Friday February 12: Weekly News Top Ten

1. African Governments Take On Charismatic 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.
Source: BBC

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.
Source: CNN

4. Two Women Who Inspire Change In Africa

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. Burundi Woman Uncovers Hubby's Murder Plot

An Australian woman has described how her husband hired hitmen to murder her because he falsely believed she had been unfaithful, and his shock 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 about £3,500 to hitmen in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.
Source: The Guardian

6. How A Red Carpet Caused Quite A Stir In Egypt

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.
Source: Npr

7. Can Peaceful Hashtags Guarantee Non Violence In Uganda's Election?

Uganda heads to the polls next week and sentiments of violence are exactly what youth activists like Desire Karakire are trying to mitigate. Karakire with a group of likeminded volunteers launched the trending hashtag #IChoosePeaceUG to reach young people around the country despite having few resources. The group has managed to partner with non-government organizations, the media and even the military and police to share a message of peace. As often as they can, Karakire and her volunteers campaign in public venues to encourage youth to voice their opinions rather than raise their fists. They also ask older adults who have lived through war to share their stories of hardship.
Source: Quartz Africa

8. West Africa Faces Another Deadly Disease

As Ebola fades, a mental-health crisis is coming in its wake. At the height of the outbreak, West African countries that had no more than a roomful of doctors and too few nurses threw thousands of ordinary people—taxi drivers, accountants and college students among them—onto the front lines. Now, many of the Ebola fighters are battling their own, quieter afflictions. Alcoholism, depression and drug addiction are raging, health officials say, in countries that have even fewer psychiatrists than doctors.
Source: Wall Street Journal

9. Women Are At The Frontline Of Boko Haram's Battle

Of all the mysteries surrounding Boko Haram the use of women and girls as suicide bombers is among the most vexing.The United Nations estimates that since June 2014, Boko Haram has deployed 100 abducted women and girls for attacks once carried out by men. The group has also used boys as young as 8 for suicide missions.
Source: New York Times

10. Child Soldiers Get A Chance To Rewrite Their Past

When a boy in Central African Republic fell under the spell of a militia leader supposedly endowed with magical powers, he felt invincible. With his mentor’s death, he realised he had wasted four years – but a rehabilitation programme is helping him, and other former child soldiers like him, to resume his studies. War Child has been working in the Central African Republic since 2010. Initially with children who were kidnapped by the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army, who have terrorised communities from their origins in northern Uganda through to Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The charity has now expanded its operations, responding to the fact that an estimated 6,000-10,000 children have been recruited or forcibly enlisted in myriad armed groups on all sides since political conflict erupted in 2013.
Source: The Guardian