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Newly published research suggests that as many as 200,000 children around the world are going without treatment for cancer each year, especially in Africa, parts of Asia, and the Pacific. Worldwide, there are some 400,000 new cases of childhood cancer each year, but barely half are logged in national health registries, researchers reported in The Lancet Oncology, a medical journal. Sixty percent of countries do not even have cancer registries, and of those that do many only cover a fraction of the population.

“The patients will almost certainly die, although cancer will not be listed on a death certificate,” noted Eva Steliarova-Foucher, a scientist at the U.N.-backed International Agency for Research on Cancer, commenting on the study.

The story has been widely reported including the BBC World Service, The Guardian (UK), Japan Times, Outlook India and may other sources 

You can read the actual report here

The ecancer Global Foundation is a UK registered charity with a mission to break down barriers to oncology education and information worldwide.  We are running a survey which aims to determine educational gaps for anyone working in the field of oncology in Africa, with a view to developing educational resources which will all be fully open access and free to use.

I would be very grateful if anyone could share our survey to interested parties https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RBQMSV3?mc_cid=755aa8bad3&mc_eid=%5bUNIQID%5d. 

Please get in touch if you want to know more, we are also looking for collaboration opportunities with experts in this area - katie@ecancer.org

When Bongajum Lesley Ndzi, an entrepreneur, started the Bonga Juice Bar, his promise of fresh juice to his clients was often frustrated by frequent power cuts. Bonga found the solution to this challenge while exercising to stay fit and avoid lifestyle diseases that had plagued members of his family. Having realised that he could convert the mechanical energy generated while pedaling into electricity, he successfully built a working prototype using abandoned car, motorcycle and bicycle parts from around his neighbourhood.

His idea - The Bonga Power Bike - converts mechanical energy generated when pedaling into electrical energy and stores it in a battery. This can then be used for lighting, charging phones, power fans and energy saving television among other things. Pedaling the bike for 30 minutes produces electricity that will light 7 light bulbs for 12 hours, charge phones, turn on a fan, and power television, giving users the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and supplying their energy needs.

The Bonga Power Bike has since won several awards including the NEXT GEN in the Franchising Global Competition, the GAIA AgTech Innovation Challenge, and most recently the 2019 African Youth Energy Innovation award.

 

Kenyan ride-hailing company Little is expanding to Tanzania and Ghana its chief executive officer Kamal Budhabhatti has said. Little, which competes with global players Uber and Taxify in Kenya, will offer rides in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam from next week and plans to launch in Accra by May adding to operations in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

Little, which has a marketing partnership with Kenya’s biggest mobile operator Safaricom, is also available to Kenyan customers who do not have a smartphone. The company worked with mobile operators to introduce a code to identify a passenger’s location. The company, which started up in 2016, has 10,000 registered drivers in Nairobi, with about 60 percent of those active, and more than a million users on its platform across all markets, with more than 60 percent of those in Kenya. 

Little launched a bus service in January in Nairobi, on top of its car taxi service and motorcycle taxi service, known in Kenya as “boda boda”. It is also looking at a delivery service. Uber, which has been operating in Kenya for four years, has 6,000 active drivers.

You can read more on the Reuters site, Africa News or watch a video on the Voice of America website

Climate change plays an increasing and often exacerbating role in humanitarian crises that have been neglected by the global public, such as in Madagascar, Ethiopia and Haiti according to a recently launched report by CARE the international aid organization. The report highlighted the ten most underreported humanitarian crises of 2018. 

In most of the humanitarian crises covered by the report, such as Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines, which was ranked 5th on the list, the effect of El Nino in Madagascar (ranked 3), consecutive droughts in Ethiopia (ranked 2), and various natural disasters in Haiti which was ranked number 1, it was climate change that played a major role. Deteriorating environments also caused vulnerabilities that made it harder for people to be resilient to humanitarian crises in regions such as the Lake Chad Basin and Sudan. This added to the growing body of scientific evidence that the global climate crisis undermined sustainable development and caused human suffering.

CARE called on the international media, policy makers and civil society to increase their efforts to speak about neglected humanitarian crises around the world and the ever-increasing role of climate change. Increased funding and resources invested in reporting will not only result in better coverage of neglected crises but can, most importantly, help to bring much-needed relief to those in need.

