1. Electric Rwanda

Just weeks after the launch of factories that will make Africa’s first smartphone, Rwanda will become the first country in Africa where Volkswagen (VW) will test electric cars. The country is a hub of innovation on the continent. This week the German carmaker teamed up with Siemens to launch the vehicles, which will be part of its app-driven ride-hailing service. During the pilot phase, four e-Golfs and one charging station will be introduced in Kigali.

The project is initially intended to test infrastructure and vehicle performance. VW already assembles cars in Rwanda.

2. Hotheads in court

Malawi’s constitutional court has suspended its requirement that lawyers and judges wear white wigs and black robes in the courtroom as a heatwave sweeps the nation, Reuters reports. Temperatures in some parts of the country have hit 45°. Malawi, a former British protectorate, still follows the British legal system: wigs and robes are a requirement for judges and lawyers. The lifting of the requirement is a temporary measure. Court officials say it isn’t the first time this has been done.

3. Fuel up on fake leaves

Scientists have created an "artificial leaf" that could turn carbon dioxide (CO²) into fuel, The Independent reports. The artificial leaf mimics a natural process: plants use photosynthesis to turn CO² into glucose and oxygen. It does this with the help of a cheap powder called cuprous oxide, and the two byproducts of the process are methanol — which can be used as a fuel — and oxygen.

The University of Waterloo researchers responsible for the breakthrough say it will take several years before the process is commercialised. It has the potential, they say, to help tackle high CO emissions while also creating an alternative fuel.