Africa Top10 News

1The French Connection in the Libyan Crisis

Libyan Crisis

France has denied breaching a UN arms embargo after four of its anti-tank missiles were found on a base loyal to a rogue Libyan general. The country’s defence ministry says the “unusable” US-made Javelin missiles were never intended to be passed to any group, and were due to be destroyed. However, they were discovered in a camp south of the capital Tripoli, used by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar. The four missiles were discovered in June when forces loyal to the UN-backed government overran the camp, prompting an investigation in Washington. France admitted the weapons – which can be used against tanks and other vehicles – belonged to them in a statement on Wednesday. “These weapons were for the protection of forces undertaking intelligence and counter-terror missions,” the defence ministry statement said. France has always denied arming Gen Haftar’s forces, but has offered diplomatic support.SOURCE: BBC

2Shining the Light on Abuse in Cairo’s Torah Prison 

Cairo's Torah Prison

When former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi died after collapsing in a defendant’s cage in a Cairo courtroom this June, the world’s attention turned to the dire prison conditions in Egypt. According to a report published by an independent review panel review panel in March 2018, Morsi had been denied necessary medical attention, possibly meeting the threshold for torture in Egyptian and international law. Two weeks later, former presidential candidate and leading opposition figure, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, suffered a double heart attack in prison, where he has been since February 2018. Shortly before Aboul Fotouh suffered the heart attacks, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms submitted a petition to the Egyptian public prosecutor concerning his “deteriorating health condition” and demanded urgent intervention but he was denied adequate medical treatment. The UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights reports that over 700 Egyptian prisoners have died of medical negligence since 2011.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

3The Namibians Asking What’s in the Meat?

Vetjaera Haakuria

Vetjaera Haakuria has brought his second-year pharmacy students from the University of Namibia to a meat market: to teach them about the interface between human and animal health. He is the country’s only specialist veterinary pharmacist. But not for long – or so he hopes. Namibians love to eat meat, but regulation is patchy and the meat being sold at markets could contain anything from antibiotics to parasites. Diseases that pass from livestock to humans are rife in the country’s rural north. Animals that die from unknown causes are eaten, no questions asked. Last year more than 50 people were hospitalised in north-western Namibia after contracting anthrax, a deadly disease that had probably entered a goat flock from infected wildlife.SOURCE:  THE GUARDIAN

4A New Ivorian Policy Highlights Ivanka Trump’s Message During Visit

New Ivorian Policy

Ivanka Trump is applauding the recent passage of legislation in Ivory Coast related to changes she pushed during her April trip to Africa. The country is in the process of updating its family code to make it more equitable to women. In her conversations with Ivory Coast Vice President Daniel Duncan during her visit, Ivanka Trump said, she and her team encouraged the passage of legislation to advance women’s rights and legal status, including doing away with laws that restricted women from owning or inheriting property. While the legislation proposing the changes had already been in the pipeline at the time of Ivanka Trump’s visit, her team is pointing to it as a sign of the potential impact of the global women’s initiative she championed. It aims to empower 50 million women in developing countries around the world by 2025 by providing job training and financial support and supporting legal and regulatory changes. Under the revised code, husbands and wives will have more equal say in managing household assets and making financial decisions. That’s in addition to other changes, such as new measures to ensure that widows are entitled to inheritances, additional protections against domestic violence, and setting the minimum age for marriage at 18 for both women and men.SOURCE: VOA

5Mauritius’ Role In Driving Quality Investments Into Africa

Mauritius

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2019, highlights the important role played by regional hubs like Mauritius in intra – regional investment flow.  FDI stock from India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is almost all concentrated in Mauritius, as a gateway to other African markets.  Mauritius is the third largest destination, accounting for 16 per cent (compared with 12 per cent in 2013) of the United States FDI stock in SIDS. Mauritius is cited, in the report, as actively participating in the development of the continent through Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in various African countries.  The aim is to create an environment conducive for local operators to tap into business opportunities in these countries and develop business corridors, as well as to enhance the demand for Mauritian products and share Mauritius’ experience in zone development.   As the first African country to set up an EPZ in the 1970s, Mauritius continues to innovate in this area – most recently introducing a five-year tax holiday for companies collaborating in developing infrastructure in SEZs.SOURCE:  AFRICA.COM

