US threatens to sanction African countries that engage in electoral violence

The United States Government has warned that it will clamp down on African countries that engage in electoral violence.

A statement on the US official website signed by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo urged all political party leaders across the continent to hold on to integrity and ensure that peace prevails before, during and after the conduct of their respective elections.

The statement mentioned the imposition of travel restrictions as key among the restrictions the US Federal Government will place on African countries that will engage in violence.

The statement further urged African countries to uphold democratic credentials and avoid acts that undermine freedoms.

“We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence,” parts of the US government’s statement read.

Below is the full statement:
The United States is committed to supporting free, fair, inclusive elections. The conduct of elections is important not only for Africans but also for defenders of democracy around the world. We believe all sides should participate peacefully in the democratic process. Repression and intimidation have no place in democracies.

The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and association are at the heart of a functioning democracy. Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms. We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence. As long-time partners to the nations of Africa, we care about the region’s democratic trajectory and are committed to working constructively with international and regional partners.

President Akufo-Addo Elected ECOWAS Chairman

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been elected Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at the 57th ECOWAS Summit held in Niamey, Niger, on Monday, 7th September 2020.

The President, who was elected unanimously by his peers, takes over the mantle of leadership from the President of Niger, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, for a period of one year.

Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, their Excellencies Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, and John Dramani Mahama, who have enjoyed, in times past, a similar privilege, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Assembly for the honour, and assured that he will do his utmost not to let the side down, and discharge his duties to the best of his abilities.

“Excellencies, I am fully aware of the challenges which confront West Africa. Past leaders of ECOWAS have demonstrated their collective will and determination to drive the agenda of regional integration, opening up our economic frontiers, encouraging healthy competition amongst Member States, and ensuring that we adhere to our formative principles,” he said.

The President continued, “As much as considerable progress has been made since the establishment of ECOWAS, some forty-five (45) years ago, we are all agreed that there is much more to be done to consolidate the socio-economic and political gains made over the years.”

In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo noted that five immediate challenges face the regional organization of ECOWAS, for which Member States must address.

These, he said, are the continuing activities of terrorists in the Region concentrated, for the time being, in the Sahelian area, involving Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and the northern parts of Nigeria; the the COVID-19 pandemic, which has attacked the populations and economies of each Member States; the imminent coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area on 1st January 2021; the 2020 decision on monetary union within the ECOWAS space; and the consolidation of democratic governance in the turbulent conditions of the Community.

“The challenges, in these critical regional spheres, such as security, economy, trade, currency and health, must be addressed in a spirit of genuine co-operation and solidarity, if we are to succeed in overcoming them, which we can. In so doing, we must protect, at all costs, our freedom and independence of action, so that the development of our Community responds to the needs and aspirations of our peoples, and not to the goals of external agencies and forces. I am confident that, by the grace of God, I can count on the unstinting support of each one of Your Excellencies in navigating the immediate future of our Community,” he added.

The President urged his fellow Heads of State to recognise that the way forward is to implement regional decisions, such as the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, recognising that, ultimately, the benefits are in everyone’s interest.

“Those of us who believe strongly in integration can do no better than to give our full support to regional decisions. Through this, we will build institutional confidence and integrity in the structural organs of ECOWAS,” he said.

To this end, he admonished Members of the ECOWAS Community to “collaborate to ensure that we adhere to and maintain common values of governance, i.e. the principles of democratic accountability, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the rule of law. Such commonality will facilitate immeasurably the process of bonding amongst the peoples of our Community.”

In conclusion, he urged all in ECOWAS to “give enthusiastic support to Community decisions, and build rapidly our Community. Our peoples deserve no less, and the objectives of peace, progress and prosperity will, thus, be within our reach, realising the historic purposes of ECOWAS.”

Story: Sheila Satori Mensa

Ghana-Nigeria Culture of co-operation & Brotherliness will continue” – Prez Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has pledged to do whatever is necessary to strengthen the already-strong relations between Ghana and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to President Akufo-Addo, it is important for the progress of West Africa and, indeed, Africa, that Ghana and Nigeria are seen to be working together, and has assured that the two countries will continue down that path.

The President made this known on Thursday, 3rd September 2020, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Femi Gbajabiamila, paid a courtesy call on him at Jubilee House, at the end of his 2-day visit to Ghana, at the invitation of the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.

Welcoming Nigeria’s Speaker and his delegation to Ghana, President Akufo-Addo explained that when the statement from the Nigerian Minister for Information “warning Ghana over incessant harassment of Nigerians” came out, he was very much alarmed.

“I was alarmed because, if they were the sentiments and attitudes of the Federal Government of Nigeria, then we were in a really serious problem,” he said.

The President continued, “I thought it best to speak to Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) as soon as possible, which I did, and then I was informed by the Speaker (of Ghana’s Parliament) that he had taken an independent course of action in the matter by speaking to you (the Speaker of Nigeria’s Parliament), and inviting you to come to Ghana to talk about the issues that emerged from the statement,” he said.

Commending Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila for taking up the invitation, President Akufo-Addo stated that the result of the meeting between the Ghanaian and Nigerian Speakers is the way forward, and very acceptable to him.

“The idea of legislation to promote a Ghana-Nigeria Business Council, that will have superintendence over trade and investment matters between our two countries, is well overdue. It is events that produces institutions, and the time has come for it to be done,” he said.

Additionally, the President stated that “it will be a good idea also to set up a joint Ministerial Committee for Ministers on both sides, who would be responsible for shepherding Ghana-Nigerian issues, and reporting to both Presidents at any time when matters occur, and how they should be resolved.”

In concluding, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians and Nigerians to build on the strong relations that have existed between the two countries, or, at the very least, make sure that the current status quo is preserved.

He reassured Speaker Gbajabiamila that the “Nigerian population in Ghana are safe, many of them have lived for centuries trading and doing business in Ghana without any difficulties, and that culture of co-operation and brotherliness will continue.”

Story: Sheila Satori Mensa

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza dies of ‘cardiac arrest’ at 55

Pierre Nkurunziza was campaigning for his party’s candidate in last month’s presidential election

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, aged 55, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest, the government says.

He was admitted to hospital on Saturday after feeling unwell, his condition improved but on Monday he had a cardiac arrest and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, officials say.

After 15 years in power, Mr Nkurunziza was due to step down in August.

In 2015, the announcement that he would run for a third term plunged the country into chaos.

It sparked anger as some questioned the legality of a third-term bid.

There was a failed coup attempt, hundreds of people died in clashes and tens of thousands fled the country.

There were widespread protests when Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term in 2015

After a change in the constitution, he was able to run for a further term in last month’s election but he decided to retire and was to be known as the “supreme guide to patriotism”.

He was also due to receive a $540,000 (£440,000) retirement pay-out and a luxury villa.

