You should know
Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou and businessman Patrice Talon have emerged from among 33 candidates to face each other in a runoff election to become the next president of Benin. Zinsou, who won 28% of the vote, and Talon, who won nearly 25%, will now compete for support from other candidates who finished below them in the voting. A date for the run-off has not been announced but is expected to take place later this month (Reuters Africa).
ICYMI President Muhammadu Buhari is rejecting the International Monetary Fund’s request to lift the West African country’s foreign exchange curbs to allow more flexibility for the rate of the naira. President Buhari said hard currency curbs were ‘necessary’ due to dwindling oil revenues. Current reports show the naira trading on Nigeria’s secondary market at nearly 40% below the official rate as the country’s central bank limits access to try and preserve its falling reserves (CNBC Africa).
What We Need
As Senegal prepares to vote on a wide-ranging constitutional referendum later this month, citizens gathered for a rally in Dakar to debate the proposed separation of church and state, a concept Mel Bailey (@MelB4FreePress) says many Senegalese believe, ‘has no place in their devout, predominantly Muslim society‘.
As leading scientists and policymakers meet in Senegal for the Next Einstein Forum, MIT Professor Phillip L. Clay says he believes “strengthening education is the key” and that it’s time for Africa to bring an end to its ‘academic isolation’ (The Guardian). You can follow #AfricasEinsteins and #NEF2016 on Twitter all week for more conversation on how educational reform focused on STEM can impact Africa’s generation next.
Gabriella Mulligan (@gl_mulligan) says, in 2016 we’ll see the rise of niche tech hubs across the continent with a focus on ‘”increased verticalization'” to provide what she believes will be, ‘a more effective, value-laden incubation and co-working model’ for African startups (Disrupt Africa).
Identity & Culture
With the internet still can’t stop talking about the surprise album drop from Kendrick Lamar, ‘untitled unmastered’ (Pitchfork), Shingai Darangwa (@ShingaiDarangwa) says these are, ‘the 5 songs that prove K.Dot is in love with Africa’ (True Africa).
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