South Africa: Teens to fly Cape to Cairo in a plane they assembled


An epic adventure in the form of an aviation challenge promoting and supporting innovation, technology and entrepreneurship will see 20 teenagers embark on a Cape-to-Cairo-and-back excursion in a self-assembled Sling-4 aircraft.

The aircraft uses ordinary motor fuel and was built in just three weeks.

The excursion, earmarked to start next month, will see different teams of the 20 teenagers pilot and charter a course that will cut across several African cities and towns, spreading the key messages of an African narrative that started as a dream.

Teen pilot, author and motivational speaker Megan Werner, sparked by her passion to inspire, founded U Dream Global Foundation to uplift, empower, equip and transform the lives of thousands of youth throughout Africa and the world by “dreaming and achieving the impossible as well as succeeding beyond expectations”.

“The challenge has enabled us to take a lot of teenagers from different backgrounds and to teach and equip them with life skills that they can take with them into the future.

“Throughout Africa, we are hoping to do similar initiatives affecting thousands of youths who are the future of the continent,” said Megan.

Megan and various teen co-pilots are now set to chart a course across Africa to visit towns and cities in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt, and a return trip that will include Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Pupils assemble the Sling-4 aircraft, which they plan to fly from Cape Town to Cairo and back on an epic journey next month.

Voluntary support for logistical aspects of the flight is being provided by CFS, ExecuJet, Worldfuel and Mike Blyth, the founder of The Airplane Factory – the enterprise that designed and built the original Sling plane series.

Using specially modified, self-made drones, the challenge will be documented on video.

Six teenage pilots will take turns to fly the plane as the challenge moves from country to country.

Egypt: Arab and African Youth Platform: Investing in young people

Young and promising leaders in Africa and the Arab world are all set to gather in Aswan, the 2019 Capital for African Youth

By Inas Mazhar

Youth in the Arab region and Africa share history and present circumstances, making cooperation among them essential for the development of their countries. Young people in both regions have proven they are capable of developing a promising vision of integration.

In this context, the Arab and African Youth Platform is founded for youth in the two regions to share and exchange experiences. Participants will have the chance to discuss various topics that are of concern to both Arab and African youth with the aim of fostering cooperation.

The forum’s agenda focuses on Arab and African matters, themes and questions of concern in light of Egypt’s presidency of the African Union in 2019.

Activities include open discussions, workshops, seminars and roundtable discussions gathering senior officials, decision-makers and a large number of young people from all over Africa.

In addition to the sessions and workshops, various cultural and entertainment activities will be held on the sidelines. Guests and participants will also have the chance to discover Egypt through Aswan as the organisers have planned many sightseeing visits and tours in celebration of Aswan being chosen the Capital for African Youth in 2019.

The forum’s colourful slogan reflects the spirit and authenticity of Arab and African countries. It is set to start on 16 March at 5pm with a celebration of Egypt taking over the chairmanship of the African Union.

The forum will kick-off with the opening ceremony followed by an open discussion entitled “The Future of Scientific Research and Healthcare” after which a roundtable titled “Nile Valley: The Pathway for Arab and African Integration” will be held in the afternoon.

The second day includes a session under the theme “The Impact of Financial Technology and Innovation on Africa and the Arab Region”. It will then be followed by two workshops: “Social Entrepreneurship from an African Perspective” and “Implementing Youth’s Agenda of Safety and Security in the Coastal Zone”. The forum will conclude with a closing ceremony in the evening.

While the World Youth Forum sees the participation of young people from all over the world and tackles the issues of the world on a broad scale, this platform has been narrowed down to tackle topics of concern to the African continent and the Arab region.

Accordingly, topics to be broached involve the future of scientific research and healthcare, and the impact of advanced technology and innovation in Africa and the Arab region.

The aim is to see young people and senior officials and experts finding optimal benefits, given that the Nile Valley is the pathway for Arab and African integration.

There is also a workshop called “Developing Coastal Regions”. Furthermore, two entrepreneur workshops entitled “How to be a Successful Entrepreneur” and “Social Entrepreneurship from an African Perspective” are scheduled to be held to guide young people by using a blueprint for business and research: how to start, work and succeed.

The point of the forum is not just young people meeting and mingling, but sharing their experiences, cultures, hopes and aspirations for the future of their countries and themselves.

This is what young people are expected to share in the three-day platform in Aswan from 16 to18 March under the patronage of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.