Mr Nkurunziza came to power in 2005 two years after the end of a 10-year civil war which left 300,000 people dead.

The former rebel leader took pride in the fact that his administration brought peace to Burundi.

Mr Nkurunziza took pride in the fact that he helped bring peace to the country

But his government was criticised for widespread human rights abuses.

These included “extrajudicial executions, disappearances, arbitrary arrests, sexual violence, extortion, beatings, and intimidation”, according to Human Rights Watch.

Political opponents have been targeted and journalists have been imprisoned.

What was his role in the civil war?

Before the civil war, Mr Nkurunziza, who had graduated in sports education, was a teacher and assistant lecturer at the University of Burundi.

He survived the killings of 1993 when ethnic Hutus were targeted at the university and joined the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) rebel group.

He emerged as its leader and after the 2003 peace deal, Mr Nkurunziza was named minister of interior before parliament elected him president in August 2005.

Mr Nkurunziza was passionate about football

Outside of politics, he was well known for his love of football. At one time he was the coach of the army football team and as president had his own side – Hallelujah FC.

Since last week, Mr Nkurunziza’s wife, Denise Nkurunziza, has been receiving medical treatment in Kenya.

She was rumoured to have tested positive for coronavirus – a disease Mr Nkurunziza had appeared to downplay, holding an election in the midst of the outbreak, and even expelling World Health Organization representatives from the country.

The government has announced seven days of national mourning.

South Sudan vice-president recovers from Covid-19

South Sudan’s First Vice-President Riek Machar and his wife, Defence Minister Angelina Teny, have recovered from Covid-19, local media report.
Riek Machar tested positive for coronavirus three weeks ago

The two tested positive for coronavirus three weeks ago.

The Sudan Tribune newspaper quoted a statement from Mr Machar’s office as saying that he had been discharged on Saturday “having fully recovered”.

The statement further said the two government officials have been discharged after the second coronavirus confirmation tests conducted on them returned negative.

“The two leaders are therefore expected to resume their daily active public office duties anytime soon, hopefully by Monday, 8 June, 2020,” the newspaper quotes the statement as saying.

Uganda to Release 130 Jailed Rwandans as Kutesa, Biruta Trade Accusations

Uganda and Rwanda have this Thursday traded accusations of undermining each other’s national security during a video conference meeting set up to resolve their outstanding differences.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta said Uganda continued to support groups seeking to destabilize his country.

“For instance, outfits of that Self-Worth Initiative still operate RNC cells in Uganda. This goes against the Government of Uganda’s previous commitment to disbanding the activities of this criminal organization,” said Biruta.

“There is a trend of on-going mobilization activities in different parts of Uganda to support RNC and other different negative forces that continue to receive the support from Uganda’s Security Organs,” he added.

However, Kutesa today said Self-Worth Initiative of Prossy Boonabana and Sulah Nuwamamya was deregistered.

“This was done on 12th March 2020 and officially announced in the Gazzette on 16th March 2020. The following day, on 17th March 2020, the Government of Rwanda was officially informed,” said Kutesa.

Biruta also accused Uganda of mistreating Rwandans, giving examples of two women who were handed to Rwanda at the border after being reportedly beaten by Ugandan security personnel.

“Additionally, Rwandans reported being detained at security detention centers continue to be denied consular visits and are not produced before any courts of law to stand trial,” said Biruta.

The meeting chaired by Kutesa was graced by Tete Antonio, Minister of External Relations of Angola, Gilbert Kankonde Malamba, DR Congo’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Interior, Security and Customary Affairs.

The meeting was a follow-up to the decisions of the fourth quadripartite Summit held in Katuna on February 21, 2020.

Kutesa speaks out

Kutesa expressed Uganda’s commitment to address Rwanda’s concerns, saying many Rwandans held in jail will be released.

“Last month, the President pardoned 130 Rwandans who were in detention, serving time for various offenses committed,” said Kutesa.

“These prisoners have now been processed and on Monday and Tuesday next week, we will be ready to hand them over to the Rwandan authorities at Cyanika and Mirama Hills border points. I request that the relevant Rwandan are present to receive them,” he added.

“With the pardon of these prisoners, 310 Rwandan nationals charged with capital offences will remain in custody. The details of those in detention will be shared with the government of Rwanda.”

Part of Kutesa’s statement delivered during today’s virtual meeting

Kutesa also accused Kigali of espionage, saying despite Uganda’s demonstrable steps to normalize ties, Rwanda has not lived to the same spirit.

“Espionage and other malignant activities, which undermine the national security of Uganda have continued unabated. These activities are unacceptable. We have continued to apprehend individuals, including those with falsified documents that have been used in these unlawful acts,” Kutesa observed.

Chimp Reports understands several Rwandans were recently apprehended by military intelligence personnel in Uganda on allegations of espionage.

They were later interrogated by military intelligence experts and detained pending prosecution on charges related to subversion and spying.

Kutesa further accused Rwanda of running a hostile propaganda campaign against Uganda, citing publications by Igihe, The New Times and Virunga Post among others.

Virunga Post recently accused Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba of committing serious offences, without providing evidence.

Muhoozi didn’t respond to the accusations.

The tensions between Uganda and Rwanda have hurt each other’s economies as movement of persons and goods remain restricted.

The annual volume of trade between the two countries had hit $200m before relations collapsed in 2018.

Ugandans in Rwandan jails

During today’s meeting, Kutesa revealed that many Ugandans remain in detention in Rwanda.

They include Benjamin Nabimanya, Chris Muyambi, Nicholas Muhanguzi, Colbert Muhanguzi, Bosco Nkwasibwe, Deuriano Orikiriza and Siliaco Orishaba among others.

He also provided a list of five Ugandans killed by Rwandan authorities along the border since November 2019.

“We have consistently called for investigations into the murder of our people. We have also called for the perpetrators to be brought to account, but that has not happened,” said Kutesa.

He also observed that while Uganda’s border remained open to Rwanda’s goods and services, Rwanda’s border to Uganda remained closed and the “illegal trade embargo against Uganda remained in place. Ugandan goods and services are prevented from entering Rwanda or being sold.”

Sources said the meeting was cordial with both parties expecting good results as they seek to normalize relations.

“My delegation looks forward to the fruitful deliberations and working with the Rwandan delegation, on practical steps to normalize our relations for the benefit of our people and the region as a whole,” said Kutesa.

On his part, Biruta thanked Kutesa for organizing the meeting which he said would promote the spirit of comradeship as both Rwanda and Uganda work towards resolving their challenges.

Both parties are expected to issue a joint communique on the way forward.

