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The 14-year-old Cameroonian Peace Campaigner Honoured by Dutch Children’s Rights Group

Divina Maloum

KidsRights, which has been handing out the prize since 2005, said it is awarding the International Children’s Peace Prize to Thunberg and peace activist Divina Maloum. Maloum has set up an organisation called Children for Peace that tours schools, mosques and marketplaces in her native Cameroon speaking to children who could fall prey to groups like Boko Haram. The activist also promotes the role of children in peace and sustainable development efforts. The children’s peace prize is linked to a $110,000 grant which is invested in projects linked to the winners’ causes. The prizes were handed out by Indian children’s rights activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi at a ceremony in The Hague. 


Nigerian-owned Blood and Oxygen Delivery Company Wins Jack Ma’s Award

LifeBank Nigeria

LifeBank recently got the top prize at the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), organized by the Jack Ma Foundation, for African businesses. LifeBank’s CEO Temie Giwa-Tubosun carted away with the top $250,000 cash prize out of the $1 million worth of prizes available to 10 entrepreneurs. Life Bank is a technology logistics company based in Lagos State. It was set up to tackle the problem of blood shortage in Nigeria. As at January 2017, the company had helped deliver over 2000 pints of blood to patients across the state. In partnership with the Ethiopian government agency tasked with exploring technology, Information Network Security Agency (INSA), the LifeBank team successfully tested drone delivery in Ethiopia last month. The drones were programmed to automatically pick up samples from blood banks and deliver to laboratories or hospitals without any form of human control.


Somali Activist Killed as Her Father Once Was

Ms. Elman

A Somali-Canadian aid worker and activist was shot dead on Wednesday in Mogadishu, a police official said, dealing a new blow to efforts by the Somali diaspora to return home and help rebuild the country after decades of war. Ms. Elman comes from a prominent family of activists whose work has focused on social justice, women’s rights and rehabilitating children impacted by Somalia’s decades-long war. Ms. Elman was the daughter of Elman Ali Ahmed, a pioneering peace activist who himself was gunned down in Mogadishu in 1996. It was not immediately clear who killed Ms. Elman or why, but General Hussein said Ms. Elman was hit by a bullet while inside a car at the Halane complex, a heavily fortified compound that flanks the international airport in Mogadishu and is populated by African Union troops and representatives from United Nations agencies and embassies.


Seychelles is Suffering from a Drug Epidemic of Huge Proportions


Known for its coral reefs, mangroves and white sandy beaches, 360,000 tourists travel to the Indian Ocean archipelago each year for a holiday of a lifetime. But look beyond the private islands, the boutique resorts and high-end restaurants, and per capita, the Seychelles suffers from the highest rate of heroin abuse in the world. Between 5,000 and 6,000 people out of a total population of 94,000 – the equivalent of nearly 10% of the working population – are addicted to heroin, according to the Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation in the Seychelles. Made up of 115 islands, the Seychelles has many porous borders, which makes them hard to monitor and easy for drugs to come into the country. Heroin makes the long journey from Central Asia, especially Afghanistan, before being smuggled to the islands via East Africa. But rather than attempting a “war on drugs”, which would criminalise the large proportion of heroin users in the Seychelles, the head of the anti-drug agency has introduced a Portuguese-style drug policy – considering drug addiction as a chronic disease to be treated.


Sudan’s Colonial-era Railway Hub is Cautiously Optimistic about New Rule 

Sudan's Colonial-era Railway

A veteran railway worker-turned union leader, Abdelaziz Abdallah was among the first to take to the streets in Khartoum in December, sparking a national uprising that toppled long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir almost four months later . Railway workers have among the lowest state salaries” earning as little as $26.67 a month while needing at least $280 to get by, said Abdallah, who took over the union after Bashir’s ouster. They also want funds to revive the railway — once Africa’s longest network but now largely derelict. Atbara, at the junction of the Nile and Atbara rivers, has been a barometer for Sudan since British colonialists established a railway hub here, building dozens of villas to house railway managers which now lie empty. Maps entitled “Sudan railways” still hang on walls in administrative buildings where receipts printed in English and Sudanese lie on abandoned desks.


The Unintended Effects of Somali’s Floods

Somali's Floods

Scientists and food safety experts say the climate shocks are not only destroying Somali crops and livestock but are also increasing the levels of toxins in the food that makes it to harvest. The frequent droughts, in particular, have significantly increased toxins in maize, sorghum and wheat, the main staple foods in the country. A study conducted by Queen’s University Belfast on Somali crops, published earlier this year, found that levels of aflatoxin B1, a toxin linked to development of liver cancer, are dangerously high compared to European Union levels. Queen’s University collected 140 samples from maize, sorghum and wheat in 2014, but the result of the lab work was only released earlier this year. The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization has not conducted its own study on the problem, but Emma Ouma, an FAO food nutrition expert, concurred with the role of climate shocks in high levels of aflatoxins.


Nigerian Official Nabbed at the Doctor’s Rooms

Mohammed Adoke

Nigeria’s former attorney general, Mohammed Adoke, was arrested in Dubai, his lawyer said. Adoke was taken into custody seven months after Nigeria’s anti-graft agency issued a warrant for his arrest as part of an investigation into one of the oil industry’s biggest suspected corruption scandals. The investigation by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency relates to the $1.3bn sale of a Nigerian offshore oilfield known as OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011. Eni and Shell jointly acquired the field from Malabu, which was owned by Etete. The oilfield sale has spawned legal cases across several countries, involving Nigerian government officials and senior executives from ENI and Royal Dutch Shell. Shell and Eni, and their executives have denied any wrongdoing. Etete has also denied wrongdoing.


Uganda Shuts Down “Bogus” Charities

Uganda Shuts Down "Bogus" Charities

More than 12,000 charities have been told they can no longer operate in Uganda as critics raised fears that government regulatory measures effectively amounted to a purge. The government said a review that took place in August and September would root out poorly performing organisations and create “a reliable data bank on all NGOs” in the country. But activists say a requirement to validate their status could have a “chilling effect” on their work. Following the government review, the number of officially registered NGOs in Uganda has been slashed from 14,207 to 2,118. It is understood that most of the organisations told to stop operating are local groups, rather than large international NGOs. The government has also directed banks not to open accounts for unregistered groups, which will no longer be able to hire rooms.


CNN Uncovers a Scandal in the CAR Parish

 CAR Parish

A pedophile priest was sent to work for an aid organization helping vulnerable families in an African country, even though his Catholic order knew he had been convicted of abusing children years earlier in Europe, a CNN investigation has found. Father Luk Delft is accused of abusing at least two other boys in the Central African Republic (CAR) while in a key role at Caritas, a leading Catholic charity. The 50-year-old priest, from Belgium, was only removed from the post after CNN revealed the new accusations against him to his superiors in the Salesians of Don Bosco, a religious order established specifically to protect children.


An Effort to Regreen Some of the Most Degraded Land in the World

Degraded Land in the World

The landscape of northern Ethiopia has been transformed over the last three decades by a regreening project that has turned degraded land into forest. This has had a positive impact on water supplies, and on wildlife – including bees.


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