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Photo by Stringer/AFP via Getty Images.

Ethiopia's Online Movement #BringBackOurStudents Takes to the Streets

Thousands of Ethiopians are protesting the government's failure to locate the whereabouts of at least 18 students from Dembi Dollo University who were abducted two months ago.

Mass demonstrations are underway in northern parts of Ethiopia including Bahir Dar.

Thousands of Ethiopians are protesting the government's failure to locate the whereabouts of at least 18 students from Dembi Dollo University who were abducted two months ago.


What began as an online movement under the banner of #BringBackOurStudents has evolved into a fully-fledged protest over the past few days in an effort to obtain answers from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government.

While there are conflicting reports as to the exact number of students who were abducted from Dembi Dollo University, it is believed that at least 18 students are missing.

According to the BBC, the students are from the Amhara community in the northern parts of Ethiopia and were fleeing from the university–located in the Oromia region–when inter-ethnic violence erupted. It is largely rumoured that the students, who are mostly female, were abducted by armed local men who are known to be active in the area. Fingers have been pointed at the Oromo Liberation Army although they have quickly denied the allegations and have instead cast the blame on the government.

Protesters have been chanting anti-government slogans and are accusing Prime Minister Ahmed and his government of not doing enough to ensure the safe release of the students. Despite the government's press secretary having reported that only 6 out of an alleged 21 missing students remained captive, many family members claim their loved ones have still not returned.

One parent, desperate to find out whether his missing daughter is alive, told the BBC that, "I'm afraid they have killed them. I wish they tell us the truth if that is the case. It's affecting our mental health. My wife is already sick because she is worried too much. I wish they tell us the truth, even if they are killed."

Prime Minister Ahmed's rule has been in the line of fire since he took office in 2017. While he brought about tremendous change such as a gender-equal cabinet and ended a two-decade long border conflict with Eritrea, an effort for which he was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, there have been numerous and wide-spread protests as long-standing inter-ethnic tensions continue to worsen.

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Still from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's TED Talk

Watch Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's  TED Talk on How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Fight Climate Change

The Chadian activist—and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020—says traditional knowledge, as practiced in her native Mbororo community, is one of the keys to combatting climate change.

In a new TED Talk, climate activist, geographer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, discusses the role that indigenous knowledge can play in combatting climate change.

During the 13-minute talk, Ibrahim emphasizes how the exploration and acceptance of various knowledge systems–including those that fall outside of the scope of typical scientific research–can add to our understanding of ways to protect the environment. "I think, if we put together all the knowledge systems that we have -- science, technology, traditional knowledge -- we can give the best of us to protect our peoples, to protect our planet, to restore the ecosystem that we are losing," says Ibrahim.

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Photo credit should read ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP via Getty Images.

Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi to be Released from Prison

After being sentenced to 18 months in prison for the "cyber harassment" of President Yoweri Museveni, Stella Nyanzi has won her court appeal and the judge has ordered her immediate release.

Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi is set to be released from prison after winning her court appeal.

Last year, Nyanzi was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the "cyber harassment" of President Yoweri Museveni after writing a poem about his mother's vagina.

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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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