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A South African court has suspended construction work on a huge new business park that will house Amazon’s Africa headquarters in Cape Town after a challenge by Indigenous group.

After one year of a judicial battle between indigenous people of South Africa and the US-based technology company Amazon regarding the construction of the company’s facility in Cape Town, the country’s court announced that the building of Amazon’s Africa Headquarters is halted in South Africa. This ruling was a win for indigenous groups who have claimed this land is sacred.

According to South Africa’s court “the fundamental right to culture and heritage of indigenous groups, particularly the Khoi and San First Nations peoples, is threatened in the absence of proper consultation”. The announcement was only made public on Sunday.

The court has blocked the work on the building of Amazon’s Africa Headquarters, which was previously being used as a golf course, until there is engagement and consultation with the affected indigenous communities, according to Reuters.

The decision recognizes that some indigenous groups supported the Amazon project in exchange for the construction of a media, culture and heritage center on the site to be operated by them. However, the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Traditional Indigenous Council of Goringhaicona and a neighborhood association petitioned the High Court to halt the project.

Many people in those communities complain that they still suffer from huge social inequalities and lack of economic opportunity, and say their history continues to be ignored.

The Khoi and San peoples were the first reported inhabitants of South Africa. According to Reuters, the San roamed as hunters and gatherers for tens of thousands of years, while the Khoi joined them as herders more than 2,000 years ago.

Some of the descendants are opposed to the development of the River Club, where Amazon has plans for a hotel, offices and residences, as the complex would be at the confluence of two rivers considered sacred, the Negro and the Liesbeek.

The construction of the complex is worth roughly $ 255 million and Amazon already employs thousands of people in data hubs in Cape Town to work in the facility. The construction of the complex was seen by South Africa’s government as an opportunity to increase jobs through encouraging foreign investment in the country. According to official data, more than a third of South Africans are out of work.

Ghana is now requiring visitors to prove they’re fully vaccinated, officials recently announced.

As of Dec. 12, travelers 18 years and older will have to provide proof of being fully vaccinated from Ghana’s approved list, which includes AstraZeneca’s, Sputnik V, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.

This comes after health officials noticed a more than 40 percent increase in cases when comparing the numbers from November 2020 to November 2021. Data shows that a majority of new cases in Ghana are from the unvaccinated, who are three times more likely to test positive for COVID-19, health officials stated.

Ghana is cracking down as it gears up for a busy and festive season as the world simultaneously deals with the new Omicron variant, which scientists believe to be more transmissible.

“The new variant, Omicron, which is said to be more transmissible has been detected at our airport,” a statement from Ghana’s Health Service, reads. “Of the 34 cases detected, 75% of them were unvaccinated. Over the last weeks, cases from the airport account for about 60% of the total cases recorded in the country.”

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There is an exception for unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents living outside out of Ghana, as they will be exempted from providing proof until Dec. 26. Health leaders, however, say they will be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.

Other arrival requirements that are still in effect include a 72-hour negative PCR test before departure and completion of the health declaration form three days before arrival.

The form asks travelers more about the countries they visited before landing in Ghana, including any layovers. Other questions include your reason for traveling to Ghana, if you’ve been around anyone who recently tested positive for COVIV-19, and if you’re currently experiencing any symptoms.

Ghana also requires all visitors to undergo Antigen testing.

The country has recorded just over 131,000 cases and 1,200 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

By now, We’re sure most of us have seen the horrifying photos of ICE agents on horseback, whipping asylum seekers from Haiti. Deportation flights started this week, with the U.S. using a Trump-era rule to deport Haitian asylum seekers before they even have a chance to seek asylum.

2021 brought unprecedented tragedy for Haitians.Haiti President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, leaving many parts of the country’s capital under gang control. On top of that, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake this summer killing more than 2,000 people and injuring more than 12,000, and was followed almost immediately by flash floods caused by tropical storm Grace. That has only added to the pressure of getting people to leave.

