Tuesday February 09: Daily Top Ten
1. Egypt's Red Carpet Scandal
Egyptian president Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi is facing criticism after a giant red carpet was laid over public roads for his motorcade during a trip to open a social housing project in Cairo. Images of the scene prompted ridicule on social media, with a hashtag mocking the carpet trending in Arabic. A local newspaper devoted much of its front page on Monday to the incident. “How is the president asking us to tighten our belts while the 4km red carpet says otherwise?” read a headline in Al-Maqal newspaper, whose editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Eissa, is one of Egypt’s most prominent TV commentators.
2. Africa Is 'A New El Dorado For The Prostitution Business'
As China moves into Africa building highways and stadiums, striking oil deals, and opening special economic zones practitioners of the world’s oldest profession have followed, catering to both Chinese expatriates and locals. Growing African purchasing power helps explain sex migration. Deloitte estimates that Africa’s middle class has tripled in the last over the last three decades. That means more money for imported televisions, imported handbags and, yes, imported sex. The influx of Chinese prostitutes is a continent-wide phenomenon, argues Basile Ndjio, the author of a forthcoming paper in Urban Studies. He estimates that between 13,000 to 18,500 Chinese sex workers are currently in sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: Quartz Africa
3. Nigerian Student Gives Barbie A Modest Makeover
It was only last month that Mattel gave Barbie a dramatic transformation with a variety of skin tones and different body types, including adding curves to her impossibly slender frame. Now a Nigerian medical scientist has taken Instagram by storm since she began posting images of a hijab-wearing Barbie doll a few weeks ago. We are used to seeing Barbie scantily-clad in denim hotpants and skimpy tops, but with her colorful headscarves, flowing abayas and full-length couture dresses, Hijarbie is far more covered up.
4. Why Africa Needs More Women To Tackle Our Challenges
This is the story of two inspiring African leaders: Graça Simbine Machel the former First Lady of Mozambique and of South Africa, and Zainab Bangura, the first woman to run for the Presidency in Sierra Leone. Each has worked for women’s rights and good governance. Each has years of service in politics and numerous honors and recognitions. The world would benefit from more leaders like them.
5. Now That Australian Captive Is Free She Wants To Stay In Burkina Faso
An Australian woman who was freed by al-Qaeda after three weeks in captivity has said her husband, who was seized with her in Burkina Faso, was still alive and she hoped he too would be released soon. Jocelyn Elliott, 76, gave no further details of the couple's captivity but her comment provided the first confirmation that her husband, Dr Ken Elliott, 81, was still alive. The couple were seized on January 15 from the town of Djibo, near Burkina Faso's border with Mali, where they have operated a 120-bed clinic for over 40 years.
Source: Al Jazeera
6. Being Gay In Africa
Nearly 80 countries still have a total prohibition on same-sex relations. Over half of them are members of the Commonwealth. Their homophobic laws were imposed by Britain in the 19th century, during the era of colonialism, and retained after independence. Several Commonwealth countries like Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana stipulate life imprisonment as punishment. There have also been new laws enacted in some countries, most excessively in Nigeria, which has outlawed LGBTI organisations, fundraising and public advocacy – and even gay-focused HIV prevention, and LGBT-themed books and movies. Lesser repression involves restrictions on media coverage of LGBTI issues and the foreign funding of LGBTI groups, as happens in Uganda.
Source: The Guardian
7. How Zuma's Residential Upgrade Landed Him In Court
South African President Jacob Zuma's lawyers will tell the Constitutional Court this morning he did not disobey the Public Protector's Nkandla findings and never actually refused to pay back the money spent on his home. They will be defending Zuma against arguments from opposition parties who claim he broke the law by not complying with advocate Thuli Madonsela’s findings that he pay back a reasonable portion of government money spent on his home. The first step for the EFF and DA’s legal teams is to argue that this case should be heard at the highest court of the land. If they get over that hurdle they will then argue the merits of the case.
Source: Eye Witness News
8. A Glimpse Of What Happened Before Bomb Exploded On Somali Jetliner
CCTV video footage shows two men handing what appears to be a laptop to a suspected bomber before he boarded a passenger airline on which a bomb exploded in Somalia last week. At least one of the men delivering the laptop was an employee at the main airport in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. It is believed the laptop-like device contained the bomb which caused the explosion on board the Daallo Airlines flight.
9. Lessons On Failure From Nairobi's Innovation Leaders
Nairobi is one of Africa’s most vibrant tech hubs; the early success – and global waves – caused by mobile money innovation M-Pesa breathed life into a tech landscape that was quickly replicated all over Africa. At last count, there were at least 70 tech hubs in cities across Africa; in many cases explicitly supported by governments. But all the bullish sentiment surrounding the continent’s tech space rarely highlights stories about an extremely common event in innovation circles: failure. Industry leaders shared tragic – and funny – stories of initiatives that were launched with a lot of fanfare, only to collapse soon after, at a recent evening of conversation.
Source: Mail & Guardian Africa
10. Multilingual Keyboard Teaches You Some Nigerian Languages
Adebunmi Adeniran, a Nigerian linguist based in the United Kingdom has invented a multilingual keyboard which supports and enables writing in at least 12 Nigerian languages correctly as well as the use of correct signs and tones to give instant meaning to the reader. The multilingual keyboard known as “Nailangs” is aimed at ensuring that Nigerian local languages are learned with ease so as to prevent the languages from going into extinction, said Adebunmi. Unlike Konyin’s multilingual computer keyboard which was only available for desktop, Nailangs keyboard is available for download on all platforms such as Google Playstore, the iOS store and Windows for easy access.
Source: Ventures Africa