Mon. Jan 20th, 2020

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The Woman Taking Charge of Zimbabwe’s Health Crisis

Zimbabwe's Health Crisis

As a doctors’ and nurses’ strike paralyses Zimbabwe’s health system, one woman has delivered 100 babies in her flat.  At 72, midwife Esther Zinyoro has converted the lounge of a tiny two-roomed apartment in Mbare, into a maternity unit. Despite her humble circumstances, Zinyoro carries the hopes of many expectant mothers amid a health crisis where women are failing to access basic maternity care. Pregnant women have borne the brunt of the ongoing dispute between government and medical staff demanding a hike in salaries, with many forced to give birth in unhygienic conditions.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

Will Algeria’s Election be Cancelled?

 Algeria's Election

A big crowd of protesters marched through central Algiers on Wednesday to demand Thursday’s presidential election be cancelled, chanting that they would not vote in a poll they regard as a charade. They chanted “No election tomorrow” and held up banners reading “You have destroyed the country” as riot police stood blocking roads and a helicopter circled overhead. In one place, a column of police barged through the crowd. The election is shaping up to be a pivotal moment in the months-long struggle between the shadowy network of military, security and political leaders known as the “pouvoir”, who have ruled for decades, and a leaderless street protest movement.

SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

Egypt Named as One of the Biggest Jailers of Journalists

Egypt

At least 250 journalists were in jail in relation to their work as of December 1, according to nonprofit group the Committee to Protect Journalists. The group found that the majority were imprisoned on “anti-state charges” and that the number of journalists charged with “false news” rose this year, with 30 in jail in 2019, compared with 28 last year and just one in 2012. According to the report, China was the biggest jailer in 2019, with at least 48 journalists incarcerated, followed by Turkey (47), Saudi Arabia (26) and Egypt (26).

SOURCE: CNN

More Bad News from Africa’s Leading e-Commerce

Jumia Technologies

Jumia Technologies has revealed that it will suspend food and drinks delivery services on its Jumia foods division in Rwanda. According to a statement from the company, “we have made the difficult decision to suspend our on-demand services in Rwanda effective on December 9th, 2019.” The statement went on to explain that “while decisions like these are always difficult, it is more important now than ever to put our focus and resources where they can bring the best value and help us thrive.” Although Jumia has concluded that running its e-commerce business in Tanzania and Cameroon, together with its food delivery service in Rwanda was unprofitable, it continues to operate in Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, amongst other African countries.

SOURCE: VENTURES AFRICA

A Growing Natural Hair Market across Africa

Natural Hair Market Africa

On the streets of Dakar, Abidjan or Lagos, you’ll be hard-pressed to see the Afros now commonplace in Nairobi, Johannesburg and New York. South Africa alone has a natural hair market valued at more than $300 million. You might conclude that the natural hair movement has failed to take root in West Africa. But you would be wrong. A cluster of companies, hair salons and communities emerging across West Africa that’s sparking a shift in the region’s approach to natural hair. If the number of people with natural hair is growing, why is there minimal evidence of it when you roam West African streets? The answer varies from city to city.

SOURCE: OZY

First Storm of the Season Makes Landfall in the Indian Ocean

Cyclone Belna

Nine people were killed and three are missing in northwest Madagascar after Cyclone Belna came ashore with winds equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. The cyclone near the coastal town of Soalala with winds of up to 155 kilometres per hour.  The storm blew off or dislodged the roofs of 80 percent of the town’s residences and government offices. The final warning for Belna was issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and remnants of the storm will continue across the southern part of the island. Heavy showers are likely across the south through Thursday.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

The Cash Cow Of Africa

dairy industry

The dairy industry is garnering the attention of private equity investors who see its growing demand in Africa in the face of insufficient capacity and its cash generative value in conjunction with beef. The issue of dairy in Africa involves a plethora of factors that cannot be completely synthesized into one story line. For example, capacity is a mixed bag of facts. According to a recent survey by East Africa Dairy Development (EADD), there is a surplus of 52 million liters of milk in Rwanda, which experts forecast to increase over time. At the same time, this number doesn’t indicate how much of those 52 million liters of milk is of the processed form and how much is unprocessed.

SOURCE: AFRICA.COM

The Doctors Without Fear

Safari Doctors

In Kenya’s remote island communities near the border with Somalia, the threat from al-Shabab militants has scared away most medical personnel.  But one group of volunteers  the Safari Doctors – is braving the danger to provide much-needed regular health care to the area’s most vulnerable. 

SOURCE: VOA

African-American Novelist Journeys to Ghana

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of the National Book Award winner “Brown Girl Dreaming.” She describes her trip to Ghana, after the country announced the Year of the Return. “As a black child of the 70s, the Africa I learned about in school, books and via television, felt irrelevant to me. Like many of my friends, I would turn on the Saturday morning cartoons to find some unfortunate character trussed inside caldrons of boiling water as drooling cannibals — supposedly African, supposedly savages — circled them. The Africa I saw, from National Geographic pictures of bare-chested African women to TV ads featuring starving children, was as unfamiliar as the Middle Passage itself.”

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Backstory of A Namibian Woman’s Outfit

Namibia was a German colony for just over a century and in the early 1900s the Herero and the Nama people rose up against the Germans with tragic consequences. Some 65,000 members of the Herero tribe were killed by German troops. Every year the Herero people commemorate those that died in battle with a special ceremony. And the women wear a special dress which is specific to Herero culture. BBC Africa’s children’s programme What’s New? met Ngutjiua, a young Herero girl in Namibia who explained the significance of the dress.

SOURCE: BBC