Get Featured on AYC’s Changemakers Corner

changemakers

The African Youth Corner is pleased to introduce the Changemakers’ Corner. Beginning in 2017, we shall be featuring young changemakers across Africa. The aim of this is to know the extent to which young people are driving change in their localities, to measure our progress and challenge other youth in Africa to rise up and take initiatives to better their communities. Your work may be related to Education, Health, Environment, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals, etc.

Eligibility

Open to young Africans and other young people who are not of African origin, but are driving change and resident in an African country.

Send a summary ofyourself and the work you are doing (in not less than 250 words) to africanyouthcorner@gmail.com

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African Leaders Over 70 Years

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The continent of Africa is ranked among the developing world and a major factor influencing this is the quality of leaders who are piloting affairs of African States. Development can be largely achieved with effective leadership and representation. Many Heads of State are senior citizens who ought to be by the sidelines giving counsel to the young leaders. Some of them have been the only leader the citizens have ever had and this has a way of affecting their general idea of leadership.

Below is a list of some aged Heads of State in Africa:

1. Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe (Age: 92 years old)

2. Beji Caid Essebsi – Tunisia (Age: 89 years)

3. Paul Biya – Cameroun (Age: 83 years)

4. Abdelaziz Bouteflika – Algeria (Age: 79 years)

5. Manuel Pinto da Costa – São Tomé and Príncipe (Age: 79 years)

6. Alpha Condé – Guinea (Age: 78 years)

7. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Liberia (Age: 77 years)

8. Peter Mutharika – Malawi (Age: 75 years)

9. Jacob Zuma – South Africa (Age: 74 years)

10. Alassane Ouattara – Ivory Coast (Age: 74 years)

11. Muhammadu Buhari – Nigeria (Age: 73 years)

We wish to plead with our African leaders to please give the #YouthAChance to take the rein. Involving them early enough would guarantee rapid development and a sustainable future.

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25 Facts You Never Knew About Africa

1. Gambia has only one university.

2. Equatorial Guinea is Africa’s only Spanish-speaking country.

3. South Africa is the most visited African country.

4. Nigeria has the richest Black people in Africa.

5. Samuel Eto’o is the highest paid Footballer of all time, he received about £350,000 weekly in Russia in 2011.

6. A person from Botswana is called a Motswana, the plural is Batswana.

7. A person from Lesotho is called a Mosotho.

8. A person from Niger is called a Nigerien. A person from Burkina Faso is called a Burkinabe.

9. Nigeria has won more football cups than England.

10. Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the world’s most educated President with 7 degrees, two of them are Masters.

11. Al-Ahly of Egypt is the richest club in Africa.

12. Didier Drogba is Chelsea’s highest goal scorer in European competition.

13. Johannesburg, South Africa is the most visited city in Africa.

14. Zinedine Zidane wanted to play for Algeria, but the selector rejected him, saying they are already many players like him in the team.

15. President Jacob Zuma was once a referee in prison.

16. President Robert Mugabe was jailed for 11 years for fighting for freedom.

17. President Robert Mugabe is Africa’s oldest Head of State and the world’s second oldest Head of State. He was born 1924.

18. The Seychellois are the most educated Africans. Seychelles’ literacy rates (Adult: 92%, Youth: 99%) Zimbabwe is 2nd (Adult: 91.2%, Youth: 99%).

19. Rwanda is a better country for gender equality than England and USA.

20. Somalia got its first ATM on October 7, 2014.

21. South Africa has the most Grammy Award winners in Africa.

22. Ethiopia has the most airports in Africa.

23. Ethiopia’s economy is growing faster than China’s.

24. Eritrea’s President, Isaiah Afwerki is the least richest President in Africa.

25. Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country.

Celebrating Day of the African Child 2016

The day of the African is celebrated on June 16 annually. This event is in honor of the South African children that were killed in 1976 as they demanded their rights to quality education. We have an article written by Amokeye Adi, reflecting on the day of the African child and the use of indigenous African languages:

