There is no such thing as a revolution starting and ending in a couple of months’ an interview with Egyptian activist, Yara Sallam

There is no such thing as a revolution starting and ending in a couple of months’ an interview with Egyptian activist, Yara Sallam

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By Nancy A. Onyango on September 30, 2016 — Egyptian human rights advocate, Yara Sallam, stood up to be counted when Egypt's revolution was in full tilt and paid the price for it: fifteen months in prison. The prison spell did nothing to diminish her resolve and since her release last year, the outspoken activist has shown no signs of backing down from the fight to ensure that the powers that be uphold the human rights of every Egyptian. This Is Africa's Nancy Onyango caught up with Sallam on the sidelines of the recently concluded Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) forum in Brazil. She opened up about why some North Africans don't feel "African," her experience behind bars and why she thinks Egypt's revolution is far from over.

 

TIA: To start, would you mind to tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Sallam: My name is Yara Sallam and I work for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). It is an Egyptian human rights organisation based in Egypt. I work on the EIPR matters related to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the United Nations human rights mechanisms.

My interest in human rights was sparked 16 years ago when I joined an organisation that fought for child rights. While at university I also tried as much as possible to involve myself in activities related to human rights. Previously, worked at EIPR on religious freedom, transitional justice, and I also started and headed the women’s right’s defenders program at Nazra for Feminist Studies for almost two years. I interned at the ACHPR as a professional legal assistant. I did my masters in international human rights law. That is my work portfolio.

TIA: You mentioned before that you were in prison for 15 months. Why were you arrested? 

Sallam: I was arrested because I took part in a protest in support of political prisoners. It was in June 2014. The police dispersed the protest violently. They were throwing glass on us and we were arrested. The sentence was handed down very fast. We got three years in prison.

After an appeal the sentence was reduced to two years but then nine months before the end of our sentence, the president issued an amnesty for a hundred individuals. The amnesty included our case which involved about 24 protesters. So I came out of jail last year.

TIA: How was life like in prison? 

Sallam: We were quite privileged because we were women. In Egypt, the women’s prison is better than the men’s prison. We were also privileged because we didn’t belong to the Muslim Brotherhood branch of politics. We were treated better than them. All seven of us were in one cell together with another woman who had been imprisoned on separate charges.

TIA: Would you like to expand on that? What do you mean when you say you “were treated better?”

Sallam: It means that we were allowed to get letters from friends and family and we were allowed to read as many books as we wanted. In short, we had more access to the outside world than them. The seven of us that were arrested together didn’t experience any kind of torture. We were locked up for twenty two hours a day with breaks for either family visits or the one hour in the morning and evening for walking.

TIA: Can you give us a sense of the political landscape in Egypt?

Sallam: At the moment we have [Abdel Fattah el-] Sisi as President. He came into power in June 2014. He was the head of the military back then and overthrew Mohamed Morsi, our first civilian elected president. Ever since Sisi took power, there have been a lot of enforced disappearances, a lot of people thrown in jail, a lot of people killed. The human rights violations are getting worse and worse.

This situation is not being compensated for with gains in other areas either. He is not doing anything. It has been two years of him saying he is fighting terrorism but still our soldiers are being killed in North Sinai. He’s also been saying the economic situation is going to get better but it is not getting better. Prices are on the rise. People are protesting. A lot of medication is not there anymore in the pharmacies. Even children’s milk is not being sold. There are a lot of problems at the moment and I think it is going to get worse.

We’re also living in a time when the space for civil society organisations is shrinking more and more. There is a huge backlash against human rights organisations receiving foreign funding. So it’s not going well for either the human rights people, the independent activists or even the artists on the street. Anyone who is doing anything against the status quo is taken away to be put either in prison or in detention.

Check out Beautiful Wodaabe People with their awesome traditional Wodaabe hairstyle, facial tattoo and earrings

Check out Beautiful Wodaabe People with their awesome traditional Wodaabe hairstyle, facial tattoo and earrings

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Ethiopia at a crossroads apartheid, civil war or reconciliation?

