Africa Check: The trouble with statistics about Africa

28 October 2014

The Africa growth story is making headlines: Africa’s population is rising faster than that of any other region in the world. Its cities are growing. Its middle class is getting bigger. The youth bulge is expanding. China’s trade with the African continent is booming and Nigeria – Africa’s most populous country, by a factor of two – has overtaken South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy. But look a little closer and many things are not quite as they seem. Can we really trust statistics on Africa? Often, the answer is “no”. The debate about the Africa rising story is unlikely to be settled anytime soon because the numbers do not provide an accurate picture.   More

South Africa: Senzo Shot Dead

Orlando Pirates And Bafana Bafana Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa Has Been Shot Dead

26 October 2014

It has been confirmed to the Siya Crew that Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa has died after being shot. Details are sketchy, but it was confirmed on Sunday to Soccer Laduma that Meyiwa had died from a gunshot wound. Meyiwa it is believed was shot in Vosloorus, and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.   More

FARM AFRICA:   The Beehive Challenge team take to the skies

26 October 2014

A plucky team of seven UK farmers and agricultural specialists have taken their first step in a unique challenge to travel to remote Tanzania to hand build 67 beehives in aid of local communities.

The adventurous group met at Heathrow Airport on Sunday evening to set off on the first leg of their long journey to Tanzania’s Nou Forest, their new workplace and temporary home over the coming days.

The “Bee Team” will spend three days in the Nou Forest working with local carpenters and farmers building and waxing beehives which they will deliver to local families. The hives will be used to create a sustainable income from honey production without damaging the forest as part of Forest Management Project in the area.
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Botswana votes in climate of fear and intimidation


24 October 2014

So much for Africa’s model democracy. As Botswana votes on Friday, it does so in an unprecedented climate of fear and intimidation. The incumbent, President Ian Khama, will probably win again – but what has he sacrificed to prolong his stay in State House? 

They came for Oarabile Motlaleng at 3:06am on 11 September. A few hours later, a neighbour found him in a ditch outside his house – naked, bloodied and left for dead.Motlaleng is running for a council seat in a poor suburb in south Gaborone, under the banner of the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP).Council votes will be cast on Friday 24 October, the same day that country votes for members of parliament, and, indirectly, its next president. For once, opposition parties think they might be in with a chance of upsetting the ruling party’s electoral dominance. More 

Boko Haram and the ceasefire that wasn’t


22 October 2014

Well, that didn’t last long. The ceasefire between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government – announced on Thursday, with much fanfare, by government spokesmen – has already been broken. If, that is, it actually existed in the first place. A sceptical SIMON ALLISON considers Nigeria’s track record on this subject.

To understand what’s going on in north-eastern Nigeria, it is first necessary to pick your way through a maze of ambiguity, misinformation and misdirection; a dense fog of spin compounded by the fog of war that makes actual reporting there so difficult and so dangerous. Find out more 

Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

By Michelle Roberts

21 October 2014

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization. Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people. Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Read more 

Mozambique elections: ‘Now Frelimo has to listen’


20 October 2014

Although final results are still to be released, it’s already clear that Mozambique’s ruling party has clung onto power by a comfortable margin. Perhaps too comfortable – both major opposition parties are contesting the results, alleging widespread irregularities. Even so, Frelimo has not had it all its own way. A precipitous drop in support means the party has lost that precious two-thirds majority in parliament, and might just have to compromise every now and then. 

In the run-up to last week’s presidential election in Mozambique, both main opposition parties were bullish about their prospects for success. Renamo, the old civil war militia, thought they could win the thing entirely, all on their own. The Mozambican Democratic Movement (MDM), meanwhile, was focused on denying the ruling party an absolute majority, and forcing a run-off election in which an opposition coalition could cause an upset. It didn’t happen like that..... More 

Ali Mazrui, top Kenyan academic, dies in the US

13 October 2014

Renowned Kenyan academic Ali Mazrui has died in the US aged 81 after being ill for several months. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said Africa had been robbed of one of its greatest scholars. Mr Mazrui had been "towering" academic whose "intellectual contributions played a major role in shaping African scholarship", he added.

Mr Mazrui had been a professor at Binghamton University in New York at the time of his death. He was a leading pan-Africanist whose academic research focused on African politics, north-south relations and political Islam. Mr Mazrui will be buried in Kenya. More 

Poetry Africa | since 1997

18th Poetry Africa 13 - 18 October 2014
The 18th Poetry Africa 2014, International Poetry Festival will take place in Durban, South Africa with artists from Burkina Faso, Mali, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Nigeria and The United States of America. A schools programme will run concurrently with the main event. About 20 schools will be visited by the participating poets and spoken word artists. In addition Poetry Africa features an extensive community outreach programme in various community centres and campuses throughout Durban and surrounding areas. Friday night also features the annual schools poetry writing competition awards. Find out more

Arriving in Sierra Leone: Ebola - it is real

8 October 2014
Epidemiologist KATHRYN STINSON arrived in Sierra Leone to help fight the country's Ebola pandemic. On her day-long journey to her new base at Kailahun, she had plenty of time to observe. Read article here

Makhura: Long live township economies, long live!

