Africa Top10 News

Senegalese-born Media Advisor Named as French Government Spokesperson

Sibeth Ndiaye

Sibeth Ndiaye, a 39-year-old born in Dakar, only obtained French citizenship in 2016 while working as a communications advisor for Macron’s presidential campaign. She replaces Benjamin Griveaux, whose resignation last week came ahead of a run for Paris mayor next year. After growing up with a politician father and a mother who was president of Senegal’s Constitutional Council, Ndiaye moved to Paris to study at university and became a leftwing student activist before joining the Socialist Party in 2002. Ndiaye gained notoriety after a documentary of Macron’s grassroots campaign was released shortly after his sweeping win of the presidency in May 2017. The film, “Behind the Scenes of a Victory,” shows an outspoken Ndiaye who doesn’t hesitate to harangue reporters over what she considers unfavourable coverage.


Here’s Why Eritrea has Taken US Rapper’s Death Hard

Nipsey Hussle

Eritrea’s Minister of Information Yemane Meskel has paid tribute to rapper Nipsey Hussle who was shot dead in Los Angeles on Sunday. The rapper’s father is from the African nation and Hussle visited Eritrea in April 2018 where he sat down with the Ministry of Information’s website for a wide-ranging interview about his life and experiences growing up in Los Angeles in a culture of gang violence. During his interview, Hussle spoke of his love for Eritrea and his desire to connect with his extended family after fourteen years since he previously visited the country. Billion Temesghen, the Eritrean journalist who interviewed him last year, wrote on Twitter: “Eritreans worldwide feel sorrow for the loss of a talented star, a loving family man & a compassionate compatriot. Condolences to us all.” Hussle’s debut studio album, Victory Lap, was nominated for best rap album at this year’s Grammy Awards.


Recasting African Historical Figures in Storytelling Platforms

African Historical Figures

In the 19th century, large parts of present day Zambia was ruled by a fierce chief, whose kingdom was at least twice as large as any in the region. And when Portuguese slavers tried to subjugate the kingdom for its trade roots, the chief waged war and won.  The Women’s History Museum of Zambia launched an animated podcast series to balance that narrative. In about two-minute animations, the web series tells the stories of women from between the 17th and 19th century Zambia. The stories have categorized these women according to how they challenge stereotypes, “The Feminist,” “The Innovator,” “The Power Broker,” and premiering with “The General,” Mwape. The podcasts will be published each week on the museum’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The creators would love to expand it to historical women across the continent.


Details Emerge of the Final Moments of an Ethiopian Airlines Flight

Ethiopian Airlines Flight

An anti-stalling system on the plane, a Boeing 737 Max, has been blamed for the disaster which killed all 157 people on board. Soon after take-off – and just 450ft above the ground – the aircraft’s nose began to pitch down.  One pilot, according to media reports, said to the other “pitch up, pitch up!” before their radio died. The plane crashed only six minutes into its flight. Leaks this week from the crash investigation in Ethiopia and in the US suggest an automatic anti-stall system was activated at the time of the disaster. The Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight-control feature was also implicated in a fatal crash involving a Lion Air flight in Indonesia last October. Boeing has redesigned the software so that it will disable MCAS if it receives conflicting data from its sensors. As part of the upgrade, Boeing will install an extra warning system on all 737 Max aircraft, which was previously an optional safety feature. Neither of the two planes that were involved in the fatal crashes carried the alert systems, which are designed to warn pilots when sensors produce contradictory readings.


Global Media Firms Banned in Burundi

Media Firms Banned in Burundi

Burundi will continue to block broadcasts from two international media organizations and expand restrictions on their operations. At a meeting in Bujumbura, the president of the National Council of Communication, Nestor Bankumukunzi, said the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Voice of America are no longer allowed to broadcast, effective immediately. The ban is indefinite and extends to journalists, both foreign and domestic, who provide information to either broadcaster. The BBC condemned the decision, calling it “a serious blow against media freedom.” The government was upset by a documentary the BBC broadcast last year, she said, about members of Burundi’s intelligence service operating secret sites where dissidents are detained and tortured. Burundi has accused VOA of employing a journalist who opposes the government, Nicholson added. Patrick Nduwimana, the former director of Bonesha FM Radio in Burundi, is “wanted for participating in deadly violence that preceded the May attempted coup.”


