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USD 112M needed to save migrant lives in Horn of Africa, Yemen and Southern Africa



BY Kasim Abdulkadir:

A recent donor briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, highlighted the urgent need for funding to address the humanitarian crisis affecting migrants along the Eastern and Southern migration routes. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with 48 other humanitarian and development organizations and governments, has issued a call for USD 112 million to support over 2.1 million migrants and host communities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The appeal follows a tragic incident off the coast of Djibouti, where at least 38 migrants, including children, lost their lives when their boat capsized after leaving Yemen.

Ugochi Daniels, IOM Deputy Director General for Operations, described the incident as a “very uncomfortable wake-up call,” underscoring the pressing need to address the humanitarian, protection, and development needs of migrants along these routes.

The Deputy Director General for Operations, Ugochi Daniels

Dangerous Journeys and Vulnerabilities

Tens of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa, primarily Ethiopia and Somalia, embark on perilous journeys seeking work in Gulf countries via the ‘Eastern route.’ Similarly, migrants traverse Kenya, Tanzania, and Southern Africa, aiming to reach South Africa via the ‘Southern route.’ These routes are characterized as some of the most dangerous, complex, and under-reported migratory routes globally, with hundreds of thousands of migrants recorded each year.

Migrants undertaking these journeys face numerous challenges, including starvation, dehydration, and human rights abuses such as sexual violence and exploitation by traffickers and smugglers. Disturbingly, as of December 2023, 46% of arrivals in Yemen were women and children, with almost 20% of children traveling unaccompanied along the ‘Eastern route.’ Additionally, over 46,000 migrants remain stranded along this route, while approximately 11,600 movements were identified along the ‘Southern route.’

Response Plan Overview

The appeal falls under the ‘Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa to Yemen and Southern Africa, 2024,’ which encompasses life-saving assistance, protection services, voluntary return, addressing root causes of migration, promoting sustainable reintegration and livelihood opportunities, and enhancing partnerships and coordination.

Despite previous appeals, the plan remains severely underfunded, highlighting the critical need for immediate support. Failure to address the funding shortfall could exacerbate the already dire situation faced by migrants and host communities along these migration routes.

Conclusion and Call to Action

As the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold, stakeholders, governments, and donors must prioritize funding and support for the Regional Migrant Response Plan. The lives and well-being of millions of migrants and host communities hang in the balance, underscoring the urgency of addressing this pressing issue.

Efforts to address the root causes of migration, provide essential assistance, and ensure the protection and dignity of migrants must be bolstered through robust funding and collaborative action. Failure to act decisively risks further loss of life and perpetuation of suffering along these perilous migration routes.


Securing Data Flow: Africa’s Imperative for Cross-Border Information Exchange



Experts Advocate for Enhanced Data Security Measures to Foster Regional Cooperation


Experts emphasize the need for Africa to establish secure mechanisms for cross-border data flow, highlighting the potential benefits for regional development and cooperation. This article delves into the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations put forth by experts to ensure the safe and efficient exchange of data across African borders.


The call for Africa to forge a path for secure data flow across borders reflects the continent’s growing recognition of the importance of digital connectivity and information exchange in driving economic growth and regional integration. To understand the significance of this imperative, it is essential to delve into the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations put forth by experts in the field.


  1. Data Privacy and Protection: One of the foremost challenges is ensuring the privacy and protection of data as it traverses across borders. Weak regulatory frameworks and inadequate cybersecurity measures leave data vulnerable to breaches and misuse, undermining trust and hindering collaboration.
  2. Infrastructure and Connectivity: Limited infrastructure and connectivity gaps pose significant barriers to seamless data exchange. Uneven access to high-speed internet and reliable telecommunications networks inhibits the efficient transfer of data, particularly in remote or underserved areas.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Frameworks: Inconsistent legal and regulatory frameworks across African countries create complexities and uncertainties for cross-border data flows. Harmonizing laws and standards related to data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity is essential to facilitate smooth information exchange while safeguarding individual rights and interests.


