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Calls for Winnie Mandela to be Given her Dues

Winnie Mandela

As April 2 marks a year since the death of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, social media have been flooded with messages of remembrance as South Africans and the world pay tribute to the fallen stalwart. Affectionately known as the “mother of the nation”, Madikizela-Mandela died at the age of 81 at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness. At her funeral, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema championed for Cape Town International Airport to be renamed after her. The party has since brought the proposal before parliament, gaining social media support. Last year, many wore doeks in honour of Winnie Mandela under the banner “She did not die. She multiplied”.  #MamaWinnie has trended on social media as many remember and honour her.


Get a Piece of this African Online Retailer

African Online Retailer

Jumia, the pan-African conglomerate of e-commerce businesses, has set a price range of $13 to $16 per share ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The online retailer will offer 13.5 million American depository shares for purchase, according to an updated version of its IPO filing with US regulators, and could raise as much as $216 million, depending on investors’ appetite. If traded at the mid-point of that price range, for instance, Jumia’s valuation will be pegged around $1.1 billion. Jumia, which will trade as “JMIA” on the NYSE, has also received a cash injection ahead of its public offering: in a private stock sale, the company has confirmed a $56 million private placement from Mastercard Europe.


Women are Leading the Charge to Replace Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir

Sparked by a demonstration in December over the rising price of bread, the protests have become the biggest threat to al-Bashir’s rule since he seized power in a military coup in 1989. Initially led by mostly male doctors, lawyers and other professionals fed up with economic decline, the movement has since broadened to include more women, youth and political leaders angered by the regime’s corruption and authoritarianism. At least 57 protesters have been killed and hundreds have been arrested since the protests began. Last month al-Bashir declared a state emergency, appointing military and security officials to run Sudan’s 18 states. Women are now at the forefront of the campaign, often taking to the streets in larger numbers than men, according to Ihsan Fagiri, head of the No to Women’s Oppression Initiative, a rights organization. Sudanese women have a long history of political and social activism. Dr. Khalida Zahir, Sudan’s first female doctor, was arrested and flogged in 1946 for opposing British rule. In 1951, she co-founded the Sudanese Women’s Union, which fought for women’s right to vote and equal pay and played a key role in the street protests that toppled dictatorial governments in 1964 and 1985.


Bouteflika is Ready to Go

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algeria’s ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his mandate expires on April 28, his office said, after a succession of loyalists deserted him in the face of massive protests. Under the constitution, once his resignation is tendered, the speaker of Algeria’s upper house of parliament, Abdelkader Bensalah, would act as interim leader for up to 90 days during which a presidential election must be organised. The announcement on Monday was greeted by the beeping of some car horns in Algiers, but there was little sign of euphoria as people insisted the whole ruling system must change. As rumours swirl of frantic behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, prosecutors said they had banned corruption suspects from leaving Algeria after launching graft probes against unnamed individuals. On Sunday, the Algerian authorities also banned all private aircraft from taking off and landing until the end of the month.


A Support Group for Malagasy Women

Malagasy Women

A group of women in Madagascar, who have had life-changing surgery, are travelling to remote villages to help others who need similar treatment. They’ve become patient ambassadors, using the power of their own stories to persuade others to get free medical help. In Madagascar, one in 60 women will die in childbirth during their lifetime. The fertility rate is high, and there is also a high rate of teenage pregnancy—more than one-third of girls ages 15-19 have had children or are currently pregnant. When these factors are combined with the prevalence of grinding poverty, it is likely that obstetric fistula is a serious issue in Madagascar. Fistula Foundation provided its first grant to SALFA, the Malagasy Lutheran Church’s health department, to support their efforts to provide fistula treatment in Madagascar. SALFA manages a network of hospitals, urban dispensaries, and rural health clinics across the island, with six of SALFA’s 10 hospitals providing routine fistula treatment.


Budding African Entrepreneurs can now Apply for the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative

African Entrepreneurs

The application process which is in partnership with Nailab was officially opened by Jason Pau, Senior Director and Chief of Staff International to Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Executive Chairman. “Africa Netpreneur Prize is about looking for heroes. We are looking to shine the spotlight on existing African entrepreneurs’ whether they are in the traditional sector or tech sector or men or women who come from any of the 54 countries that are part of this continent” said Pau. For the next ten years the foundation will host a pitch competition in Africa where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for $1 million in total prize money. The prospective entrepreneurs will get assistance from experts.


House Hunting in Nigeria

House Hunting in Nigeria

Nigerians searching for their dream home to buy or rent are turning to the internet in droves, leading to a surge in the number of property-focused technology firms. The emergence of these “proptech” companies is due to the country’s rapid population growth, faster broadband speed and cheaper smartphones that have also benefited other sectors from retail to gambling in the last few years. Nigeria has the highest number of internet users in Africa, with approximately 107 million internet data subscribers – an increase of around 85 percent over 5 years, according to the country’s communications commission. The country’s proptech companies typically adopt a subscription model, charging property agents a listing fee and property developers a commission on completed transactions. But risks are attached to the convenience of online listings in Nigeria’s largely unregulated property market.


Rating Ethiopia’s New Administration

Ethiopia’s New Administration

On April 2 last year, Abiy Ahmed took over the premiership of a country on the brink of a major catastrophe. Three years of incessant protests across the restive regions of Oromia and Amhara, increasing ethnic violence and a deteriorating economy had brought Ethiopia to the verge of collapse. The ascendance to power of a young, reformist leader, who was delivering a message of unity, prosperity, justice and peace, gave Ethiopians from all walks of life reason to become optimistic about the future. While much progress was made on many fronts in the first few months of Abiy’s premiership, some deep-rooted challenges, such as ethnic tensions and internal displacement of peoples, continued unabated. Fortunately for Abiy and his new administration, many across the political spectrum preached patience and the citizens agreed that meaningful change would take time to implement.


Hunger is a Real Threat after Devastating Cyclone

Mozambique food aid

World Food Programme has delivered food aid to about 200,000 people and aims to reach a million in the next two weeks, but farmers also need seeds to replant quickly. Hundreds of rural communities were plunged into food crisis after Cyclone Idai tore through central Mozambique on March 14, humanitarian workers say. The government estimates that more than 700,000ha of agricultural land was flooded, leaving many farmers destitute. The subsistence farmers of Nhampuepua, hardened by years of poverty, are already replanting what they can, using cuttings from the uprooted cassava plants that now litter the village. But the land has its rhythm and will not be rushed, however great the need. Only in eight months will the cassava be ready to eat.


Senegal Rides Wave of Surf Competition

Senegal Surf Competition

Ngor right, a Senegalese wave put on the international surfing map by the 1966 surf documentary The Endless Summer. This week, the World Surf League brought its qualifying series to West Africa for the first time, a historic moment for surfing off a continent with plentiful waves but few people who have the means to take advantage of them. With 60 surfers in the competition, all trying to earn enough points to make it into the Championship Tour, the Senegal Pro gives the country’s best surfers the chance to compete against international professionals. It also brings many surfers to Senegal for the first time, which local surf business owners hope will encourage them to return with friends.


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