Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the second edition of the FDC Afriscope.

The World’s oldest presidents lead the youngest continent. In the last six months, there have been 5 general elections in SSA. An interesting trend shows that the median age of an African is 20 years. In contrast, the average age of an African leader is 62 years.  In fact, the difference between the age of some of Africa’s longest serving leaders and the median age of their citizens is startling. In Uganda, it is a whopping 57.5 years, while in Zimbabwe it is now 55 (down from 73). The question is who is voting for who.

From Mozambique to Chad, African governments are grappling with a new level of painfully excruciating external debt, which is slowly becoming a debt trap. The IMF says approximately 40 percent of low-income countries in the region are now in debt distress or at a high risk of falling into a debt-crisis. In spite of this, several African countries including Angola, Benin Republic and Ivory Coast are in the process of new Eurobond issues. If successful, it will bring the region’s average debt to export ratio to 475%.

It has been 400 years since the first African slaves were forcibly captured from countries like Ghana to mainland America, Jamaica and the West Indies. Ghana’s Year of Return tourism campaign highlights its tragic legacy as a reason for Diaspora descendants to return and learn about this chapter of history.

Technology brings about innovation and is born out of the need to make life comfortable for every individual. A 25-year old whose roots originate from Kenya invented a glove called Sign-IO in order to communicate with his niece who has a hearing impairment. The technology embedded in the glove interprets sign language into speech.

When bad things happen to good people. On March 10th, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed into a field 60 km south of Addis Ababa, shortly after take-off. The crash, which killed all 157 people on board, has raised concerns over the safety of Boeing’s blockbuster jet. Ethiopian Airlines along with several other international airlines have suspended the use of the jet, citing concerns about safety.

Do enjoy your read!