France: protesters call for removal of statue of Senegal colonial administrator | AFP

“Faidherbe must fall! Let’s decolonise history and memory”: in Lille protesters demand the removal of the statue of the 19th century colonial administrator of Senegal. IMAGES

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Artists create graffiti mural to black power in Dakar | AFP

A dozen graffiti artists in Senegal have created a mural in the heart of the capital Dakar in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Generation Z: meet the youngsters getting creative vs COVID-19 | AFP

With their art, technology know-how, creative social networking skills or political commitment, post-millennials, known as Generation Z, have found their own ways to help others through the coronavirus lockdown. From Colombia to Senegal, Malaysia to Lebanon, AFP talked to a group of youngsters who put their energy and skills to use within their communities, contributing perhaps to shaping the post-virus world.

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Eid and the virus: Muslim world marks end to Ramadan | AFP

From the holy city of Mecca to Dakar in Senegal Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, though with muted festivities amid the fast-spreading coronavirus.

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Senegal: worshippers gather for Eid prayers in Dakar | AFP

Worshippers gather for Eid al-Fitr prayers in Dakar, Senegal. Muslims around the world are marking a more sombre Eid al-Fitr, many under coronavirus lockdown. The festival, one of the most important in the Muslim calendar marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and shopping for new clothes, gifts and sweet treats. IMAGES

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Niger’s Giraffes Came Back From Extinction. Now They’re Poaching People’s Food

In the last three decades, 40 percent of the world’s giraffe population has died. But Niger, the third poorest country in the world, has remarkably reversed the trend — giving a second chance to Africa’s most threatened giraffe subspecies.

The West African giraffe once inhabited an area from the coast in Senegal to Lake Chad, deep in North Africa’s interior. But by 1996, drought, poaching, and habitat loss from growing human and livestock populations brought the population crashing down to near 50; the last giraffes were in southern Niger.

International NGO’s pressed Niger to save the giraffe — which adopted a conservation strategy, put in strict laws to preserve habitat, and placed big penalties for poaching. The new rules, in addition to the fact that no natural predators live near the current reserve, have helped the population grow by a factor of 12 — to more than 600 giraffes today.

But successful conservation has come with a new set of challenges.

Nearby the Kouré Giraffe Zone, local subsistence farmers are angry that giraffes are wreaking havoc on their farms. The reserve simply isn’t large enough to contain, or feed, the fast-growing population.

So ecotourism guides like Adamou Djogo, who help manage the reserve, also set up town halls for villagers once a month. He hears out their concerns, and in turn, hopes to help them understand why the giraffes are important for Niger’s development in the long run.

“People will are quick to say, the giraffes are doing this or that. Right away they think about the problems, but they don’t think about the advantages.” Djogo told VICE News. “We know that the giraffe is our national heritage — and even a global one.”

Last December, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, along with Niger’s government — relocated eight giraffes to the larger Gadabedji reserve. They hope to establish a new population so that these giraffes can find a new home to thrive.

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Deconfinement in Dakar: Friday prayers restart as Senegal eases lockdown | AFP

Friday prayer resumes in Dakar after Senegalese President Macky Sall relaxed measures against COVID-19 by opening markets six days a week and by opening places of worship. IMAGES

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Senegal engineering students fight virus with inventions | AFP

Senegalese engineering students are throwing themselves at the West African state’s growing coronavirus problem with inventions such as automatic sanitiser dispensers and medical robots. The youngsters from a top engineering school in the capital Dakar have turned their technical skills toward easing pressure on the wards — and they are already in talks with hospitals over some of their innovations.

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Senegal: workers in Dakar rush home before strict night-time curfew | AFP

Workers take buses to rush home just in time for the night curfew in Senegal’s capital, Dakar. Senegal has recorded 1492 coronavirus cases to date, with 13 fatalities. The government has shut schools, banned travel between cities and required people to wear a mask in public transport and shops, and imposed a strict night-time curfew. IMAGES

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‘This gives you chills’: Californian paramedic on COVID-19 frontline | AFP

They are among the many heroes of the pandemic, working flat out to stave off the worst effects of the coronavirus. Seven frontline health workers around the world allowed AFPTV access to their workplaces and homes — from Brazil to Senegal to South Korea. They tell us about their lives, hopes and anxieties during the crisis, as they go about their life-saving jobs. In this video report we meet 61-year-old Yvonne Estrada who says she has never seen a crisis like this in her 25 years as a paramedic. “This gives you chills,” she says.

