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A young woman lies in hospital after reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran in this still image from video from March 2, 2023.


Hard Numbers: Iranian schoolgirls poisoned, Macron declares Françafrique “over,” Biden tries to tackle fraud, a rare miracle in southern Turkey

17: The Iranian government says it’s investigating a spate of alleged poisonings of schoolgirls, with at least 17 hospitalized in Tehran and elsewhere this week, adding to the hundreds of girls hospitalized in recent months. Masih Alinejad, who recently appeared on GZERO World, says that many Iranians believe the Islamic Republic is behind the attacks and is using them to punish school girls who recently came out in droves to protest the government.

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A view of solar panels at the green hydrogen proof-of-concept site in Vredendal, Western Cape, South Africa, in November 2022.


How to recharge Africa’s electrification dreams

Africa’s dreams of providing universal access to electricity by 2030 are in jeopardy thanks largely to a change in tune from China. The pandemic’s impact on the Chinese economy, years of debt-sustainability concerns, and plenty of bad press have zapped China’s ability and willingness to fund African power projects.

How did Africa come to rely on China? Over the past decade, some African leaders argued that conventional lenders and Western countries were not dependable partners. They urged countries to look instead to China to fill funding gaps to power the continent’s energy infrastructure goals.

As a result, China’s contribution to Africa’s power sector has been enormous: The International Energy Agency estimates that the amount of generation capacity from China’s 2010-2020 contracts in the region was around 17 gigawatts – projects mostly financed with Chinese loans and, to a lesser extent, equity, grants, and blended finance.

But today, Chinese investment in African power projects is declining sharply, leaving governments exposed to a potential shortfall in energy funding over the coming decade.

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