Ethiopia at a crossroads apartheid, civil war or reconciliation?

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By Tariku Abas Etenesh on September 27, 2016 — Ethiopia is seeing an increasing number of civilian protests, which are brutally suppressed by the government. It seems that the elite in power needs to heed the lessons taught by the Rwandan genocide: Do not play with ethnic hatred.

 

The year-long, nationwide and unceasing popular anti-government revolt in Ethiopia has brought the country’s ‘ethnolinguistic federalismexperiment to a dead end. Despite the country’s constitution professing the equality of ‘all the peoples of Ethiopia’, for the past 25 years ‘equality’ has been a factor of who has the most firepower among the rebel groups that toppled the former military regime in 1991. As a result of the political atmosphere in the country, where the best armed takes all, all aspects of the federal government (i.e. intelligence, military, police, state banks, airlines and core sectors of the country’s economy) are now dominated by an elite from a Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that represents only 6% of the general population.

 

Divide and rule

For 25 years, the TPLF elite has guaranteed its grip on state power through the divide-and–rule tactic of festering ethnic animosity. The Amhara and the Oromo are their prime targets. Hate speech against the Amhara (the second–largest ethnic group in the country)was broadcast on state– and party–owned mass media outlets, denigrating millions of people by referring to them as ‘timkehetegna’, which means the conceited’ The killing and jailing of the Oromo (the largest ethnic group in the country) has been normalised, thereby creating an entire generation of people who feel like second-class citizens in their own country.

There is a lesson to be learned from the Rwandan genocide: Do not to play with ethnic hatred.

Threatening the country they lead

Unlike the former military regime, which relied on force to crush any opposition but never compromised on the sovereignty of the nation, the current TPLF–led dictatorship is unprecedented in its threat to wreak havoc if its absolute power is contested. The late Meles Zenawi was often seen using this tactic of bullying the country whenever his party’s reckless corruption and unconstitutional dominance over the federal government was questioned.

Some East Africa cuisine Very Yummy.

Some East Africa cuisine Very Yummy.

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East Africa area is home to mainly Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Somalia and Somaliland, Rwanda and of course Uganda. Like most African foods, food in this area consists of dishes made from grains, rice, millet, yam, beans and cowpeas, flours for bread, including sorghum, maize, and stews cooked with meat and vegetables. Fresh butter and fresh milk features in many authentic foods in East Africa. So a variety of spices curry and coconut milk. In those areas variations are plentiful, due to religious influences and ethnic, contacts of these indigenous African populations with Arabs from the Horn of Arabian and Africa world. Like the typical African food all over the Africa, preparation time for some of these kind of meals can take up one to five hours per meal. For example the Cambuulo, prepared from Azuki beans may take up to five hours to boil to attain the desired tenderness in this area. Barring different regions, a three times a day meal in East Africa will be made up of:

Breakfast cuisine – East African breakfast would consist of specially food with baked bread Ahooh, or Chapati in Kenya and Uganda, in Somali and Somaliland canjeera . Those specialties are usually served with different vegetable stew and sometimes with sour porridge for example the Kenyan uji. Food in African breakfast from ground cereals and sour milk are not uncommon for the nomadic population.

Lunch – In East African lunch is the most important food meal of the day. In African culture lunch would be served in the afternoons. Most of the time is served with a heavy meal. Same like other most African foods all over the Africa, it consists mashed starchy meals made from different tubers and gains.

Dependent upon different regions, and simply boiled white or brownish rice, eaten with a lot of vegetable fish and stews or meat to ground corn meals, mixed with potatoes such as Irio and Githeri or even Ughali in Kenya is actually common.

