Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020

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Africa Top10 News

Zambia’s Inspirational Beekeeping Model 

Zambia's Beekeeping

A former hedge fund manager has become one of Africa’s most prolific single-source honey producers through a social enterprise that impacts thousands of families. An initial attempt at large-scale farming in Zambia near Victoria Falls failed, but a friend then invited Martin Zuch to collaborate in exploring the commercial potential of beekeeping. So 10 years ago Mama Buci was born, with the aim of producing high-quality honey in the virgin forests of Zambia. Meaning “Mother Honey” in Bemba, the local language – the company has since grown to provide more than 10,000 families with income. They have also built a school that started with 60 pupils and now has 400, and they want to replicate that model as they continue to grow. Zuch said environmental concerns are also central to the project, explaining that lack of pesticides greatly increases the taste of the honey, enough of which is left in each hive to sustain production. They also hope to introduce blockchain technology so each jar of honey could be traced back to the exact hive where it had been produced. In the next 12 months they are expecting to harvest 550-560 tonnes of honey, the equivalent of roughly 1.2m jars. From there they will sell it, mainly in bulk, to retailers in South Africa and Britain, who then repackage it and sell it as their own high-quality honey.


An Online Information Battle is Happening in Algeria


Protesters are trying to swat away annoying trolls – dubbed “electronic flies”. The protesters use the term “electronic flies” to describe the troll-like accounts pumping out pro-government or pro-establishment messages. Protest slogans have been written about them and their actions have been reported on by local media. In an attempt to control the spread of information about the protests, access to the internet was disrupted in several parts of the country, according to NetBlocks, an organisation which monitors internet freedom. Comments and posts published by “electronic flies” seem to focus on a small number of topics, mostly aimed at undermining the protest movement. Many other comments posted by the “electronic flies” suggest that there is still broad popular support for Mr Bouteflika and the army. Protesters who want further reforms have continued taking to the streets – and the fight over the country’s future has been particularly fractious on social media, which has been flooded with disinformation and fake news.


Pros & Cons of the Rapid Growth of African Cities

Growth of African Cities

Africa is rapidly urbanizing. Its rate of urbanization soared from 15% in 1960 to 40% in 2010, and is projected to reach 60% by 2050, according to the UN-Habitat, The State of African Cities. This isn’t necessarily bad news. Urbanization is often linked to economic prosperity. It, oftentimes, creates opportunities for economic development and the chance of survival for the poor. However, the growth in African cities is binary; the African continent is like a coin on its side which can either result in a head or a tail flip. As The World Bank puts it in the overview article for the Urbanization in Africa: Trends, Promises, and Challenges event in 2015, “The continent’s urbanization rate, the highest in the world, can lead to economic growth, transformation, and poverty reduction. Alternatively, it can lead to increased inequality, urban poverty, and the proliferation of slums.” This accurately paints the edge, or the cliff, where Africa has found itself.


Is their Room for Grace in Zimbabwe?

Grace in Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe doesn’t share the complex legacy of her husband. She’s unpopular in many corners, and now that her husband is dead, her assets and future in the country could even be at risk. It’s a dramatic turnaround for Zimbabwe’s former first lady, whose ambition to take her husband’s job was cut short in 2017 during an apparent coup that she was the catalyst for. Once Mugabe’s funeral is over, and the wreaths are taken away, Grace may find herself exposed on all fronts. Mnangagwa has initiated an anti-corruption commission that has seen several former Mugabe loyalists face investigations. Grace may well be asked to account for the source of her wealth now that Mugabe has gone. The best solution for Grace now may well be perhaps to live out her days in Singapore, where Mugabe died, and far from the very people she tried to destroy.


The Potential Value of African Food

African Food

There is currently very little public information to pique the interest of tourists about African food. World-renowned South African chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu sought to remedy this with her self-published cookbook, Through the Eyes Of An African Chef. By self-publishing, she has ultimately contributed to a value chain that has linked local food producers and suppliers, which includes agriculture, food production, country branding and cultural and creative industries. There is a widely-held view that the African continent is not doing enough to maximize its potential to also position itself as a gastronomic tourism destination, using its unique edge of indigenous knowledge systems. Writer and historian Sibusiso Mnyanda says current innovations in African food technology are born out of necessity, rather tourism and cultural ambitions.

Setting Up a Successful Airline

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways must avoid picking a board packed with politically-connected individuals after it is renationalised in order to ensure future success, its chairman said on Tuesday. Chairman Michael Joseph said the requirement for professionals to be put in charge of the airline is being built into draft laws that will guide the renationalisation. “We do not want to create a situation that we had before, where you nationalise the airline and all it becomes is a department of government. The board of directors is loaded by friends of politicians.” Under the model approved by lawmakers, Kenya Airways will become one of four subsidiaries in an Aviation Holding Company.


Being a Reformed Militant in Nigeria

Militant in Nigeria

Adamu, 30, is a former Boko Haram fighter who now lives in a refugee camp. He claims he was captured by the group and joined in 2014, along with his wife and four children. They lived with Boko Haram, but one year into their “captivity”, fighters killed his family members, he said. In 2017, he managed to flee. But reintegrating back into society has been near impossible. After leaving, ex-fighters must complete a government-led rehabilitation programme, which lasts up to one year. At the end, they receive about $125, a sum aimed at helping them kickstart their new life. When Adamu arrived back in Gwoza, a northeastern town near Cameroon of almost 400,000 people – mostly Muslims, local elders had already decided not to accept back anyone who had lived with Boko Haram. In an instant, Adamu was an outcast. He moved into a refugee shelter in Maiduguri, the capital of the northeastern state of Borno, living alongside displaced people, many of whom had lost loved ones to Boko Haram attacks.


Andela’s Next Phase of Growth Means Job Losses

Andela’s Next Phase

Pan-African tech firm, Andela announced that it is laying off up to 420 junior engineering jobs across its operations in Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya. Approximately 250 junior engineers and staff from its Nigeria and Uganda hubs were affected with another 170 potentially impacted in Kenya, the company said in a press release. The move comes as the company looks to restructure its talent pool to more closely align with global market demand, it added. “As the talent world has evolved, we have as well, and over the past few years it’s become increasingly clear that the world needs what Andela provides: high-quality engineering-as-a-service,” Andela co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Johnson said. Additionally, the company is partnering with Co-Creation HUB in Nigeria, iHub in Kenya, and Innovation Village in Uganda to help connect impacted developers with opportunities in their local ecosystems.


The Reputational Damage that Juba has Suffered


U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek said it will take time for the international community to regain their trust in the South Sudan government because the Kiir administration still lacks transparency in managing the country’s resources, including oil. Hushek made the remarks Saturday during a public lecture entitled Institutional Readiness to Implement the Revitalized Agreement. Speaking at the same event, Labor Minister James Hoth Mai said the international community lost trust in the South Sudan government because financial donations made to the country have not been used for their intended purpose.


US President Meets the World’s Best Teacher

Peter Tabichi

Kenya’s Peter Tabichi, the world’s best teacher, is set to address the 74th United Nations General Assembly, which brings together world leaders from the organisation’s 193 members. Tabichi, who won the 2019 Global Teacher Prize in March this year, is a member of the St Franciscan Friars, a religious order founded by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century. On Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, shared a picture on Twitter showing that Tabichi, had met with US president, Donald Trump.  Tabichi, who won the $1m best teacher prize, teaches science at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School at Pwani village in Njoro, Nakuru County. Brother Tabichi is set to recite the popular St Francis prayer before the start of the general assembly, according to Brother Tony Donald from Ireland. Tabichi will also share his inspirational story with delegates at the assembly.