A young innovator Gracious Ephraim is making headlines in Tanzania. The form six student invented a robot that uses solar energy, and is able to walk, turn its head, speak and perform other tasks. We certainly hope such a brilliant mind with the desire to keep innovating will be supported, and won’t be lost to brain drain.
Parents in Zimbabwe who cannot raise tuition fees for their children can offer livestock such as goats as payment or offer their skills to the schools, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora recently revealed. Dr Dokora was quoted by local press saying, “On the issue of livestock, the community has to arrange a market where everyone participates; from the school authorities, local leadership and parents themselves to avoid parents being duped.” The country is currently going through a crippling cash crisis, and efforts by the Central Bank to ease the liquidity crunch have been fruitless. The livestock-for-fees proposal has been met with mixed emotions in the country, and on social media, welcomed by some but heavily criticised by others as a desperate move.
The recent killing of dozens of Christian worshipers at a Coptic Church in Egypt in an explosion has sparked concerns over the rising threat of terrorism in Africa targeting minority groups. There have been various deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated by terrorist groups on the African soil, and the rampage is increasingly becoming relentless. The rise in terrorism on the continent calls for urgent concerted efforts from national and regional social, political, and religious leaders, civil society and the public to curb the threats, which risk going out of control.
When two seasoned African jazz musicians come together to play music, what you end up getting is an unforgettable musical experience. Mozambican saxophonist, Moreira Chonguiça collaborated with Cameroonian jazz maestro Manu Dibango in a 10 track album that took five years of discussions. The album titled M & M was released at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on the 31st of March. The songs are a remarkable mix of well known old jazz standards with an African twist.
Today we commemorate World Health Day amid reports by the World Health Organisation indicating that depression is the number one cause of ill-health globally. The theme “Depression: let’s talk” recognizes that depression is a treatable condition and seeks to address the fact that, despite this, about 50% of cases of major depression still go untreated. As we commemorate World Health Day, let us all remember that we are all vulnerable to depression.
Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe has been presented with special ‘mobile chair’ by cabinet ministers. The state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation described it as a massage chair. The president, who celebrated his 93rd birthday on February 21, was also presented a totem branded 9 carat customized wrist watch and a pen in addition to the chair today. First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe In November 2015, indicated her husband would continue to be president until he was a 100 years old and would govern from a special wheelchair.
Today we commemorate the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. According to the United Nations, the day calls continued efforts by States, to remember landmines and explosive remnants of war when discussing peace agreements or when sending urgent humanitarian aid to conflict zones. This year the theme is, “needs driven-people centred”.
Professor Tomohiko Sugishita doesn’t believe in drive-by kindness. Starting from when he was a newly-minted medical doctor taking care of the medical needs of 2 million Malawians at the height of the HIV epidemic in 1995, Professor Sugishita has always believed in sinking deep roots into a community and helping it help itself. He recently sat down for an interview with veteran Kenyan journalist Wycliffe Muga and opened up about what lit his fire for medicine, his long years of medical practice in Africa and why he has come to believe in the “unlearning process”.
African students have often been victims of racially motivated attacks in India, and the recent brutal attacks of several Nigerian students has caused an uproar across the continent. The attacks on Nigerian nationals have also strained diplomatic relations between India and Nigeria.