1The First Release of a Genetically Modified Animal in Africa
Thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes are to be released in Burkina Faso as a step towards the world’s first field test of “gene-drive” technology. The trial, which has been funded by organisations linked to the Gates Foundation, Facebook, and – indirectly – the Pentagon, is part of a project to eradicate malaria, but it has prompted concerns among local civil society organisations, who say their country is being set up as a laboratory for “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” technology before the risks are fully understood.
SOURCES: The Guardian
2Bridging the Online Language Divide in Africa
African languages are already disadvantaged online with huge platforms including Twitter and Google AdSense not supporting any African languages. These shortcomings, however, have not stopped start-ups from innovating around voice services for African customers. Farm.ink has developed chatbots that allow farmers in Kenya to receive information based on user-generated posts. The fintech company Teller is also integrating financial services into the messaging experience for customers in Madagascar and West Africa.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
3Nigeria is by Far Africa’s most Depressed Country
The National Depression Report, conducted by Joy, Inc., surveyed people about their feelings of happiness and depression across Nigeria’s 36 states. More than 1,000 interviews conducted in all five major Nigerian languages found that 31.6 percent of the population reported symptoms of depression and 27.8 percent reported symptoms of anxiety with 7 million people diagnosed with the condition, according to WHO. In comparison, Ethiopia has 4.48 million, while the Democratic Republic of Congo has 2.87 million with depression.
4Kenyan Oasis Uses a New High-tech Source for Water
Samburu Girls Foundation rescues girls facing early marriage and female genital mutilation. The centre is based in an arid part of northern Kenya where the girls have to travel for water – including into communities they have left. Relief has come in the form of used panels that catch water vapor in the air and condense it to supply their drinking water.
5Sex Sells in this Novel Benin Boutique
Antares Adjibi’s sex shop in the heart of Cotonou is an unlikely enterprise in Benin, a West African country steeped in tradition and religion. There are a few online businesses in Benin which sell sex accessories, but boutiques specializing in the products are uncommon. Adjibi wanted to do more than sell lingerie and sex toys, so she enrolled in sexual psychology courses and began holding free workshops for women seeking sexual advice.
6Healing South Sudan’s Wounds
Mental health resources are badly lacking in South Sudan, with as few as two practising psychiatrists available in the whole country as of 2016, according to Amnesty International. Many South Sudanese with psychological distress and trauma rely on workshops and programmes organised by NGOs such as USAID and World Vision, or a local church or community groups.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
7Combatting Drug Trafficking in East Africa
The Trans-Regional Law Enforcement agencies from Mauritius and 17 countries and international organisations are meeting in Mauritius to focus on sharing information about new and emerging trends in drug use across the regions and countries represented, and facilitate the exchange of information in relation to ongoing investigations.
SOURCES: Ventures Africa
8East Africa’s Low Cost Aviation Trends
The introduction of flights by various budget airlines in the great lakes region has greatly improved travel, boosting trade and tourism, two of the area’s key economic pillars. CNBC Africa looks at the emerging trends in payments in the low cost aviation sector.
9Mines in Guinea due for Upgrades
Societe Miniere de Boke, which mines aluminum raw material bauxite in Guinea has signed agreements with the West African nation to spend $3 billion on a railway, an alumina refinery and the development of new mining areas.
10International Zimbabwean Footballer back after Injury Time
After a car accident, Hardlife Zvirekwi had to have his arm amputated. Before the crash he was an international footballer for Zimbabwe, he has now returned to the game and is back playing in Zimbabwe’s top division with his club, CAPS United.