Africa Top10 News

1Malawi’s Florence Nightingale

Charity Salima

Charity Salima came out of retirement as a midwife to independently help women with poor access to care, deliver safely. Many expectant mothers in Malawi have difficulty in accessing public health facilities and have to travel long distances to access medical care. Moved by witnessing too many hopeful couples leave the hospital without their baby when working in a state-run facility, Charity Salima decided to establish the Area 23 clinic. Born in the late 1950s in a northern village, Salima was raised by her grandmother, who struggled financially, but still managed to go to school. She studied nursing and midwifery and by 1980, was working as a nurse at Queen Elizabeth Central, the largest referral hospital in Malawi. She later joined Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mzuzu Health Centre before retiring in 2006. Since 2008, when the clinic opened, she has delivered more than 8,000 newborns with no record of a single death, of both mothers and babies. According to Unicef, in Malawi, the main causes of neonatal deaths in 2015 were prematurity (33 percent), birth asphyxia and trauma (25.8 percent) and sepsis (18.6 percent).


2Russia Champions Nuclear for Africa’s Power Woes

Russia Champions Nuclear

Russia is attempting to gain influence in Africa and earn billions of pounds by selling developing nations nuclear technology that critics say is unsuitable and unlikely to benefit the continent’s poorest people. Representatives of Rosatom, the Russian state corporation responsible for both the military and civil use of nuclear energy, have approached the leaders of dozens of African countries in the past two years. The company, which is building a $29bn reactor for Egypt, has concluded agreements with Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and others. Nigeria has a deal with Rosatom for the construction of a nuclear reactor, and less ambitious agreements of cooperation have been signed with Sudan, Ethiopia and the Republic of the Congo. Rosatom is among international groups that are exporting light-water technology and is building a $13bn light-water reactor in Bangladesh. But such reactors typically generate more than 1,000 megawatts and very few countries in sub-Saharan Africa have the capacity to distribute that amount of power.


3Africa Needs to Invest in Teaching for Future Jobs

Invest in Teaching

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in 2016, sub-Saharan Africa had a literacy rate of 76% compared to 89% in South and West Asia, 87% in the Arab states and 98% in the developed nations. We are living in an era characterized by the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) where technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain are changing all aspects of our lives. Factories are automating. Because of these changes, the nature of work is changing. These changes in society because of 4IR require new sets of skills. For us to thrive in the 4IR era also requires our educational experience to be multi-disciplinary. In our limited institutions of higher learning, students enrolled for programs in the human and social sciences must also study technological subjects.


4Representing the Growing Diversity of African Surfing 

African Surfing

The African surf scene is growing, but few brands in the $13 billion global industry are aimed towards the African surfer. When a South African surf company wanted to put African culture on the global surfing map, it knew it needed a distinct African symbol. It chose the name Mami Wata or “Mother Ocean,” a mermaid-like spirit from West African folklore with long, flowing hair who followers believe can charm snakes. The Cape Town brand designs and produces surf wear, surfboards and accessories. Launched in 2017, it aims to move perceptions of surf culture away from western stereotypes and towards “the power of African surf.” The company supports initiatives such as Waves for Change, a surf therapy organization that helps disadvantaged communities and vulnerable children. The company is hoping its activities will help produce the next surfing superstars.


5Cleaning Up Ghana’s Banking System 

Ghana’s Banking System

Up to 70,000 people could be facing financial ruin after a massive government directive that reduced the number of lenders by a third, closed 23 savings-and-loans and triggered a run on banks which couldn’t sell their holdings fast enough to meet demand. An estimated $1.6 billion has been wiped out. That’s more than 33 percent of the assets that private fund managers supervise for retail and institutional investors, Bloomberg reported. Ghana’s main financial regulator, its Securities and Exchange Commission, has increased pressure on at least 20 fund managers suspected of violating the rules. Ghana’s SEC is blocking these money managers from accepting new investments, concerned they may use the funds to pay out existing investors. The chances are slim of the Ghanaian government bailing out burned investors, Bitcoinist reported. The central bank targeted the savings companies servicing the investors. Many are already blaming the government for not having a plan in place to prevent such financial fallout.