The full report can be read here

At least 922 children and young adults have died of measles in Madagascar since October, despite a huge emergency vaccination program, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last Thursday.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, which can cause severe diarrhoea, pneumonia and vision loss and can be fatal in some cases, and remains “an important cause of death among young children,” according to WHO. This is frustrating since the disease can be easily prevented with two doses of a “safe and efficient” vaccine that has been in use since the 1960s, the UN agency said. Last year, measles caused approximately 136,000 deaths around the world, according to WHO’s preliminary figures.

The resurgence of the disease in some countries has been linked to medically baseless claims linking the measles vaccine to autism, which have been spread in part on social media by members of the so-called “anti-vax” movement. In Europe and other wealthy areas, meanwhile, experts blame the problem in part on complacency and misinformation about the vaccine. 

The story has been widely reported including Reuters, Washington Post, France 24 and the UK's Guardian and Independent

OAFLA the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS has changed its name to the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD). The name change took place at the 22nd Ordinary General Assembly of OAFLA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. You can read the full press release here or you can watch it here.

OAFLAD is an advocacy organization where the First Ladies of Africa seek to use their unique position to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment. 

With the change of the name, the first ladies would now be working in six thematic areas instead of mainly HIV and AIDS. The areas are Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), gender equality, women and youth empowerment, Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH), Social security and protection including; persons with disabilities, institutional capacity strengthening as well as HIV/AIDS.

You can read about this and more on the 32nd African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit here

 

A number of interesting stories over the weekend. How can/could technology help with these events?

Nigerian elections

The BBC has produced an article on the elections entitled "Mapping a nation in nine charts"

Africa News comments on a fire at the election office building in Plateau state

There are a number of other sites reporting on the elections including the Daily Post NigeriaPulse Nigeria and Al Jazeera.

Other news:

Africa News has an article about "Fish perish en masse in Libyan lake" (other sites also post this news).

There is also an article about a health alert in the the port town of Bujumbura (previously called Usumbura) the former capital, largest city and main port of Burundi as it struggles to manage its waste.

 

Granted that the liberalisation of the telecoms market in Africa has resulted in an unprecedented level of mobile coverage, the digital divide of uneven mobile coverage persist albeit in variations within countries and between regions. It is thus argued that over 500 million people across Africa lack access to mobile telecoms, especially when we discount multiple SIM ownership.

Although universal service funds (USFs) have emerged as the primary policy tool for closing the digital divide in most African countries, its impact has not been widely felt due to multiple reasons such as poor policy formulation, lack of transparency, idle fund, corruption, etc. As such, bar 10 countries, including Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda, USFs are mostly inactive with millions of dollars lying idle while millions of people in Africa are left without any form of access to mobile telecoms. Since mobile telecoms are fast becoming transformative for people to access and participate in wide-ranging socio-economic activities such as agriculture, banking, education, health, job search and democracy, digital divide has far-reaching consequences.    

For example, a blog by Charles Clerck highlighted that in the recent terror attack in Nairobi, ambulances managed to get to the scene within 12 minutes thanks to Flare – a mobile ride-hailing app. Now let’s imagine a situation where the people in this location lacked access to mobile telecoms and, by extension, cannot access Flare, would those lives have been saved? Widespread access to mobile telecoms is thus a fundamental and first-level issue that needs to be tackled to scale the impact of technology in, for example, agriculture, banking, education, democracy, health, job search and business promotion.

This highlights the need for African policymakers (government, regulators, USFs managers, etc.) to urgently promote better USFs performance (alongside other relevant initiatives) to bring more people into the digital ecosystem and release digital inclusion from its captivity.

Any idea on how policymakers could improve USFs in Africa? Suggestions/contributions are welcomed from anyone in this community for the benefit of #OurDigitalFuture.

I propose a project/research that would engage with the wider stakeholders in the industry on how to improve USFs in Africa and bring more people into the digital society.

The emergency response to the Dusit hotel complex terror attack in Nairobi was far better, partly thanks to Flare, a new ride-hailing app whose ambulances were first to the dusitD2 hotel and office complex hit by Somalia's al Shabaab.

