Good News From Africa

  1. DRC MP’s elect woman speaker of parliament, Jeanine Mabunda:

Lawmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, on Wednesday elected Jeanine Mabunda as head of the national assembly. Mabunda was the only candidate fielded for the position after her main opponent, Henri Thomas Lokondo, was disqualified. The main opposition boycotted the process citing political maneuvering. The new speaker belongs to the Common Forum for Congo, FCC coalition, which is led by former president Joseph Kabila. She also got the backing of president Tshisekedi’s CACH coalition. She becomes the first woman to occupy the top legislative seat. She is the sixth substantive speaker and takes over from Aubin Minaku – speaker between 2012 – 2019.

  • Selfie by caretaker, gorillas in DRC’s Virunga park goes viral:

Gorillas are not known to stand straight by nature but that is what two female gorillas did over the weekend. Doing so for a selfie opportunity with two rangers. The photo of the rangers and gorillas went viral on social media platforms and attracted wide coverage by mainstream media outlets. The photo was taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC’s famed Virunga National Park. Virunga is “Africa’s oldest national park and is also the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area. “You might have recently seen caretakers Mathieu and Patrick’s amazing #selfie with female orphaned gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze inside the Senkwekwe center here at Virunga. Is it real? Yes! Are these gorilla gals always this cheeky? Yes!,” the park’s Twitter handle clarified the viral photos.

  • Malawi hopeful in new Malaria vaccine:

High hopes in Malawi as the country made history on Tuesday by taking the bold step to be the first country in the world to vaccinate children with a new malaria vaccine. Mothers with babies below the age of 2 turned up in the week long vaccination campaign, in trust of the revolutionary vaccine. “Finally my child has received the malaria vaccine. I am so happy because I know that she will not suffer from malaria and that I can concentrate on other important things,” said Hendrina Ositeni, mother.

  • Ghana starts largest medical delivery scheme using drones:

Hundreds of drones have started delivering life-saving vaccines, blood and medicines to patients in Ghana this week in the largest scheme of its kind, the global vaccine alliance GAVI said on Wednesday. Medics will place orders by text message when supplies run dry, said GAVI chief executive Seth Berkley. Drones will then fly in from four distribution centers, hover over health posts and drop deliveries using tiny parachutes. “The idea is that these four distribution centers can make up to 600 on-demand delivery flights a day,” Berkley told reporters in a telephone briefing. “And that can expand up to 2,000 (a day) over time.”

  • Uganda, Kenya, Morocco named among world’s most beautiful places:

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kenya’s Samburu national reserve and Morocco’s Mount Toubkal have been named among the 25 most beautiful places in the world, according to a survey done by CNN Travel. The list of ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ places was compiled by the American media channel, in commemoration of Earth Day, and shared to tip travellers on which places they could visit this year. ‘‘In celebration of Earth Day…from lush African forests to vast Latin American deserts, watery Balkan paradises to ancient Middle Eastern cities, here are our picks for the world’s top breathtaking, beautiful destinations,’‘ CNN Travel said. This is what was said about the African destinations on the list.

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Good News from Africa

  1. World Press Freedom Day 2019: Ethiopia, Ethiopian in thick of affairs:

The 2019 edition of the United Nation’s World Press Freedom Day will take place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. A move that is allied to reform efforts by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration. The main celebration of the UNESCO-led day will take place in Ethiopia between 1st to 3rd of May. Many media rights watchers have said the decision was both a surprise but welcome. Until April 2018, Ethiopia was one of the biggest jailers of journalists. Months after Abiy, according to the press rights group, Reporters without Borders; there was no journalist who was being held in jail with relation to their work.

  • Malawi becomes first nation to vaccinate children against malaria:

Malawi has become the first nation to immunize children against malaria. Launched on Tuesday, the Malaria vaccine pilot Programme will see at least 120,000 children in Malawi under the age of two injected with the RTS,S vaccine, for partial protection to malaria parasite. Malawi’s Ministry of Health, deputy director, Michael Kayange, said the new system of control and prevention will help Malawi hopefully avoid one million of the six million cases of malaria detected each year in the country, and prevent 4,000 deaths. Researchers and health authorities hope that, combined with other means of prevention, there will be a significant reduction in the number of victims.

  • Egyptian store cells clothes by the kilo, easing financial woes:

Brands such as Zara, Adidas, Nike and Marks & Spencer are out of reach for many Egyptians but a store in one of Cairo’s lower income districts is making these products more affordable. Some of the customers say ‘Kilo Stock’ sells clothes by the kilogram, trading garments at relatively inexpensive prices compared to what they would have cost at the brand shop itself. Customer, Heba, was so pleased with her experience, she described the prices and variety as unimaginable.