The U.S. has deported at least 1,400 asylum seekers so far, and thousands more have retreated back to Mexico after hearing about the deportations. If this situation leaves you feeling devastated and angry, here are some actions you can take.

Call your senators and representatives

As outlined by Haitian American author Maika Moulite in this Instagram post, clogging the phone lines of senators and representatives all over the country can help emphasize the urgency of the crisis, and with enough pressure, could prompt the Biden-Harris administration to change policies. Moulite is using a script from the Haitian Bridge Alliance, which can be found here. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), a racial and immigration justice organization, has also created a tool kit to guide you through how to advocate for Haitian asylum seekers.

Donate

Unless you’re able to travel to the border and volunteer with organizations providing aid on the ground, the next best thing you can do is donate. Even if you can’t afford to send large donations, setting up regular donations (monthly or biweekly) is the best way to offer sustained support for Haitian asylum seekers, even after Haiti is no longer in the headlines. Here are some organizations to consider donating to:

The Haitian Bridge Alliance has been supporting Haitian immigrant communities in California for years, and is one of the primary organizations currently on the ground in Texas. Its work includes providing supplies, reuniting families, and welcoming the few asylum seekers who aren’t being deported. Donate here.

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San Antonio–based Black Freedom Factory is a grassroots organization that is on the ground distributing food and supplies at the border, as well as providing shelter, supplies, and food for newly arrived Haitian asylum seekers in Texas. Donate here.

BAJI is a national organization with staff in Texas that organizes for immigration justice and advocates for Black immigrant communities; it’s currently fighting to stop deportations by the Biden administration. Donate here.

The Haitian Immigrant Bail Assistant Project (HIBAP) helps pay bail to free detained refugees, asylum seekers, TPS holders, and other undocumented immigrants. Donate here.

Since its founding in 2015, Houston Haitians United has worked to connect and uplift Houston’s Haitian community. Now, the organization is on the ground helping run a shelter where volunteers are providing Haitian food and supplies, translation services, COVID tests, and even hairstyling. Donate here.

Undocublack is a support network that advocates for undocumented Black immigrants by building community, providing education and training, and organizing for immigrant rights and racial justice. Donate here.

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Border Kindness was founded in 2018 in response to the caravan of migrants from Central America. Since it has continued to provide food, shelter, medical services, transportation, and legal services for asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants of all kinds. The group is offering support services to Haitian asylum seekers who have passed through the border. Donate here.

Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition provides food, supplies, and transportation to newly arrived refugees who have gotten through border patrol. Donate here.

Black Immigrants Bail Fund is a collaborative effort from the Haitian Bridge Alliance and the Detroit-based African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs whose ultimate goal is to end the mass incarceration of Black immigrants. Donate here.

Detention Watch Network is a national coalition whose goal is to abolish immigration detention in the United States. It recently hosted a national day of action to stop the deportations and continues to organize for the rights of immigrants. Donate here.

World Central Kitchen is an international organization that goes wherever there are hungry people to feed. It’s currently on the ground in Del Rio, feeding hot meals and fresh fruit to Haitian asylum seekers. Donate here.

 

In 2026, Senegal will become the first country in Africa to host an Olympic event, when the Summer Youth Olympics will take place in Dakar. Initially set for 2022, the world’s most important sporting tournament for teenagers has been pushed back on account of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The YOG was added to the Olympics in 2010 to give younger athletes ages 14 to 18 the chance to compete.

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When the Youth Olympic Games were held in Buenos Aires in 2018, more than 4,000 athletes from 260 countries participated.

Despite the delay, Senegalese leaders are excited to be the first African country to host the YOG but also understand that there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with it.

“There  are expectations from the whole African continent , and Senegal has to organise games that  would live up to the standards of previous Youth Olympics .  And because of that,  Senegal is going to make sure its a success  and serves as a catalyst for mobilizing and engaging Senegalese youth in particular, and African youth in general,” Babacar Makhtar Wade, president of the Senegal Judo Federation, told Voice of America.

Wade, who is also treasurer of the Senegal National Olympic and Sports Committee, says officials are already planning renovations for the games.

