One question. One story from Africa for Africa. Alan Kasujja takes a deep dive into the news shaping the continent.
It was a shocking attack which still has implications today: in September 2013 fighters from the Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group burst into the Westgate mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi – taking control of the building for the next four days. At the end of the siege, 67 people were dead, with almost 200 wounded. So what impact did it have on relationships between different Kenyan communities? And why has it led many Somalis in Kenya to rethink their culture of hospitality?
In September 2013 members of the Somalia based militant group al-Shabab attacked and took control of the Westgate mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The attack was the start of a four day siege. 67 people were killed and almost 200 people wounded. The majority of those killed or injured were Kenyans but there were several foreign nationals who died in the attack, including Ghanaian poet and diplomat Kofi Awoonor. Africa Daily's Alan Kasujja speaks to his son, Afetsi Awoonor, who survived with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. And we hear from BBC editor Ruth Nesoba on the challenge of covering a story like Westgate.
Last Sunday Storm Daniel hit Libya bringing heavy rain and catastrophic flooding. Derna, a city in the east, suffered the most. A tsunami-like river of water swept through its streets when two dams burst. More than 10,000 people are missing and almost 4,000 people have been confirmed dead according to the United Nations. It's a situation any country would struggle to deal with but in Libya, there's an added complication because it's a country with two rival governments. So today Africa Daily's Alan Kasujja has been looking at how Libya will recover from the catastrophic floods.
Kenyans have got used to a system of political coalitions with long-term politicians forming new alliances, changing parties…. often in the run up to elections. But is this a good thing? Does it give Kenya a more consensual form of politics? Or is it just a system of patronage which rewards the political elite – and is inherently instable? For Africa Daily Alan Kasujja discusses the subject with Musalia Mudavadi, Kenya's ‘Prime Minister' – as well as about his government's hopes for Kenya to take leadership role on the subject of food security and the environment.
"Our biggest challenge now is monetisation". Social media influencers in Africa say it's harder for them to make money from their online content. These content creators say they don't get paid in the same way as creators in the UK, the US or European Union do. Content creators in those other countries have access to what is called a creator fund – a pot of money that pays creators for their content. So what's being done about it in Africa and how can African creators make money from their content? Presenter: Alan Kasujja Guests: Charity Ekezie and Daud Suleman
Over the last week, Moroccans have been tested to their limits after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakesh. Whole villages were buried in landslides – while residents of other towns have been forced to sleep outside or in tents as their houses are too damaged to sleep in. There are fears about how they'll manage as winter approaches. Almost 3,000 people are now known to have died in the disaster and the death toll is expected to rise. But on Africa Daily today, we also hear stories of generosity and compassion as Moroccans travel across the country with food and supplies to help their fellow citizens.
In today's podcast, Alan Kasujja sits down with award-winning South African health practitioner professor Lucille Blumberg. She explains why she thinks she was recognized for her efforts in fighting malaria. She also tells our presenter why thousands of people across the African continent are still dying of the disease, despite the medical advancements of recent times. In addition, Alan explores the discovery of a strain of natural bacteria which promises to help fight malaria transmission. He also looks at the vaccines that are being rolled out across the continent. How effective are they?
The family-run business model is as old as business itself. Across Africa and the rest of the world, it is family businesses that dominate production and trade. From massive global brands like BMW or Nike to your local grocery store, it is a common set-up. But a family business can be difficult to manage, and often they don't survive beyond one or two generations. Issues around money, control, who does what, are complex enough in a commercial setting, let alone with your own flesh and blood. So today we are looking at the pros and the cons of going into business with your family, with a focus on a family farm in Kenya, run by 3 generations of the Chiira family.
Every year the G20 – a group made up of the world's wealthiest and most powerful countries - meet to discuss and make decisions on global challenges: climate change, energy security, trade and conflict. For many years there have been complaints that many of those affected by those decisions aren't represented. So with the African Union now a member, will this mean Africa's voice will be heard more? Africa Daily's Alan Kasujja speaks to Mikatekiso Kubayi, a researcher at the Institute for Global Dialogue at the University of South Africa.
