US president Biden, Kenya’s Uhuru hammer talks on peace, diplomacy; CAR announces unilateral ceasefire in fight with rebels

US president Biden, Kenya’s Uhuru hammer talks on peace, diplomacy

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden requested Kenya to play a key role in safeguarding the Horn of Africa, while also promising to contribute further 17 million doses of J&J Covid-19 vaccine to the African Union. 

At a White House meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Biden stated that Kenya, a long-time partner of the United States, would play a key role, particularly now as the region is beset by crises.

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“Our nations share a deep commitment of fairness to respect and equity and I am committed to elevating further our ties with Kenya and the nations across Africa as a whole, but Kenya is key,” Biden said.

Financial openness, peace and security in the Horn of Africa, and climate change are among the critical issues on which the two countries will collaborate, according to Biden. He also mentioned economic growth as one among the topics the two leaders will address “based on principles of mutual respect and equality.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta met with Vice President Joe Biden for the first time since he took office in January. On his fourth visit to the White House under three different American presidents, President Kenyatta said he appreciates US assistance in resolving regional crises and expanding commerce.

Uganda Airlines moves to leverage on cargo for Dubai flights

Uganda Airlines is working to increase frequency on its Entebbe-Dubai route following impressive passenger traffic since its October 7 launch.

The airline has reached a unilateral arrangement with Emirates that allows travellers with return tickets from Entebbe to Dubai to fly with either airline. 

The deal also requires Emirates to sell Uganda Airlines to its customers, with Uganda Airlines providing connecting flights to regional destinations not served by Emirates.

Partnership Seeks to Upskill More African Women to Work in Tech

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Afro Fem Coders established a partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to inspire and empower African women with technological skills. Afro Fem Coders, a program based in Uganda, aims to provide a secure and welcoming atmosphere for African women to learn computer programming. 

Participants will acquire experience pitching their creative ideas, website creation, coding, and programming abilities. The hackathon will also provide African women with the option to participate in the Afro Fem Coders programming course’s third cohort, which begins on October 31, 2021.

Afro Fem Coder’s goal is to double the number of female programmers in Sub-Saharan Africa in the next ten years, and to ensure that Uganda has more than 100,000 female programmers either starting their own businesses or working in top technology positions. Afro Fem Coders wants to see a 95 percent increase in the number of women who are exposed to programming at an early age. The program has on boarded qualified instructors who will teach participants skills in their chosen field, ranging from website construction to block-based programming.

Five DR Congo colonels bagged imprisonment for embezzlement

Five army and police colonels were sentenced to ten years in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday for embezzlement in the country’s northeast.

Four army colonels and a police officer of the same level were sentenced by a military court in the northeastern Ituri region. Following a trial that began on September 17 after their arrest in late July, two more army colonels were sentenced to 12 months in prison while two more were acquitted by the jury. 

They were found to have diverted cash intended for the procurement of meals for troops serving in Ituri on active service.

SA launches Covid-19 vaccinations to children over 12

South Africa will begin immunizing youngsters as early as 12 years old next week, as well as offering Covid-19 boosters to protect against certain immunological illnesses, according to the country’s health minister. 

The announcement affects millions of people and signifies a huge scaling up of South Africa’s pandemic response due to its enormous young population and the world’s largest HIV burden.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla told a news conference: “We ready to open up vaccination for children between 12-17 years of age, and a majority of this cohort are in the secondary or high school level,”

According to the minister, more than a third of all adults in South Africa have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination.

CAR announces unilateral ceasefire in fight with rebels

President Faustin-Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic has ordered a unilateral cease-fire against armed groups, saying he hopes it would lead to peaceful talks. 

Since previous President Francois Bozize was toppled in 2013, the country has suffered periodic episodes of rebel warfare. Armed factions control significant areas of land, and approximately a quarter of the country’s population of nearly 5 million has been displaced. 

On Friday, Touadera stated on television that he believes the truce will assist safeguard people from violence while also allowing them access to humanitarian aid and essential amenities.

WHO moves toward preventing sexual abuse after Congo scandal

Following a big controversy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when its staff and other aid workers assaulted women, the World Health Organization announced on Friday that it is deploying experts on preventing sexual exploitation in ten “high-risk” nations. 

During the country’s huge Ebola epidemic from 2018 to 2020, an independent panel found that 83 aid workers, a quarter of whom were hired by the WHO, were involved in sexual exploitation and abuse.

During a closed-door meeting with representatives of the 194 member states on Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined his intentions to address the problem.

Bunnaj gathered that the work will take place in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Burkina Faso commemorates 34th anniversary of Sankara’s death

Burkina Faso marked the 34th anniversary of the death of former revolutionary president Thomas Sankara, who was slain on October 15, 1987, and whose bust was unveiled in the presence of his widow Mariam at the institution that bears his name in Ouagadougou. 

The Thomas Sankara memorial now comprises just of the statue, but it will eventually include an 87-meter-high tower topped by a lighthouse, an exhibition hall, a museum, and a library, commemorating the year of his death.

The facts of Sankara’s death were largely overshadowed under Blaise Compaoré’s 27-year reign, and ceremonies in his honor only began after Compaoré was forced out by an insurrection.

Tanzania’s president Samia hires Tony Blair in fight against Covid

President Samia has reportedly recruited the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change to handle two of her administration’s important projects: the fight against Covid-19 and the recovery of Tanzania’s international reputation, according to government officials. 

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, has paid two formal visits to Tanzania since Samia Suluhu Hassan took over the presidency in March when her predecessor, John Magufuli, died suddenly.

Blair undertook his first official visit to Tanzania in July, where he met with President Samia and discussed ways to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. Blair stated that his institute is in charge of facilitating vaccine testing and distribution, and that it may be able to assist Tanzania in gaining access to top vaccine manufacturers.

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