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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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May 21, 2018 Namibia/Africa: Afrobarometer Insights
In Namibia in 2014, the ruling SWAPO party decided to adopt a 50-50 gender quota for its representatives in the National Assembly. This brought the representation of women in the National Assembly to 41% in the election that year (more than twice the current 19% of women in the U.S. House of Representatives). Recent survey results show that the move has proved highly popular in Namibia, with 71% of women and 68% of men saying that such a quota should be mandated for all political parties.
May 7, 2018 USA/Africa: Achieving 100% Renewable Energy
"We canít have a working nation or a world if we donít stop the climate from careening out of control. Thatís been clear for decades now, but whatís been less clear is precisely what we should do about it. Happily, thatís no longer the case. We now know exactly what to do, and weíre increasingly certain it can be done. We have to switch off of coal, oil, and gas, and on to 100% wind, water, and sun energy sources." - Bill McKibben
May 7, 2018 USA/Africa: Renewable Energy Advances on Many Fronts
Resistance to rapid renewable energy expansion is still high, despite the acknowledged costs in climate change. The U.S. Power Africa initiative still funds predominately natural gas, although its investment in renewables is growing. In Kenya, the Kenyan and Chinese governments are pushing ahead with a coal-fired generation plant in Lamu, despite strong resistance from local environmentalists and the fact that China is rapidly abandoning coal at home. Nevertheless, technological changes and rising awareness of the damage done by fossil fuels are propelling new advances on many fronts.
April 23, 2018 Ethiopia: Wax, Gold, and "Ethiopianness"
The appointment of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister of Ethiopia on April 2 was met with relief and with high expectations by Ethiopians as well as internationally. Although he is a leader of one of the parties in the ruling coalition, he is young (he turns 42 today) and has a reputation as someone open to inclusion and diverse views. Yet the structural problems he and the country face are profound. Ethiopians as well as other informed observers are cautious about predicting to what extent promises will meet expectations, or, in a classic Ethiopian expression, how much gold there is beneath the wax.
April 9, 2018 Africa: Storybooks in African Languages
The African Storybook project, which launched only five years ago to make books available to teachers and students in African languages, already has made available 903 storybooks in 136 different languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Hausa, Swahili, and a host of other languages spoken on the continent.
March 26, 2018 Zimbabwe: Women Continue Protest at Hwange Coal
At a meeting on February 11, two weeks into a protest by hundreds of women in the mining community outside the company's offices, still continuing in late March, the Hwange Colliery Company Ltd. (HCCL) admitted that the company owed its workers a total of $70 million. HCCL management said they did not have the money to pay, although many workers had not been paid full wages for almost five years.