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Africa Top10 News

1 23 - Africa Top10 News

Celebrating Africa’s Conservationist Activists

1 23 - Africa Top10 News

Jenerik Lekilelei, a Samburu warrior from Kenya,
has been shortlisted for the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa in the
category which highlights pioneering individuals who are coming up as leading
conservationists. Lekilelei has been recognized for his work with a
non-governmental organisation, Ewaso Lions, where he is the director of
Community Conservation. Lekilelei mentors a new generation of conservationists
and leads a programme, dubbed Warrior Watch, which converts young men who once
killed lions into ambassadors for the species. Lekilelei’s Samburu tribe is a
pastoralist community in northern Kenya where young men traditionally hunt
lions to prove their bravery. Having grown up as a livestock herder, Lekilelei
admits that lions were constantly viewed as an enemy. However, his perspective
changed upon joining the NGO allowing him to appreciate the value of the
species, whose numbers have been in decline in years. He also realised that
humans hold the key to the survival of the big cats.


Migrants take Desperate Measures to Get into Europe

2 22 - Africa Top10 News

An African man has been found crammed behind the
glove box of a car in a bid to get to Europe — one of four people spotted in
vehicles on the same day by authorities in Morocco and the Spanish enclave of
Melilla, in north Africa. Three people — including a 15-year-old girl — were
found in separate cars at the Beni-Enzar border between Morocco and Melilla on
May 24. An African migrant squeezed inside a compartment built behind a car
dashboard. Two hid in special compartments behind the dashboard and a third was
under a rear seat, images taken by Spain’s Civil Guard show. Two were treated
by medics for asphyxia, disorientation and joint pain. A fourth person was also
found on May 24 under a truck in the Melilla port. In recent years, thousands
of migrants seeking a better life in Europe have tried to enter Spain via its two
enclaves in north Africa, Melilla and Ceuta — with some scaling huge fences
topped by razor wire.


Where Africa Stands on this Trump and Huawei Issue

3 23 - Africa Top10 News

The US ban on Huawei, the Chinese telecommunication
giant, introduced uncertainty that should force consumers to attempt to
diversify their products—an option that is not currently available to the
average African government. This forces African states into a choice they have
not sought and would rather not make, since Huawei is the singular dominant
player in the construction of telecommunications backbone across the continent.
Up to 70% of the continent’s IT spine is built by Huawei with a combination of
Chinese grants and loans. Africa is still a continent where 19th, 20th and 21st
century institutions, infrastructure and technologies exist side-by-side. In
countries like Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan,
and even whole swathes of Nigeria, the overriding concern is not the potential
of a devastating attack on critical IT infrastructure by an adversary who
gained an advantage by building our systems. The concern is more prosaic—basic
connectivity. It is about connecting each country to the internet in a way that
is adequate, dependable and affordable. Africa’s strategic interests lie in a
direction opposite to the US position on Huawei and with no like-for-like
alternative from the West, it should be no surprise that when the internet
fragments, as many are predicting it might, that cost will play a dominant role
in what side Africa chooses.


Innovation will be Key in Transforming the Continent’s Urban Areas

4 23 - Africa Top10 News

Some 3,000 delegates, including four presidents,
cabinet ministers, urban planners and population experts are attending the
United Nations Habitat Assembly meeting this week in Nairobi. They are seeking
better urban and sustainable planning to deal with rising populations as well
the effects of climate change. At the inaugural U.N Habitat Assembly, delegates
will put their heads together hoping to find solutions to make big cities more
habitable. For Africa, urgent solutions are needed as the United Nations
estimates nearly half of the continent’s populations live in slums. At the end
of the five day summit, delegates plan to come up with a ministerial declaration
with proposals on how to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and
sustainable by 2030.


Review: Youssou N’Dour’s Mastery of Multiple Styles and Languages

5 23 - Africa Top10 News

Aside from his sublime voice and onstage charisma,
Senegal’s premier star has always been a musical innovator, fusing tradition
and modernity. His early records mixed Cuban pop with Senegal’s mbalax
heritage, while his rise to global superstar saw him weave together Africa and
western pop – 1994’s hit Seven Seconds, with Neneh Cherry, remains an enduring
cross-cultural gem. History, his first album in four years, has recast some old
favourites, used material from the late Nigerian percussionist Babatunde
Olatunji, and offered a tribute to another fallen comrade, Habib Faye, which
opens the set with a supple inviting groove. Two old numbers are reworked with
young stars aboard. N’Dour recasts Birima, a tribute to Africa, with Sweden’s
Seinabo Sey, and Hello, with Congolese singer Mohombi, as arena-sized crowd
pleasers – the latter is already a breakout global hit. A brace from 1989’s
Set, an abiding favourite back home, evoke N’Dour’s mbalax roots, with Salimata
blessed by slinky saxophone. N’Dour sings with accustomed majesty throughout;
sometimes commanding, sometimes anguished, an always urgent force of nature.


