1A Crisis in Zimbabwe Shows the Inherent Vulnerabilities of Mobile Money
The country’s economic woes have made mobile network transactions a more favoured method as the country deals with a shortage of cash. But this week one of the biggest networks crashed sparking a debate about a real risk of loss of money in the event of a big platform crashing. EcoCash, which competes against smaller platforms run by state controlled telcos NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe, has more than eight million registered users in Zimbabwe and allows for remittances from expat Zimbabweans in South Africa and Botswana. The network has since resolved the glitches which saw shoppers stranded in supermarkets and other stores for over two days.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa, Technology Zimbabwe
2America’s Sporting Bet on Nigeria is Starting to Pay Off
American sports camps are taking root in Nigeria, tapping new markets and talent — and helping the country’s youth. A Lagos camp is one of several training programs in American sports for Nigerian youth that have emerged in recent years, underscoring a shifting relationship, one that’s no longer unidirectional, between the two nations. One example is the NBA launched Power Forward, its Jr. NBA program, in Abuja, Nigeria, in late 2013 and has since had more than 10,000 participants.
3The Role of First Ladies in Africa
Around the world, current and former first ladies play unique roles. They often lack legal authority, but they lead by example, rallying support for social issues, and even shaping foreign and domestic policies. African first ladies gravitate toward complex social problems involving education, women’s health, maternal mortality, women’s economic empowerment and HIV/AIDS.
4The Northern White Rhino Might Make a Comeback
When news of the last male rhino, Sudan, died after failing to successfully mate, many were saddened by the extinction of a species. However, using frozen sperm from northern white rhinos and eggs from closely related southern white rhinos, scientists created hybrid embryos that can potentially be implanted into surrogate southern white rhino mothers. The research is still in its early stages, once ready researchers will appeal to Kenyan authorities to let them harvest eggs from Najin and Fatu, the last northern white rhinos, then fertilize the females’ eggs with stored northern white rhino sperm.
SOURCES: New York Times
5What Ethiopians Think about their New Prime Minister
“We consider him just a pain killer and not the cure to what actually ails Ethiopia. The future of Ethiopia depends on the next elections and whether they are free and fair.” This is the sentiment that many young Ethiopians who were at the forefront of the protests that brought current Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, into power are experiencing. Ahmed has made bold moves, such as releasing political prisoners and meeting with groups affected by the protests, in what some say is a new wave in the Horn of Africa country.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
6Nigeria’s Football Captain Relieved after Father’s Rescue
Pa Michael Obi, and his driver were traveling from Nigeria’s central region to the southeast of the country for a funeral when the kidnappers struck. John Obi Mikel received a call demanding a ransom a few hours before Nigeria faced Argentina in a crucial World Cup match in Russia. He said kidnappers demanded $30,000 to release his father. Obi, a former Chelsea player, told KweseESPN that he did not tell anyone in the team or his coach Gernot Rohr about the kidnapping. It is the second time Pa Obi has been kidnapped and rescued.
SOURCES: KweseESPN, CNN
7A Night in Mandela’s Cell Cancelled
The organisers of an online auction in South Africa which offered the chance to spend a night in Nelson Mandela’s former prison on Robben Island have removed it from their website. CEO Sleepout has told the BBC the auction has been postponed to a later date this year. The charity had planned the event to mark the day Mandela would have turned 100, on 18 July. Bidders are instead being given the opportunity to stay the night in Liliesleaf farm, a property owned by the late president and anti-apartheid leader.
8Buhari’s Shot at a Second Term Looks Slim
Nigeria’s ruling party has split after a faction declared that it no longer supports the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, threatening his hopes of a securing a second term in an election due early in 2019. “The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people,” according to a group of politicians who were part of the All Progressives Congress.
SOURCES: Business Day Live
9Egypt is on the Up
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says the country is on the right track to revive its economy after a meltdown; when oil prices dipped in 2014 despite having the sixth largest proved oil reserves in Africa. “I tell you in all objectivity, every Egyptian man and woman is entitled to feel proud for what his country has achieved in facing the three challenges, and in record time,” he said. On the 5th year anniversary of the mass protests that precluded a coup he coordinated against the government, Sisi acknowledged the three issues that have plagued Egypt since he became president: terrorist insurgency, political instability and an economic slowdown since 2014.
SOURCES: Ventures Africa
10Photo Exhibit Shows New Perspectives on West Africa
The Elegant Senegal of the First Half of the 20th Century is an exhibition of images taken by renowned Senegalese photographer Mama Casset in the 1950s and an unknown photographer, on at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, until 26 August. Aesthetica Magazine describes the collection as a powerful assertion of identity and modernity.
SOURCES: The Guardian, Aesthetica Magazine