6Beyonce Uses One of Africa’s Widely Spoken Languages in New Song

The Lion King

Spirit, is part of The Lion King: The Gift album produced by the American star, and will be used as a soundtrack to Disney’s new version of the classic movie Lion King. The song’s intro features words in Kiswahili, that are saluting the king. The album which is set to be released on July 19, the date of the global release of the film, will feature the work of several African producers, according to Beyonce. ‘‘It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me. This love letter to Africa highlights the setting of the film, rooted in African culture and wondrous narratives, steeped in African influences from various corners of the continent, with unexpected collaborations, pulsating rhythms and crisp production that celebrate the African diaspora.”SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS

7Boosting the National Energy Mix in Morocco

Moroccan agency

The Moroccan agency for sustainable energy (Masen) has opened the first stage in a tender process to build, operate and maintain a 230 megawatt solar plant near the town of Midelt in the Atlas mountains. Applications for the pre-qualification round of the Noor Midelt II project are open until September 16. Morocco plans to exceed 52 percent of renewable energy in the national energy mix by 2030. Last May, MASEN awarded Noor Midelt I, a 800 MW plant worth $781.5 million, to a consortium of France’s EDF Renewables, UAE’s Masdar and Morocco’s Green Energy of Africa. Both plants will use concentrated solar plant (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies, with a combined capacity exceeding that of the already operational 580 MW Noor Ouarzazate CSP plant in southeastern Morocco, one of the largest in the world.SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

8These Teens Just Flew their Own Plane to Cairo

Teenage pilots

Teenage pilots have achieved their goal of flying from Cape Town to Cairo in a self-made plane. It took a group of 20 teenagers 10 days to build the four-seater Sling 4 plane which landed safely in Cairo on Monday. Six young pilots were a part of the journey which aimed to inspire youth across the world to chase their dreams, and not be limited by their past. Seventeen-year-old pilot Megan Werner, founder of the U-Dream Global project, said: “I wanted to do something bigger that will inspire people around the world. I’ve got a huge love for aviation because my mom is an aircraft engineer instructor and my dad is an airline pilot. When I heard about the initiative… I thought how about having 20 teenagers building a plane and then we fly it across Africa,” she said. It was no easy feat, as the group encountered multiple challenges en route to Cairo.SOURCE: EWN

9The Untold Stories of Mermaids in Africa

Mermaids in Africa

A wealth of examples can be found in “The Annotated African American Folktales,” which was published in November 2017 by African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar. It’s a groundbreaking, 600-page compilation of black myths and legends, considered the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of black folklore ever published in American literary history, with dozens of tales rarely read before. There’s the age-old African mermaid legend known as Mami Wata (Mother Water), but it’s a folktale that remains mostly unrecognized and unexplored. Just as Disney borrowed a Danish fairy tale as the basis for their Ariel, the studio could just have easily done the same with a popular African legend as the basis for a live-action Disney film about a mermaid. It’s arguable that most Americans are unaware of the rich mythology that has long existed within the global African diaspora. It’s a lesson that Disney could stand to learn.

SOURCE: INDIEWIRE | WASHINGTON POST

10Football Fans Have a Go at Each Other Ahead of Afcon Clash

Afcon Clash

Long before kickoff in Wednesday’s quarter-final matches at the African Nations Cup, fans of Nigeria and South Africa are already at it. Off the pitch, the two countries compete for the claim to be the continent’s economic super power, but they now seem to be building up a football rivalry and because this is 2019, the conflict is getting additional fuel from social media. On Twitter, competing fans are poking fun at each other: one South Africa TV channel has dubbed the Nigerian team the “Super Egos” whilst Nigerian fans re-christening the other team, renaming Bafana Bafana as “banana banana”. Nigeria dispatched old foes Cameroon while South Africa knocked-out hosts Egypt, to set up the last eight encounter. Incidentally, both sides were drawn in the same qualifying group. South Africa shocked Nigeria with a 2-0 away win but they drew 1-1 in Johannesburg. But when it comes to clashes at Afcon finals, it’s the Super Eagles who have the upper hand. They have beaten South Africa twice – in 2000 and 2004.SOURCE: THE SOUTH AFRICAN