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The US is no “envoy of God on earth” – Russia’s Lavrov

The US is no “envoy of God on earth” – Russia’s Lavrov

IN the past week Sergei Lavrov, the veteran Russian foreign minister, stood in the podium of the 77TH Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) 2022 in New York and threw a gauntlet at the US and its western allies. “The United States,” Lavrov charged, “was trying to turn the entire world into its own backyard.” He continued: “Declaring themselves victorious in the Cold War, Washington erected themselves almost into an envoy of God on Earth.” Lavrov said the end of the Cold War at the turn of the 90’s, marked by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has…
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Nigeria suffers widespread blackouts after electricity grid fails

Nigeria suffers widespread blackouts after electricity grid fails

NIGERIA'S national electricity grid collapsed leaving many parts of the country without power, electricity distribution companies said. The grid has collapsed at least four times this year, which authorities blame on technical problems. Last month workers from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) went on strike and temporarily shut the grid. Electricity distribution firms, known as Discos, said the outage happened earlier on Monday and they were working with TCN to restore supplies. They did not state the cause of the outage. Nigeria has an installed capacity of 12,500 megawatts but produces about a quarter of that, leaving many Nigerians…
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Tunisians protest against poverty, high prices and food shortages

Tunisians protest against poverty, high prices and food shortages

HUNDREDS of Tunisians protested night in the capital against poverty, high prices and the shortage of some foodstuff, escalating pressure on the government of President Kais Saied, as the country suffers an economic and political crisis. Tunisia is struggling to revive its public finances as discontent grows over inflation running at nearly 9% and a shortage of many food items in stores because the country cannot afford to pay for some imports. The North African nation is also in the midst of a severe political crisis since Saied seized control of the executive power last year and dissolved parliament in…
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Africa’s agritech startup boom

Africa’s agritech startup boom

VENTURE capital in Africa is being boosted by investments in companies connecting farmers and food producers to retailers (known as "midstream technologies") according to an investment report that shows African agrifood tech startups raised US$ 1.1 billion in five years. Last year, investments into agrifood tech - startups seeking to disrupt the global food and agriculture industry - in Africa hit US$ 482.3 million. Of this, 61 percent went to midstream technologies. In 2020 startups in this sector raised US$185 million. Venture capital firm, AgFunder, in its first Africa Agrifoodtech Investment Report, 2022 shows startups using software to fill in…
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The food-rescuing, compassionate chefs

The food-rescuing, compassionate chefs

AROUND midday, the kitchen in Nishaan and Charmaine Kishore's house in Johannesburg fills with boxes of foodstuffs. The smells of food being prepared permeates the air. In an open area, long tables are covered in sandwich-making supplies and a woman volunteer is busy entering data on a poster board hanging on the wall. This activity is mirrored in other kitchens across Johannesburg. The sounds and smells of food being fried by off-duty chefs and then packaged for delivery are all part of a larger scheme to make the food industry more responsive and to ensure that as many hungry South…
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U.N. food agency: debris from drone strike hit truck in northern Ethiopia

U.N. food agency: debris from drone strike hit truck in northern Ethiopia

DEBRIS from a drone strike in northern Ethiopia's Tigray region hit a World Food Programme truck carrying humanitarian aid and injured the driver, a WFP spokesperson said. WFP, a United Nations agency, helps coordinate humanitarian assistance to Tigray, where a nearly two-year conflict has killed thousands of people and left millions in need of aid. The drone strike on Sunday hit near an area called Zana Woreda in northwestern Tigray, the WFP spokesperson told Reuters. "Flying debris from the strike injured a driver contracted by WFP and caused minor damage to a WFP fleet truck," the spokesperson said, adding it was not…
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Sudanese head north to Egypt seeking brighter future

Sudanese head north to Egypt seeking brighter future

AT downtown Khartoum's al-Souq al-Arabi, travel agencies helping young Sudanese seek a brighter economic future in Egypt are replacing once-packed hardware stores in a corner of the capital's main commercial hub. The exodus reflects growing despondence over prospects at home, where the economy has been in free fall and the U.N. says food shortages affect a third of the population. Power and water cuts are common. Anti-army protests have rocked the streets since a coup a year ago. Following the military takeover, which toppled a civilian-led government that had promised a new economic dawn, the number of those leaving has…
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Law student with a “snack” for ridding the ocean of plastics

Law student with a “snack” for ridding the ocean of plastics

SHEILA MWALILI, BIRD STORY AGENCY DARING, beautiful dreams are spiritual fuel for 22-year-old Sheryl Mboya. She's an environmentalist and law student at Mount Kenya University who's on a quest for a cleaner and healthier environment. And she believes she has the answer: edible cups, plates, and spoons. Mboya's answer may sound fanciful but at just 22 she's got the credentials to make her case. So much so that a national airline has signed on for her first products. Snackuit – edible cups, plates, and spoons that substitute single-use plastics tableware - was born out of the anguish Mboya felt after…
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How we cook can help save the planet – clean cooking solutions coming to a kitchen near you

How we cook can help save the planet – clean cooking solutions coming to a kitchen near you

TO sustain ourselves we must eat. To sustain the planet, we can learn to cook using methods that don’t harm the environment. The good news, according to an International Energy Agency report, is that across Africa people are adopting new methods of cooking, choosing options that are not only cleaner but also cheaper. International Energy Agency (IEA) figures show that nearly all North African states now use cleaning cooking methods. The chart-toppers are Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, with almost universal adoption. South Africa and Gabon cook clean too. In Botswana, Angola and Namibia, Sudan and Mauritania, almost one…
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Uganda says Ebola caseload rises to 16 as outbreak grows

Uganda says Ebola caseload rises to 16 as outbreak grows

UGANDA said its Ebola caseload had jumped to 16 people while a further 18 people also likely had the disease, fuelling fears of a spreading outbreak that involves a strain for which a vaccine has not yet been found. In a tweet, the ministry of health also said the death toll of confirmed cases remained at four while 17 others classified as probable cases had also died. The outbreak had also now spread to three districts, all in central Uganda. The east African country last week announced the outbreak of Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever whose symptoms include intense body weakness,…
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