“Egyptian youth should be proud that their leader President Al-Sisi shows great interest and pays attention to their current issues and ambitions and is also keen on maintaining communication and dialogue with them on all levels through regular forums,” Ashraf Sobhi, Egypt’s minister of youth and sports, told Al-Ahram Weekly.

“Believing in the fact that the future belongs to youths and that they should be the leaders of their generation in planning and shaping the future of their nations, the president has been working for the past years on reaching out to them, primarily in Egypt, by listening and discussing, and getting veteran pioneers in every field involved, by advising and teaching them how to make their ambitions real,” Sobhi added.

The minister revealed that what was new in this conference was “getting youth involved in the future of scientific research, healthcare and advanced technology and innovation in Africa and the Arab region.

It is time our continent and region catch up with the world’s most developed countries and this will only be achieved by our young people.

“It is very important to have such a dialogue between past, present and future generations as it helps in sharing experiences and learning about new scientific technology which is spreading rapidly. And who can cope with these speedy innovations other than young people? This is why the president has decided to invest in his youth and has been giving his vote of confidence in their capabilities and potential, deciding to put in their hands a better future,” Sobhi said.

Ashraf Mahmoud, president of the Arab and African Sports Culture Associations, says that holding the forum in Aswan under the auspices of Egypt’s head of state confirms the deep-rooted relationship and ties between Egypt and its fellow countries in the African continent and the Arab region.

“It also endorses the fact that Egypt will remain the nation that serves as a communications link between African and the Arab nations. Accordingly, with those two dimensions in mind, African and Arab youth will be meeting in Aswan, the city that represents the portal for those two gateways,” Mahmoud said.

“This conference reveals the sincere and serious initiative by President Al-Sisi to bring young people from around the globe together through world forums which started in 2017. It also shows how the Egyptian regime is keen on the continuity of these forums, by taking them to continental and regional levels.It also reflects the president’s desire and eagerness to maintain a dialogue which he started with Egyptian youth, then added the world’s youth to the dialogue, and now Africans, in his capacity as chair of the African Union, and Arabs, in the capacity of Egypt’s leadership of the region. Egypt understands the challenges facing the continent and region and accordingly recognises the fact that only young people can make the changes for the future. So came the idea of bringing them together,” Mahmoud added.

Menna Ghazi, a young accountant at the Central Auditing Organisation, is looking forward to the forum as a participant representing Egypt. Ghazi went a week before the event to prepare receiving guests in Aswan and making sure they are comfortable.

“I have participated in almost all the youth forums, whether as an organiser or a participant and I have learned a lot in these events: time management, communication with people from all over the world, how to promote Egypt as a historic and civilised nation. As an organiser and together with my colleagues, we’ve been introduced to many nationalities and associated with them. We still maintain contacts with all of them. The forums also gave us the chance to bring young people together by introducing various nationalities to each other and where they can exchange their life experiences, cultures and traditions.

“Being a participant has also developed my skills, reflected in our personalities as Egyptians, into becoming open-minded individuals towards accepting the differences of others and learning from them,” Ghazi said. “It taught us how to listen, learn and exchange views, visions and opinions without any prejudice or fanaticism. Actually, these forums have taught us as young people the art of dialogue and persuasion. These platforms have given us the opportunity to work on strengthening ties between us Egyptians and our counterparts in Africa and all over the world. They have revived existing relations among young people through events like this forum and the Africa Cup of Nations in June. We all need each other because there are mutual benefits among us as leaders of the future in Africa. That is why we should cooperate more in economic investment that would benefit us all, and our role is to acknowledge our African counterparts in the role of Egypt in Africa.”

Alaa Zein, Egyptian national coordinator of the African Artists Peace Initiative, told the Weekly that African and Arab youth share the same challenges and have a lot in common. “One is being misperceived and looked at by the world as being Third World countries that need more development, when indeed they are innovative and creative. They just need that chance to prove it and this forum is the best platform for their initiative, she said.

“The forum is also a great opportunity for African youth to change the world’s misconceptions about Africa as a continent full of hunger and disease. They only remember Africa when it comes to football’s Africa Cup of Nations. This is why Africa should use these occasions more to change such misconceptions,” she added.

Zein, from Aswan, believes selecting the location of any event is most important when it comes to organisation.

“I am a Nubian and Aswan’s culture is the closest to Africa especially to those of Sudan and Ethiopia. We share a lot in common when it comes to clothing, music and traditions. This forum will be the first to change the stereotypical image of Egyptians in Africa and vice versa. Africans will also get the chance to change their typical perception of Egypt as only an African country by geography. They are that, but also Africans by heart.”

