Africa Top10 News

1RIP to Kenyan Author Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina

Known as one of Africa’s best-known authors and gay rights Activists, Wainaina died on Tuesday night in Nairobi after a short illness at age 48. His death was confirmed by Tom Maliti, the chairman of the Kwani Trust, which Wainaina founded. Wainaina, who won the 2002 Caine prize for African writing, made headlines around the world in 2014, when he responded to a wave anti-gay laws around the continent by publicly outing himself in a short essay, published to mark his 43rd birthday. He also revealed he was HIV positive. Calling it the “lost chapter” of his 2011 memoir “One Day I Will Write About This Place”, the essay I Am a Homosexual, Mum reimagined the last days of his mother’s life, in which he went to her deathbed and told her the truth about his sexuality. After Wainaina came out, Time magazine in 2014 named him one of its 100 most influential people, with Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie praising him for having “demystified and humanised homosexuality” after the death of a Kenyan friend, whose family were prevented from holding a church memorial. Wainaina was also known for his biting essay How to Write About Africa, which included the advice: “Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title.


2Cairo Hops on the Superfood Trend

quinoa Cairo

In Egypt, at least 2,000 farmers are growing quinoa with the help of foreign aid agencies. The booming demand for the superfood — global production of quinoa between 2009 and 2019 tripled from 75,000 to 230,000 metric tons — is only one part of the equation. A rare resilience to different conditions is allowing researchers to experiment with variants of the crop in diverse locations, turning quinoa into a potent agricultural product that can survive climate change. The crop that originated in the cool, tropical mountains of the Andes is now being cultivated in hot and dry Saudi Arabia; in Central Asia’s Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; and in the limited sun of Scandinavia’s Denmark and Sweden.


3Nigeria has One of the World’s Highest Rates of Kidnap-for-ransom Cases

Nigeria Kidnap-for-ransom

Thousands of Nigerians have been kidnapped for ransom and other purposes over the years. Kidnapping has prevailed in spite of measures put in place by the government. The Nigerian police’s anti-kidnapping squad, introduced in the 2000s, has endeavored to stem the menace, but this been to no avail, mainly due to a lack of manpower and poor logistics. Kidnapping can be targeted at individuals or at groups. School children have been kidnapped in groups in various parts of Nigeria. Usually, the prime targets of kidnapping for ransom are those considered to be wealthy enough to pay a fee in exchange for being freed. The kidnapping business in Nigeria has been mostly perpetrated by criminal gangs and violent groups pursuing political agendas. Bandits have often taken to kidnapping for ransom to make money. The escapades of the famous kidnap kingpin, Evans, speak volumes of this pattern of kidnapping. Evans was a multimillionaire kidnapper who was arrested in Lagos a few years ago and is currently in detention awaiting trial.


4The Challenges of Being the World’s Most Rapidly Urbanizing Continent

sub-Saharan Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, the urban population has doubled since the mid-1990s, and reached 400 million people in 2016. According to experts, 40 percent of the region’s total population resides in cities, compared to 31 percent in 2000. During the next 15 years, the United Nations predicts the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will be in Africa. However, the development of infrastructure and industries has not kept pace with the growth in urban population. Sixty percent of city dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa live in slums, and only 25 percent have access to safe drinking water. Poor sewage systems and weak flood control present another challenge. Most of Africa’s urban growth is in small and mid-sized cities, with slightly more than half of African urban dwellers living in cities with populations of less than 250,000.


