News Brief

The Ugandan Government Is Launching Its Own Social Media Networks

The Ugandan government claims that the move to local platforms will make internet cheaper, but not everyone is convinced.

The Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) has announced its plans to launch its very own, state-run social media networks in the vein of Facebook and Twitter, reports IT News Africa IT News Africa.

The UCC's Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, claims that the move will make internet access and hosting less expensive, "Instead of Ugandans, for example, visiting Twitter, they will have something local that they will be able to use," says Mutabazi. "The moment you access the Internet, you first go to America and come back when you are surfing. But if we had our own content here, it will be cheaper."

Alright, then.

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Mutabazi has said that the local government and communications agencies operating in the country will be urged to promote these social media platforms.

The UCC has also expressed that they feel the creation of local platforms will also help keep hate speech out of the country.

However, not everyone is convinced. Some see this move as an act of censorship by the government, intended to tighten control over free expression and are questioning how exactly these sate-run social media sites will help make internet cheaper in Uganda or curb hate speech as the government claims it will.

The UCC plans to launch the sites later on in the year, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Photo: Mainimo Etienne

The Rwandan Woman Who Made Football History

We talked to Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga, who is the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations' 65-year history.

On the 18th of January, 2022, a woman stepped into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon, whistle in hand, a walkie-talkie tucked behind her shorts. Taking up her post as central referee for the Zimbabwe-Guinea game, she would make history as the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations. Chit-chat occupied the stands, as spectators waited for the curtains to be drawn at 17:00 hours for the match to begin. Whispers of “Hope she will deliver,” could be heard, as Salima Mukansanga prepared to take to the field.

During the match, some spectators counted the 34 yellow cards she handed out at the end; others found her soft and tender with no serious refereeing issues in the game. Mukansanga leads a quartet of women match officials for this year's AFCON, with Carine Atemzabong, from Cameroon, Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi, both from Morocco, present as assistant referees. Until this year’s tournament, in its 65-year history, an all-women team of refereeing officials had yet to be designated for an Africa Cup of Nations match.

With this accomplishment, 35-year-old Mukansanga has emerged as a trailblazer for other women who aspire to step out and break sporting bounds. Her role in this year’s tournament signals a major moment in the development of women refereeing in football, on the continent and for the sport as a whole.

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Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

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Music
Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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