Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:15:04 +0000Africa losing billions to illicit cash flows - UN report loses nearly $89bn a year in illicit financial flows such as tax evasion, a United Nations study has showed.  The figure is higher than what the continent receives in Official development assistance. A report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on Monday calls Africa a 'net creditor to the world'. The export of commodities such as gold, diamond and platinum is responsible for almost half of the total figure lost every year. Companies under declare the value of exports, cheating on payments of taxes and royalties. Understating a commodity's true value deprives developing countries of foreign exchange and tax revenue, said the agency. Economists have argued that despite being aid dependent, Africa is actually a net exporter of capital due to tax dodging and people hiding cash in tax havens. The lost funds could be used to provide social services such as staffing hospitals which have been strained by the coronavirus pandemic. Activists say countries should introduce tough regulations on multinational companies and on practices such as profit repatriation.  Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:15:04 (Rédaction Africanews) UN peacekeepers warn of fresh rebel violence ahead of vote Ashif is tense as he watches from the turret of his armoured vehicle as the muddy road in front of him slowly unwinds. His is the lead vehicle in a UN escort shepherding a convoy through northwest Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world's poorest and most violent countries -- and the thick undergrowth on either side of the road is perfect for an ambush. And, in line with the CAR's tortured history, those likely to carry out any attack are members of an armed group that has signed up to a peace deal. The militia calls itself the 3R, from the words in French meaning "Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation". One of the most powerful rebel groups in the country, the 3R claims to defend the Fulani -- a cattle-herding community also called the Peul. In February last year, the 3R's chief, Sidiki Abass, joined the heads of 13 other armed groups to sign an accord in Khartoum on ending the country's endemic violence. Risk of Conflict But with presidential and legislative elections looming on December 27, the army and the UN force MINUSCA that supports the beleaguered government are bracing for a possible flareup. In June, MINUSCA carried out a wide-ranging operation to root out 3R rebels from bases in the northwest. Several hundred militiamen scattered into the bush, where they have continued to mount attacks on the security forces and carry out ransom kidnappings of traders. Ahead of the vote, Abass has raised the stakes, declaring a ban on security forces and electoral teams from entering "his" territory. "Last year, I could travel by road by myself, but this is impossible now because of the poor security," said a judge who was travelling with the convoy that day. The CAR has had negligible peace since it gained independence from France in 1960. It plunged once more into bloodshed in 2013, when the Seleka, a rebel coalition drawn largely from the Muslim minority, toppled then-president Francois Bozize, a Christian. In 2016, after France intervened militarily to quell sectarian massacres, elections were won overwhelmingly by Faustin-Archange Touadera, who is seeking re-election in December. But Touadera's reach is small. Militias still control two-thirds of the territory, typically claiming to defend the interests of a given ethnic or religious group. Ethnic violence The 3R was born in 2015 to defend the Fulani, who are Muslim, from a Christian militia called the anti-balaka. But the convoy's trip through the northwestern landscape provides telling clues of a more ancient conflict. The road through the bush eventually leads to a rocky, valleyed region. Here, the semi-nomadic Fulani and sedentary farmers have squabbled for years over the use of land to graze herds. All along the roadside lie the empty, ruined homes of farmers, many of them also Muslims, who have fled to neighbouring Cameroon. The 3R imposes heavy taxes on Fulani herders in exchange for their declared protection. "We have a mutual arrangement," said a 3R leader who gave his name as General Bobo, at their stronghold in Koui, more than 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the capital Bangui. "If you are four brothers, two join the movement and two look after the cattle." The group have used the income to buy grenade- and rocket-launchers, US-made M16 assault rifles, mines and improvised explosive devices. Mobile foe The 800 Bangladeshi peacekeepers in the region are involved in a high-risk game of cat and mouse with a group that, from generations of herding, knows every nook and cranny. Their knowledge of the bush "is better than anyone's," said a senior MINUSCA officer. "They move at night and lay low during the day." The UN troops have to make do with untrustworthy local informants, rifles without telescopic sights and vehicles battered by the CAR's