Africa

WHO endorses use of world’s first malaria vaccine in Africa

The World Health Organization has recommended the widespread rollout of the first malaria vaccine, in a move experts hope could save tens of thousands of children’s lives each year across Africa.

Hailing “an historic day”, the WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that after a successful pilot programme in three African countries the RTS,S vaccine should be made available more widely.

 

Africa secures 270m Covid-19 vaccine doses

All of the doses will be used this year, promises current AU head South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is on top of 600 million doses already secured but is still not enough to vaccinate the whole region.

There are fears that poorer countries globally will wait far longer than richer nations to be inoculated.

Although infection numbers and death rates are comparatively lower across most of Africa, cases are spiking again in some areas.

A new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa is causing particular alarm and makes up most of the new cases.

Africa could become next epicentre of Covid-19 outbreak

UN officials also say it is likely the pandemic will kill at least 300,000 people in Africa and push nearly 30 million into poverty.

The past week in Africa has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

There have been almost 1000 deaths and almost 19,000 infections across Africa, so far much lower rates than in parts of Europe and the US.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa - which warned 300,000 could die - called for a $US100bn ($NZ166bn) safety net for the continent, including halting external debt payments.

Rare black leopard captured on camera in wild for first time in 100 years

According to National Geographic, biologist Nick Pilford captured the female leopard on a camera trap set up in the Liosaba Conservancy, Kenya, after he received a tip-off that a "panther" had been spotted there numerous times. 

And the trap paid off as he managed to snap a photo of the rarest of the big cats.

"Almost everyone has a story about seeing one, it's such a mythical thing," Pilfold said.

Rhino horn smuggled as jewellery

Wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic revealed an "emerging trend" of making and smuggling beads, bracelets and bangles and rhino horn powder.

The lead investigator told BBC News the trade in rhino horn was now "morphing" into a market for luxury items.

At least 7,100 rhinos are estimated to have been killed in Africa since 2007.

Today, about 25,000 of the animals remain.

Julian Rademeyer from Traffic explained that the production of rhino horn "trinkets" mirrored some of the patterns seen in the trade in ivory.

What a hunter-gatherer diet does to the body

Diet is key to maintaining diversity and was strikingly demonstrated when an undergrad student went on a McDonald's diet for ten days and after just four days experienced a significant drop in the number of beneficial microbes.

Similar results have been demonstrated in a number of larger human and animal studies.

Snow falls in Sahara for first time in 37 years

Their 1984 Band Aid prediction that "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime" has once again been proven wrong -- and this time in spectacular fashion.

The Algerian town of Ain Sefra, deep in the dry, hot Sahara desert was hit by a freak snowfall on December 19. It's the first time snow has fallen in the region in 37 years.

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Mythbuster: What Donald Trump didn't say about Africa

The BBC's Dickens Olewe looks at six comments he allegedly made about Africa which are doing the rounds on the internet.

 

'Africans are lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and thuggery'

According to fact-checking website Snopes this claim was first posted on 25 October 2015 on Politica, a fake news website. It was later picked up by blogs and other fake and satirical news websites on the continent.

Preparation for hosting of ACP meet on track

The Chairman of the ACP Ambassadorial Working Group in Brussels and Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union Joshua Kalinoe said he is satisfied with the arrangements put in place by the National Organising Committee (NOC).

“Since I arrived in Port Moresby last week, I have attended coordination briefing sessions of the NOC jointly chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the APEC Authority. I am satisfied that the National Organising Committee has done an excellent job to date in respect to logistics, policy and security.

A new member of the human family?

It is one of the greatest fossil discoveries of our time, a trove of bones hidden deep inside a cave, outside Johannesburg in South Africa.

The team of scientists - from the Rising Star expedition - who made the discovery say the remains are that of 'Homo Naledi'. A new species of our human ancestor.

Homo Naledi is small-brained and primitive - yet revolutionary and complex in behaviour.

Its place in time is uncertain.

It may have lived as far back as three-million-years ago ... or could have roamed the earth as recently as 100,000 years ago.