*A version of this article appears in print in the 14 March, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the headline: Investing in young people.

Source Ahram Online

Rwandan youth have potential to shine but need to rise to the occasion

By The New Times

The potential is there but young people need to stand up to the plate and make the most of these opportunities.

Rwandan youth have over the years been afforded many life-changing opportunities, ranging from education and entrepreneurship to business and sporting and entertainment areas.

Indeed few of them have grabbed some of these opportunities with both hands and have been able to change their lives and impact their communities.

But many have remained in their comfort zones and failed to take advantage of the various initiatives across the different sectors.

One such latest opportunity has come in the form of basketball. United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) have just announced a plan to launch a professional basketball league for Africa and Rwanda is one of the countries that will be participating.

The Basketball Africa League, slated to get underway in January 2020, will comprise of 12 teams drawn from several countries including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Rwanda.

The development presents a great opportunity to young Rwandans seeing as this country has proven that it has untapped potential in the sport.

In addition to the growing competitiveness of country’s elite basketball league, many youngsters have continuously expressed interest in the sport, with some impressing under the Giants of Africa basketball programme launched in Rwanda in partnership with basketball legend Masai Ujiri and NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

Young Rwandans benefiting from such initiatives should take these opportunities seriously by consistently investing their energy, talent, passion and time if they are to succeed.

Above all, they need to be patient and disciplined.

The potential is there but young people need to stand up to the plate and make the most of these opportunities.

Source The New Times

Egypt’s Pyramids signed Peru international Cristian Benavente

By Tarek Talaat

Egyptian side Pyramids FC have announced the signing of Peru international Cristian Benavente from Belgium side Charleroi.

No other details about the deal for the 24-year-old midfielder have yet been made public.

The news was published on the Facebook page of the club’s Saudi Arabian owner Turki Al-Sheikh

Spain-born Bonavente spent part of his youth career at Spanish giants Real Madrid and played for the their B team.

He spent six months with English Championship club MK Dons before being released and moving to Charleroi.

Pyramids are currently second in the Egyptian league with three points behind leaders Zamalek.

Source bbc

Egyptian government set to build museum in youth centre in Cairo to honour Salah’s achievements

By Akan Anwankwo

The 26-year-old is currently joint top scorer in the Premier League this season

The Egyptian government plans to build a museum to honour his achievements

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah will have a museum built in Cairo to celebrate his achievement for his club and country, the Egyptian government revealed.

The former Roma star who won his second consecutive African Player of The Yearis currently joint top scorer in the Premier League.

Sports minister Ashraf Sobhy revealed plans to build the museum at the Gezira Youth Centre in Cairo.

Sobhy said: “The surprise that I was preparing for Salah is the construction of a museum bearing his name at the Gezira Youth Centre in Cairo.

“Salah is delivering outstanding performances with both Liverpool and the national team.

“All Egyptians are proud of his achievements.

“I hope that winning this year’s title [of Africa’s best player] will be a big boost for him to continue his achievements, and to deliver more outstanding performances at club level – as well as with the national team in the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt next June.”

Salah played an integral part in helping Liverpool reach Champions League final where they were beaten by eventual winners Real Madrid.

The 26-year-old drew the world’s sympathy when he suffered a nasty shoulder injury after being dragged down by Sergio Ramos.

The injury affected his performance at the World Cup with the Pharaoh’s as they could not get past the first round.

Salah has scored 14 Premier League goals with three in the Champions League and his side Liverpool are four-points clear on the league table.

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that a bizarre statue of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been unveiled in Egypt.

According to a UK Sun report citing Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm, the bust, which shows the striker in celebration mood is currently on display at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh.


Youth and Sports minister visits Cairo stadium

By Egypt Today Staff

Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhi, accompanied by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, toured the Cairo International Stadium and a number of sports facilities. He also discussed the latest developments in the stadium, which is the first and largest of its kind in the Middle East.

“Egypt has a sports infrastructure at the highest level, which qualifies it to host major sporting events. A number of stadiums will be established in coordination with the Egyptian Football Association, which will welcome the participating teams of 24 teams for the first time in the history of the African Nations Cup,” Ashraf Sobhy told the reporters.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on January 8th that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of nations. Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

“In cooperation with all ministries and concerned authorities, I am seeking to organize a great tournament as Egypt is the biggest country in the continent. Egypt supports organizing any tournament in all the games,” Sobhy added.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.