poor roads. Added to this is a dispiriting sense that the military are powerless to haul the country out of a political and social quagmire. Despair is also felt within the Fulani community. Sabi Mandjo, the descendant of a line of Fulani princes who represents the community in distant Bangui, said many recruitments to 3R were "forced." "The Fulani are fed up but don't know where to go or what to do," he said. Sedentary farmers in the northwest, for their part, feel they are chaff caught up in the CAR's whirlwind of violence. Asha Salamatou is president of a women's association in Bocaranga, a town just outside Koui. A Christian married to a Muslim, she has repeatedly tried to mediate to end the violence, sometimes at the risk of her life, but inevitably in vain. "It's alway the same -- we are the ones who pay the price," she said. "All we want is to live in peace." Wed, 30 Sep 2020 18:03:03 (Rédaction Africanews) Leone bans ex-leader Koroma from travel over corruption Sierra Leonian president Ernest Bai Koroma has been banned from leaving the country.  A probe instituted by his successor Julius Maada Bio has accused Koroma and several other officials of his government of corruption. Koroma was president was president from 2008 to 2017. Watch our report: Wed, 30 Sep 2020 16:48:07 (Rédaction Africanews) Mbatha-Raw Talks ‘Misbehaviour’"Misbehaviour," the new film starring Keira Knightly and Gugu Mbatha-Raw was released in the U.K. in early March, just a few days before the UK went into lockdown mode due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Mbatha-Raw says the delay may have allowed the film to become even more timely. "I feel like almost more than ever, the film has become more necessary. You know, as a celebration of women's empowerment. And, you know, especially in light of, you know, the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week. You know, I think that we're certainly looking for positive and uplifting things to watch at the moment. And, you know, as I say, celebrating the legacy of feminism, as this film does." The film tells the story of the 1970 Miss World final which proved to be a defining moment for female empowerment. At the time, the world-famous beauty pageant was the most-watched show in the U.K., with viewing figures eclipsing even the moon landing. But the competition also attracted the attention of the Women's Liberation Movement who – during the show's live broadcast from London – invaded the stage and disrupted transmission. When the show resumed, it had another shock in store: the winner was revealed as Jennifer Hosten - Miss Grenada - the first Black woman in the history of the competition to be crowned Miss World. The film stars Mbatha-Raw of "The Morning Show" and "Motherless Brooklyn" as Hosten, with Knightley as Sally Alexander – currently Professor Emerita of Modern History at Goldsmiths, University of London and one of the protestors who stormed the stage. Director Philippa Lowthorpe's new movie "Misbehaviour" dramatizes the events of the final, taking a look at both sides of the story – from the perspective of the feminist activists and the competition winner. Mbatha-Raw says her feelings about pageants have changed since doing this film. "I have mixed feelings, to be honest with you. I think initially I was relatively judgmental, you know, about people that got involved in beauty pageants just because I wasn't aware of them. And I was kind of ignorant about the motivations that people might have. I think I just assumed it was kind of vacuous and superficial," said Mbatha-Raw." You know, I think I've opened my mind a little bit since talking to Jennifer (Hosten) and other people that have been involved. And I think, you know, certainly for Jennifer at that time, it was really considered an opportunity, you know, to_and a stepping-stone. And I think many women view these pageants as a sort of a platform to go on and do other things and to feel seen and to get confidence and to travel. And so…I try to reserve judgment because I think everybody is coming from a different place." Mbatha-Raw is currently back in Atlanta resuming production on Disney's anticipated "Loki" project, although she wouldn't say much. "I'm sworn to secrecy on any details," she smiled. However, she did say she was comfortable going back to work and filming despite the ongoing coronavirus battle. "Many, many people, including all of our unions, have been working very, very hard for months to make sure that there are these protocols that everybody has to adhere to, " she said. "And there's many, many more rules that we now have to adhere to, to keep it a safe working environment. So, you know, obviously it's one day at a time. But I feel very grateful that, you know, everybody's working really hard to keep it as safe as possible so that we can continue working." "Misbehaviour" is now available in select theaters and on various VOD platforms. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:48:56 (Rédaction Africanews) wins prestigious UEFA President's Award Drogba has been named as the recepient of the 2020 UEFA President's Award. The former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker was hailed as a "pioneer" by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. "Didier is a hero to millions of football fans for his achievements throughout his glittering playing career," Ceferin said via a UEFA statement. "I will remember him as a player for his skill, strength and intelligence, but above all for his insatiable appetite to succeed – a trait which is just as present in his desire to help others off the field of play." Drogba won the 2012 Champions League as part of a glittering career with Chelsea, in which he scored 164 goals in 381 appearances in all competitions and lifted four Premier League titles. The former Ivory Coast international also scored his country's first goal at a World Cup finals in 2006 and played at a further two tournaments. Drogba, who retired in 2018 after a final season with Phoenix Rising, has been running a charitable foundation that has helped to build schools for disadvantaged children. He has also been studying for UEFA's Executive Master for International Players (MIP) programme. "To have won a Champions League, to have played and scored for my country at a World Cup – these are things I could only have dreamed of when I was a child," Drogba said. Previous winners of the UEFA President's Award include Bobby Charlton, Eusebio, Raymond Kopa, Johan Cruyff, Francesco Totti, David Beckham and Eric Cantona. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 13:09:03 (Rédaction Africanews) WHO investigates allegations of sexual assault linked to Ebola World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into claims of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse in the context of the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The actions were allegedly perpetrated by individuals identifying themselves as working for WHO during the epidemic. WHO says “anyone identified as being involved will be held to account and face serious consequences, including immediate dismissal. Its statements comes after more than 50 women accused aid workers from the WHO and leading NGOs of sexual exploitation and abuse - including offering sex in exchange for a job The investigation was published by the humanitarian news agency (TNH) . Early June 2020, DRC declared an Ebola outbreak, making it the country's eleventh in just over 40 years. The previous outbreak caused 2,287 deaths and 3,470 cases between August 2018 and June 2020.  Wed, 30 Sep 2020 11:31:40 (Afolake Oyinloye)"Blood on the Wall" documentary on migration crisis, corruption "Blood on the Wall," two documentary directors offer a deeper look at the migrants who have made their way from various parts of Central America to the Mexico and U.S. border. Academy Award-nominated director Sebastian Junger and Emmy-winning producer Nick Quested also examine how corruption in Mexico and other Central American countries has fueled the problem. "I don't think you can separate the politics of narcotics and corruption and the institutionalized corruption of Mexico from the issues of migration, and not just Mexico. Of El Salvador, of Honduras and Guatemala and their presidents who have all been proven to have, you know, very dubious business arrangements and family members," explained Quested from his home in New York. The film takes audiences along on the journey of a 17-year-old girl with no home and no family who joins the migrant caravan from Honduras seeking a better life. "I want people to put that in context with people who've decided to leave their homes in America now. Whether they're climate migrants from California to Oregon, or they're pandemic migrants from the Upper West Side of New York or downtown New York or Chicago or D.C. or any of the urban areas, I want people to understand why they made those choices and who they are and at that point, maybe we can stop vilifying people of color, minorities for political gain," Quested said. The film also shadows farm workers who grow illegal drugs in Mexico, the meth lab where they finish making the drugs and also follows cartel members. Gaining trust of the cartel members was key.  "I didn't report about their business," explained Quested. "I was more interested in their psychology and their motivations and trying to discuss the choices they've made and what they do rather than their business. Their business was of no interest to me. I'm not interested whether they've corrupted a particular politician or who is responsible for the murder. I'm talking about why people made their choices." The documentary premieres on National Geographic. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 11:19:44 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) court rules to transfer Felicien Kabuga trial to UN court top French appeals court ruled today to transfer the trial of alleged Rwandan genocide financier Felicien Kabuga to a UN tribunal in Tanzania. Kabuga, who is 84 but claims to be 87, was arrested in May at his home outside Paris after 25 years on the run. In 1994, the Rwandan genocide of some 800,000 (eight hundred thousand) people by Hutu extremists targeted rival Tutsis as well as moderate Hutus. Kabuga, who was once one of Rwanda's richest men, is alleged to have funnelled money to militia groups. He is also accused of setting up a militia that carried out massacres as well as radio broadcasts inciting people to murder. A French court ruled in June that he should stand trial in Tanzania but his lawyers appealed, citing fears that an African UN tribunal would be biased. Kabuga has diabetes, high blood pressure and leukoaraiosis, an incurable illness that erodes physical and cognitive abilities, his lawyer said. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 13:02:33 +0000editorial@africanews.com in Tunisian migrants crossing to Europe, it was just the jobless young men who set off from Tunisia's rocky northern beaches for Sicily, usually defying their parents in hopes of a better future. Now Tunisian families, even those with work or seemingly good prospects, are following that path across 130 kilometres of open water. Nearly 10,000 since the beginning of the year and far more than have left in recent memory. The stretch of the Mediterranean can be dangerous, the chance of getting asylum in Europe is near zero, and a long quarantine in a ferry anchored offshore will be followed by expulsion if they're caught. But many who leave from the Bizerte coastline think the potential reward far outweighs the risk. "My son is a month and a half old, and if I get a chance to emigrate immediately, I will go to make a better life," said Tarek Aloui, a 27-year-old who has tried 10 times to reach Italy since 2014. He has succeeded only once, last March at the height of the coronavirus lockdown. But even then, he was expelled almost immediately back home, where he was jailed for six months. Aloui is however undeterred. "All Tunisian men, women and even children want to leave this way," he added. "We have seen them several times in the camera surveillance in the port, the port police and the owners check the boats every evening, several times boats with engines are stolen. The owners have to ask for loans to buy these small boats, and then in the morning they discover the boats are not there anymore, it is a problem of the State.", says fisherman Mohamed Taweb. While Tunisians are by far the biggest group of migrants in 2020, over 23,517 migrants in Italy this year are a fraction of the nearly 120,000 people rescued at sea and brought to the country in 2017, or the more than 181,000 who arrived in the peak year, 2016. This year's arrivals however do represent the most in the past three years: By this time in 2018 there were 21,024 overall and 2019 there were 7,203. But the Tunisian percentages of the total are significantly more this year than in recent years. This year, the 9,824 Tunisians who have arrived so far account for 42% of the total. Last year, while still topping the list of the most of any nationality, they were 23% of the total and the year before that 22%. In 2017, though, Tunisians only accounted for 5% with Nigerian migrants making up the most. Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesman for the Tunisian Economic and Social Rights Forum, said this level of emigration haven't been seen since the Arab Spring uprising on 2011 started in Tunisia. There is a change in the emigration.  It is no longer restricted to those who drop out of school, the unemployed and the uneducated. "Among those leaving, today we see holders of university degrees and even people with a job. Families that previously opposed the emigration of their children, now participate indirectly through non-objection (to the emigration) and, sometimes, contribute or finance the emigration of their children" he said. According to Ben Amor, between 150 and 200 families have left clandestinely, avoiding the Tunisian coast guard, despite ramped up surveillance paid for by Italy and other European Union countries. Their arrivals have strained the ability of Italy's southern regions to take them in amid the coronavirus, given Italy's quarantine requirements for anyone arriving from outside the EU. Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese has travelled to Tunis twice since July to negotiate with the new government on the need to stem the flow, including with offers of assistance from Italy to better patrol the coasts. She blamed the increase in Tunisian arrivals on the country's socio-economic problems that have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and has offered Italian assistance to address them. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 08:43:55 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Kenyatta visits Paris, to sign major contracts receiving the French president in March last year, Kenya's leader Uhuru Kenyatta is on a visit to Paris. The President will meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace. Kenyatta who would be accompanied by five ministers is expected to attend a public investment bank conference, and meet with French employers. They will also sign several PPP agreements on water, infrastructure and energy. A major road contract worth 1.6 billion euros piloted with Vinci is expected to be signed. This will be the Kenyan leader's first trip post Covid-19 pandemic, which saw his country's airspace closed for both domestic and international flights.  