Africa Top10 News

A Home Grown Recipe to Fight Africa’s Malaria Problem

Ginette Karirekinyana

Ginette Karirekinyana is part of a small organic cosmetics company in Burundi which has found a way to integrate a viable prevention into people’s daily routines. Her research team has set up a project that would see the first hectares of catnip grown in Burundi and turned into an essential oil. Researchers extracted the essential oil nepetalactone from Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, via steam distillation. With the Karire line, Karirekinyana found a way to mask the smell and soon became a celebrated local entrepreneur, using the catnip oil in soaps, lotions and teas.

SOURCES: Quartz Africa

Tips from Kenya’s Central Bank Governor

Kenya’s Central Bank

Patrick Njoroge, governor of Kenya’s central bank says when going to the debt markets, officials should dress well but they should not try to dress up their economies in a misleading way. “There is no such thing as window dressing, and you should not hope that window dressing will help you; you should actually do what you need to do, make sure you have a solid argument, a solid foundation and wear a suit, and then you will get a good rate,” the country plans to raise as much as $2.5 billion in its third Eurobond issuance.

SOURCES: Bloomberg

Is there a Way Forward on the Western Sahara Matter?

Western Sahara

Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement are expected to meet for the second round of talks on the conflict over the mineral-rich disputed territory of Western Sahara, a hopeful sign following the United Nations Security Council’s call last year to speed up a solution to their 43-year dispute. Morocco annexed Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, in 1975 and fought the Polisario Front for 16 years. The UN brokered a ceasefire in 1991 and established a peacekeeping mission to monitor it and help prepare a referendum on the territory’s future that has never taken place.

SOURCES: Al Jazeera

South African Scientist’s Formula to Conserve Penguins

Bioscientist Patrick Siyambulela Mafunda

Bioscientist Patrick Siyambulela Mafunda learned of the African penguin’s plight while researching options for his PhD at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He discussed the major challenges of conservation with supervisors and arrived at a novel approach: In-vitro fertilization (IVF). While similar experiments had been conducted with other species, Mafunda knew of no other effort to artificially inseminate an African penguin. He has overcome the bird’s breeding patterns in order to collect enough samples to start the fertilisation phase and is appealing for partnerships with academic and conservation institutions to deliver the proof of concept: the first lab-cultivated living African penguin.


Not Enough Hands to Carry Africa’s Renewable Energy Load

Africa’s Renewable Energy

One of the biggest problems facing expansion of renewable off-grid power in Africa is that systems need to be built and operated in remote locations, where it can be harder to attract and retain staff. The push for more trained renewable energy workers comes as an increasing number of countries around Africa try to ramp up use of off-grid renewable energy.  Overall, only 16,000 people are recorded as working in renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). That is just 0.1 percent of the global renewable energy workforce, but with demand growing for renewable energy entrepreneurs and for workers in product assembly, sales, marketing, finance and intellectual property, efforts are underway to provide the talent needed.


Shaking Up Air Zimbabwe’s Lethargy

National carrier Air Zimbabwe

National carrier Air Zimbabwe faces competition from low-cost airline Fly Africa, which launched its maiden flight between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg. It plans to enter the domestic market, which has produced a steady flow of cash for the ailing Air Zimbabwe for more than three decades. The newcomer charges a $100 return fare between the resort town and South Africa’s economic hub, wants to roll out more routes into South Africa, as well as domestic flights. This may unsettle Air Zimbabwe’s popular Harare-Bulawayo route.

SOURCES: Mail & Guardian Africa

Turnout at Arms Expo Shows Africa’s Focus on Security

Arms Expo

The fifth defence trade fair in Africa has attracted 113 exhibitors from 29 countries, with 50 official delegations. Organisers said turnout is four times that of the first show in 2013, for companies and official teams alike. Among nations leading the world’s arms industry — the US, China, France and Israel — all have stands at Shield Africa, but so do vendors from smaller powers such as SA, Turkey, Belarus, South Korea and Australia. Defence analysts say that Africa is undergoing strong economic growth, but also new threats. It’s the continent that suffered the most terrorist attacks in 2017, and threats to the environment are increasing, like poaching and illegal fishing which grows the need for defence and security material.

SOURCES: Business Day Live

Climate Change Hampers Fight Against Chronic Diseases

Fight Against Chronic Diseases

In a study looking at the link between climate change and HIV infection since antiretroviral treatment drugs became widely available in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers found that severe drought threatens to drive new HIV infections. In the urban areas of Lesotho researchers looked at, droughts were linked to an almost five-fold increase in the number of girls selling sex and a three-fold increase in those being forced into sexual relations. Such findings mean climate shocks – which can bring displacement, loss of income and other problems – threaten to undermine progress made in HIV treatment.

SOURCES: Reuters

The Rise of Gambling in East Africa

Gambling in East Africa

Whether by phone, by computer and in betting shops, Ugandan youth are trapped in a vicious cycle of betting. It’s big business and generating much needed tax revenue for the government. But there are growing concerns in Uganda over the social impact. New controls on the industry have been announced by the government, aimed at restricting the activities of foreign betting companies. A recent study conducted in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, found evidence that many who took part in gambling did so as a source of livelihood rather than as a leisure activity.


DRC Musicians, Patronage Networks And The Possibility Of Change

DRC Musicians

Popular musicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), like many of their compatriots, have often been forced to depend on political patronage networks for their livelihoods. It dates back to colonial times, but has lived on through the country’s nearly six decades of independence. The nature of the networks may not change after the inauguration of Félix Tshisekedi as president. That question depends largely on whether or not Tshisekedi is able to take control of the most strategic appointments in the federal bureaucracy and security services.


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