1Ethiopian Airlines is the Frontrunner to Manage Nigeria’s New National Carrier
Some see the involvement of Ethiopian Airlines as a welcome development. The state-owned airline has experienced rapid growth in recent years, emerging as Africa’s biggest airline by revenue and operating profit, according to the International Air Transport Association. The airline is launching new routes from Addis Ababa to Jakarta, Chicago and Geneva in the coming months.
2WHO Brings New Drugs to Fight an Outbreak of Ebola
Despite a tense security situation in Northern Kivu, health officials on Tuesday started using the experimental mAb114 Ebola-treatment drug on patients at a center in Mangina. It’s the first time the drug, developed in the U.S. by the National Institutes of Health, is being used during an active outbreak. The drug was approved for use toward the end of an outbreak in Congo’s northwest Equateur province in early July, but it wasn’t deployed due to lack of patients.
3Ugandan Farmers Gear Up for the Fall Armyworm
Like their counterparts in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ugandan farmers have developed a method of early detection of the fall armyworm – an invasive pest that originated in the Americas but since 2016 has devastated crops in Africa. A new mobile application, Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System, may help farmers defeat the destructive larvae.
4Ghana is Trying to Catch up on its Space Programme
The Ghana Space Science & Technology Institute has been established to train specialists to convert space research into commercial applications. The government has made a bid to host the African Union’s planned Space Agency. It’s also a participant in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project. In 2014 Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa combined spent more than USD$140 million on non-military space programmes. Others expanding their space agenda include Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya.
SOURCES: CNBC Africa
5Introducing a Grant System in Nigeria
Government has launched a collateral-free loan scheme which will see two million micro traders receive $28 repayable in six months. It’s the latest social intervention program under Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari. A Lagos-based intelligence consulting firm, says the loan scheme “will likely end up as a largesse which will not make a dent” and for which “return rates will be very poor.” Recent history backs up some of that sentiment. After launching a $126 million loan scheme for farmers in 2015, the government has struggled to recover the loans.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
6Living Life in the Closet
Drag queens in Kenya speak to the BBC about the difficulty of living in a country with strict anti-gay laws. They say they also face a lot of social stigma.
7Can Child Soldiers Get into the Swing of Things?
Often used as ‘wives’ and sexually abused by other soldiers, many former girl soldiers are shunned by family and friends when they are released or escape. The girls have a strong wish to go back to school and Child Soldiers International now runs a programme to help them return to education, despite the stigma they face.
SOURCES: The Guardian
8How Can Sierra Leone Prevent Another Deadly Mudslide?
President Julius Maada Bio says better environmental protections are needed. He has banned charcoal burning, stone mining and deforestation at Sugarloaf Mountain, where the floods turned deadly, “to prevent another disaster from happening.” Last year, heavy rains caused the partial collapse of a mountain, leaving a red rock scar looming over the West African capital. At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 were left homeless.
9The Man Who Exposed Ethiopia’s Repressive Government Wanted Back Home
Ethiopia has asked dissident marathoner and Olympics silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa to come home, promising a “hero’s welcome”, in an open letter published Tuesday. Lilesa has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 2016 when he raised his arms in a gesture against government repression while crossing the finish line in second place at the Rio Olympics.
SOURCES: CGTN Africa
10Catching a Wave in Liberia
Liberia borders the Atlantic Ocean and has waves all year round. After years of civil war and an Ebola outbreak, it could be the next surfers’ paradise – and children are now learning to surf the wild waves.