The five day visit is seen by many as an effort for Kenya. east Africa's biggest economy to ramp up its bilateral relations. In March 2019, Emmanuel Macron visited Kenya, the first official trip by a French head of state to Kenya since independence. The two presidents committed to several infrastructure projects.  Despite the very strong Chinese presence in the Kenyan economy, France has said it is attracted by Kenya whose growth has propelled it in a decade into the club of middle-income countries. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:36:06 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Africa: Township residents lose illegal power connections of the Diepsloot township, Johanesburg, South Africa have no electricity so most of them are forced to install illegal lightning rods to be able to live with power. But the authorities have however now come to tear out these illegal electricity connections.  Eskom technicians were in Diepsloot on Tuesday morning to remove illegal electricity connections. It said that it was trying to clamp down on people siphoning power from the grid as it battled to keep up with demand.  Residents of the township are unhappy. Mary Kgosimodiga is one. "We have a problem here at our shacks, she says. "We live in a dark place and criminals take advantage and break into our properties. We tried to install electricity so that we can see at night. Children and women are being raped at night, why does the government not pity us, we are of age and unable to do anything and they take our pension money. When we call the police from Diepsloot they take their time to respond." Since 2008, to avoid a blackout and a network collapse, Eskom South Africa introduced the concept of load shedding. As demand increased and power needs in the country grows, the South African electricity public utility has implemented at least a 4-hour daily cut in enforcement of its load shedding. Reneilwe Semenya is the spokesperson for Eskom. "If we don't deal adequately with informal operations and informal or illegal activities, we will further burden our networks. That's why we are here today to say that we will continuously do our best to remove illegal connections, we know that this is not a sustainable solution" Semenya explained. South Africa has been experiencing rampant power cuts due to breakdowns of aging power plants. The country currently uses over 30,000 MW of electricity daily generated from coal-powered stations. President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he is committed to expanding the country’s electricity generation by an additional 11,800 megawatts (MW) to drive economic growth and reduce carbon emissions. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 06:56:27 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) Will South Africa's downward trend last? Church caretaker Rhudzani Makuya ties white bows every morning. Each ribbon marks each victim of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.  On Tuesday he added 188 ribbons,  the number of victims who died in South Africa a day earlier as the world counted over one million deaths.  Despite several countries in Europe seeing an uptick in cases since the end of lockdown, South Africa has seen infections fall since a July peak. Back then the country was the fifth most affected in the world. South Africa has just over 670,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the eighth-highest caseload in the world. It's not known why cases have dropped so significantly. But not everyone thinks the downward trend will last. "If I look at all the countries especially in the UK, Spain and all these guys that side now they've hit the second wave already, so yes it is imminent," said Casey Pillay, a manager at Enzo Wood Designs, which makes caskets.  As cases have declined, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening announced that South Africa’s borders will reopen as of Oct. 1, with visitors required to show negative coronavirus test results no older than 72 hours before departure. Ramaphosa also announced further relaxed restrictions on public gatherings, to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors. South Africa is by far the worst affected country in Africa with nearly half of the continent’s 1.3 million confirmed cases.  Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:12:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Mayar Sherif loses close Roland Garros match in historic debut's Mayar Sherif lost 2-1 on Tuesday in the first stage of the Grand Slam competition Rolan Garros to world number 4 Karolina Pliskova after a close match. Despite the defeat, she reached a historic level. She is the first-ever Egyptian female tennis player to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. She won the first set (7-6) before losing the next two sets (6-2) (6-4). On Wednesday, she became the first Egyptian female to win a Grand Slam match after overcoming Colombian teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano. She is also the country's first female tennis player to make it into the Olympic games. "It's been very good, such a good feeling to be here, to compete here, to compete out in the stadium of Philippe Chatrier today. It was an amazing feeling. I cannot describe it. It just gave me so much energy," she told a press conference. Due to her historic achievement, she was applauded by Liverpool star Mo Salah on Twitter. "I am inspired because he's one of the best football players in the world, and to see someone very successful supporting other successful people in his country, it just gives you some energy just to know that there are good people out there and people who are already successful are willing to support you," she said.  Tue, 29 Sep 2020 19:48:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com Voice Of Young Radio Presenters From The Hospital [INSPIRE AFRICA] this episode, we go to South Africa where a team of youth reporters and presenters are creating entertaining and informative programming on a daily basis. And with the demand for home delivery of food growing in the country, we meet with Leon Qwabe creator of the Order Kasi, a digital service that is helping to meet this demand for township residents in Capetown. Plus later on the show, a chat with the 20 year Usman Dalhatu Bello. The Nigerian teen stepping up to the plate to create a simple E ventilator at a desperate time for his country. Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:12:15 (Jerry Fisayo-Bambi) president makes comments supporting death sentence's President Kais Saied said he supports the death penalty after public outrage over a woman’s murder sparked calls for executions to restart.  Tunisia carried out its last hanging in 1991, according to Amnesty International, but death by hanging remains on the statute books. Anyone who kills a person for no reason deserves the death penalty,” Saied told the country's security council late Monday. "Every society has its choices, we have our choices and principles, and th e article exists. We will give him (perpetrator) all the conditions of self-defence, but if it is proved that he has killed one or more people, I don't think the solution is, like some consider, that the death penalty should not be imposed." A man was arrested after the body of a 29-year-old woman, was discovered last week.  The justice ministry said that the suspect had previously been accused in an earlier murder case that was dismissed, without giving further details. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:28:10 +0000editorial@africanews.com is Togo's first female Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé? made history this week by appointing its first female prime minister. Victoire Tomegah Dogbé, 60, was named on Monday and immediately set to work to form a new government. She is well known in political circles and has held various ministerial positions. She has been a development minister and chief of staff of the president’s office. Her appointment promises to be a major step forward for the West African nation. Marthe FARE-Activist for women's rights "The message is clear more and more women if they are competent and deserve their place, they are promoted," activist Marthe Fare told Africanews. "This is what we want to say to the generations... that anything is possible and that women are no longer being left behind for certain positions. " The change in Togo’s government had been expected since President Gnassingbe won re-election in March, extending his 15-year rule. Nevertheless, the newspapers had a field day with the historic appointment. "This unprecedented appointment also did not fail to get a reaction from the Togolese press. Look at this newspaper, Union pour la Patrie, which reports on the nomination of Victoire Tomegah Dogbé," said Africanews Togo correspondent Serge Koffi. "Another daily speaks about this historic appointment Togo-Presse recounts the challenges that await the new prime minister."  Tue, 29 Sep 2020 16:11:01 +0000editorial@africanews.com magic arrives in Nigeria is joining forces with a Nigerian production and distribution company-FilmOne Entertainment. The firm will be the sole distributor of Disney-owned films in Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia. The Nigerian company has built cinemas across the country and will show the Disney classics ranging from Mulan to the more contemporary movies. The agreement covers titles from Disney studio divisions including Pixar, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, and Blue Sky pictures. FilmOne Entertainment. has also distributed and produced Nigerian box office hits such as "The Wedding Party," and "New Money.'" But the deal could also convince investors and producers to look further into African cinema. And Nigeria- also called Nollywood - is a film goldmine. Streaming Giant Netflix knows this too and announced last week the premieres of four new Nollywood productions.  Tue, 29 Sep 2020 14:45:03 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ethiopian Airlines rode out the coronavirus pandemic travel sector has been one of the worst casualties of the coronavirus pandemic, with flights grounded and borders closed.  