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The First Black African Woman to Reach the Summit of Mount Everest

Saray Khumalo

On the way to the top of Mount Everest, there is garlic and mushroom soup with popcorn for starters, daily lectures on altitude sickness, and wipes instead of showers. That is what Saray Khumalo, a Zambia-born Johannesburg resident, shared on social media in the build-up to finally summiting the highest peak in the world, with an elevation of 8,848m, on Thursday morning. According the data which Khumalo is sharing live, she has travelled 8.3km since she started heading to the highest point in the world on May 14, at an average speed of just 170m an hour (0.17km/h). It was fourth time lucky for Khumalo, whose previous attempts were thwarted by weather. She abandoned her 2014 attempt after an avalanche killed 16 sherpas. Her 2015 attempt was cut short after a devastating earthquake in Nepal. She reached the mountain’s South Summit in 2017, but strong winds and frostbite scuppered her climb.


Bird Species thought to be Extinct Rises from the Ashes

Aldabra Atoll

Scientists say a previously extinct species of bird returned from the dead, reclaiming the island it previously lived on and re-evolving itself back into existence. The white-throated rail colonized the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean and evolved to become flightless, before being completely wiped out when the island disappeared below the sea around 136,000 years ago. But researchers found similar fossils from before and after that event, showing that the chicken-sized bird re-appeared when sea levels fell again a few thousand years later, re-colonized the island and again lost the ability to fly. The parent species of the rail, indigenous to Madagascar, would frequently see its population explode; forcing the birds to migrate in great numbers from the island off the coast of East Africa. Many of those that flew north or south drowned in the Indian Ocean, and those that went west landed in Africa, where they were eaten by predators. But the lucky few who went east ended up on islands including Mauritius, Réunion and Aldabra, the latter of which was studied by the researchers. Unlike the dodo, which became extinct in the 17th century, the white-throated rail was resurrected to tell the tale once the island re-emerged and birds started migrating to the destination again. That means one species of bird from Madagascar gave rise to two separate species of flightless rail on Aldabra in the space of just a few thousand years.


Africa’s 25 Most Liveable Cities

Africa’s 25 Most Liveable Cities

Many cities on the continent offer attractive environments in which to do business, and the quality of living is an essential component of a city’s attractiveness. The appeal of cities as a place to live and work is a key aspect of attracting talent as well as global and local businesses. In Africa, Port Louis is the city with the best quality of living and also the safest. It was closely followed for overall quality of living by the South African cities of Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, though these cities still rank low for personal safety, and issues around water scarcity contributed to Cape Town. Gambia’s progress toward a democratic political system and improved international relations and human rights meant that Banjul had the most improved quality of living in Africa, but also in the world, rising six places this year. Victoria, the capital city of the Republic of Seychelles also features in’s list alongside Tunis, Rabat, Dakar, Accra and Lusaka.


Is Burundi Playing Dirty?


The Supreme Court has ordered the seizure of assets belonging to opposition activists in exile. The ruling applies to 32 politicians, rights campaigners and journalists living abroad, and also to nine military officers jailed in Burundi over a 2015 coup attempt, according to a statement by the prosecutor general and Supreme Court president. One of the opposition politicians in exile named in the ruling said it made a mockery of Burundi’s judicial system. Prosecutor General Sylvestre Nyandwi said he had informed the registrar of land titles that buildings belonging to people on the list must be seized. In power since 2005, President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to stand for a third term in 2015 was denounced as illegal by the opposition, triggering protests and a failed uprising. Nearly half a million people have fled since his reelection. In March, Burundi forced the United Nations to shut its local rights office after 23 years, declaring it had made sufficient progress so the bureau was no longer justified. The U.N. and international rights groups say there are credible reports of violations in Burundi and that political freedoms have shrunk dramatically since 2015. The government denies this and has accused former colonial power Belgium, the European Union and neighboring Rwanda of trying to destabilize Burundi.