“Today, we celebrate the children of Africa. We remember those brave over hundred South African school children, martyred in Soweto for demanding their rights to identity and a sovereign human existence in their own cosmopolitan space. We hear the echoes of a history we forgive but do not forget. We feel the pulses of the forces of afrocentricism and eurocentricism at an age long war. And here, I write about the reason why those South African children were killed: the language question which already occupies a large space in African discourses. Africa, our Africa, given independence all these years ago has yet to wash off the reality of western imperialism from her mind’s shores and this is not so much of what Africa bore under imperialism as what we have done to ourselves, what we’ve accepted to live by, what we hand down to our children and how it affects us as a people. I remember being ashamed, when I was a little kid, of speaking my native language in public and I remember swelling with pride when someone said to my mother, “your children speak very good English.” I wouldn’t feel the same way if they said I spoke perfect Bekwarra (my indigenous language). I’ve had to consciously overcome this. I remember how it was prohibited to use an indigenous language at school, even in a conversation with a friend and I know many Nigerians, now, even now, who proudly say, “oh please, I can’t speak my native language” and I guess that applies to many other African countries. I hear children sneeringly say “Hmmn, what’s that?” when they listen to indigenous languages, and I shake my head. We’ve taught our children to disrespect their languages. How wonderful! Over hundred children killed in South Africa for demanding that respect be accorded their languages and here we are, ashamed of the use of the same languages that people died for. And then we associate class and prestige to our colonial languages and so if you can’t speak those languages perfectly, you are uncivilized. Our languages are our identity, the preserve of our cultures and no foreign language can capture our unique experiences like our indigenous languages can but with each abuse of an African language, we allow an erosion of our heritage, the only one we can truly call ours. While it is okay to allow and encourage our children to learn these foreign languages because it widens their horizons, it is taboo to teach them that their languages are inferior to any other. It goes beyond merely the issue of speaking a language to how it affects the way they regard themselves. If their languages are inferior, it follows that they are inferior and the African child has a right to a better self-esteem, a right to know that they can be everything and anything their western counterparts can be, a right to their heritage. And so as we celebrate the children of Africa today, let us remember that we owe our children the duty to mold them into adults who have enough regard for who they are and where they come from, who recognize that this is the land that God has given them, who have enough centricism of Africa to renovate their fatherland.”

“Daughters and Sons” – Article on Gender Disparity by Amokeye Adi

A well-meaning man recently said to me, “Make sure you don’t get a PhD before you marry o, or you’ll drive potential husbands away”. His friend, who was a part of the conversation, concurred and then he said “you know, when you tell women not to buy cars before they are married, they don’t listen until they can’t find husbands to marry”. He wasn’t joking. I also recently read about a lady who sold her car and house and gave up a mega job for a modest one so she could find a husband to marry. I laughed till my afro ached but then it’s not a laughing matter. The other day, I had an argument with a male colleague who had actually wronged me but wouldn’t agree. Rather than prove himself right or simply apologize, he said “can you imagine you, a woman, talking to me, a man”. Check. I was supposed to shut up before him on the mere grounds that he is male and I am female! Many times, a girl gets raped and instead of outrightly treating a rape case as one, we say, “what was she wearing?”, “where was she?”, “why was she out at that time of night?” “Doesn’t she know she’s a girl? “,”eh, it’s what she wanted”. But does the world have to be so unsafe for girls? I have often heard people say of the woman, in cases of marital issues, “maybe she is not submissive, she is probably rude”, “she won’t cook on time, what do you expect the man to do?” “Imagine, her husband will be feeding and bathing the baby. What is she doing? What kind of thing is that?” Now, this is not to excuse the woman from the responsibilities that come with these issues or to say that women are never guilty or to suggest that all fingers begin pointing at the man but to question why we almost always impulsively blame the woman as though all marital conflicts were a woman’s fault. And wait a minute, what’s wrong with a man feeding and bathing his baby? Do we also know that Section 55 of the Nigerian penal code actually permits a man to beat his wife “for the purpose of correcting his wife, such husband and wife being subject to any native law or custom in which such correction is recognized as lawful” as long as grievous bodily harm is not caused where grievous bodily harm is defined as injuries resulting to hospitalization for at least 21 days? This means that if bodily harm were caused resulting in hospitalization for a lesser number of days than 21, it would be lawful. But this is obviously not a question of whether or not grievous bodily harm is caused but a question of why a man should be permitted to beat his wife at all. To get new passports in my country, women need their husbands’ signatures to certify husband’s approval. The same doesn’t go for the man. Why? Because the woman is less important?

Now these are only a few of the burdens we unnecessarily place on ourselves on account of gender but I imagine how free we would be if we let unprofitable stereotypes go and focus on who we are rather than who we have been taught that we must be.

