1The Only Person Who Could Get Through to Joseph Kony
When Betty Bigombe was growing up in northern Uganda in the late 1950s, she walked four miles a day to go to school. She knew getting an education was the only way she could change her life and make a contribution to her community. Thirty years later her “contribution” would be to carry the fate of her region on her shoulders as she attempted to negotiate peace with Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The Lord’s Resistance Army sent Bigombe a letter saying Ugandan Presiden Yoweri Museveni had insulted them by sending a woman to negotiate. They threatened to kill her but she stayed – determined to end the war. Then they sent a victim of Kony’s violence to deliver a second letter in person. Not deterred, Bigombe decided to write back to Kony. She referred to him as “my son” and used religion as a way of connecting with him. In the next 18 months, during several face-to-face meetings, Kony started calling her “Mummy” Bigombe. Eventually he agreed to come out of the jungle for peace talks with President Museveni.SOURCE: BBC
2Mali is the Most Dangerous Country in the World for UN Peacekeepers
So far 123 have died and 358 have been severely wounded in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations. Two hundred and fifty highly trained British ground troops are scheduled to be deployed in a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali in 2020, they don’t know where they are heading or what precisely they will be doing, but they do know it will be risky. The British deployment comes at the request of the UN mission in the west African country, known as Operation Minusma. According to UK sources, the request was based on the assertion that the British army was uniquely positioned to offer much-needed intelligence capabilities. After other European countries had contributed, arguably it was also Britain’s turn.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
3Africa.com Talks to the Women of GE Africa
Meet Welela Dawit, who is the CFO of GE Africa as well as the CFO of the gas power systems and power services business for sub-Saharan Africa. By having a dual role she has multiple capacities and understand areas of responsibility. First and foremost it’s ensuring the controller-ship of compliance in terms of how we work and record our financial performance, I am supportive of driving commercial growth initiatives particularly in our gas powered business and it’s also all about leadership development of our finance pipeline and ensuring we’ve got future finance talent growing within the system and being able to take on bigger and better roles down the road. Adesua Dozie is the general counsel for GE Africa and general counsel for the gas power systems and services business for sub-Saharan Africa. She manages legal reputation and commercial risk across the continent ensuring that we’re able to do our business sustainably, managing the company’s reputation and ensuring that the growth and our future pipeline is protected and sustained. And co-chairs the GE Women’s Network for sub-Saharan Africa it’s an affinity group that promotes recruitment, retention and support of women across the continent.SOURCE: AFRICA.COM
4Another Loss Puts a Dent in South Africa’s Public Protector’s Image
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa won a court case against the anti-corruption watchdog on Thursday over a matter concerning ally Pravin Gordhan, ahead of a fresh battle over findings against the president himself. A high court judge found that Ramaphosa had acted reasonably in not immediately disciplining Gordhan, the public enterprises minister, over a decision regarding the retirement of a tax official in 2010. Thursday’s ruling was the third high-profile court defeat for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in as many weeks, potentially undermining the credibility of her investigations, including one into Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa secured an “interdict” from the court, meaning he does not have to implement disciplinary action against Gordhan while Gordhan appeals against the finding by Mkhwebane. The public protector has authority enshrined in the constitution to investigate alleged wrongdoing by public officials and demand remedial action, and her binding rulings can have far-reaching consequences.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA
5Measuring the Impact of Having Breast Milk Clinics on the Continent
Medical experts in Kenya are banking on human breast milk to save the lives of newborn babies. Nairobi’s Pumwani Maternity Hospital has set up East Africa’s first breast milk bank the second in Africa — to provide donated milk to babies in need. Kenya’s Ministry of Health and PATH, a U.S.-based nonprofit health organization, launched the milk bank plan in March with the hope of reducing the number of newborn deaths which are currently at 39 per every 1,000 live births. The milk bank is for premature babies, those born with low birth weight and those whose mothers may not be able to breastfeed them. While only 58 babies have benefitted from the milk bank so far, hospital staff said more mothers are leaving with healthy newborns. The breast milk bank is the first in East Africa and the second opened on the continent after South Africa. The WHO says premature babies have a higher chance of survival if fed breast milk instead of formula. Kenyan authorities plan to set up other milk banks across the country, if the one in Nairobi proves a success.
