Quartz Africa Weekly Brief: Kiswahili proverbs, Nigeria’s well-dressed senators, Mugabe’s term limit

Solar4Africa installation under construction in Nairobi, Kenya
Solar4Africa installation under construction in Nairobi, Kenya
Image: Photo: Jake Cusack
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Chart of the week: Lagos’ pricey office space

Lagos has much to offer the business world: millions of young, talented job hungry people, a huge consumer market and progressive-minded government–but it doesn’t have enough modern, world-class office space to match its rapid growth.


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Read these beautiful Kiswahili proverbs, illustrated for the 21st century

Kenyan artist Musa Omusi uses his modern art to keep ancient Kiswhahili proverbs alive. Courtesy of our friends at Design Indaba. http://qz.com/425978

African countries have a STEM education problem, but are private partnerships the answer?

African countries have both a youth bulge problem and a shortage of science and math teachers. But the solution being offered to involve private businesses a partnership role in educating the continent’s children presents its own problems, finds Lee Middleton, in the last of our series from the World Economic Forum Africa 2015. http://qz.com/427761

South African court rules for al-Bashir’s arrrest–but he’s already left the country

Omar al-Bashir, the controversial president of Sudan wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity, left the African Union Summit in South Africa after much speculation–despite a South African court ruling for his arrest. He arrived home to a hero’s welcome.


Now the ‘chicken war’ is done, South Africa is going to be a lucrative market for US poultry

American chicken producers can now look forward to exporting 65 000 metric tonnes annually to South Africa, which would be about $65 million a year in value. South Africa lifted its 15-year anti-dumping duties on US-bred chicken in order to secure their much needed participation in AGOA


Tanzania’s president Kikwete struggles to convince activists over press laws

President Jakaya Kikwete is leaving office in 2016 but the passage of the Statistics and Cyber Crimes bills have led to accusations that his government is criminalizing journalism and turning something as innocuous as creating a meme online into a potential illegal act. But at the same time there’s evidence his government is more open than you’d expect, writes Omar Mohammed.

Orange is the New Black’s drug kingpin inspiration is fighting extradition from Nigeria to the US

Nigerian senator Buruji Kashamu has allegedly been on the run from US authorities for 18 years for drug charges and the new Nigerian government is willing to give him up. Kashamu is widely thought to be the real life drug king pin in the book Orange is the New Black. He denies this and says they really want his late brother.


In France, kids of African descent are forbidden from practicing a cultural code at school

The ‘tchip’ or ‘kissing of teeth’, which is rooted firmly in African and Afro-Caribbean culture, expresses disapproval, contempt, disagreement, anger was banned in some schools in France recently to much uproar from some quarters.


Why we’re building an investment fund to back solar energy in Africa

Partners from CrossBoundary write about their fund which is betting on the important role solar energy will play in overcoming one of the continent’s biggest infrastructure challenges. Key to note: the technology is improving at a rapid tick.


What Nestlé forgot to mention when giving its reasons for scaling down in Africa

Sibusiso Tshabalala looks into Nestle’s reasoning behind its cutbacks in sub-Saharan Africa and finds that the Swiss giant gambled to heavily on the promise of the rising middle class numbers and overlooked the much larger numbers of the low income consumers.


What African universities can do to attract academics back from the diaspora

There are between 20,000 and 25,000 African-born academics working at American colleges and universities who have a great deal to offer in terms of skills and knowledge. “We can train young academics. We can help to build our native countries. There are several ways that African universities can get us involved,” writes Osabuohien P. Amienyi an Arkansas State University professor of Creative Media Production. 


Kenya’s No.1 mobile network is battling one of the country’s top banks for mobile money’s future

M-Pesa, the world’s leading mobile money service has had a huge impact on keeping Kenya’s Safaricom, the country’s number one mobile network. But competition is coming, not from rival networks, but rather from Equity Bank, one of the country’s biggest.


The $43 million package Nigerian lawmakers get won’t be just for their wardrobe

Nigerians had been shocked by the $43 million proposed for their newly elected lawmakers supposedly dedicated just to clothing. But after the story went global and elicited a serious backlash against the new government, the senate president clarified the allowances per senator for clothing were significantly smaller


African term limits–is Mugabe right?

It’s too easy to dismiss a seven-term nonagerian when he says terms limits for African leaders are like a noose round their necks. But does Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe have a point about presidential term limits being unnecessary? Especially given that many European countries do not have such restrictions.

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New DNA test traces illegal ivory back to African herds from which they came even as US’ own illegal trade gets a closer look

Scientists, with help from Interpol, have developed a genetic test to trace ivory back to the elephants which they came from. At the same time the United States remains the second largest market for illegal ivory trade after China and Maria Sanchez Diez calls on US authorities to do more to stop being part of the problem



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