Ex Sudan President Called to Account
Omar al-Bashir received $90 million in cash from Saudi royals, an investigator told a court at the opening of the deposed Sudanese strongman’s corruption trial. Large amounts of cash were found at this residence after he was toppled and the investigator said the case brought forward to the court probed some of that money. Bashir looked calm during the nearly three-hour session and according to the investigator, Bashir had said he also received two previous payments of $35 million and $30 million from Saudi King Abdullah, who died in 2015. The next hearing was scheduled for August 24. SOURCE: THE TELEGRAPH
#MeToo Awareness Replaces Business as Usual in Ugandan Market
Tired of suffering physical and verbal abuse at one of the Ugandan capital’s largest markets, female vendors are holding perpetrators to account. The work of a local organisation, the Institute for Social Transformation, has increased awareness about sexual harassment among women at Nakawa. A protocol for dealing with cases has now been established; before, women in the market could only hold perpetrators to account informally. The market is divided into six zones, each with 40 departments. Every department has a women’s representative, and they are the first port of call for sexual harassment complaints. Next is the zone leader, and above that the market’s disciplinary committee. A researcher at pan-African feminist organisation Akina Mama Wa Afrika, is optimistic that the convention will lead to improvements, despite Uganda leading a successful motion to remove a recommendation that LGBT people be included in a list of vulnerable groups to be protected.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
Sharing Ideas To Build African Content Creators
The continued growth of African content creators is being seen in the global expansion of Africans that are sharing their digital stories. Whether their stories are personal, professional, collaborative, political or based on social issues there are more African bloggers than ever before. Digital infrastructures are allowing Africans to build businesses using their cell phones and tablets. Technology is opening new doors to compete and collaborate and the world is noticing on Social Media and digital commerce. There are many African bloggers not sure how to start and where to go for help. The availability of WordCamp conferences and other tech workshops, meetups and meetings helps tremendously. Understanding and comprehension of how to apply content creation is important. Blogging is not and will not die because of the diversity that is available. Sharing from my experiences to help bloggers on the African content are from my experiences as a blogger, speaker, volunteer, advocate and organizer at WordCamp, Bar Camp and other tech events.
Zimbabwe Forces Show Heavy Hand at Protestors
Police in Zimbabwe have banned a planned march by the country’s main opposition in the city of Bulawayo, days after brutally dispersing protesters who defied a similar order in the capital. Last week, opposition group the Movement for Democratic Change called for protests beginning in the capital, Harare, over the government’s handling of the economy. The MDC challenged the ban in the high court early on Friday but judges upheld the order. Scores of protesters, many of them from the MDC, defied the ban and gathered in a square where the march was supposed to start. Demanding an end to Mnangagwa’s rule, protesters decried a severe and deepening economic crisis that has led to skyrocketing inflation for basic goods like fuel, while wages have remained stagnant. Police used batons, whips and tear gas to disperse the protesters, wounding several people. Dozens of people were arrested.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
Libyan Comedy Skit Crosses the Racial Line
Blackface, a racist entertainment device with roots in 19th-century America, is alive and well in mainstream Arab entertainment. The targets of that humor — most often from Sudan, a sprawling Arabic-speaking country in Africa — say there is nothing funny about it. As in the United States, blackface in the Arab world is rooted in a history of oppression. For centuries, Arab enslavers captured black Africans and transported them by dhow to the Persian Gulf. Today, African domestic workers often face rampant abuse in the same region. After years of silently ignoring offensive skits on television, some Arabs are turning to social media to vent their anger and demand change. A recent Libyan monkeys-in-the-baby-carriage sketch has sparked calls for a campaign “to punish everyone involved.”
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Disease that’s Killed Dozens in DRC
A measles epidemic has caused more than 2,700 deaths between January and early August in the DRC, killing more people in seven months than Ebola in one year, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). “Despite the magnitude of the measles epidemic in the DRC, there is an alarming lack of actors and funds.With $ 2.5 million mobilized out of the $ 8.9 million required for the response plan, the contrast with the urgency #Ebola, which attracts hundreds of millions of dollars, is striking, “adds the humanitarian medical organization. Measles affects mainly children from the age of 5-6 months and young adults. The Ebola virus disease has totaled 1,905 deaths since its declaration on August 1, 2018, according to the latest assessment of the Congolese health authorities on Wednesday.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS
Cameroon’s Weeks of Darkness
Businesses, media and hospitals in Cameroon’s capital have been brought to a halt because of an unprecedented power failure that has gone on for nearly two weeks. The government has ordered the electric company, ENEO, to restore power within seven days but the company says it needs at least three months to repair equipment destroyed in a fire. The power supply disappeared on August 4th, the day a fire ripped through the city’s main power station, destroying much of the equipment, and leaving more than one million people without electricity. “The government wishes to laud the patience, understanding and civic sense showcased by the inhabitants of the capital city. Instructions have been given to ENEO to provide a general calendar of the rationing of supply to the public of the city of Yaounde.”
The Disappearance of Two South African Men in Vietnam is Under Investigation
Nongovernmental organisation Gift of the Givers, which fears they may have fallen prey to an organ harvesting syndicate. John Bothma and Mushfiq Daniels did not know each other, but both South Africans had been teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City. Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said they shared mysterious acquaintances — two US women he described as having had contact with both men and who paid for their flights around Southeast Asia and treated them to lavish gifts. Sooliman said all evidence now pointed towards the men having become caught up in an organ harvesting ring, based on the prominence of the black-market trade in Vietnam and the details surrounding their disappearance resembling those of past crimes. SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE
Relieving Climate Change Impacts on Senegal
With the help of the local population, Haidar el Ali has led a program that has planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta of southern Senegal over the past decade. The reforestation project in southern Senegal has become one of the largest of its kind in the world. Mr el Ali, who served as Senegal’s Minister of Environment, says the mangroves are vital to help cope with the effects of climate change, as well as contributing to the local economy. Mangroves store large amounts of carbon. Studies have shown that mangrove forests sequester at least two to four times more carbon than other tropical forests. They also provide breeding grounds and nurseries for fish, prevent erosion during tropical cyclones, and help cleanse waters of pollutants.
Nigerian Visual Artist Haneefah Adam’s Playing with her Food
A medical scientist by training, Adam first made a name for herself in 2015 when she transformed Barbie into Hijarbie – a hijab-wearing Muslim doll. Now, she’s building a career out of rejigging food into art. “I do regular portraits, I sew and paint, but what excites me the most is food,” she says. Adam is inspired by random things, including life experiences and culture. She sees everything around her as something that can be made into art. In 2016, she won the #TechMeetsArtNG exhibition, sponsored by Samsung Nigeria and Rele Gallery. The competition was a culinary exhibition aimed at exploring the artistic presentation of some of Nigeria’s local meals. Her winning entry, pictured above, was inspired by one of her favorite childhood meals, ogbono soup, a southern Nigerian delicacy made from the dried seeds of mangoes. She says the art represents an African woman adorned in vibrant colors.