Dinner –  in this part of Africa is often not different from what they eat as lunch. One of the best East Africans specialties is Kuku Paka, it is a delicious food with chicken coconut curry which is served with white rice, or sometimes Cambuulo which is made from cooked beans with butter and sugar and usually is served with rice or bread and is so famous in East African cuisine. There is a small difference because a meal for lunch today could be cooked but in smaller quantity and can be served as dinner for tomorrow. In east African food all these different meals are often served with a blend of vegetables, salads and fresh fruits or sweets.

 

HORN OF AFRICA

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he main traditional dishes in Eritrean cuisine and Ethiopian cuisine are something like all other African foods all over the Africa. Some of them are tsebhis or stews which is served with injera which is cooked with flatbread made from sorghum or teff, wheat or hilbet which is paste made with from legumes, mainly lentil, faba beans. Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine especially in the northern half of those two places are very similar. Injera is typical African food which is made out of a variation and blend of: wheat, barley, teff, sorghum and resembles slightly sour pancake and corn a spongy. The best known Eritrean cuisine involves various meat or vegetable side entrées and pots and pans, usually thick stew, or possibly a wat. This kind connected with food is served on top of injera, a large sourdough flatbread made from teff flour. One won’t eat with utensils, but instead uses injera to scoop the entrées and side pots and pans. Tihlo prepared from roasted barley flour is incredibly popular in Amhara, Agame, in addition to Awlaelo (Tigrai). Traditional Ethiopian cuisine has no pork or shellfishof any kind, as they are forbidden inside the Islamic, Jewish, and Ethiopian Orthodox Orlando faiths. It is also very common to eat from the same dish during the table with a small grouping of people.

Somali cuisine varies through region to region and involves an exotic mixture connected with diverse culinary influences. It is the product of Somalia’s wealthy tradition of trade in addition to commerce. Despite the assortment, there remains one thing that unites different regional cuisines: all meal is served halal. You’ll find therefore no pork pots and pans, alcohol is not functioned, nothing that died without treatment is eaten, and no blood is incorporated. Qaddo or lunch is frequently elaborate. Varieties of bariis (rice), the most famous probably being basmati, usually serve since the main dish. Spices including cumin, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon andsage are utilized to aromatize these distinct rice dishes. Somalis work dinner as late since 9 pm. During Ramadan, dinner is frequently served after Tarawihprayers – from time to time as late as 11 pm hours.

Central Africa cuisine includes cooking traditions.

Central Africa cuisine includes cooking traditions.

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includes cooking traditions, practices, ingredients the cuisines, and foods of the Central African Republic. Agriculture in the country includes yellow onion, sorgum, yam, spinach, millet, palm oil, banana, okra, rice and garlic. Imported ingredients and crops from American origin include sweet potato, chili peppers manioc, peanuts, maize and tomato. In this part of Africa additional foods include, chiles peanuts and onions garlic.

 

Although in African cuisine fish is used in different dishes, and a lot of other sources of protein include insects such as grasshoppers, crickets’ cicadas or termites. Meats in Central Africa cuisine include goat and chicken. African staple foods include such as millet, rice, starches, sorghum and sesame. Different sauces and vegetables are also consumed. Roadside all over Africa stalls sell foods such as Makara (a type of fried bread) and baked goods or barbecued meat and snacks, sandwiches etc. Normally Muslims are prohibited from drinking or eating something that is cooked with alcohol. In Central Africa the legal drinking age is 18. In Central Africa, K-Cinq area is famous and it is known for its smaller but very beautiful restaurants serving with reasonably priced every traditional dishes served. The capital city of Bangui has hotel restaurants and western foods.

 
Here are some interesting Facts about the Nile River.

Here are some interesting Facts about the Nile River.

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The Nile River may be the longest river on this planet. On this page connected with Interesting Africa facts we list many details of this amazing Africa landform. In this list you’ll find information on such things as the location where the river begins and stops, why it has been so important during history, and the significance on the river especially to those that live nearby it.

