Africa Top10 News

1Cautious Optimism for Ebola Vaccine

Ebola Vaccine

Two experimental Ebola drugs have been found to be effective in treating the strain of the deadly virus responsible for the deaths of more than 1,600 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to new research published on Tuesday. Laura McMullan, a microbiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who lead the research, said the two treatments were developed based on strains from previous outbreaks and this study was the first to test them on the current one, which researchers are calling the Ituri strain. “It’s vitally important to make sure existing treatments work against the virus that’s making people sick now,” she said. An antiviral drug called remdesivir and another antibody treatment called ZMapp both inhibited the growth of the virus strain in human cells in laboratory studies, according to the paper published in the medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. ZMapp and remdesivir are among four promising experimental treatments that have been used in the Congo under what’s called a compassionate use framework, with doctors deciding the best treatment for each patient based, in part, on the complexity of administering and monitoring the drug, according to WHO.SOURCE: CNN

2Harare Considers Pulling the Plug on the Kariba South Plant

Kariba South Plant

Zimbabwe has proposed reducing the flow of the Zambezi River in exchange for receiving discounted power from neighboring Mozambique. The proposal would result in the closing of Zimbabwe’s Kariba South hydro plant, which would bolster critically low water levels in the world’s biggest man-made reservoir. The plan would also limit the flow into the already full Cahora Bassa dam in Mozambique, as water wouldn’t need to be pushed through the plant’s turbines. Opening the flood gates at Cahora Bassa could inundate the low-lying Zambezi Delta on Mozambique’s coast. In return for limiting the river flow, Zimbabwe would want to be compensated with cheap power from Cahora Bassa, which has the capacity to produce 2,075 megawatts. Kariba is 28.9% full, according the the Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s website.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

3Environmental Win Against Kenya Coal Plant

Kenya Coal Plant

Kenya has been urged to halt construction of the country’s first ever coal-powered plant near the coastal town of Lamu, until an assessment is made of its environmental and cultural impact, in the latest setback to the $2bn project. Plans for the 981MW station, backed by a Chinese-led consortium, are in limbo after Kenyan judges revoked the environmental licence at the end of June. They ruled the authorities had failed to carry out a rigorous environmental assessment and to inform local people of potential impacts. Environmental campaigners – who took Amu Power and the Kenyan National Environment Management Authority to court over the station – hailed the ruling as a victory for grassroots lobbying. They had argued that the adverse effect the plant would have on local fishermen and farmland had not been considered.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

4Leaders From Sub-Saharan Africa Join Forces To Accelerate Elimination Of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Neglected Tropical Diseases

On the sidelines of the African Union Summit, national and international leaders join the “No to NTDs” movement to reduce the burden of neglected tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. The high-level side event was convened as part of the African Union Summit, by policy and advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and First Lady of Niger, H.E Mrs. Aïssata Issoufou. Held under the High Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou, and chaired by the First Lady of Niger, the convening saw high level speakers from across the region discuss the challenges to NTD elimination and collaborative strategies to accelerate progress against diseases that currently blight the lives of millions of people across the region. The event provided attending leaders with a platform to assess the progress toward NTD elimination on the continent and learn from best practices for informed decisions on the creation of sustainable partnerships for universal health coverage.SOURCE: AFRICA.COM

5Looking into Facebook’s New Product in Africa

Facebook's digital money

Technology writer Andile Masuku looks at what the launch of Facebook’s digital money could mean for Africa. I relish the prospect of a network like Libra permanently disrupting the lucrative cash remittance businesses of large banks and money transfer services.” From early next year, Facebook intends to let its two billion-odd users – more than 139 million of whom are in Africa – make digital payments through its apps and popular messaging service WhatsApp using a new crypto-currency called Libra. It could have profound implications for a continent which receives a huge amount of remittances – and is one of the least-banked regions of the world, something that has allowed for other innovations like mobile cash payments to take hold in Africa. According to a World Bank report published last year, the cost of sending cash in sub-Saharan Africa was at least 20% higher than any other region in the world. The report revealed that sending $200 to and from the region in the first quarter of 2018 cost a whopping $19.SOURCE: BBC