Editorial: Beyond Covid-19; What is Africa’s future after the pandemic?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on May 11 suggested that there are three ways the Covid-19 pandemic could actually spark a better future for Africa. The three sparks that could light a flame include: strengthening the health sectors, rethinking social protection for the vulnerable and industrialisation.

Since most countries attained independence, leaders from virtually every African country have travelled abroad for medical services, leaving their people at the mercy of dilapidated health systems. Covid-19 brought forth the fact that during a pandemic African countries are on their own, and that the people and their leaders are in the same boat. That fact will undoubtedly force a rethink to prioritize investment in health systems.

With a large informal sector, issues like social protection for the vulnerable has never featured in policy frameworks but the pandemic has forced it into a top policy consideration. Indeed, WEF acknowledges Kenya and Equatorial Guinea as two African states that are offering excellent examples of countries that have regulated and put in place social protection systems that will survive and outlast our battle against this common enemy.

The crisis forced quick innovations, with some universities coming up with contraptions of ventilators. The WEF article noted that the continent’s poor pharmaceutical capacity has been a source of amazement to locals and foreigners alike. Bangladesh, a poorer country than many African countries, produces 97 percent of the national demand for medicines in contrast to Africa, which is almost 100 percent dependent on imports. Several other articles on post pandemic Africa that came out in May such as the McKinsey’s report, ‘‘Reopening and reimagining Africa: How the Covid-19 crisis can catalyse change’’, highlight similar opportunities presented by the crisis. The continent, therefore, must ride on the wave of creativity and innovation to build a sustainable manufacturing sector.

The people have proven the fact that they do not have to import some of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required mostly in the healthcare sector.

Already, Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) through the National Standards Council has in the recent past developed some specifications on critical care ventilators, reusable cloth masks and a standard on protective clothing for the purpose of building local capacity to mitigate against the pandemic.

The crisis has shown the critical importance of self-reliance that many of the simple imports that Africa imports from other countries should cease.

If the continent builds better supply chains, better value addition and reduced waste especially in food, Africa could easily be self-sufficient in food. The current food import bill of $35 billion according to Africa Development Bank could be converted into capital to develop a resilient manufacturing sector.

Unlike in the past, WEF has rightfully noted that African States are developing strategic and in-depth approaches to human development, regional integration, digitisation, industrialisation, economic diversification, fiscal and monetary policies, and international solidarity. In short, they are rethinking the causes of the continent’s underdevelopment and coming up with feasible solutions.

Africa’s underdevelopment is partly caused by failure to integrate trade within the continent. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), noted in a recent article that the share of intra-African exports as a percentage of total African exports has increased from about 10 percent in 1995 to around 17 percent in 2017, but it remains low compared to levels in Europe (69 percent), Asia (59 percent), and North America (31 percent).

Africa’s internal market, not exports to other places, will matter more for the continent’s growth. It means that the growing digitalization will grow Africa-specific solutions such as mobile money just as China’s startups in the digital space have grown within a very short period of time.

The news about the delay of the start date from July 1, 2020 to next year does not reflect desire to see Covid-19 as a spark for a renewed Africa. The pandemic has opened African eyes that in a crisis most countries retreat to their core constituency. The continent must arise and invest in health systems, respond to emerging crises with innovation and seek to become self-reliant. Basic necessities like medicine, food and other essentials should be manufactured locally.

The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area must be fast-tracked irrespective of the state that we are in, specifically the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure continental self-sufficiency.

Boy Shot Dead By Cultist While Roasting Yam For His Mother (Graphics Photos)

Tragedy has struck a poor mother after her son was shot dead by some cult members in Abia State. naija360 Media Plus Reports.

Report gathered that the boy was roasting yam and plantain before he was shot by in the head by the cultist.It is not clear if the boy was a rival cultist or a victim of circumstances.

The name of the victim and his mother is yet to be ascertained as at the time of this report

Africa Has the Highest Number of Female Inventors in the World

A new study by UK’s Intellectual Property Office has explored gender profiles in patenting across the world.

The research titled: ‘An analysis of female inventorship’, found that the highest share of female inventors are in Africa.

According to the study,

Togo has the highest proportion of female involvement in patent applications from 1998 to 2017.

Uganda is second in the world with 44.55 per cent followed by Europe’s Latvia in third place with 39.05 per cent.

Overall, there are five African nations on the list of the top 10 countries with the most female inventors.

Here are the top 10 countries with the highest number of female inventors:

Togo — 57.14%

Uganda — 44.55%

Latvia — 39.05%

Liberia — 38.89%

Rwanda — 37.50%

Female inventors in patent applications (statista)

Cuba — 36.73%

Botswana — 35.71%

Sri Lanka — 34.22%

Papua New Guinea — 29.63%

Georgia — 29.56%

Female representation within inventors

Looking at the recent trends in female inventorship across the world, the report also found a slow but gradual increase in the number of female inventors in all global patent applications.

Before 1965, the share of female inventors in the world was generally between 2% and 3%. This has since grown from 6.8% in 1998 to 12.7% in 2017. Now, over one in five applications have at least one female inventor.

More women are applying for patents (Intellectual Property Office)

This indicates that a growing increase in the share of female inventors in patent applications across the globe.

Thief falls asleep during operation after breaking into a TV presenter’s house

A thief fell asleep in the middle of his operation after breaking into a TV presenter’s house in Tanzania.

Confirming the incident in an interview with East Africa Radio, ITV Zanzibar presenter, Farouk Karim said the thief entered his compound by scaling the fence.

The journalist added that the thief stole shoes and clothes before setting his sights on the car’s power windows.

Recounting the incident, Farouk said he left home early in the morning for morning exercise only to receive a call that a thief was found at his home.

When he returned home, he found the thief sleeping in his car.

Farouk said: “We found him deep asleep in the car with all he had stolen the previous night on his lap.”

The journalist said the thief was able to access the car as the doors were not locked. He then proceeded to steal the power window mechanism from the passenger’s side.

“I think as he tried removing the power window from the driver’s side that’s when he fell asleep,” Farouk said.

Farouk added that an angry mob gathered, ready for jungle justice, but he discouraged them from carrying out the act.

Farouk called law enforcement and when they arrived, the thief was still sleeping. They placed him in handcuffs after which they woke him up and took him to the police station together with the things he stole.

Farouk said: “We accompanied him to the police station as one would a bride on her wedding day. I think he fell asleep after getting contented with his loot.”

Reacting to claims that voodoo must have been involved in making the thief fall asleep on the job, Farouk gave credit to the power of prayer.

He said: “The easiest way to make a thief fall asleep is praying to God to protect you and your home.”

Another Ugandan shot dead at Rwanda border

Rwanda President Paul Kagame arrives at border where the two Ugandans were earlier shot by Rwanda security forces.

KABALE – A Ugandan businessman was on Monday shot dead by Rwanda security forces in Rwerere parish, Burera district, about 5km from the Uganda-Rwanda border.

