South Africa eases restrictions as Covid infections fall
The South African Cyril Ramaphosa president has announced the easing of some restrictions that have been in place to curb the spread of coronavirus. He said due to a decline in infections an overnight curfew would be shortened, alcohol restrictions would be eased, and larger gatherings allowed. He also said the supply of vaccines was no longer a constraint and called on people to play their part in stopping the spread of the virus by coming forward to get jabbed.
South Africa is the worst-hit country on the continent with close to 85,000 deaths from Covid-19. While about 3% of Africa’s population has been vaccinated, about one in five adults in South Africa has now been fully vaccinated – a far higher rate than elsewhere in Africa.
Zambia’s new president Hichilema vows ‘zero tolerance’ on corruption
In his maiden speech to parliament, Zambia’s new President, Hakainde Hichilema, promised to enhance anti-corruption measures and demonstrate “zero tolerance” for graft. Hichilema, who was elected in a landslide last month, said the government would design a system to reclaim public assets allegedly plundered during the previous regime in the southern African country.
Hichilema, while promising to enhance investigative agencies and establish special courts to hear cases of corruption, laid out an economic recovery plan to address the consequences of excessive borrowing and mismanagement, which led copper-rich Zambia to default on its debt last year, making it the first African country to do so since the coronavirus era began. He has promised to secure a rescue package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a lengthy negotiating process that began under Lungu, and to achieve economic growth of more than 10 percent in five years.
NGO to produce reusable pads as Mozambican girls fight menstrual taboos
Save The Children, a non-governmental group, is attempting to manufacture reusable pads out of capulana, a traditional African cotton bath towel that is woven by hand with needle and thread.
Girls’ education in Mozambique has been impeded by taboos surrounding menstrual periods. The majority of girls, particularly those from low-income families, are unable to fully participate in their lessons since personal hygiene products are expensive and often unavailable in rural markets and health facilities.
Nigerian female entrepreneurs offered funds by online platform
SME.NG, an e-market that launched in August in response to the impact of COVID 19 on women-owned enterprises, is ready to make a difference in the lives of female entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The online platform is meant to provide businesswomen in the country with access to banking and e-commerce.
SME.NG invested in the e-commerce platform in reaction to COVID-19’s impact on Nigerian female entrepreneurs. SME.NG’s mission has been to empower and make life easier for women and adolescents since its inception.
Businessman Akhannouch to lead new govt as named by Morocco’s king
After his National Rally of Independents (RNI) trounced the long-ruling Islamists in parliamentary elections, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI appointed businessman Aziz Akhannouch to lead a new government on Friday. A statement from the palace revealed that the king appointed Akhannouch “head of the government and tasked him with forming a new government”, following Wednesday’s polls.
According to results released by the interior ministry, the RNI gained 102 of the 395 seats in parliament, trouncing the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), which had led the ruling coalition for a decade but only took 13 seats. Following his victory, Akhannouch promised to improve conditions for Moroccan citizens, where the pandemic has worsened long-standing social imbalances.
New technique set up to curb erosion along Togolese coast
The Togolese shoreline is rapidly deteriorating, which is cause for concern. Despite efforts to slow the phenomena, the sea continues to advance at a faster rate. According to locals, the erosion has formed a dangerous landscape along the beach. Bunnaj gathered that as a result of the destruction, houses and villages have vanished from the Togolese map.
An initiative is now in place to assist in permanently resolving the issue. The premise behind this technique is to place cemented barrels along the coast to impede the sea’s progress toward dry ground. Déo Eklu-Natey, a Togolese geotechnical engineer, is the brains behind the technology, working together with his team to improve the results.
“In short, it is the principle of port construction that is applied here. It is a blockage that faces the sea. It intends to pull the sand from the sea that it had captured before,” Déo Eklu-Natey, a Togolese geotechnical engineer said.
Senegal to vaccinate all teachers, students before school year
Senegalese health officials are working to vaccinate all teachers and students before they return to schools and universities in October, according to Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegalese Minister of Health and Social Action, who was receiving vaccine donations from partner countries and organizations on Friday. According to the minister, his department is collaborating with universities and educational institutions to ensure that students receive the essential doses.
World leaders slammed by AfricaCDC for hollow vaccine pledges
The African Union’s health watchdog has charged world leaders of failing to keep their promise to share coronavirus vaccines with poorer countries, putting the disease at risk of becoming endemic. Cases are increasing at an alarming rate across the continent. Africa is experiencing a resurgence of Covid-19 as it falls behind in the global vaccination campaign, with only 3.18 percent of its 1.3 billion people fully immunized.
“We cannot continue to politicise this situation by making statements that we do not follow through with firm commitments,” John Nkengasong, head of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), said. “Pledges do not put vaccines into peoples’ arms.”
Ethiopia ‘looks’ to Kenya for tourism ideas
Nearly a year after the country’s north was engulfed in a conflict that harmed the hospitality industry, Ethiopian officials are looking to neighboring Kenya to bolster tourism earnings from alternative sites. Officials said the idea entails establishing an uniform tourism visa agreement with Kenya, similar to the one that already exists between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.
Addis Ababa will put Ethiopian Airlines and Tourism Ethiopia, as well as the immigration department, at the center of a programme to open up tourism destinations and connect operators with neighboring countries like Kenya, according to the plan.
“We have interesting sites to visit and are hoping that cooperation with Kenya could help us address some of the gaps in our capacity,” Seleshi Girma, the chief executive of Tourism Ethiopia, the agency that markets the country’s sites, said last week in Addis Ababa, after a meeting with tour operators from Kenya and Ethiopia.
Kenyan, Estonian presidents ‘plead’ joint effort on Covid-19, climate change
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Estonian leader Kersti Kaljulaid, believe the world must work together to combat the consequences of Covid-19 and climate change. The two leaders made the announcement following a meeting at State House in Nairobi on Thursday, shortly after Estonian leader Kersti Kaljulaid arrived for her maiden visit to the country.
Increased investment, digital transformation, and trade, they said, will be critical in strengthening their ties as the two presidents agreed on the importance of universal vaccine access and asked the international community to boost vaccine sharing in order to secure universal vaccine access.
Ethiopia renews call for Sudan to withdraw forces as border row arises
Ethiopia’s government has once again urged Sudan to remove its forces and participate in negotiations to find a long-term solution to the increasing border dispute. Sudanese-Ethiopian relations are deteriorating due to a disputed border territory known as al-Fashaga
“We have handled the situation regarding the border conflict with the utmost patience and civility,” Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman, Dina Mufti, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
“We once again call on Sudan to withdraw from our territories and sit for discussions for a lasting peace, according to existing conflict resolution mechanisms.”
Guinea’s military junta orders central bank to freeze government accounts
Guinea’s military junta, which took power over the weekend, has announced that it has ordered all government accounts to be frozen by the central bank and other banks, reiterating that it was aimed at “securing state assets”, according to a junta spokesperson on the national broadcaster.
“This includes public administrative and commercial establishments in all ministries and the presidency, presidential programmes and projects, members of the outgoing government as well as senior officials and administrators of state financial institutions,” the spokesperson said.
Angola opposition protest against vote law changes
Hundreds of opposition supporters have held a march in the Angolan capital, Luanda, to protest against changes to electoral laws under which votes will be tallied centrally instead of being counted in the regions.
Critics say this will reduce transparency. The demonstration was organised by the main opposition Unita party and joined by other groups. Unita has suggested the introduction of measures to counter electoral fraud including biometric voter identification and the involvement of civil society in ballot counting.
President João Lourenço is expected to run for a second term in next year’s poll.