This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa
In this week’s news, Nigerian scientists invent a new Malaria test, thousands of protesters take to the streets in Ethiopia, Tunisia ousts its prime minister, and Chad’s former dictator is ordered to pay for his crimes.
New Malaria Test Allows For Self-Diagnosis
Fyodor, a Nigerian biotech company, has created a new malaria test that promises to make diagnosing the disease much simpler.
Traditionally, malaria has been diagnosed by doctors using a blood test. The new method, however, checks for proteins related to the disease in the patient’s urine. The test, which is non-evasive, can be used at home and has results ready in about 25 minutes.
Fyodor’s scientists spent eight years researching the disease and refining the urine test, which has already won innovation awards in Africa. Malaria is a very common disease in Africa, but thanks to health improvements and innovations, the death rate for the disease has declined by 66% since 2000.
Thousands Of Ethiopians Protest Wealth Inequalities
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in northern Ethiopia to protest wealth inequalities in the country. The protestors have criticized the current leading party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and demanded a regime change. The EPRDF has been criticized for it’s censorship and for imprisoning participants in a different protest earlier this year. So far, the current protests have been peaceful, and are expected to continue and grow.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister Is Voted Out By Parliament
Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has been ousted by a vote of no confidence by the country’s Parliament.
The vote to remove Essid from power was overwhelming: 118 voted against him, 3 voted to keep him in power, and 27 members of Parliament chose not to vote. Essid has faced criticism for not working to strengthen the country’s economy and security. The Tunisian government will start looking for Essid’s replacement next week, and are also preparing for the negotiations and disputes that will arise between the country’s various political parties as a result of the vote.
Former Dictator Of Chad Ordered To Pay Restitution To Victims
A tribunal put together by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal found Hissene Habre, the former President of Chad, guilty of war crimes and other crimes against humanity.
Habre was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution to his victims and their families. During Habre’s presidency (1982–1990) more than 40,000 people were killed, and thousands were tortured. Habre has been ordered to pay upwards of $85 million total to his victims; $34,000 each to people who were sexually violated, $25,000 each to people who were imprisoned and/or tortured and $17,000 each to other victims.