1Meet South Africa’s New Finance Minister
Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation as finance minister and appointed Tito Mboweni with immediate effect. Mboweni, 59, headed the South African Reserve Bank for a decade until 2009. His biggest achievement at the time was building the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves to almost $40 billion from less than $10 billion.
2Giving Female Prisoners a Second Chance
Change Hub teaches the women everything from coding and web design to computer repair. Its founder Aggrey Mokaya believes it’s this access to technology that will slash Kenya’s high reoffending rates. Mokaya is looking for funding to expand Change Hub to reach the estimated 8,000 female prisoners in Kenya. He has plans to make his project sustainable by working with companies who will pay the prisoners to code and build things using 3D printers
3Uganda’s Queer Community is Ready for a Showdown
Activists trying to open Uganda’s first centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have been told their plans for a safe space are illegal. “They will have to take it somewhere else. They can’t open a centre of LGBT activity here. Homosexuality is not allowed and completely unacceptable in Uganda,” said minister for ethics and integrity. Campaigners say fundraising is continuing by crowdfunding to build and open an advice and arts centre in the capital, Kampala, by the end of the year.
SOURCES: The Guardian
4How US Presidents Pick their Trips to African Countries
Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at the London-based think tank Chatham House tells Quartz that such trips are undertaken either for security and geopolitical reasons or humanitarian purposes. He adds that since Africa has long been viewed as an addendum and not key to US geostrategic interests, “it is not surprising,” that US heads of state only focus on specific countries.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
5Nigeria’s Haves and Have Nots
Nigeria, Singapore and India are among countries fueling the gap between the super-rich and poor, aid agency Oxfam has said as it launched an index spotlighting those nations doing the least to bridge the divide. Nigeria, where 10 percent of children die before their fifth birthday, came in last due to “shamefully low” social spending, poor tax collection and rising labor rights violations, Oxfam said.
6Zimbabwe’s Economic Reforms Hit the Pocket
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said a new tax on electronic payments was a painful but necessary part of the government’s attempts to revive the economy. Cash-strapped Zimbabwe has turned to mobile money for additional treasury funding with a hike in taxes for mobile wallets and electronic payment transactions.
7Senegal’s Solution to a Shortage of Potable Water
The government has announced plans to build the country’s first desalinisation plant, but it is facing opposition from groups who worry about the damage to the site, considered sacred land, and the ecosystem surrounding it.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
8Rwanda’s Winemaking Industry
Assumpta Uwamariya is the founder of Karisimbi Wines, a company she established in 2016 after years of being unemployed. The wines are produced in different fruit variants, beetroot, grape, pineapple and banana. And they each sell at different prices depending on shelf life and the cost and availability of the fruit.
SOURCES: Ventures Africa
9Big Demand for Affordable Phones in Africa
Egypt’s first smartphone maker is looking to enter the broader African market by the end of 2018 as it seeks to boost exports. Silicon Industries Corporation (SICO), which already exports to the Gulf, aims to start selling phones in Kenya, Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and Ghana, Sales Director Mahmoud Ali told Reuters.
10Ethiopia is a Top Destination for Spiritual Pilgrimage
The country is not just the cradle of civilization, it has played a significant role in the formation of many of the world’s top religions. It is not only the location of the biblical kingdom of Sheba, it is believed by some to house the Ark of the Covenant.