‘Selecting’ Somalia president: Gun prices soar in a country where your only protection is the number of weapons you own

‘Selecting’ Somalia president: Gun prices soar in a country where your only protection is the number of weapons you own

The price of an AK-47, the standard weapon of Somali militias, has soared on gun markets ahead of a fraught ballot this weekend, when lawmakers will select the country’s next president.  Parliamentarians from Somalia’s lower and upper houses will decide on May 15 from a list of 39 candidates that...

Read more
Report calls for new diagnosis of Africa’s instability that’s not shaped by specific interests or ideology

Report calls for new diagnosis of Africa’s instability that’s not shaped by specific interests or ideology

Africa faces widespread instability. In the past year, there have been coups in Mali, Chad, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Guinea, and attempts to overthrow governments in the Central African Republic (CAR), Ethiopia and Guinea-Bissau. Violent extremism has also spread due to the political and economic marginalisation of some communities, the...

Read more
Researchers in advanced stages of developing nose spray vaccines they hope can quash Covid variants

Researchers in advanced stages of developing nose spray vaccines they hope can quash Covid variants

The relentless evolution of the Covid-causing coronavirus has taken a bit of the shine off the vaccines developed during the first year of the pandemic. Versions of the virus that now dominate circulation – Omicron and its subvariants – are more transmissible and adept at evading the body’s immune defences...

Read more
Ethiopia launches national dialogue to stop people from going to the battlefront, heal wounds of war

Ethiopia launches national dialogue to stop people from going to the battlefront, heal wounds of war

As an 18-month civil war grinds on, Ethiopia is gearing up for a national dialogue aimed at bridging the country’s many fault lines. But key rebel groups have not been invited, and opposition figures are accusing the government of trying to orchestrate the process. The commission tasked with overseeing the...

Read more
Hospitals in Tigray ask patients to bring old clothes for use as gauze during surgery after Ethiopian war ‘killed’ health system

Hospitals in Tigray ask patients to bring old clothes for use as gauze during surgery after Ethiopian war ‘killed’ health system

After nearly 18 months of conflict between the federal government and Tigray rebels, the health system of the beleaguered region has “totally collapsed”, according to health officials and doctors there. Interviewed by phone health workers in Tigray said shortages are so acute they are using expired drugs to treat chronic...

Read more
FAO warns Ukraine war will plunge more than 800 million people into malnutrition in one year

FAO warns Ukraine war will plunge more than 800 million people into malnutrition in one year

As the devastation in Ukraine continues to unfold, many of the warnings about the global food crisis precipitated by the war have focused on the risks of famine and severe food insecurity. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, for instance, projected last month that between eight...

Read more
Resetting Afghan woman’s agenda: How woman defied Taliban, went to school, opened and now driving her car

Resetting Afghan woman’s agenda: How woman defied Taliban, went to school, opened and now driving her car

When the Taliban seized power across Afghanistan last August, Aaila’s first reaction was to stage an act of quiet protest. As Taliban fighters swept into Bamiyan, the ancient city in central Afghanistan, the 37-year-old got behind the wheel of her white Toyota and drove around town. “I wanted to tell...

Read more
<strong>AI colonialism: South African experts argue that Artificial Intelligence is repeating patterns of apartheid history</strong>

AI colonialism: South African experts argue that Artificial Intelligence is repeating patterns of apartheid history

Thami Nkosi points to the tell-tale black box atop a utility pole on a street once home to two Nobel Peace Prize laureates: South Africa’s first Black president, Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid activist and theologian Desmond Tutu. It always happens this way, Nkosi says. First the fibre; then the...

Read more
New report details how Facebook is grappling with spectre of Russia’s half-truths and support for coups in Africa

New report details how Facebook is grappling with spectre of Russia’s half-truths and support for coups in Africa

Facebook is struggling to contain pro-Russian and anti-western posts that are contributing to political instability in West Africa, investigators and analysts have said. The platform, which has expanded rapidly across the continent in recent years, has made significant investment in content moderation, but still faces enormous challenges in curbing deliberate...

Read more
New study shows highly creative people like visual artists and architects have ‘unique brain connectivity’

New study shows highly creative people like visual artists and architects have ‘unique brain connectivity’

The latest research into creativity compares the brain function of exceptionally creative visual artists and scientists with a highly educated group. Scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan participants’ brains while they performed tasks that tested creative thinking. The researchers found that the brains of exceptionally creative people...

Read more