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W. African leaders seek ban on full-face veil to prevent attacks – Yahoo News

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West African leaders said Thursday they were seeking to “forbid” women wearing full-face veils in an effort to curb the growing number of female suicide bombers unleashed by Boko Haram jihadists. Losing swathes of territory to the Nigerian army, Boko Haram jihadists have since July started using young women and girls as suicide bombers by hiding explosives in their loose-fitting clothes. The radical Sunni group has also used the tactic in Cameroon, Chad and Niger — countries that have already enforced bans on veils this year.

Source: W. African leaders seek ban on full-face veil to prevent attacks – Yahoo News

How Africa’s fastest solar power project is lighting up Rwanda | Environment | The Guardian

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East African plant is completed in less than a year – creating jobs and setting the country on the path to providing half its population with electricity by 2017

Source: How Africa’s fastest solar power project is lighting up Rwanda | Environment | The Guardian

“Arise, shine for your light has come,” reads a sign at the entrance to the first major solar power farm in east Africa.

The 8.5 megawatt (MW) power plant in Rwanda is designed so that, from a bird’s-eye view, it resembles the shape of the African continent. “Right now we’re in Somalia,” jokes Twaha Twagirimana, the plant supervisor, during a walkabout of the 17-hectare site.

The plant is also evidence, not only of renewable energy’s increasing affordability, but how nimble it can be. The $23.7m (£15.6m) solar field went from contract signing to construction to connection in just a year, defying sceptics of Africa’s ability to realise projects fast.

The setting is magnificent amid Rwanda’s famed green hills, within view of Lake Mugesera, 60km east of the capital, Kigali. Some 28,360 solar panels sit in neat rows above wild grass where inhabitants include puff adders. Tony Blair andBono have recently taken the tour.

From dawn till dusk the computer-controlled photovoltaic panels, each 1.9 sq metres, tilt to track the sun from east to west, improving efficiency by 20% compared to stationary panels. The panels are from China while the inverters and transformers are from Germany.

The Gambia bans female genital mutilation | Society | The Guardian

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President Yahya Jammeh outlaws practice that affects three-quarters of women in west African country

Source: The Gambia bans female genital mutilation | Society | The Guardian

The Gambia has announced it will ban female genital mutilation (FGM) after the Guardian launched a global campaign to end the practice.

The president, Yahya Jammeh, said last night that the controversial surgical intervention would be outlawed. He said the ban would come into effect immediately, though it was not clear when the government would draft legislation to enforce it.

FGM involves cutting female genitalia – often when girls are young – to remove their labia and clitoris, which often leads to lifelong health complications, including bleeding, infections, vaginal pain and infertility. More than 130 million women worldwide are subjected to the procedure in Africa and the Middle East…”

Skyglobe – Trans-AfricanSkyglobe – Transafrican | Homepage

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Source: Skyglobe – Trans-AfricanSkyglobe – Transafrican | Homepage

A major new aviation event, The Skyglobe Challenge TransAfrican Air Race will see scores of private jets race around Africa, departing from Banjul, Gambia on 1 January 2016 for a 12,000 nautical mile lap of the continent.

When it comes to democracy, Egyptians hate the player but Tunisians hate the game – The Washington Post

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The Arab uprisings had a surprisingly small effect on attitudes of ordinary citizens towards democracy, likely because the uprisings were not really about democracy in the first place.

Source: When it comes to democracy, Egyptians hate the player but Tunisians hate the game – The Washington Post

Many hoped the protests associated with the Arab uprisings would unleash a democratic wave in the region, sweeping out autocrats who had withheld political voice from generations of Arabs. Yet rather than producing liberalized polities, with the possible exception of Tunisia, the uprisings primarily led to either devastating civil conflict or the resurgence of authoritarian regimes.

How have these events affected how Arab publics think about democracy? Has the nearly universal failure of the uprisings to yield democracy lead citizens to give up on democracy as a system of governance? My forthcoming article in the Journal of Democracy, argues that the uprisings had a surprisingly small effect on attitudes of ordinary citizens toward democracy — likely because the uprisings were not really about democracy in the first place. However, it also finds some notable shifts in public opinion, particularly in Egypt and Tunisia.

Forest rangers discover 26 elephant carcasses in Zimbabwe | News | DW.COM | 14.10.2015

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Park rangers in Zimbabwe have discovered the bodies of 26 elephants who died of cyanide poisoning. The discovery comes a week after poachers killed 14 elephants using the same method.

Source: Forest rangers discover 26 elephant carcasses in Zimbabwe | News | DW.COM | 14.10.2015

Park rangers in Zimbabwe have discovered the bodies of 26 elephants who died of cyanide poisoning. The discovery comes a week after poachers killed 14 elephants using the same method…

Exclusive: Inside Battle Against Rhino Poaching

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Sky News gains rare access to a rapid response team fighting poachers in South Africa’s largest national park.

Source: Exclusive: Inside Battle Against Rhino Poaching

The latest official figures on rhino deaths are extremely disappointing. Despite all the increased efforts and extra money being used to fight the rhino wars, the number of rhinos poached is up by nearly 30% in the Kruger National Park.

But the teams on the frontline insist they are winning.

“We will not give up. We will win this war,” pilot Jaco Mol said, as we flew through the sprawling two million hectares which make up the national park.

Pilot Mol flies one of two new “Squirrel” helicopters now part of the park’s armoury against the poachers.

Facebook targeting 14 African countries with satellite internet initiative, says Eutelsat CEO – – RFI

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Source: Facebook targeting 14 African countries with satellite internet initiative, says Eutelsat CEO – – RFI

The head of French satellite company Eutelsat has told RFI that its partnership with Facebook to improve internet access will target 14 African countries. Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen said on Thursday that the initiative will partner with local providers to roll out satellite connectivity making the internet more accessible.

Eutelsat expects the system to be operational by the end of 2016, according to de Rosen. It will be made available in 14 countries: Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

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