But then, I sit here knowing that there’s a root to every issue. The problem of gender inequality is one that has been raised by a conscious socialization. They say males are inherently proud and females, inherently passive. I disagree! Because I’ve seen otherwise. We teach girls to be passive and weak and domesticated and slavishly submissive. We teach them to have moderate aspirations so they don’t threaten the man and hence financial dependence, and to remember that the greatest achievements of their lives would be to get married and have kids (and yet male kids. Yes! In many places, till today). We teach them to guard virginity with fear and trembling in order to win the applause of men (not for moral or spiritual uprightness) and because it’s the most precious gift a girl can give to her husband on her wedding night (husbands don’t have a need to offer this gift). My mother would say “If you let them, when they have finished with you, they would tell their fellow men that you are mere chaff and no other normal man would want you”. But then I wonder why only one party has to bear the consequences of a crime committed by two parties and why one party can proudly announce their crime when the other has to cover their face in shame. And wives! How dare you tell a full blooded African man to dish his own soup and eba and probably get some for you. And then we teach boys to know, that they can’t be weak and cry like a girl (herein lies the degradation of the female) because they are men and men don’t cry, to always remember that they are the stronger sex (where physical strength has been largely abused). We teach them that high aspirations are their birth rights (this is not a bad thing but why do we try to deprive girls of the same?) and that in every way, they are superior to the girl. We teach them to be insecure when we teach them ego and then we say it’s inherent. But may we know, that in the subjugation of women, we contribute greatly to depriving our Africa of a free flow of development, that the suppression of women and our refusal to rise against it have earned us increased rates of sexual and domestic violence, STIs and poor agricultural output which stems from unequal accessibility of resources and opportunities between men and women. Lucretia Mott has rightly said that “the world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source”. But I look forward to the emergence of great nations where the determinant of fair chances and human freedom does not depend on the arrangement of chromosomes, where boys and girls can aspire to the same things without the fear constructed by society, where women can be strong and still feel, where boys are allowed to cry, to be weak sometimes and be strong men still and where people have the courage not just to raise daughters like sons but to raise sons also like daughters.

Oh and I hear voices saying “this issue has been over flogged” but need I remind anyone that the equality of the sexes which is long overdue has not yet been achieved.

#Codegirls: Team Code Gurus Created App that Detects Vaginal Bacteria

Team Code Gurus, a team of Ugandan students, has created an app that detects vaginal bacteria.

The app, coupled with the a test kit known as a Her Health BVkit, takes readings from urinal/vaginal samples and transmits data for diagnosis, CCTV-AFRICA reported. After receiving the data, the mobile app reads the pH levels, analyses the amount of healthy versus unhealthy bacteria, and offers a recommendation of whether the user is healthy or should seek medical attention.

The app also uses health information from a nearby hospital to yield information about vaginal infections and preventative measures.

Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterised by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

Source: thisisAfrica.me

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Could be a Nigerian

Indications have emerged that the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba is a Nigerian of the ethnic Igbo stock. It is said that he was adopted during the Biafran war by his father, Omar Bongo who handed over to him as President. This development may soon be confirmed as a court in western France on Thursday allowed a family member of Omar Bongo to view the birth certificate of Ali Bongo following accusations that he lied about his country of origin. The Gabonese constitution demands that one must be born Gabonese to serve as the head of state, but French investigative journalist, Pierre Pean alleged in a recent book that the President was actually a Nigerian and was adopted during the Biafran war in the late 1960s.

The court in Nantes allowed 25 year-old Onaida Maisha Bongo Ondimba, a daughter of former president Omar Bongo, to view the documents in full, which her lawyer, Eric Moutet hailed the decision as “enormous”, though “diplomatically complex”. Ali Bongo is the only one of ex president Omar Bongo’s 54 declared heirs not to have produced the identification documents. He claims he was born in Brazzaville in 1959, former capital of French Equatorial Africa. The Nantes civil registration centre is responsible for all birth certificates of people born in French Equatorial Africa up to 1960, when the former colonial countries in the region gained independence to become Gabon, Congo, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Source: Daily Post

Five Minute Ebola Test Kit Developed by Ugandan Doctor

Dr Misaki Wayengera developed a rapid diagnostic test but lack of funding and government support threatened to derail the project

Ugandan scientist, Dr Misaki Wayengera has developed a rapid diagnostic test that can detect Ebola proteins in less than five minutes at the point of care in the community, a giant step in African medical innovation and in the fight against Ebola.

However, the process of developing the test kit has been marred by funding challenges and bureaucratic setbacks which threatened to derail the project.

According to New Times, Dr Wayengera did not receive financial support from the government although at the time, “the president’s office acknowledged the importance of his research for biodefence and pledged full support”.

Through Dr Wayengera’s efforts, his research team at Makerere University College of Health Sciences eventually secured funding from Grand Challenges Canada, a non-profit initiative funded by the Canadian government. The team initially received $100,000 Canadian dollars (US$95,600) grant from the organisation before being offered a further $1.5 million by Grand Challenges Canada.

Ebola-suit-300x167Dr Wayengera’s invention, “is the first rapid diagnostic test that is able to detect various strains of the Ebola and Marburg viruses.”

The inventor is reportedly to have applied for a patent with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation and the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2013 and 2014.

“On average it takes about one year for a patent to be awarded by the World Intellectual Property Organisation and five years for it to be awarded by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation,” New Times reported.

The breakthrough is expected to reduce the Ebola death rate through quicker diagnosis of the diseases.

