KW 11: Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes in Ethiopia, Bouteflika says he will not run again after weeks of protests, Demand for startups and agricultural innovation in Africa

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Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes in Ethiopia: A jetliner with passengers from at least 35 countries crashed Sunday shortly after leaving Ethiopia’s capital, killing all 157 people on board and renewing concerns about the new model of aircraft involved in the accident, the popular Boeing 737 Max 8. Flight ET302 to Nairobi had just taken off from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa Sunday when it reported technical problems and asked for permission to turn back. It crashed shortly after. With investigations underway, multiple countries have suspended use of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 aircraft amid concerns about its safety. The National Transportation Safety Board in the United States said it would send a four-person team to assist Ethiopian authorities investigating Sunday’s crash. Sunday marked the second time in less than six months that a new Boeing aircraft had crashed just minutes into a flight. A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight went down over the Java Sea in last October, killing all 189 people on board. Both crashes are under investigation.,

Bouteflika says he will not run again after weeks of protests: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has withdrawn his bid for a fifth term in office after mass protests against his rule and postponed elections scheduled for April to allow for consultation on reforms. Bouteflika made the surprise announcement on Monday in a letter to the Algerian people released by his office. Bouteflika arrived back in Algeria late on Sunday night after two weeks of medical treatment in Geneva, returning to a country beset by protests and a general strike. Last Friday hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets, marking the third week of demonstrations against his rule. Bouteflika’s decision to run for a new term in the April 18th election had angered large swathes of Algerian society.,

Demand for startups and agricultural innovation in Africa: An innovation dialogue in the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation focused on innovative ideas for African agriculture. The mechanization of agriculture can increase agricultural yields and allow for local value creation. One example is the startup “hello tractor” founded by Jehiel Oliver, which has developed a concept for the sharing of agricultural machinery, allowing farmers to succeed despite the high financial hurdles of acquiring tractors. Agriculture, especially in Africa with its growing population, plays a central role in securing the future. African agriculture is among the least mechanized.

Egyptian activists targeted by phishing attacks, says Amnesty: Egyptian activists and journalists have been targeted by phishing attacks coinciding with political events in an intensifying crackdown on dissent since the start of the year, Amnesty International has warned. The rights group said it had recorded attacks against hundreds of individuals, which it said appear to be part of a coordinated campaign to spy on, harass and intimidate their targets. They included attacks on media outlets in early February as they were reporting on proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power beyond the end of his current term in 2022, Amnesty said.

Renewables: South African mine taps Juwi for potential hybrid wind and solar project
Food: Imported chicken is taking Ghana by storm
Transitioning from Migration: African Book Festival in Berlin
EU Commission: Border protection with Morocco to be improved
Western Sahara conflict: New meeting planned in Switzerland


The revival of archeology in Africa: The African continent has rarely been the focus of archaeologists, which seems absurd, considering that Africa is the cradle of humanity. Eurocentric world views have led to an interest mostly in the north of Africa, but what has happened at the heart of the continent has barely been archaeologically explored. With a new Priority Program by the German Archaeological Institute, the project “Entangled Africa. Internal African Relations between the Rainforest and the Mediterranean” aims to shed light on the period between 4000 BCE and the 15th century, at eye level with African partners. This is intended to give new insights into the interconnectedness of Africa. The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for a period of six years, with 3.2 million euros available in the first three years.

Are ratings agencies hurting Africa’s economy?: US rating agencies have the task of assessing the credit risk of companies or even of entire countries. The quality of the ranking has a big influence on whether a country can get cheap loans, and thus whether it can trade or not. In Africa, however, the rankings are poor – 14 out of 21 African countries rated by the rating agency Moody’s have “poor” or “insufficient” creditworthiness. There are a number of political factors involved in the evaluation. However, 20 percent are attributable to subjective factors – a fact that has resulted in African economists calling for stronger regulation of the rating agencies. It could also help to get to know the African context better.

WWF launches investigation in response to accusations: WWF pledged Monday to investigate accusations that the organization and its partners engaged in a series of human rights violations. US magazine „Buzzfeed News“ has accused the nonprofit of funding and working with paramilitary forces which disregard human rights in their quest to save endangered animals. Indigenous groups living near Chitwan have been beaten, sexually assaulted and shot by WWF-supported anti-poaching units, according to the reports. In a statement, WWF said it had commissioned a review into the cases raised by „Buzzfeed“ and asked the news organization to share the evidence it had. The German branch of WWF has also announced an investigation.


There are 42 different ethnicities in Kenya, according to official numbers. Each ethnic group speaks its own local language in addition to English and Kisuaheli. But tribalism is dividing the East African country, as each group fights for their own interests. Young Kenyans are increasingly trying to overcome these divides.


“I believe that we will remain a colonial construct.”

Kenyan author Peter Kimani, who penned the novel “Dance of the Jakaranda”, has challenged the literary establishment in his homeland by deciding to write the book in a mixture of English and numerous Kenyan languages. Kimani sees the resurgence of local languages as a sign of postcolonial self-confidence.


Whale almost swallows diver in South Africa: Wildlife photographer Rainer Schimpf had his own personal Book of Jonah moment when his head and torso were gobbled up by a whale while he was shooting footage of a sardine run off the coast near Port Elizabeth Harbor in South Africa. He thankfully was only trapped for about two seconds before the whale let him free. The incredible scene was captured by photographer Heinz Toperczer, who was in a nearby boat with Schimpf’s wife, Silke. Schimpf said it was definitely not an attack, adding that the whale was going for the fish and he happened to be in the wrong spot.,

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