12 Myths and Misconceptions about Africa

The majority of the conceptions about Africa and Africans are entirely false.

1.Africa is a Country

George Bush is not alone in thinking that Africa is a single nation. Often, people refer to Africa as a country, when instead it is a hugely diverse continent comprised of 54 independent nations. Each country has its currency, flag, anthem, history, cuisine, music, identity, and blends of cultures. There are more than 2,000 languages in Africa, and its 1.2 billion inhabitants represent more than 3,000 distinct ethnic groups. Africa is also bigger than most people think it is, with a total area of 30,244,049 square kilometers/ 11,677,239 square miles. It is the second-largest continent on Earth, both in terms of area and population, and the USA, China, India, Europe, and Japan would all fit simultaneously within its borders.

2. All African Countries Are Poor

Poverty is a problem for many African countries, and it will be one of the first things that you notice when you travel there. However, not all African countries are poor. South Africa, for example, is a wealthy country with many valuable natural resources. In the World Bank’s 2016 list of nominal GDPs, South Africa ranked 33rd out of 194 countries – above countries like New Zealand and Singapore. According to the same list, Nigeria has a higher GDP than either Norway or the United Arab Emirates. Poverty in Africa is rarely due to a lack of wealth, but rather due to a failure to distribute wealth evenly. In most countries, there is a small percentage of exceptionally wealthy individuals, offset by the poor minority. The middle class is growing,, though, and these people have the same financial worries and securities as the majority of Western families.

3. Africa is Dangerous and Violent

With wars, revolutions, pirates and child soldiers making the news, it’s no wonder that many people fear traveling to Africa. Of course, because bad news sells, you don’t often get to hear about the many good things that happen on the continent. As such, most people don’t know about Botswana’s stable democratic government or Senegal’s reputation for religious tolerance. South Africa is known throughout the West for car-jackings and break-ins, but in reality, middle-class life is much the same there as it is anywhere else in the world. Although crime occurs throughout Africa, staying safe is a matter of common sense. Travel warnings tell you which countries, cities or borders to avoid, and which are considered safe. Rural areas are usually much safer than urban ones, and this is where you’re most likely to spend your time – especially if you’re planning a safari.

4. Africa is ridden with Disease

Diseases take millions of lives every year in Africa because of a lack of access to childhood immunization programs and basic healthcare. However, successful immunization programs have made huge strides in reducing polio and measles in the last decade. As a visitor, many of the continent’s more exotic diseases (including yellow fever, typhoid, and rabies) can be avoided through vaccination. Malaria is easily combated through the use of prophylactics. While HIV/ AIDS is undoubtedly prevalent in many countries, you can guard against it using the same precautions you would at home. Although state hospitals in some African countries are understaffed, ill-equipped and afflicted with low levels of hygiene, it is possible to get good care in Africa. Most private hospitals are on par with private hospitals anywhere else in the world.

5. All African Governments are Corrupt

Corrupt politicians are a universal problem, and Africa certainly has more than its fair share. However, that doesn’t mean that all heads of state are corrupt. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s legendary post-apartheid president, is often hailed as the epitome of political morality. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2011, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also became a Nobel laureate. On Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Index, Botswana was the least corrupt African nation, outranking European nations like Spain and Italy. Other African governments regularly praised for their relative lack of corruption include Cape Verde, Seychelles, Rwanda, and Namibia.

6. Africa is Technologically Backward

The idea that technological innovation is lacking in Africa is laughable to anyone who has spent time there. Cell phones are available throughout the continent, and even the residents of informal settlements and shantytowns often have phones with cameras and internet connectivity. In some countries, cell phones have several innovative uses. Kenya, for example, has established a highly effective mobile banking system, opening up rural areas to credit in ways that have revolutionized small businesses. Maasai tribesmen dressed in traditional red shukas text, one another current cattle prices, and healthcare workers use phones to share valuable immunization data. While education and resources are often lacking, innovation is in plentiful supply. Mobile money transfer, e-healthcare, and online education solutions are just some of the high-tech ideas to come out of Africa in the last decade.

