Monday February 08: Daily Top Ten
1. African Governments Take On Bogus Churches
Self-proclaimed prophets who say they can perform miracles are growing in popularity across Africa. But some governments are starting to think churches should be held accountable to a being other than God. They are particularly concerned that bogus preachers are targeting vulnerable people. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta recently called such preachers thieves and called for regulation of churches.
2. Can AU Delegation Save Burundi?
The African Union has appointed a high-level delegation of five African presidents to negotiate with factions in Burundi over the possible deployment of an African peacekeeping mission to the East African country. A statement from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa said the five, one each from the continent’s regional blocs will “consult the government and other actors of Burundi, on inclusive dialogue and deployment of the African Mission prevention and protection in Burundi if accepted by the Government of Burundi.” They include Mauritanian leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, South African President Jacob Zuma, President Macky Sall of Senegal, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Source: Daily Nation
3. Africans Are Living Better Lives
There must be lessons to draw from the news that Cape Verdeans – along with citizens of 21 other African countries – are living better lives than they were three years ago. Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 52,700 citizens in 33 countries in 2014-2015, Afrobarometer reports that in two-thirds of those countries, “lived poverty” has decreased compared to the previous survey round in 2011-2013. That means fewer people are going without life’s basic necessities – they now have enough food to eat, clean water, access to needed medicines or medical care, enough fuel for cooking and a cash income.This is good news for Africa – and, importantly, for Africans. The continent’s decade of economic growth is well documented through official indicators, but until now, there’s been little evidence that this growth was translating into better lives.
Source: New Africa Business News
4. Burundi Woman Uncovers Hubby's Murder Plot
An Australian woman has described how her husband hired hitmen to murder her. He falsely believed she had been unfaithful, and was shocked when she arrived home in the middle of her own wake. “When I get out of the car, he saw me straight away,” Noela Rukundo said of Balenga Kalala, with whom she has three children. “He put his hands on his head and said: ‘Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?’” she recalled. Her response was: “Surprise! I’m still alive!” The tale began early last year when Rukundo returned to her home country of Burundi for her stepmother’s funeral. Unknown to her, Kalala, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, suspected her of infidelity and had paid hitmen in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.
Source: The Guardian
5. Berbers Take Rightful Place In Algeria
The Berbers were the original inhabitants of Algeria before the seventh century Arab invasion, and number some 13 million in the current population of around 41 million. Over the weekend, the Algerian government has passed a reform package including granting the Berber language official status and re-instating the two-term limit for the presidency. The government says the reforms will strengthen democracy, with measures like an independent electoral commission and recognition of the roles of women and youth in society.
Source: Yahoo News
6. Guantanamo Bay Prisoner In Languishes In Morocco
Younis Shokuri, a Moroccan detainee at the Guantánamo Bay prison, said he feared being repatriated to his native country. But the Moroccan government told the United States that it would probably release him without charges 72 hours after any transfer. So last September, Mr. Shokuri went home — reluctantly, but voluntarily. But despite its assurances, Morocco has kept Mr. Shokuri in custody and is weighing criminal charges, apparently focused on allegations that he was involved with a Moroccan terrorist group before his capture in Afghanistan in late 2001. Mr. Shokuri’s lawyers have demanded that the Obama administration press Morocco to live up to what they thought was a deal. Both governments have said little to explain the discrepancy.
Source: New York Times
7. Africa's Textbook Shortage
A new UNESCO publication says thousands of African children lack textbooks or must share them. Education experts say that along with skilled teachers, textbooks are essential for meeting the U.N.-backed Sustainable Development Goals, which call for inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The recent Global Education Monitoring Report discusses the extent of the shortages and proposes solutions. It says that in Cameroon, one study showed there were 12 students for one reading book and 14 to a math book. In some parts of Uganda, there were up to 30 pupils per textbook.
Source: Voice of America
8. African Development Bank Explores Travelling In Africa
Despite the rhetoric that extols the vision of “pan-Africanism” and “one Africa” by their leaders, Africans remain severely disconnected from each other. This is in no small part due to policies by African states that make it difficult for the continent’s citizens to gain access to each other’s countries. To travel to other countries in Africa, Africans need visas to enter 55 percent of states on the continent, the report points out. It goes on to say that only 20 percent of nations allow Africans to enter without visas, with 25 percent offering visas on arrival. North Americans have an easier time traveling to and within the continent than do Africans, needing a visa to travel to just 45 percent of African countries. They can get a visa on arrival in 35 percent of countries and don’t need a visa at all in 20 percent.
Source: Quartz Africa
9. The Growing Taste For African Coffee
From Rwanda and South Sudan to Zambia and The Democratic Republic of the Congo, African coffee growers are watching market trends tilt in their favour, as retail giants shift from high volume to high-flavour beans. The rise in demand for specialty coffee, which now accounts for one of every two cups in America, has compelled retailers to dive deeper into Africa, bringing on board growers in riskier markets such as South Sudan, Burundi and Congo. Demand for specialty coffee in Europe is also on the rise and now accounts for least 40 percent of supply, traders say. As a result, specialty coffee volumes in the region are on the rise, now accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total production in Africa from less than 15 percent three years ago, according to African Fine Coffee Association.
Source: Wall Street Journal
10. University Of Fort Hare Turns A 100 Years Old
At least three African presidents studied at this institution. South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela described his time there as, “For young black South Africans like myself, it was Oxford and Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, all rolled into one.” Mandela who studied Latin and physics there for almost two years in the 1940s, left the institution as a result of a conflict with a college leader. Several leading opponents of South Africa's apartheid regime attended Fort Hare, among them Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo of the African National Congress, Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Robert Sobukwe of the Pan Africanist Congress, Desmond Tutu, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo.
Source: Business Day Live