Warren Musekura, a resident of Kagogo village Bigagga parish Butanda sub county Kabale district, was reportedly killed while smuggling match boxes into Rwanda.

The brother, Sidini Muhereza, confirmed the news, saying that fellow traders close to the border had informed him about the incident.

However, he demanded that the deceased’s body is returned to Uganda for burial.

“We appeal to the Rwandan government officials to handover the body of our deceased relative for a decent burial. The deceased has a wife and 5 children,” Muhereza said on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

The Kabale District chairman, Mr Patrick Besigye Keihwa, said

Ugandan security personnel in the border districts of Kabale in Uganda and Burera in Rwanda were coordinating the process of handing over the body of the deceased to the relatives.

Government of Uganda in November 2019 wrote a note verbale to Rwanda after Rwandan soldiers shot and killed two Ugandan traders over allegations of smuggling.

Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe were killed at Tabagwe village in Nyagatare District in Rwanda on allegations of smuggling tobacco into the neighbouring East African country.

“The Government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the murder of its nationals by Rwandan security personnel for allegedly being involved in smuggling of goods across the common border. The alleged crime cannot justify the high handed and criminal act by the Rwandan security personnel, against unarmed civilians residing along the common border.

Furthermore, the Ministry notes that these murders are inimical to the ongoing efforts to improve relations between the two countries. The Ministry demands that a joint investigation in the murders be conducted and the perpetrators held accountable,” a statement issued by Mr Ofwono reads in part.

“Some over 100 girls raped in Ethiopia” during pandemic – Report

Authorities in Ethiopia have said more than 100 girls were raped and treated in the capital, Addis Ababa, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the privately owned Walta TV has reported.

The head of Addis Ababa women and children affairs office, Almaz Abraham, said sexual violence was on the rise as schools had been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“One-hundred-and-one girls were raped in the past two months after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The problem is that, unlike when schools were open, the attacks are not being exposed until the girls get pregnant. Maybe, there would be chances of stopping it from reaching to that stage if the girls were going to school,” she said.

“Men who used to practise different habits outside their homes are now doing them to their children when they stay at home,” she added.

Police officer to be charged with Covid-19 curfew murder

Two Kenyan police officers will be charged with murder after investigations by the country’s police watchdog, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) said in a statement.

Duncan Ndiema Ndiwa is accused of shooting dead a 13-year-old boy Yassin Hussein Moyo who was on the balcony of his home in a suburb of the capital, Nairobi, according to the IPOA.

The shooting happened while the police were enforcing a curfew order in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Lotugh Angórita killed a teacher, Colleta Amondi Ouda, while responding to a report of a burglary in Siaya county, western Kenya.

The IPOA also named four other police officers who will be charged over an assault on a man in Garissa, in the east of the country.

On Wednesday, the watchdog body said that 15 people had been killed police and 31 injured since coronavirus measures were introduced on 25 March.

The IPOA said it had received 87 complaints from the public, including assaults resulting in serious injuries, robbery, inhuman treatment and sexual assault.

Human rights groups have often complained about police brutality and impunity for the officers involved.

Four reasons why women wear waist beads

In the modern day, the wearing of waist beads among women has grown in exponential figures. This piece of art has been embraced wholeheartedly especially by African women.

If you’re a keen follower of Nigerian movies, you will note that most traditional scripts will have well endowed damsels bracing waist beads.

Concerning this issue, men would have mixed opinion as to whether they like women wearing waist beads. For some, it is an awesome ornament while others would simply discredit it as an attention-seeking weapon.

However, here are 4 reasons why women wear waist beads:-

1). To achieve a great body shape. These beads will tell woman whether she is gaining or losing weight. A woman adding a few kilos will feel the beads getting tight on the waist and would look for ways to cut down her weight, that is if she disgusts a big size.

2). To seduce men. In the game of seduction, women too have feelings. For a fact, a woman wanting to be laid may go to an extent of telling it out or sending obvious tell tale signals. Most men generally, may be turned on by a woman with beautiful beads above her waist line.

3). As a symbol of heritage. In Kenya for example, you would find that more Coastal women would be putting on these beads as compared to women residing in other parts. This shows that beads are a critical part of their culture.

4). As an amulet for spells. Some women simply wear beads because they believe they will protect them from ‘evil eyes’. Others believe that the beads bring forth good fortunes.

Thieves ‘wearing PPE’ rob supermarket

A group of armed men dressed as healthcare workers have stolen a large amount of cash from a supermarket in the South African city of Pietermaritzburg.

The men pretended to be Covid-19 health inspectors when they entered Checkers supermarket, IOL reported.

They were wearing masks, face shields, gloves and white lab jackets, the news site reported.

IOL News

@IOL

A gang of armed men, dressed as healthcare workers, made off with an undisclosed amount of money following a robbery at the Checkers supermarket at the Scottsville Mall. https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/armed-gang-dressed-in-ppe-gear-rob-pietermaritzburg-pension-pay-point-48911441?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Armed gang, dressed in PPE gear, rob Pietermaritzburg pension pay point

A gang of armed men, dressed as healthcare workers, made off with an undisclosed amount of money following a robbery at the Checkers supermarket at the Scottsville Mall on Wednesday morning.

iol.co.za

They robbed 200,000 South African rand ($12,000; £9,000) from the pension payout point while pensioners were still standing outside, the report says.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, investigations are ongoing after Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) destined for three districts in KwaZulu-Natal to aid in the fight against coronavirus went missing earlier this week, IOL reports.

Floyd’s Death in U.S. Spurs Protests and Outrage Across Africa

The killing of an unarmed African-American by a white police officer in Minneapolis is sparking outrage across sub-Saharan Africa, with protests staged in Kenya and Nigeria and political leaders voicing angry criticism.

Several dozen people gathered peacefully outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, on Tuesday, while small groups of people braved heavy rain to demonstrate on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

The protestation from Africa add to international pressure on American authorities to ensure there is justice for George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. The objections are all the more stinging given that many African nations have been at the receiving end of U.S. criticism for violating their own citizens’ rights.

“Black people the world over are shocked and distraught by the killing,” Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Twitter. “It cannot be right that in the 21st century the U.S., this great bastion of democracy, continues to grapple with the problem of systemic racism.”

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, said the continental group condemned the killing “in the strongest terms” and rejected the continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the U.S.

The series of recent killings of African-Americans “has sharpened the focus on inescapable realities that American society places a perilously low value on black lives,” South Africa’s ruling party said in a statement. “It is deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin.”

Nigeria’s government joined in the condemnation and called for those responsible to be held accountable.

“We hope that greater efforts be made to restore confidence between the police and the black communities,” said Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman. “ We equally urge that incidents like this should not be allowed to happen again.”