The Themes Catholics Need to Note in Africa

Catholics Themes Africa

The pope’s two-day visit was aimed at boosting Christian-Muslim ties and showing solidarity with Morocco’s ever-growing migrant community. Morocco, which is almost 100% Muslim, has marketed itself as an oasis of religious tolerance in a region torn by militancy. It has offered training to Muslim preachers from Africa and Europe on what it describes as moderate Islam. Francis, making the first papal visit to Morocco in 34 years, praised the monarch for providing “sound training to combat all forms of extremism, which so often lead to violence and terrorism, and which, in any event, constitute an offence against religion and against God himself”. Activist Jenny Tillyard addresses the issue of unwanted pregnancy and a ‘demographic disaster’ in Africa, while Judith A Daniels says the church needs to legitimise women’s much-needed accession to leadership roles. In traditional societies in Africa, a girl’s reproductive capacity was “owned” by her birth family, and there were recognised customs to enforce damages for “seduction”, which to some extent protected young girls.


Xenophobia Rears its Ugly Head in South Africa

Xenophobia in South Africa

Julius Malema, leader of South Africa’s third largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, has slammed recent xenophobic attacks in the country cautioning nationals to desist from scapegoating others. “Stop Xenophobia! There is no foreigner that took your jobs. If you fail in business, do not blame other people,” Malema told a crowd during an electioneering campaign stop in the Free State province over the weekend. His call follows on the heels of an outright condemnation of the attacks by President Cyril Ramaphosa late last week. In addressing a meeting, the president said it was unacceptable that other nationals will be targeted in a country as South Africa.


NHIF Reform Critical To Affordable Health For All In Kenya

NHIF Reform

One million Kenyans fall into poverty every year due to catastrophic out of pocket health expenditures. For the almost four in every five Kenyans who lack access to medical insurance, the fear that they are just an accident or serious illness away from destitution. Ill health is easily the most destructive wrecking-ball to any country’s plans for sustainable development, which validates President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to deliver Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2022, as part of his Big Four development agenda. The number of Kenyans who continue to suffer from communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, as well as the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension, present formidable challenges to the country. Among the poorest in Kenya, only 3% have health insurance, which is provided by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). Among the wealthiest, many who also have private cover, this rises to 42%, indicating again that the poorest are at risk of being left behind even further, and do not have an appropriate safety-net to fall back on.


Immigrants from Cape Verde are Transforming this Area’s Image

Cova da Moura

Long considered a no-go area by Lisbon residents, Cova da Moura is a warren of small streets where Cape Verdeans make up two-thirds of the 6,000 residents. They celebrate their home, a tiny archipelago off Africa’s west coast, with music, food and street art – which tourists increasingly want to experience. Made famous by Cape Verde’s singing legend Cesaria Evora, ‘morna’ is a musical mainstay here. The more upbeat ‘funana’ and ‘batuque’ styles, which will feature in pop star Madonna’s upcoming album, are also popular.


How First African Bicycle Information Organization Changed the Game

First African Bicycle

In Uganda, 77 of the country’s 121 districts lack an ambulance service and fewer than 7% of patients arrive at hospital by ambulance. That lack of transport prompted FABIO to develop its first bicycle ambulance service in 2006 in Uganda’s then war-torn northern region. Their goal since has been to create something that is both environmentally friendly and easy to maintain. The ambulances are built by locals, with locally sourced materials, using as a base the black bicycle whose spare parts are easily found in the villages. To address that concern, FABIO introduced the e-scooter, a rechargeable electric bike used in place of bicycles in areas where the terrain is hardened like the region around the Kibibi health centre.


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