7. Africa Has No History

Often, Westerners make the mistake of thinking that the continent’s history began with the arrival of colonial explorers to sub-Saharan Africa in the 15th Century. However, Egypt’s ancient pyramids, the rock-hewn churches of Ethiopia and Namibia’s millennia-old rock art are all examples of a rich and eclectic culture that reaches back thousands of years. The ruins of an ancient city now known as Great Zimbabwe provide evidence of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which ruled during the Late Iron Age. In the 12th Century, while Oxford and Cambridge universities were in their infancy, Timbuktu in Mali already had three thriving universities and more than 180 Quranic schools. All over southern Africa, cave paintings created by San ancestors date back thousands of years. Scientists believe that modern humans originated from a single group of African ancestors, and so it could be said that Africa has the greatest history of all.

8. It’s Always Hot in Africa

Although there are countries in Africa that are usually hot all year round (especially in tropical West Africa) this statement is a huge generalization. Africa is not made up exclusively of deserts and savannahs. It also has areas of rainforest, temperate woodland, cool coastal peninsulas, and high-altitude mountains. Even in the depths of the Sahara Desert, winter temperatures often plunge below freezing at night. In South Africa, winters are cold with frequent frost (especially inland and towards the Cape). At the same time, the snow has been recorded in several African countries – including South Africa, Lesotho, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains see enough snow to support a ski resort at Oukaïmden, near Marrakesh.

9. Dangerous Animals Roam Africa’s Streets

Rhinos indeed graze just a few miles from the center of Nairobi, East Africa’s biggest city. There are golf courses in South Africa that house crocodiles in their water hazards and hyenas still wander the nighttime streets of Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe. For the most part, however, Africa’s wildlife is confined to national parks and reserves (including Nairobi’s rhinos). You are likely to see the odd ostrich or baboon by the side of the road in southern Africa. Still, elephant, giraffe, lion, and buffalo no longer roam freely (except for in certain areas of Namibia’s Damaraland). Competition for resources with a rapidly growing population means that wildlife can no longer survive outside the continent’s protected areas. That’s not to say that going on safari feels like visiting your local zoo. National parks and protected areas are often larger than many European countries.

10. Africa Needs Aid to Help it “Develop”

It’s questionable how much good aid money has done for African countries. Often, projects are ill-defined, ill-conceived and ignore any input from the people they aim to help. A lot of Aid, while given in the right spirit, has been somewhat detrimental to African development. For a start, aid money has subsidized some very corrupt governments and crippled efforts to increase government transparency. Real fair trade agreements are preferable, helping to promote steady employment, a stable economy and access to credit. Certainly, celebrity visits are not the answer. Many charities do make a difference, but it would be nice to see them based in Africa and not in New York or Silicon Valley.

11. All Africans Live in Huts

There is a common misconception that all African people live in grass-thatched huts made of mud and dung. Mud huts indeed are one of the most common forms of housing in rural areas on the continent, but it would not be fair for us not to mention the rapidly growing urban centres throughout the continent. The skyline of most African cities is nothing short of beautifully architecturally designed skyscrapers that have become a source of pride for their home countries.

12. All Africans are Dark Skinned

A common stereotype is that all Africans are dark-skinned; this is not true. We do have different skin pigments and various shades of black for the different tribes and different regions around the continent. It is also important to note that there are also immigrants from other continents who have come to Africa many generations ago, and their descendants have settled on the continent ever since. A good example is South Africa, which is also called the Rainbow Nation because of the diversity it is known for when it comes to matters of skin colour.

Growing MENA’s energy and water industry with digitalisation

Following the release of ‘Energy and Utilities Market Outlook 2020’, digitalisation has been identified as a key driver for energy and water supply in the MENA.

Commissioned by Informa Markets, the most recent report highlights the “tremendous growth opportunities for those willing to become digital champions of the global power community.”

Key areas of opportunity include:

Smart lighting – forecasted to reach US$2.1bn by 2023

Smart grid investment – forecasted to reach US$17.6bn by 2027

Overall sector profitability – forecasted to increase by 20-30%

Dr. Josef Petek, Manager of Commercial Operations at ENEXSA, highlights the increasingly high levels of complexity within energy and water supply, and the need for digitalisation to combat this. “Today, complex tasks must be solved within a short space of time, and every decision must be based on profound knowledge of the current situation and the understanding of the effects of the measures to be taken. Digitalisation not only means creating more information through many more measurements, but also understanding the complex interrelations in the processes so that intelligent devices and large-scale optimisation systems can become effective.”

