Quartz Africa Weekly Brief: Fast Nigerians, Mandela’s favorite, Burundi’s SoundCloud journalists

Femi Ogunode at last year’s Asian games in South Korea
Femi Ogunode at last year’s Asian games in South Korea
Image: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
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Chart of the week: The European migrant crisis and Africa’s role

Some 185,000 people applied for asylum in an EU country in the first quarter of this year (pdf), a 90% jump from a year ago–a good number are from African countries like Eritrea and Somalia.

Three different Nigerian-born runners hold the 100m sprint records for Africa, Asia and Europe

What happens when personal ambition and natural-born ability collide with badly-managed athletics authorities?

Respecting culture could fix Ghana schools’ problems

After dropping to near-bottom of the OECD education rankings, professor John Boateng of University of Ghana asks if Ghanaian schools should go back to basics.

Small foreign-owned retailers in South Africa are more competitive than local rivals

Two months after xenophobic attacks shook South Africa, the country’s anti-trust regulator, finds small foreign-owned shops compete fair and square with their local rivals–but are much better.

Seeing the flags of racist African states on a killer‘s jacket is a wakeup call for America

Zimbabwean writer Tinashe Mushakavanhu on the pain of seeing the flag from his country’s racist past on Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s jacket in American media last week.

African vultures are nearing extinction due to elephant ivory poachers

The rapid increase in elephant and rhino poaching throughout Africa has led to a substantial increase in vulture mortality. Poachers poison carcasses to eliminate vultures, whose overhead circling might signal their presence or the carcasses they leave behind.

Burundi’s journalists are using SoundCloud to get around a government shutdown of independent radio

A group of brave journalists–dubbed “SOS Medias”–has gone underground in Burundi to broadcast the only independent news available in the country via SoundCloud

Nigeria’s Andela has closed a large funding round led by an early Twitter investor

Andela, the software training and outsourcing platform started in Lagos, has raised over $10 million in Series A funding led by Boston-based venture capital firm Spark Capital.

How Rwanda’s clinics have gone off-grid and on to renewable energy

Rwanda has harnessed its untapped renewable energy generation potential to address the problem of how to get energy into remote parts of the country by developing a off-grid electricity systems.

Has Mandela’s chosen one scaled the last hurdle to be South Africa’s next president?

After the Marikana probe Sibusiso Tshabalala examines the tea leaves for South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, a leadership favorite of late Nelson Mandela and now one of South Africa’s wealthiest men. The probe reminds us South Africa’s police have a tragic history of “structural violence”.

Other things we liked:

Slate captured the transatlantic journeys of more than 10 million slaves from various locations in Africa to the Americas between the 1545 and 1860 in this remarkable two-minute animated clip.

The story of the invention that could revolutionize batteries—and maybe American manufacturing as well

Steve LeVine tells the story of Yet-Ming Chiang, a Taiwanese-American materials-science professor at MIT, who is trying to sell the world the ultimate super battery.

What Google searches reveal about Anglophone and Francophone Africans

According to the Economist, Anglophone Africans are interested in jobs, Francophones search for video games while Lusophones care about children-related themes.

This week, keep an eye on:

Burundi: Where people go to the polls this week despite the opposition’s boycott and weeks of protests over president Pierre Nkurunziza’s plan to seek a third term.