Daily Beast: Africa’s Mobile Tech Boom – The Kenyan company Safaricom launched its M-PESA service in 2007 that makes mobile phones all-in-one credit cards and bank branches. Today, “Africa continues to develop mobile innovations that far outpace those of the United States, and these advances” are contributing to Africa’s fast-growing economy, rising consumer class, and rapid modernization. Ironically, many of these mobile innovations were developed to address the lack of infrastructure and health care in parts of Africa. (Jake Bright)
Reuters: Ethiopia plans to power East Africa with hydro – Ethiopia is readying to export large amounts of clean power across East Africa in the coming years, starting with Djibouti and Sudan. Ethiopia plans to increase its electricity exports, primarily generated from hydropower, as a “reliable source of precious hard currency.” The East Africa Power Pool aims to connect the power of grids of at least nine countries in the region, and the African Development Bank has already provided $95 million for a project to link Ethiopia and Djibouti, which currently relies mainly on fossil-fuel power plants and generators. (E.G. Woldegebriel)
Guardian: Congo DRC farmers go back to school as new techniques take root – Over 2,000 farmers in Congo DRC have organized into groups of 30 in farmer field schools as part of a World Vision project. The farmers are learning about improved techniques that will enable them to increase yields. These collectives allow farmers to pool resources and build storage facilities, “strengthening their bargaining power when buying seeds and equipment from suppliers.” The project emphasizes the importance of empowering women and training women to become community leaders. (Mark Tran)
AlJazeera: Mozambique floods displace thousands – At least 150,000 people have been displaced in Mozambique due to intense flooding, according to the UN. As the rains spread flooding northward, the number of displaced people is expected to rise. 40 people have been killed so far by the heavy rains and overflowing rivers, as Mozambique experiences its worst floods in over a decade.
BBC: Bill Gates: The world can defeat polio – Last year there were just 205 cases of naturally occurring poliovirus, compared with 650 cases in 2011 and 350,000 25 years ago. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries where the transmission of the disease has never been halted. This week, Bill Gates will deliver the annual BBC Richard Dimbleby lecture in which he will discuss his commitment to ridding the world of polio.” Gates will acknowledge that “that final push against polio is proving extremely difficult.” (Fergus Walsh)