  1. Regional Integration and Cooperation: Enhancing cross-border data flow fosters regional integration and cooperation, enabling countries to leverage shared resources and expertise for mutual benefit. By breaking down silos and promoting collaboration, Africa can unlock new opportunities for innovation, economic development, and social progress.
  2. Digital Transformation: Embracing secure data flow accelerates digital transformation efforts across various sectors, including healthcare, education, finance, and governance. By harnessing the power of data-driven technologies, African nations can drive efficiency, transparency, and inclusivity in service delivery and decision-making processes.
  3. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Access to secure and reliable data fuels entrepreneurship and innovation, empowering startups and SMEs to develop new products, services, and business models. By fostering a conducive environment for digital entrepreneurship, Africa can unleash its vast potential for economic growth and job creation.


  1. Strengthen Cybersecurity Measures: Investing in robust cybersecurity infrastructure and capacity-building initiatives is essential to mitigate cyber threats and safeguard sensitive data from malicious actors.
  2. Harmonize Regulatory Frameworks: African countries must work towards harmonizing legal and regulatory frameworks governing data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity to facilitate seamless cross-border data flow while upholding individual rights and sovereignty.
  3. Promote Digital Literacy: Enhancing digital literacy and awareness among citizens, businesses, and policymakers is crucial to ensure responsible data usage and foster a culture of cybersecurity and data protection.

In conclusion, the imperative for Africa to establish secure data flow across borders presents both challenges and opportunities for the continent’s development. By addressing regulatory gaps, enhancing cybersecurity measures, and promoting regional cooperation, Africa can unlock the transformative potential of data-driven innovation and drive inclusive growth and prosperity across the continent.

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Tropical Cyclone Threatens to Exacerbate Humanitarian Crisis in Flooded East Africa



As a tropical cyclone looms over flooded East Africa, the region faces the prospect of further exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis. The convergence of natural disasters compounds the challenges faced by communities already grappling with widespread flooding and displacement.

The impending threat of a tropical cyclone adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in flooded East Africa. With communities already reeling from the devastating impact of widespread flooding, the arrival of a cyclone amplifies the urgency for coordinated response efforts to mitigate the potential loss of life and further displacement.

Vulnerable populations in East Africa, including those displaced by flooding and living in makeshift shelters, are particularly at risk in the face of a tropical cyclone. The combination of heavy rains, strong winds, and potential storm surges heightens the likelihood of widespread destruction of infrastructure, disruption of essential services, and loss of livelihoods, further exacerbating the suffering of affected communities.

The arrival of a tropical cyclone presents significant challenges for humanitarian response efforts in flooded East Africa. Access to affected areas may be hindered by impassable roads, damaged infrastructure, and adverse weather conditions, limiting the delivery of life-saving aid and assistance to those in need. Coordination among local authorities, humanitarian organizations, and international agencies becomes paramount to ensure an effective and timely response to the unfolding crisis.

In light of the impending cyclone, there is an urgent need for enhanced preparedness and resilience-building measures across East Africa. Early warning systems, evacuation plans, and contingency measures must be put in place to mitigate the potential impact of the cyclone on vulnerable communities. Investment in resilient infrastructure and disaster risk reduction initiatives can help mitigate the long-term effects of recurrent flooding and extreme weather events in the region.

The looming threat of a tropical cyclone in flooded East Africa underscores the importance of international support and solidarity in addressing the complex challenges facing the region. The global community must stand in solidarity with affected populations, providing financial assistance, technical expertise, and logistical support to bolster local response efforts and ensure the protection of lives and livelihoods in the face of natural disasters.

As East Africa braces for the arrival of a tropical cyclone amidst ongoing flooding, the region finds itself at a critical juncture in its humanitarian response efforts. By prioritizing preparedness, resilience-building, and international collaboration, stakeholders can work together to navigate the challenges posed by the cyclone and mitigate its impact on vulnerable communities, ultimately fostering a more resilient and sustainable future for all in East Africa.

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Diamonds Shine Bright: Botswana’s Resilient Industry in the Face of Global Turmoil



Amidst Uncertainty, Botswana’s Diamond Sector Sees Renewed Optimism and Growth Prospects

Botswana’s diamond industry is experiencing a resurgence, defying global economic uncertainty. As one of the world’s leading producers of diamonds, Botswana’s success highlights the resilience and potential of its mineral sector in challenging times.

