How Social Media Shapes the Discourse in Kenya
Kenyans, social media is not simply a space to post pictures of new clothes or
delicious food, or to have conversations about sports. It is a space where some
of the most exuberant and insightful political conversations are happening.
Digital spaces have been used to conceive of world-changing technology, to plan
and execute protests, to shape academic discourse, as well as to shift
political conversations in ways that include and exclude power. Social media
especially has become a weathervane of the political winds in Kenya, giving
more space to voices that are ordinarily left out of political conversations
SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA
Tunisians Demand Answers after Baby Deaths
Crowds have been gathering outside the Rabta maternity hospital,
where 15 babies died of septic shock between 7-8 March. Health Minister
Abderraouf Cherif resigned on Saturday over the deaths. His interim replacement
said preliminary findings suggest an infection acquired at the hospital caused
the deaths. On Monday, acting Health Minister Sonia Ben Cheikh said samples
taken from the maternity section at the hospital were being analysed at three
laboratories to ascertain the cause of death.
SOURCES: PREMIUM TIMES
Black Boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Crash Probed
French investigators took possession of the black boxes recovered from the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash, seeking clues about the causes of a disaster that has grounded Boeing’s 737 Max fleet worldwide. Authorities from the bureau of civil aviation (BEA) safety say it may take several days to complete the first analysis of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. Under international rules, Ethiopia is leading the investigation, but the BEA will canalyse the black boxes as an adviser. The US National Transportation Safety Board will also have an influential role as representative of the country of manufacture. The choice of the BEA followed what experts say appears to have been a tug-of-war between national agencies, with Germany initially invited to do the analysis. The two crashes have shaken the aviation industry, scared passengers worldwide and put significant pressure on the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer to prove the safety of a model intended to be the standard for decades.
SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN
Malawi has been Hard-hit by Flooding
The death toll inflicted by floods in Malawi has risen sharply
to 56 following search-and-rescue missions in the most remote affected areas.
Powerful tropical storm Idai is poised to bring more rain and flooding to the
country, which is already reeling from recent weather. Thousands of flood
survivors are sleeping on the floor in a half-finished hospital in Makina
village, Zomba southern Malawi, one of the areas worst hit by flooding. Their
homes and belongings were swept away by rushing water. Four days of non-stop
rainfall swelled the Phalombe River until it burst through a long dyke built
last year for protection.
SOURCES: AL JAZEERA
The Ivorian Chocolate Factory with a Low Carbon Footprint
When you step into Mon Choco’s factory, you will find a grinding bike, surrounded by large trays of carefully sorted cocoa beans. Poured in a funnel, beans are transformed into a paste by a grinder activated through pedaling. The chocolate factory is run by Mroueh, a 40-year-old Ivorian of French-Lebanese descent, who oversees the process from the time the beans are selected to when they are transformed into candies, producing organic and environmentally-friendly chocolate bars. “The bicycle grinder is an opportunity for us to practice our eco-friendly philosophy. We really want to have a minimal impact on the environment by using minimal electricity, and combining it with a short work out which also makes it a playful process,” said Mroueh.
SOURCES: AFRICA NEWS
Innovative Sustainable Business: A Three Trillion-Dollar Opportunity
In East Africa, communities around the continent’s largest water body, Lake Victoria, regard the water hyacinth as a great menace that clogs the lake and hampers their fishing activities. But in Lagos, Nigeria, some groups of women have learned how to convert the invasive weed into a resource, providing them with the raw material needed to make handicrafts. So far, over 350 women, comprising mostly widows but also including students and teachers, from riparian rural communities have been trained on how to make finished products from water hyacinth, and they all sell them locally.
A Succession Battle Brews in Botswana
A political feud between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, Ian Khama, has exposed divisions within the Botswana Democratic Party as it’s preparing to hold a leadership vote on April 5 and contest general elections later this year. The rift is unusual in the world’s biggest diamond producer after Russia and poses a threat to the party’s ability to retain the power it’s held since independence. This is the worst crisis since taking power with independence from the U.K. in 1966.
[WATCH] South Africa Takes a Hard Look at its Churches
Rape and fraud scandals involving fake pastors have prompted
calls for regulation of churches in South Africa. There have been a number of
high-profile cases in recent months involving disgraced pastors. President
Cyril Ramaphosa has even got involved, urging South Africans to come together
to curb bogus pastors. Victims of alleged sexual abuse have detailed their
experiences to the BBC and criticised the invulnerability of so-called men of
God who use their position of authority as a cover for abuse.
The Good, Bad and the Ugly in South Sudan
Since 1992, humanitarian organization Medair has been one of the
most active relief organizations in what was then southern Sudan. Its CEO David
Verboom first visited the region 18 years ago. He returned for the first time,
to what is now South Sudan, in December to see how Medair’s relief operations
have been going since the revitalized peace deal was signed in September. On
the positive: Medair focuses mainly on health care, providing clinics for
mothers and children and nutrition programs. The organisation has also expanded
a program in South Sudan called WASH, or Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, which
brings quality water and water sources to the South Sudanese. South Sudan has struggled
to demilitarise and access to basic infrastructure has still hampered efforts
to get relief and aid to all.
Growing Influence of African Music on British and French Rap
The shift is partly driven by demographic change. The proportion
of Britons from a black African background doubled between 2001 and 2011, when
the last national census took place. The strong influence of African music on
British rap derives from the popularity of Afrobeats, a blend of West African,
Caribbean and American urban music, which originated in the 2000s in Nigeria
and Ghana, former British colonies. It crossed over into British urban music in
the early 2010s. The first Afrobeats hit in Britain’s top 10 came in 2012 with
D’Banj’s “Oliver Twist.” The song’s video featured Kanye West, who signed
D’Banj to his record label.
SOURCES: NEW YORK TIMES