Ethiopia: Ethiopia's Mobile Camel Libraries Keep Children From Forced Labour


[Thomson Reuters Foundation] Keeping children learning while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic is seen as key

Kano state serial rapes: Man arrested after 40 rapes in Nigerian town

BBC News Africa  

Police say the man was found in a child's bedroom and ran away but neighbours gave chase and caught him.

Women Must Be Central To Covid-19 Responses


Africa’s progress in empowering women risks being undone if authorities’ responses to the Covid-19 crisis...

Ghana coronavirus: Cases pass 10,000 mark; FDA to vet rapid test kits


Ghana is West Africa’s most impacted nation behind Nigeria, at a point in May 2020, Ghana led the regional case load. June has started with progressive lifting of more virus restrictions. President Akufo-Addo in his tenth address announced that whiles borders remained closed, some categories of academic institutions are allowed to resume, religious places can also reopen with strict conditions and the observance of health protocols. Social gatherings -weddings, funerals etc. – are to be allowed under certain conditions – among others with maximum 100 participants. As the 2020 polls loom, even political activity is allowed to be undertaken. This article will be focused on tracking case increases and major developments from the West African country. It will build on our April – May 2020 updates page. June 10: Cases pass 10,000 mark as rapid test kit makers advance Ghana reached 10,000 mark in terms of confirmed cases on Tuesday (June 9); the case load reached 10,201 with deaths still at 48, 3,755 recoveries and 6,398 active cases. Ghana joins an exclusive club that includes South Africa (52,991 cases), Egypt (35,444 cases), Nigeria (13,464 cases) and Algeria with 10,382 cases. The Food and Drugs Authority has confirmed that nine companies were so far seeking approval for rapid test kits for COVID-19 a process that could last between a month and two months. One of the companies, Kumasi-based Incas Diagnostics, are diversifying from their pregnancy test kit production to focus on COVID-19 test kits which will be an antibody test kit. The company is also working with other developers across Africa on a mobile app to help trace potentially high-risk virus patients. Incas Diagnostics founder and CEO Laud Anthony Basing told Reuters he expected its kits to cost about half as much as imported tests as they will be cutting out middlemen by producing them in Ghana. “The app will basically work well with the rapid test kit because once classified as high risk you need to test the person,” he said, stressing the need for mass testing given that Ghana had entered community transmission stage of virus spread. The Reuters report added that Incas’ kits, which were developed with funding from the French development agency and the Mastercard foundation, could retail for about $5 but will mostly be donated to help fight the pandemic. June 9: 9,910 cases, bar operators appeal to govt Ghana’s case load is heading towards the 10,000 mark; as of close of day June 8, the tally stood at 9,910. Deaths have also gone up to 48. Over in the Ashanti Region, drinking bar and pub operators have appealed to the government to consider easing some of the restrictions to enable them to resume their operations, the Ghana News Agency reports. According to them, the continued closure of their businesses as a result of the COVID-19 was advsersely affecting them. Emmanuel Antwi Baah, regional Chairman of Pubs and Spot Operators Association said there were ready to enforce necessary protocols and guidelines. Restrictions on gatherings were significantly watered down in president Akufo-Addo’s tenth address which allowed social gatherings like places of worship, weddings and funerals to take place with limited attendees and the observance of strict hygiene protocols. Mr Baah appealed to the government to extend the COVID-19 stimulus package to members of the Association to enable them to stay in business, the report added. Total confirmed cases = 9,910 Total recoveries = 3,645 Total deaths = 48 Active cases = 6,217 June 8: 9,638 cases, govt evacuation plans Government has confirmed that it was preparing to evacuate some Ghanaians stranded overseas due to the COVID-19 disruption. Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway in a written response to Parliament late last week, she said the ministry and relevant departments and agencies had been liaising for weeks how to undertake the phased evacuation. There are four categories of evacuees for the purpose: those with the ability to pay, government-funded evacuation, distressed or destitute and deportees. So far evacuations have been don from Kuwait (May 23 of 230 persons), Lagos, Mauritania, Turkey and Washington – all thigs being equal must have happened by today. Some of the biggest evacuations being worked on are over 670 people from China and 500 form the United Arab Emirates. Ghanaians in neighbouring countries will be bussed back under special conditions considering that all borders have been and remain closed. The first day of church reopening was on Sunday after the lifting of strict sanctions of public gathering. Only a handful churches agreed to undertake what were brief services amid the observance of health protocols as by law required. Those that did not reopen cited the need for more time to guarantee safety of congregants. Last Friday, the situation was the same for most mosques. The national chief Imam asked that facilities remain closed even though a number of mosques went ahead with service. Total confirmed cases = 9,638 Total recoveries = 3,636 Total deaths = 44 Active cases = 5,958 Figures valid as of close of day June 7, 2020 June 7: 9,462 cases, deaths hit 44 The Managing Director of a major private health care facility in the capital Accra reported testing positive for the virus. Elikem Tamaklo of Nyaho Hospital confirmed that he contracted the disease in the community. The hospital located in a residential area of Accra said the MD had not been physically at post for two weeks as part of social distancing guidelines to help contain spread of COVID-19. His family was also affected and all of them