Source Egypt Today

Egypt launches an initiative to boost youth entrepreneurship in the digital sector

By Ecofin Agency

Egypt’s minister of investments and international cooperation, Sahar Nasr, and the communications and IT minister Amr Talaat, decided to increase their help to digital project holders. In that regard, the two ministers have decided to launch the “Fekretak Sherketak” initiative (Your idea is your company) in tech innovation centers created in universities.

Via this initiative, the ministries are elaborating entrepreneurship coaching and mentorship for students who hold IT projects. The initiative, which also offers judicial council, is aimed at developing youth entrepreneurship

Conscious that civil service cannot meet the permanent job demand of Egypt’s youth, the government has decided, since 2013, to develop self-employment while orienting the younger generation toward the strong growth prospect sectors like the IT. A set of incentive measures have thus been initiated not only for training but also for support in the project maturation, financial support, the development of startups and the continuation of the market.

According to the government, the startups that should be created thanks to that initiative will create jobs for the youth as well as wealth for the economy.

Source Ecofin Agency

Egypt provides 1900 scholarships to African students

By Egypt Today

In light of Egypt’s strategy to maintain bilateral relations with African countries, the Ministry of Education provided 1900 scholarships to African students worth $17 million annually and the number of African students enrolled in Egyptian universities reached 11,000.

Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar referred that Egypt has deepened its relations with African countries in 2018, especially in the educational field.

As part of the higher education cooperation, Egypt agreed with the African Development Bank to convene the third edition of the Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, entitled “Building on Science, Technology and Innovation to Boost Private Sector and Socio-Economic Transformation in Africa” (Africa STI Forum) from February 10 to 12 in Cairo.

“This third edition of the Africa STI Forum emphasizes the importance of research to foster innovation and exploitable goods and services by focusing on the private sector in five areas: climate change, nutrition, water, ICT and pharmaceuticals , as they offer tangible opportunities for economic transformation in Africa,” according to African Development Bank Group.

The forum aims to achieve economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the African private sector through the use of science, technology and innovation, urging the countries of the continent to invest more in research, higher education and science.

Abdel Ghaffar added that 35 African higher education and scientific research ministries, representatives from public and private sectors, scientists, researchers, innovators, youth and development partners will attend the forum.

He further remarked that meetings will be held with representatives of African embassies to discuss the obstacles facing students seeking to study in Egypt and tackle ways to increase the number African students participating in the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology in Africa, in Egypt.

The first Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology in Africa was held in Malawi in November.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Rashad, the coordinator of African Students Affairs at Cairo University, remarked that Egypt provided around 1,007 scholarships to African students in 2017, referring that the Higher Education Ministry doubled this number in 2018.
He commented that Egypt is willing to expand its scientific and research services for African students.

He added that Egypt will raise the number of scholarships for African students in the of Egypt’s plan to maintain bilateral relations with African countries.

“Around 4,000 students from Sudan, Niger, Sengal, and South Sudan are enrolled in Cairo University,” Rashad concluded.
Egypt’s eye on Africa

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited several African countries since taking office in June 2014, participating in summits and conducting bilateral talks with the majority of African leaders.

In June 2014, Sisi participated in the African Union Summit in the Equatorial Guinea as his first presidential visit within the continent, which was considered then a restoration of the African-Egyptian relations after years of neglect during Mubarak’s era.

Several short visits during 2015 followed the African Union Summit participation, including visits to Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda as per Yuri Museveni’s invitation in December 2016.

The Egyptian president encourages Egyptian investments in Africa in fields he deemed as “high priority” such as construction, infrastructure, oil and gas mining, agriculture, telecommunications and information technology.

President Sisi enhanced the Egyptian-African ties by paying visits to a number of African countries, organizing “Africa 2017” forum in Sharm El-Sheikh and hosting African youths during the World Youth Forum.

This article was first published on Egypt Today

Health: Egypt says cheap new drug ‘Strox’ threatens its youth

By Ali Abdelaty

For years, Mostafa Mahmoud struggled to pay for his expensive drug addiction, spending much of his meagre income on hashish. A few months ago, he switched to a cheaper way to get high which he says is pushing him to his death.

The 27-year-old man is among a growing number of Egyptians using Strox, a potent narcotic that is mixed with tobacco and smoked, and that Egyptian officials see as one of the biggest threats to the country’s young population.

Drug addiction has long been a problem in Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world with nearly 100 million. But the speed at which Strox use is spreading has posed a new challenge.

Experts say the drug is made in local workshops by adding chemicals often used by veterinarians to a herb like marjoram. Some add pesticides for greater impact, but effectively make the drug more deadly.

