Africa Top10 News

1Master’s Students Make A Solar Powered Home for Africans

Master's Students

A portable, energy-efficient home that was originally built for a competition may be available on the market soon in Africa. The design was created by team Jua Jamii, a group of 40 former university students from countries including Tanzania, Nigeria and Swaziland. It uses recycled shipping containers and is 100% powered by solar energy. When Jua Jamii started building the house, the plan was simple — to create affordable and energy-efficient housing for middle-income families in Africa. The team expanded from six members to 40 in 2018 to make room for the implementation of all ideas. By gathering shipping materials from a port in Morocco, they were able to lay the foundation for the building. Jua Jamii also focused on equipping the house with a 24-hour power supply.

SOURCE: CNN

2Nigeria’s Oscars Dream Crushed

Nigeria's Oscars

The Academy has disqualified Nigeria’s “Lionheart” from the Oscar race in the Best International Feature Film category, dropping the number of films competing for the award to 92 from what had been a record 93 entries. “Lionheart,” is partially in the Igbo language of Nigeria. But it is mostly in English, which violates an Academy rule that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” The film had not been vetted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee in advance of the Oct. 7 announcement of qualifying films but was recently viewed and determined not to qualify in a category that until this year was known as Best Foreign Language Film. It was the first film ever submitted to the Oscars by Nigeria.

SOURCE: THE WRAP

3Anti-malaria Drones to Spray Silicon Film over Zanzibar Fields

Anti-malaria Drones

Scientists plan to use drones to spray silicon film over rice fields in Zanzibar to see if it stops the spread of malaria. The rice fields collect stagnant water, which is where malaria-carrying mosquitoes lay their eggs. The researchers from Radboud University in The Netherlands will monitor whether the film will prevent anopheles mosquitoes’ eggs from hatching by blocking the larvae from attaching to the surface of the water. The tests are at an early stage. After the trial, the researchers aim to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals before testing it again across the continent. Malawi has used drones to map mosquito breeding sites but the researchers in Zanzibar say preventing pupae and larvae from attaching themselves to the surface of the water takes the malaria fight to the next level.

SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

4Nigeria’s Largest Market Up in Smoke

Balogun Market Fire

Nigerian firefighters battled two fires that broke out almost simultaneously Tuesday at a busy market in central Lagos, the country’s largest city and commercial center. Balogun Market, where the fires erupted, is one of Nigeria’s largest textile markets. The fire started in the morning and became a major blaze by midday, with firefighters trying to keep the flames from spreading. The Balogun market sprawls across many blocks on Lagos Island. It is well known as one of the best places in Lagos to buy colorful Nigerian fabrics, apparel and shoes. Fires and other disasters are frequent on Lagos Island where the Balogun market is located. In March, at least 20 people, most of them schoolchildren, died with the collapse of a three-story building housing a school, residential apartments and shops.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

5Washington Mediates A Deadlock in Building One of Africa’s Largest Hydro Plants

Africa's Largest Hydro Plants

The US will host the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as the president of the World Bank Group, David Malpass,  in Washington on Wednesday for a discussion about a giant hydropower dam project on the Nile River. The controversial project in Ethiopia’s section of the river has been the focus of an escalating feud between Ethiopia and Egypt over scarce water resources. Cairo has long-sought external help to mediate the conflict. Addis Ababa wants to keep the negotiations on a tripartite level and has previously rejected outside mediation. Neighboring Sudan, which has less at stake in the conflict, has confirmed that it will attend. Under the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement between Egypt and Sudan, Egypt can take up to 55.5 billion cubic meters of water from the Nile each year, and Sudan can take up to 18.5 billion. The agreement was reached shortly before Egypt began constructing its own megadam, the Aswan High Dam.

SOURCE: VOA

6[OPINION] Tunisians are Feeling Nostalgic for the Relative Stability of the Days of Dictatorship

Tunisia

If any exceptional qualities are to be ascribed to Tunisia, there are perhaps just two; firstly, the country has autonomy over its own political process, rather than extensive foreign interference. Secondly, because political power is so diffuse in the country, no one could hope to play a zero-sum game and win. But rather than celebrating this achievement, Tunisia’s politicians are feeling the heat. The country faces a glut of structural problems, a slumping economy, rising food prices, a lack of jobs and a populace clamoring for greater social services.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST

7A Sierra Leone Community Displaced by Diamond Mining Fights Back

Sierra Leone

Residents of Koidu say government has failed to protect them when it handed over their land to Octea mining company. While some families have been moved to alternative accommodation, hundreds more vow to fight their eviction, by taking the diamond mining company to court. 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

8What Humans and these East African Birds have in Common

East African Birds

A study published in Current Biology shows that the vulturine guineafowl of eastern Africa, like humans, have many-layered societies. In the past, scientists hypothesized that such social structures require a lot of brainpower. But the pea-brained guineafowl are revealing the flaws in that assumption. These hefty birds can fly, but rarely choose to. Instead, they stroll across the landscape in packs, often walking so closely that their bodies touch “People have long hypothesized that living in complex society is one of the reasons why we’ve evolved such large brains,” Dr. Farine said. Researchers have found evidence for multilevel societies in some other large-brained mammals, such as monkeys, elephants, giraffes and sperm whales. But as Dr. Farine studied baboons, he also watched the vulturine guineafowl wandering around his study site.

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES

9How to Ease the Pressure on Sudanese Population

Sudanese Population

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Monday the country is discussing several scenarios such as cash transfers for poor people to accompany planned subsidies for food and other basic goods. Shortages of bread, fuel and medicine coupled with hefty price rises brought people out in protest and led to the toppling of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April. In August Hamdok said Sudan needed $8 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to cover its import bill and help rebuild its economy.

SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS

10Egypt Uses its Ancient King to Lure Visitors

Egypt

The country has seen an alarming slump in visitor numbers in recent decades thanks to turbulent politics, including the 2011 revolution and the unrest that followed, and a number of devastating terrorist attacks. King Tut’s pitstop in Paris earlier this year – the second leg of the tour after Los Angeles – became the most popular exhibition in France’s history and raised $10m for Egypt, Hawass noted. The money will be spent on the enormous and much-delayed Grand Egyptian Museum project in Giza, which authorities insist will finally open late next year.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN