You are watching Africa 54, your daily news and feature magazine-style program, from the Voice of America. Host Esther Githui-Ewart and a team of correspondents zero in on the big stories making news on the continent and around the world with context and analysis.
Weeks of conflict in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region have killed hundreds and sent tens of thousands fleeing to Sudan. Calls for talks have, so far, failed to gain traction. But which international powers could bring Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigray’s leaders to the negotiating table?
The United Nations is warning that “aggressive rhetoric” risks placing civilians in “grave danger” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Across the continent in west Africa, Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore is holding a large lead on Wednesday in early results from Sunday’s election, as opposition members of the electoral commission boycotted the process following allegations of fraud. The results declared by the commission, known as CENI, from 37 out of 360 districts nationwide showed Kabore with over 235,000 votes, more than three times as many as his nearest rival, former finance minister Zephirin Diabre. The CENI resumed announcing results district-by-district after a more than 24-hour pause caused by opposition objections.
The standoff further complicates an election already troubled by threats from Islamist militants. Hundreds of thousands of citizens were unable to cast ballots on Sunday because their polling stations were closed for fear of violence. The election will go to a second round if no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote.
In Nigeria, COVID-19 lockdowns are seeing increasing cases of gender-based violence. Now, traditional, and religious leaders are urging men to protect the rights of women and girls. The campaign coincides with Wednesday’s united nations international day for the elimination of violence against women.
Kenya is also acknowledging that COVID-19 restrictions are fueling cases of gender-based violence. However, officials are not being open on abuses against the LGBTQ community. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya — and many afraid to report abuse to police or get medical help because of stigma.
As COVID-19 continues to soar in the United States and other parts of the world, one African immigrant family is adjusting to COVID life. VOA’s Esther Githui-Ewart spoke to the family of Solomon Jagwe, who immigrated to the U.S. from Uganda, about the changes his family had to make, to accommodate work and virtual learning for his children under the same roof.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced his picks for top diplomatic and national security posts in his forthcoming administration. Biden is pressing ahead with the transition process even though President Donald Trump has yet to formally concede. White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has the latest.
Long before COVID-19, there was already high adoption in education technology, where teaching is done remotely and on digital platforms. In Kenya, Sproutfy, a school mobile web-based management and communication tool is enhancing collaborative learning. Africa 54’s technology correspondent Paul Ndiho spoke with Penina Kimani, mobile app developer and founder of Sproutfy.
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