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Letter from Africa: How this teenager risked all for a life in limbo

BBC News Africa  

Meeting the family of a young Gambian who ran away to seek his fortune in Europe.

Rugby rehabilitation programme for Kenyan prisoners

BBC News Africa  

Inmates in Kenya say playing the sport teaches them discipline and gives them hope.

Morocco pardons journalist Hajar Raissouni jailed on abortion charges

BBC News Africa  

Activists said the charges against Hajar Raissouni were part of a crackdown on opposition media.

Why French language needs flexibility: lessons from 2019 Festival des Francophonies

Africanews  

The director of the Festival des Francophonies in Limousin, Hassane Kassi Kouyaté believes that the rigidity of the French language could negatively affect its use across the globe. Kouyaté, a Burkinabe actor and director, griot and descendant of griots, was this year entrusted as head of the Festival des Francophones in Limoges, describes the French language as ‘beautiful, poetic and creative’. ‘‘While in certain countries, one can be excused for saying « le femme ou la homme » because people know what he is talking about, a rigid Frenchman might outrightly dismiss the message, only focusing on the poor French spoken, and this has hindered the popularisation of the language,’‘ Kouyaté explains. ‘‘This makes people afraid to use it in some cases because they will be sanctioned and judged.’‘ French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, with up to 274 million French speakers worldwide. In Africa alone, 31 of the continent’s 54 countries use French as an official language, a legacy that can be traced to French and Belgian colonial power. Kouyaté, who hails from Burkina Faso, says art which is by nature flexible, can play a huge role in promoting the French language. ‘‘Beyond traditional learning techniques, there is a need to share it through art and culture, where learning and education are not rigidly bound by the rules. Here, expression will flow, and enrich the language, consequently recruiting more people to speak the language.’‘ At last year’s celebrations of the International Francophonie Day, French president Emmanuel Macron announced an ambitious project design to extend the international influence of the French language. French-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani was appointed to lead the campaign that included increasing the number of students enrolled in international French secondary schools. READ MORE: Francophonie Africa inspires Macron to launch French language mission Kouyaté, who became the first African to head the Festival des Francophones, outlined his grand vision for the prestigious event. ‘‘The festival should be a place where artists from the universe of the Francophonie meet to express themselves, give birth to new projects, debate and celebrate ideas, as well as a place of research.’‘ This year’s festival brought together various artists from countries on the African continent and diaspora. Kouyaté believes that considering the constraints artists on the continent have in terms of structure and resources, exposure from this festival ‘helps the artists’ exhibition and therefore their development’. ‘‘Africa is a social cultural and intellectual power because of its youth,’‘ he adds. The recently elected head of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), Rwandan Louise Mushikiwabo, said she would make the popularisation of the French language, one of her core missions in her four-year tenure.

Video: Mr Eazi On How He's Helping Young African Artists Grow

OkayAfrica  

​In 'Moments With,' the buzzing Nigerian star tells us about Banku music, being a serial entrepreneur, and how he's been pushing young African artists through his emPawa ​initiative.

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

OkayAfrica  

Featuring Asa, Patoranking x Busiswa, $pacely, Vagabon, Shane Eagle and more.

Photos: A Night of ‘Cocoa and Color’ at Okay Space for Tony’s Chocolonely and Joshua Kissi’s ‘Reframed’ Exhibition

OkayAfrica  

The exhibition, currently showing at Okay Space Gallery, advocates for fair practices in the West African chocolate industry.

NBA opens new facility in Rwanda

Africanews  

The National Basketball Association, (NBA) Africa has launched a new basketball court in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The initiative is intended to expand Junior NBA programs, teach life skills and build new basketball courts in the East African nation. The programme is part of a new, multiyear partnership, announced last month in Morocco, that uses its transformative power of basketball to empower Moroccan and Rwandan youth and their communities. “The NBA is using this program the junior NBA to build leadership, life skills for the kids here and a sense of community. You know the game of basketball brings communities together and kids playing the game of basketball together is something that builds team work and awareness of your neighbour and allowing them to do what they were born to do and that’s being great,” said retired NBA basketball player Jerome Williams. Expanding the Junior NBA Leagues in Morocco and Rwanda builds on the NBA’s commitment to the development of the African continent. This year, the NBA plans to reach more than 51 million youth in 75 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges, and other outreach events.

Africa Top10 News

AfricaDotcom  

Gadgets Changing Africa’s Healthcare Game Sub-Saharan Africa has, on average, the worst healthcare in the world, according to the World Bank. It accounts for nearly a quarter of all disability and death caused by disease worldwide, yet has only 1% of global health expenditure and 3% of the world’s health workers. But new technologies — …

Patoranking Drops an Amazing Video For ‘Open Fire’

OkayAfrica  

The Nigerian star treats the world to the reality-bending visuals for the upbeat track.

Mozambique: Nyusi/Frelimo Retain Lead in Zambezia

allAfrica  

[AIM] Maputo -Quelimane (Mozambique), 16 Oct (AIM) - As more polling station data is processed from Tuesday's general and provincial elections in Mozambique, so incumbent President Filipe Nyusi and the ruling Frelimo Party are extending their lead.