 

Nile River Facts

  • The River Nile is in the beautiful continent of Africa. It originates inside Burundi, south of the equator, and flows northward to northeastern Africa, eventually flowing through Egypt and then draining into the Mediterranean Sea.

 

  • You will see that the land is environment friendly on either side of the River Nile.

 

  • Lake Victoria, Africa’s main lake, is generally is known as the source of the River Nile. On the northern edge of this lake, water pours over a waterfall, known as the Ripon Falls; into a narrow opening which many people believe is the beginning of the River Nile.

 

  • Ripon Falls is the starting-point of the water, but the many water ways that flow into the body of Lake Victoria could claim for being the true source.

 

 
  • Most of Lake Victoria is surrounded by mountains with streams tumbling on to the lake. The largest tributary of Lake Victoria is the River Kagera. The Kagera River and its tributary the Ruvubu, having its headwaters in Burundi, is now accepted as the true source of the River Nile. It is from here where the River Nile is measured as the world’s longest river.

 

  • The River Nile is formed from the ‘White Nile’, which originates at Lake Victoria and also the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana inside Ethiopia. These rivers meet in Sudan and then go on their long journey northwards for the sea.

 

  • The White Nile is a lot bigger than the Azure Nile, but because of losses on the way it contributes only about 15% for the flow of the combined Nile. Whereas the Blue Nile, rising in Ethiopia, contributes about 85% to the flow of the Nile River that passes through Egypt to the Mediterranean.

 

  • Because it offered water, food, transportation and excellent soil for growing tasty food most Egyptians lived near the Nile

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  • The Nile River flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

 

  • The largest supply of the Nile is the Victoria Lake.

 

  • The Nile includes a length of about 4, 160 miles or 6, 695 kilometers.

 

  • Nile River’s average discharge is 680, 000 gallons (3.1 mil liters) each second.

 

  • The Nile basin is huge and includes aspects of Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and Congo (Kinshasa).

 

  • The name Nile originates from the Greek word “neilos”, which means river.

 

  • The Ancient Egyptians called the river Aur or Ar (black) as a result of the color of the sediment left after the annual flood of the river.

 

  • It does not take the place of the longest river in the globe. It is approximately 6, 670 km (5, 160 miles) long.

 

  • The Nile River flows on the high mountains in the center of some regions of Africa and north form the Nile delta.

 

  • Near the Mediterranean Sea the river splits into two branches, the Rosetta Branch (to the west) and also the Damietta (to the east). And both of these rivers flow into the Mediterranean Sea.

 

  • Both of the main Nile branches such as the White Nile (Eastern Africa) and the Blue Nile (Ethiopia) join at Khartoum (the capital city of Sudan which is in North East Africa).

 

  • Both the major sources of the Nile River are Lake Tana which feeds the Blue Nile branch and Lake Victoria which feeds the White Nile branch.

 

  • The river average floods is approximately 300 million cubic meters per day.

 

  • Ancient Egypt may have never become one of the primary civilizations in history if it was not for the Nile River. Ancient Egypt relied on agriculture to its wealth and power.

 

  • There are nine countries the Nile and tributaries flow through. These countries are Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzanian, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Sudan, Rwanda and Zaire.

 

  • There are several major cities which have been located along the edge of the River Nile. These cities are Thebes/Luxor, Gondokoro, Cairo, Khartoum, Karnak and Aswan.

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7 Awesome things to do in Mozambique.

7 Awesome things to do in Mozambique.

 

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Mozambique isn’t a country on the typical backpacker trail. It’s rumored to be difficult and dangerous, but much like the rest of Africa, it’s misunderstood and prone to myth.

Before I went to Africa, and Mozambique in particular, people told me to “be careful.”

Yet I came to find that once I got to Mozambique, most of what I heard was wrong. Yes, it was somewhat difficult to travel through, with long bus journeys and overfilled minivans. And yes, I had to keep my wits about me because that’s always important when you travel solo, but for the most part the beaches were beautiful, the piri piri seafood was delicious, and the fact that it’s not a tourist hotspot made it peaceful, too.

