The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.

The week bring news about a live-tweet that made news around the world, a travel website that is expanding into markets in Africa, another menace from the Boko Haram and a crack down on slave owners in Mauritania.

Surgeons at Abuja National Hospital in Nigeria prepare an 8-year-old patient for surgery.
Surgeons at Abuja National Hospital in Nigeria prepare an 8-year-old patient for surgery. Abuja National Hospital Twitter Page

1. Nigerian Hospital Live Tweets Surgery

Doctors at the Abuja National Hospital in Nigeria live-tweeted the open-heart surgery of an eight-year-old girl. The girl had been born with a hole in her heart, which the doctors repaired during the three-hour surgery.

A spokesperson for the hospital, Dr Tayo Haastrup, told CNN that the reason for the live updates was to show that doctors in hospitals in Africa are more than capable of performing such life-saving procedures. There are many people in Africa who are in need for open-heart and other important surgeries, and Haastrup wants them to know that these operations are available to them.

2. Airbnb Eyes Africa

Travel website Airbnb, which lets travelers rent out rooms, apartments and homes over the internet, is planning to expand it’s presence in Africa.

Currently, Airbnb’s business is thriving: in the past year, the number of users in Africa has increased by 145%. The company plans to continue the trend, particularly in hot-spots such as Kenya and South Africa. They acknowledge that it may not be easy due to the diversity of the African continent and the differing rules and regulations from country to country. However, they see great opportunity in the continent, not just for their business but for travelers and local economies as well.

3. 47 Killed in Nigerian Explosion

47 people were killed and at least 60 others injured during an explosion at a market in Sabon Gari, Nigeria. The explosion is believed to have been a terrorist attack, and Boko Haram is suspected to be responsible, though so far neither they or anyone else has come forward. Boko Haram has recently been active in the area, carrying out ambushes in and around Sabon Gari and other nearby towns and cities.

4. Mauritania Crack Down on Slavery

Although Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981, it remains in practice. This week, Mauritania passed a new law that expands what the country legally considers to be slavery and doubles the prison term for people found guilty of owning slaves. Under the expanded definition, there are 10 new crimes that are considered to be slavery, including forced marriage. The new law also provides legal help and advice for victims, allowing them to seek persecution of their captors and compensation for their mistreatment. The law will be difficult to enforce, but authorities and activists hope that it encourages victims to come forward and seek help.


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