Africa Top10 News

1Is the Rugby Title the Win South Africa was Looking For?

Rugby World Cup

South Africans continued to celebrate their Rugby World Cup triumph, with many in the sometimes fractious and troubled nation echoing Springbok captain Siya Kolisi’s post-match message of unity and strength. Images of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, congratulating South African players in the changing room went viral on social media and was broadcast repeatedly by TV networks. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel prize winner and leader of the decades-long struggle against the racist, repressive apartheid regime, said the Springboks had restored “a self-doubting nation’s belief.” The history of rugby in South Africa – described as “the sporting embodiment of white minority rule” – touches many of the most sensitive issues in a nation where historic grievances are still powerful. Kolisi is the first black captain of the Springboks, and the team fielded on Saturday was the most representative ever seen.


2Here’s Why Some African Women Avoid Naming their Perpetrators

Survivors in West Africa

Survivors in West Africa say they feel a particularly immense fear — of shaming their families, of scaring off potential husbands, of taking on the region’s most powerful institutions. Many people trace Nigeria’s MeToo movement to February, when a young pharmacist in the country’s conservative north took to Twitter to describe an encounter in which she said her boyfriend nearly killed her. Stories of abuse soon flew around the internet, many of them tagged #ArewaMeToo (Arewa refers to the north in Hausa.) Then, in October, the BBC aired a report exposing sexual harassment by professors at prominent universities in Nigeria and Ghana, which resulted in swift action from the authorities.


3Washington Cuts Cameroon Off

Cameroon US cut Off

President Donald Trump said the West African nation failed to address concerns over its “persistent gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” allegedly committed by Cameroon’s security forces. The US also cut more than $17 million in security aid and support to Cameroon in February over concerns about its human rights record. In a letter addressed to Congress, Trump cited accusations of torture and extrajudicial killings of citizens by the country’s military as reasons for removing Cameroon from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA helps sub-Saharan countries improve trade ties with the US. Eligible countries must meet criteria including a good human rights record to benefit from the trade.


4Africa’s New City Projects Come at Billion-dollar Costs

Africa's New City Projects

The current wave of new city building is largely focused on leap-frogging economic development and moving Africa’s cities directly into the age of futuristic, technologically advanced, so-called ‘smart cities’. Plans for these types of cities are sprouting up across the continent; from Kenya, Mauritius and Senegal. Leading the way is Nigeria with five current on-going new city projects, which, when completed, are set to cover a landmass of 25 million square meters. An estimated $100 billion is being invested in new city projects across Africa; Diamniadio alone will cost the Senegalese government an estimated $2 billion. The assumption is that these investments will pay off. The logic is that these cities will attract the best and the brightest. In turn this should drive productivity increases that ultimately will repay the large loans.


5Maggy Barankitse Built A Village And Saved Thousands of War Orphaned Children in Burundi

Maggy Barankitse

For two decades, Marguerite “Maggy” Barankitse has dedicated her life to the children of Burundi. It started with 25 war orphans – today more than 20,000 young lives have been changed for the better because of her efforts in protecting and promoting their rights. She was being recognized for her work in Burundi as the recipient of the Foundation’s prestigious “Angel of Africa” award. Created by Barry Segal in 2004, the foundation supports grassroot organizations, like Maggy Barankitse’s Maison Shalom, and has provided grants to dozens working across Africa. It was a trip to Rwanda in 2004 that stirred Segal’s interest in sub-Saharan Africa, for Maggy Barankitse the spark came a decade earlier. What started as a place of refuge for just over two dozen children has now grown into an entire village, complete with a recreation centre, farm, school, housing, hospital, and even an income-generating hotel/guesthouse


6Libya’s Diversification Strategy

Libya's Diversification Strategy

The reopening of a plastics factory in the Libyan oil port of Ras Lanuf has provided a rare boost to an economy ravaged by war and political divisions. The polythene factory in Ras Lanuf is operated by Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Company (RASCO), an National Oil Corporation subsidiary, and was shut down for more than eight years because of poor security. It reopened last month with an initial production capacity of 80,000 tonnes a year, set to increase to 160,000 tonnes. Libya is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues, and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) has struggled to keep crude production stable. Output recovered to about 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) as of last month, but the picture beyond oil and gas is bleak.


7The Narrative about Africa’s Industrial Development

Africa’s Industrial Development

Unfortunately, the dominant narrative is that Africa has been de-industrialising, even prematurely. In this narrative, it is also questioned whether Africa can ever industrialise. African countries have even been advised not to try. The World Bank’s “Trouble in the Making” report concludes that manufacturing is becoming less relevant for low-income countries. With an outdated story that gives up on manufacturing, Africa will fail to close the huge digital gap it still faces. The gap is reflected in the fact the continent contributes less than 1% of world’s digital knowledge production. To reduce this gap, African countries will have to start by expanding internet access and use. If internet use across the continent can be expanded to the same rate as in high-income countries, 140 million new jobs and US$2,2 trillion could be added to GDP.


8Gabon is the Second Most Forested Country in the World


The country’s Minister of forests says the country has ambitious targets to meet with its natural resources.  “We produce about 500 million euros of timber exports. Our vision is to get to five billion euros over the next 6 years”. But beyond exporting large quantities of wood, Gabon wants to ensure it does not damage its rainforests and the environment while at it. In September Gabon received $150 million in international funds to preserve its rainforest. Using the funding, Gabon will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and battle deforestation. For many years, the country has been a leader in Africa in preserving its rainforests. In 2010, it banned the exportation of all logs as a way of protecting the country’s natural resources and to prevent the waste of raw materials. And in April, it imposed another ban on three highly priced wood species to protect its processing sector.


9Healthcare is Now a Luxury only Few can Afford in Zimbabwe

Healthcare Zim

Millions of people in Zimbabwe are unable to get medical treatment as costs have skyrocketed. Only a lucky few have health insurance, while millions find themselves without coverage. Rising inflation and corruption have been blamed for the collapse of public healthcare service.


10When’s the Last Time You Heard a Cameroonian Song?

Cameroonian Song

Musicians in Cameroon are having a hard time making sales and getting airplay — blaming the popularity of Nigerian music.  They say night clubs and media are promoting Nigerian songs over the local product.  But the clubs say they are only responding to people’s requests. Cameroon Music Corporation, which protects the interests of Cameroonian artists, reports that in 2018, foreign music — especially from Nigeria — dominated records played in night clubs, radio and TV stations. More than one million of the three million CDs sold in Cameroon were of Nigerian music. Afo-Akom said the government of Cameroon should reinforce laws that require 70 percent of music played by media houses to be of local artists — and suspend or fine those who violate the regulations.