Africa Top10 News

Kenyan Hospital Opens Human Milk Bank

Human Milk Bank Kenya

Kenya’s first human milk bank has opened at Pumwani Maternity Hospital. The process of establishment of human milk banking in Kenya started in 2016. It was spearheaded by the NGO PATH, in partnership with APHRC and Kenya’s Ministry of Health, among other partners. It was rolled out in two phases. During phase one we assessed people’s perceptions and acceptability of using donated human milk. We also looked at how feasible it would be to set a bank up. The results were encouraging. About 90% of participants were positive about it, 80% would donate their breast milk, and about 60% indicated that they would allow their children to be fed with donated human milk.


The Role of the Media in Ethiopia

Media in Ethiopia

One of Ethiopia’s most prominent journalists publishes his weekly paper with a staff of just four. The country has imprisoned U.S.-educated Eskinder Nega multiple times, most recently for six years. But under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government, he and some dozen other jailed journalists have been released and are free to write. His new weekly Ethiopis takes a strident tone, especially against the city administration and activists from Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group, newly empowered by their fellow Oromo, Abiy. He sees his paper and his activism as part of his long struggle for democracy. Others see it as a danger to Ethiopia’s delicate political state and as part of a wave of news outlets that are taking sides and worsening tensions in the country’s many conflicts.In the 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, Ethi­o­pia rose 40 places, from 150 out of 180 countries to 110 — the biggest improvement this year in any country.


Egyptians Vote on Keeping their President Longer

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Citizens are voting in a three-day referendum on proposed constitutional amendments that could see President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s rule extended to 2030. Amnesty International said the proposed constitutional amendments would “facilitate the authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression, association and assembly, erode people’s rights, and exacerbate the human rights crisis in the country”. The ballot will also see voters decide on whether an upper parliamentary chamber should be created. Omar Ashour, director of the security studies programme at the Doha Institute, told Al Jazeera the new body would likely work to further serve the interests of the Sisi government. Sisi, 64, was re-elected in March 2018 with more than 97 percent of the vote, in a ballot boycotted by large swaths of the country’s political opposition after several potential candidates dropped out citing intimidation or were arrested.


A Politically Engaged Sudanese Diaspora Blamed for Revolution

Monkey Puzzle in Paddington

The Monkey Puzzle in Paddington is a modest west London pub, but in recent weeks it has become unexpectedly famous thousands of miles away in Sudan. The reason for its sudden notoriety has nothing to do with its drinks or its atmosphere – but accusations that, despite its innocuous appearance, it is in fact a hub of revolutionary conspiracy. “They sit there in London and plan the demonstrations,” fumed pro-government journalist Hussein Khoujali in a televised denunciation as the decades-old military regime of president Omar al-Bashir crumbled earlier this month. “The communists are in control of that pub and all its activities.” The attack left both the pub’s landlord and London’s Sudanese community equally bemused. “The diaspora played a very significant role in the downfall of Bashir,” said Professor Munzoul Assal, director of the Peace Research Institute at the University of Khartoum. “They were very active in social media, lobbied governments in their new homes, and organised themselves politically by staging demonstrations across Europe, the US and Australia.” They have played key roles in the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been leading the protests and has branches around the world. And many of those forced to leave, through political or economic pressure, say Bashir’s oppression has made them more determined to reclaim their country.


Office Selfies in DRC Reserve

Office Selfies in DRC

Two gorillas at the Virunga National Park in Congo looked extraordinarily human-like as they posed for selfies with anti-poaching rangers. Virunga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has 600 dedicated rangers and two of them snapped the heart-warming series of selfies with the gorillas who can weight up to 400lbs. One shows the gorillas standing upright behind the men, while another titled ‘family time’ shows one of the rangers, Patrick Sadiki with the primates, Ndakasi and Matabishi cuddling up to him. The latest picture, posted on Thursday, garnered over 12 thousand likes and 14 thousand shares on Facebook at the time of writing. According to the park’s website, the area has been ‘deeply’ impacted by war and armed conflict over the last two decades and so the fearless work of the rangers is crucial. In total, 179 rangers have died in the line of duty.  