A young Kenyan tech start-up called Rescue.co helped to centralise and co-ordinate the fleets of private ambulance companies. Ambulances scrambled by Flare - run by the Rescue.co company - arrived quickly after panicked calls from subscribers. The first ambulance came within 12 minutes, and by the hour 20 were there. 

In the absence of official information, Flare's emergency number raced across Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Peter Koome, a paramedic with the charity St. John Ambulance, said the improved coordination, along with better training and access, certainly helped save lives. Of 30 people badly wounded, all but two survived.

Americans Caitlin Dolkart and Maria Rabinovich founded Rescue.co in 2016. The Flare app works like ride-hailing and food-delivery services and now has tens of thousands of subscribers and 500 ambulances across Kenya.

Addis Ababa as well as other cities across the country have marked the country’s third Car Free Day. The monthly event is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and fight air pollution. The measure was implemented by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was came to office last April after his predecessor resigned.

Both Rwanda and Ethiopia have successfully established and implemented car-free days in major cities to ease traffic congestion, promote green transport, reduce carbon emission and encourage people to exercise.

Rwanda’s capital Kigali launched the Car-Free Day in 2016 which has now become a bi-monthly event where prominent people including President Paul Kagame join hundreds of Kigali residents to burn some calories. Main roads are usually closed temporarily for residents to walk, jog and ride bicycles. 

To promote a healthy lifestyle and fight air pollution, the country observed its third car-free day on Sunday, February 3, 2019, which saw footballers, runners, skateboarders and regular Ethiopians storm the empty streets to show off their talents and keep fit.

The monthly event is promoted by local NGOs and the Ethiopian government. However, many other African countries have not yet accept the concept of Car-Free Day which has proved efficient in cleaning the air and keeping Africans fit.

Kenya’s capital has attempted implementing a car-free day in the Central Business District in February but suspended the programme “for more consultation”. Transport minister James Macharia said on January 30 that the programme will begin in late February.

The Kenyan government plans to close certain roads in the city on Wednesdays and Fridays to roll out the much-awaited Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses which will be the only vehicles to operate on the two days in the Central Business District. Kenya’s car-free days are directed at “decongesting the city and attracting investors,” said Public Works Minister Paul Maringa.

September 22 is the World Car-Free Day marked globally to encourage motorists to give up their cars for a day and for cities to realize how much pollution affects lives. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016.

1st Submissions ideas

Posted by lauren clarke (Admin) 1 month ago

Thank you for all your ideas and comments! 

You may notice that we are in the process of badging ideas based on which ideas have created the most discussion. This does not mean that you can't still comment on ideas, in fact quite the opposite! Try to get your idea up the rankings by increasing conversation around this. You could tag people in your ideas so they can see them directly, or start commenting on other peoples ideas to ask them to come and view your idea as it is similar. 

Gold Trophy - 30 comments or more

Silver Trophy - 20 comments or more 

Bronze trophy -  10 comments or more

1st submission idea - 9 comments or less

UK Research and Innovation has launched various new calls under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which are open to both UK and overseas applicants. Please follow the links below for more information, including info on eligibility.

GCRF Sustainable energy and international development: beyond technology (ESRC Pre-call announcement) - https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/gcrf-sustainable-energy-and-international-development-beyond-technology/?_ga=2.217178961.612936348.1548944656-445005049.1542103808

GCRF Gender and intersectionality and Education as a driver of sustainable development network plus (ESRC) - https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/gcrf-gender-and-intersectionality-and-education-as-a-driver-of-sustainable-development-network-plus/?_ga=2.78998483.612936348.1548944656-445005049.1542103808

GCRF - Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition call (AHRC) - https://ahrc.ukri.org/funding/apply-for-funding/current-opportunities/gcrf-cultures-behaviours-and-histories-of-agriculture-food-and-nutrition-call/?_ga=2.218375134.612936348.1548944656-445005049.1542103808

UKRI GCRF Health and Context call 2019 (MRC) - https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/browse/ukri-gcrf/ukri-gcrf-health-and-context-call-2019-outline/?_ga=2.218375134.612936348.1548944656-445005049.1542103808

