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 07, 2024

Joe smiled nervously from behind his shades as he emerged from the cramped wood-panelled magistrate's court in Kenya's capital Nairobi. 

The slim 24-year-old man, wearing black track pants and a grey hoodie, had just testified how he and his friend had been beaten and robbed by a man they had met on Facebook last year. 

April 30, 2024

A year of record temperatures and extreme weather - from floods to fires - is due to a deadly cocktail of man-made climate change mixed with cyclical El Niño weather, scientists say.

A spate of recent heatwaves in West Africa, for example, would not have happened without climate change and was made still worse by the El Niño event, scientists from the World Weather Attribution (WWA) group found in a new report

April 29, 2024

U.S. President Joe Biden signed legislation this week that could ban TikTok in the United States unless the Chinese owner sells the popular short video app within a year.

The law, approved on Wednesday, is driven by widespread worries among U.S. lawmakers that China could use the app to surveil or access the data of TikTok's 170 million American users.

April 23, 2024

The British parliament has passed a divisive law to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promising that flights will take off by July, but legal hurdles could yet hold up or delay the policy.

The "Safety of Rwanda" bill aims to cut immigration by deterring migrants from arriving without permission, but refugee rights groups say it criminalises genuine asylum seekers, and Britain's Supreme Court ruled last year that the East African nation was not a safe country to send people.

April 15, 2024

In just one year, Sudan has been brought to its knees: thousands of people have been killed, millions have lost everything they own and with critical infrastructure reduced to rubble, five million people are now on the brink of famine.

Aid agencies accuse the warring factions of using food as a weapon of war and are calling on the international community to do more to help the millions caught up in one of the world's most acute humanitarian crises, and one of the least heeded. 

April 03, 2024

In towering glasshouses at a tomato farm in South Australia, everything from the temperature to the ultraviolet radiation levels is tightly controlled.

But despite the farm's scientific approach, pollinating the crops can still be hit or miss.

March 05, 2024

In the first two months of 2024, millions of people, from voters in Pakistan to families forced to flee Sudan's civil war, were plunged into digital darkness as governments, and others, imposed internet shutdowns.

In a bumper year for elections, digital rights activists fear more blackouts as governments, or other powerful forces, seek to control what people do or see online.

February 08, 2024

Uganda's Constitutional Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on a legal challenge to last year's Anti-Homosexuality Act, which allows the death penalty for some same-sex acts and 20 years in jail for "promoting" homosexuality.

LGBTQ+ rights activists, who launched the appeal, are also urging the international community to intensify pressure on the Ugandan government to repeal the law by imposing more sanctions, but emphasised that such penalties should be targeted.

December 27, 2023

Kenyan digital rights campaigners warn a phone tracking programme the government said it was pressing ahead with to trace counterfeit devices and curb fraud could lead to increased state surveillance and invasion of privacy.

Kenya's Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy Eliud Owalo said this month that the government intends to go ahead with plans to roll out a Device Management System (DMS) to allow authorities to access the unique identification number of mobile phones and block services to fake devices.

December 11, 2023

As African countries line up to cash in on the global carbon offset market, concern is growing that the multimillion-dollar deals to keep their forests intact could threaten the land rights and way of life of people who live there.

At COP28 in Dubai, more deals were announced as part of the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), which aims to raise $6 billion by 2030 by selling offsets to companies striving to shrink their carbon footprint by funding pollution-reducing projects like forest or savannah preservation.