1Uganda’s Bold Step to Stop Donor Dependency
Taxes levied on alcohol and soft drinks in Uganda will be used to fund the country’s HIV treatment programmes, in a move designed to make the country less reliant on donors. The government believes $2.5m a year will be generated from the 2% total tax levies collected from drinks, including beer, spirits and waragi, a local liquor, which will be channelled into a new HIV and Aids trust fund (ATF).
SOURCES: The Guardian
2Preserving One of the World’s Largest Concentrations of Earthen “Berber Castles”
Yasmine Terki isn’t one to run with the pack. While most of her professional peers are consumed by working in concrete, the 45-year-old architect is trying to reacquaint Algerians with a humbler material, one their ancestors started using 15 centuries ago: plain old earth. Through her work with the Ministry of Culture, she is racing to preserve the country’s singular earthen architectural heritage (there are 10,000 homes just in Timimoun, where she is based), including the beautiful “Berber castles” and forts called ksars.
3Dogs Sniffing Out Africa’s Deadliest Disease
Dogs have been trained to use smell to diagnose some forms of cancer and diabetes, and now, UK scientists have helped train two dogs to detect malaria parasites. The research team trialed their idea in Gambia, where they collected socks given to 600 schoolchildren ages 5 to 13 who did or did not have malaria.
4Solving Mali’s Wastewater Crisis
Bamako is one of the world’s fastest growing cities, according to think tank City Mayors. Population growth makes the issue of garbage disposal and wastewater treatment still more acute, creating what some call an “open-air toilet”.
5Nigerian Inventor wants Kids to Reach their Tech Dreams
The Nigerian robotics engineer who created MekaMon, the world’s first intelligent gaming robot, says perseverance is the key to his success. UK-based Silas Adekunle wants to inspire many Nigerians at home to also make it in the tech industry.
6Fishing for a Cause
Some fishermen in Kenya have hung up their nets – and are instead trying to conserve marine life. Now known as “reef rangers”, they have been trained to monitor fish stocks and their habitats. It is a part of efforts by the government and conservation groups to involve local communities in protecting their environment.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
7How Digital Platforms help African Freelance Workers and Budding Enterprises
For many African countries, the gig economy could just be called “the economy.” For example, just 17% of Kenyan employment is formal. Many of these economies are driven by the informal nature of the gainful employment that exists. But while this isn’t unique to Africa, it points out that Africa needs these services more than other parts of the world.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
8The Air in this South African Province is the Most Polluted
Mpumalanga province has the highest levels of air pollution in the world, topping nitrogen dioxide levels across six continents, according to a new analysis by environmental activist organisation Greenpeace. The organisation says South Africa has “weak” Minimum Emission Standards that allow coal stations to “emit up to 10 times more nitrogen dioxide than allowed in China or Japan”.
SOURCES: Mail & Guardian Africa
9Africa at the G20
Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting with the heads of 11 African nations, international organisations and corporate leaders to promote a program launched under the German Group of 20 presidency last year designed to encourage private investment in Africa.
SOURCES: News 24
10Why You Need to Watch ‘The Heart of Nuba’
Dr. Tom Catena is a paediatrician and an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Mother of Mercy Hospital, which is the only major hospital in the Nuba Mountains for hundreds of kilometers. Catena’s story is being told to the world by a close friend from Brown University, filmmaker Ken Carlson. The Heart of Nuba, which Carlson has been showing around the United States and abroad to raise money for Mother of Mercy Hospital. To date, the screenings have pulled in $500,000.
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