Nita Bhalla profile background image
Nita Bhalla profile image

Nita Bhalla

East Africa Correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Nita Bhalla is East Africa Correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. She is a former Reuters political and general news correspondent and has worked in India, east and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Nita started her career in 1999 with the BBC in Ethiopia.

May 24, 2023

Lilian Makau was 17 when she started having sex with an older man in her neighbourhood in Kenya in exchange for something she desperately needed but could rarely afford: sanitary pads.

Within months, she was pregnant and had to quit school to look after the baby, her dreams of becoming a doctor shattered.

"It's the issue of pads that got me into this mess," Makau, now 20, told Context.

April 26, 2023

The taxi industry is one of the most gender-skewed professions in the world. The situation is slightly better when it comes to ride-hailing apps like Uber, but that comes with its own problems: women are paid less than men, platforms have been sued over safety, and working in the gig economy is precarious.

April 24, 2023

Britain's plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is unlawful because it is not a safe country, lawyers representing a group of asylum seekers told the Court of Appeal in London on Monday. 

Last year, Britain agreed a deal to send tens of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to Rwanda, though the first planned deportation flight was blocked by a last-minute injunction granted by the European Court of Human Rights.

February 21, 2023

For Dennis Mingle, a Ghanaian student at Kyiv's Bogomolets National Medical University, the dream of becoming a doctor was almost within reach after seven years of hard work.

But then Moscow invaded Ukraine, and Mingle - who was just months away from graduation - was forced to abandon his aspirations and flee for his life as Russian missiles rained down on the Ukrainian capital.

February 09, 2023

When Zambian teacher Dora Moono Nyambe started posting videos on TikTok three years ago, she had to ask her daughter's 13-year-old friend how to use the popular social media platform.

Today, Nyambe has amassed four million TikTok followers with colourful videos of daily life in her village of Mapapa - and raised almost $500,000 to bring education to hundreds of marginalised rural children.

January 24, 2023

Rights groups are calling on Meta Platforms to seize the opportunity to improve its content moderation in Africa after its main third-party contractor in the region said it would no longer screen harmful posts for the social media giant.

Kenya-based outsourcing firm Sama said on Jan. 10 it would no longer provide content moderation services for the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in March as it moves to concentrate on data labelling work.

December 19, 2022

The British government failed to assess the climate threats posed to tens of thousands of asylum seekers it plans to send to Rwanda, the charity Christian Aid has said, as London's High Court ruled the controversial deportation policy was lawful.

Under a deal with Rwanda struck in April, Britain intends to relocate people who arrive on its shores illegally to the East African nation, more than 4,000 miles (6,400 km) away.

December 12, 2022

LGBTQ+ rights groups across Africa said they are offering online safety training and trauma counselling to users after seeing a rise in hate speech since Elon Musk took over the platform.

Campaigners from Ghana to Nigeria and Uganda fear the recent increase in anti-gay posts on Twitter - which included people being outed, vilified, blackmailed and even threatened with death - will drive LGBTQ+ Africans off the microblogging site.

November 21, 2022

Somalia is on the brink of its worst famine in half a century as drought intensifies and global food prices soar, leaving hundreds of thousands of people at risk of dying from starvation.

The United Nations has warned that parts of the country will be hit by famine in the coming weeks - and the projection is it will be more severe than in 2011, when famine killed more than a quarter of a million people there, about half of them children.

November 08, 2022

From the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro to the ruins of the ancient Tunisian city of Carthage and Senegal's slave island of Gorée, Africa has a wealth of iconic cultural and natural heritage sites.

But climate change impacts, from higher temperatures to worsening floods, now threaten to condemn these and dozens more African landmarks to the history books.