Ghana’s Unsung Health Tech Sector Gets Global Validation 

Ghana’s Health Tech Sector

There have been no colonial-era helmets or Trump-style gaffes—just business. The daughter and adviser of president Trump has spent the past three days visiting Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire as she promotes the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity program, an initiative to support women across developing countries. The fund’s big-picture goal is to empower 50 million women across developing countries over the next six years and is in line with Ivanka Trump’s self-branding as a women’s empowerment advocate as she continues to build an international and diplomatic profile. While in Ethiopia, where she met the country’s first female president Sahle-Work Zewde, Trump announced the launch of 2X Africa, a $350 million initiative to support investment in women in Africa  in partnership with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. In Côte d’Ivoire, Ivanka Trump met with vice president Daniel Kablan Duncan and other government officials at the Presidential Palace where she discussed removing legal and cultural barriers to women’s economic empowerment in the West African country.


More African Children Get to Learn the Chinese Language

Chinese Language Africa

By 2020, Mandarin will be officially taught in all Kenyan schools alongside French, Arabic and German, which are already on the curriculum. Kenya is not the only country teaching its youngsters Chinese; in South Africa, Mandarin has been an optional language course for students since 2014, and in December 2018, Uganda introduced Mandarin to secondary students in selected schools. Confucius launched its first outpost in Africa at the University of Nairobi in 2005 and has since expanded to 48 centers across the continent. They are run by Hanban (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) and are part-funded by the Chinese government and the universities that host them. China ranks second only to France as the country with the most number of cultural institutions in Africa; a remarkable rise given China has no colonial ties with any country on the continent unlike France and the UK, which have traditionally used cultural institutes such as Institut Français or the British Council to wield influence abroad.


Targeting Different Pain Points within West Africa’s Emergency Medical System

West Africa’s Emergency Medical System

As an intern at the Department of Cardiology in Yaoundé General Hospital in 2009, Arthur Zang realized that Cameroon had only 40 specialist cardiologists for a population of 19 million people at the time — which forced citizens, many of them poor, to travel hundreds of miles for consultations. That led him to invent the Cardio Pad. “It is very difficult to find a very good device for ECG or blood pressure [measurement] in rural hospitals,” says Zang. Cardio Pad, an electrocardiogram kit that launched commercially in Cameroon in 2016, lets local medical practitioners carry out heart tests and send them electronically to distant specialists who can promptly interpret results and respond with diagnoses. It has already spread to Gabon and Kenya, and to Nepal, 5,000 miles away. What’s driving West Africa’s emergence as a laboratory for innovation in emergency medical care is the alignment of multiple factors, experts say, starting with the explosion in software-led technology businesses across the region and, indeed, the entire continent.


Equalling the Playing Field 

Nigeria’s women's football

Nigeria’s women’s football [soccer] team, the Super Falcons, has dominated the African Women’s Championship, winning nine titles since 1991. But the players have complained of low salaries, delayed paychecks, and being treated as second-class players to the men’s team. The women’s team is more dependent on government funding than the men’s team, the Super Eagles, which has won three African titles. The men receive more corporate sponsorships and higher attendance at matches. Players on the men’s team receive bonuses of up to $5,000 each for winning a big match, while members of the women’s team rarely see bonuses of more than $1,500. The men also receive higher daily stipends. The Sports Ministry’s Usman Haruna says while public demand and corporate sponsorship affect salaries, the women are better paid than they used to be.


[WATCH] Naomi Campbell on Race and Modelling

Naomi Campbell

Speaking in Lagos, Nigeria, where she is attending the Arise Fashion week, an event that showcases diversity and the best fashion designers from across Africa, the British supermodel says she was rejected from a recent campaign because of her “skin colour”. She told the BBC’s Mayeni Jones that she was baffled when her picture wasn’t used, given her family ‘genes’.


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