In a world marked by economic volatility, Botswana’s diamond industry stands as a beacon of stability and growth. Despite global uncertainty, Botswana’s diamonds continue to sparkle, offering a glimmer of hope for its economy and future prospects.

Botswana, a key player in the global diamond market, is experiencing a significant boost in its diamond industry. This surge in activity comes at a time when many industries are grappling with the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic and geopolitical tensions.

The resilience of Botswana’s diamond sector can be attributed to several factors, including robust demand for diamonds in key markets, strategic partnerships with leading industry players, and the country’s commitment to sustainable mining practices.

As Botswana’s diamond industry thrives, it serves as a testament to the country’s ability to adapt and innovate in the face of adversity. With a rich abundance of natural resources and a supportive regulatory environment, Botswana is well-positioned to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the global diamond trade.

While challenges remain, including fluctuating commodity prices and evolving consumer preferences, Botswana’s diamond industry is poised for continued growth and success in the years to come. As a cornerstone of the country’s economy, diamonds will continue to play a vital role in Botswana’s development and prosperity.

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Margaret Busby: Championing African Women’s Writing and Redefining Literary Landscapes



Margaret Busby stands as a towering figure in the world of literature, renowned for her pioneering efforts in amplifying the voices of African women writers. As a Ghanaian publisher, editor, and advocate, Busby played a pivotal role in reshaping the literary landscape, bringing African women’s writing to the forefront of global consciousness.

Early Life and Education
Born in Ghana in 1944, Margaret Busby spent her formative years in Accra before moving to England for her education. At just 20 years old, she made history as the youngest and first black woman to establish a publishing company in the UK, Allison & Busby, alongside Clive Allison in 1967. This bold venture marked the beginning of Busby’s lifelong dedication to championing diverse voices in literature.

Breaking Barriers in Publishing
At a time when African literature, particularly that of women, was marginalized in mainstream publishing, Busby’s commitment to amplifying these voices was revolutionary. Allison & Busby became a platform for emerging African writers, providing a space for their stories to be heard and celebrated on a global scale.

Elevating African Women Writers
Busby’s impact on African women’s writing cannot be overstated. Through her publishing endeavors, she introduced the world to groundbreaking works by authors such as Buchi Emecheta, Ama Ata Aidoo, and Nawal El Saadawi, among others. These writers defied stereotypes and challenged prevailing narratives, offering nuanced perspectives on African identity, culture, and womanhood.

Advocacy and Recognition
In addition to her work as a publisher, Busby has been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in literature. She has served on numerous literary panels and advisory boards, championing initiatives to promote African literature and support emerging writers. Busby’s contributions have been widely recognized, earning her prestigious honors such as the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature.

Legacy and Inspiration
Margaret Busby’s legacy extends far beyond the realm of publishing. Her unwavering dedication to amplifying marginalized voices and reshaping literary landscapes has paved the way for generations of African women writers to follow. As a trailblazer and visionary, Busby continues to inspire future generations to embrace their own voices and stories, ensuring that African literature remains vibrant, diverse, and essential in the global literary canon.

In a world where voices of African women writers were often silenced or overlooked, Margaret Busby emerged as a beacon of hope and change. Through her pioneering efforts in publishing and advocacy, she not only put African women’s writing on the map but also reshaped the narrative of African literature itself. As we celebrate Busby’s remarkable contributions, we are reminded of the transformative power of literature to challenge, inspire, and unite us all.

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Sweet Deception: Examining the Impact of Sugar in Baby Food and the Responsibility of Nestlé in Africa



By Kasim Abdulkadir:

The presence of sugar in baby food has raised significant concerns worldwide, particularly in Africa where malnutrition and related health issues are prevalent. Nestlé, as a leading producer of baby food products, faces scrutiny over its role in perpetuating the sugar content in these products. This analysis delves into the implications of sugar in baby food, the potential risks to infant health, and the ethical responsibility of Nestlé in Africa.

Across Africa, malnutrition remains a pressing issue, with millions of infants and children facing stunted growth, developmental delays, and other health complications. While efforts have been made to address nutritional deficiencies, the prevalence of sugar-laden baby foods poses a new challenge to infant health.