But Ethiopian Airlines found a way to limit the damage.  Africa's biggest airline is facing more than $1 billion in lost revenue and saw a 90 percent drop in  international passenger traffic.  But the company pivoted in March to meet surging demand for air freight, repurposing 45 passenger jets to build out its cargo fleet. "We were very quick, very fast, flexible and agile to move our forces, resources and everything to cargo," Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told AFP in an interview. "I would say that those actions have saved the airline." So far Ethiopian has avoided seeking a bailout, laying off any full-time employees or requesting deferrals on debt payments, Tewolde said. It even reported a profit of $44 million (37 million euros) for the first half of the year, he said, although the company declined to give details because the figures are unaudited.  The airline was further aided by the UN's decision to open a humanitarian transport hub in Addis Ababa in April. To date Ethiopian has operated 360 cargo charters of personal protective equipment to more than 80 countries, Tewolde said. And once a vaccine is approved, Ethiopian plans to make available "at least 40 airplanes" to distribute it globally.  African carriers As the industry attempts to recover, Tewolde is looking to deepen ties with other African carriers, notably beleaguered South African Airways (SAA). "It is... an opportune time now to support other airlines because we are in a better position," he said.  Ethiopian already partners with Malawian Airlines and ASKY Airlines out of its hub in Togo. It also holds a 45-percent stake in Zambia Airways which Tewolde said he expected would launch "either in October or November". But Tewolde lamented that African carriers currently only meet about 20 percent of the continental market's needs. "We have been aiming to reverse this market share, meaning African airlines, indigenous African airlines, should get at least 50 percent," he said. With that in mind, Ethiopian is in talks over the restructuring of SAA, which has survived only through years of state bailouts. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 13:48:06 +0000editorial@africanews.com will become the next United Nations representative in Libya? will become the next United Nations representative in Libya? The country is still awaiting the nomination of a special envoy to succeed to Ghassan Salamé, and to Stéphanie Williams, who has been replacing him on the job. In a few hours, Williams' duties as interim envoy will end. For seven months, Antonio Guterres has looked for her replacement, without success. The latest applicant who was approved by the United States has not been met with a unanimous vote by African countries sitting at the Security Council. They want an African for the job, but twice already, the US has vetoed an African application. In March, the country rejected Ramtane Lamamra, the former Fireign affairs minister of Algeria, who had been met with consensus. In June, Hanna Tetteh, the former Foreign minister of Ghana, was also rejected by the US. The next UN representative to Libya will be faced with an ever more divided country, despite the ceasefire that was announced last month. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 12:41:16 +0000editorial@africanews.com Opposition Denounces “De facto” House Arrest leader of the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) party, Maurice Kamto, is demanding an explanation from the Cameroonian government — in an interview Monday, for what he perceives to be a de facto house arrest in light of deployed law enforcement patrolling his residence day and night following demonstrations by his party last Tuesday against the regime of Paul Biya. Kamto claims ignorance of his supposed charges as he has only been allowed to meet with some of his lawyers. Although, a spokesperson for the Cameroonian government issued a statement Friday vowing to hold the organisers of last week’s rally accountable for their actions before the courts — with the MRC “being subject to special attention.” Wed, 30 Sep 2020 06:55:01 (Kizzi Asala) American Business ‘Resiliency Fund’ Takes on Covid-19 Pandemic Solidarity The Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce — thanks to donations from over 200 companies and individuals, raised 1 million USD for its "resiliency fund" which will award grants ranging between $2,500 and $10,000to to 150 black-owned business owners struggling to stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. It's one of several such funds created in the USA since the onset of the pandemic saw many businesses and schools close in the spring. Its existence echoes the challenges that businesses owned by black people have when seeking to obtain bank loans. Cathy Adams, who heads the Oakland Chamber, explains that the fundraising initiative was launched because so many member businesses were having trouble getting financial help from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in March, "Black-owned businesses