  • Angola elections; power decentralization could help revamp local communities:

Angola’s local elections are scheduled to take place in 2021 for the first time, an important step towards democracy. Decentralization appears a plausible solution that could respond to some serious local problems, such as in the city of Luanda. In the neighborhood of Morro Bento for instance, there are many needs. Basic sanitation is one of such that bedevils the area. When it rains, here in Rua das Margarines, the children have a gorge to pass before they get to school. It is full of water and reaches the waist,” says a resident. The Administration of the Neighborhood knows the problems and has already signaled them to the government of the province of Luanda. Firmino José, the neighborhood administrator, believes that the creation of municipalities will make the management of public funds more transparent and efficient.

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Good News From Africa

  1. Return to Juba: South Sudan’s Kiir urges Machar:

South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has called upon the rebel leader Riek Machar to ‘urgently’ return to the country, and implement the peace deal signed last year. Kiir, who was delivering an Easter message, also recounted the ‘piercing experience’ during his recent Vatican visit, when the pope kissed his feet, along with Machar and other political leaders. ‘‘On the occasion of Easter as your leaders, we are working together to bring peace to our country. It is not too late, I am inviting Dr, Riek Machar to urgently return to Juba so that we can work together to expedite the process of forming the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU),’‘ Kiir said.

  • Congo Brazzaville begins exporting Iron Ore:

The grand arrival of the first train ferrying the first iron ore extracts in Congo Brazzaville, mined in Mayoko district, 300 kilometers from the train central station in the economic capital, Pointe-Noire. One year later, and Congo has become one the iron exporting countries. About 23,000 tons of this material was loaded last week into a ship at the Pointe-Noire Port Authority destined for China. The mining company, the Sapro SA group plans to increase exports to 12 million tons per year from 2022.This major trade comes at a time when Congo Brazzaville is dealing with an economic and financial crisis since the fall in oil prices in 2014. The country hopes that these iron exports will empower its plans to diversify its economy from being an oil dependent nation.

  • Preserving Africa’s cultural heritage:

Many people say the charity of African heads of state begins and ends abroad. Several of them have joined the sum of world’s wealthiest families in a fundraiser to rebuild the iconic 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral in Paris which was devastated by fire last Monday. But how do these African leaders react to similar projects geared towards preserving the continent’s cultural heritage? UNESCO has made calls for the continent to restore and preserve the 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of the 13th-century ‘New Jerusalem’, situated in the heart of Ethiopia. The historic dug-out churches have been have been spoiled by rain, erosion, repairs and modifications. Yet, UNESCO’s calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

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Good News From Africa

  1. Celebrating African First Ladies: Gabon’s Sylvia Bongo Ondimba:

Often described as mothers to the nations their husbands lead, Africa’s first ladies are often expected to be unifying figures, serving the president of the nation and the voters who entrusted him the mandate to lead. A first lady by definition is the wife of the head of state, and it therefore follows that most African nations led by a male president, has a first lady. As of March 2019, all African countries have male heads of state. The last female head of state who led an African nation was Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose tenure expired in January 2018.Across the continent, several first ladies have been recognized, applauded and sometimes vilified for the roles they play to support the politics of their husbands.

  • Multimedia: Ivanka incredible Ethiopia, wonderful Ivory Coast trips:

A total of four days, two days in each country she visited; the images from Ivanka Trump’s visit to Ethiopia and then Ivory Coast shows she enjoyed her time visiting. The presidential advisor described her packed itinerary in Ethiopia as “incredible” and her engagements in Ivory Coast as “wonderful and productive. ”Our collage below shows a pictorial brief of her time in Addis Ababa signing deals, engaging in high-level diplomacy, paying tribute to victims of the March 10 Ethiopian crash etc.

  • Tunisia, the safest country for journalists in the Maghreb:

Tunisia has been ranked the safest country for journalists in north Africa and the middle east by the 2019 World Press Freedom Index report. “Tunisia is the exception and continues its democratic transition process. It has admittedly made a remarkable improvement of 25 places, but still faces innumerable challenges especially in relation to the legislative framework,” said Souhaieb Khayati, RSF head of North Africa office. Tunisia not only ranked first in its region it moved by 15 slots to rank 72 in the world. Meanwhile Syria (174th) continues to be extremely dangerous for media personnel. “Journalists are under tremendous pressure in every Maghreb countries, with the exception of Tunisia. But in Algeria, Morocco and Libya, journalists are the victims of continuous pressure from the authorities,” said Souhaieb Khayati, RSF head of North Africa office.

