Africa Top10 News

1DRC General Gets Tough ICC Sentence

ICC Sentence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced a Congolese former rebel leader known as “The Terminator” to 30 years in prison after he was convicted earlier this year of war crimes, including murder, rape and sexual slavery. The sentence on Thursday was the highest-ever penalty handed down by the Hague-based court. Bosco Ntaganda was found guilty in July of directing massacres of civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) volatile, mineral-rich Ituri region in 2002 and 2003. In total, he was convicted of 13 counts of war crimes and five of crimes against humanity. He was the first person to be found guilty of sexual slavery. The first-ever suspect to voluntarily surrender to the ICC, Ntaganda walked into the United States embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2013 and asked to be sent to the court in the Netherlands. During his trial, Ntaganda was portrayed as the ruthless leader of ethnic Tutsi revolts amid the wars that convulsed the DRC after the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in neighbouring Rwanda. 


2How to Run Like a Kenyan Athlete

Kenyan Athlete
Mary Keitany of Kenya and winner of the 2011 London Marathon during a training run on February 5, 2012 in Iten, Kenya.

Last month, Eliud Kipchoge finished a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds — an audacious feat that no one had ever accomplished before. Kipchoge is from the Kenyan Rift Valley region. A day after he made history, Brigid Kosgei destroyed the women’s world record at the Chicago Marathon. She’s also from the Kenyan Rift Valley. East Africans — especially Kenyans and Ethiopians — have dominated marathons for decades, dashing across finish lines as their exhausted competitors barely made it. In the process, they’ve toppled their own records or those of their fellow citizens. And people are taking note — marathoners from all over the world go there to train before major races. Kenyan marathon runners are such a phenomenon that research organizations have done studies on why they dominate long distance races. And experts say it’s mixture of several things including location, the way of life and the environment.


3Batswana Not Convinced about Birthplace of Humankind Tag


A study in the journal Nature tracing the origins of modern human life to Botswana has drawn mixed reviews from experts in the Southern African nation. The study, based on genetics, points to human life emerging around an ancient, massive lake in northern Botswana. But some archaeologists question the study’s findings.  The study in the journal Nature is based on genetic findings rather than archaeological evidence, and University of Botswana history professor Fred Morton raises some caution about the conclusion. “To me, the argument is a bit suspicious without some kind of additional evidence to support the genetics,” he said. But while there is caution, local archaeologists such as Phillip Segadika say the report should spur further research of the area.


4Bridging Ghana’s Digital Skills Divide

Ghana's Digital Skills

Equipping Africa’s large and rapidly growing youth population with the digital literacy and coding skills they need to succeed in the digital economy is no small task. With more than 60% of its population aged 25 and under and the fastest-growing youth population in the world, Africa is expected to add 15 to 20 million youth to its workforce every year for the next three decades. Focused on driving digital literacy in Ghana, the DreamOval Foundation is a social enterprise that manages all the corporate social responsibility initiatives of DreamOval Limited, one of Ghana’s largest and most successful FinTech companies. Set up in 2013, the DreamOval Foundation aims to bridge the knowledge gap in Ghana through the creation, sharing and utilization of knowledge within the education and technology sectors.


5Mauritius Polls: Legacy or New Ideas?

Mauritius Polls

Mauritians will have their first chance to decide if Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth should continue to rule since he was hand-picked for the job when his father stepped down more than two years ago. Nearly a million people are registered to vote in the parliamentary election in Mauritius, a stable democracy in the Indian Ocean. Jugnauth succeeded his father, Anerood Jugnauth, as prime minister without a popular vote when the older man stood down in 2017, two years ahead of schedule. The 57-year-old is asking voters to judge him on his short time in office, pointing to his record on modernising public infrastructure and economic reforms in the former British colony. But he faces two opponents who say his appointment to the island’s top job amounted to little more than nepotism.


6Deadly Ambush in Burkina Faso

Ambush in Burkina Faso

Thirty-seven civilians were killed and more than 60 wounded when gunmen ambushed a convoy transporting workers of Canadian gold miner Semafo in eastern Burkina Faso, regional authorities have said. The attack on Wednesday is the deadliest in recent years as the military struggles to contain Islamist violence that has overrun parts of Burkina Faso, located in west Africa. Two security sources said the military vehicle leading the convoy was struck by an IED on a stretch of road where there is no cellphone network. Shortly after the initial explosion, an unknown number of gunmen opened fire. One of the sources said it appeared that they targeted the buses as well as the military escort, which was unusual.


7Zambian Whistleblower Calls for Protection


A conservationist and a journalist in Zambia say they are living in fear after they exposed that 80 black lechwe had “gone missing” in a protected area in the north of the country. Conservationist Nsama Musonda-Kearns blew the whistle last month on the relocation of the antelope species native to the south-central region of Africa. Ms Musonda-Kearns says the black lechwe were moved from their natural habitat in Bangweulu Wetlands, in north-eastern Zambia, without consulting the community as required by law. But the government has denied any wrongdoing, saying the animals were moved to two privately owned ranches after a capture permit was issued in March. Minister of Tourism Ronald Chitotela has accused Ms Musonda-Kearns of being sponsored by people wanting to dent the image of President Edgar Lungu and ordered police to investigate her. Ms Musonda-Kearns, who has since written to human rights watchdog Amnesty International, wants her rights as a whistle-blower to be protected.


8Op-Ed: Global Remittances at the Forefront of Reducing Inequalities in Emerging Markets

Global Remittances

While there have been some significant achievements in reducing financial inequalities around the world, half of the global population living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 per day) live in just five countries – India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. Reducing inequalities in these countries is essential to global development. One of the ways to reduce this inequality is to increase the availability of affordable and accessible financial resources. This, in turn, increases financial inclusion and provides access to life-enhancing opportunities and services. 


9Kenya Makes Bold Economic Moves

Economic Moves Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed a law that scraps a cap on banks’ commercial lending rates which had been blamed for stalling lending to businesses. The government and the country’s banks had blamed the cap, which the government imposed in 2016 to curb high interest rates, for constricting private sector lending growth and reducing the effectiveness of monetary policy. Besides boosting credit flow to businesses, lifting the cap is also expected to help unlock a stand-by credit facility with the International Monetary Fund, once the government shows sufficient commitment to closing a gaping fiscal deficit.


10Somali Woman Beats the Trolls to Represent a US State

Somali Woman

The second-largest city in Maine, home to thousands of African newcomers, has elected a Somali American to its city council. Safiya Khalid, 23, soundly defeated a fellow Democrat for a seat on the Lewiston City Council in a campaign that was marred in the final days by nasty attacks and threats fueled by social media. Shrugging off the attacks, Khalid declared that her victory is proof that “community organizers beat internet trolls.” A photo of Khalid flipping off the camera when she was a high school freshman and references to her opponent being taunted were featured in the online attacks, most of which originated outside of Maine.