Here’s why Obesity is a Growing Problem in African Countries
The middle class boom in many African cities has inevitably resulted in several life style changes but one is proving particularly dangerous. A rise in supermarket shopping spurred by rapid urbanization has resulted in locals eating higher amounts of processed food than fresh food typically found at traditional markets. A new study by International Food Policy Research Institute says the new habit could prove costly in the long-term. The study analysed diet choices and nutrition in urban Kenya and found that shopping in supermarkets “significantly increases” body mass index (BMI) and a higher consumption of processed and highly processed foods.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
From Fixing Airbuses to Fixing Beehives
Khaled Bouchoucha, 30, calls himself an agripreneur. He is part of a team who developed Smart Bee, a card with sensors that transmit brood temperature and other measurements to the cloud, the information allows vets employed by his company, IRIS Technologies, to advise beekeepers on how to optimize hive health. IRIS monitors the hives, trains the beekeepers and certifies the resulting honey — all under the scrutiny of a specialist. Tunisia’s agriculture industry generated $614 million in 2017 and needs its pollinators to be sustainable. Bees are an essential ingredient to global agriculture for their pollinating prowess, but climate change and disease strain their ability to do the job. In Tunisia, winter hive losses between 2016 and 2017 climbed to 44 percent.
Africa’s Eyes are Now on Senegal
The beginning of the FIFA world cup hasn’t been a good one for Africa. Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Nigeria have all lost their first matches and the pressure is on for the last African team in the tournament to make a promising entry. Senegal forward Sadio Mane has been described as one of the best players in the world and his team hopes this will be realised in their first match against Poland on Tuesday. The coach is also relying on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led Senegal to the 2002 quarter-finals, to charge the squad in their appearance in the football showpiece after a 16-year hiatus.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera, KickOff Magazine
Nigeria to Close Border Where Rice is Smuggled into the Country
Nigeria is among a number of African countries seeking to increase local rice production and become self-sufficient in the near future. The country’s Agriculture Minister, Audu Ogbeh, claims that “poisonous materials” and “arsenic” are present in rice imported from China and South East Asia into Africa. The minister, is the first Nigerian rice grower to mill rice free of stones, gave a warning to people who wanted to continue consuming the contaminated rice that, “Arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us. Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they are very sophisticated. Welcome to poison!”
SOURCES: Vanguard, BBC Africa
How Women and Indigenous People are Disrupting the African Safari Industry
African travel, especially in the safari segment, is a man’s world. Southern Africa performs better but challenges remain for women to combine careers in the safari industry with family life. In East Africa the lack of female guide accommodation complicates the situation. Guides on tour often sleep in dorms and lodges cannot accommodate women in these shared spaces. Despite these challenges, more women than ever are starting out as boutique tour operators, travel agents, lodge managers and bush pilots.
Gabon Unveils Top Notch Ebola Facility
At the Franceville International Centre for Medical Research, one isolated building stands behind an electrified fence, video cameras and draconian security measures. The locked-down P4 lab is built to handle the world’s most dangerous viruses, including Ebola. Specialized teams will study and confirm a strain of Ebola as well as hunt for clues such as the virus’s ancestry and evolution, which are vital for tracking the spread of the disease.
SOURCES: VOA, AFP
Namibia Wants Germany to Return its Heirlooms
Namibia’s Ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb has appealed to his hosts for the restitution of the Stone Cross and other cultural objects such as the Witbooi Bible to be returned. The Stone Cross of Cape Cross, also known as the Padrão, forms part of the permanent exhibition at a German museum and can be found among German colonial objects dating back to the 19th century.
Malawi’s First Female President Wants to Go Back into Politics
Former president Joyce Banda recently returned home after four years of self-imposed exile. Banda fled in 2014 when she lost power after being embroiled in a massive graft scandal, called cashgate, in which government officials siphoned off millions of dollars of public money. She refutes any part in the scandal and will contest at her People’s Party (PP) elective convention due in coming months.
SOURCES: Malawi 24, Business Day Live
Graça Machel Appeals for the African Child
A recent conference on Access to Justice for Children in Africa, convened by the African Child Policy Forum in Addis Ababa, made it clear that young people are poorly served by the justice systems meant to protect them. As board member of the forum, Machel called to action governments, international agencies, research institutions and experts as well as the media to highlight the injustices children are facing in judicial systems.
SOURCES: The Guardian
The Ancient Form of Nigerian Boxing that’s Sweeping the Internet
The Daily Mail describes Dambe as a fightclub but it is a style of boxing associated with the Hausa people of West Africa. It started out as more of a wrestling sport, known as “kokowa” in the Hausa language, Dambe today is a “striking sport” where one fist is used as a spear to strike an opponent and the other as a shield. Al Jazeera visited a tournament and found out that winners receive prizes in the form of money, cattle, presents from fans, or motorcycles and cars. Due to the advent of social media the sport has won over viewers from within Nigeria and across the globe.
SOURCES: Daily Mail, Al Jazeera