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It’s also affordable. Mozambique is the only country I’ve been to where I didn’t have to pay double to have a bungalow to myself as a solo traveler. It’s one of few places where I could buy a coconut for around ten cents, a mango for five cents, and a whole fish big enough to feed three people for around $6 USD.

There are also a bunch of fun and interesting things to do in Mozambique that you can’t do anywhere else, especially in a destination as cheap and uncrowded as Tofo.

1. Go scuba diving
Tofo is home to many famous scuba diving spots known for sightings of big sea creatures. Whales, dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays are all known to frequent the warm, nutrient-rich waters of Mozambique.

You’re also unlikely to have to battle with other divers for the best sites. There are only a couple of diving outfits in Tofo, such as Tofo Scuba, which charges around $30 USD per tank. This means that if you spot a whale shark under the water, there won’t be hundreds of other tourists jumping in the water with you like in the Maldives and the Philippines.

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2. Find hidden enclaves
Tofo is the only beach destination I have ever visited where tourism actually appeared to be on the decline. Usually, I visit a beach and then find it’s completely ruined when I return a few years later, overrun with tourists. Mozambique is different for a few reasons, namely the difficulty of traveling there and the lack of general information available about it.

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That means that the people who you do meet there are usually really interesting travelers. They might be Peace Corps volunteers on their summer break, people from Australia or the States who work in agriculture, South Africans, or other travelers who were already in Africa and got there by word of mouth. The beaches are still beautiful, the sand is still clean, and the locals aren’t jaded yet. To me, that’s the perfect kind of place.

3. Make local friends
Mozambicans are friendly. Those who can speak English are almost always interested in hanging out with foreigners, and sometimes you can enjoy a heartwarming experience as a result.

Pictured above are Orlando and Nate. Nate is an American guy who decided to invite Orlando on his trip through Mozambique after learning that Orlando had never left his village. The relationship between the two was mutually beneficial, as Nate got to have a more local travel experience and Orlando finally got to see his own country.

When I heard about it, this kind of thing didn’t surprise me, because locals were showing me around Mozambique all the time, as well as taking me to late-night dance parties and art galleries.

4. Take a boat trip to the offshore islands
Boat trips are a fun and cheap way to fill an afternoon in Mozambique. In Tofo, you can usually organize one with a local or through your hostel with a group of friends for around $30 USD per person. It’s as easy as just asking the question: chances are good that someone will know someone who has a boat and can take you. It’s the way Tofo works.

The boats are simple, with sideways sails and rudders made out of old wood. It won’t be fancy, but it will be beautiful. Bring your own beer, sit back, and enjoy.

5. Ride a quad bike through the sand dunes
When you rent a quad bike in Tofo, you can take it through some of the small villages (and by small, I mean 5-10 grass huts) in the sand dunes behind the beach. Kids run out and either wave or decide to be little rascals and try to grab onto the back of the quad bike as you ride by.

You can find all kinds of little enclaves and beaches that aren’t accessible directly from the beach in Tofo itself, or you can finally give yourself a ride to the ATM, which is otherwise a 30-minute walk away.

6. Relax all darn day
Truth be told, most days in Tofo I just relaxed all darn day in a hammock, in a pool, in the ocean, or on the beach. It isn’t expensive, with a beer running just under $2 USD, a plate of seafood anywhere from $6 USD for barracuda or prawns to $12 USD for a whole lobster, and a private bungalow on the beach around $15 USD.

It’s the perfect place to just lounge for weeks and listen to music with friends in between dips in the ocean and sunset walks — without feeling guilty for spending a fortune.

7. Hitch a boleia
A common way of getting around Mozambique is to hitchhike, called a boleia in Portuguese. Tofo isn’t big, but if you want to get to the ATM, which is a bit of a walk, a ride is much quicker and more fun, too!

