A reconstruction of H. naledi, a new hominin species discovered in South Africa.
A reconstruction of H. naledi, a new hominin species discovered in South Africa. Mark Thiessen, National Geographic
The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.

This week brings news of a newly discovered human ancestor, Nigeria’s new World Trade Center, and a new diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Somalia.

  1. Scientists in South Africa announced that they have discovered a new human ancestor. The ancestor has been named Homo naledi,  and it could potentially rewrite what we know about human evolution. H. naledi had a mix of modern and primitive traits, and there is evidence that they buried their dead. Many tests, including dating the species to a specific time period, still have to be done before we can truly say how H. naledi fits into our family tree.

2. Nigeria is set to open its own World Trade Center complex in the capital city of Abuja. The complex will join the World Trade Centers Association, connecting it with 323 other WTC complexes around the world.

WTC Abuja is expected to give a boost to Nigeria’s growing economy, and will be the largest business center in West Africa. The site has been in development since 2010, and will open for business next year.

3. The US State Department is reopening a diplomatic relationship with Somalia, after several decades of closure. For the time being, diplomats will be housed in Kenya, but will conduct business in Somalia when security allows. They hope to foster a relationship with the Somali government, boosting the local economy and providing aid and support against terrorist groups in the region.


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