In Zimbabwe, the government summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain a White House official’s remarks suggesting the southern African nation is exploiting protests over Floyd’s killing. That came after Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter that “foreign adversaries” used social media to stoke and promote violence in the U.S. and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien later identified Zimbabwe as one of the candidates.

Nick Mangwana, a spokesman for Zimbabwe’s government, said the nation doesn’t consider itself an adversary of the U.S. government.

Zambia: Information Minister tests covid-19 positive, case tally at 920

Information Minister and chief government spokesperson, Dora Siliya

Zambia is one of southern Africa’s most impacted nations despite being way behind continent leader South Africa.

A lockdown imposed by President Edgar Lungu has since been relaxed following a continent-wide trend. This article will focus on major developments coming from the southern African country.

May 24: govt spokesperson tests positive

Information Minister and chief government spokesperson, Dora Siliya, confirmed testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. In a video posted on Twitter, she said she had gone into immediate self-isolation despite being asymptomatic.

“I have since alerted the ministry of health and I have given them all my contacts especially in the last 10 days,” she added. “Let us continue to observe social distancing, masking and washing our hands regularly,” she advised.

The World Health Organization’s Africa head reacting to the news today congratulated the Minister for being open about her status and wished herOver in South Sudan, the first vice-president and a number of ministers had earlier this week tested positive for the virus. Over in Nigeria three state governors have recovered from the virus – those in question are governors of Oyo, Kaduna and Bauchi.

Zambia virus stats as of May 24, 2020 at 13:00 GMT

Confirmed cases = 920

Deaths = 7

Recoveries = 336

Active cases = 577

https://twitter.com/Dora_Siliya/status/1264211882094858240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1264507855627001856&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.africanews.com%2F2020%2F05%2F24%2Fzambia-shuts-border-with-tanzania-over-virus-spread-fearMay 20: Nakonde records more new cases

Nakonde, the border town with Tanzania continues to record more cases of the virus. It remains the most impacted town with a tally that far outstrips the capital Lusaka.

Nakonde recorded 47 new cases on Wednesday bringing its tally to 456. Which represents more than half of the national case count which stands at 832. Thirteen other new cases were spread between six other districts.

Active cases currently stand at 628 with recoveries up to 197 and seven deaths so far. The one-stop border post in Nakonde was closed last week by President Lungu amid a spike in cases.

May 14: Case spike continues with Nakonde leading

Zambia has more than doubled its COVID-19 figures from five days ago. 208 new cases took the case count to 654. Of the cases, 196 were in Nakonde, a border town with Tanzania and the other 12 in Chirundu.

The current tally of 654 means an increase of 387 cases within the last three days. As of May 10, the number of confirmed cases stood at 267.

  • May 14 = 654 cases (208 new cases), 7 deaths, 124 recoveries
  • May 13 = 446 cases (5 new cases), 7 deaths, 117 recoveries
  • May 12 = 441 cases (174 new cases), 7 deaths, 117 recoveries
  • May 11 = 267 cases (0 new cases), 7 deaths, 117 recoveries
  • May 10 = 267 cases, 7 deaths, 117 recoveries

The town of Nakonde was declared a hot spot by the Ministry of Health on May 10 leading to the closure of the frontier with Tanzania.

The Nakonde – Tunduma border post was launched in October 2019 at a ceremony attended by Presidents Lungu and Magufuli. Zambia opted to close it in order to better contain spread of virus in the area.

May 10: Closure of border with Tanzania

The Zambian government has announced the closure of its common border with Tanzania. On Saturday (May 9) 76 new cases were reported in Nakonde, the border town in question

The president directed that with effect from Monday 11th May, 2020; “the Nakonde border will be temporarily closed. There shall be no traffic in and out of Nakonde,” Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya announced at a COVID-19 press briefing on Sunday.

The measure is to facilitate the roll out of targeted interventions. During the time, immigration staff at the border will be trained and retrained on how to safely deal with entry of persons and goods.

Redeployments and reinforcements will also be undertaken, whiles Personal Protective Equipments and quarantine facilities and other key logistics will reinforced with the view to protect the lives of officials and the people of Nakonde.

Zambia’s case stats as of today stands at 267 confirmed cases with 117 discharges and 7 deaths. Tanzania on the other hand has 509 cases, 21 deaths and 183 recoveries, according to John Hopkins University tallies.

Tanzania’s overall response to the pandemic has been a mix of controversy. From president Magufuli casting doubts on the efficacy of test kits, refusal to implement measures such as curfew or lockdowns and reported cases of midnight burials.

The border in question is the Nakonde – Tunduma One Stop Border Post (OSBP) was launched in October 2019 at a ceremony attended by the two leaders. It is said to be one of the busiest crossing points in Southern Africa with an average traffic flow of 600 trucks per day.

The OSBP was touted as significantly reducing the time spent at the border from the average of 4 days at the time of launch to 1 day hence helping truck drivers and traders increase on their profit and save time.

“Once fully operation, the border will handle higher traffic levels which will in return improve competitiveness of the corridor resulting in increased trade volumes. Ultimately this infrastructure will promote border coordination making our shared border smart and efficient,” the Zambian leader said at the time.

May 8: Relaxation of lockdown measures

The president in an address to the nation on Friday announced the reopening of restaurants, gyms and casinos “as he calls on Zambian scientists to find local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic,” local news portal Mwebantu reported.

However, bars and taverns were to remain closed until further notice. The president also reopened examination classes in schools beginning 1st June 2020. He stressed that all these measures should comply with public health measures aimed at containing and combating spread of the virus

The president also challenged Zambian scientists to help find local solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed the need for professionals to find local solutions to challenges and not always rely on foreign solutions.

WHO Finally congratulates Madagascar, supports the country’s Covid-19 herbal remedy

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sent its congratulations to Madagascar on its efforts in finding a potential discovery of a coronavirus cure, a herbal remedy, called COVID Organics.

The health organisation mended fences with the Southern African country, on Wednesday following a virtual meeting between the country and Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO.

Andry Rajoelina, the President of Madagascar stated that the WHO declared their support for COVID Organics, reports.

Rajoelina, who made this known via Twitter, said the United Nations specialised agency on global health expressed its support for the clinical observation of the ‘tonic’ touted as cure for coronavirus.

He said, “Successful exchange with Tedros Ghebreyesus who commends Madagascar’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and congratulates us for the discovery of COVID Organics.

“WHO will sign a confidentiality clause on its formulation and will support the clinical observations process in Africa.”

The Madagascar President said the meeting followed the invitation by WHO to register the drug for clinical trials in fighting the coronavirus, adding that his country would prove the effectiveness of the COVID Organics.

