News Brief

Chinese Open New Railway from Djibouti to Ethiopia

The first electric transnational railway in Africa is now running from Djibouti City To Addis Ababa with backing from China.

Today, the first electric transnational railway in Africa went into operation from Djibouti City to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Government officials, diplomats, and socialites, were in attendance for the historic occasion. Also in attendance were Chinese investors, whose 14 billion dollar loan, funded the railway.


The newly functioning line will certainly be of benefit for Djibouti and its landlocked neighbor, as it will help optimize trade by cutting travel time between the two countries. The journey is a three to four days by truck, and just 12 hours via the new rail line.

“This line will change the social and economic landscape of our two countries,” said Ethiopia's prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn.

There are many advantages of the newly established rail for both countries, but perhaps even more for China, whose increasing presence in Africa, is helping rebuild infrastructure throughout the continent, but is also raising reasonable suspicion.

"Chinese-built and -financed projects include a two-year-old light-rail system in the Ethiopian capital; a $13 billion rail link between the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and the port city of Mombasa that will open later this year; and an ambitious rail modernization project in Nigeria that includes an urban transit system for Lagos," reports the New York Times.

These investments mean that China will certainly hold leverage over African affairs. While some commend China for "taking a risk on Africa," while most Western countries have noticelbly retreated, I'm not so sure who's really at risk here, China or the African nations that are now heavily indebted to it.

News Brief

Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.

British-Ugandan musician Michael Kiwanuka has gone on to win the 2020 Mercury Prize at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The win was assigned to Kiwanuka's 2019 album KIWANUKA, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. KIWANUKA, Michael's third full-length so far, seems to be the artists' most personal one yet.

In his own words, Kiwanuka told New Statesman, "I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

Well, we are certainly grateful for the singer's personal evolution as it has landed him top honors in the industry, as well as, amongst his die hard fans.

The artist said of his win, "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing...I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. Third time's a charm. It's blown my mind. I'm over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I'm so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I'm over the moon."

Watch Michael Kiwanuka's performance of "You Ain't The Problem" off of his Mercury Prize winning album "KIWANUKA" here.

Mercury Prize 2020 Winner | Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem (Later... With Jools Holland) www.youtube.com

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Supports Removal of Apartheid Statues

This past Heritage Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that monuments 'glorifying' the country's 'divisive past' should be repositioned and relocated.