Somalia: YouTuber AboFlah raises $1m for refugees; Africa’s top innovators celebrated, awarded as AfCFTA Caravan announces winners

Somalia: YouTuber AboFlah raises $1m for refugees

In barely over a day, a Somali YouTuber based in Kuwait raised $1 million for refugees and the displaced in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. AboFlah, whose real name is Hassan Suleiman, is one of the most well-known influencers in the Arab world, with approximately 21 million followers. In 2016, he launched his site dedicated to video game reviews. His initiative, which he established in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), raised $1 million in just 28 hours this week.

The donations, he claimed, far exceeded his expectations. The UNHCR representative in Kuwait, Nasreen Rabiean, praised the initiative and the “spirit of shared responsibility and solidarity.” During a live stream to celebrate hitting 20 million followers, the YouTuber announced the “Warm Their Hearts” campaign. As winter approaches, the funds raised by AboFlah are expected to provide food, clothing, and heating fuel to approximately 17,000 people.

Africa’s top innovators celebrated, awarded as AfCFTA Caravan announces winners

During a gala dinner at the Arab Africa Trade Forum, the winners of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Caravan Prize were announced. They were recognized as Africa’s best innovators in developing solutions to the continent’s most pressing problems. Five winners were chosen from a list of ten finalists, and they will now be financially supported in their innovation adventures, demonstrating Africa’s vast digital talent.

Bernie Akporiaye, a Senegalese software engineer and co-founder of Matontine, which provides modest loans and financial services such as microinsurance to the financially excluded in Francophone Africa, won the grand prize.

Dr. John Afolayan, a Nigerian co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at Medics2You, received a commendation award for his telemedicine innovation, which provides cross-border medical services to individuals, businesses, and healthcare organizations across Africa.

Mathiew de Gaudemar, co-founder and CEO of Kudoti from South Africa, was also awarded a commendation for his efforts to shift business perspectives from “waste” to “recovered materials” through supply chain solutions. Mildreight Muzendu, a Zimbabwean, was also recognized for her efforts in launching AFTA Cargo, a modern logistics business aimed at improving Africa’s cargo management capabilities.

Purity Gakuo, the founder of Tekizo Africa, was recognized for her company’s achievement in empowering small-scale enterprises in Africa with innovative and technology-based solutions, allowing them to boost their revenue and improve their livelihoods.

Bunnaj gathered that the ability of startups and their founders to create and implement ideas, concepts, plans, goods, and services that, at scale, may contribute to the objectives of AfCFTA and the broader African Union Agenda 2063 was a significant consideration for the selection of the finalists.

Security fires tear gas as anti-coup campaign starts in Sudan

Sudanese security forces sprayed tear gas at an anti-coup gathering organized by a group of teachers on Sunday, the first day of a two-day civil disobedience campaign against the military takeover last month. At a rally outside the education ministry in Khartoum, dozens of teachers held banners that read “no, no to military rule” and advocated for a transition to “full civilian rule.”

Since the October 25 coup, there have been nationwide anti-coup protests, including tens of thousands on October 30, but they have been met with a military crackdown. Burhan claims it was a measure to “rectify the course of the transition.”

DRC, Kenya join hands to fight corruption 

The Agency for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption (APLC) of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) inked a cooperation agreement in the fight against corruption on Thursday.

President Félix Tshisekedi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to combat corruption, money laundering, and cross-border economic crimes.

The Congolese Minister of Justice, Rose Mutombo, was present during the signing of the anti-graft agreement, while Twalib Mbarak, the EACC’s Chief Executive, represented the Kenyan delegation.

Gunmen kill 11 soldiers in southwest Niger

The army ministry said on Friday that unidentified gunmen murdered 11 soldiers defending a town in a remote section of southwest Niger where insurgents operate.

On Thursday afternoon, heavily armed attackers arrived in a convoy of automobiles and motorcycles, clashing with soldiers stationed outside the village of Dagne near the Mali border, according to a statement.

Although the raid was thwarted, 11 soldiers were killed, and nine were missing. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. 

Ugandan Police recover explosives, other weapons near last month’s explosion site

During a search in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, police discovered explosives and other weaponry near the site of a restaurant explosion that killed a waitress last month.

A suicide belt, explosives, and an AK-47 rifle with 14 rounds of ammunition were discovered, according to police spokesperson Fred Enaga in a statement released on Friday.

According to the police, several individuals were apprehended in the area, and one was shot dead as he allegedly attempted to flee by jumping off a police pick-up vehicle.

Mali: Political parties demand junta respect transition schedule

On Saturday, a coalition of political groups gathered in Bamako to urge that the country’s junta hold elections next year. Mali’s army rulers have been accused of procrastinating on the transition calendar, which calls for civilian administration by February 2022.

“We, the political parties and groupings of political parties of the framework for a successful transition in Mali, no longer understand the totally contradictory logic of the government, which endangers the evolution of the transition and relations with our partners concerning the electoral timetable, institutional reforms and the revision of texts,” said Amadou Koïta, spokesperson for the political parties and groupings of political parties in the framework of exchange for a successful transition in Mali.

Civil society organisations have accused the military of attempting to maintain control. However, the UN and ECOWAS officials have visited Bamako in recent weeks to persuade the authorities to organize elections.

At least 80 killed in Sierra Leone fuel blast

At least 80 people were killed in an explosion at a filling station in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital.

“We recovered 80 bodies from the site of the accident last night with our ambulances,” a Red Cross rescue worker revealed, adding that rescue operations were still underway on Saturday morning.

Bunnaj learnt that the accident happened when a vehicle caught fire in a petrol station after a road accident.

Nigeria’s State Mourns Victims of Building Collapse

Nigeria’s Lagos State proclaimed three days of mourning following the fall of the Ikoyi building on November 1, 2021.

Scores of people have been confirmed dead after a 21-story building in Ikoyi area in Lagos fell after being under construction for two years. Hundreds of people are believed to be trapped inside, and rescue crews and locals are still working to extricate workers trapped beneath the rubble of the upscale apartment building.

While authorities have stated that the cause of the building’s collapse is unknown, sources claim that only 15 floors were permitted for construction. Previous building collapses in Lagos and elsewhere in Nigeria have been linked to the use of inferior building materials, the adoption of risky cost-cutting measures, and a lack of competent monitoring at various stages of the construction process.

Somalia, Egypt discuss fostering cooperation

Ilyas Sheikh Omar, Somalia’s Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, met with Ambassador Ahmed Abdilatif, Director of the International Center for Conflict Resolution and Peace in Cairo. By enhancing collaboration between the two countries, the sides explored methods to increase the training supplied to Somalia in areas connected to reconstructing the country and improving the public service.

The Somali ambassador emphasized the importance of the International Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Cairo in developing countries’ capacity in the areas of peace and security, particularly in combating extremism that leads to terrorism, illegal immigration, and human trafficking, the role of women in peace and security, and climate change and its relationship to security and development.

The Ambassador praised the work of the Cairo Regional and International Center for Promoting Peace and Sustainable Development for its essential contribution to world peace and its unwavering efforts in international collaboration.

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