– NEWS –

Cyclone Idai causes devastation in Mozambique and Madagascar: As the death toll for Cyclone Idai rises to 750 people across southern Africa, the storm hit city of Beira is slowly beginning the long road to recovery. Mozambique’s Minister of Land and Environment, Celso Correia, said on Sunday that 446 people have now been reported dead in Mozambique. More than half a million have been affected in the country and 110,000 were safe in camps. Beira took the full brunt of Cylone Idai, with aid agencies reporting that 90% of the city had been destroyed by the storm. After hitting Mozambique, Cyclone Idai tore into Zimbabwe and Malawi killing many people as they slept. The United Nations has confirmed that 259 lives have been lost in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi. Efforts to bring aid to those affected by Cyclone Idai are under way in Zimbabwe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is airlifting food to some of the areas where people are still trapped.

Hundreds of thousands protest in Algeria: Hundreds of thousands of Algerians rallied on Friday to demand the immediate resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is fighting for his political survival in the face of unrelenting protests and the desertion of long-time allies. The demonstrations have grown larger every week and seem unstoppable. Algeria, the largest country in Africa and a rare pillar of stability in the Arab world, now faces an uncertain future. The protesters’ demands are unambiguous: After two decades of undivided reign, Bouteflika, his clan, and his system must go. Bouteflika, 82 and rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke five years ago, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to stand in elections for a fifth term. But he stopped short of quitting as head of state and said he would stay on until a new constitution is adopted. The move further enraged Algerians, and many of Bouteflika’s allies have turned against him.
reuters.com, nytimes.com

TAP’s Africa offensive continues: TAP Air Portugal has announced that it will start a new service between Lisbon and Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea. Starting in July 2019, the new route will be operated three times per week by Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. After the addition of Conakry, TAP Air Portugal will cover 17 African cities in eleven countries. The carrier’s destination countries in Africa include for example Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco, Mozambique and Senegal. According to the Star Alliance member, its routes to Africa saw a rise in the number of passengers last year: 116,000 more passengers than in 2017, which is a growth of more than 11% compared to the previous year.

Morocco’s police takes action against teacher protest: Police used batons and water cannon on Sunday morning against teachers who were protesting for better working conditions in the capital, Rabat. Authorities were trying to end a rally of some 15,000 education workers who planned to spend the night in front of the national parliament. They are demanding permanent contracts, better working conditions, as well as protesting against the rising cost of living. Protesters have turned down government proposals to end the dispute. The teachers on temporary contracts, who are mostly in their 20s and 30s, have been staging regular strikes over recent weeks.
allafrica.com, bbc.com

Survey ranks Africa top for cryptocurrency ownership: South Africa has been ranked as the top country for ownership of cryptocurrency, according to a global survey by social media management company Hootsuite and global agency Wearesocial. The survey found that 10.7 percent of internet users in the country own cryptocurrency. Thailand is second, with 9.9 percent of mobile users owning cryptocurrency and Indonesia third with 9.5 percent, while the global average was 5.5 percent. The survey confirms that Africa has embraced the digital currency revolution. A growing number of people on the continent are utilizing cryptocurrency to fulfill both personal financial needs and entrepreneurial ventures such as transferring goods, services and money internationally and domestically.

Phuti Lekoloane, Africa’s first openly gay professional soccer player instinctmagazine.com
Rwanda’s history as a musical theater in Berlin dw.com
“We gentlemen” as a portrait of German colonial history deutschlandfunkkultur.de
“Afrotopia” by Felwine Sarrs as a manifesto for Africa tagesspiegel.de


Africa’s version of Amazon: At the Global Solutions Conference in Berlin, Fatoumata Ba talked about setting up her company Jumia, a kind of Amazon for Africa. For Ba, companies like Jumia, a rapidly expanding tech-based online marketplace, are the way forward as they provide easy access to market. The 32-year-old knows that the African economy needs to become much more agile if it wants to provide work for the growing population. To achieve this, she wants to make a contribution with her company, which is already active in 14 African countries and has two million customers. But there are hurdles to overcome: The confidence in electronic business in Africa is low, technical understanding is partly missing. With 90 percent of jobs being the backbone of the African economy so far, Fatoumata Ba offered an online platform for merchants to be able to sell their goods online. For example, electronics were sold in villages where there are no other shops.

The consequences of Zimbabwe’s land reform: In the past few decades, the southern African country has gone from being one of the brightest economies in the region to one of the weakest. This dramatic reversal of fortunes has been blamed on a controversial policy introduced by former President Robert Mugabe in 2000 that led to the seizure of white-owned farms, transferring them to black Zimbabwean ownership. It was a popular policy among Mugabe’s supporters, who saw it as addressing the wrongs of British colonial rule, which had favoured land ownership by white settlers. But according to the International Monetary Fund, this program saw agricultural production plummet and productivity decline. Some white farmers have been allowed to return and compensation for those displaced has also been suggested.

Solar power for Africa’s villages: The German startup Africa GreenTec is installing a solar-based power system in Amaloul Nomade, an off-grid village on a route used by 90% of African refugees. Less than 15% of Niger’s population has access to electricity, compared to 37% for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Africa GreenTec’s Torsten Schreiber says electricity access is key to comfort, access to education and knowledge and new prospects. The project is backed by the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) as part of the government’s International Climate Initiative, and unspecified private investors.


Africa’s legal cannabis industry could be worth more than $US 7.1 billion annually by 2023 if legislation is introduced in a number of the continent’s major markets, European-based market intelligence and strategic consultancy firm Prohibition Partners has found.


“Africa does not have to catch up with anyone. It no longer has to walk on predetermined paths, but will take the path that it has chosen.”

In Afrotopia, Felwine Sarr, Professor of Economics at Gaston-Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal, provides a reflection on the way in which Africa must reposition itself in the world on its own initiative and on the basis of a vision that reflects its own specific particularities.


Poking fun at charity for Africa: The theater play “Charity – Everybody Saves an African” by author Ingrid Lausund is intended to hold up a mirror to the audience. With the question of how to save an African, the five actors of the play want to organize a charity event for a school building in Africa. The play is a balancing act between political correctness and everyday racism. Negative stereotypes and the joyous ignorance of white men across the black continent are skilfully used in the play.