Petek further comments that “digitalisation is the key ingredient to make the energy and water supply resilient, effective and affordable. Making the right dispatch decisions that will make maximum use of renewable energy sources while at the same time ensuring that the demand can always be met by the most efficient generation assets of the fleet requires good data, good models, and effective algorithms to support the decision makers.“

All over the world, “Digitalisation is playing an increasingly prominent role in industries, and the energy sector is ripe for transformation,” adds Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director, Middle East Energy.

Africa: Why Silencing The Guns Means Silencing Youth Unemployment

ONE is a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity .

The city of Addis Ababa is playing host to African leaders for the 33rd summit of the African Heads of States themed ‘’Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development’’. Amidst the barrage of armed conflicts, uprising and insurgencies that has festered on the continent since the leaders muted the project to silence the guns by 2020, it has become imperative for African leaders to review their actions in achieving peace and security on the continent since 2013, when they first made a collective pledge to  not bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans and undertake to end all wars in Africa by 2020 ”.

Today, of the thirteen  peacekeeping missions  globally, seven are on the continent of Africa. Armed conflicts on the African continent are still alive and well in North Africa, the Sahel, Lake Chad region, West Africa, the Horn, and the Great Lakes. While some progress can be seen in reduction of inter-country disputes in Africa in recent times, there are growing intra-country conflicts with casualties that match the count in 2013. There are also indications of new conflicts brewing, given the trend in election related violence and agitations in some parts of the continent. At the current rate and conditions, it will take a miracle to silence the guns in Africa if drastic reforms are not undertaken to make the conditions possible.

This summit of the African leaders must be a time to reflect on root-cause-targeted approaches to ‘silencing the guns’. Current efforts correctly place emphasis on prevention of illicit flow of small and light arms into and circulation within the continent, disarmament, peace building initiatives, mediation and military responses. While these approaches are significant to ‘fight the fires’ of conflict, it has become imperative to prioritize a strong economic push in a renewed approach to “silencing the guns” that targets the foot soldiers of conflicts. African leaders must determine with renewed vigour to respond to the needs of African citizens, particularly the youths, in terms of job creation, employment and improvement in living standards, within a culture of popular democracy and strong institutions. Otherwise, the cycle of conflicts may never end.

The role of Africa’s youth in Silencing the Guns

Research has shown the prominent placement of the youth in armed conflict, unrest and insurgencies. This vibrant population of young people are often visible in the frontlines bearing arms even when they have very little or nothing at stake in the conflict they are involved in. The y outh are uniquely vulnerable to recruitment for armed conflicts, and a huge number of young persons are already associated with State and non-State armed groups.

It is therefore imperative to make this significant population group a focal point of any intervention that must be both effective and sustainable. Any strategy without the active engagement of the youth population is at best a long shot to meaningful resolution. In a system where the youth population is gainfully engaged in decent employment, the chances of arm-bearing, engagement by insurgents or conflict-stirring becomes too costly. This is why the African youth must as a matter of strategy and urgency be brought to the forefront and centre stage of “Silencing the Guns”.

Silencing the Guns means Silencing unemployment

If as projected, Africa’s population is set to double to 2.5 billion by 2050, with more than sixty percent being youth, it is terrifying to think of the level of chaos that could result from a lack of opportunities for decent and profitable employment on the continent. In a bid to truly harness the demographic dividend that could arise from a large productive workforce, prioritizing job creation and youth employment becomes the fundamental step at preventing disaster. Urgent steps must include:

Commitment to, and promotion of job creation: Inclusive on this agenda is modernizing agriculture, promoting entrepreneurship, increasing access to finance, reducing bottlenecks for business operations, government patronizing youth-led enterprises, improving the matching of supply and demand for skilled labour in fragile states and ensuring the implementation of the African Free Continental Free Trade Area. The AfCFTA is a game-changer for accelerating progress on agricultural transformation and employment creation.

Active and meaningful Youth empowerment: This would significantly involve policy changes as well as enforcing laws that end all forms of discrimination against youth and women, providing a platform for intergenerational dialogues on development and security issues, and ensuring that social safety nets systems reach at least half of the most vulnerable youth.

Improved access to education and learning outcomes: Must involve partnership with the private sector to scale up programs that enrol youth, improve their learning outcomes and match the needs of the job market through more and better investments into education. This should also ensure children and young adults in conflict regions or other difficult to access areas continue to receive high quality education by supporting local responders with investments in technology enabled delivery platforms.

