of Bujumbura, which hosts football matches and national day celebrations, is now officially called Heroes Stadium. It used to be named after Louis Rwagasore, one of the most revered and prominent figures in Burundi’s history. His portrait is also used in the country’s currency. The main airport in Bujumbura will now be called Merchior Ndadaye after the country’s first democratically elected president. The ethnic Hutu only ruled for three months in 1993 before he was assassinated after his reforms antagonised the Tutsi-dominated army. The new presidential palace was renamed after King Ntare Rushatsi. It cost $22m to build and was reportedly a gift from China. The legendary King Rushatsi is seen as having been the founder of the Burundi kingdom in the 1500s. Critics, however, say the move was meant to erase the contribution of members of the minority Tustsi community. Since independence from Belgium in 1962, the landlocked central African country has been plagued by tension between the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority.SOURCE: BBC