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The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.
In this week’s news, a new app reinvents laundry in Uganda, and Sierra Leone’s abortion bill faces a setback.
Yoza is a new company that connects people looking for help with their laundry to those offering help.
The company was founded by 24-year-old Solomon Kitumba of Kampala, Uganda, according to CNN. Because laundry is usually done by hand, it can be time consuming and difficult. By using the app, single professionals, students, and others in need of services are able to save time that would otherwise be spent doing laundry.
This is of great benefit to the washers, as well. The washers are predominantly women, about a third of whom are single mothers.
Most of them have at least doubled their income by washing for the company. The company currently has 150 washers. They hope to gain 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year, and plan to expand into Kenya and Rwanda by 2018.
2. Sierra Leone Puts Abortion Bill On Hold
Sierra Leone has put the Safe Abortion Act on hold after religious leaders voiced concern about the bill.
The bill was passed by Parliament on December 8, and would have legalized abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. After that point, it would only allow abortions in extreme circumstances, such as rape, incest, or a health risk to the mother.
The leaders not only cited religious and moral reasons for their opposition, but also expressed a concern that Sierra Leone does not have the medical resources to perform abortions safely. In response, activists have stated that legalizing abortions will save the lives of women.
Currently, around 1,000 women in Sierra Leone die every year during childbirth or from other problems relating to their pregnancies. Some of these deaths are from unsafe abortions. Parliament will meet with religious leaders later this month to discuss their concerns.