were undergoing treatment, a statement said. “I am currently doing well … The stigma that some have had to endure is unfair, unfounded and has no basis,” he told workers in a recorded video message. “We all need to continue to do our best and remain disciplined by observing all the recommended preventive measures, such as washing hands with soap under running water, frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing measured when in public and in enclosed spaces,” he added. The elections body has meanwhile said 15 out of 16 regions have undergone a successful pilot for upcoming voters registration – back by government and opposed by opposition parties. The body has been hauled to court over its plans amid virus spread. Ghana’s death toll whiles relatively very low, have reached 44. It remained sub 40 even when cases had passed 6,000. President Akufo-Addo weeks back thanked God for sparing Ghana huge deaths compared to other countries. Total confirmed cases = 9,462 Total recoveries = 3,547 Total deaths = 44 Active cases = 5,871 Figures valid as of close of day June 6, 2020 June 3: 8,297 cases; govt defends ban on football Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah has defended government’s decision to maintain a ban on football despite the recent lifting of a raft of restrictions. He was speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday. According to the Minister, the cost of putting necessary measures in place, from the regular disinfection of stadia to testing players, was too high. Restrictions on non-contact sports were lifted in the president’s 10th address. “How do we disinfect all the stadia, the hotels because the players sleep there? How do we test all these players?” Asiamah quizzed. He also pointed out that it would be near impossible to keep fans from gathering during games. “In our environment, is it possible to play football without our supporters? The figure that came out from the NSA was about GHS 60,000 per match. That’s a major challenge.” Football is Ghana’s most followed sport. The local league only returned after a corruption probe involving the former association president Kwesi Nyantakyi caused the league to be suspended. A normalization committee took charge of affairs till a new set of executives were voted into office. Total confirmed cases = 8,297 Total recoveries = 2,986 Total deaths = 38 Active cases = 5,273 June 2: Minister issues guidelines for churches, mosques The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, has expanded on a government plan for reopening of places of worship across the country. He was speaking at a multi-sectoral press briefing on Monday, a day after the president delivered his tenth COVID-19 address to the nation. Some of the key planks of the directives include: As part of the guidelines, every church or religious body is to registered with the Registrar General’s Department and with the respective Municipal, Metropolitan or District Assembly. The religious bodies are expected to observe preventive protocols, including providing thermometer guns or thermal scanners to check the temperature of congregants at entry points of all venues Enforce a ‘No mask: No entry’ Policy, provide adequate waste management facilities and toilet facilities for use by members. Cleaning and disinfection of frequently used communal places like toilet surfaces and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs or handles, preferably every one – two hours depending on the rate of utilisation. A holding room or area where a person who becomes sick at the premises can be isolated from others while making arrangements for evacuation. Every worshiper must be registered with their details, including names, phone numbers, manually or digitally, adding that digital registration can be done on GH COVID-19 APP or the PANABIOS App, which can be downloaded at no cost. Religious leaders would equally be held liable, adding that the District Assemblies and other agencies will monitor and ensure compliance with the directives. Religious activities were thus to begin on Friday, June 5, with Muslims worshiping at the mosques, and Adventists and Christians following on Saturday Sunday, respectively. Govt to close down religious institutions who flout anti-Covid-19 directives – GNA report June 1: 8,070 cases, conditional lifting of most restrictions Ghana’s case load passed the 8,000 mark on last day of May 2020 as president Akufo-Addo addressed the nation lifting conditionally a raft of restrictions. Schools are to open in mid-June, religious places can reopen with strict conditions and the observance of health protocols. Social gatherings are to be allowed under certain conditions. The address, the tenth by the president, also spelled out measures that government was putting in place to curb the spread of the virus. “Consensus from stakeholder consultation recommend a phased approach to easing anti Covid-19 restrictions,” he said. With effect from Friday 5th June, Ghana will begin the implementation of gradual easing of restrictions Final year university students to report to school on 15th June, 2020 Faith-based organisations to start communal worship, effective Friday, June 5, amid social distancing and hygiene protocols All schools, both private and public remain closed. Only final year students access those facilities. Each student, teacher and non teaching staff will be provided with reusable face mask by the Ministry of Education prior to reopening for final year students Weddings with not more than 100 guests can be organized Public political activities, except for rallies, to resume with less than 100 people, amid observation of social distancing and hygiene protocols 218, 425 Covid-19 tests conducted so far Total confirmed cases = 8,070 (new cases = 189) Total recoveries = 2,947 Total deaths = 36 Active cases = 5,087

Mozambique: Heavy Sentences Demanded for Policemen Turned Thieves


[AIM] Maputo -The prosecution has called for "exemplary sentences" against five Mozambican police officers accused of involvement in the theft of ten million meticais (about 144,000 US dollars at current exchange rates) from a Maputo casino, reports Wednesday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".