Periodic reporting of progress on commitments to Demographic Dividend plans: States must become accountable in reporting progress on their demographic dividend plans committed in 2017. Verbal commitment without tracking progress has always resulted in wasted efforts. This year of ‘silencing the guns’ therefore provides a fresh opportunity for African leaders to make result-driven reviews and track progress for the purpose of accountability.

With the exponential growth of the youth demography, the continent is on the brink of what could bring a ‘demographic dividend’ – but only if the right action is taken right now, by the leaders and torch-bearers of the continent.

It Was the Year of Africa


Adom Getachew is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and raised in Gaborone, Botswana, and Arlington, Va., she is the author of “Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination.”

An academic conference is rarely an occasion for world-historical predictions, but, addressing a meeting on African politics at Wellesley College 60 years ago, Ralph Bunche made one.

Bunche, the United Nations under secretary for political affairs and the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, declared that “1960 will be ‘the year of Africa’ because at least four, but maybe seven or eight, new member states will come from the continent,” as The New York Times put it in February of that year.

By December, not seven but 17 new African states had joined the U.N.

The Year of Africa, as it came to be known, was a victory for the black world. It emerged from longstanding global movements for racial equality and gave rise to political and cultural revolutions that forever transformed Africa’s place in the world. Along with the triumph of African independence, however, the political crises of decolonization revealed central quandaries — from the place of ethnic identity in politics to the role and legitimacy of state power — that still trouble the continent and the wider world.

For more than a decade before independence, nationalist organizations like Ghana’s Convention People’s Party and the Tanganyika African National Union had built mass political movements across the continent, using strikes, boycotts and other forms of civil disobedience to challenge imperial rule. This was a strategy that echoed the civil rights movement, whose leaders keenly watched developments in Africa. Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King and A. Philip Randolph attended Ghana’s independence celebrations in 1957.

In her essay here, Luvvie Ajayi returns to a famous anecdote from that event when an African-American guest explained to Vice President Richard M. Nixon that he did not know what freedom felt like because he was from Alabama. The implication is clear: By 1960, Africa paved the way, showing that what Kwame Nkrumah, the president of Ghana, called “positive action” could realize the goals of racial equality and democracy.

Brutal violence during the Algerian War of Independence, which entered its seventh year in 1960, and at the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa made clear that a peaceful transition was not always on offer.

But the Year of Africa did close with a landmark diplomatic victory. On Dec. 14, 1960, the new African bloc in the U.N. led the effort to pass Resolution 1514, the Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. The resolution legitimized the hard-won victories on the ground and provided a new moral and legal framework for the struggles to come.

It described imperialism as “a denial of fundamental human rights” and insisted that underdevelopment can never “serve as a pretext for delaying independence.” It called for “complete independence and freedom” in all colonial territories. Nine states — including the United States, Britain and France — abstained, but Resolution 1514 otherwise passed unanimously. As Amílcar Cabral put it in 1962, as he was leading a guerrilla war in Guinea-Bissau, the resolution made colonialism “an international crime.”

The moment was about more, however, than the emergence of new states. African independence, in Dr. Nkrumah’s words, “means much more than merely being free to fly our own flag and to play our own national anthem.” According to the Martinican political theorist Frantz Fanon, it required the making of new men out of colonial subjugation.

For the new postcolonial leaders, this often meant industrializing rapidly and spending more on education and health care, without heeding Mr. Fanon’s caution against imitating European history. And in fact, during the first decade of African independence, economies grew, while investment in social services paid off in declining mortality rates, increased life expectancies and higher literacy rates. However, these transformations happened as increasingly authoritarian states repurposed the repressive tools of the colonial regimes.

Among these political contradictions, bottom-up experiments in self-fashioning and collective reinvention sprang up. From the stalwart young boxer to the playful pose of the woman standing in front of the Afro Negro nightclub, the images here reveal the ways in which everyday people latched on to the promise of independence and the mantle of the Afro-modern. And as Yvonne Orji notes, these images counter persistently negative views of Africa by insisting that “we’re all an accumulation of our dreams, our experiences, our misfortunes, our gains, our losses.”

The cultural revolution captured in these images happened all over the continent. It could be found in the photography of Sanlé Sory of Burkina Faso, the dance floors of Bamako captured by Malick Sidibé, the rumba of the Congo, the jazz of Ethiopia and Tanzania, the literary renaissance that included the novels of Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, the plays of Ama Ata Aidoo and many more. Africa’s swinging ’60s melded nationalism and pan-Africanism with global sounds and aesthetics. As Mr. Ngugi would famously put it, “decolonizing the minds” of Africans was just as important as reclaiming the land.