Egyptian Filmmaker to Document Christchurch Attack

Christchurch Attack

A film about the Christchurch mosque shootings, in which 51 people died, is to be directed by Egyptian film-maker and academic Moez Masoud. According to Variety the film’s title will be Hello, Brother, the words spoken by 71-year-old victim Hati Mohammed Daoud Nabi, who opened the door to the gunman of Al Noor mosque, where 42 people died. The central characters are “a family facing death and destruction in Afghanistan who escape with their lives”. Masoud announced the film at the Cannes, where producing company Acamedia is looking for backers. Masoud said: “In Christchurch, on 15 March, the world witnessed an unspeakable crime against humanity. The story that Hello, Brother will bring to audiences is just one step in the healing process, so that we might all better understand each other, and the root causes of hatred, racism, supremacy and terrorism.” Outside film-making, Masoud is a prolific writer and activist, currently at No 31 in the Muslim 5oo list of influential people. He added that he wanted to “bring people all over the world together to discuss that day and continue a positive dialogue for a future based on genuine mutual understanding”.


Saving the African Rhino

African Rhino

The survival of the rhino is under threat. That is according to the World Wildlife Fund, which says that more than 8,000 rhinos have been poached for their horns since 2010. They are killed to meet the high demand for horns in Asia, but in South Africa staff at a wildlife reserve say they have found a way to try and save the species. Rhino Rescue Project has infused 700 horns with toxins and has since lost only 2 rhinos to poachers. To deter poachers from the horns, a medicinal compound called ectoparasiticides is injected into the rhino’s horns, which  is safe for the animals except for some minor risks associated with immobilization,the formula can be compared to what pet owners use to combat ticks and fleas.


Giving Zimbabwe Farmers the Legal Right to their Land

Zimbabwe Farmers

Most white commercial farmers were pushed off their land in the early 2000s by the government and replaced by black farmers.  Those new farmers have no guarantee they will be allowed to stay, and no collateral to use to borrow money from banks. Without those, the Commercial Farmers Union argues that farms cannot be productive. Even blacks who benefited from the land reforms say unless the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe addresses chronic shortages of cash and finds a way to preserve the value of the local currency, the bondnote, the southern African country’s economy will not recover.


Getting Around Africa’s Mapping Issues

Africa's Mapping Issues

The growth of e-commerce in Africa is plagued by an array of issues that include fraud and delivery difficulties. Addressya is a platform that seeks to solve this by providing access to a precise and easy address system. All you need is your smartphone, download the app and simply create your profile. With Addressya users can share their address with friends, businesses and customers whenever they like, and for as long as they like with full control over their personal data. The app can also be used to locate customers for smooth deliveries.


No Safe Ground for Burkinabes


Deadly attacks on Christians in a “safe haven” for thousands fleeing violence in Burkina Faso mark a new phase of crisis, the United Nations said on Thursday. About 16 people died in three attacks on churches and a religious procession in the last two weeks, threatening to upend traditionally peaceful relations between the Muslim majority and Christians, who make up a quarter of Burkinabes. Centre-Nord hosts about one-third of 170,000 people who have fled their homes, most driven southwards by rising violence in the country’s northern Sahel region, the militants’ stronghold. Burkina Faso has been beset by a rise in attacks this year as groups with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda based in neighboring Mali seek to extend their influence over the porous borders of the Sahel, the arid scrubland south of the Sahara.


Formula 1 is in Talks to Hold a Race in Morocco

Formula 1 Morocco

If the event comes off, it would be the first F1 race held in Africa since the 1993 South African Grand Prix. “We race on five continents and the last habitable continent that we don’t race in is Africa,” commercial boss Sean Bratches said. “We have proactively been approached by Morocco and Marrakech to take a grand prix there. There is a high degree of interest.” Bratches said it was “really important” for F1’s owner Liberty Media to have a race in Africa and that they were also looking at a race in South Africa “in the short term”. The all-electric Formula E championship already holds an event in Morocco – a street race in Marrakech. Formula E already hosts races in Marrakech, Morocco. The last grand prix to be staged in Morocco was in 1958, when Stirling Moss won in Casablanca.


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