Madagascar sent consignments of the herbal drug made from Artemisia annua to African nations.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, received the consignment apportioned to Nigeria from President Umaro Embaló of Guinea Bissau on Saturday, saying it would be subjected to scientific validation.

UPDATES: Watch Madagascar President substantiating the 20million dollar WHO bribery claim, as more revelation pops up

In a shocking development the President of Madagascar has made a sensational claim that the WHO offered $20m bribe to poison COVID-19 cure. The herbal remedy called COVID-19 Organics made from Artemisia can cure COVID-19 patients within ten days said the President. He also raised the question that if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt?
The President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has accused the World Health Organisation of a plot to have its COVID-19 Organics, the local African ‘cure’ for the virus poisoned. Rajoelina claims WHO offered a $20 million bribe to poisoned their medicine, Tanzania Perspective reported on the front-page of its 14th May edition.

The President of Madagascar believes the only reason the rest of the world has refused to treat Madagascar’s cure for the coronavirus with urgency and respect is that the remedy comes from Africa.
WHO Offered $20M Bribe To Poison COVID-19 Cure says the President of Madagascar as reported by Tanzania Perspective

In an interview with French media, President Rajoelina reportedly said he has noticed what he believes stems from usual condescension toward Africans.

We need your support to carry on our independent and investigative research based journalism on the external and internal threats facing India. Your contribution however small helps us keep afloat. Kindly consider donating to GreatGameIndia.
“I think the problem is that (the drink) comes from Africa and they can’t admit… that a country like Madagascar… has come up with this formula to save the world.”
“What is the problem with Covid-Organics, really? Could it be that this product comes from Africa? Could it be that it’s not OK for a country like Madagascar, which is the 63rd poorest country in the world… to have come up with (this formula) that can help save the world?”
“If it wasn’t Madagascar, and if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so,” said Africa’s youngest head of state, the President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina.
Follow the link below to watch the full interview…

https://youtu.be/Qp7KB-rY1Aw

The remedy, COVID Organics, is made from Artemisia, a plant imported into Madagascar in the 1970s from China to treat malaria. Artemisia has had proven success against malaria and according to President Rajoelina it can cure COVID-19 patients within ten days.

However, the WHO has criticized such natural therapeutic measures against the coronavirus as blind faith. In response to the skepticism with which the WHO is treating the COVID Organics, Rajoelina said, “No country or organisation will keep us from going forward.”
A host of other African countries including, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, DR Congo and Niger, have imported the Madagascan made recipe.
Based on intercepted human intelligence report, a controversy has erupted in Nigeria whereby #BillGates is accused of offering Nigerian House of Representatives a $10 million bribe for the speedy passage of a forced vaccination program for #Coronavirus.https://t.co/e1G8PAWhFB
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) May 12, 2020
Meanwhile, in yet another African nation Nigeria, Bill Gates has been caught bribing forced Coronavirus program. Based on an intercepted human intelligence report, a controversy has erupted in Nigeria whereby it is revealed that Bill Gates offered $10 million bribe for a forced vaccination program for Coronavirus to the Nigerian House of Representatives.
The opposition political parties rejected the “foreign-sponsored Bill” mandating the compulsory vaccination of all Nigerians even when the vaccines have not been discovered and demanded the Speaker be impeached if he forces the bill on members.
Just a couple of days later, an Italian politician demanded the arrest of Bill Gates in the Italian parliament. Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome denounced Bill Gates as a “vaccine criminal” and urged the Italian President to hand him over to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. She also exposed Bill Gates’ agenda in India and Africa, along with the plans to chip the human race through the digital identification program ID2020.
Looks like WHO’s days in Africa are over. Days after Tanzania kicked WHO out of the country, now Burundi becomes the second African country to expel entire WHO #Coronavirus team from his nation for interference in internal matters.https://t.co/dRHcljtXZe
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) May 15, 2020
The Madagascar controversy has erupted days after Tanzania kicked out WHO after Goat and Papaya samples came COVID-19 Positive. With the rise in false Coronavirus cases, the Tanzanian President John Magufuli growing suspicious of the World Health Organization (WHO), decided to investigate the claims himself.
He sent the WHO samples of a goat, a papaya and a quail for testing. After all 3 samples came COVID-19 positive, the Tanzanian President is reported to have kicked out WHO from the country.
Following the Tanzanian lead Burundi also kicked out entire WHO Coronavirus Team from the country for interference in internal matters. In a letter addressed to WHO’s Africa headquarters, the foreign ministry says the four officials must leave by Friday.
Looks like WHO’s days in Africa are over!

“WHO offered me 20million dollars to put a little toxic in my Covid-19 remedy” – Madagascar President exposes WHO

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has allegedly declared that the World Health Organization, WHO offered him $20,000,000 to put a little toxic in their remedy for coronavirus as the Europeans hacked their Remedy.

Andry Rajoelina says: “People be vigilant, the World Health Organization that we have joined by thinking that it will help us, is there to kill Africans.”

“My country Madagascar has found a cure for coronavirus but the Europeans have told me a proposed $20,000,000 to put toxins in this remedy to kill my African friends who will use it. I ask all Africans not to use their coronavirus vaccine, because it’s killing, come to Madagascar you who are sick, my country is ready to receive you with enthusiasm, our remedy is in yellow color, do not buy the one of the green color, the one of the green color comes from Europe, the Europeans hacked our remedy, they have put poisons to kill only the Africans as they wanted with the vaccines that we protest.” He added

“Please share this message because it is urgent, they hacked our medicine, I want all the Africans to know it, please do not keep this message with you, share!” He concluded

55 COVID-19 patients recover in Madagascar after treatment with ‘herbal drug’

At least 55 COVID-19 patients in Madagascar have recovered after being treated with the country’s herbal remedy for the disease.
The number of COVID-19 patients said to have been “cured” with the drug — which is bottled as herbal tea — rose after three recoveries were announced on Saturday.

According to L’Express de Madagascar, the patients were among those that were administered the drug known as COVID-Organics since it was launched in April.

It did not state if there was any supplementary treatment, but reported that “treatment of (COVID-19) patients has been based” on the drug since it was introduced.

“The same day that the CVO herbal tea was launched, two coronavirus patients who consumed it came out cured,” L’Express de Madagascar reported.

“Until yesterday, fifty-five people have been declared cured since the adoption of CVO herbal tea treatment twenty days ago.”

It added that to aid the fight against COVID-19, the drug is being distributed freely in parts of the country.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT MADAGASCAR’S ‘COVID-19 DRUG?’
Launched on April 20, the COVID-Organics was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA). Its main ingredient is said to be sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua), a plant of Asian origin from where the antimalarial drug, artemisinin, came.
Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelinasaid at the launchthat the effectiveness of the drug has been proved.