With the political and cultural triumphs of African independence, however, there were also deep challenges. This new world of independent states struggled to be born.

Weeks after the Democratic Republic of Congo gained independence, for instance, the southern province of Katanga seceded. The Congo crisis brought the first of many large-scale U.N. peacekeeping operations to the continent, and showed the shearing pressures of decolonization. If self-determination was now a universal right, what could it mean for Katanga and other subnational units to claim this mantle? Would the new postcolonial states accommodate ethnic and religious pluralism? How might state power be decentralized and delegated?

These questions — and the political violence they generated — came to the fore again with the 1967 Igbo bid for independence from Nigeria, which precipitated a civil war; the Rwanda genocide of 1994; and the current crisis of citizenship in Cameroon. The generation that celebrated the coming of African independence did not foresee the pitfalls of decolonization and the failures of the postcolonial state.

As the novelist Imbolo Mbue writes in this section: “Did any of them imagine a day would come when Cameroonians would risk their lives to flee their independent nation for Europe? Did any of them imagine that 60 years after independence Cameroon would have had only two presidents, both of them dictators, one for 22 years, one now in his 38th year?”

During the Congo crisis in 1960, many experts and observers concluded that decolonization had indeed come too early to Africa, that “development” should have been a prerequisite for independence. But this judgment misses what was ultimately at the heart of the critique of imperial rule: a vision of equality that insisted self-government is not just for the educated, the elite and the white. For the photographer Omar Victor Diop, this vision means that unlike his parents’ generation, “we did not have to yearn for independence: We were born entitled to a passport, our own.”

The full promise of that passport remains unrealized, though, for the migrants crossing the Mediterranean in the hopes of making a living, and for those whose ethnic, religious and sexual identities are used to undermine their claims of political membership.

But out of this paradoxical experience of postcolonial citizenship, a new African diaspora has emerged. The reflections on the Year of Africa included here from members of this diaspora capture the many meanings of independence. Recovering family histories, offering personal narrative and reading the photographic record, they insist that revisiting this past is a way to reimagine the continent’s future.

MOVERS AND SHAKERSThe 100 most influential Africans (51-60)

51 – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Voice master

A life without compromise has cost Ngugi; imprisoned, forced to flee Kenya after writing and putting on a play that disturbed the powers that be – at that time, President Daniel Arap Moi. Championing his native tongue Gikuyu rather than write in colonial English, he has campaigned to strengthen writing in various African languages over the course of his career: “’To starve or kill a language is to starve and kill a people’s memory bank,” he said. And if this seems abstract, consider that Africa’s nations are colonial fictions; Africa’s economies will not be fixed before her politics are consolidated and native languages can be building blocks of that consolidation.

52 – Sauti Sol
Groove riders

The exceptional afro-pop sensations from Nairobi are politically conscious, laid-back and on point. Like any band scraping a living in the era of skinflint streaming platforms, Sauti Sol are on the road a lot, headlining at the Lake of Stars festival in Malawi in September 2018, and at various US festivals. And they are award scoopers, too, picking up best African group at the All Africa Music Awards, the MTV Africa Music Awards and the Soundcity MVP Awards. But their lasting influence will be their Sol Generation Records, a label the band are using to launch new talents into the East African music stratosphere.

53 – Shamila Batohi
Jail filler
South Africa

What a time to get the top job: the National Prosecuting Authority had been manned by Shaun Abrahams, whose critics believe was close to corrupt networks around Jacob Zuma. Now, as the first woman to get the post, Batohi has an opportunity to go after the dozens of individuals who dragged South Africa’s proud institutions into the mire. She is no stranger to the task, having already served as director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal from 2002-2009 – and in the 1990s was asked by President Nelson Mandela to investigate hit squads within the police.

54 – Mona Eltahawy
Sword and shield

A courageous activist, journalist and writer, Eltahawy speaks for those who lack a voice across the Middle East and beyond. Her 2015 book Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution tried to break through the wall of silence that surrounds the sexual violence women in the region deal with on a daily basis. Putting her finger on the hyper-conservative Saudi interpretations of Islam, the headscarf is for her the symbol of oppression, and the hymen the strange guarantor of virginity for layers of male family and religious bureaucracy. Last year, she launched the #MosqueMeToo social media campaign to ensure that the Middle East and North Africa is not spared from the benefits of the #MeToo movement.

