Weekly urban news roundup: March 17, 2014

Johannesburg is Africa’s busiest city for twitter

The top tweeting cities in Africa have been revealed in a new study that seeks to analyse the behaviour of Twitter users. According to a study by strategic communications agency Portland, SA and Egypt are the most active on Twitter, with peaks for the Egyptian uprisings and the death of global icon Nelson Mandela – News 24.

New urban transport plan for Maputo

Maputo Municipal Council plans to revolutionise public transport in the city, with the introduction of dedicated bus lanes in a “Bus Rapid Transit” (BRT) system. Two lines are planned, both starting from Maputo central rail station – allAfrica.

New IRIN film shows life in Bangui‘s ghettos

The capital of the Central African Republic is usually home to more than 130,000 Muslims, integrated with the rest of the population. Now, fewer than 1,000 remain in the city, the rest having fled amid a veritable pogrom carried out in reprisal for atrocities committed by an alliance of mainly Muslim rebels who had seized power in March 2013. Those left behind are stuck in ghettos or makeshift camps, protected by African Union troops but still surrounded by units of hostile anti-balaka militiamen. Their life of fear and deprivation is captured in IRIN’s latest multimedia production ‘Bangui’s ghettos’ – allAfrica.

Kampala – Jinja Expressway building starts

In order to reduce traffic on the existing Kampala – Jinja Road and improve movement of goods within the East African Community along the northern corridor, the Ugandan National Roads Authority is in the advanced stages of designing the Kampala – Jinja Expressway – The Observer.

Job-seekers stampede in Abuja‘s national stadium

Seven people have been killed in a stampede at Nigeria’s national stadium during a recruitment drive for the immigration service, officials and witnesses said on Sunday. The stampede late on Saturday shows the desperation for jobs in Africa’s second biggest economy and most populous nation, where oil wealth has enriched elites and grown the economy by more than 6 percent a year but has failed to create employment – Reuters.

Massive investment to make Abidjan the largest West African port

Côte d’Ivoire has launched massive upgrades to its ports to support the growth of the natural resource sector and to attract more of the regional transit trade. Buoyed by the economic recovery of the past two years and rising traffic levels, the Côte d’Ivoire government is implementing large-scale investments to upgrade its two international harbours, Abidjan and San Pedro – The Africa Report.

Carthage hosts “Miss Tunisia” contest

Beautiful young women enter the popular “Miss Tunisia” pageant every year to win modelling contracts and other prizes. For promoters, the 2014 edition is also a chance to revive the country’s troubled tourism sector. Eighteen contestants, representing nearly all of Tunisia’s governorates, will begin training on Saturday (March 15th) for the April 5th beauty pageant in Carthage – Magharebia.

Lagos: challenges of an emerging megacity

Appalling slums and a housing deficit, ubiquitous traffic congestion, a high crime rate and ocean surges are just some of the issues bedeviling Lagos. But the city is changing and slowly but surely evolving for the better. The story of Lagos is tightly knitted with that of Nigeria itself – the economic downturn of the early 70s and 80s led to a massive migration to urban areas. This led to a huge overstretching of the city to what it is today – 21 million people crammed into a space of just 356,861 hectares – allAfrica.

Film fest hits Luxor

Egypt’s city of Luxor will host the third Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) from 16 to 24 March in a bid from governmental bodies to exploit culture in boosting relations with African countries. The cultural gala will involve 150 participants, including men of letters, officials, actors, movie makers and African directors coming from 41 African and nine European countries –allAfrica.

Support for start-ups in Addis

Two aid workers from Germany’s GIZ are nurturing start-ups in the Ethiopian capital – from a text messaging service for job seekers to bamboo ramps for skateboarders. Iceaddis encourages young Ethiopian entrepreneurs to invent and develop affordable and sustainable products and services. DW.

Douala ready to host 5th Douala International Development Fair (DIDF)

The 5th Douala International Development Fair (DIDF) will be take place at the Deido Dr. Joel Ekindi Complex from March 28 to April 13, 2014. Under the theme “Developing is consuming and producing”, the objective of the fair is to encourage the transfer of skills as well as develop North-South partnerships – allAfrica.

Cape Town Stadium in the spotlight

Cape Town Stadium and the surrounding Green Point Common was developed and designed to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and has since played an important part in the on-going narrative of Cape Town. As part of the World Design Capital 2014 events programme, Future Cape Town led a walking tour exploring the stadium and its surrounds; listening to what citizens envisioned for the space – Sustainable Cities Collective.






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