Month: August 2015

Kenya is the hotbed of 3000 metres steeplechase

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This year’s World Championships in Athletics are ongoing and as usual, African (or Africa-born) runners win most if not all middle- and long distance events. But no other event is dominated by one country as is men’s 3000 metres steeplechase. It will almost certainly be won by a Kenyan (of Kalenjin ethnicity), and this year did not make any difference, in fact the four Kenyan participants filled the first four positions on the results table. Usually countries can send a maximum of three athletes per event, but defending champions will get an automatic entrance on top of that.

The winner this year was no one else than Ezekiel Kemboi, who won gold in fourth consecutive World Championships. No other athlete has managed the same in one event, although Usain Bolt has a good chance to achieve the same in 200 metres and relay events to be competed later this week. In addition, Kemboi got three silver medals in World Championships before his gold streak, meaning he has won a medal at every World Championships since 2003! That’s seven editions in total.

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Kariba dam half empty – energy crisis in Southern Africa gets deeper

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Lack of rains this year has led fall of water levels of the Kariba dam reservoir on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, and subsequently diminished power generation. The water level of the reservoir is now only 40% of its full capacityZambia generates almost all of its electricity by hydropower plants (over 99%), with Kariba Dam being the main source. Copper mining in northern parts of the country is vital for Zambian economy, but power crisis have now forced mining companies to cut back on production. These companies already suffer from low copper prices and now power shortage means significantly increased costs. Should the situation be prolonged, mines may be forced to be closed, and thousands of workers will be sent home. The power shortage is also hurting other industries and affects the daily life of Zambians.

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List of best universities in Africa released – South Africa leads the way

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African universities have recently been ranked by the Times Higher Education foundation, who recently released a TOP-30 list of African universities. South African universities lead the list, as eleven out of Top 20 African universities are from South Africa. According to the ranking, University of Cape Town (UCT) is the best university in Africa, followed by Wits University in Johannesburg and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The 20 best universities are listed below:

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Ethiopian Airlines rules the skies

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Ethiopian Airlines is an unlikely success story of African aviation industry. There are very few profitable airlines in Africa but Ethiopian Airlines has managed to operate profitably for years. At the same time self-proclaimed “Pride of Africa”, Kenya Airways may go under any date, while South African Airways is kept flying only by government subsidies. With a growing fleet size of about 75 aircraft and the destination count now over 100, Ethiopian is one of the largest airlines of the continent. The airline has grown steadily since it was founded in 1945, turning 70 years this December. Despite being wholly government owned, the airline has been spared of unnecessary political disturbance, even during less stable times Ethiopia has endured over the decades. The airline even bought American aircraft during the 80’s communist regime.

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Obama visit to Kenya

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The US President Barack Obama made a quick visit to Kenya and Ethiopia in July 2015. Especially in Kenya Obama’s “homecoming” was much anticipated, since his father Barack Obama (senior) hails from Nyanza region in Kenya, and as such President Obama has number of half siblings and other relatives still living in Kenya. Some Kenyans have felt disappointed and even ashamed that Obama did not visit the country earlier during his presidency, skipping the country during his previous African visits. While finally landing Kenya, he would stay in the capital Nairobi, even though many hoped Obama would visit Kogelo, his paternal home village. Preparations were well underway to host Obama in the village, despite he never indicated visiting there.

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