You should know

South Africa’s telecom giant, MTN has been given a December 31st deadline by Nigeria’s NCC to pay its $3.9 billion fine. A source within the NCC said, “appropriate action will be taken” if MTN does not meet the year-end deadline (Reuters Africa).

Power cuts in Zambia have ‘plunged the country into darkness’. Energy Minister Dora Siliya said the blackout was caused by “faulty equipment” in a repeat of a similar incident earlier this month. Minister Siliya is posting updates to his Facebook page on progress being made to restore power in the capital of Lusaka and other regions (BBC Africa).

ICYMI voters in Central African Republic have ‘overwhelmingly backed’ a new constitutional referendum with hopes of ending nearly 3 years of violence and political instability. Election officials said early results show 93% of voters are for the changes which would limit the president to two 5-year terms, reduce the military’s power and support freedom of religion in a country often divided among Christian and Muslim factions (VOA News).

What We Need

Alexis Okeowo (@alexis_ok) travels to Maiduguri, in northeastern Nigeria, to find ‘the women fighting Boko Haram’ (The New Yorker).

Our Environment

Omar Mohammed (@shurufu) looks at how 11 African countries are joining together to, build a “great green wall” by planting trees across the Sahel to ‘beat back’ the Sahara desert (Quartz).

Biz Dev

Efosa Ojomo (@EfosaOjomo) offers part 1 of what we only hope is a long running series on doing business in Nigeria with, how the Tolaram Group “defied the odds” to gross almost $1 billion by creating interdependent systems (Medium).

Identity & Culture

And we continue with our list of end-of-year-lists with this one from the ‘editors, contributors and co-conspirators’ at Africa is a Country (@AfricasaCountry) and their recommended books of 2015 (Africa is a Country).

Sign up for our daily newsletter to enjoy Compass from your inbox.