1Macron Jams to Fela’s Beats in Unprecedented Club Visit
French President Emmanuel Macron shook up his two-day visit to Nigeria with a stop at the New Afrika Shrine, a concert hall founded by the late music legend Fela Kuti. He is the first leader of any country to visit the famed home of Afrobeats. “What happens in the shrine remains in the shrine,” Macron said to cheers from the crowd as he launched the 2020 Season of African Cultures in France. The New Afrika shrine located in Ikeja in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos state still represents, to many of Fela’s followers, his spiritual home. It was the place he launched his activism against authoritarian rule in Nigeria, and western colonization in Africa, he also stood against hegemonic organizations like the United Nations.
SOURCES: Washington Post, BBC, Ventures Africa
2Ethiopia’s Political Prisoners Speak about Life on the Outside
Kinfe Mickeal Debebe told Al Jazeera that he never thought the day would come when he would be a free man again. The opposition politician, 47, was recently released from prison after serving more than six years of a 25-year jail term. “I never thought I would leave prison as a free man. I thought the only way to leave was in a body bag. I have seen people die in prison because of poor or no medical treatment,” he said. He like other political prisoners are hopeful about the new way Ethiopia is being led.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
3Terror Groups were Operating Right under Senegal’s Nose
As Senegal awaits rulings in the cases of 29 people recently tried on terrorism-related charges, evidence that came out during the trials is making many people in the country uneasy. Abdou Khader Cisse, a journalist with a popular Senegalese news outlet has been covering this issue for the past several years, told VOA that, “This trial opened the eyes of many Senegalese who have been living in denial, and who kept saying that this country never hosted terrorists.” The defendants are Senegalese jihadists accused of working with and fighting for terrorist groups in other African countries. Security analysts say the country’s involvement in peacekeeping missions in countries such as Mali, a hotbed for radical groups, has made Senegal susceptible to sympathisers within their own borders.
4Africa’s ROI at the World Cup
Chuka Onwumechili, Professor of Communications at Howard University weighs in on the continent’s performance at the football showpiece. Each World Cup year African football teams arrive with renewed hopes of making remarkable progress, each time that hope invariably implodes. Teams spend millions of dollars preparing for the month-long tournament. The funds go to paying coaches, many of whom are the highest paid professionals in the countries they serve. Foreign based players also earn well and they’re camped in five star hotels and their programme is supported by huge budgets. FIFA pays countries that qualify handsomely and the longer they stay in the tournament, the more they get. Onwumechili advises that recruiting local managers and coaches, spending more on sports development and trimming the fat would yield better results.
SOURCES: CNBC Africa, The Conversation
5Researchers say Mozambique is Making More Money from Drugs than Commodities
According to a research paper by Enact, a European Union-funded initiative to mitigate the impact of transnational organized crime, “Mozambique is a significant heroin transit center and the trade has increased to 40 tons or more per year, making it a major export which contributes up to $100 million per year to the local economy…with an export value of $20 million per ton, heroin is probably the country’s largest or second-largest export after coal.” Produced in Afghanistan and Pakistan, heroin is shipped to Mozambique’s coast with motorized wooden boats, which can carry up to a ton of the drug in hidden compartments, according to the Enact report. From there, it’s transported by road to neighbouring South Africa.
SOURCES: Bloomberg Africa
6South Africa’s Hot Topic
South Africa is in the middle of public consultations about the contentious issue of land reform. The hearings, being held across the country, are to see if people are in favour of changing the constitution to take away land from mainly white farmers without compensation. They began last Thursday and are set to continue for more than a month.
SOURCES: BBC, eNCA
7Africa Dominates the Top 10 Crises that the World Ignores
Many of the world’s most complex emergencies rarely hit the headlines. In a photo gallery by The Guardian, Norwegian Refugee Council reveals the disasters that are neglected due to lack of political will, donor fatigue and media indifference.
SOURCES: The Guardian
8Towards a New Model for Collaboration between Africa and its More Developed Peers
According to the World Bank’s most recent report on Global Economic Prospects, despite the broad global recovery currently underway, Africa still faces substantial downside risks, especially relating to challenges with subdued productivity and potential growth. In response, governments on the continent should look at a combination of improvements in education and health systems, high-quality investment, and labour market, governance and business climate reforms which could yield substantial long-run growth dividends. While Africa continues its inexorable rise as a global economic powerhouse, its partnerships and collaboration with other nations, regional bodies and continents is coming sharply into play. Its long history with European public and private sector organisations in particular is gaining widespread traction and attention.
9Africa’s Cocoa is Found in the World’s Chocolate but the Numbers Don’t Add Up
A white paper by agribusiness data company Gro Intelligence delves into the numbers and history of the chocolate trade and it makes for sober reading from an African perspective. Africa’s attempt to meaningfully break into the export market is so small that Europe doesn’t even consider it as “competition.” Europe’s biggest rival comes in the form of Asia, where Indonesia, in particular, has been growing cocoa and building an industry which taps into the fast-growing middle class of China.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
10Namaste from Kenya’s Prisoners
Irene Auma has been teaching yoga to prisoners in Kenya to help rehabilitate them. The yoga instructor tells BBC Africa’s One Minute Stories how yoga can help build prisoners’ self-esteem.