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AFRICA NOW: Liberia’s Amended Rape Law Sparks Protest

Protesters calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Liberia” are demanding that Liberian senators abandon their vote to make rape cases bailable.

Last week, the Liberian Senate voted in favor of making rape a bailable crime, believing that rape should be a payable offense as stated in the draft Act submitted by Sen. Milton Teahjay of Sineo County.

However, many others feel that the new bill will only increase incidents of rape.

“We are calling on our mothers, our sisters, and all well-meaning Liberians to stand up against this law. We will not rest until our voices are heard,” said Mariama T. Toure, head of Concerned Citizens of Liberia.

The protesters likely went unnoticed as it was reported that most lawmakers were away from the Capitol Building at the time.

The amended version of the Rape Law has been sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

Universities Convene in D.C. to Bring Clean Water to Africa

University of Virginia innovators recently joined D.C. officials and 14 other universities for the first-ever ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival, focusing on bringing clean water to Africa.

Looking to bring water filtration to a new level, PureMadi, the U.Va. student nonprofit, is hoping to fill the need for clean water in Africa.

“One of the barriers is really the education aspect about the importance of water health and why it’s important to disinfect water,” Thy Nguyen, an officer with PureMadi, told Gray D.C.

PureMadi reportedly has two facilities running in South Africa, where they work with communities to build the filters and teach locals how to make them.

“They can form a business through it and create the filters to distribute it through homes where they can be used,” Nguyen said.

Ivory Coast Hosts 12th Annual Africa Fashion Week

The capital of Cote d’Ivoire this week hosted the 12th annual Africa Fashion Week.

Welcoming over 2,000 top designers and participants from all across Africa, the fashion show served as a platform for continental designers and provided opportunities for entrepreneurship and exposure from western companies.

“The show was not only seen as a place where exhibitors could display their talent, but also a reminder to people to support local textile industries,” organizers said in a statement.

The fashion industry employs more than 300,000 people in the Ivory Coast and three times as many throughout the continent.

“With these fashions people could easily assume that they were in New York or Paris,” organizers said. “It’s the creativity of the designer that will bring out his skill.”

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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