African swine fever 'decimating' Nigerian pigs

BBC News Africa  

The outbreak of the viral haemorrhagic disease has occurred in the country's largest pig farm.

Namibia: MP Questions Political Will to Fight Corruption


[New Era] Youthful Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Inaaviposa Hengari said the cost of corruption in the public sector is paid for by poor people and unemployed young people who cannot get work because money intended for development is being used to purchase holiday homes and luxury cars. The 24-year-old Hengari made these remarks while delivering her maiden speech in the National Assembly on Monday.

Mozambique: A Further 20 COVID-19 Cases Diagnosed


[AIM] Maputo -Mozambique's National Director of Public Health, Rosa Marlene, announced on Tuesday that a further 20 cases of the Covid-19 respiratory disease have been diagnosed, bringing the total number of known Covid-19 cases in the country to 453.

Namibia: Country Progresses On HIV Battle - Geingob


[New Era] President Hage Geingob last week said Namibia is on the verge of achieving total HIV/AIDS epidemic control in line with the triple 90 goals, with the country's HIV response standing at 94:96:95.

Malawi: Chakwera Says Orton Chirwa Is Founding Father of Malawi


[Nyasa Times] Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has paid special tribute to Orton Chirwa, the country's first attorney general after independence, as the founding father of the Malawi nation but died as a political prisoner during the MCP dictatorship.

Mozambique: Flag Carrier Postpones Flights to Lisbon


[AIM] Maputo -Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has once again postponed the resumption of direct flights between Maputo and Lisbon.

Namibia: Swapo Music Crew Manager Linked to Fishrot Funds


[Namibian] A N$443 000 payment made to Ndilimani Cultural Troupe's manager Jesse Nombanza's vehicle loan in 2017 has been flagged as potential proceeds of the Fishrot scandal.

Angola: Central Bank Spends Over U.S.$43,5 Million On Treasury Bonds Purchase


[ANGOP] Luanda -The National Bank of Angola (BNA) spent until June 5 Akz 26.1 billion (Usd 43.6 million) on the purchase of treasury bonds from 41 companies.

Namibia: Teacher Suspended Over Racist Comments


[New Era] Walvis Bay -The Hillside Christian College has suspended a teacher who went on a racist tirade on social media.

Namibia: Govt Urged to Support Smallholder Farmers


[New Era] Government has been urged to support smallholder farmers in terms of improved seeds, fertilisers, logistics, water availability, training and appropriate implements. Landless People's Movement (LPM) parliamentarian Edmund Isaaks requested the National Assembly last week. Contributing to the national budget debate last week, Isaaks said the goal should be to have deliberate policies to support transition processes, graduating subsistence farmers into smallholder farmers and ultimately into commercial farmer

Namibia: School Readiness Questions Asked


[New Era] Nkurenkuru -Although school principals in the Kavango West region have indicated that they are coping with the current safety measures put in place during the reopening of face-to-face classes, some remain doubtful that the situation will remain the same once all learners return for lessons.

Malawi: Commonwealth Judges Add Voice of Concern Over Mutharika's Attack On Judiciary


[Nyasa Times] Commonwealth lawyers, judges and magistrates have added their voice to the chorus of concern that President Peter Mutharika continues to criticise the Judiciary following the nullification of the May 21 2019 presidential election results.

Zimbabwe: Suspend Constitutional Amendment Hearings, Parliament Told


[263Chat] The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has rubbished announcement of Public Hearings dates on proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill number 2 and called for suspension of the hearings.

Malawi: Mutharika to Launch Bullets, Wanderers' Stadia Construction


[Nyasa Times] The construction of stadia for domestic football powerhouses Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers in Blantyre is expected to start this Thursday June 11 2020 soon after President Peter Mutharika presides over the groundbreaking ceremony, government has said.

Zimbabwe: Central Bank Delays Issuance of $20 Notes


[263Chat] The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is yet to release the new $20 notes that were due first week of June as market actors grow anxious over the delay.

Namibia: 100 Finalists for Ideathon #AfricaVsVirus Challenge Announced


[Namibia Economist] The African Development Bank this week announced the 100 finalists from the #AfricaVsVirus Challenge ideathon to find solutions to challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

Ashburn Update