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Africa Top10 News

The Only Station that Refugees in Dadaab Stay Tuned To

Exiled Somali Kamil Ahmed says her job at Gargaar FM is more important than ever as the threat of closure hangs over the camp. She’s the only female reporter at the station which is based in a small shipping container in Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee camp. Broadcasting a Somali-language program, Gargaar FM (the name means assistance in Somali) provides vital information to more than 200,000 people who call Dadaab home and serves as a source of entertainment and psychosocial support for refugees trapped in the isolated camp, first established in 1991. Gargaar FM also connects people to the outside world via the BBC World Service and Voice of America service. The station is supported by the UNHCR but run by a group of young journalists who studied and grew up in the sprawling camp.


Nigerian Credit Startup Heads to Brazilian Market

Migo, formerly known as Mines, has raised a US$20 million Series B funding round to finance its expansion to Brazil and continued growth in its home market. Founded in 2014, Migo provides a Credit-as-a-Service digital platform that enables institutions such as banks, telecoms, and retailers in emerging markets to offer credit products to their customers, with no smartphones required. These companies integrate Migo into their apps and Migo underwrites customers to provide them with a digital account and credit line. Customers can use this credit line to make purchases from a merchant or withdraw cash without the need for point-of-sale hardware or plastic cards. Migo has already underwritten more than seven million customers to date, while an estimated 90 million adults in Nigeria and 100 million adults in Brazil without access to credit means there is a massive area of untapped growth. Migo enables some of the largest retail enterprises in Africa – from mobile operators like 9mobile and MTN to payment companies Interswitch and Flutterwave to banks like Bank of Industry and Fidelity Bank. 


Ethiopia Joins African Countries Building Up a Picture of its Soil

In Ethiopia, poor soil health is making it difficult for farmers to grow staple food such as teff, wheat, maize, sorghum, and barley and eke out a living. This declining soil health has been caused by unsustainable farming practices – such as the use of too much fertilizer or farming on slopes – overgrazing and erosion caused by deforestation, meaning tree roots aren’t holding soil in place. Soil spectroscopy – a new, light-based technology – makes it easy, fast, and cheap to analyze very large numbers of soil samples. By measuring how infrared light, at different frequencies, is absorbed by a soil sample, we get a snapshot of the soil’s organic and mineral contents. It’s part of a continent-wide project to gather and analyze soil data under what we call the Africa Soil Information Service. Under this, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, and Rwanda have all worked to develop their soil information systems, conducting nationwide soil health surveys and developing digital soil resource maps for targeted interventions like sustainable land management practices.


The Team Unearthing Kenya’s Scandals

Africa Uncensored, an investigative journalism collective that works to hold the government accountable and cover stories often unreported by the media is working on a massive story. The government is believed to have misappropriated millions of dollars after Kenya’s health minister signed a multimillion-dollar deal in 2015 for what he said was much-needed hospital equipment. The government also promised to invest in the improvement of Kenya’s medical services, which were seen to be especially failing the poor. They carry out their investigation, using hidden cameras to confront an official, despite fears of reprisal. Meanwhile, they feel the urgency to publish as they speak to those most affected by failures in the health system, including a mother who could not afford her cancer treatment.


2019 Will be Remembered as the Year that Devastated Parts of Eastern and Southern Africa

Millions of people in southern and eastern Africa are facing emergency food insecurity partly caused by climate change, half of them children, according to the charity Save the Children. The region has been hit by extreme cyclones, flooding and drought in recent months and scientists say it is warming much faster than other parts of the world. A 2015 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows temperatures rising in southern Africa at twice the global rate. Save the Children says leaders of industrialized nations must commit to bigger cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and greater support for those most affected by climate change.


Africa’s Energy Sector is a Catalyst for Growth and Development Across the Continent

The African Energy Chamber launched its first annual African Energy Outlook for 2020. The report, compiled to provide key insight into what sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas industry can expect to see next year, also doubles as an overview of the role the energy sector stands to play in developing competing economies. Though the continent’s oil and gas sector was significantly impacted by the oil price crash, 2019 has proven to be a year of recovery for many African economies. With many continuing works on projects that were previously halted or canceled, some developing new large-scale projects and others working to increase their exploration and production activities; the continent is undoubtedly poised to see accelerated growth in the years to come.


The Swedish Boy Who’s Got Social Media Talking

An 11-year-old Swedish boy who has adopted aspects of the culture of the Maasai people in Tanzania has attracted both joy and criticism from the community. Oscar Magwaya moved to Tanzania with his mother, Suzan Magwaya, when he was four years old. Ms. Magwaya was working for a charity helping street children when she met Daudi Magwaya, her Maasai security guard. They got married and had a daughter together, Oscar’s younger half-sister. Oscar is fluent in Maasai, as well as Swahili and his mother-tongue Swedish. He now only wears Maasai clothes – the striking fabric brought together with a belt around the waist.


How Creative Architecture Is Finding A Home In Africa

Home development firms, architects, and designers across Africa are not only providing a solution to the continent’s housing problems, especially in big cities but are also contributing to building up the continent’s urban living centers with creative architecture and luxurious living in contemporary spaces


Inviting the World to Participate in Rwanda’s Transformation

Rwanda signed a deal on Wednesday with French soccer club Paris St Germain to promote tourism in the east African nation, its second such agreement since last year. “We invest part of our tourism revenues in strategic collaborations such as the one with Paris St Germain because we understand the positive effect they have on the overall perception of the country globally,” the Rwanda Development Board’s chief executive, Clare Akamanzi, said in a statement after the signing. Akamanzi did not say how much Rwanda would pay for the deal. A source close to the French club said it was worth between 8 and 10 million euros. Last May, Rwanda signed a sponsorship and tourism promotion deal with the English soccer club Arsenal.


Majungasaurus Lived in Madagascar some 70 million Years Ago

New study shows a carnivorous dinosaur species regrew all its teeth every few months. A meat-eating dinosaur species that lived in Madagascar some 70 million years ago replaced all its teeth every couple of months or so, a new study has found, surprising even the researchers. In fact, Majungasaurus grew new teeth roughly two to 13 times faster than those of other carnivorous dinosaurs, says paper lead author Michael D. D’Emic, an assistant professor of biology at Adelphi University. Majungasaurus would form a new tooth in each socket every couple of months.