Source: New Times

Amazing! Meet the Youngest PhD Holders in Nigeria

In Nigeria, one of the very difficult situations students find themselves in is securing admission into tertiary institutions of learning. Hence, the reason many resort to part time education as a means of catching up with their peers who were lucky enough to advance ahead of them.

But there are some people who have been exceptional in their endeavours and have managed to emerge as doctorate degree holders at the early stage of their lives.

A list of Nigeria’s youngest PhDs has been compiled and it is presented below:

5. Dr Olabisi Adeyemi – PhD obtained at Age 26

This young intellectual earned her PhD in Botany from the University of Lagos. Though
she had maintained a track record of academic success right from her secondary school, she acknowledged that having a PhD at her age, and the record of being the best graduating PhD student, did not come easy. Born in Lagos Island local government of Lagos state, Dr. Adeyemi attended Girls’ Academy, L/Island where she was the best student in WAEC, with seven distinctions. She proceeded to University of Lagos and graduated with a first class degree in botany in 2006. She completed her PhD in record time in 2012.

4. Dr Opeyemi Shodipe – PhD obtained at Age 25

This young Nigerian scholar received her bachelor’s degree at 19, from Babcock University. After the mandatory NYSC programme, she entered for a masters at University of Ibadan, graduating best in her department. She capped it with a well-deserved doctorate degree in information science from her alma mater, Babcock University when she was 25.

3. Dr Salihu Dasuki Nakande – PhD obtained at Age 25

Born in October 1987, he is one of Nigeria’s youngest PhD holders, and arguably the youngest in northern Nigeria. He graduated with a first class degree in information technology from Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), North Cyprus at 21. Dr.
Salihu completed his Master’s degree at Brunel University, UK. He capped it with a
PhD from the same university in 2012.

2. Dr Olaoluwa Hallowed Oluwadara – PhD obtained at Age 24

Acclaimed as one of Africa’s youngest PhD holders, Olaoluwa is a spectacular Nigerian intellectual and scholar, because of his achievements. He entered university for a
bachelor’s degree at 15. He earned two B.Sc degrees in mathematics and physics, from
University of Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR), run simultaneously. He received his
master’s degree from the same university. He crowned it with a PhD in mathematics at
the University of Lagos, Akoka, where he was the best graduating PhD student. Dr.
Olaoluwa H. Oluwadara won University of Bangui’s all-time best student award from
the department of mathematics, best BSc student award in physics, 2007 and best MSc
awards in physics and mathematics respectively in 2008. He currently is a
research fellow of the Mathematical Analysis and Optimisation Research Group.

1. Dr Nkemehule Karl Omebere-Iyari – PhD obtained at Age 22

Here we have the leader of the pack. A colossus of intellectual ingenuity. Dr.
Omebere-Iyari, received his PhD in chemical engineering from University of Nottingham,
UK, in 2006, then aged 22. This amazing Nigerian, an old student of Kings College,
Lagos had 8 As in his WAEC result at age 16. He proceeded the same year to Oxbridge,
Ikeja, where he wrote and passed his A-levels, scoring ‘A’ in physics, chemistry and
mathematics. He entered the University of Nottingham immediately and graduated three
years later with a first class degree in Chemical Engineering at 19 in 2003.
He was also the best graduating student in chemical engineering that year. With a
university scholarship, Omebere-Iyari wasted no time, and pursued his PhD. He received a
EU grant of €17,000 every year, and finished his doctorate in the record time of three
years, specializing in multi-phase flow. Omebere-Iyari has distinguished himself as
an exceptionally gifted Nigerian. Since graduation, he has worked with many
multinational corporations such as Shell, Halliburton, etc. He earned an MBA with
distinction from INSEAD/Wharton, and is a member of many professional groups.

Source: Naij

African Student Tops UK University

A Nigerian student, Oluwatobi Olasunkanmi has won the William Charnley Prize for the best First Class in Law at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The 24-year-old Oluwatobi who is the son of the former Minister of Youth Development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, happened to be the only student of black descent in the graduating set. In an official correspondence dated June 26, 2015, addressed to the best First Class Law student, the University’s Senior Tutor, Dr Philip Johnson, congratulated the Nigerian lad for the feat.

“Many congratulations on obtaining the best Hughes Hall First Class in your BA in Law. In recognition, the College has awarded you with the William Charnley Prize” said Johnson.

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Meanwhile, the father of the award winner, Senator Olasunkanmi, has expressed his joy at the achievement attained by his son, noting that it has not only brought honour to his family but to Nigeria as a whole.
“Sincerely speaking, my joy is not only because he is my son but because he has represented Nigeria well by bringing a laurel which has manifested in the best First Class Prize in Law.”

Source: Daily Post

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