“All trials and tests have been conducted and its effectiveness in reducing the elimination of symptoms has been proven for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in Madagascar,” Rajoelina had said.

COVID-Organics is now beingdistributed to some African countries, and Nigeria hinted it might ask for the drugas well.

But the herbal remedy has remained a subject of controversy Madagascar’s national medical academy had cast doubt on its efficacywhile the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to warn against the use of any unapproved drug.

Of the 193 COVID-19 cases so far recorded in Madagascar,101 have recoveredwhile none has died.

Covid-19: “If it were an European country which had discovered this remedy, would there be so many doubts,” – Madagascar Blast WHO For Not Endorsing Its Herbal ‘Cure’

President Rajoelina said World Health Organisation (WHO) has shut eyes because a drug to combat COVID-19 has been discovered by a poor African country.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has slammed the World Health Organization for not endorsing its COVID-19 herbal cure.

Last month, the Malagasy president officially launched COVID-Organics (CVO), an organic herbal concoction, claiming that it can prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus.

“If it were a European country which had discovered this remedy, would there be so many doubts,” he said in an exclusive interview with France 24, Paris-based international television news network and Radio France International.

”The problem is that it comes from Africa. And they cannot accept that a country like Madagascar, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, has discovered this formula to save the world,” he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had warned against the use of CVO without any medical supervision and cautioned against self-medication. The WHO further said that they have not approved the concoction for the patients suffering from COVID-19.

On Thursday, the WHO, however, has called for clinical trials of CVO.

“COVID-Organics is a preventive and curative remedy against COVID-19, which works very well,” said President Rajoelina.

He attributed recovery of 105 COVID-19 patients in Madagascar to the herbal potion.

“A marked improvement was observed in the health of the patients who received this remedy just 24 hours after they took the first dose. The cure was noted after seven days, even ten days. This remedy is natural and non-toxic,” he said.

Madagascar has donated CVO, which is claimed to cure the COVID-19 to several African countries.

Last week, the African Union in a statement said it is talking with Madagascar to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of the herbal remedy.

Coronavirus: Madagascar President Rajoelina hits out at tonic ‘detractors’

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina has said criticism of an untested herbal tonic that he is touting as a treatment for Covid-19 shows the West’s condescending attitude towards Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against using untested remedies.

Mr Rajoelina’s tonic has not gone through clinical trials.

The African Union has also said it wanted to see the scientific data on the “safety and efficacy” of the product, known as Covid-Organics.

“If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so,”Mr Rajoelina said in an Interview with French news channel, France 24.

Madagascar has reported 193 Covid-19 cases and no deaths.

The tonic was tried out on fewer than 20 people over three weeks, a presidential aide told the BBC, when the product was first launched last month – which is not in line with WHO guidelines on clinical trials.

Image captionUntil a vaccine is found, the WHO says testing and contact tracing is the best way to contain the virus

Despite the reservations, several African countries, including Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia, have already ordered Covid-Organics, which is produced from the artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment – and other Malagasy plants.

WHO has said Africans deserved access to medicines that have gone through proper trials even if they are derived from traditional treatments.

In the television interview, Mr Rajoelina said “African scientists… Should not be underestimated.”

But there is no peer-reviewed data to show that Covid-Organics is effective.

A meeting of 70 experts on African traditional medicine has agreed that clinical trials for all medicines must be carried out, the WHO’s Africa region has tweeted.

There has also been warning from experts that the drink could give people a false sense of security which could lead people to expose themselves to the virus.

Last week, more than $8bn (£6.5bn) was pledged to help develop a coronavirus vaccine and fund research into the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Dozens of research projects trying to find a vaccine are currently under way across the world.

Most experts think it could take until mid-2021, about 12-18 months after the new virus first emerged, for a vaccine to become available.

Several African countries acted swiftly in trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus by imposing lockdowns or curfews. But these are now beginning to be lifted as governments try to balance health and economic interests.

The easing of the lockdowns has added urgency to the need to find treatments

Black People Four Times More Likely to Die From COVID-19 Than White Men – ONS says

Black men and women in the U.K. are four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, according to new data looking at the ethnicity of those who have succumbed to the disease.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), the U.K’s largest independent producer of official statistics, said that Black men are 4.2 times more likely to die from coronavirus than their white counterparts, and black women 4.3 times more likely, when age is taken into account.

People from Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and mixed ethnicities were also found to be significantly more likely to die from coronavirus than their white counterparts.

The data from the ONS found that the risk of death for people from a Pakistani background was 3.29 times higher, 2.41 times higher for those from a Bangladeshi background and 2.21 times higher for those from a black Caribbean background. The rate among those from an Indian background was 1.7 times higher.

The ONS report looking into COVID-19 related deaths by ethnic group in England and Wales between March 2 and April 10, states: “This provisional analysis has shown that the risk of death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) among some ethnic groups is significantly higher than that of those of White ethnicity.

The Office for National Statistic says data shows black people are four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people”When taking into account age in the analysis, Black males are 4.2 times more likely to die from a COVID-19-related death and Black females are 4.3 times more likely than White ethnicity males and females.

“People of Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and Mixed ethnicities also had statistically significant raised risk of death involving COVID-19 compared with those of White ethnicity.

“These results show that the difference between ethnic groups in COVID-19 mortality is partly a result of socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances, but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained.”

Helen Board, Acting Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a U.K. based charity that aims to solve poverty, said: “Today’s figures are a stark reminder that although we are all weathering the same storm, we are not all in the same boat.

“People from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to live in deprived areas, employed in low-paid jobs where they cannot work from home. We know that both these factors increase the risk of catching coronavirus.

“Workers from BAME communities are also more likely to live in overcrowded homes, increasing the risk for their families too. We entered the crisis with millions of people locked in poverty, struggling against a rising tide of low pay, insecure jobs and spiralling living costs.

“With the Bank of England now forecasting the deepest recession on record, we must ask ourselves what kind of society we want to live in after the virus passes. It doesn’t have to be like this – as a society that prides itself on justice and compassion we can and must do better.”

Coronavirus: Tanzanian President promises to import Madagascar’s “Cure”

The President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, is sending a plane to Madagascar to fetch a herbal tonic touted as a cure for Covid-19 even as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned there was no proof of any cure.

Congo-Brazzaville’s president has also promised to import the drink.

It is produced from the artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment.

The WHO also advised people against self-medicating.

The drink was launched as Covid-Organics and was being marketed after being tested on fewer than 20 people over a period of three weeks, the Tanzanian president’s chief of staff Lova Hasinirina Ranoromaro told the BBC.

In response to the launch of Covid-Organics, the WHO said in a statement sent to the BBC that the global organisation did not recommend “self-medication with any medicines… as a prevention or cure for Covid-19”.