Mozambique: Nyusi and Frelimo Take Commanding Lead in Inhambane

allAfrica  

[AIM] Maputo -Inhambane (Mozambique), 16 Oct (AIM) - Preliminary results from Tuesday's general and provincial elections in the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane indicate an overwhelming victory for the incumbent President, Filipe Nyusi, and for the ruling Frelimo Party.

Cimarrón Is the Women-Led Film Production Company Empowering Afro-Colombians to Tell Their Own Stories

OkayAfrica  

The "first Afro-Colombian film production company," is teaching filmmaking in Colombia's black communities in order to combat the lack of representation.

Video: Kenya opens second phase of modern railway

Africanews  

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday opened a new $1.5 billion Chinese-built rail line linking the capital Nairobi to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, despite delays in establishing an industrial park there to drive freight traffic. The extension links to the $3.2 billion line between the port of Mombasa and Nairobi that opened in 2017, also suffering from underutilization of its cargo services. Both sections were Chinese-funded. The development of Kenya’s railways has been part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a multi-billion dollar series of infrastructure projects upgrading land and maritime trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa. Kenya had planned to open an industrial park in Naivasha, offering companies tax breaks for investing in manufacturing, and preferential tariffs for electricity generated in the nearby geothermal fields. But that has been delayed. Kenyatta was re-elected for a five-year term in 2017 after promising to develop the East African nation’s infrastructure. The railway was his pet project but it has been dogged by problems. In April, China refused to fund the planned $3.7 billion extension from Nairobi to the Ugandan border town of Malaba. Transport Minister James Macharia said then that the government would spend $210 million to rehabilitate the colonial-era Malaba line instead. Many importers say the new Mombasa to Nairobi railway is too expensive to move freight. They have been angered by government attempts to force them to use it. It costs about $800 to truck a container from Mombasa to Nairobi, but $1,100 by rail, mainly due to extra costs for moving goods from the rail terminus to an inland depot. Government borrowing has been ramped up to fund the railway and other projects such as roads. Total public debt stands at about 55% of GDP, up from 42% when Kenyatta took power in 2013.

Uganda: Ruling On Nyanzi Case Against Makerere Delayed Due to Lack of Documents

allAfrica  

[Monitor] High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe on Wednesday pushed the ruling on the case in which Dr Stella Nyanzi accuses Makerere University of refusing to pay her arrears, to November 8, 2019.

Ethiopia: Sidama's self-determination referendum set for Nov. 20

Africanews  

Ethiopia’s Sidama community will wait one more week to determine their fate after a referendum on their self-determination was postponed. State-affiliated Fana news agency reported on Tuesday that the new date for the vote is Nov. 20 instead of Nov. 13. The electoral board explained that the delay of the referendum that would have created the country’s 10th autonomous region, was caused by a lag in preparations. Ethiopia’s nine regional states enjoy a level of autonomy where they are able to choose their official language and have limited powers over taxation, education, health and land administration. Agitation for self-determination Emboldened by reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he came to office in 2018, political activists from the Sidama, currently subsumed into one of the nine states, wanted to unilaterally declare a new regional state in July. At least 17 people were killed that same month in clashes between security forces and Sidama activists, while some leaders accepted an offer from the government for a referendum within five months. In August, the electoral board said it would deploy close to 1,700 polling stations and 8,500 election officials for the referendum. Unintended consequences of reforms At least eight other ethnic groups in Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people, are also seeking autonomy. Abiy, 43, appointed by the ruling coalition in April 2018, has won praise for political reforms in what was once one of the continent’s most repressive nations. He won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peacemaking efforts, which ended two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea. But with many activists using the greater freedoms to demand more rights, tensions between rival interests have sometimes led to violence. REUTERS

This Convicted Rapist Recited a Bizarre Poem to His Victim in Court

OkayAfrica  

South Africans are angry that Nicholas Ninow was even allowed to recite the poem to his 7-year-old rape victim.

Sudan: Keeping Sudan's Transition On Track

allAfrica  

[ICG] Following the ouster of Sudan's strongman Omar al-Bashir, sustained pressure yielded a power-sharing agreement between the military and opposition alliance. But the settlement is fragile and the economy is in deep distress. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 - Third Update for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to support the civilian cabinet during the country's delicate transition. This commentary is part of our Watch List 2019.

South Africa: Convicted Rapist Nicholas Ninow Blames Drugs for Rape of Child

allAfrica  

[News24Wire] Convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow, while testifying in mitigation of his sentence, shirked responsibility for his actions, arguing that if he had been sober he would have never have raped a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria in 2018.

Southern Africa: Malawi Denies Reports of First Ebola Case

allAfrica  

[Nyasa Times] A 37-year-old man initially suspected to have ebola has died of high fever in quarantine in Karonga and authorities maintain this was not an ebola case.

Namibia: State Broadcaster Defies Ruling Party Order

allAfrica  

[Namibian] The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation's spokesperson Umbi Karuaihe-Upi says the national broadcaster has editorial independence, and will not be dictated to.

Ashburn Update