Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020

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A Made in Senegal Drone

Senegal Drone

Mamadou Wade Diop has been working with drones both in the photography and health sectors for years. But recently, he decided to work with local blacksmiths and construct a drone made entirely in Senegal. He goes by Dr. Drone on social media and is the only person in the Dakar area who can fix broken drones. But recently, he’s taken his knowledge a step further, consulting with drone makers across the world on how to construct one of his own. Though he does a lot of work in the audio-visual sector, renting his services out to news and documentary crews as well as collecting drone footage of various places in Senegal to sell, the purpose of his drone will be in the health sector – a drone that can spread chemicals to prevent mosquito breeding in stagnant water.


Nile Talks Resume

Nile Talks Resume

Egypt’s foreign minister said Cairo had resumed talks with Sudan and Ethiopia over a $4 billion dam Addis Ababa is building on the Nile which had been suspended for over a year. The three countries’ irrigation ministers met in Cairo on Sunday to resume negotiations over filling and operating the dam, which Egypt sees as a threat to its water supplies. Ethiopia disputes the mega dam will harm Egypt, in the past Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said he wanted to preserve Egypt’s Nile River rights. Officials hope the negotiations, due to continue on Monday, would lead to agreement on a firm timeline for talks that will eventually lead to a binding agreement on the dam’s filling and operation.


Boko Haram: The Thorn in Buhari’s Side

Boko Haram

A full decade into the war, Boko Haram militants are still roaming the countryside with impunity. Their fighters now have more sophisticated drones than the military and are well-armed after successful raids on military brigades, according to local politicians and security analysts. The military announced in August that it is pulling back its troops from far-flung outposts in the countryside and gathering them into fortified settlements it calls “super camps.” The super camps are inside of garrison towns where the Nigerian military in recent years settled tens of thousands of civilians — either after Boko Haram chased them away, or soldiers burned their villages and rounded them up, saying it would secure the countryside. The garrison towns are ringed by trenches to slow militant invasions, but the pullback has allowed Boko Haram fighters free rein in the barren countryside.


What Went Down at Mugabe’s Funeral

Mugabe's Funeral

Thousands of people including foreign dignitaries bid farewell to former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in a memorial service on Saturday. A number of current and former African leaders attended the memorial at the national stadium in Harare. Although the service was open to public, many seats in the arena remained empty as the turnout failed to match the crowds seen during the body viewing earlier this week. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was heckled by the crowds during his speech, a response to a recent spate of xenophobia attacks against African immigrants in his country. Mugabe will be buried in the country’s National Heroes Acre monument. Mugabe’s family had been at loggerheads with the current President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa over where the funeral should take place.


Somali Women on the Move

Somali Women

Zamzam Yusuf, a grandmother of 29, is breaking barriers by entering the once men-only camel trading industry in Somalia. Of the world’s estimated 35 million camels, Somalia, a country of more than 15 million people, houses more than seven million camels – the highest number per country globally. Livestock is the backbone of the Somali economy with more than 65 percent of the population engaged in some way in the industry, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. But it is extremely rare to see a woman at any of the busy camel markets in the East African country. The milk, often referred to as white gold, also brings in a decent return. In Kismayo, one litre of camel milk is sold for $1 and Zamzam’s herd produces at least 400 litres a day.  In a bid to expand her business, which employs 10 people, Zamzam decided to join forces with two other traders.  In a bid to expand her business, which employs 10 people, Zamzam decided to join forces with two other traders. 

Tips for Investing in Africa’s Hotel Businesses

Africa's Hotel Businesses

A new report from JLL, the world’s largest professional services firm specialising in real estate, has revealed that people seeking to finance a new hotel project in Africa will be much more successful if their hotel is part of a mixed-use development. A driving factor for this trend is that hotels rent their rooms in euros and US dollars rather than in local currency which, from a financing perspective, reduces the risk to the lender and lowers the interest rate paid by the borrower. The research comes a week ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum  Africa’s highest profile gathering of the hospitality and tourism industry, which takes place in Addis Ababa.


Easing Africa’s Energy Woes Lies in Innovation

Easing Africa's Energy

According to a new global commission, advances in micro energy grids and renewable energy technologies could “dramatically accelerate change” and transform lives in rural areas of sub-Saharan African and south Asia. The Global Commission to End Energy Poverty met for the first time this week to set out plans to accelerate the UN’s sustainable development goal to ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all people by 2030. Under the initiative, the distributed networks would help connect homes, businesses and schools to small-scale solar power projects to deliver cheap, sustainable electricity that can help power local economic growth. The commission also plans to help set up new regulation in developing countries to accelerate the rollout of new energy systems, and make the projects more attractive to international investors.


African Leaders Should Shoulder the Blame for Xenophobia


While diplomatic tensions between South Africa and other African countries remain idling, President Cyril Ramaphosa has been hard at work in trying to mend things between South Africa and the continental leadership. The president ditched his presidential duties at the United Nations General Assembly to take care of matters at home, and currently, South Africa is the least favourite country for Africans. According to the country’s Minister for higher learning, science and technology, the xenophobic violence could have been avoided if South Africa was not seen by other countries as the scapegoat. While he stated categorically that he denounced xenophobia, he added that we cannot ignore a glaring fact, which is that “African leaders themselves must get their act together.” Nzimande suggested that if African leaders did not destroy their countries, foreign nationals would not be seeking asylum in South Africa.


Harnessing the Potential of Ethiopia’s Sugar Industry

Ethiopia’s Sugar Industry

More than 300 chiefs representing Liberia’s rural and traditional bloc have called on the president to set up a war and economic crimes court as part of measures to fight impunity that has impeded the growth of Africa’s oldest independent republic. The representative chiefs are powerful and particularly influential in political decision-making and voting processes in the rural belts. In their statement, released at the close of a week-long gathering in the capital, the chiefs expressed disappointment over the government’s handling of millions of U.S. dollars since George Weah assumed the presidency. This includes $104 million in newly-minted local banknotes and $25 million withdrawn from the Federal Reserve accounts for infusion into the economy to strengthen the local currency. The government has so far failed to properly account for those funds, the group said.


Water Roller Invention has come in Handy for Kenyan Women

Water Roller Invention Kenya

Rolling Springs is a Kenyan invention to relieve women and children and the elderly from carrying water on their backs. The rollers are made from a combination of recycled materials like old tyres and local wood. The roller currently retails for $60 and this is far beyond what many women here can afford. But the inventor says he plans to make it cheaper through the manufacturing process of moulding. The World Health Organization said 263 million people the world over spend over 30 minutes per trip collecting water.