Sugar serves as a common ingredient in many commercial baby food products, contributing to their taste appeal and palatability. However, excessive sugar consumption in infancy has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and dental caries. Furthermore, early exposure to sweet tastes may shape infants’ food preferences and increase their likelihood of consuming sugary foods later in life.

As a leading manufacturer of baby food products, Nestlé plays a significant role in shaping infant feeding practices and dietary patterns in Africa. While the company has taken steps to reduce sugar content in some of its products, concerns persist regarding the overall nutritional quality of its offerings and the marketing strategies employed to promote them.

Nestlé’s marketing practices, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, have come under scrutiny for potentially misleading parents and caregivers about the nutritional value of its baby food products. Moreover, the company’s aggressive marketing tactics and distribution channels may disproportionately target vulnerable populations, exacerbating health disparities and contributing to the global burden of malnutrition.

In light of these concerns, there is a growing call for Nestlé to be held accountable for its role in perpetuating the sugar content in baby food and its impact on infant health in Africa. This includes calls for greater transparency in labeling, stricter regulation of marketing practices, and investments in promoting breastfeeding and culturally appropriate infant feeding practices.

In conclusion, the presence of sugar in baby food poses a significant threat to infant health in Africa, exacerbating existing nutritional challenges and contributing to long-term health disparities. As a key player in the baby food industry, Nestlé has a moral and ethical obligation to prioritize the health and well-being of infants and children over profit margins. By taking proactive steps to reduce sugar content, promote healthier alternatives, and engage with stakeholders in the public health community, Nestlé can help address the root causes of malnutrition and foster a brighter future for Africa’s youngest citizens.

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A Deep Dive into the Roots of Sudan’s Civil War and Its Impact on Regional Stability



Uncover the geopolitical, socioeconomic, and historical factors driving the unrest, and consider its far-reaching implications for regional stability and global dynamics.

By Kasim Abdulkadir:

Sudan’s Civil War: Unraveling Historical Identity Favoritism and Its Global Impact

Sudan’s ongoing civil strife finds its roots in a complex web of historical favoritism towards Arab and Islamic identity, a narrative deeply embedded in the country’s tumultuous past. The ramifications of this identity-based divide extend far beyond Sudan’s borders, impacting regional stability and global dynamics in profound ways.

Sudan’s history is marked by a legacy of colonialism and internal divisions, exacerbated by a history of favoritism towards Arab and Islamic identity. The Arabization policies of successive regimes marginalized non-Arab ethnic groups, fueling resentment and sparking armed resistance. The imposition of Sharia law further deepened societal fractures, exacerbating tensions and laying the groundwork for prolonged conflict.

Sudan’s civil war has significant geopolitical implications, with neighboring countries and international actors vying for influence in the region. The struggle for control over Sudan’s vast natural resources, including oil reserves, has heightened tensions and drawn external powers into the fray. Geopolitical rivalries intersect with ethnic and religious fault lines, further complicating efforts to resolve the conflict and restore stability.

The civil war has taken a devastating toll on Sudan’s economy and social fabric, exacerbating poverty, displacement, and humanitarian crises. Economic disparities between regions and ethnic groups fuel grievances and perpetuate cycles of violence. Moreover, the displacement of populations exacerbates resource scarcity and strains social services, creating fertile ground for further unrest.

The resolution of Sudan’s civil war holds profound implications for regional stability and global security. A sustainable peace settlement could pave the way for economic development, regional integration, and enhanced cooperation. However, failure to address underlying grievances and structural inequalities risks perpetuating instability and exacerbating existing tensions, with potential spillover effects across the region.

In conclusion, Sudan’s civil war is a complex and multifaceted conflict rooted in historical favoritism towards Arab and Islamic identity. Its resolution requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying drivers of the conflict, promotes inclusive governance, and fosters reconciliation among Sudan’s diverse ethnic and religious communities. The international community must actively support efforts to achieve a sustainable peace settlement, recognizing the far-reaching implications of Sudan’s internal dynamics on regional stability and global security.

