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Good news column


The world may seem like it’s going to crazy. Granted. With a ‘stable genius’ in the White House, Britain up Brex(sh)it creek with barely a paddle, nationalist ideologists rising in Europe, African leaders getting on with the same old script, climate change at critical point, the theories of an impending global recession, the forecast may be bleak for most of us. However, a quick scroll on social media shows there are joyful tidings too in pretty much all aspects of life.

If you’ve been in a miserable mood lately, wondering what sort of apocalypse we are all heading to, here’s some good news to brighten up your day.
First smartphones made in Africa

No, not the nebulous concept of the dark continent of Africa, not to worry, but it feels good to write ‘made in Africa.’ The first-ever smartphone manufacturing plant opened in Kigali last wek. The plant was launched by the Mara Group and will manufacture two smartphones, the Mara X and Mara Z.
The phones will be built on Android operating systems and are meant to compete with the likes of Samsung and Tecno—the current frontrunners of the African smartphone market.


68% women’s representation in the Rwandan parliament
More good news from Rwanda who’s long been a beacon of hope for female representation in politics not just for Africa but for the world. In September, Rwanda has broken its own world record of 64% women representation in parliament and set a new record with 67.5% women representation in parliament. This means out of 80, now women occupy 54 seats. Now that’s worth a celebration!

‘Appy days!
Good news from West Africa came in August when five strong team of Nigerian girls named Team Save-A-Soul constituting Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye, learned how to build a mobile app from scratch by using opensource software from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The end result was FD-Detector, which helps users identify fake medicines using a drug’s barcode to verify its authenticity and expiration date.

The perfect Stormzy at Cambridge
Another Nigerian giving us good news was Stormzy. Following the musician’s high-profile backing of scholarships for black students at the institution, number of black students applying to study at the University of Cambridge has soared.Last Friday, Cambridge announced a new record in the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic students admitted this year, with the group now making up nearly 27% of admissions.

Diversity at the BBC
Another long-standing British institution which made the headlines earlier this month was the BBC following the appointment of TV presenter and campaigner June Sarpong as BBC’s first director of creative diversity.The BBC has pledged to ensure 50% of on-air roles go to women by 2020, with targets of 15% for black, Asian and minority ethnic [BAME], 8% for disabled and 8% for LGBT staff Off air, the BBC has promised to increase the proportion of leadership roles filled by women from 44% to 50% by next year, and raise the share of such senior roles held by BAME staff from 11.5% to 15%.

From refugee to CEO with a message of peace
They may be ruled by a tangerine hued tyrant, but good things are happening in the USA too. Like the video game titled Salaam created by Sudanense refugee Lual Mayen. Born in war-torn Sudan, raised in a Ugandan refugee camp, Now 24 years old, he is a video game developer based in the United States, leading his own company and using the experiences from his past to inform his products: games aimed at peace-building and conflict resolution. Salaam, the game that launched his journey and a new life for him in the US will launch in December and is leading the way in the social impact gaming category.


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