Africa Top10 News

What Ebola Crisis?

Ebola Crisis

One in four people interviewed in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last year believed Ebola wasn’t real, according to a new study, underscoring the enormous challenges healthcare workers are now facing. Health workers said public mistrust is now the biggest obstacle to stopping the epidemic, with many refusing vaccines, resisting treatment and concealing symptoms, as the world’s second-biggest Ebola outbreak spreads. This mistrust resulted in people being 15 times less likely to seek medical treatment at an Ebola health centre, according to the study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. The study, released on Wednesday, was based on interviews conducted last September, about a month after the outbreak began. It comes as the number of probable and confirmed cases exceeds 1,000.

SOURCES: AL JAZEERA

Africa to Make its Own Drugs 

Aids drug factory

Construction has started on a multi-million dollar Aids drug factory that will become the largest in Africa when it opens later this year. The $100m facility will bring 1,000 jobs to Kenya and reduce the continent’s reliance on European imports.The drugs, which will be made in Nairobi in a partnership between the government, the Global Fund and local drug manufacturers will dramatically reduce Kenya’s spending on its Aids epidemic. The new production will also help to tackle the problem of counterfeit drugs. Kenyan police have recently made a number of arrests involving Chinese criminal cartels running fake antiretrovirals. The factory, which will supply 23 African countries, will also be able to manufacture drugs to fight malaria and tuberculosis. Most of the drugs will be under patent from European parent companies, including GlaxoSmithKline.

SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN

The Art Curator who Shared Africa with the World

Okwui Enwezor

Over two decades Okwui Enwezor emerged as a dominant and highly influential voice in curatorial practice and contemporary art history. Born in Nigeria in 1963, Enwezor not only introduced many artists and works to calcified Western canons. He was also a trailblazer in roles that had historically been occupied by Europeans. His brilliant conceptual rigor was realized in exhibitions that often felt larger than life. His curatorial style was often a mash up, combining unexpected encounters between art, documentary, popular culture and the archive; between different media, and between past and present.

SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA

Buhari Urged not to Forget Missing Chibok Girls

Missing Chibok Girls

The Chibok mass abduction in 2014 triggered a global outcry and sparked the creation of the “Bring Back Our Girls Movement” in Nigeria. Today, parents of the girls, like Sule Kwari, still hope their children will return home one day. “We’ve been coming from time to time to search for our girls. Sometimes when we come, we have to wait for the sun to go down, some people faint from the heat and sometimes we go back very starved.” The advocacy group says the government is not doing enough to ensure the release of the remaining girls. Although the group has been seeing fewer people at its rallies, coordinator Gapani Yanga says they will not relent until the government takes action.

SOURCES: VOA

New Species Alert: Madagascar’s Mini Frogs

Madagascar’s Mini Frogs

The African island in the Indian Ocean has more than 350 frog species, giving it possibly the highest frog diversity per square kilometre of any country in the world. And many of these frogs are very small. Researchers have added to the knowledge of these tiny species by describing five new species as belonging to the group of frogs commonly referred to as ‘narrow-mouthed’ frogs. Researchers have dubbed three of the new species as “Mini” – a group that is wholly new to science. When a whole group or “genus” like this is new to science, it needs a name, so that information about it can be accumulated with a fixed anchor. “We also wanted to have a bit of fun. And so, we named the species Mini mum, Mini scule, and Mini ature. Adults of the two smallest species – Mini mum and Mini scule – are 8–11 mm, and even the largest member of the genus, Mini ature, at 15 mm, could sit on your thumbnail with room to spare.” The other two new species, Rhombophryne proportionalis and Anodonthyla eximia, are also just 11–12 mm. The findings suggests that the evolution of body size in Madagascar’s miniature frogs has been more dynamic than previously understood. And future studies will hopefully shed light on the interplay between the ecology and evolution of these remarkably diverse frogs.

SOURCES: THE CONVERSATION

How Mesh Networks can Provide Internet Access in Africa

nternet Access in Africa

With data costs in South Africa amongst the highest on the continent, how can poor rural communities prepare to get online and join the fourth industrial revolution? Well, the village of Mankosi has been at the forefront of an experiment to bridge the internet gap and make cheap wi-fi a reality. And it’s a project that could have major implications for similar communities around the world.

SOURCES: BBC

Algerian Protesters are Coming for the Whole Cabinet

Algerian Protesters

Hundreds of Algerians rallied again on Thursday to criticize not just Bouteflika but also the political system, which for decades has been built around veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France, military officers and business tycoons. “Thieves, you have destroyed the country,” they chanted. The General Union of Algerian Workers have been a long and staunch supporter of the president, has also said it supported the army call for Bouteflika to step down. Under the constitution, the chairman of parliament’s upper house, would serve as caretaker president for at least 45 days after Bouteflika’s departure.

SOURCES: REUTERS AFRICA

Rebuilding Nigeria

Rebuilding Nigeria

Nigeria plans to spend $20bn on infrastructure over the next 10 years and will introduce an infrastructure bond in 2019 as Africa’s biggest oil producer seeks to address challenges in revenue generation. The government will partner with other stakeholders to raise funding. A committee comprised of the ministers of finance, budget, trade and investment, and works, housing and power, as well as other government agencies, was immediately set up to work out modalities. While the West African nation has mostly used the Eurobond market for its external funding in recent years, it will prioritise borrowing from concessional lenders such as the World Bank and African Development Bank as it looks to rein in rising interest payments.

SOURCES: BUSINESS DAY LIVE

How Egypt’s Temples were Built

Egypt’s Temples

An ancient port used to transport stones for the construction of temples and obelisks has been discovered in Egypt. The port on the Nile’s west bank extends over 100 meters (328 feet) and lies about 200 meters from a large quarry, according to Mustafa Waziri, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. River silt and greenery were cleared from the area, revealing inscriptions and mechanisms for tying the boats. Gebel el-Silsila is an important source of sandstone in Egypt. Archaeologists say it was widely used from the 18th dynasty into the modern era. The port’s discovery is the latest in a series of recent archaeological announcements. Egypt is hoping to increase tourism interest in a destination that suffered following a 2011 uprising.

SOURCES: CNN

Here’s what has Patrons in Kinshasa Intrigued

Patrons in Kinshasa

Fred who is offering the services of a mobile phone company to users, has been drawing a lot of attention as it toured public places across the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many people visiting the robot are fascinated by the artificial intelligence rather than the sales services it offered. The mobile phone company that owns the robot aims to reduce the number of agents currently providing the services of answering subscribers’ questions. The robot was conceptualized in DR Congo but its operating system was created and assembled in Russia. “ The particularity is that its content and personalization is the result of Congolese ingenuity. We have engineers here at Vodacom Congo who work every day on technological products that can improve subscribers’ present and help them build the future. They worked fundamentally on the content of the robot in order to personalize it.”

SOURCES: AFRICA NEWS

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