GCRF Equitable resilience: ensuring resilience enhances the Sustainable Development Goals (ESRC) - https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/gcrf-equitable-resilience-ensuring-resilience-enhances-the-sustainable-development-goals/?_ga=2.134548150.612936348.1548944656-45005049.1542103808

UKRI GCRF Collective Programme - Multiple & Systemic Risks (NERC Pre-announcement)- https://nerc.ukri.org/research/partnerships/international/gcrf/news/ukri-collective-programme/_ga=2.142961778.612936348.1548944656-445005049.1542103808

GCRF Development-based approaches to protracted displacement (ESRC Pre-announcement)- https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/gcrf-development-based-approaches-to-protracted-displacement/?_ga=2.242994885.612936348.1548944656-445005049.1542103808

GCRF Global Engagement Networks (UKRI) - https://www.ukri.org/research/global-challenges-research-fund/global-engagement-networks/ 

You can find out more on the UKRI GCRF pages at https://www.ukri.org/research/global-challenges-research-fund/global-engagement-networks/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

Wave one is now complete!

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 1 month ago

THANK YOU to everyone who has posted their ideas, voted and commented on these ideas. The ideas submitted so far have been varied and incredibly interesting to read.

Now that we have come to the end of January, we will review the first wave of ideas posted. However, the platform will remain open until 1st March 2019 for a second wave of submissions. So please continue to submit your ideas, vote and comment on ideas submitted by other users and upload blog posts. We recommend that you make connections with other users to continue conversations around the potential of digital innovation. On the 1st March we will be collating all ideas, comments and votes, across both waves of submission, to help shape future investment in the most popular thematic areas chosen by you!

The platform will be CLOSED on the 1st March – this is the final deadline for any submissions to the platform.

For cancer patients,

- Clinical Trial cycle time is high

- Clinical Trial costs are high
- Drug development costs are therefore high
- Existing Clinical Trial protocol writing approach is wearisome

An innovative approach to solving this problem is a recommendation engine for clinical trial protocols, in order to save the lives of cancer patients. This tool will have an interactive user interface and will have the following features:
- require minimal system resources
- identify eligibility criteria matching user inputs and make recommendation
- quick generation of Clinical Trial protocols
- intelligent protocol drafting
- automated and accurate protocol writing

- more intuitive user experience

Other additional features can then be added to the tool over the course of time for improvement.

A traditional dhow called "Flipflopi" was made entirely of trash and built by Ali Skanda.

With the goal of raising awareness on the devastating effects of plastic pollution, Flipflopi was built thanks to plastic waste collected especially on Kenyan beaches. The rest of the boat, was built using 10 tons of shredded plastic and then molded, only the mast is made of wood. The hull was then covered with 30,000 sandals “tong” garish colors, also picked on the beaches, which gave their name to the boat (sandals are called flipflops in English) and gives it the appearance of a multicolored patchwork. It began a 500-kilometer trek in Lamu, north of the Kenyan coast. and is expected to reach its final destination, Zanzibar Island, on 6th February 2019

Read the full story here

Somalia is the most corrupt in the world according to a global corruption watchdog  -Transparency International.

Somalia was rated the most corrupt with a score of 10, followed by Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, North Korea, Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan and Libya. 

Transparency International's report can be read here

You can read further on the report on these sites - Hiiraan Online,  Daily Mail (UK), Horn Diplomat  and there's also a You Tube video

This UN e-Government Survey provides a summary of their 2018 e-Government Survey on how governments globally utilised electronic methods (via the internet) to deliver services to their citizens to "support transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies".

While four African countries - Ghana, Mauritius, South Africa and Tunisia - were rated as having a high e-Government Development Index (EDGI), the vast majority of African countries ranked  in the Middle and Low EDGI categories.

https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/Portals/egovkb/Documents/un/2018-Survey/E-Government%20Survey%202018_FINAL%20for%20web.pdf

 

Andela, a firm which uses African computer programmers to work remotely for US corporations, has secured $100m (£77m) in investment.

Andela operates in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, and has about 1,100 developers on staff working for more than 200 companies, nearly 90 percent of which are located in the U.S. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s sustainability-focused investment firm, Generation Investment Management, is leading a $100 million funding round in the outsourcer, bringing Andela’s venture capital haul to date to $180 million. The technology company says it intends to use part of the funding to improve its software to spot talented programmers and monitor the performance of their workers.

