Africa Top10 News

The Challenges Facing Kenya’s Aviation Sector

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

A labor strike on Wednesday morning disrupted operations at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the country’s main airport and one of the busiest in Africa. The flag carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) also said its operations were affected, advising customers to expect delays, cancellations, and schedule changes. It also diverted its flights from Sudan and Ghana to Tanzania and the coastal city of Mombasa respectively. The Kenya Aviation Workers Union said they would go on strike over calls to merge the management of both Kenya Airways and the airport in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the loss-making carrier. The deal, they said, is being rushed and would lead to the loss of jobs. For years now, the cash-strapped airline has struggled to turn around its fortunes and revamp its image, especially as it faces stiff competition from other state-owned airlines on the continent like Ethiopian Airlines or from the Gulf like Emirates and Qatar Airways.


Ghanaian-British Model and Activist Gets a Barbie

Adwoa Aboah

Adwoa Aboah got her own Barbie doll to mark the doll’s 60th anniversary on International Women’s Day (March 8). Aboah has been unveiled as a “Shero” doll along with 20 other incredible women – from journalists to cycling champions – who actively inspire the next. Founder of the “really happy” Gurls Talk was introduced to her unique Role Model Barbie at Mattel in Los Angeles in the United States. The doll is dressed in a replica of a Michael Halpern dress, a Stephen Jones Millinery for Halpern turban and Christian Louboutin shoes.


Sudanese Woman Called to Lead the Resistance

Sudanese Professional Association

The Sudanese Professional Association, SPA, have announced the latest protest action it says is in honour of women for their participation in the ongoing ‘uprising.’ The March 7 rallies are a ‘tribute to the women movements’ and are billed to happen at a number of rallying points across the country. SPA has published points from which the protests are to be started. This is the first protest recognizing the role of women in what has been dubbed – the Sudan uprising. The group called a March 5 nationwide sit-down strike which it said was a success having been observed widely across the country.


Nigeria’s Developmental Disabilities Rise

Nigeria’s Developmental Disabilities

Globally, an estimated 53 million children under the age of 5 suffer from developmental disabilities — defined as a severe, chronic disability originating at birth or in childhood, one that restricts sufferers from participating in normal life — according to a study released in late 2018 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Common developmental disabilities include loss of hearing or vision, autism spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disorders and epilepsy. Last year, Nigeria enacted the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, providing a legal framework to halt discrimination against people with disabilities — more or less the adult version of the Child Rights Act adopted in 2003. Activists say a lack of political will to implement existing laws is the biggest setback for Nigeria’s disabled population.


A New Frontier in South Africa’s Wine Industry

South Africa’s Wine Industry

South Africa’s wine industry is centered around Cape Town. But pioneers far to the northeast are forging a new frontier in unlikely surroundings as changing weather patterns test long-held conventions. Cathedral Peak wine estate’s vines grow in the foothills of the Central Drakensberg, or “Dragon Mountains,” the towering range that forms a natural western boundary for KwaZulu-Natal province. Producing wine here at 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) means turning tradition on its head and nurturing grapes in steamy summer rainfall, rather than the Mediterranean climate and cool, wet winters of the much more celebrated Western Cape.


Inside Sierra Leone’s Husband Schools

Sierra Leon sexual and gender-based violence

In February 2019, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio declared a national emergency over sexual and gender-based violence after recorded cases of rape and assault almost doubled over the past year. According to police statistics, reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence increased by almost 50 percent last year to over 8,500, but actual figures are believed to be much higher as most cases go unreported. Gender-based violence is traditionally seen as a taboo topic in Sierra Leone. Only 12 years ago, parliament passed the first gender equality laws in 46 years of independence, following efforts by women’s rights groups. Since 2012, three “Husband Schools” in Sierra Leone have taken on domestic violence by teaching men about women’s health, gender issues, and how to be better husbands.


There’s a $700-billion Opportunity for African Countries

Opportunity for African Countries

This can be achieved over the next five years if they can close the gender gap in mobile-phone ownership, according to GSMA, the global mobile-trade body. It bases that estimate on the commercial opportunity for mobile operators and the expected boost to GDPs as more women get phones. Digital commerce will be a big beneficiary, says a new white paper from consulting firm BFA, commissioned by the Mastercard Foundation. The sector—everything from retail e-commerce and the sharing/gig economy to the platform economy and digital trade—is still just 1% of retail commerce in Africa, compared with 14% and above in countries like the United States and China. Growth could have a massive impact on African countries, with their young and increasingly urban populations. But most governments are not ready. “Most African policymakers do not yet have a clear and comprehensive voice on the issues at stake or a national stance toward them,” writes BFA. Egypt is the only African country with any kind of e-commerce policy.


How a Digital Idea Turned Into a Viable Business to Help Smallholder Farmers

Smallholder Farmers

Six years ago while wondering how best to use her engineering skills, Tanzanian ICT entrepreneur Rose Funja decided to enter an innovation competition. Years later she has turned a digital idea into a viable business that helps smallholder farmers across the East African nation access credit. In Tanzania farmers struggle to obtain credit because many do not have bankable assets or a record of performance to offer as collateral. But Funja had an idea to help farmers, particularly women, obtain proof of land ownership that they could use as collateral to access credit. It was a smart solution: using geographical information system (GIS) technology to generate useful information for farmers.


Do Smart Cities Have a Place in the African Landscape?

African Landscape

Six years ago a major development was announced in South Africa. Billed as a game changer, it was meant to alter the urban footprint of Johannesburg, Africa’s richest city, forever. The Modderfontein New City project was launched and was dubbed as the “New York of Africa”. Early plans showed it was to include 55,000 housing units, 1,468,000 m2 of office space and all the necessary amenities for urban life in the form of a single large-scale urban district. Over the last decade, a variety of developments like Modderfontein, including Eko-Atlantic in Nigeria, New Cairo in Egypt, and Konza Technology City in Kenya, have been touted by both public and private sectors as panaceas for Africa’s urban problems. The thinking is that as the developments are disconnected from the existing urban landscape, they won’t be burdened by crime or informality. However, these projects can take badly needed resources away from the marginalised areas of the city.


Planting Seeds of Pride in African Migrants

African Migrants

Nigerian-American designer Wale Oyejide visited the southern Italian region of Calabria to photograph and film some of the migrants who have helped repopulate the deserted towns of this depressed area of Italy. Selected migrants were his models and wore his creations. The designer’s aim was to draw attention to an integration that has proven to be successful both for migrants and Italians. Calabria is an Italian region that has largely been forgotten. It is not on the tourist track because it lacks the comforts and amenities desired by people on vacation. For years now, many young people have chosen to move away and go north in search of jobs, leaving its beautiful hilltop villages and towns abandoned. But in more recent times, the many migrants arriving on Italian shores have been responsible for breathing new life here.


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