8 October 2014
Most of Gauteng's  (South Africa) population live in townships where Apartheid purposefully stifled economic development. Now, Premier of Gauteng Province, David Makhura, says it's time government changed the system and unleashed the entrepreneurial potential. More 

Botswana in crisis: perspective from a journalist in exile
30 September 2014
Traditionally southern Africa’s most stable nation, there have been rumblings of discontent emanating from Botswana in the run-up to October’s general election. SIMON ALLISON asked Edgar Tsimane, the journalist who is seeking asylum in South Africa after fleeing Botswana for his life, for his take on what’s going wrong. Read article 

The 2014 Ibrahim Index: Cause for concern as Africa's governance role models slip up
The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance was released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in London on 29 September. The Ibrahim Index is a mammoth statistical undertaking that collects data from 52 African countries and analyses the data to produce a ranking that shows, among other things, which African countries are the best- and worst-governed countries on the continent. This year's Index shows some cause for concern. [More]

Africa's first underwater hotel opens in Tanzania
Last year, 2013, Tanzania's Pemba Island became the first in Africa to put up an underwater hotel room. Manta Resort has opened a plush hotel room beneath the Indian Ocean. The hotel, which operates a 16 bedroom resort, hopes to cash in on undersea tourism which is relatively new iin Africa. [read more]

A cultural experience - Congo Safari
Encountering a rural community can be a life-changing experience for many travellers. Travelling with an open mind and embracing difference brings a richness of learning experiences that you may not have thought possible. Read about a Congo Safari and view the images - and think about a different kind of holiday the next time you plan to travel - here

Travel in Africa - Mozambique...
Would you like to travel to a place full of beauty, forgotten secrets, great local cuisine, a rich history and friendly, welcoming people? Mozambique's Ibo Island is waiting to welcome you and to give you an unforgettable holiday more

Moors, Saints, Knights and Kings....
did you know that there has been contact between Africa and Europe for centuries? 
Slavery is the most well known aspect of African history, but slavery alone is not African history and African history is everybody's history....our history.
The history of African poeple is a rich history which is often little known. Nowhere is this more the case than the African presence in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Interested? Find out more - click here.

Explore centuries of contact with Africa through art - find out more

Steven Bantu Biko 1946 -
 I’ve devoted my life to see equality for blacks, and at the same time, I’ve denied the needs of my family. Please understand that I take these actions, not out of selfishness or arrogance, but to preserve a South Africa worth living in for blacks and whites.”
Steve Biko in a letter to his family shortly before his death.

 ‘So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior.’
As quoted in the Boston Globe, 25 October 1977

Today, 12 September, marks 37 years since the death of former anti-apartheid struggle hero, Steve Bantu Biko. Biko was born on 18 December 1946. He was a founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, which empowered and mobilised many urban black South Africans in the 1970s. On 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested under the Terrorism Act at a police roadblock and interrogated for 22 hours. The interrogation included torture and severe beating. He died in police custody on 12 September 1977. His death robbed South Africa of one of its most gifted leaders.

To find out more about Steve Biko and his legacy, go to The Steve Biko Foundation

Who said that?

As more men become more educated and women get educated, the value system has to be more enhanced and the respect for human dignity and human life is made better.
Ellen Johson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the President of the Republic of Liberia and the first elected female Head of State in Africa. She won a second term as president in 2011. She is a strong advocate for the rights of women and the importance of education to provide a better future for all in Liberia. In 2011 she shared the Nobel Prize for Peace with two other women, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yeman, for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights. 
Read more about her... 

Have you heard about this?
Red palm oil - a wonder product from Africa! Read all about it.....

Share a meal!
African food is varied and delicious and yet in the world of cooking programmes and food blogs, African cuisine seldom features. Each region has its own specialities.  

In West Africa you will enjoy dishes with chilli, hot spices, yams and fish.  Countries in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia bake a delicious spongy, fermented bread called injera. Coffee originated in Ethiopia where coffee ceremonies have three rounds of coffee and is often accompanied by burning frankincense. Along Swahili Coast, the food of Kenya and Tanzania is a fusion of African, Indian and Arabic flavours, while inland there is more emphasis on meat and milk. 

The variations throughout Africa are boundless.  Begin your journey through the tastes of Africa by trying Minced Meat in Cashew Nut Sauce with Mashed Rice….

Explore Africa!
The African continent is as varied as its food. We will begin to explore some of the best places to travel in Africa south of the Sahara. Globetrooper suggests that you check out Lagos in Nigeria, Cape Town in South Africa and Nairobi in Kenya. There is far more to see and do in Africa than the traditional safari – begin your journey…