Africa Briefs

New Iran trade deal bonus for Kenyan tea planters

New Iran trade deal bonus for Kenyan tea planters

| February 16, 2016

(GIN)—Kenya’s tea planters are in for a much-needed lift with or without caffeine as trade with one the world’s 10 biggest tea-consuming nations comes on line. East African tea exports to Iran are expected to jump more than fivefold by 2019 as trade with the Persian Gulf nation normalizes after western sanctions are lifted, a […]

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Critics fault Nigeria’s ‘record budget’ for familiar waste, excess

Critics fault Nigeria’s ‘record budget’ for familiar waste, excess

| February 16, 2016

(GIN)—Critics who examined Nigeria’s budget for 2016 are shaking their heads in disbelief at the sight of excess and waste so familiar from previous regimes. A 37.8 million naira item appears over 369 times, and money for the presidential clinic exceeds that for all 17 of the country’s teaching hospitals combined, according to Oluseun Onigbinde, […]

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Ugandans jockey for place as election comes down to wire

Ugandans jockey for place as election comes down to wire

| February 16, 2016

(GIN)—A crowded field of candidates squared off with President Yoweri Museveni at a rare debate this week, just days before national polls slated to take place. The debate was held at the glamorous five-star Kampala Serena Hotel Victoria Hall in the capital Kampala. It confirmed various opinion poll projections: that the upcoming contest is a […]

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Worldwide observation this week of ‘Mother Language Day’

Worldwide observation this week of ‘Mother Language Day’

| February 16, 2016

(GIN)—We may all speak English on the internet but there are hundreds of thousands of languages spoken worldwide and a U.N. agency wants to protect them. “Languages are who we are,” said UNESCO director general Irina Bokova in her message on the occasion of International Mother Language Day. “By protecting them, we protect ourselves.” The […]

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Pricey upgrades to South African leader’s villa will be repaid

Pricey upgrades to South African leader’s villa will be repaid

| February 9, 2016

(GIN)—A protracted battle over pricey upgrades to the country estate of President Jacob Zuma—charged to the national treasury—appears close to settlement. In an about-face, President Zuma has agreed to pay back state money for some of the upgrades. The president was scheduled to appear this week before South Africa’s Constitutional Court on the issue. Two […]

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South African union shaken by member flight

South African union shaken by member flight

| February 9, 2016

(GIN)—An ill wind of layoffs, company closings and unpopular labor reforms are taking a toll on South Africa’s once powerful labor movement. Membership in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has slumped from a peak of 2.19 million four years ago to 1.8 million, following the expulsion of its largest affiliate, the National […]

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Zika sighting—a new tourist industry in Uganda

Zika sighting—a new tourist industry in Uganda

| February 9, 2016

(GIN)—The unspoiled Zika forest, located on the edge of Lake Victoria, home to birds, leopards, rabbits, pythons and other wildlife, is suddenly abuzz with curious western journalists and others eager to visit the birthplace of the mosquito which has been linked to an alarming condition among newborns in Brazil. “People have been calling me and […]

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Red flag raised in Ethiopia as food shortages mount

Red flag raised in Ethiopia as food shortages mount

| February 9, 2016

(GIN)—Surely, Ethiopia would rather be known for something other than the cyclical hunger-producing droughts spurred in part by regular episodes of El Niño. Ethiopia is the world’s fastest growing economy. Ethiopia has been doing very well over the last 15 years or so. Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty as the economy […]

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Africa’s non-stop sun now powers solar bus

Africa’s non-stop sun now powers solar bus

| February 2, 2016

(GIN)—The Ugandan manufacturers of a solar-powered bus are showing off their creation at a stadium in Kampala. A 35-seater, it uses two batteries and the direct rays of an equatorial sun. Solar panels attached to the roof power the 35-seater. Hopefully, partners will be found to help manufacture the bus for the mass market. The […]

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Silent AIDS crisis in Kenya still taking lives

Silent AIDS crisis in Kenya still taking lives

| February 2, 2016

(GIN)—Africa appears to be registering lower AIDS infection rates around the continent but with some exceptions.  This week, a pediatric study found 19,000 children in Homa Bay county, Kenya, are infected with HIV. While HIV is rarely a page one story these days, the virus is particularly rampant in Kenya where one in every four […]

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