Tag: Africa

Head shot of Robert Mugabe, taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2009.
News Politics

Zimbabwe Leadership Uncertain

Robert Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe since 1987.
Anyone younger than 37 years old in the African country has never had another leader.
Now, many people in Zimbabwe, as well as the military, want him to step down–to leave the job so they can choose a new president.
There have been demonstrations in the country, as tens of thousands gathered in Zimbabwe’s cities to make it clear that they wanted Mugabe to leave his job. The military placed Mugabe under house arrest.
However, he may try to hold onto power.

Image: Government ZA
News Politics

“A Great Tree Has Fallen” – Nelson Mandela Laid To Rest

The father of South Africa was laid to rest on Sunday.

Nelson Mandela was an international icon who fought for peace and reconciliation.

During his life, he affected millions of people. He helped bring about the elimination of “apartheid” in South Africa.

Mandela died on December 5 at the age of 95.

On Sunday, he was given a state funeral, in his home village of Qunu, followed by a private graveside ceremony.

News Politics

Nelson Mandela Memorialized By Prime Ministers, Presidents, Royalty, Citizens, Celebrities

The skies wept over thousands of mourners gathered yesterday in a soccer stadium in South Africa to remember Nelson Mandela.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, attended along with four former prime ministers: Jean Chretien, Kim Campbell, Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. Also in attendance was Shawn Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Leaders of many other nations attended the memorial service to commemorate “the father of South Africa,” who passed away on Thursday at the age of 95.

But it was U.S. president Barack Obama that brought the crowd to its feet in a standing ovation with his words of praise for Mandela:

He makes me want to be a better man. He speaks to what’s best inside of us. After this great liberator is laid to rest, and when we’ve returned to our cities and villages and rejoined our daily routines, let us search for his strength, let us search for his largeness of spirit somewhere inside of ourselves.

News

Charity Gives Money Directly To World’s Poorest People

What would you do with a thousand dollars? You can probably think of a lot of fun ways to spend that much money.

But what if your family didn’t always have enough to eat? Or what if you lived in a house with a dirt floor and a thatched roof? A thousand dollars could change your life.

That’s the idea behind a charity called GiveDirectly, which puts money in the hands of poor people and lets them spend it however they choose.

GiveDirectly was founded in 2008 by four American university students. Paul Niehaus, Michael Faye, Rohit Wanchoo and Jeremy Shapiro were studying economics in the developing world. They wanted to find the best way to help the poorest people.

Traditional charities work by raising money from donors and spending it where they think it can do the most good. Charities often support major projects like building schools, hospitals, roads, wells and irrigation pipes, or providing medical care for people in need.

The Flag of Malawi
News Politics

Malawi Elects A New President

Although there are about as many women in the world as men, there is a much larger number of men who are heads-of-state.

The only female head-of-state Canada has had, out of 22 in Canadian history, was Kim Campbell. She was prime minister for less than a year, in 1993.

In Africa last month, Joyce Banda became just the third female head-of-state in modern African history.

Banda took over for President Bingu Wa Mutharika in Malawi, who died of a heart attack in early April.

Until then, Banda had been Malawi’s vice-president, elected in 2005.

Cycad at the royal palace grounds, Laung Prabang, Laos
Environment News Science

12-Million-Year-Old Plant May Soon Be Extinct

Cycads, a very rare type of plant, are in danger of becoming extinct because of poachers.

Poaching usually means to hunt animals illegally. In this case, trees are being taken from the wild.

They are then secretly sold for a lot of money – up to $100,000 each – to people who collect unusual plants.

The first cycads existed during the time of the dinosaurs, during the Jurassic period. The kinds of cycads that are alive today have been around for 12 million years.

They look like a cross between a fern and a palm tree, and they can take hundreds of years to grow to their full size.