1German Car Maker Wants to Enter East Africa’s Ride Hailing System
Volkswagen launched its assembly plant in Rwanda this week with a focus on its Hatchback Polo and Passat Models. The two vehicles are poised to cater for the country’s carpooling and ride hailing markets. The project will forge Rwanda’s ambition to attract investors in the manufacturing sector after it built the special economic zone near Kigali International Airport. The area occupies 276 hectares of land, donated by the government to boost manufacturing, construction, garment logistics and pharmaceutical industries.
SOURCES: The East African, Reuters
2The African Island You Hardly Hear About
The World Bank describes Madagascar as the world’s only non-conflict country to have become poorer, whose annual income per head has nearly halved, to about $400. Representatives from the International Monetary Fund say the world has ignored the African island, which has resulted in the political and socio-economic crisis that the country now faces, because it is less likely to cause instability outside its borders. Madagascar has one of the worst road networks in Africa and spends just 3 percent of gross domestic product on health care, among the lowest in the world.
3Mozambique’s Demining Success not Replicated Elsewhere
Heavily mined countries such as Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Eritrea aren’t on track to achieve their demining goals, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor. Zimbabwe has extended its original 2018 deadline by another eight years. Somalia and Senegal, where the extent of contamination remains unclear, are also lagging. While 2016 saw the highest level of funding for demining on record globally, experts say Africa recorded a dip.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
4Kenya’s Famous Market Gutted
Search and rescue efforts are on after at least 15 people were killed and 70 others injured when a fire devoured the Nairobi market. The fire broke out at 1am in Nairobi’s Gikomba market, with local fire authorities containing the blaze within couple of hours, as some victims were ferried to Kenyatta National Hospital in the capital. Officials have set up an information post for those seeking information about family members, with patient visits limited to prevent the spread of infection.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera, CNN
5Africa’s World Cup Hopes Crushed by Fair Play Rule
Aliou Cisse’s Senegal needed only a point to advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s round of 16, but Colombia netted a goal in the second half. Despite Senegal having the same points as Japan at the end of all their matches, the African team crashed out because they conceded more yellow cards in their previous matches. Africa’s four other representatives at the competition—Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia—have all had underwhelming campaigns and have been knocked out.
SOURCES: New York Times, Quartz Africa, The Telegraph
6Africa’s Lessons on Refugee Policies
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said, “Those shouting about a refugee emergency in Europe or America should visit African communities giving refuge to millions with small resources.” Uganda has been widely lauded as one of the most progressive refugee-hosting countries in the world. Even as Uganda’s refugee numbers swelled to 1.4 million during the recent South Sudanese and Congolese conflicts, the government opened new emergency camps to accommodate recent arrivals, its right to work policy for refugees has encouraged the development of new local market towns, creating opportunities for many Ugandans.
SOURCES: The Guardian
7Meet the Youngest Mayor in Namibia
When Livey Van Wyk became mayor of Witvlei at the age of 26, it was a full circle moment for her. At 17, the same community had shunned and ostracised her for being pregnant and HIV positive. After being kicked out of school she enrolled in a UNICEF‑supported programme helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. She delivered a healthy baby girl, now 13, and decided to take control of her destiny and obtained a certificate in project management. UNICEF continued to be a part of her life, supporting her while she became one of the first Namibians to speak publicly about her HIV status to fight stigma and discrimination.
SOURCES: BBC Africa, Unicef
8Plans to Connect East Africa are on Track
Leaders and representatives of eight countries in East Africa have agreed to work together to build a single railroad and highway network to enhance integration in the region. This pledge is part of a series of discussions about the northern corridor project aimed at improving trade and tightening security. The representatives stressed the need for better movement of people, goods and services with better joint infrastructure. One such project is the rail line connecting Nairobi in Kenya to Naivasha in Uganda.
9South Africa’s Deadly Mine Sued
South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater has been in the headlines for the high rate of deaths at its mining operations. A U.S. law firm has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of its shareholders to recover losses suffered after a sharp fall in its share price. Reuters reports that a statement from the lawyers said the suit would deal with “misleading statements” made by the precious metals producer, which has had 21 fatalities on its operations so far in 2018, almost half of the total in South Africa’s mining industry.
SOURCES: Reuters Africa
10Life after Fleeing Boko Haram
Motorbike riding in Lagos Island by migrants did not randomly start, it was a targeted plan at creating employment. While some men venture into informal work like sewing, gatekeeping and shoe repairing, those with little savings or motorbikes make moves to start over their lives legitimately by riding for a living. A fairly used motorbike costs around $110, the average Nigerian man fleeing a war zone will most likely be unable to afford this. The men usually cut deals with sellers to work around the price of the bikes.