Are these African leaders changing the world? -OZY


SUDAN

A prayer for peace?

Last March, the Sudanese government signed an agreement with a major rebel group in the Nuba Mountains guaranteeing freedom of worship and the separation of religion from state affairs. Could the concession now pave the way for minority Christian and African belief groups to find common ground with the rulers in Khartoum? Meanwhile, the United States has confirmed that Sudan has paid $335 million in settlement for American victims of terrorism perpetrated from Sudanese soil, in exchange for its removal from Washington’s list of nations sponsoring terrorism. .

The Cartoon Revolutionary

Change in Sudan did not happen overnight. Inspired by the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Sudanese cartoonist Khalid al Baih captured international attention in 2010 with a powerful cartoon titled ‘The Rest Will Follow’, which showed Tunisia pointing the middle finger. The finger next to it was curled up – ready to rebel? Nine years later, Sudan has fulfilled that prophecy. Now in his 40s, al Baih is part of a group of revolutionaries working hard on their second act: building a secular democracy.

Sipping Sharbot

A fermented drink popular in a Muslim-majority country that bans alcohol, sharbot is on the borderline between sparkling fruit drink and alcoholic beverage.


NAMIBIA

Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe

Moving on to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion hit ‘WAP’, young Namibian protesters clashed with police on the streets of the capital Windhoek. The body of Shannon Wasserfall, a 21-year-old woman, had been found six months after her disappearance and the #ShutItAllDownNamibia movement wanted answers. Amid the pandemic, Nthengwe, a human rights activist, used the power of social media to ensure unprecedented turnout at the protests. Gay and gender non-binary, Nthengwe also challenges the country’s homophobic lawsincluding a court verdict barring carrier girls of a gay couple from entering the country.

Not so giant giraffes

In 2018, scientists discovered the second case of dwarfism in a giraffe. Nigel, an Angolan giraffe living on a farm in central Namibia, looked “like someone who put the head and neck of a giraffe on the body of a horse”. How short? Nigel is just 8ft 6in tall, compared to an average giraffe height of 16ft.

Kapana rama

Simply “grilled beef” in the local Oshiwambo language, kapana is a cheap and delicious dish sold in the townships that were created when the country was under the rule of apartheid-era South Africa. Kapana vendors use all parts of the cow for the thin slices of meat, leaving nothing to go to waste. Taste it and you wouldn’t miss a piece either.


WATCH PHILIP LAWRENCE


MALI

Cyber ​​cults

A new generation of digital activists is trying to drive political reform at a time when disillusionment and apathy cloud the conflict-ridden country. These initiatives now focus on opposing those behind the coup. But their challenges run deeper, including a 2019 law that could allow officials unfettered access to digital communications data.

See the mosque

From its minarets to the soaring walls, the Great Mosque of Djenné is built from sun-baked mud – like all of the historic town that surrounds it – according to a tradition dating back to the 14th century. You don’t have to be religious to make a pilgrimage here.


CAMEROON

Edith Kahbang Walla

She’s been beaten, boozed and imprisoned – but the 56-year-old offers the toughest challenge Cameroon’s authoritarian President Paul Biya has faced in his 39-year rule. It won’t be easy, but the former management consultant is ready for a long fight, knowing that time and democratic ideals are on her side.

Technological innovation

The pandemic has raised concerns about the spread of the virus through the physical exchange of banknotes, making it a good time to attract more people to digital commerce. It was an opportunity that the telecommunications company MTN Cameroon seized on, making all transactions under $33 free of charge. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Melissa Bime has drastically reduced the time it takes to get blood transfusions from Cameroonian patients – using just a laptop and a network of motorbikes. It is part of a shift that is transforming West Africa into one of the world’s most advanced laboratories for technological innovations.

Cameroonian Chocolate

Is shade the secret to stellar chocolate? Cameroonian farmers plant their cocoa under trees in the forest, which gives the plants a longer lifespan and promotes soil health. Some experts believe Cameroon’s approach could help promote biodiversity and avoid deforestation in Africa’s hardest-hit countries. The bitter chocolate would then leave a sweet aftertaste.


Community corner

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