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It’s official! Plastic bags would no longer be in use in Burundi by 2020

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The Burundian government has moved to join fellow East African counterparts on the list of countries that have outlawed the use of plastics. The move will begin in early 2020.

An August 13, 2018 decree signed by President Pierre Nkurunziza said the country was prohibiting the “manufacture, import, storage, sale and use of all plastic bags and other plastic packaging.”

Enforcement of the ban will however begin in 18 months time – i.e. in February 2020. This according to the authorities is to allow enough time for “the disposal of current stocks and orders already placed.”

As is usually the case, the decree noted that there could be some exemptions “for biodegradable plastic bags, bags and plastic materials used in medical services, and in industrial and pharmaceutical packaging.”

Read Also: Somalia seeks trial of female genital mutilation offenders after death of girl. Why it matters

Currently, only a handful of African countries are enforcing a ban on plastics – among others Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya, Morocco. Records indicate that over 40 countries worldwide have banned plastic bags.

According to a 2018 UN report, policies to combat plastic waste have produced mixed results. Successive governments in Ghana have pledged to deal with the plastic menace but have failed to implement an effective ban – same is the case with most countries across

In Congo Republic, they are largely banned with most materials being sold with paper envelopes, foil and old newspapers. The ban is however very loosely enforced.

Over in Cameroon, households are paid for every kilo of plastic waste.

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UK returns looted historic Ugandan artifacts on a three-year loan

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The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has agreed to return 39 traditional Ugandan artefacts which were looted from the country over a century ago.

However, the return of the artifacts would be for an initial loan period of three years, similar to a deal the UK government struck with Ghana.

The objects to be returned include tribal regalia, delicate pottery and abstract carvings the Ugandan people once held in high esteem.

Speaking on the return of the historical objects, Mark Elliot, the senior curator at Cambridge University said:

“These objects have been away from home for so long, now is the time that they come back and it’s the time to research the history of these objects, to research their contemporary significance and to help make decisions about their future.

“Really importantly, this is research that could be done in Cambridge but it shouldn’t be done in Cambridge, it should be done here and it should be led by Ugandan people.”

The Cambridge University had acquired most Ugandan artifacts as donations from private collections, and many were given by an Anglican missionary active in Uganda after the nation was made a British protectorate in 1894.

“There was a lot of plundering Africa and so Africa being plundered, it’s not that they only took gold,” Jackline Nyiracyiza, Ugandan Government Commissioner in charge of Museums and Monuments said on the return of the artifacts.

“They took gold and associated heritage and so a part of the gold, I would say, that they removed from Africa, is the cultural heritage because they were spreading the gospel of Christ and so they did not want anything associated with traditions.”

Nyiracyiza added that Uganda’s agreement with Cambridge is renewable, allowing for the possibility of a permanent loan and perhaps local ownership.

“We have a variety of objects that have been brought from Buganda (Bantu kingdom within Uganda) and I have seen and I would be seeing these objects, most especially. I shouldn’t say it. Most especially ‘Omulamula’ (or) ‘Ddamula (a traditional stick or sceptre handed to the Kingdom’s prime minister by the King) for the Katikiro (Buganda Kingdom’s prime minister), that is the most fascinating object I have seen,” Nyiracyiza explained.

“These items represent a small fraction of about 1,500 Ugandan ethnographic objects that the British University owns.

“The African Union aims to have a common policy on the return of looted cultural property,” the Minister said.

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Talented South African siblings wow judges at ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition (Video)

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Talented Johannesburg, South Africa sibling singing group, Biko’s Manna, we’re the cynosure of all eyes at the audition of the 19th America Got Talent show on Thursday with all four judges giving them a resounding “Yes”.

The young group, made up of Biko (17), guitar player Manna (14) and Mfundo (9), popularly known as “Biko’s Manna”, were so good that they received a standing ovation from the crowd and judges including the ever-critical Simon Cowell could be heard saying, “I love them”.

The trio who performed Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, for their audition, stole the show and got a very positive response from the judges and audience.

The young siblings became viral sensation on TikTok where they have garnered millions of likes along with a lot of engagement on other platforms and were invited to audition on Season 19 of the show due to their popularity.

After their performance, Cowell said:

“Within 10 seconds, it’s like I know exactly the kind of music you want to make. You found your lane, it was beautifully simple.”

Another judge, Heidi Klum had this to say:

“It was worth the trip coming all the way from South Africa… We love reggae, we don’t hear it enough… It puts us in a great mood I love the three of you.”

Judge Howie Mandell said:

“You are young and talented… It’s early in the competition, but I think there’s a good chance that you’re going to walk out of here with a million dollars.”

On her appraisal, Judge Sofia Vergara said:

“You guys are amazing, you guys are happy. We can tell that you’re a family that love each other and I really think the best thing you ever did was come to AGT.”

The talented South African kids are currently touring and performing gigs on different stages across the United States. Last month, they made their second appearance on the Emmy-nominated ‘Jennifer Hudson Show’.

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