Africa Top10 News

1Social Enterprises in Ethiopia on the Rise

Social Enterprises in Ethiopia

From ex-prostitutes making jewelry out of bullet casing to drones delivering blood, rising numbers of businesses with a mission to help address social problems are emerging in Ethiopia as the economy opens up. An estimated 55,000 social enterprises operate in Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa and fastest growing economy in the region where about a quarter of 109 million people live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. But the number of ventures set up to do good is on the rise since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came in 18 months ago and vowed to open the economy to private investment, raising hopes of official recognition for the sector and easier access to funds.


2Sudan Launches its First-ever Satellite

Sudan's Satellite

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s sovereign council says, “The satellite aims to develop research in space technology, acquire data as well as discover natural resources for the country’s military needs.” China’s state news agency, reported that the Sudan Remote Sensing Satellite (SRSS-1), was launched on Sunday from the northern Chinese province of Shanxi. Sudan, which is battling an economic crisis, has been involved in a national space programme for decades covering activities such as remote sensing and geo-informatics.


3Protesting Zimbabweans Dealt a Heavy Blow

Protesting Zimbabweans

Civil servants stung by Zimbabwe’s galloping inflation staged what they hoped would be a crippling one-day strike on Wednesday in a demand for increased wages, saying that their earnings are disappearing under skyrocketing prices. It is the first time that government workers in Zimbabwe have been allowed to strike against their employer, and the action in the Southern African nation comes as inflation stands at approximately 300 percent. On Tuesday, government fired 77 striking doctors who were pressing for better salaries and better working conditions, paralysing all major public hospitals. The government is using military doctors to attend to patients in some public hospitals while negotiating with Cuba to help with its medical personnel. Zimbabwe doctors in October rejected a pay rise of 60% which resulted in the government instituting disciplinary hearings on the defiant doctors. The doctors, who earn a minimum of $100 a month, say their salaries have been eroded by inflation. The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) which represent junior and middle-level doctors have remained defiant, accusing the Harare government of negotiating in bad faith. 


4How Huge Swaths of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Could be Transformed from Brown to Green

Addo Elephant National Park

Since Addo Elephant National Park was opened in 1931, it’s been a tale of two biomes for the Eastern Cape. Outside of protected areas, overgrazing has created “a vast man-made desert” that’s resulted in carbon losses greater than 100 metric tons per hectare. A new pilot reforestation project could allow farmers to continue to graze livestock (or game), while also earning annual carbon credits to the tune of $20 per acre. Ecologist Anthony Mills is hellbent on turning back the clock, if successful, his mass planting project could capture 750 million metric tons of CO2. While research has led to spekboom – a fleshy shrub with purple stalks and leaves like bloated ticks – being championed as a “wonder plant” by marketers and eco-leaning yuppies in South Africa.


5Bolstering Ghana’s Education System

Ghana's Education System

The World Bank’s Board of Directors has recently approved a $150 million fund for the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP). The fund is aimed at improving the quality of education for more than two million children in low performing basic education schools. “The project focuses on underserved areas and on improving the quality of education for increased human capital and supports the World Bank’s twin goals of ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity,” said Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana. The Ghanian educational system is divided into parts: Basic Education, Secondary Education and Tertiary Education. Basic education in Ghana is free and the curriculum is compulsory. In spite of this, about 623,500 children of primary school age are still not enrolled in primary school. One out of four children aged 4 -5 years are not in pre-school, with about 20 percent of children living with disabilities are not enrolled.


6Competition in Egypt’s Ride-hailing Industry Increases

Egypt’s Ride-hailing

Operators say there is a lot more room for growth. Egypt’s population will soon be swelling to 100 million. Taxis, minibuses, tuk-tuks and motorbikes shuttle passengers and deliveries through crowded, chaotic streets. The biggest players are Careem and Uber, which had its IPO in May and posted a wider third-quarter loss on Monday as it tries to outspend competitors. The firms still operate separately despite their merger in March. Industry experts expect more mergers as start-ups try to gain market share for bus or motorbike services. Egypt is among Uber’s top 10 markets globally, and is seen as a regional tech hub – start-ups such as digital payments firm Fawry have set up shop in a tech park outside Cairo.


7What to Expect in Guinea Bissau’s Elections

Guinea Bissau's Elections

Despite huge amounts of support, including a sizeable UN mission, Guinea-Bissau, a country of 1.8m people dependent mostly on the export of cashew nuts for foreign exchange, cannot seem to produce even a vaguely capable government. It is a lesson in the difficulty of changing deep-rooted systems of corrupt politics in weak states. On October 29th the president, José Mário Vaz, sacked his government and appointed a new prime minister, though the dismissed one, Aristides Gomes, refused to leave office. If he does, it will bring to eight the number of prime ministers since Mr Vaz won the presidential election in 2014.


8Traumatised Soldiers Learn a Different Warrior Pose

Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, a yoga-program, led by the army, is helping soldiers overcome decades of trauma caused by the civil war of the 1990’s and the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Sergeant Felixson Musa first shared the physical and mental benefits of yoga to his superiors in 2014. The yoga instructor disclosed that introducing this idea in the military was not easy. Corporal Michael Kargbo was abducted as a child rebel at the age of 12. “It was at that age that they took me, and I was with them until I grew up. I had no one to help or encourage me, and no one to help me get back to a normal life, no one. I continued to fight with them, to accumulate traumas, to kill innocent people.” He said the that yoga has helped him to forget the bad memories of the past.


9Why Africa Needs To Focus On Its Mental Health Care

Mental Health Care

One of the biggest challenges to getting treatment for mental health is poverty, and this is not just in Africa, but around the globe. In certain countries in Africa, governmental leaders sometimes overlook how important mental health care is and whether this is because of lack of knowledge, stigma, or financial issues, the results are all the same – those who need the help are just unable to get it. More research has been done recently to encourage making mental health care a priority and it has shown that people in Africa who have untreated mental illnesses are more likely to become infected with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis or HIV. 


10The African Flare in Cuban Art

Cuban Art

An exhibition of Cuban propaganda posters and magazines in London shows the support Fidel Castro gave to African liberation movements during the Cold War. The art works were produced for Castro’s Organisation of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (Ospaaal), which was born out of the Tricontinental Conference, hosted in Havana in 1966, to combat US imperialism. Cabral led the fight against Portuguese colonial rule in Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde islands, but was assassinated in 1973, a year before Guinea-Bissau became independent. Ms Ahmad says more Tricontinental Conferences were planned, but never happened so Ospaaal’s publishing arm became an important way to keep in contact and share information – and posters were folded up and put inside its publications.