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South Africa will mark 30 years of freedom amid inequality, poverty and a tense election ahead



Reflecting on South Africa’s Journey: Freedom Day Anniversary Marks Progress and Challenges

As South Africa commemorates Freedom Day, marking the anniversary of its first democratic elections in 1994, the nation reflects on its remarkable journey towards freedom, equality, and justice. This significant milestone, however, is met with a blend of celebration and introspection, highlighting both progress and persistent challenges.

The legacy of apartheid continues to cast a long shadow over South Africa, with socioeconomic disparities and systemic inequalities still deeply entrenched. While the end of institutionalized racism marked a triumph for human rights and democracy, the quest for true liberation remains an ongoing struggle.

Despite these challenges, South Africa has made significant strides in various domains, including advancements in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. The country’s vibrant cultural tapestry and resilient spirit serve as testaments to its resilience in the face of adversity.

However, the journey towards a more inclusive and prosperous South Africa is far from over. Economic inequality, high unemployment rates, and widespread poverty continue to hinder progress and exacerbate social tensions. Additionally, recent challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have exposed and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities within the country’s healthcare and socioeconomic systems.

As South Africa looks towards the future, the need for visionary leadership, inclusive governance, and concerted efforts to address systemic injustices becomes ever more pressing. Investing in education, job creation, and social welfare programs is crucial for unlocking the nation’s full potential and fostering a more equitable society.

Furthermore, safeguarding democratic institutions and upholding the rule of law are essential for ensuring accountability and transparency in governance. By harnessing the collective strength of its diverse populace and building bridges across divides, South Africa can overcome its challenges and fulfill the promise of freedom and prosperity for all its citizens.

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The Rising Popularity of Ejiao: From Imperial Luxury to Mass Consumption



Ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy once reserved for the elite circles of the emperor’s court, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Once considered a luxury reserved for the privileged few, ejiao has now become a staple in the lives of everyday Chinese citizens, readily available for purchase on popular platforms like the Chinese food-delivery app Meituan. This shift in accessibility reflects broader societal changes in China and underscores the evolving relationship between traditional medicine and modern consumer culture.

Historically, ejiao held a prestigious status in Chinese society, valued not only for its purported health benefits but also for its association with wealth and power. Originating from donkey hides, ejiao was meticulously prepared and consumed as a tonic believed to strengthen the blood, improve sleep quality, and slow the aging process. Its consumption was largely confined to the imperial court and the upper echelons of society, symbolizing exclusivity and luxury.

In recent years, however, ejiao has experienced a democratization of consumption, with its availability expanding beyond elite circles to reach a wider audience. Platforms like Meituan offer a diverse range of ejiao-infused products, catering to various preferences and budgets. From affordable tonics to convenient snack options, ejiao has become accessible to people from all walks of life, reflecting a shift towards inclusivity and democratization in traditional medicine consumption.

Despite the lack of scientific consensus on its efficacy, ejiao continues to enjoy popularity among consumers due to its perceived health benefits. Advocates tout its ability to boost vitality, enhance skin health, and alleviate common ailments, contributing to its widespread appeal. The modern consumer’s interest in holistic wellness and natural remedies further fuels the demand for ejiao, driving innovation and diversification in product offerings.

The rise of ejiao consumption has not been without challenges and controversies. Concerns have been raised regarding the sustainability of donkey populations, as the demand for ejiao places pressure on global donkey populations and raises ethical questions about animal welfare. Additionally, the commodification of ejiao has led to the proliferation of counterfeit products and adulterated formulations, posing risks to consumer safety and public health.

Beyond its health benefits, ejiao holds cultural significance as a symbol of Chinese tradition and heritage. Its journey from imperial luxury to mass consumption reflects broader shifts in Chinese society, where tradition and modernity intersect. Furthermore, ejiao’s growing popularity has implications beyond China, influencing global trade dynamics and sparking interest in traditional Chinese medicine worldwide.

In conclusion, The evolution of ejiao from a symbol of imperial luxury to a mass-consumed commodity encapsulates the dynamic interplay between tradition, modernity, and consumer culture in contemporary China. As ejiao continues to gain prominence on the global stage, its story serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of traditional Chinese medicine and its ability to adapt to changing times while preserving its cultural heritage.

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