Andela was founded in 2014 by Brice Steven Nkengsa, Christina Sass, Ian Carnevale, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Jeremy Johnson and Nadayar Enegesi. 

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer says climate change is worsening old-age tensions between farming and herding communities in Niger and Mali, where troubles are compounded by violence and competition for water and land resource. The Sahel region - which includes Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania - comprises some of the world's poorest and most fragile states, and is regarded as the most vulnerable to climate change.

His comments were made when he visited the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday (Monday), after visiting the troubled Sahel region in West Africa in recent days.

 

You can read the full report from the International Committee of the Red Cross here.

The story has also been reported on the BBC and on the Associated Press feed

The 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting starts tommorow in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

The WEF Annual Meeting brings together the heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1,000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations as well as the most prominent cultural, societal and thought leaders, and the disruptive voices of the Forum’s Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers and Technology Pioneers.

You can follow progress of the meeting via the WEF website

supporting-nature-based-research-innovation-and-pro-poor-technologies for sustaining ecosystem services

Oxfam’s annual study emphasized that this growing inequality is compromising the fight against poverty. The report was released as political and business leaders prepare to descend on Davos for the World Economic Forum. The report has been widely reported including Time, Al Jazeera, CNN  and BBC.

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

The report was published in Science magazine. In an abstract from the report it states "Wild coffee species are critical for coffee crop development and, thus, for sustainability of global coffee production. Despite this fact, the extinction risk and conservation priority status of the world’s coffee species are poorly known. The report found that at least 60% of all coffee species are threatened with extinction, 45% are not held in any germplasm collection, and 28% are not known to occur in any protected area. Existing conservation measures, including those for key coffee CWRs (crop wild relative), are inadequate" You can read the full report here.

The story was picked up by CNN and the UK Guardian newspaper

In a similiar thread, a slump in global coffee prices to their lowest in nearly 13 years in September is raising questions about whether it's worth growing beans at all in some of the traditional coffee heartlands of Central America, Colombia and Ethiopia. The main factor behind the latest slide in prices was a bumper coffee crop in Brazil, by far the world's biggest producer. You can read the full story here

Khadija Abdulla Ali is a drone pilot in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar and she is a member of the Zanzibar Mapping Initiative. The Zanzibar Mapping Initiative is the largest drone mapping exercise in the world, but the project was inspired by one across the water in Dar Es Salaam, in mainland Tanzania, which is partly funded by the UK's Department for International Development.

You can read the full story on the BBC website

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UKRI, has announced that eight new projects were successful in the Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminate Plastics Waste competition, and are among the first to be funded through the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF). 

The Fund, which will be managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is engaging Britain's best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics. It will be delivered via the EPSRC, Innovate UK, with strategic oversight from Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Researchers will investigate alternatives to fossil-based materials for plastics, as well as looking into the complex factors involved in the life cycle of plastic materials, from consumers' and business' needs and behaviours, to how to use technology to reclaim or break down plastics. The UK Science Minister, Chris Skidmore, said that the eight new research projects will explore new and different ways of making, using and recycling plastics.

You can read the full press release here

Among challenges limiting sustainable development in Africa are Infectious diseases but due to laboratory equipments costs, experimental research in Africa fail to come up with sustainable solutions to prevent and treat tropical diseases that became “neglected”.

Computational sciences offer an alternative to make a substantial contribution to research on infectious agents. The following aspects could benefit from computer digital innovations:

  • Genomic data analysis of infectious agents
  • Research of structural compatibilities between the proteins of viral agents and chemical compounds.

The idea here is not to abandon wet experiments but to develop a new generation of sufficiently qualified researchers in bioinformatics to develop these promising aspects.

Innovation in Africa

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 2 months ago

An internet search has located the following recent stories you may find interesting?

CNN - African innovations that could change the world

Technologist - 10 great African innovations

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Digital innovations are bringing youth back to agriculture

World Economic Forum - 4 ways universities are driving innovation

In the field of medicine...