Bola Tinubu was officially sworn in as President of Nigeria just over 100 days ago. Since then, opposition candidates Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi have alleged widespread fraud in the election. But last week, Nigeria's Appeal Court rejected challenges to his narrow victory. The problems President Tinubu inherited are huge. There's widespread insecurity, the cost of living crisis, high unemployment, a shrinking oil industry and high inflation. So how's he begun to deal with those challenges? And are people happy with the job he's doing so far? Africa Daily's Mpho Lakaje has been looking at this with the BBC's Chris Ewokor in the capital Abuja.
This week the first ever Africa Climate Summit took place in Nairobi, to discuss ways the continent can respond to the threat of climate change . At least 23 African heads of state and government joined thousands of delegates at the summit, with a goal to influence climate commitments, pledges and outcomes. At the close of the summit on Wednesday, the African leaders adopted a joint declaration outlining the continent's position on climate finance and green growth. In the declaration- the African leaders proposed new taxes across the world to fund action against climate change. The heads of state say the declaration will form the basis of their negotiating position at November's COP28 summit in Dubai. They've proposed taxes on shipping, aviation and the trade in fossil fuel. Although the summit was largely hailed as a success, there has been outcry over the small number of African heads of state and governments who attended. Civil society groups say they were side-lined, and claim the process of preparing the summit was hijacked by western influencers.
“What I saw was really traumatizing. It was traumatic to see people jumping out of a building” On the 31st of August, a fire destroyed a block of flats in the Johannesburg inner city, in South Africa. A total of 77 people died while dozens of others remain in hospital. The police are still investigating how the fire started. The authorities say those who died in the catastrophe were living in the derelict and abandoned building illegally. This is part of what has been described as ‘building hijacking'. Africa Daily's Mpho Lakaje in Johannesburg speaks to former mayor Herman Mashaba and constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos, to get an understanding of this problem.
The leader of Gabon's military junta has vowed to return power to civilians after "free, transparent" elections. However, in a speech after being sworn in as interim president, he did not give a date for military rule to end. The coup, that ended more than 50 years of rule by the Bongo family in Gabon, was welcomed by crowds of cheering civilians that turned up at the inauguration. However, some question his links to the old regime and say Gen Nguema's rule will be a continuation of the Bongo dynasty.
Young people in Zanzibar are able to pursue boxing for the first time in nearly six decades, now that a ban on the sport has been lifted. Zanzibar's first president Abeid Karume banned boxing in 1965, saying it was inhumane and against the culture of Zanzibaris. In the years since, some aspiring boxers had to travel to mainland Tanzania to pursue their ambitions. It means that people on the island were only recently able to enjoy one of Africa's most popular sports in person for the first time in nearly 60 years. But after all that time, are people on Zanzibar ready to lace up their gloves and embrace boxing again?
We speak hundreds of languages across the African continent. But only a small number are represented on the internet. So what future do the languages we speak at home and with our families have, if we cannot use them in a digital world? This is where machine learning comes in, Artificial Intelligence. Because there are translation tools out there, built through Natural Language Processing (NLP), which can allow you to be understood anywhere in the world. But the data needed is complex and takes a long time to create. So we brought together 3 women who work in this field and are ‘language champions' for African languages – Salomey Osei from Ghana, Jade Abbott from South Africa, and Kathleen Siminyu from Kenya – to find out whether our African languages can have a digital future.
When South African Motswedi Modiba made her first appearance on Sing China, one of the world's biggest TV shows, the video went viral. It wasn't just because she sang the song beautifully or because she belted out the words in perfect Mandarin. People were also excited because she became the first black African to appear on the show. The show has more than 150 million viewers and since her audition, she's picked up thousands of new followers across Asia.
On Sunday, Russian officials confirmed that Yevgeny Prighozin was among those killed in a plane crash last week. Prighozin was chief of the Wagner mercenary group, which has carried out operations in a number of African countries. Over the last year, many countries in the Sahel region have moved away from their former security partners in the west. And Mali, which is struggling to contain secessionists and Islamist militants, has turned to Wagner to bolster their security. So, what might Prighozin's death mean for those countries that are relying on Wagner?