“We are planning to first renovate  three main venues — the Iba Mar Diop Stadium, which will host track, rugby, and other sports. There’s also  our  Olympic pool, which needs to be renovated. It has an adjacent park, which will host a few events such as the BMX freestyle, basketball 3 on 3, and hockey games. And there is also the Caserne Samba Diery Diallo, where the equestrian-related activities will take place,” he adds.

In addition, Wade says there will be venues outside of Senegal’s capital city that will host beach volleyball, boating, and other events.

Just outside of Dakar in the city of Diamniadio, a 50,000-seat multipurpose stadium is currently being constructed. Senegal President Macky Sall says the stadium will be available for future local and international competitions.

South African comedian Trevor Noah has teamed up with the free language app giant Duolingo to help teach South Africa’s most popular languages.

Zulu and Xhosa are two of the country’s most spoken languages, as they are two of 11 official languages in the country and among the most widely spoken in homes.

Duolingo says it has teamed up with the Trevor Noah Foundation and its partner Nal’ibali, an organization that promotes multilingual reading, to create the courses.

Adding Zulu and Xhosa to Duolingo means there will be three African-language courses offered on the app. The Swahili course, which was added in 2017, has more than 363,000 active users, as reported in QZ Africa.

Trevor, who speaks five languages fluently including, English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Tswana, and Tsonga, says he’s excited that two South African languages will be offered on the app.

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“Xhosa because I want to start learning it and speaking it fluently. And then Zulu, just so I can brush up while I’m not in my country,” he told Duolingo co-founder and CEO Luis von Ahn in a discussion about the new languages being added, but warned, “you’re gonna need a whole section in Xhosa just to teach people about the clicks.”

Xhosa, known as the “click-click language” is said to be one of the most difficult languages in the world for native English speakers.

Spoken in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho, Xhosa is one of many African languages that use click consonants. There are 18 clicks that get articulated in three different places: the back of the teeth, the roof of the mouth, and the side of the mouth, according to Translate Day.

In addition to Zulu and Xhosa, Duolingo announced that the Austrialnesian language Tagalog, Eastern Polynesian language Māori, and Haitian Creole will also be added to the lineup.

The languages will be offered to the world beginning in 2022.

Jamaican officials are petitioning Britain to compensate them 7.6 billion pounds (around $10.5 billion USD) as reparations for the European country’s role in the transatlantic slave trade, Reuters reports

Reuters reports Jamaican lawmakers are preparing to submit a petition to Queen Elizabeth II seeking billions of pounds in compensation over the enslavement of Africans that generated fortunes for British merchants. Enslaved Africans were forced to work on plantations, cultivating sugar and other crops.  An estimated 600,000 Africans were shipped to Jamaica to be chattel slaves, according to the National Library of Jamaica.

Jamaica became an English colony in 1655 after the British seized the Caribbean island from the Spanish. While the country gained its independence in 1962, Jamaica remains part of the Commonwealth, and the queen remains head of state.

When Britain formally abolished slavery in 1834, it paid reparations…to slave owners. As Reuters reports, the British government took out a 20 million pound loan to pay them, and only finished paying the interest payments in 2015, a reminder that history that seems like a distant past is still very much shaping our present.

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“We are hoping for reparatory justice in all forms that one would expect if they are to really ensure that we get justice from injustices to repair the damages that our ancestors experienced,” Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of sports, youth and culture, told Reuters.

“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labor to the benefit of the British Empire,” she said. “Redress is well overdue.”

The British government in the 19th century took out a roughly $27-million loan to compensate slave owners after the empire abolished slavery, recently paying off the interest payments in 2015.

Reuters reports Jamaican lawmaker Mike Henry, who is a member of Jamaica’s Labour Party, said the price tag of reparations could be worth some $10.5 billion.

“I am asking for the same amount of money to be paid to the slaves that was paid to the slave owners,” he told Reuters.

The petition will be filed pending advice from the attorney general and several legal teams.