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Money dries up from Senegal migrants in virus-hit Europe | AFP

In a suburb of Senegal’s seaside capital Dakar, Tidiane Konte clutches in his hand the “last receipt” he received from his brother in Spain. “The last time he sent us money was in February,” said the 56-year-old unemployed father, whose brother works as a farmhand in northern Spain. Since the appearance of the novel coronavirus, remittances from Senegalese migrants in Europe have dried up, cutting off a crucial supply of cash to many struggling households.

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Coronavirus forces Senegal street children from capital | AFP

Street children in Senegal’s seaside capital Dakar are flocking to a refuge north of the city, as coronavirus restrictions have made begging harder and rough-sleeping more hazardous. The arrival of COVID-19 in Senegal has made normally tolerant city dwellers become more suspicious of these street kids, whom they suspect of spreading the disease.

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Coronavirus: a fish seller’s struggle for survival in Senegal | AFP

On a usually bustling wharf in Senegal’s capital Dakar, 23 years old fishmonger Galaye Sarr asks God to lift the “curse” of the coronavirus. He and thousands of others in the developing West African country are suffering the effects of coronavirus restrictions on the country’s The lucrativelucrative fish trade.

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Coronavirus: Is chloroquine Africa’s wonder drug? | AFP

A humble anti-malarial pill may be the answer to COVID-19. Despite caution over its effectiveness African countries hope it will stem the disease’s spread. Health systems are unprepared to handle the pandemic, with too few ventilators to treat patients if it spreads in the continent’s densely populated poorer areas. Football boss Pape Diouf becomes Senegal’s first virus fatality. These and other stories in this edition of Africa Weekly.

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China craving for Senegal peanuts rattles local business | AFP

Large peanut orders from Chinese traders have cut Senegal’s traditional selling season short this year, rewarding farmers with fat profits but leaving local buyers with slim pickings.

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Africa Weekly 31/1/20 – cannabis production in Senegal and measures against Coronavirus | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly, we track down a hamlet deep in a Senegalese mangrove swamp where farmers have only one viable crop – cannabis. Here, farmers fly under the radar as they evade the West African country’s crackdown on the drug. Then we head to one of the Republic of Congo’s main ports, where a fall in oil prices since 2014 has caused a crisis for local businesses. And we also take a look at the headlines from around the continent this week.

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Africa Weekly 17/1/2020 | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly, we head to Kenya, one of the world’s leading producers of black tea. But this prized export is not fetching the prices it once did, forcing suppliers to innovate with new products and strategies. And then we head to Senegal, where a forest of the country’s iconic baobab trees is being put at risk by limestone quarrying, as the country forges ahead with the President’s ’emerging Senegal’ plan. We also take a look at the stories from the continent that made the headlines this week.

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Senegal’s remote mangrove villages escape cannabis crackdown | AFP

Most Senegalese farmers sell peanuts and cotton, but in one hamlet deep in a mangrove swamp in the West African country’s south, farmers have only one viable crop – cannabis. The village of Kouba is inaccessible by road and surrounded by river mangroves, meaning it has largely escaped a recent crackdown on cannabis cultivation. N°1ND2JON°1NE7Z0

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Senegalese baobab trees under pressure from cement manufacturers | AFP

In Bandia, there used to be a forest of baobab trees, but all that remains is a lunar landscape of abandoned craters. In Senegal, Plans to extend a cement plant that has been exploiting the subsoil for 20 years are causing local populations to fear even greater desolation.

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Mali: railworkers’ nostalgia for the Dakar-Bamako express | AFP

The last Dakar-Bamako train ran on 17 May 2018, but the colonial-era station in the Malian capital remains. For almost a hundred years, the service had connected Mali to neighbouring Senegal. Railworkers attempt to preserve the station and its memories.

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In Mali, dreams and sadness for the Sahel express | AFP

Not a single train has travelled on the line connecting the capitals of Mali and Senegal since May 17, 2018, when the company collapsed. Knee-high weeds grow on the track at Bamako station. But even today, many of the railway’s workers — unpaid but still technically employed — still show up at the station, a colonial-era bijou in ochre stone, complete with clock and signs for the ticket office.

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A round up of news and features | AFP

This week on Africa weekly we head to Senegal where Dakar’s oldest diving club is tackling plastic pollution by organising ocean clean-up days. Then we head to a slum in Nairobi, where dry toilets are not only improving sanitary conditions, but their contents are being recycled and used organic fertiliser.

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Stunning Senegal baobab forest being swallowed by mining | AFP

One hour’s drive from Senegal’s capital Dakar, demand for cement is turning a protected baobab forest into a lifeless moonscape of open mines, dust clouds and lorry traffic.

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