Users describe painful convulsions leading to hallucinations and loss of consciousness.

Authorities say the drug has killed dozens of people and has caused a spike in crime.

“It is cheaper than hashish, but when you smoke it you choke, pass out and suffer cramps,” said Mahmoud, who lost his job at a fruit shop due to his drug habit.

While the price for one hashish joint was 50 Egyptian pounds ($2.80), he said two Strox joints cost 30 pounds.

It is spreading in impoverished areas, where living standards have plunged since a 2016 IMF-backed reforms package forced currency devaluation and cut state subsidies. Many victims are aged 15 to 20, according to Amr Othman, director of the state-run drug rehabilitation fund.

While statistics are scarce, officials say some 104,000 drug addicts were receiving free treatment at a rehabilitation centre run by the ministry of social solidarity.

Of those, about 25 percent are Strox addicts, officials said, up from 4.5 percent last year.

The number of arrests is also up. Over the past six months, the number of Strox-related arrests soared by 300 percent, and Strox addicts have surged to 40 percent of total drug users in Egypt from 9 percent of the total at the start of the year, according to a security source estimate.

Experts say Strox is a type of synthetic narcotic like those that spread in Western nations more than a decade ago.

“Some are 100 times more potent than others,” said Justice Tettey, chief of the laboratory and scientific section at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Egypt.

“The frightening part is not that it’s more potent than cannabis,” he said. “It’s that most people have no idea what they’re taking. Your first one or next one could be your last one,” he added. “I don’t know why I use it. It is awful,” Mahmoud said, describing waking up after one session to find a friend had died in his sleep from an overdose. Mahmoud and his friends were held for a few months but later freed without charge.

Recognising the threat, authorities in September banned the unlicensed sale of chemicals used to make Strox.

Othman said the decision came due to combined efforts by the ministries of health, justice and interior.

Authorities have also enlisted the country’s mosques, devoting a Friday sermon to rally Muslims against drugs.

“Just as we are in a comprehensive fight against terrorism, we need a quick and comprehensive battle against addiction and drugs,” the sermon said. “Drugs are another kind of terrorism.”

Source – Reuters

Young African journalists in Egypt for training

Young journalists drawn from 22 African countries have arrived in Cairo, capital of Egypt for the 52nd training course for young African journalists.

The 20-day training programme is organised by the Union of African Journalists (UAJ) in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Information.

The journalists are from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Egypt, The Gambia, Niger, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Angola, Congo, Senegal, and South Africa.

The others are from Cote d’lvoire, Uganda, Djibouti, Tunisia, Namibia, Kenya, Lesotho, Botswana and Gabon.

For the entire training, they are expected to receive lectures on “Chinese African Relations between exaggeration and minimization,” “African culture and its social and economic income,” and meet the President of the Constitutional Court of Egypt.

They would be told as part of the training the benefits of switching from the ordinary to Electronic Government on the state revenue, Economic exploitation of African resources, problems and solutions of African press, hydraulic challenges in Africa; impact on development in the continent, and the media’s contribution to realising continuity between African countries.

Additionally, the journalists would be schooled on the targets of sustainable development, infrastructure as a Sine-Qua-Non condition for inter-African Cooperation, the situation of refugees and unemployment in Africa.

The young journalists are also scheduled to visit some tourist sites including the Egyptian museum, the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile sat, the Pyramid and Sphynx, the Media Technology Institute, the head office of the UAJ among others.

Addressing the journalists at the opening ceremony of the training on Saturday, Mr Mahfouz Al Ansari, President of the UAJ said it was important for African Journalists to unite and persistently, work to ensure that the African continent rose to standard.

He said the programme would not be positive unless the trainees translated the knowledge they would acquire into projects, which would elevate the continent to a pedestal, and expressed worry that about 14 million young people in Africa who were illiterates, while 50 million youth were unemployed

This, he described as “disturbing,” and entreated African journalists to design programmes of action geared towards reducing the trend of unemployment in Africa.

Mr Al Ansari who charged journalists to “work to help our continent get the needed good relations with the outside world,” conceded that the task could not be achieved by journalists alone, and called on various communities within the African continent to support the course.

Mr Saleh Elsalhy, the Committee Training Chief at the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, said the programme was a mechanism to train African journalists in different fields, and broaden their knowledge base in different aspects of news reporting.

He said journalism was a tool that enabled members of the public to know what was happening, and urged the media to play its role effectively.

Source – Ghana Business News