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Here are Google’s leadership evaluation questions:

Here are Google’s leadership evaluation questions:

  1. My manager gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  2. My manager does not “micromanage” (get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  3. My manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  4. The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own.
  5. My manager keeps the team focused on our priority results/deliverables.
  6. My manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders.
  7. My manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about career development in the past six months.
  8. My manager communicates clear goals for our team.
  9. My manager has the technical expertise (e.g., coding in Tech, selling in Global Business, accounting in Finance) required to effectively manage me.
  10. I would recommend my manager to other Googlers.
  11. I am satisfied with my manager’s overall performance as a manager.

Then Google employees are asked to complete two other questions: 

12. What would you recommend your manager keep doing?

13. What would you have your manager change?

Notice that only one question, No. 9, asks employees to rate their manager’s hard skills. 

The Best Managers Are Those Who Help Their Teams Succeed

The evaluation spends almost no time assessing a manager’s knowledge, skill, and experience. All but one question focuses on soft skills: communication, feedback, coaching, teamwork, respect, and consideration.

What you know matters, but communicating, delegating, creating a sense of autonomy and purpose…that matters a lot more.

Granted, you could argue that possessing superb technical skills is less important for Google’s team managers; after all, it’s easier for Google to recruit and retain incredibly skilled people than it is for many companies. 

But that argument misses the larger point. While most employees need some degree of training early on, the emphasis soon shifts from what they know to how they use their knowledge and skills.

For example, take question No. 2: “Does my team leader micromanage?” Just about every task has a best practice, so most leaders implement and enforce processes and procedures. For employees, though, engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence.

I care the most when it’s “mine.” I care the most when I feel I have the responsibility and authority not just to do what I’m told, but to do what is right.

Good leaders establish standards and guidelines and then give their employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best within those guidelines.

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Good News From Africa

  1. Win for Nigeria workers as Buhari signs law to increase minimum wage:

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed into law a bill increasing the country’s minimum wage to 30,000 naira ($98) from 18,000, Ita Enang, a senior special assistant to the president on the National Assembly said. The cost of living has become a key issues for many in Africa’s most populous nation, where most people live on less than $2 a day. Unions went on strike last year over the minimum wage, initially demanding a rise to 50,000 naira a month. Inflation in Nigeria stood at 11.25 percent in March.

  • Uganda’s top court paves way for Museveni to contest 2021 polls:

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni was on Thursday given a final green light to contest in the 2021 elections, after the country’s highest court backed constitutional changes that remove the age limit for presidential aspirants. A 4-3 majority decision affirming the validity of 2017 constitutional amendments was widely expected in the East African country where critics say judicial independence has been eroded under President Museveni’s 33-year rule.

  • Nigeria’s modern style ensemble brand:

We head over to Africa’s most populous nation to meet the man behind a contemporary styling brand which is changing the face of fashion for men. Nicole and Giovanni’s unique sets of designs and bright bold colors compliments one’s look for the office, a corporate event or that perfect day out. Segun Amboina joins Business Africa to discuss his successes and challenges facing his business.

  • Women travel far in tourism:

This year, the World Travel Market Africa wants to see more women take up entrepreneurial roles within the travel and tourism sector in Africa. The industry which generated over $400 million worth of business in 2018, is hoping to ‘‘get products right to tap into the growing markets out of Africa’‘. Our Nyasha Mutizwa covered the recently held World Travel Market in Cape Town, South Africa and files this report.

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Good News from Africa

  1. Mauritania to hold presidential election on June 22:

Mauritanians will go to the polls on June 22 to vote for a successor to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is stepping down after his second and final term in office. If there is no outright winner in the first round of elections, a runoff vote will be held on July 6, under a presidential decree seen by AFP. Candidates have until May 8 to file their bid to be next president of the conservative West African desert state.

  • Algeria’s Bouteflika: Broker of the Ethiopia-Eritrea deal Abiy actualized:

In April 1999, Abdelaziz Bouteflika became Algerian president winning the first post-1992 civil war elections which were prompted by the cancellation of polls the Islamic Salvation Front, FIS, was poised to win. The then 62-year-old Bouteflika clearly had enough work on his hands by way of rebuilding and reconciling the nation. The same year, the rotational presidency of the Organization of African Union, OAU, had reached Algiers’ turn. On July 12, 1999 Bouteflika became OAU president. He was quickly called to task in the wake of what became one of Africa’s deadliest and costliest border wars. The Ethiopia – Eritrea standoff.

  • German giants FC Bayern opens football academy in Ethiopia- First in Africa:

German and European football giants, FC Bayern have announced the opening of a new FC Bayern Football School at a media conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The partnership with the national football body, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) includes an ongoing exchange of experience plus the regular presence of youth coaches from FC Bayern to train local players and coaches in Addis Ababa. Jorge Wacker, FC Bayern executive board member for Internationalization and Strategy, and FCB Brand ambassador Giovane Elber accompanied the official delegation of the Bavarian Minister President Dr. Markus Söder, who is currently visiting Ethiopia.