Made in Nigeria an electricity generator that is powered by water

Made in Nigeria an electricity generator that is powered by water

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Wow this Nigerian man Emeka Nelson claims to have developed an electricity generator that is powered by water

The young inventor started a fundraising campaign, hopes to get N2,000,000 (or $10,000) asap

Emeka promises that his new invention, an “ultra modern bio digester” is coming soon

Nsukka-born Emeka Nelson claims to have invented a generator that runs on water, a machine for recycling non-biodegradable wastes. His third invention, a bio digester, is under development. A graduate of the National Metallurgical Training Institute has started a fundraising campaign on social media trough his partner, Karo Kanye Akamune.

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This are Photos of made in Nigeria water-powered generator went viral on Facebook.  Apparently, the young man needs at least N1,000,000 (about $5,000) right now for continuation of his research and products’ improvements. The next step is to collect two million naira from angel investors. Made in Nigeria water-powered generator (hydroelectric generator) in action.

How one woman is helping some farmers in Kenya create a path out of poverty

How one woman is helping some farmers in Kenya create a path out of poverty

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Africa, Economy mfarm How one woman is helping some farmers in Kenya create a path out of poverty PREV ARTICLE NEXT ARTICLE
It’s hard to believe that a woman from a pastoral family in remote northeastern Kenya could grow up to be the CEO of one of her country’s most successful social enterprises. But entrepreneurship was always a passion for Jamila Abass.

As a child, she tended a small vegetable patch, selling the produce to neighbors to make extra income for their family. But her dreams were always much bigger.

“I grew up in a situation where having one meal on the table, you were counted lucky,” Jamila says. “I also grew up knowing that life shouldn’t be this way.”

Years later, this experience would motivate Jamila to start M-Farm, a female-led company that connects farmers to markets and each other, giving them price information over their mobile phones and the ability to organize.

This is helping them move from subsistence agriculture to commercial farming, creating a path out of poverty.

Close to 70 percent of Kenyans work in agriculture. But without information about how much crops are selling for from day to day, they’re often exploited by middlemen.

“There is a huge information gap,” says Jamila. “Farmers are good at what they’re doing, but they do not know who to sell their products to or how much to sell them for.”

The first 686 farmers using the M-Farm platform saw, on average, a 100 percent increase in their profits. There are now 14,000 farmers using M-Farm in Kenya and organizations across the continent are interested in partnering with them.

The company is for-profit or, as Jamila says, “making money while doing good.”

Jamila’s journey from northeastern Kenya was a long one, especially as a woman growing up in a patriarchal society.

“The society I came from, priorities were always given to the men because at the end of the day, a woman would be married off to someone else and she wouldn’t be able to contribute—so you invest in the boy.”

Despite this, Jamila received a scholarship to attend a prestigious high school outside of Nairobi, becoming one of the few people from her community to receive a quality education. From there, she received a scholarship to study computer programming in Morocco and became the first woman in her family to attend college.

“It’s shown over and over again that when girls are educated, they give back to their families,” she says.

Jamila is the perfect example: Even as she rose through Nairobi’s burgeoning technology scene, she couldn’t forget the struggles of her community back home.

“The thing that makes me keep going and doing what I do is my former life,” she says. “That is what inspires me. The more I knew that there are still people living in the situation I lived in, the more persistent I became.”

Miss Malaika Ghana stands as one of the top pageants in Ghana.

Miss Malaika Ghana stands as one of the top pageants in Ghana.

The pageant is produced as a 12 to 13 week reality show which shows the search for a Ghanaian representative for the Miss Malaika continental competition.
It was the first beauty pageant show to be aired as a reality series in Ghana.
From the conception of the show in 2002, it has been presented to the audience as a reality TV show which allows for the viewers to vote for their favorite contestant to be crowned Miss Malaika Ghana.
Miss Malaika Ghana pageant has produced queens who have touched the hearts of Ghanaians with their projects and this shows that real beauty is from within.

 

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