6US Delegates Sing Uganda’s Praises

Uganda's Praises

Democratic U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Chris Van Hollen last week endorsed taking action to head off a possible Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, lauded an innovative Ugandan approach to resettling war refugees, and called for greater political openness in Uganda. The two also met with refugees fleeing South Sudanese and Congolese conflicts, and Coons praised Uganda’s response to the refugee influx. Refugees in Uganda live in settlements resembling villages and are granted small land plots and the immediate right to work. They are also more deliberately integrated into local communities, which includes access to local schools. This is in contrast to most parts of the world, where refugees are housed in camps. Coons called the relationship with the Ugandan government, which works with Washington in the fight against al-Shabab, “complex.”


7It’s the Battle of the Visa Between Nigeria and the US

Nigeria and US visa

The Federal Government has approved a reduction in visa charges payable by United States citizens from $180 to $150. The development followed the new visa fees announced by the US Government on Tuesday, which stated that Nigerians applying for the US visas will pay a visa issuance fee or reciprocity fee with effect from August 29. The US mission in Abuja had said the reciprocity fee would be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the Machine Readable Visa fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application. It explained that the reciprocity fee was applicable to all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications, noting that Nigerian citizens whose applications for non-immigrant visas were denied would, however, not be charged the new reciprocity fee. The mission explained that both reciprocity and MRV fees were non-refundable, and that their amounts vary based on visa classification.


8The Jury’s Out on Latest Racism Verdict in South Africa

Adam Catzavelos
MAY 28, 2019. Johannesburg. Adam Catzavelos arrives at Randburg court on Tuesday over his racist rant.A video of the incident, in which he uses the k-word, went viral last year. PHOTOGRAPH: ALON SKUY

Adam Catzavelos has admitted to feeling shame and disgust over his racist Greek beach video, in which he called black South Africans by the K-word, and on Thursday, he agreed to pay R150 000 in a settlement with the South African Human Rights Commission for his actions.  It was a 22-second video taken by Catzavelos at a Greek beach which got the businessman in hot water with both Greek and local authorities. His 284-word apology however, did not sit well with some South Africans, while others are saying let bygones be bygones. 


9Cheap Imports Snuff Out Egypt’s Candlemakers

Egypt's Candlemakers

Egyptians use candles on many occasions, from weddings to church prayers for the Christian minority. Workers straighten the candle wicks and immerse them in molten wax several times to ensure uniform distribution around each wick and the desired thickness. They use simple, manual methods and moulds, with almost no machinery involved. Haj Mohamed Hussein uses a simple method to produce candles for different occasions. It earns him a humble living – but he worries the profession may be dying out. Now 60, Hussein is one of the last of a handful of candle makers in the al-Ghourya district, which was once bustling with workshops before cheap imports largely wiped them out. “I inherited the profession from my father, and I have not mastered another,” Hussein said, “so I hold onto it firmly despite the low income and a shortage of labour who want to learn or work in it.”


10All You Need To Know About Sailing In Africa

Sailing In Africa

Sailing around Seychelles is a chance to explore hidden beaches and have them all to yourself. Also, you will be able to see a lot of endangered and critically endangered species such as Aldabra giant tortoises, green turtles, and the Seychelles paradise flycatchers. While sailing in the blue waters,  you should definitely try scuba-diving since Seychelles is considered an underrated-diving destination. While sailing in the world’s longest river, you can learn more about Egypt and its people. Exploring the largest Arab country in the world on a luxury yacht is a very relaxing experience. Zanzibar has ideal holiday weather all through the year. All these things make sailing around Zanzibar an unforgettable experience. Sailing in Kenya is also a lot of fun. The locals organize tours that include scuba-diving, windsurfing, and fishing. Getting to Madagascar is a real challenge, but you will not have a problem if you go there on a private yacht. It’s a  spectacular and unspoiled place with diverse wildlife.


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