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Society

Unzipped! The African Women Breaking Taboos Of Sexuality

In countries and communities where sexuality is often kept under wraps, more and more women are taking up their microphones, pens and keyboards to talk about intimate issues without filters.

When the subject of African women's sexuality gets media coverage it's almost always a bad thing, says Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, a Ghanaian writer based in London: "through the spectrum of disease, HIV or repeated pregnancies."

While universal access to sexual and reproductive health services remains a central issue in West Africa, Sekyiamah wants to share other narratives. To do this, she co-founded the blog: Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women.

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African Feminism Exists! A Brief Manifesto

There is a persistent misconception that African women fighting for their rights and building their identity owe a debt to feminism passed down by White women and the West. It is crucial to understand that there are unique forms of feminism that have developed on and of the African continent.

-Essay-

"You cannot go around claiming that an idea or an item was imported into a given society unless you could also conclude that — to the best of your knowledge — there is not and never was any word or phrase in that society's indigenous language which describes that idea or item.”

These words, spoken by the Ghanaian feminist writer and playwright Ama Ata Aidoo, perfectly illustrate why feminism is tirelessly put on trial the moment it is used in reference to sub-Saharan or Afropean girls and women. Here, feminism is seen by many to be an import from the West, an imposition from white women to women of African descent, going against the "true" traditional values of the latter.

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Six Massive Clean Energy Projects That Offer A Shot Of Climate Hope

Last fall's COP26 climate summit showed the way to, not, move forward on tackling the climate crisis. But all's not lost. From the biggest solar farm in the world to a huge storage plant for C02, here are some of the largest renewable energy projects in the pipeline around the globe.

Following a decade-long fanfare of private and government pledges to combat the warming of the planet, last month’s United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow painted a grim picture of the world’s climate progress. The takeaway: the world is on course to overshoot the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords in all but the most optimistic scenario, which would require all announced targets to be fully implemented.

That scenario, however, seems distant today as the pivot to a sustainable energy market is unevenly distributed across the globe, with many fossil-fuel-dependent countries still struggling to close the energy gap as demand for power increases. What is worse, while some countries have improved their ambitions, others slipped backward at COP26 by retracting set climate targets.

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How Facial Recognition Technology Is Different In Africa

There's a reason many Africans are wary of the identification technology: It doesn't work as well for people with dark skin. That's where Charlette N'Guessan, a young Ivorian researcher, comes in.

ACCRA — She's not ashamed to say it: The coronavirus pandemic has been "a very good thing" for Charlette N'Guessan. The same goes for Africa's forward-looking tech entrepreneurs in general.

"With the challenges posed by COVID-19, the continent is waking up," the young Ivorian says. "People are thinking innovation, ideas, change. This crisis gives credibility to what we are doing."

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Ghana
Moina Fauchier-Delavigne

Meet Janet Adu, 'President' Of The Slums Of Ghana

ACCRA — Ghana has two presidents. The first was elected last December, and is named Nana Akufo-Addo, a 73-year-old British-educated son of a former head of state. The other is Janet Adu, 57, who never studied abroad and has always lived far from the luxuries of the official presidential palace. But she too was elected by popular vote to her mandate of "leader of communities' of the slums in Ghana.

"I was not candidate, but the people insisted," Adu recalls of her election in 2012.

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LA STAMPA
Caterina Clerici

Can Chinese Solar Panels Keep The Lights On In Ghana?

ACCRA — It's a hot and humid night in this capital city and a long line waits at the entrance of Papaye, Ghana's top fast-food chain and a symbol of the country's burgeoning middle class. But the restaurant seems closed, its neon lights turned off.

The restaurant's staff struggle to turn on the generator. A light flickers on, briefly illuminating two large halls full of patrons eating plates of fried chicken and rice. Seconds later, darkness once again envelops the Papaye outlet.

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Smarter Cities
Emily Liedel

Smart Cities: Thinking Electricity, Mexican Bike Vests, Korean Internet

Here is a preview of our exclusive newsletter to keep up-to-date and stay inspired by Smart City innovations from around the world.

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Ghana

Shopping Mall Collapses In Ghana, Hundreds Trapped

CITI FM (Ghana), AFP (France)

Worldcrunch

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Ghana

Micro-Livestock In Ghana: Rodents Of Unusual Size - And Taste

WORLD ARK/HEIFER INTERNATIONAL (U.S.A.), BBC (U.K.)

Heifer International, a charity that provides livestock to poor and landless farmers worldwide to help them lift themselves out of poverty, has recently "downsized" its offerings. In addition to cows and goats, they are now also donating cane rats, more appetizingly known as grasscutters, whose meat is prized in West Africa.

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Ghana
Christian Putsch

Stemming Over-Population in Sub-Saharian Africa

In a culture where having a big family is a sign of wealth, it is very difficult to stem the population explosion that is threatening these countries' development and their inhabitants' health.

DOWODA - Adjoa Ankra carries her baby, wrapped in a white blanket, on her back. The 28-year-old woman set off from home at dawn and is now standing with several dozens other women in the courtyard of a health center in Dodowa, a city in Ghana. Rain drops fall on the brightly-clad women and the corrugated iron roof of the facility, but the sound is drowned out by the song the women are singing: "Thank you Lord for protecting our children."

It is hours before it is finally Ankra's turn to step up to the rickety table. Doctors fill out forms before her seven-month-old son Samuel can get the jab in his upper thigh that could save his life. With the support of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) two vaccines are being introduced in Ghana, one against pneumococci and the other against rotavirus. They are the main cause of pneumonia and diarrheal illness that kill 2.7 million people around the world every year.

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Ghana
Christian Putsch with K. Owusu Peprah

Ghana Struggles To Cash In ‘Black Gold’ Dreams Of Oil Riches

Five years after the discovery of a major offshore oilfield, people in Ghana are still banking on better times ahead. But foreign companies -- notably those from China -- are also poised to cash in. A visit to the rapidly expanding city of Sekondi-Takorad

SEKONDI-TAKORADI - The route to the training center is a crumbling asphalt road losing its battle with encroaching vegetation. The guards sitting in a wooden hut to our right barely look up as we drive past. Ebow Haizel-Ferguson is the director of the training center where we are heading; officially called "Sigma Base Technical Services," it is Ghana's largest "oil school."

Steering the car to the left and through the thicket, a view suddenly opens up on to a railway graveyard. Haizel-Ferguson says proudly: "You'd be surprised what we've achieved out of nothing."

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Ghana
Kaspar Meuli

Facing Cocoa Shortage, Swiss Chocolate Makers Aim To Boost African Production

Famous for its chocolate production, Switzerland relies on Ghana for half its supply of cocoa beans, even as the West African nation now focuses on other export products. A new public-private Swiss partnership aims to inject new life into cocoa bean farmi

SUHUM – It was one year ago that Ghana's president John Atta Mills announced the country's first-ever launch of an oil platform. The December 15, 2010 pomp-filled ceremony, in front of television cameras, marked Ghana's arrival among the ranks of oil producers. Experts say that was also a bad day for the country's cacao producers, as the raw material -- a traditional Ghanaian export -- would no longer get the attention or investment necessary to be sustainable.

The situation was particularly disquieting to Swiss chocolate makers as Ghana is their most important supplier. More than half of the cacao beans transformed into chocolate in Switzerland come from the Western African nation. "Cacao consumption goes up globally by 2% to 3% annually, and that rhythm has been sustained even during crisis periods," says Kamillo Kitzmantel, General Manager of Lindt & Sprüngli Suisse. "Supply can't meet demand, as new suppliers like Vietnam or the Philippines have yet to show that they can deliver the required quality levels."

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