World Economic Forum - Digital technologies can deliver better healthcare to sub-Saharan Africa

The Medical Futurist - Africa Is A Hotspot For Digital Health

Sanofi - Sanofi joins Africa’s digital healthcare revolution

Africa's inspired inventors

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 2 months ago

The Royal Academy of Engineering's Africa prize 2018 shortlist for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation have been revealed.  See the full list here.

The UK Guardian newspaper has a feature here.

You can read more on the sign language gloves in this article from Nairobi News

Secret filming by a journalist exposes daylight extorsion by a skilled birth attendant in a state hospital. Watch this JoyNews hotline documentary, showing a glimpse of the heartbreaking ordeal that some pregnant women in the rural part of Ghana have to endure at childbirth.

For instance, in 2016, a total number of 955 women died of pregnancy-related causes. Despite all efforts of the government, the number has increased since 2015 (Ghana Health Service, 2017). There is a nationwide decrease in antenatal care coverage between 2012 and 2016. This is from 92.1% to 84.1%. Furthermore, although deliveries with skilled health personnel are increasing in Ghana (UNDP, 2015), the percentage of skilled deliveries remains low and far below the national target of 80 % (Ghana Health Service, 2017). In 2016 only 56.2% of all deliveries were attended by skilled personnel (Ghana Health Service, 2017).

In rural regions, these numbers are even more alarming.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been named as the most neglected crisis of 2018, according to an annual poll of aid agencies by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.  The experts also listed the Central African Republic, Lake Chad Basin, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Burundi, Nigeria and, for the first time, Venezuela.

The country's “mega-crisis” barely made headlines, they said, even as the country gears up for landmark elections on Sunday which some fear could stoke further unrest.

The Guardian UK newspaper also has a feature on the country as well as an editorial feature on the forthcoming elections and the World Health Organisation has published a report recently on the Ebola virus disease in the country.

 

Nigeria vs Amnesty International?

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 3 months ago

A spokesperson for the President said on Monday that the country was "concerned" about Amnesty International's activities and one stage briefly banned Unicef over claims that it was training "spies" who were sympathetic to Boko Haram.

The story was widely reported on outlets such as Yahoo, News 24 and The Guardian.

UPDATE 18 December - Both Al Jazeera and The Guardian  has followed up on this story.

The BBC has produced an article on voter's mistrust with electronic voting at the DR Congo elections as part of its Reality Check series. You can read further on this from the Daily Nation (Kenya newspaper) and The Guardian (UK newspaper)

UPDATED 20 December - DRC presidential election postponed for at least a week The Guardian & Daily Nation

FURTHER UPDATE 7 January - DR Congo result delay: Voters 'must be patient' BBC and The Guardian

Unleashing the potential of Africa's youth through digital innovations

In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 60 percent of a 1.2 billion population are under the age of 25. This growing youth population needs fruitful employment and the agricultural sector has the potential to offer this to the youth. However, traditionally requiring tough manual labour and offering low wages, agriculture does not often appeal to new generations, who generally prefer to try their luck finding jobs in cities or moving abroad.

Link to the article: http://www.fao.org/rural-employment/resources/detail/en/c/1151913/

Unleashing the great potential of Africa's youth to achieve sustainable development

FAO Director-General stresses the need to create more jobs for youth and build capacity in rural areas to use digital technologies

Link to the article: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1149659/icode/

And a YouTube video entitled Promoting Decent Rural Youth Employment in Agriculture

This video describes the Integrated Country Approach, an FAO’s youth project in Uganda which provides strategic technical support to government of Uganda in developing youth inclusive National Policies and Strategies for Youth Employment in Agriculture.

Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

In an article on the website Responsible Business they have listed 5 African Innovations that they believe are changing lives for the better: http://www.responsiblebusiness.com/news/africas-news/5-african-innovations-help-achieve-equitable-prosperous-future/. Do you agree with this selection?

Are you working on a something better or similar? Even if the answer is no, please let us have your thoughts.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced funding for 12 ‘global research hubs’ to tackle complex development challenges, nine of which will have an element of geographical focus on Africa.

Over the next five years these interdisciplinary research Hubs will work with governments, international agencies, NGOs and community groups in developing countries to provide creative and sustainable solutions to help make the world safer, healthier and more prosperous.