“It is not cast in stone that a military junta is always bad. What if it's the only thing that we have?” On the 26th of July 2023, a group of soldiers in Niger ousted president Mohamed Bazoum from power. His presidential guard commander general Abdourahamane Tchiani proclaimed himself the leader of a new military junta. Niger joined Sahel nations like Sudan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Guinea who are also led by army men. Some of these leaders, including Burkina Faso's Ibrahim Traore, appear to be enjoying the support of the masses. So, do these developments mean that western style democracy has collapsed in the Sahel region? Presenter: Alan Kasujja Guests: Everisto Benyera and Mausi Segun
It's been 135 days since the start of the conflict in Sudan. Four million people have been displaced since the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces turned their guns on each other, according to the UN Refugee Agency. More than 700,000 people have left the country, crossing the border to neighbours like, Egypt, South Sudan and Chad. Around 3.2 million are displaced within the country, making their way to areas that feel relatively safer. So, what has it been like for those who made the decision to leave? And how are they trying to rebuild their lives elsewhere? #AfricaDaily
On Monday, the government in Somalia announced that TikTok, Telegram and an online betting platform would be banned. They said the move would help limit the spread of indecent content and terrorist propaganda. The Minister of Communications ordered the internet companies to block the apps by Thursday night. For many people, TikTok is a light hearted escape. But creators have sometimes spent years building up millions of followers. Posting on the platform has become their livelihood. So, why is Somalia banning apps including TikTok? And how will it impact Somalia's TikTok superstars? #AfricaDaily
We all grow up with an identity shaped by history – where we were born, how our parents and grandparents lived, what happened in our country, all these things shape us. But we also have agency, we have the ability to look at our history and the sources that shaped it, and interpret it for ourselves. The same historical event can mean many things to many people. Nigeria is a country where many communities and identities are held within one nation. And the history of that nation is the source of it's current identity. So we've brought together an eminent Nigerian historian and intellectual, Dr Toyin Falola, and Fu'ad Lawal the founder of archivi.ng which is a project to preserve modern history through an online newspaper archive, to discuss how history is used to shape our identities. #AfricaDaily
As the majority of African countries work towards a tobacco free world, Tanzania - the third largest producer on the continent - is still hanging onto the crop as part of its revenue. The country's health ministry has been discouraging smoking, with data showing 17 thousand Tanzanians are killed by tobacco related diseases each year. But the ministry of agriculture has been supporting tobacco farming, with reports indicating local politicians are key stakeholders in the tobacco industry. For Africa Daily, Alan Kasujja looks at why Tanzania is hanging onto tobacco farming, and why a bill prepared more than five years ago to align local legislation with the requirements of the World Health Organisation is yet to be tabled in parliament.
For the next two days, South Africa will host world leaders including Xi Jinping of China, Brazil's Lula da Silva and Narendra Modi of India. Russia's Vladimir Putin was initially invited, but couldn't travel to Johannesburg due to a warrant of arrest issued by the ICC. It relates to alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Those gathered for this week's BRICS summit, will discuss an alternative currency to the US dollar, trade and expanding the BRICS bloc. In recent months, dozens of countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Argentina, Iran, Egypt and Nigeria expressed interest to join. Some political commentators say BRICS could challenge the dominance of the United States and its western allies.
“What a lot of Zimbabweans are really concerned about at the moment is the level of joblessness. This has been a historical problem and so has been the high cost of living” - Shingai Nyoka On Wednesday, millions of Zimbabweans are expected to vote in this year's national election. A total of eleven presidential candidates appear on the ballot paper. But Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu PF and the Citizens Coalition for Change of Nelson Chamisa are seen as the frontrunners. Zimbabweans will go to the polls at a time when hyperinflation pushes up the prices of basic necessities. So, what changes can the elections bring, especially considering Zanu PF's 43 year rule?
