News in Africa: 01/03/2013

We’re back! Wow, that break went by all fast and stuff, and here we are to a new update on news from my favorite continent! (I’m just a little partial.) In this update, we have all kinds of new developments with laudings of amazing African women as well as some hopeful developments. It’s a new year – let’s celebrate the (mostly) goodness!

In response to the water shortage in South Africa, Ludwick Marishane invented DryBath, a germicidal skin lotion/gel that replaces water bathing. It is unlike hand sanitizers made with rubbing alcohol, but works along a similar principle. One of the driving motivations behind using DryBath is that it will help to stop the spread of disease-causing germs that would typically cause all kinds of problems in areas where bathing in water is a luxury. It has already proven beneficial in preventing Trachoma. Personally, I hope this product can be distributed in other parts of the world that are also struggling with water shortages and the ensuing issues with basic hygiene.

During New Year’s celebrations, there were some eerily similar stories out of West Africa and South Africa (the region, not the country). At a New Year’s Eve celebration in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, a stampede killed at least 60 people and injured more than 200 others. Similarly, in another New Year’s Eve tragedy, there was a different stampede in Angola, following an evangelical vigil at Citadela Desportiva (a large stadium) in Luanda. At least ten people were killed, including four children, and 120 others were injured.

Enough with the poaching! I recently mentioned the sharp decline in Africa’s lion and elephant populations, but rhinos are also poached for their horns. According to this article, poaching and other illegal trades in wildlife is, “The fourth largest global illegal trade after drugs, counterfeiting and human trafficking.” I was actually really surprised by that factoid because it’s not something that makes for really big news. Maybe it should?

Sexual violence is prevalent in South Africa, so it should come as no surprise that people are taking a stand and that there are several movements geared to educate young men and put the onus of sexual violence on potential perpetrators (thus encouraging them not to rape) instead of on victims. (TW: article discusses rape, although not in graphic terms)

At the 8th Annual Meeting of African Science Academies, a joint statement was issued calling for improved studies on climate change and how it is affecting the continent. Those in attendance stated that there is little “home-grown data” available.

And here is a list of women to watch in Africa. The list focuses on the ten youngest “power women” in Africa. It’s well worth reading. Go, ladies!

Any interesting news you’ve read about Africa recently? Please let us know in the comments!

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Dormouse

Bilingual (and a half) white girl who spent thirteen of her formative years in Africa. She is a writer, mentor, coffee drinker, wife, cat owner, language lover, photography dabbler, aspiring speaker, and a lifetime student. She keeps her writing going over at ellayneshaw.com.

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