These new UKRI Global Research Hubs are funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which is a key component in delivering the UK AID strategy and puts UK research at the heart of efforts to tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Hubs will focus on some of the world’s greatest challenges from improving human health and promoting gender equality and social justice to fortifying ecological systems and biodiversity on land and sea, generating agricultural sustainability and fostering greater resilience to natural disasters.

You can find out further details here: https://www.ukri.org/news/new-global-research-hubs-to-tackle-complex-development-challenges/

The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) today launches the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP), a global standard to promote transparency and strengthen the governance of grant funding worldwide.

The GFGP standard, developed in collaboration with the African Organization for Standardisation (ARSO), is the first such tool developed in Africa for international use.

Initially created as an African standard, the GFGP has attracted increasing interest ahead of its launch from multiple funders and grantees in Asia, South America and the UK, where government organisations have tested and endorsed it.

The GFGP was officially launched at the Science Forum South Africa on 12 December 2018.

The full press release can be found here: https://www.aasciences.ac.ke/aas/en/updates/academy-launches-global-standard-for-transparent-research-and-humanitarian-funding/

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates spoke about the indifference to the plight of women and children in conflict at their recent Nobel Peace prize ceremony.

Watch it here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHPnzhjSxoY

There was also an interview with TV station Al Jazeera - https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2018/12/nobel-interview-nadia-murad-denis-mukwege-181211082358357.html

or you can read about it here - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/10/indifference-sexual-violence-eats-away-nobel-peace-prize-mukwege-murad

Poor Governance in Africa

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 3 months ago

There are a number of articles and features on this topic. A few for you to read are as follows...

https://www.busiweek.com/lack-of-development-in-africa-due-to-poor-governance/

http://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2017/10/30/the-bane-of-poor-governance-in-africa/

https://mg.co.za/article/2018-03-02-00-sa-counts-cost-of-poor-governance

So how can the people in power be made accountable and what role can technology perform to help give the citizens the tools they need to hold them to account?

This is how Africa can thrive as new technologies change our world

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/africa-s-future-depends-on-improving-education/

Do you agree or is it more of just talk and not enough action?

Charles, UKRI GCRF Team

The latest UN article I could find on human rights in Africa was dated 2004! (feel free to correct me if I am wrong?) https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/july-2004/human-rights-move-africas-agenda 

There appears to have been a number of articles pubshed within the last year e.g. https://www.hrw.org/africa and https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-and-comparative-law-quarterly/article/understanding-and-overcoming-challenges-in-accessing-the-african-court-on-human-and-peoples-rights/B07DB215F5DB24E5A267098F92740240.

Technology has radically changed in fourteen years. So what are the current issues and how can we use the digital technology of 2018 to overcome these challenges?

Charles

UKRI GCRF Team

Hello and Welcome...

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) 3 months ago

To my first blog post and to say welcome to all of you who have recently joined the Platform.

Rememer to use the Platform just like you use other social media outlets for example Facebook. It gives you the opportunity to post articles, give post 'likes' and offer your comments on other user's posts.

Why not put time in your calendars to sign in and see what's new as a number of new users have already posted various articles and had likes and comments given, so sign in now and have a look and start posting. Perhaps you have seen a publication, a news feature or an article either in print or online that you think may be of relevance, so post the link and give your views on it. Don't forget to check for any copyright restrictions or embargoes so make sure that you have received any necessary permissions before you submit. Remember that with some sites it may be behind a paywall, so check that it can be accessed by others before posting.

Your posts should have relevance to the three challenges - Equitable Access to Sustainable Development, Sustainable Economies and Societies and Human Rights, Good Governance & Social Justice and finally like all social media platforms please remember to treat any post that has been submitted by someone else with respect. 

If you are unsure of anything don't forget to have a look at the FAQs page.

So get posting and we all look forward to reading your posts.

Charles, UKRI GCRF Team

Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, the Guardian has a collection of articles documenting the rise of digital in Africa. From 3D printed prosthetic limbs, to access to digital TV, to face regognition for refugees, the series of articles provides an insight into the impact of digital technologies on various challenges faced within Africa. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/series/the-tech-continent-africas-digital-renaissance/all

 

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