This week marked a painful anniversary for Egyptians - 10 years since the violence at Rabaa Square and Nahda Square. In August 2013, supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood had been staging protests and sit ins for almost 50 days. Hundreds of people, mostly civilians, were killed within just a few hours when Egyptian forces violently dispersed the crowds. And many more of those who witnessed the violence have faced arrests, prison terms or have fled the country in the years since. So, what has life been like for them over the past decade? #AfricaDaily
The phrase ‘sanctions have been imposed' frequently features when countries are at the centre of a big news story. Recently we've mentioned that some of Sudan's neighbours brought in sanctions after the military takeover. And the warring parties in Sudan have faced sanctions from the UK since the conflict started there. They are seen by some countries as a way of leveraging their influence to get a preferred outcome. But, what exactly are sanctions? How are they supposed to work? And do they actually have any impact? #AfricaDaily
When a firework blew up in Ubokobong Amanam's hand, he was left with life changing injuries. He needed a prosthesis to replace the fingers he lost, but none of those on the market matched his complexion. The accident inspired his brother John to work on making something better for him. But they didn't stop there…they now run a company making prostheses (artificial body parts) for the African market and employ 35 people. And next they have their sights on the world of robotics. #AfricaDaily
From buying goods to communicating with friends, mobile internet has completely changed how we live our lives. In the continents biggest cities, speedy 4G makes transactions quick and reliable. But in rural areas and poorer countries, data can be slower, temperamental and much more expensive. It means that many people are priced out of getting on line and are missing out on all the benefits that come with it. So, why is data still too expensive in some parts of the continent?
“If that path is clogged with trees or it's difficult to get through but it's the only path you have to a better circumstance, you will go a lot further through that path and you will trek a lot further before giving up than someone who has, perhaps, six or seven paths at their disposal” As the Women's World Cup draws to a close, Alan Kasujja looks at whether or not poverty plays any part in propelling athletes to greatness. Footballers like Malawi's Tabitha Chawinga, Sadio Mane of Senegal, South Africa's Steven Pienaar and Englishman Marcus Rashford, grew up in tough conditions. But this did not stop them from playing the beautiful game at the highest level possible. So, what exactly is it about their background that makes them tick? Presenter: Alan Kasujja Guests: Tabitha Chawinga and Ryan Tehini
“It's becoming a luxury now to purchase a pad.” Women in Ghana protested outside the parliament building in Accra in June chanting for ‘tax free periods'. It followed a rise in taxes on sanitary pads. And now, a BBC survey has found that of all women on the continent, Ghanaian women on low incomes have to spend the biggest proportion of their wages on even the cheapest sanitary protection – a staggering 13%. Because of the cost, many women and girls in Africa will use makeshift protection, including rags, corn leaves and even dried cow dung. And while campaigners in Kenya and South Africa have succeeded in driving down the cost – some say it's not enough, and that women should be given access to free sanitary products. For Africa Daily, Alan Kasujja sits down to discuss the issues with three campaigners from South Africa, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Presenter: @kasujja Guests: @Nokuzola_SA, @anittanesh and @faleyeibrahim For more on the BBC report on the cost of sanitary ware see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-66423981
Finding a place to live can be challenging in a growing, expensive city like Lagos. But single women might find it particularly difficult. They report being turned down by landlords even when they can afford an apartment and have the funds to pay rent in advance. So, why is it so hard to find a place to stay?
“If I take one step to my right I will be in Kenya and if I take one step to my left, I will be in Somalia." A phased reopening of the border between Kenya and Somalia was meant to be happening last month. But that reopening was then postponed by Kenya's interior minister – citing security concerns. So what has the response been on both sides of the border? GUESTS: Abdikafi Adan Mohamed, Mohamed Mohamed and Waihiga Mwaura (@waihigamwaura)
Over the last few years there's been a surge in violence between police and gangs in Haiti, with an eyewatering 80 percent of the capital Port-au-Prince under the control of gangs. The government has been calling for international intervention but its neighbours including the US have opted to keep out. So why has Kenya decided to get involved? It has offered to send 1000 police officers to lead a multinational force. For Africa Daily, Alan Kasujja looks at what the force will be dealing with if approved by the United Nations.
“I think my mum's passing was a way of bringing me back to serve humanity. Maybe that's what she'd have wanted to do for herself. Maybe I'm doing my mum's work.” 80 million Africans are now above the age of 60. And with improved healthcare that's a number that's set to climb drastically in the coming years. Traditionally, elderly people have been cared for by their families, but now more young people are moving from villages to the city for work, leaving their parents or grandparents on their own. For today's Africa Daily, Mpho Lakaje investigates the issues involved, and speaks to a woman who gave up her high-powered job to become a ‘beggar for the elderly' because she felt she'd failed to look after her own mother when she became ill and died from cancer.