6Working as a Cultural Dancer at a Nightclub in Kenya
An increasing number of women and girls are leaving South Asian nations such as Nepal, India and Pakistan to work in Bollywood-style dance bars in Kenya’s adult entertainment industry – many illegally – according to anti-trafficking activists and police. There is no official data on the numbers but the results of police raids, combined with figures on the repatriation of rescued women, suggest scores of women and underage girls are victims of organised human trafficking from South Asia to Kenya. Latest figures from Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) showed 43 women and girls were repatriated from dance bars in Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania in 2016-2017. The so-called mujra dance bars are common in India. Here, young women dance to Bollywood music for money from male patrons. These bars have mushroomed in cities including Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, where there are countless Kenyans of South Asian descent. In recent years, police raids on mujra bars uncovered organised human trafficking from South Asia to Kenya, a trend highlighted by the United States in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
7Social Media Reels from Images of Zimbabwe’s Former Strongman
Ex-Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is still under observation after a four-month stay in a Singapore hospital, Zimbabwe’s President has announced. Speculation about Mugabe’s health has swirled amid his visits to Singapore for treatment, but this is the first time the government has disclosed how long he’s spent at the hospital. Details of his ailment remain a mystery. “Unlike in the past when the former President would require just a month for this, his physicians this time around determined that he be kept under observation for much longer,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Monday in a statement. Mugabe’s condition was stable, and he was responding “very well” to treatment, Mnangagwa said, citing physicians and senior government officials who visited the ex-President in July.
8South African Police Praised for Raids of Illegal Goods
The chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on home affairs welcomed the arrest of illegal immigrants during a multi-organisation raid in inner Johannesburg’s central business district (CBD). “It must remain clear that while legal and developmental immigration is encouraged and can be beneficial to the growth prospects of the country, we remain steadfast that illegal immigration must be discouraged at all times,” officials said in a statement. South African Police Service (SAPS) carried out a second raid in Johannesburg on Wednesday. More than 600 foreign nationals have been jailed. This follows after police were chased out of the area by business owners after the authorities tried to confiscate counterfeit products last week. A massive outcry from the public ensued after videos of the police running away from vendors, many of them foreign nationals went viral on social media platforms. Police vehicles were pummeled with rocks and police fled the area. According to Bongo, migration is a reality that South Africa must accept and leverage for development and economic growth. SOURCE: IOL
9Uganda’s Para-Badminton Team Prepares for the World Championships
The team has the second-highest ranked player in Africa and aims to compete at the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo, when Para-Badminton will make its debut. But limited resources make their participation uncertain. Elizabeth Mwesigwa is Uganda’s para-badminton champion and the second highest-ranking player in Africa. But Mwesigwa says they are sorely under-resourced, have to buy their own equipment, and often train themselves. Uganda’s players look forward to the international exposure, despite the challenges they face at home. Para-Badminton will make its debut at the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo. The event in Basel will be the first Paralympic qualifier.
10What Went Down at Gabon’s First Event Dedicated to Jazz Music
Music lovers were treated to good music at the “Gaboma jazz rock festival”. The open air concert in the heart of the Gabonese capital Libreville. The richness and originality of this genre of music was the basis for this unique music festival. Some 100 artists and groups took part in the Jazz music festival which attracted hundreds of music lovers who had fun at the free outdoor concert. Due to the unique history of Libreville a city founded by freed slaves, organizers wanted to popularize this genre of music, which originated from the southern part of the United States from African-American culture. To do this, the majority of the work was reserved for local amateur and experienced groups and artists. “We were thinking, jazz in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, we’re going to do it, but we don’t know. So as people came, we educated the audience that came in droves today and sang with us. They kept singing with us, that made me cry, said Gabonese artist Naneth Nkoghe.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS