Focus on Africa
Focus on Africa
About Focus on Africa
Three essential stories to round off your working day. Explaining the big topics and news from Africa, the people behind them, plus an African perspective on global stories. Hosted by Audrey Brown. Five days a week, ready by late afternoon, Monday to Friday.
More than 136,000 people, including an estimated 74,000 children are trapped in the historic northern Mali city of Timbuktu, according to the NGO Save the Children. This follows a siege by the al-Qaeda linked jihadists How did Zambia get into so much debt and how it plans to get out of it? And we meet Abdullahi Mire - winner of a top UN award for promoting education for refugee children.
Eleven miners have been killed at a platinum mine in South Africa, despite earlier concerns about safety. The country has some of the deepest platinum and gold mining shafts in the world and accidents are a regular occurrance. So, how safe are the mines in South Africa? Also, coup leaders in Niger have overturned an eight-year-old law criminalising migrant smuggling in the country. What will its impact be? And an opera celebrating the life and times of gay rights and anti-apartheid activist Simon Tseko Nkoli.
Sierra Leone's government says it repelled an attack at the weekend and was in control of the situation. President Maada Bio calls for unity. What led to this unrest? A special investigation into the dangers of unsafe abortions in Kenya. And a prize for Ugandan psychologist Dorothy Nambi for raising awareness of autism in her country.
The United Nations says at least 75 people have been killed in Abyei. It's a highly contested region, sandwiched between Sudan and South Sudan. While the borders between the two countries were agreed, Abiye was left unallocated. What's the reason behind the ongoing battle for Abyei? Also Mali's military junta have retaken a town held by Tuareg rebels, with the help of Wagner mercenaries. So where does this leave Mali? And the award winning Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau, tells us what inspires him.
Another round of peace talks between Ethiopia and the Oromo rebel group aimed at ending years of conflict end without a deal. What does this mean for the country’s unity? Why does cheating in exams occur? We look at a problem many African countries are grappling with. Plus, an Irish woman explains why she is returning African artefacts from her late father's collection.
As Liberians wait to swear in President-elect Joseph Boakai, we look back at George Weah's time in office. Why did he lose the last election? What impact did he make? Also what happened at the stadium in the Brazaville-Congo where 37 people died and over 100 were injured? And how the rise in the cost of living is forcing girls out of schools in some African countries.
The United Nations recently held the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, in order to develop an international treaty on plastic pollution. However, campaigners have accused oil and plastic producing countries as well as special interest groups of delaying progress. Over 20 African countries are on the slippery path to debt distress. What is it, and what can they do to avoid it? And is the development of women's footballing talent in Africa stuck in the slow lane?
There's a fresh call from the Sudan Humanitarian crisis conference in Cairo to end the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The three-day conference concludes today with peacebuilding experts suggesting, negotiations in Sudan this time round, should largely be African-led. Also is there press freedom in Eritrea? The founder of ERISAT, which has been broadcasting in the country since 2018 shares her experience. And how a production company in the UK, is changing the narrative of Somali women in Britain.
Calls for a global fund to compensate Africans for the transatlantic slave trade were made at a recent summit in Ghana. However, what form should this compensation take? Sudan civil war: Returning home to Port Sudan after escaping clashes bewteen Sudan government solders and the RSF paramilitary unit. Reporter Osman Mohamed shares his experience. At nearly five million, the country officially has the highest number of internally displaced people in the world. And a South African initiative which gives abandoned babies a new lease of life ordered to close for ''breaking law''
Over thirty MPs from Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change, have lost their seats. There have also been four abductions and a death. What's going on? We shine a light on abusive work practices on foreign flagged fishing boats operating in Africa. And what's behind the world record breaking craze in Nigeria? A Nigerian woman has broken a record for making the longest hand-made wig. It stretches up to 351.28 metres!
People in Madagascar will head to the polls on Thursday, but 10 of the 13 candidates have called for a boycott of a presidential election which follows months of street protests. We look at why questions over the President Andry Rajoelina’s dual French nationality have contributed to a contentious campaign. Translators who have worked for German troops serving as United Nations peacekeepers in Mali say they fear reprisal attacks from jihadist militants, as the UN winds up its mission. 2026 FIFA World Cup: Africa’s qualifiers kick off today, with a record number of teams from the continent set to make it to the finals.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have today asked their members to down their tools indefinitely. The two, are Nigeria's biggest labour representatives. They accuse the government of failing to meet their demands. What do they want? Also, after the recent apology by German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier where he expressed "shame" for the colonial atrocities his country inflicted on Tanzania, we look at Germany's colonial history across Africa. And we meet the African photographer Sarah Waiswa who is determined to show case the continent through a different lens.
Thousands of people in the Horn of Africa and East Africa have been uprooted by what the UN has called “once-in-a-century“ floods. We look at why this is happening now. Kenya's Ogiek community condemns the government, over forceful evictions that have forced members from their ancestral land. Plus, the initiative bringing hope to talented young South African musicians from townships in Cape Town.
Liberians return to the polls on Tuesday in a runoff election between President George Weah and former vice-president Joseph Boakai. It follows a fiercely fought first round in which neither candidate was able to secure 50% of the votes for an outright victory. So, what can we expect from the runoff? Also British Somali author Nadifa Mohamed leads us into a world of cruelty and horror about human zoos. She tells the story of a stillborn baby, whose parents came from the Bambuti community from present day Democratic Republic of Congo to the UK. And does the blockbuster Nigerian film, "Over the Bridge", take us beyond Nollywood and into movie magic?
Witnesses accuse Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of targeting non-Arabs in Darfur, after capturing the Sudanese army headquarters in West Darfur’s capital El Geneina. We ask a representative of the United Nations refugee agency what is happening in the region. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed his country’s expulsion from the Agoa free trade deal with the United States, but is his response mere posturing? And will burning poached wildlife products discourage criminals in Nigeria?
The security situation in Ethiopia's Amhara region has been concerning for a while now with the authorities in Addis Ababa trying to contain it. However, the latest escalation in violence between government forces and groups opposed to a disarmament plan is leading to a humanitarian crisis, amid fears that the conflict could spread. Also we look at a new report from Amnesty International, which accuses TikTok of directing content to children to the detriment of their mental health. TikTok denies the allegation. And did you know giraffes are even more at risk of extinction than elephants?
We look at the future of AI in Africa, with two people involved with the development of the technology on the continent. What are some of the benefits and potential risks? Abake Adenle is the founder of Ajala, a tech company which delivers voice automation solutions for African languages, and Alex Tsado is co-founder of Ahura AI – which aims to keep workers around the world up-to-date with AI. A month on from the start of the most recent escalation in the conflict between Hamas and Israel, where do African countries stand? Plus are Kenyan complaints that President William Ruto travels too much justified?
The United Nations says, thousands of people are trapped following severe flooding in Somalia. Over forty thousand remain displaced and 14 people have been killed. We hear the latest. Also, following on from a BBC Africa Eye investigation into corporal punishment in Kenya, we'll look at the broader context across Africa and around the world. Why does it still happen despite its ban and what is the long term impact? And we'll hear more about the fight for a rare African mask from Gabon which is at the centre of a multimillion-dollar legal battle in France.
There is growing concern over the spread of dengue fever around the world. A medical specialist tells us what dengue is, why cases are rising and what the difference is between dengue and malaria. Also, a year after the bloody war in Ethiopia came to an end, we look at how life has changed for people in Tigray, and what more needs to be done. And we hear a discussion on the recent royal visit to Kenya, by King Charles. What was it really about?
As the number of internally displaced persons rises to record levels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we look at the devastating impact the ongoing conflict is having on children. Also how does Africa benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), signed into law by the United States, 23 years ago? And we speak to one woman, Amira Adawe, who is determined to highlight the dangers of using skin lightening products.