Africa Top10 News

Solving the Real Challenge to South Africa’s Water Problems

South Africa’s Water Problems

Professor Sue Harrison, from the University of Cape Town’s chemical engineering department, is a pioneer of both bioprocess engineering (putting nature, often in the form of algae or bacteria, to work in industry, cities, businesses and elsewhere) and transdisciplinarity (she’s worked at the interface of chemistry, engineering and the life sciences for more than 30 years). Now, as the director of the Future Water Institute, UCT’s interdisciplinary research center, she is taking both obsessions to their logical extremes in a quest to improve the prognosis for water-starved South Africa, a country that, according to doomsday predictions, could run out of water by 2030.

SOURCES: OZY

The African Hotel from Star Wars to be Demolished

Hotel du Lac in Tunis

Much of the shooting for the original Star Wars movies took place in Tunisia, and legend has it that one local landmark made a powerful impression on its creator, George Lucas. The influence of Hotel du Lac in Tunis, shaped like an upside-down pyramid with serrated edges, would later be seen in the fictional Sandcrawler vehicle used by the Jawas of the Tatooine desert planet in the film. The brutalist hotel designed by Italian architect Raffaele Contigiani features 416 rooms across ten floors of increasing width. In February, architect and activist Sami Aloulou announced on a famous Tunisian radio station that the hotel was scheduled for imminent demolition. Aloulou’s statement prompted an outcry on social media from architecture lovers. A petition was swiftly launched to save “one of Tunisia’s premier brutalist structures – important to the country and to the world.

SOURCES: CNN

How to Develop a Skilled and Entrepreneurial Workforce in Africa

Workforce in Africa

Africa’s schools are still prioritizing rote learning, theory over practice, and outdated curricula that do not respond to the changing needs of the job market, and few to no schools teach entrepreneurship to young people. Across Africa, as the economies fail to create enough jobs for the over 10 million young people entering the workforce each year, enterprise development remains the best pathway to creating employment and ensuring sustainable livelihoods, yet few governments have mainstreamed entrepreneurship education into their curricula. Across Africa, there is a growing trend of programs promoting entrepreneurship as the silver bullet to many of the continent’s challenges. Pitch competitions are many and varied, each one targeting a different demographic or segment of industry: youth, women, creatives, inventors, agro-processors and so on. The expectation and intention is to identify, breed and groom young people who have developed ideas that can have a catalytic impact on the continent, and to nurture their dreams and businesses to scale.

SOURCES: FORBES AFRICA

Ghana’s Pop-up Churches and Noise Pollution

Ghana’s Pop-up Churches

In Accra, you are never far from religious sermons. According to one estimate, there are approximately 10 churches per sq km, and open-air preaching, whether on public transport, in bus terminals or at road intersections, is commonplace. The population of Greater Accra was about 4 million in 2010, but the city’s rapid growth means that number is expected to reach nearly 10 million by 2037. And as the population increases and the city gets noisier, residents are becoming more willing to fight back – resulting in a rise in noise complaints. According to the city’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 70% of noise complaints are about churches. Authorities and residents across Accra point to what are known locally as “one-man churches” – small, independent evangelical churches with no organisational structure – as the biggest offenders. They spring up in backyards, unfinished buildings, under trees and on porches. And despite their small congregations, they often use loudspeakers and musical instruments during worship.

SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN

Africa’s Most Valuable Company makes Savvy International Bets

Naspers

A long-held ambition of Naspers has been to narrow the margin between its market value and the value of its wildly successful $32 million investment for a 46.5% stake in Tencent, the Chinese internet company, back in 2011. With that stake now worth $134 billion—about 30% more valuable than Naspers itself—CEO Bob van Dijk has been increasingly vocal about exploring ways to close that gap, including courting a wider pool of investors beyond South Africa’s capital markets where Naspers is currently listed. Naspers’ latest move is to form a NewCo, a new group comprising of its international internet assets, which will be listed on Euronext, the European stock exchange based in Amsterdam. Naspers will own approximately 75% of NewCo and will retain its primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange after the proposed listing scheduled for the second half of 2019.

SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA

The Effect of Cyclone Idai on Health Services

Effect of Cyclone Idai

Mozambique said five cases of cholera had been confirmed around the badly damaged port city of Beira, after a powerful cyclone killed more than 700 people across a swath of Southern Africa. The relief focus has increasingly turned to preventing or containing what many believe will be inevitable outbreaks of diseases like malaria and cholera. Health workers were also battling 2,700 cases of acute watery diarrhoea – which could be a symptom of cholera. The World Health Organization is dispatching 900,000 doses of the oral cholera vaccine to affected areas from a global stockpile. The shipment is expected to be sent later this week.

SOURCES: AL JAZEERA

This is what’s on the Minds of Africans

Minds of Africans

Nearly one in three people living in West and Central Africa fear losing their homes and land in the next five years, according to a survey of 33 countries, making it the region where people feel most insecure about their property. More than two in five respondents from Burkina Faso and Liberia worry their home could be taken away from them, revealed Prindex, a global property rights index which gauges citizens’ views. In West Africa, “a history of governments and investors seizing land for large projects has made people more insecure,” said Malcolm Childress, executive director of the Global Land Alliance, a Washington-based think tank that compiles the index. Insecurity can lead to people struggling to plan for their futures, holding back entire economies, Childress said. “In countries like Rwanda, however, which are mapping and registering customary land, that uncertainty is much lower,” adding that only 8 percent of the country’s respondents feared losing their homes.

SOURCES: VOA

The Countdown for Bouteflika to Step Down Starts

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

The leader of Algeria’s ruling coalition partner RND party, Ahmed Ouyahia, on Wednesday urged President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign. “The Democratic National Rally recommends the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika according to the fourth paragraph of the article 102 of the constitution,” a statement from the party said. Algeria’s powerful army chief of staff called on Tuesday for a constitutional move against Bouteflika, signalling an end to his 20-year rule. Protesters rejected the army chief’s proposal to make a constitutional move against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, adding demonstrations will continue until the political system changes. Over the years of his reign, Bouteflika has won three elections, implemented several reforms and enjoyed the backing of the army to help him govern the country. Bouteflika suffered a stroke in 2013, that has left him physically unable to address the nation, only speaking to Algerians through letters.

SOURCES: AFRICA NEWS

Countries Confirmed for Pope’s Africa Tour

Pope's Africa Tour

Pope Francis will visit the African nations of Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius in September. The Sept. 4-10 trip will take him to the capitals of the three countries, Maputo, Antananarivo and Port Louis, the Vatican spokesman said, without giving further details. Mozambique has been hit by a devastating cyclone and floods that have killed hundreds of people. The area around Beira has been the hardest hit.

SOURCES: REUTERS AFRICA

Meet First Woman to Win the Kenya Motor Sport Federation Motor Sports Personality of the Year

Tuta Mionki

As a rally navigator, Tuta Mionki helps drivers avoid obstacles and win races. The human resources consultant spends most of her spare time taking part in the sport and wants to encourage more women to enter motor sports. Ms Mionki holds the Kenya Motor Sports Federation Awards for the best co-driver of the season 2015 (division 3) and 2016 (2-wheel-drive). Motorsports remains a predominantly male. In 2012, there were about 15 women involved in rallying events, but that that number has decreased. A navigator’s job is to be the drivers ‘eyes’. A day before the race, Tuta goes out to recce the route and take notes so that on the day of the race, the driver knows what to expect. “Even though the driver can see the road, it helps if they concentrate on the driving,” she explains.

SOURCES: BBC

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