Last week, President Bazoum, the first democratically elected president to succeed another in Niger, was detained by his own guards. A military junta is now running the country. Niger was one of the few democracies left in the Sahel. From Mali in the west to Sudan in the east, a whole swathe of Africa is now run by the military. President Bazoum was a key ally to western countries, which have denounced the coup. And tensions are rising between countries in the region, who are split over what should happen next. So, what does the coup mean for Niger and the wider region?
“What I'm seeing is another way of Africa rushing with a begging plate, begging saucer.” Last week, President Vladimir Putin held a Russia Africa summit in St. Petersburg. Countries in attendance included Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Uganda, Senegal and Burkina Faso. African leaders had hoped to persuade Moscow to revive the Ukraine grain deal - helping millions of people who might be affected by food insecurity. But Putin refused to entertain the proposal. He said the Black Sea Grain Initiative would be suspended until demands to get Russian food and fertilizer to the world are met. So, where does this leave Africa?
Friends and family are often called on to donate blood to loved ones in a medical emergency or ahead of routine surgery. But across the continent, there is a shortfall in blood needed for life saving transfusions. The World Health Organisation estimates that they are only meeting half the need. Aisha Dafalla and Kennedy Sanya are Kenya's biggest donors. Between them they have donated more than 170 litres of blood. So, what do they think can be done to get more people involved?
More than 40 people died in wildfires as temperatures soared in the Mediterranean last week. The majority of those casualties were in Algeria, where 34 people lost their lives. In Tunisia more than 300 people were displaced. A team of climate scientists - the World Weather Attribution group - said this month's intense heatwave in the region would be virtually impossible without human-induced climate change. So, what can be done to prevent similar disasters in the future?
“In most cases they are doing much better than men because they have to prove to the world that they are capable. And it's not supposed to be like that but that's how it is.” The Women's World Cup is getting lots of attention in Australia and New Zealand – but did you know that South Africa is currently hosting another World Cup tournament? This weekend the Netball World Cup ‘tipped off' in Cape Town – but the trouble is even many South Africans aren't aware of it. That's led South Africa's energetic deputy sports minister, Nocawe Mafu, to hit the road to enthuse people about the event. So will this encourage more interest in women's sport – and more women to get into sport? Or will netball remain – inevitably – overshadowed by football? Africa Daily's Alan Kasujja speaks to the minister and to the legendary netball player Mary Waya, who almost single-handedly took Malawi into the top five in the world for netball. And he also learns some South African netball chants and songs along the way.
“All the pursuits of capitalism in Africa have dismally failed” Exactly ten years ago, firebrand South African politician Julius Malema and his allies, established the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). It came after he was expelled from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) for “fomenting divisions and bringing the party into disrepute”. At its first national election in 2014, the EFF received over 6% of the vote and went on to get nearly 11%, five years later. It's popular among young Black South Africans for its pro-poor Marxist-Leninist brand of Socialism. As it turns ten, it will be celebrating this milestone at the iconic 94, 000 seater FNB stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday. Africa Daily's Mpho Lakaje sits down with the party's deputy president and co-founder, Floyd Shivambu for a wide ranging discussion.
“He was fearless right? Someone who would never say no in the fiercest of moments… Someone who, without even thinking or blinking in the moment, would always try to respond to the crisis which he faced.” Cameroon has only known one President during the last 40 years: Paul Biya. And for 30 of those years, John Fru Ndi was his only credible challenger. The politician from the North-west Anglophone region died in June at the age of 81 – and this coming weekend his funeral will take place at his Bamenda home. It's a region where a violent conflict has been raging since 2016 as separatist groups fight for their own state – claiming the marginalisation of the anglophone population. More than 6000 people have died during the conflict. But while he spoke up about this marginalisation, John Fru Ndi always opposed the idea of a separate Anglophone state – something which won him enemies as well as friends within the Anglophone community. For today's Africa Daily podcast, Mpho Lakaje discusses his legacy with his son Cornelius Fru Ndi, and analyst Arrey Ntui, and asks where his death leaves the opposition in Cameroon.