Africa-focused Private Equity Firm Goes Big

6 23 - Africa Top10 News

Helios Investment Partners LLP plans to raise a
fund of about $1.25 billion to invest across the continent. The London-based
company, led by Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, is in talks with asset
managers and development agencies about what would be its largest private
equity fund for African investments, the people said, asking not to be named
because the discussions are private. Helios could start the fund this year, but
is no rush to do so, the company, which manages about $3.6 billion, closed a
$1.1 billion Africa-focused fund in 2015 after exceeding a $1 billion target.
Yet, foreign interest in Africa has been fickle. New York-based Blackstone
Group LP is scaling back in Africa after less than five years and Bob Diamond,
the former Barclays Plc chief, is turning his attention elsewhere after
struggling to get his banking venture off the ground.


African Techhies Promote Gaming for Social Good

7 23 - Africa Top10 News

As a Sudanese refugee living in Uganda, Lual Mayen
used to walk three hours just so he could charge his laptop computer and play
video games. Now, as the founder and CEO of Junub Games, he is winning awards
and partnering with other developers to create games with a social impact.
Mayen, of course, is not alone in this pursuit. As the gaming industry
continues to grow, many other civic-minded gamers are working to educate
players about humanitarian issues, from the plight of refugees and migrants to
the horrors of war. Games for Change, for example, is a nonprofit that brings
together game creators and social innovators. The organisation hosts an annual
festival to help incubate game ideas that can impact a range of social causes.
Similarly, the GameDev.World event aims to increase diversity within the
industry by hosting game designers from developing nations.


Growing a New Generation of Trees

8 23 - Africa Top10 News

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has kicked off
what is meant to be a mission to plant four billion trees across the country –
Africa’s second most populous nation. The initiative which is under the banner
of the National Green Development program is set to started during the rainy
season. “Over the past years Ethiopia’s forest coverage has decreased (in
recent years) and the initiative is set mobilize national reforestation at 40
trees per head,” the PM’s office said in a social media post. Abiy held discussions
with the National Agri Transformation leaders in Adama city, in his home region
of Oromia. He tasked participants – which included most high-profile government
officials – on their role and responsibilities in modernizing the sector.
Ethiopia has in recent years have suffered from the negative impact of climate
change especially in relation to droughts in parts of the country. Reports
indicate that in 2017, over 2 million animals died in Ethiopia due to drought
because of the scarcity of rainfall.


London Streets Hostile for African Migrant Communities

9 23 - Africa Top10 News

Hundreds of British teenagers are being sent by
their parents to East Africa to avoid knife crime in the UK. Of the 100 people
stabbed to death in the UK so far this year, 8% were of Somali heritage,
according to the Rise Projects which works with young British Somalis in north
London. Jamal Hassan mentors young men in London, many from Somali families. He
explains parents “want to protect that child by all means necessary”.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to
Somalia, including Somaliland, and highlights a heightened threat of terrorism
and kidnappings, across Kenya. But Amina sent her 15-year-old son to
Somaliland, when she was worried about the new friends with whom he was mixing.
In his year there, she says he became a studious child again. He had even
wanted to stay in East Africa. But within 17 days of being brought back to the
UK in November 2018, he was stabbed four times. The new mayor for Islington,
Rakhia Ismail – a mother of four who came to London from Somalia as a refugee –
believes that some areas of the city are unsafe for young people.


Aviation History As 20 South African Teens Tackle Cape To Cairo

10 22 - Africa Top10 News

An epic adventure, an aviation challenge, youth
inspiration, promoting and supporting innovation, technology and
entrepreneurship are all the key drivers combined for Africa’s development and
transformation as twenty South African teenagers embark on a Cape – Cairo and
back excursion in a self-assembled Sling-4 aircraft that uses ordinary motor
fuel  and was built in three weeks! The excursion, earmarked to start in
June 2019, will see different teams of the twenty teenagers pilot and charter a
course that will cut across several African cities and towns spreading the key
messages of an African narrative that started as a dream. Using specially
modified, self-made drones, the Challenge will be documented on video as some
of the teenagers fly alongside adult supervisors who will use a second Sling-4
aircraft for support to monitor proceedings. Six teenage pilots will take turns
to fly the self-assembled plane as the Challenge moves from country to country.


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