Urban News Roundup – 24 July 2015

Nairobi: Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall reopens

Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall, the site of a deadly attack in which 67 people were killed and scores were injured in 2013, has reopened. Gunmen from the Somalia-based armed group al-Shabab stormed the popular mall on September 21, 2013, in retaliation for Kenya’s military operations in Somalia. Shop owners opened their businesses on Saturday for the first time since the attack. The mall has installed x-ray machines, explosive detectors and bullet-proof guard towers.- Al Jazeera.

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia powers up ambitions for green, climate-resilient industry

The hulking waste-to-energy power plant taking shape on the edge of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, symbolises ambitions to convert the agrarian Horn of Africa country into an eco-friendly industrial powerhouse. The government’s $120m (£76.8m) Reppie project, being built to EU emissions standards, will incinerate the city’s rubbish to generate 50MW of electricity. In about a year, green, cutting-edge Reppie will replace a vast rubbish dump picked over by hundreds of scavengers. Currently, toxic effluent from the landfill seeps into nearby rivers when it rains and methane perpetually drifts into the atmosphere. The power plant is just one facet of Ethiopia’s four-year-old climate resilient green economy (CRGE) strategy, which aims for the nation to become middle-income by 2025 while limiting its carbon footprint to less than 2010 levels by 2030. –The Guardian.

Harare: Demolitions to render thousands homeless

Thousands of people in the capital will soon be homeless as Harare City Council has embarked on a massive demolition of illegal structures in 19 undesignated settlements that have been identified. Council officials claim the demolitions are meant to bring sanity as some structures were being erected without approval from the responsible city departments. Owners of the demolished structures will foot labour and other costs incurred in pulling down their illegal houses.- The Herald.

Windhoek: Namibian leader to meet radical land activists on Friday

Namibia president Hage Geingob will on Friday meet leaders of the radical group to discuss the issue of land in a bid to avert countrywide land invasion planned by landless Namibians under the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement at the end of this month, reports said on Wednesday. The movement spearheaded by young land activists has given the government until July 31, 2015 to find solution to their demand for affordable urban land and housing. Geingob, during a meeting with church leaders at State House on Wednesday said his government will engage the AR leadership to discuss the issue of land, which is said it is one of the biggest problems in Namibia. –StarAfrica

Timbuktu mausoleums in Mali rebuilt after destruction

Fourteen mausoleums in the city of Timbuktu in northern Mali have been rebuilt, three years after they were destroyed by Islamist extremists. During their occupation, the militants vandalised and destroyed mosques and mausoleums, and burnt tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts. The reconstruction was carried out by local stonemasons working for the UN’s cultural organisation, Unesco. The entire city of Timbuktu is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. –BBC.

Cape Town: Bold plan to transform Manenberg

The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government on Wednesday unveiled ambitious plans for transforming Manenberg. Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo promised the residents of one of the most volatile suburbs in the country a R3 billion “skyscraper” medical facility as part of the plan to urbanise the area through the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading project. –Independent Online.

Khartoum: Egypt, Ethiopia yet to agree on Nile dam

Egypt and Ethiopia have opened crucial talks in Khartoum over persisting differences over the Grand Rennaissance Dam being built by Ethiopia. The Egyptian minister of water resources and irrigation Hossam Moghazi disclosed that the three countries have “some areas of dispute” over the studies offered by the consultant companies which were tasked to assess the impact of the dam on the downstream countries. Addressing the opening session of the talks, the Egyptian minister said that Egypt has submitted two new studies on the impact of the dam on Egypt and the probable diminishing of Nile water flow to downstream Egypt.- Africa Review.

Dakar: Former Chad dictator’s war crimes trial opens in Senegal

The former Chadian leader, Hissène Habré, has gone on trial in Senegal accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture committed during his brutal eight-year rule from 1982 to 1990. The opening of the case at the Palais de Justice in Dakar represents a historic step for African justice: it is the first time that the courts of one country on the continent have prosecuted the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes. It is also the first universal jurisdiction case to proceed to trial in Africa. –The Guardian.

Rabat: Over 1.48 million Moroccans Living Abroad Return Home as of July 20

More than 1.48 million Moroccans living abroad have returned to Morocco since the launch of the Marhaba 2015 operation, on June 5, as of July 20, Minister in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs, Anis Birou, said. The number of Moroccans living abroad who returned to Morocco increased by 21.41 percent compared to the same period of 2014, Birou said during the question time of the House of Representatives.- Morocco World News.





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