Ethiopia Opens Africa’s Largest Wind Farm

Ethiopia is looking to massively expand their energy infrastructure and renewable sustainable energy is a key part of their strategy. This is great to see new energy installations focus on the long-term effectiveness and viability of projects.

“Various studies have proved that there is potential to harness abundant wind energy resources in every region of Ethiopia. We cannot maintain growth without utilising the energy sector,” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in a speech at the launch.

Experts put Ethiopia’s hydropower potential at around 45,000 MW and geothermal at 5,000 MW, while its wind power potential is believed to be Africa’s third-largest behind Egypt and Morocco.

Read more at Al Jazeera.

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Brazil Restructures Debt With African Countries

Brazil has announced that they will essentially “write off” about $90 million in debt from African nations. This is for helping the countries alleviate their huge levels of debt while helping create stronger economic ties between Brazil and their indebted partner nations.

“To maintain a special relationship with Africa is strategic for Brazil’s foreign policy.”

He added that most of the debt was accumulated in the 1970s and had been renegotiated before.

A spokesman for Brazil’s Foreign Ministry told Efe news agency that the debt restructuring for some countries would consist of more favourable interest rates and longer repayment terms.

Congo-Brazzaville owes the most to Brazil – $352m – followed by Tanzania ($237m) and Zambia ($113.4m).

The other countries to benefit are Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, and Sudan.

Read more at BBC.

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One Amazing Fence

Fences can build good neighbours and fences can save the environment. One fence has done
wonders for protecting rhinos and water.

Colin Church, the chair of the Kenya-based Rhino Ark conservation group and a leading expert on African leading wildlife, said the fence, which took 21 years for local communities to complete, had failed to save the rhino in the uplands it surrounds.

However, it had succeeded in protecting a large forest area and the sources of four of seven of Kenya’s largest rivers, all of which rise in the Aberdares and provide electricity and water to major cities including Nairobi.

“In the early days, the motivation was to protect the black rhino, but then we all woke up to the fact that the farmers [who lived near the fence] were celebrating, and the reality is that this forested mountain area was the lifeblood for millions of people. We realised the whole ecosystem was at stake,” he said.

“Our thinking had to change.The Aberdares are now the most secure mountain ecosystem in the whole of Kenya and maybe Africa.”

Keep reading at The Guardian.

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Uganda Bans Female Circumcision

From the BBC:

Ugandan MPs have voted to outlaw female genital mutilation – also known as female circumcision.

Anyone convicted of the practice, which involves cutting off a girl’s clitoris, will face 10 years in jail, or a life sentence if a victim dies.

The BBC’s Joshua Mmali in Uganda says it is not officially condoned but is still practised in several rural areas.

Read the complete article

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Malawi Handing Out Free Drugs

The African country of Malawi is expanding a successful program that gave out free drugs to fight AIDs. The country is founding a new company to make the drugs for their people and to export drugs to their neighbours.

“Some 250,000 Malawians are receiving ARVs. We are doing well because many of these could have died by now,” Mutharika said at an AIDS candlelight memorial on the outskirts of the commercial capital Blantyre.

Describing the drugs roll-out as a “success story”, Mutharika said Malawi would establish a local company to “produce ARVs locally and export extra drugs to neighbouring countries”.

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