Africa Top10 News

Kidnappings and Oil Thefts in Gulf of Guinea Rise

Gulf of Guinea

Naval chiefs  are calling for more funding and protection off the West African coastline. It’s considered one of the world’s most notorious areas for piracy and kidnapping and attacks in the area continue to rise each year. To try to resolve the issue, maritime experts are meeting in Ghana for a security conference. A strict definition of maritime piracy only includes attacks on shipping on the high seas – that is, more than 12 nautical miles off the coastline and not under the jurisdiction of any state. Inside a country’s territorial waters and within port facilities, these attacks are defined as armed robberies at sea. However, the data we’ve used from this latest report combines these two sets of data to give an overall picture of incidents at sea both inshore and offshore. In 2018, there were 112 such incidents in West African waters. It’s not just the huge tankers exporting oil and gas from Nigeria and Ghana that are targeted. Commercial ships from smaller countries are also in the sights of the pirates.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

The DRC Called to Urgently Address Ebola Epidemic Especially the Movement of People

Ebola Epidemic

“Taxi-motos,” are the lifeblood coursing through Butembo’s arteries. With local unions representing around 10,000 taxi-motos, they are also a political force that has at times hampered efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic rampaging through North Kivu and Ituri provinces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Many taxi-moto drivers believe the conspiracy theories about Ebola while also being aware that they are dangerously exposed to a virus spread by the kind of close physical contact unavoidable in crowded markets. With few cars in Butembo, most people rely on moto-taxis for transport. And when people fall ill they call moto-taxis to take them to hospital, increasing the risk of transmitting the virus. Taxi drivers transporting the sick have succumbed to Ebola during previous outbreaks, but even if they don’t get sick themselves, they facilitate the movement of people carrying the virus.


The Scramble for Power in Somalia Points to an Extension of the Cold War 

Scramble for Power in Somalia

When a small car bomb exploded outside a courthouse in the bustling port city of Bosaso in northern Somalia, local news reports chalked it up to Islamist militants retaliating for American airstrikes. At least eight people were wounded, and a local affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility. The attack, however, may have also been part of a very different conflict: one among wealthy Persian Gulf monarchies competing for power and profits across the Horn of Africa. Over the last two years, war-torn Somalia has emerged as a central battleground, with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar each providing weapons or military training to favored factions, exchanging allegations about bribing local officials, and competing for contracts to manage ports or exploit natural resources. In an audio recording obtained by The New York Times of a cellphone call with the Qatari ambassador to Somalia, a businessman close to the emir of Qatar said that the militants had carried out the bombing in Bosaso to advance Qatar’s interests by driving out its rival, the United Arab Emirates.SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES

Africa’s Megacities A Magnet For Investors

Africa’s Megacities

Megacities, cities with a population of at least 10 million, are sprouting everywhere in Africa. Cairo in Egypt, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Lagos in Nigeria are already megacities, while Luanda in Angola, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Johannesburg in South Africa will attain the status by 2030, according the United Nations. Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Nairobi in Kenya will surpass the 10 million threshold by 2040. And by 2050 Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Bamako in Mali, Dakar in Senegal and Ibadan and Kano in Nigeria will join the ranks—bringing the total number of megacities in Africa to 14 in about 30 years. The State of African Cities 2018, a UN report, says that Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi are the leading FDI attractions in sub-Saharan Africa. Private investors often accompany financing with technological know-how. For example, smart city projects across South Africa, such as Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, require a diverse range of talent not often found in that country. Foreign investors with expertise in this field can draw on their own experience and contacts to put a skilled team in place.


Travelers in Nigeria can now Hear Travel Advice in a Local Voice on Google Maps

Travelers in Nigeria

The local accents feature, unveiled at an event in the commercial capital Lagos and also available on Google Assistant, is the first move by the U.S. technology giant to offer such a service in Africa. Rapidly expanding populations, increased mobile phone penetration and crowded cities that are often poorly signposted have led technology firms to identify African countries as potential growth areas. They are now offering transport features from detailed maps to motorcycle ride-hailing services. Google’s motorcycle directions will also be available in Benin Republic, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo and Uganda. The technology behemoth owned by Alphabet Inc said it is aiming to capture new users and expand its appeal beyond just drivers. In the coming months, the maps feature will also allow users in Lagos to seek directions on what it calls “informal transit” – such as yellow danfo minibuses that ply virtually every road in Lagos, but about which it is difficult for outsiders or even Lagosians travelling to a new neighbourhood to find information.

Africans ask Themselves if Boris Johnson is a Changed Man This Time Round?

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has emerged as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after a leadership contest and could prove to be as divisive a figure in Britain as President Trump is in the United States. Around the world, Johnson, Britain’s gaffe-prone former foreign secretary,has in the past caused raised eyebrows and outrage with his outspoken comments. But it is in Africa, in particular, that he has shocked many with language considered to be racist and offensive. In a Spectator 2002 column titled, ‘Africa is a mess, but we can’t blame colonialism,’ he wrote: “It is just not convincing, 40 years on, to blame Africa’s problems on the ‘lines on the map’, the arbitrary boundary-making of the men in sola topis.”


Getting Ghanaian Youth into Ethical Agriculture

Ethical Agriculture Ghana

As Ghana’s capital Accra expands, green spaces have diminished and fast food is starting to become a norm; however, agriculturists want to ensure that children understand where their food comes from – and how to grow it themselves. Tucked away in one of Accra’s few green spaces, children are spending their school holiday learning about ethical agriculture and healthy living. Ghana, like many nations across the world, is seeing a rise in fast food consumption and the associated health risks. Fried local street food and fast food restaurants are common sights throughout the capital. Lauren Goodwin, founder of the Under the Mango Tree Camp, says she sees people, especially in cities, becoming disconnected from their food source.  This month, the children have been learning about all aspects of ethical agriculture, from composting to creating natural pesticides. Parents say the camp is both informative and fun for their children.  Goodwin, who emigrated from the United States to Ghana, worries about the health impact poor diets have on black communities. SOURCE: VOA

UK Printing Company in Hot Water Over Juba Deals

De La Rue

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into British banknote and passport printer De La Rue over “suspected corruption” in its business in South Sudan, sending shares to a 16-year low. De La Rue said it intends to cooperate with the SFO in its investigation. The investigation is a further setback for De La Rue, which produces passports for 40 countries, after it said in May that its chief executive would quit and it warned of a profit downturn this year. Shares in the company fell as much as 17.4 per cent to 246 pence at 1311 GMT, hitting their lowest since July 2003.SOURCE: THE EAST AFRICAN

South African Taxpayers to Carry the Electricity Load

South African Taxpayers

A financial crisis confronting SA’s state power utility has become a national debt problem. Finance minister Tito Mboweni on Tuesday unveiled a second multibillion-dollar bailout for Eskom Holdings within five months, aid that may force the cash-strapped government to increase borrowing and taxes. That could in turn trigger a credit-rating downgrade and enormous outflow of funds, raise the cost of new debt and stymie efforts to revive the moribund economy. Further details of a government task team turnaround plan, which includes splitting Eskom into generation, transmission and distribution units under a state holding company, remain under wraps. The board also has to name a new CEO to replace Phakamani Hadebe, who will leave at the end of July, while the appointment of a chief restructuring officer is imminent.


Affording Ethiopian Girls an Education

Ethiopian Girls

It’s estimated that more than 100 million girls under the age of 18 will be married in the next decade. This video shows how in Ethiopia a scheme involving solar lamps is helping thousands of girls stay in school longer and avoid marriage until they are adults.


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