55 – Jim Ovia
Money magnet

Creating Zenith Bank in a period of economic and political instability, Ovia has guided the institution through choppy waters. But he has retained his belief in the Nigerian economy. Speaking at the launch of a new book, he explained how he started the bank in 1990 with $4m: “We now have a total asset base of $16bn. If you look at the arithmetic, there has been over 1,000% growth. You can’t get that anywhere, even in the best economies in the world.”

56 – Pravin Gordhan
Bomb proof
South Africa

The former pharmacist turned activist turned tax authority chief turned finance minister multiple times is a testament to the cadre of personalities moulded in the fires of apartheid South Africa. The group Gordhan created at the South African Revenue Service was the only one that pushed back hard against corruption at the height of the Zuma era, as the South African judicial, police and security forces were slowly gutted or hamstrung. At 69, he has put a desire for a quieter and more relaxed life on the back burner to clean up South Africa’s troubled parastatals – like electricity utility Eskom and South African Airways – as the minister for public enterprises.

57 – T.B. Joshua
Prophesy and power

Joshua has a huge following across the continent, but especially in his home country. Though he only founded The Synagogue, Church of All Nations in Lagos in 2006, it has expanded rapidly, and the faithful flock there from many African countries for healing and counsel. Joshua is not always popular – the government of Cameroon warned its citizens about attending his church in 2010. But it is his influence with members of the continent’s celebrity and political elite that bumps him up the list.

58 – Albert Yuma
Diamond geezer

As a key part of former president Joseph Kabila’s inner team, Yuma controls the regime’s access to the DRC’s mineral wealth as chairman of Gécamines. The state-owned mining company – one of the continent’s largest – controls strategic reserves of the minerals of our electric future: copper and cobalt. Yuma is central to ongoing efforts by the Congolese to get a bigger slice of royalties from mining companies. Yuma’s name was also on a shortlist of candidates to become prime minister in the new government of President Felix Tshisekedi.

59 – Moussa Faki Mahamat
Top diplomat

Herding cats may suddenly seem a more attractive career path for the African Union Commission head. The current job for Chad’s former prime minister entails corralling Africa’s fractious presidents into a unified position on difficult topics such as the recent elections in the DRC, the continental free trade zone and big internal AU reforms. While the year did not start well – with the AU speaking loudly on the DRC election before retreating into silence – plenty of challenges await: Sudan, Libya and Central African Republic will all clamour for the AU to act.

60 – Julius Malema
Agent of change
South Africa

The controversial leftist politician is the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a political party he launched in 2013 after his heavily publicised breakaway from the ruling African National Congress (ANC). A year after, the EFF won 25 seats in the 2014 general elections, securing more than 1.1m votes, and has since played an important role of kingmaker in the Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane councils. As Malema’s popularity keeps rising, the EFF is tipped to make inroads into the electorate when South Africa goes to the polls in May.

China reports 73 new deaths on mainland from virus outbreak on February 5

Another 73 people on the Chinese mainland died on Wednesday from the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total death toll to 563, the country’s health authority said on Thursday.

Here’s what else is happening in the world.

🏴Middle East peace plan: A proposal set to be released today by President Trump would give Israel sovereignty over much of the Jordan Valley, a strategic area on the eastern edge of the West Bank. Palestinian leaders are unlikely to support that or other elements of the plan.

🇩🇪A plea to remember: At a ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, survivors expressed a fear that what happened at the Nazi death camp was being forgotten.

🌐Climate change considerations: New Jersey will become the first state to require builders to account for climate change, including rising sea levels, to win government approval for projects.

African Countries with Highest Teenage Births

1. Nigeria
2. Congo Kinshasa
3. Ethiopia
4. Tanzania
5 Uganda
6. Angola
7. Mozambique
8. Niger
9. Kenya
10. Egypt


2. Nigeria
3. Bangladesh
4. Congo Kinshasa
5. Indonesia
6. Brazil
7. Ethiopia
8. Tanzania
9. Mexico
10. Pakistan

Top African Countries with Highest Annual Births

1. Nigeria
2. Congo Kinshasa
3. Ethiopia
4. Egypt
5. Tanzania
6. Uganda
7. Kenya
8. Sudan
9. Angola
10. South Africa