5Somalia’s Tourism Blossoms on Popular Beach

Somalia's Tourism

Few restaurateurs consider the threat of piracy in their plans but Abdulkadir Mohamed did so for his La Lanterna floating restaurant now moored off Mogadishu’s popular Lido beach. “We considered that pirates could hijack it, and use it to attack cargo ships, so we made it slow so pirates would not see it as a prize vessel to seize and use in any of their attacks.” he says.  With extra security and checkpoints to protect the 2.5 km (1.5 mile) stretch of sand from possible Islamist attacks, the beach offers a place to escape from the battle-scarred capital. Pirates were once the scourge of the region, chasing oil tankers and other ships and demanding ransoms for those they captured. But as Somalia has regained a semblance of stability after almost three decades of conflict and chaos, piracy has faded, even if sporadic bombings still strike the capital. Abdifitah Mohamed Siyad, director of tourism and investment in Mogadishu’s local government, said the city had been ruined by wars and most people had “stories of grief”. He says, “The remedy for the people is to create happiness for them, create an environment for tourism, a time for them to tour, a time for them to chat and forget the past.”


6South Africa Lawmakers Sworn In

South Africa MPs

South Africa’s sixth democratic Parliament has elected parliament’s new speaker and the new president of the country. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng presided over the swearing in of new MPs. The chief justice will also preside over the election of the president, as prescribed by the Constitution. This will also follow the same procedure as that of the election of the speaker: nomination, secondment, and an election if there is more than one candidate. Last year, when Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president, he was the only candidate nominated. Once elected, the president ceases to be a Member of Parliament. The next person on the president’s party list will take the seat vacated by the president-elect.  When elected president, a person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly. The Constitution states that within five days the president-elect must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the republic and obedience to the Constitution. The president-elect will not take the oath or affirmation in Parliament on Wednesday.


7Gabon’s Cabinet Reshuffle

Gabon’s Cabinet Reshuffle

Vice President and Minister of State for Forests and the Environment have been relieved of their posts by presidential decree in connection with a timber scandal that rocked the central African country. The latest development is an offshoot of what has become known as the “Kevazingo Gate” in which illegally felled special hardwood of 353 containers worth nearly $250 million was reported stolen from a cache of 392 intercepted at the port of Owendo in late February and early March this year.


8Germany Commits to Accounting for its Colonial Past in Namibia

Germany Namibia

Germany is set to return a 15th Century artifact it took from Namibia known as the Stone Cross.  The 3.5-meter high navigation landmark, erected by Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão, was first placed on Namibia’s coast in 1498. It was taken to Germany in 1893 after the area became a German imperial protectorate and is on display at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. The Stone Cross, which bears the Portuguese coat of arms, was featured on old world maps, the museum said. In June 2017, the Namibian government formally requested its return. Faced with mounting pressure from African governments, more European countries are working to return artifacts plundered from Africa during colonial times.


9Zimbabwe Announces a Fresh Increase in Fuel Prices

Fuel Prices Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said petrol would cost 46 percent more with a litre costing $1. ZERA said the move followed new measures by the central bank removing a subsidy and a preferable exchange rate for fuel importers. Treasury’s permanent secretary George Guvamatanga said the government would subsidise public transport and that the state bus company would charge a maximum of RTGS$1 for local trips to cushion commuters from the effects of the fuel price hikes.


10Building a Strong Ethical Fashion Brand that Promotes African Craftsmanship

Chioma Ogbudimkpa

Chioma Ogbudimkpa is a sustainability advocate and a Green Champion. She incorporates sustainability into her fashion brand, while still maintaining fundamental design principles. “There are several ways I have built in ethical fashion principles in my processes, including using recyclable paper packaging, ensuring minimal waste, ethical production processes and fusing sustainable materials.” She has been actively involved in the ‘Going Green’ Initiative from the YALI Network since 2015. She started her entrepreneurship journey with the launch of her women’s wear label, Redbutton in 2017 to explore her creative side. Following this, Chioma has received a seat at the table of various local and international platforms; she is a ‘She Leads Africa’ (SLA) Accelerator beneficiary of 2017, a 2018 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur and the winner, Creative Business Cup Nigeria 2019. She will be representing Nigeria at the Global Creative Business Cup in Denmark this July. She’s also an alumnus and beneficiary of the Nigeria Creative Enterprise (NICE) program 2019 powered by the British Council.


ADC Editor
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