It reiterated earlier comments by WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that there were “no short-cuts” to finding effective mediation to fight coronarvirus.

International trials were under way to find an effective treatment, the WHO added.

In March, the US-based National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warned against purported coronavirus remedies , including herbal therapies and teas – saying the best way to prevent infection was to avoid exposure to the virus.

The drink has been picked up in other African countries.

On Saturday Madagascar delivered a shipment to Guinea-Bissau.

The Malagasy president also tweeted that the special envoy to Equatorial Guinea picked up a shipment of the drink.

Speaking on TV, President Magufuli said he was already in contact with the government of Madagascar and would despatch an aircraft to the island nation to collect the medicine.

“I am communicating with Madagascar, and they have already written a letter saying they have discovered some medicine. We will despatch a flight to bring the medicine so that Tanzanians can also benefit. So as the government we are working day and night,” he said.

Mr Magufuli has already been widely criticised for his reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has encouraged the public to continue gathering in places of worship, while much of the world has faced lockdown.

Tanzania’s delay in enforcing stricter measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the country could have led to the spike in positive cases, according to the WHO.

The country has 480 confirmed cases of coronavirus but Mr Magufuli said that number may be exaggerated and that he doubted the credibility of the national laboratory.

He said that he had secretly had some animals and fruits tested at the laboratory and that a papaya (paw-paw), a quail and a goat returned positive samples.

“That means there is possibility for technical errors or these imported reagents have issues,” he said, without giving more detail.

Coronavirus: WHO cautions Madagascar over ‘herbal Cure’

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no proof of a cure for COVID-19 after Madagascar’s president launched a herbal coronavirus “cure”.

The country’s national medical academy (Anamem) has also cast doubt on the efficacy of Andry Rajoelina’s touted prevention and remedy.

It said it had the potential to damage people’s health as its “scientific evidence had not been established”.

The plant-based tonic is to be given free of charge to the most vulnerable.

Launched as Covid-Organics, it is produced from the artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment – and other Malagasy plants.

It was being marketed in a bottle and as a herbal tea after being tested on fewer than 20 people over a period of three weeks, the president’s chief of staff Lova Hasinirina Ranoromaro told the BBC.

“Tests have been carried out – two people have now been cured by this treatment,” Mr Rajoelina said at the launch of Covid-Organics at the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (Imra), which developed the tonic.

“This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” said the 45-year-old president, who also urged people to use it as a preventative measure.

“Schoolchildren should be given this to drink… little by little throughout the day,” he told the diplomats and other dignitaries gathered for the launch.

Dr Charles Andrianjara, Imra’s Director-General, agreed that Covid-Organics should be used for prevention.

He was more cautious about its use as a cure, but said that clinical observations had shown “a trend towards its effectiveness as a curative remedy”, the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

The Indian Ocean island has so far recorded 121 cases of coronavirus and no deaths.

‘No short-cuts’

In response to the launch of Covid-Organics, the WHO said, in a statement sent to the BBC, that the global organisation did not recommend “self-medication with any medicines… as a prevention or cure for Covid-19”.

It reiterated earlier comments by WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that there were “no short-cuts” to finding effective mediation to fight coronavirus.

International trials were underway to find an effective treatment, the WHO added.

Ms Ranoromaro said President Rajoelina was aware that the WHO had to abide by its protocols but said it came down to a matter of sovereignty.

“He has a duty to Malagasy people,” she said.

‘Bubonic plague’

Professor Brian Klaas, an expert on Madagascar at University College London, said Mr Rajoelina’s stance could cause Malagasy citizens more harm than good.

“It’s dangerous for two reasons – one is that some people will be taking it who should not be taking it,” he told BBC Newsday.

“And secondly that it will give people a false sense of security, so they’ll end up doing things that they would not otherwise have done and put themselves and others at greater risk.”

If the virus did begin to spread, it could be “devastating” as the country’s healthcare system was weak, with only six ventilators for a population of 27 million people, he said.

“It’s also one of the reasons why the island is one of the only places on the planet that regularly has outbreaks of bubonic plague, which is readily cured with the right medicine.”

In March, the US-based National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warned against purported coronavirus remedies, including herbal therapies and teas – saying the best way to prevent infection was to avoid exposure to the virus.

Source: citinewsroom.com

African Union urged to support Madagascar on its new found cure for Coronavirus

The Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute (KNII), has called on the African Union, to support Madagascar towards marketing its newly found cure for COVID-19.

“We urge the African Union through its Commission on Continental Free Trade Area, to seize the golden opportunity and encourage all African countries to coordinate with the Madagascan government, to assess and order large quantities of the product, to treat the disease in their respective countries.”

A release issued by Dr. Benjamin Anyagre, Executive Director of the KNII and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said such a move was expected to increase Madagascan revenue from exports, improve the research capabilities of the drug company, and enhance the chances of Madagascar becoming a powerhouse of African traditional medicine with products that could rival similar ones elsewhere.

“Most importantly, however, this initiative will set the ball rolling on Continental Free Trade, which could see other African products benefiting from it. This would improve the lives of Africans and make them understand and believe more deeply in the power of efforts made out of Unity,” the release said.

It also urged African governments, civil society, companies and capable individuals to join the crusade to make Madagascar the first beneficiary of a potential African economic renaissance.

The release described the Madagascan innovation as a chance for Africans to show how much they believed in themselves.

“Let us not miss it as a contribution to AGENDA 2063. A united Africa is our goal,” the release said.

A video conference meeting led by Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, has been held among 10 African leaders to discuss the efficacy of the COVID Organics Medicine (CVO), which has been developed by Madagascar to treat COVID-19 patients.

Source: GNA

COVID-19: Vaccine trials ongoing in 5 African countries

The Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined some of the trials going on for Covid-19 treatment and vaccination in Africa.
Fifty-two countries have currently reported having positive cases of the virus – with more than 37,000 patients being treated.

In a joint briefing online with doctors at Shanghai hospital, the Africa CDC said that in comparison to the rest of the world there were very few treatments happening on the continent.

Dr Taji Rajudeen outlined the trials so far:

  1. In Egypt, there are about 13 trials going on looking specifically at therapeutics. Scientists, there are also conducting around two trials on vaccines. They are also looking at the place of nutritional support, especially with honey and some immunotherapy trials are going on in Egypt.
  2. In Zambia, they have one ongoing trial with hydroxychloroquine.
  3. South Africa is part of the WHO solidarity trial, and they are looking at Chloroquine, Interferon, Remdesivir.
  4. In Nigeria, they have one trial in progress – still on therapeutical agents.
  5. Tunisia has two trials going on.
The Africa CDC try to mobilise the different research consortiums on the continent to see how to change this narrative so that Africa becomes more engaged in that regard.