6Uber Wants to Expand its Services to Senegal’s Capital

Uber in Senegal’s Capital

But in a city full of taxis and drivers who don’t have smartphones, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing app company will have to overcome a lot of challenges to be useful to Dakar residents and turn a profit. The city, like most African capitals, has an abundance of taxis. In most parts of the city, any time day or night, it’s easy to find a ride. But the city is rapidly expanding, and Uber says it has seen an opportunity to move in. Among the challenges Uber will face in Dakar is a lack of fixed addresses. Taxi drivers know the city inside and out and tend to navigate based on landmarks. How the app could work in a city that rarely uses map applications is a big question for some residents. Whether taxi drivers, most of whom don’t have smartphones, will be able to join Uber or compete with them, is yet to be seen. Uber has expanded to 23 cities in Africa, including Abuja, Lagos and Accra in West Africa.SOURCE:  VOA

7The Phrase “Go back to Africa” Has a Long, Complicated History

Go back to Africa

According to social media analytics platform NetBase, the phrase is used over 4500 times a month online, usually in a derogatory manner. However, the a multi-platform travel company Black & Abroad, dedicated to world experiences for the modern black traveler decided to flip this on its head. Partnered with data-driven creative agency FCB/SIX, it hijacks the phrase and blacks-out hate-fueled Twitter posts and reframes them with images showing the diversity of all 54 African countries. The Google vision fueled system also scans faces for people of color encouraging others to browse through countries and see black travelers vacationing across Africa.SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS

8Nigerian Protesters Take Police On

Nigerian Protesters

Police fired guns and teargas in a clash with a protesting Shi’ite Muslim group in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja. Two Reuters witnesses heard gunshots and one saw policemen fire their weapons in an effort to disperse hundreds who gathered outside government buildings to demand the release of their leader. Witnesses said it did not appear the police were aiming at protesters, but they appeared to be firing live rounds. The confrontation comes two days after clashes with police left at least two dead and 40 protesters in police custody. Protesters ran and threw stones as police tried to disperse the crowds. A witness saw police arrest at least a dozen protesters. A police spokesman did not respond to a phone call or text messages requesting comment. he Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a group that represents Nigeria’s minority Shi’ite Muslims, has said they will continue protesting until they secure the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015.SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

9West Africa Suffers the Most Inequalities on the Continent

West Africa

According to the “West Africa Inequality Crisis” report, six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in Africa are in West Africa, with the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal among the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. “In most countries the benefits of this unprecedented economic growth have gone to a tiny few,” the report reads. “Inequality has reached extreme levels in the region, and today the wealthiest 1% of West Africans own more than everyone else in the region combined.” The report reads the vast majority of West Africans are “denied the most essential elements of a dignified life, such as quality education, healthcare and decent jobs”. In Nigeria, for example, the wealth of the five richest Nigerian men combined stands at $29.9bn — more than the country’s entire budget in 2017, the report reads. The report called on governments to do more to promote progressive taxation, boost social spending, strengthen labour market protection, invest in agriculture and strengthen land rights for smallholders. For example, it said the region loses an estimated $9.6bn annually because of corporate tax incentives offered by governments to attract investors.


10Will it Be the Night of the Underdog at Afcon?

Underdog at Afcon
Madagascar’s forward Charles Andriamahitsinoro celebrates his goal, his team’s second, during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Guinea and Madagascar at Alexandria Stadium on June 22, 2019. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Madagascar national soccer team, christened “Barea”, arrived in the land of the Pharaoh in Cairo as the lowest ranked team on the continent. The team, playing in its first ever African Nations Cup, is now one win away from the semi-finals. The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia stand in their way. En route to the last eight, Madagascar made headlines by upsetting African soccer giants among them Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Back at home, there were wild celebrations on the streets of Antananarivo especially after their victory against DR Congo. Soccer enthusiasts in Madagascar are optimistic that their team will make it to the semifinals. “We have a good chance of beating Tunisia because Tunisia has also played for 120 minutes in their last game, so they may be tired. But when you observe how they have been playing overall, I think it’s possible to beat them.”SOURCE: CGTN AFRICA

ADC Editor
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