Why Ethiopians are Looking Forward to Friday
On December 20, the country launches its first satellite, the ET-RSS1, into space. It is a 70kg MultiSpectral Remote Sensing Satellite, tested and set to be shot to space at 700km above the earth’s surface. The satellite will be used for agricultural, mining, environmental protection, and earth observatory purposes. The move by the country is the latest example of space ambitions by a number of African nations. An initial launch date of December 17 was postponed to the 20th because of unfavorable weather in the Chinese city, the Minister disclosed. The Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute had been co-developing the Satellite through the support of the Chinese government.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS
The Most Harrowing Place for Migrants in Libya
Across the globe, images of sinking boats and dead children
washing up on shore have epitomized the migrant crisis. But away from that
international focus, Bani Walid has emerged as a hub for some of the most
horrific abuses that migrants are increasingly facing while passing through
Libya. For decades, the city was a natural transit for migrants trying to reach
the coast to board rickety boats to Europe.For most migrants, avoiding Bani
Walid is not an option once they’ve paid a smuggler. Lacking money and
local connections, migrants are often transported through the most dangerous
and lawless routes. Many of them are abandoned by smugglers in and around the
town. What’s more, militias and cartels from Bani Walid sometimes roam other
cities to abduct hapless migrants.
Example of ‘Slow Journalism’ in Egypt’s Arab Spring
Of all the ill-fated revolutions of the Arab spring, none
started more optimistically, or ended more disappointingly, than that of Egypt.
So bad has President Sisi’s crackdown been on liberals, writers and journalists
that relatively few insiders have dared to write factual accounts of the failed
revolution, though there has been some brilliant fiction, notably Omar Robert
Hamilton’s The City Always Wins. Egypt’s tragedy has now found a non-fiction
writer equal to the task in Peter Hessler, the author of four brilliant books
on China, and the New Yorker staff writer assigned to cover the revolution.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
African Cities at least 20 Percent More Expensive than Cities in other Parts of the World
Chad is one of the world’s poorest countries, but in its
capital, Ndjamena, rent rates rival those of New York or London at upwards of
$2,000 a month for a two-bedroom flat in the city centre. The dusty city on the
edge of the Sahara was ranked the most expensive in Africa and 11th in the
world this year by global consulting firm Mercer, which bases its annual index
on the average cost of living for employees working abroad. The ranking is
aimed at expatriates, whose modern flats are a far cry from the tin-roofed
shacks where many locals live. But Chadians said that for them too the city is
prohibitively expensive, with the price of housing and utilities, in
particular, pushing many people out to neighbourhoods on the periphery with no
roads, electricity or running water.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
A Conservation Effort to Maintain African Pride
For centuries, the Lozi people of Zambia’s Barotseland region have worn the skins of wild cats at special events and ceremonies. Now, in a bid to save the animals, they are switching to fake fur. According to Guy Balme, director of leopard programs for Panthera, the leopard’s beautiful spotted pelt has been its downfall. Although the big cats face a number of dangers including habitat loss and poorly-managed trophy hunting, “demand for leopard parts for ceremonial wear is the number one threat in southern Africa,” he says. In 2016, Yeta asked Panthera — an international organization dedicated to saving wild cats — for help. With support from the non-profit group Peace Parks Foundation and jewelry-maker Cartier, Lozi representatives, and Panthera collaborated to launch the Saving Spots campaign.
Dramatic Videos of the Insects Flying Over the Central Somali Town
Tens of thousands of hectares of farmland is being destroyed as desert locusts swarm over Somalia, in the worst invasion in 25 years. The locusts have damaged about 70,000 hectares of farmland in Somalia and neighboring eastern Ethiopia, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Wednesday. The FAO said the locust invasion was worse than had been predicted and was likely to spread to other nations in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Sudan.
Former Executives Arrested for Eskom Corruption
The Hawks on Thursday arrested two former Eskom senior managers for fraud, corruption, and money laundering at the Kusile Power Station amounting to $51 million. The elite investigating unit also arrested two business directors and representatives of seven companies. “The suspects were arrested early this morning in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and Gauteng by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in collaboration with the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigative Directorate,’ said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi in a statement.
Good Tidings From Zambia to Gemstone Companies
South African gemstone miner Gemfields Group Ltd said on Thursday that the Zambian government has suspended a 15% export duty on gemstones, excluding diamonds, from Jan. 1, 2020. Miners say the duty, announced in a September 2018 budget, has hurt their operations – one pain point in a wider dispute with the mining industry over tax rates. Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, has tried to levy higher taxes on the mining industry – a key sector – as it grapples with high levels of debt and low growth. However, pushback from the industry has forced it to roll back plans to replace its value-added tax with a non-refundable sales tax, a big bone of contention in the industry.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA
Seeds Of Hope Transforming Lives In Northern Uganda
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center has been working with Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization and local seed companies under the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa project, to develop and disseminate seeds of improved stress-tolerant varieties such as the UH5051 hybrid also locally called Gagawala, meaning “get rich”, Ochieng’ has been planting since 2015.
Three African Nations Feature in the Top10 Points Winners on Fifa’s 2019 World Rankings
Africa Cup of Nations winners Algeria gained 135 points during
the year, just three behind Asian Cup champions Qatar, who earned the most over
the last 12 months. Despite the gains Algeria are only the fourth-ranked team
in Africa and 35th globally. Nigeria are seventh on the list and Madagascar
tenth globally when it comes to points won in 2019. The Super Eagles, who won
the bronze medal at the Nations Cup, are third on the continent and 31st
globally. Madagascar end the year at number 21 in Africa and 91st overall
following their quarter-final appearance at the Nations Cup in Egypt. Nations
Cup runners-up Senegal remain the top-ranked side in Africa ahead of Tunisia in
second spot, respectively the duo are 20 and 27th globally.