Weekly news roundup: September 12, 2014

Islamist militants about to take Benghazi. Pro-government Libyan forces, already reeling from the fall of the capital, are fighting to prevent Islamist militants from seizing the eastern city of Benghazi and splitting the North African country into three warring parts. Three weeks after losing Tripoli to a different militia, the army now faces an offensive in Libya’s second-largest city from the Islamists of Ansar al-Sharia. – Reuters.

Thousands of locusts take to Antananarivo’s sky. Thousands upon many horrifying thousands of locusts descended on Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo last week. Hilariously, NPR describes them as “the insects of biblical fame that gobble up crops and ravage landscapes”. – The Daily Vox.

Cape Town planning to use drones. Shortly after referring to its CCTV system as “Big Brother” and expressing support for public video surveillance, the City of Cape Town has revealed that it is in the “planning phase” of a camera drone project. – GroundUp.

Three nuns killed in Bujumbura. Three elderly Italian nuns have been raped and murdered in twin attacks at their convent in the north of Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura. Police say the motive for the killings is unclear. – Deutsche Welle.

Addis Ababa seeks finance to build new bus and taxi stations. The Addis Abeba City Transport Bureau (AACTB) is looking for private companies who will take it upon themselves to construct 354 passenger shelters at public transport stop points, fermatas, in Addis Abeba and neighbouring towns. – Addis Fortune.

Kampala to host an international urban development conference. Kampala Capital City Authority will next month host the Future of Cities Forum (FCF) to discuss how modern yet inclusive cities are built. The forum will take place between October 1-3, 2014 at Speke Resort hotel, Munyonyo. Uganda becomes the first country in Africa to host this forum. – The Observer.

Lagos suffers what appears to be an Ebola attack. A US air marshal was attacked with a syringe at Lagos airport in Nigeria and has been taken to a US hospital, the FBI said on Monday. The incident on Sunday raised fears the syringe could have carried some form of the Ebola virus because Nigeria is one of the west African countries where the epidemic has spread. – The Guardian.

Mogadishu shaken by terrorist attack. At least 25 people were killed in a suicide bombing that targeted African peacekeepers in Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday, security sources and eyewitnesses said. At least another 30 people were injured in the attack, for which the Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group has since claimed responsibility. – Hiiraan.

Reinventing the African city. Africa’s cities are facing some exciting, frightening and rapid change. UN-Habitat’s latest “State of African Cities” report attempts to map this change and create a tool for future-oriented urban planning. What are some of the insights of the report, and what can Cape Town as an African city learn from this? – Sustainable Cities Collective.

Beira to reshape its port thanks to the Mozambique-China cooperation. The Mozambican and Chinese governments signed an agreement in Maputo on Wednesday for financing the rehabilitation of the fishing port in the central city of Beira. The rehabilitation of the Beira fishing port will stimulate the economy of central Mozambique, and particularly of Sofala province. – allAfrica.

Abidjan hosts the second West Africa Clean Energy Finance Forum. The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and partners co-organized in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, an event to launch and promote the second West Africa Clean Energy Finance Forum (WAFCEF-2). The purpose of the forum is to reach out and attract potential start-ups and existing companies with promising clean energy projects to enter into the business plan competition. – African Development Bank Group.

First steps done to reduce traffic congestion in Lusaka. ZESCO has completed the removal of power installations in readiness for the expansion of Lusaka’s Burma and Chilimbulu roads. The construction of the Burma and Chilimbulu roads was part of the 1400 road project that is intended to address the growing traffic congestion in Lusaka. – Times of Zambia.

Ebola changes the social landscape of Freetown. Although most residents of Sierra Leone’s capital have yet to witness Ebola firsthand, the outbreak has nevertheless affected virtually all aspects of daily life. – Think Africa Press.

Khartoum considers building a Christian church. Christian Nuba of El Izba district in Khartoum North have requested the Khartoum State authorities allot a piece of land for the construction of a church. The Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) is planning a general meeting to discuss the problems of Christians in Sudan. On 30 June, the church of El Izba, populated by many people from the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, was demolished by the authorities – Radio Dabanga.




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