have been marginalized for so long. And we figured we had a call to action to do something. The reason we started this fund is due to the systemic racism behind the PPP funds, also how our Black-owned businesses have been marginalized for so long. And we figured we had a call to action to do something." Real National Disparities Assistance greatly needed in African American communities — not only with limited access to resources and capital but also disproportionately impacted by coronavirus. Judi Henderson, the owner of Mannequin Madness and a recipient of the Oakland chamber's grants, said her store was forced to shut down for a month and a half as business has been much slower since reopening in May. She shares that the $10,000 grant has allowed her to start new services, "I'm standing here right now because we did get the resiliency fund. I only had enough to kind of just pay payroll for a couple of more months, but I said no new initiatives. Now that we have some new initiatives, we have other revenue streams coming in. And that's what's helping to keep things up." The fund has also been a lifesaver for this young fashion designer and entrepreneur, Iguehi James, who applied her $5,000 grant towards the expansion of her store’s online presence to reflect her new product line, Face Masks. When her usual designs — colourful dresses, head wraps and kaftans sold at festivals and conferences, saw a Covid-related plummet in sales. She claims that the application process was simple and she qualified for her grant in spite of being a solo practitioner with no employees or storefront, "I think just the African-American community in general, we have a history of having to support each other. Right? And so there are opportunities that are presented that we don't often qualify for. So oftentimes we have to turn to our neighbour and turn to people within our community to assist us, to help us. " Resilience The pandemic highlights the discriminatory policies which prevent African Americans from acquiring capital and amassing wealth in the United States. Nevertheless, the traditional solidarity within the community exemplifies resilience in of itself.  Tue, 29 Sep 2020 11:25:50 (Kizzi Asala) Protest Armed Militias in Tajoura City have taken to the streets to protest the presence of armed militias in the city of Tajoura, southeast of Tripoli, after clashes over still unclear causes broke out Thursday between two militias loyal to the Tripoli-based and UN-recognised Government of National Accord — which saw the use of heavy weapons in a residential suburb that consequently resulted in the death of at least three people, several injured from the two camps and damage to private property. The United Nations Support Mission in the country called for urgent security reforms Friday as they reminded both parties of international humanitarian law obligations. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 08:57:06 (Kizzi Asala) Seeks Aid for South Sudan Flood Relief it Rains it ¨Pours Heavy seasonal rainfall causing devastating floods since June have impacted over 700,000 people across South Sudan — already in a precarious situation due to food shortages from an overwhelming locust infestation and a health crisis from the global Covid-19 pandemic. A large part of the country is under water with the Nile River at its highest level in 50 years. Adol Kur Akuei, a mother of 7 children who has been displaced by floods, is overwhelmed by the catastrophe, "In the village I come from, called Mathiang, the floods were devastating. They destroyed everything. They destroyed our houses, killed our cattle, our crops and our source of livelihood." The World Food Programme has been providing food assistance to more than 500,000 people in flood-affected areas of South Sudan as the threat of famine climbs within the country. Peter Smerdon, a spokesperson for WFP, shared his concerns, "We were already under pressure in South Sudan because of conflict and because of the high levels of displacement and now with the added burden from flooding, donors need to step forward. But donors themselves, of course, are struggling in their own countries with the pandemic COVID-19. So it is difficult for them to give at this very difficult time." With the floods compounding the rise in food prices that have resulted from coronavirus related restrictions and the earlier loss of crops to locusts, the WFP seeks to raise 58 million US dollars to continue providing relief. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 08:33:49 (Kizzi Asala) Extreme Covid-19 Prevention Measures Challenges Over 5 months of lockdown in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and Esther has finally returned to work in Madagascar's capital. The mother of two makes a living selling steel wool which yields a daily 23 Euro cents — barely enough to feed her family. And to make matters worse, she will most likely have to pay an 11.14 Euros fine issued by the Antananarivo City Hall for each day she sells her goods on the street. Esther Ravahoarisoa, shares her financial frustrations as a street vendor, “We were deeply in debt during the lockdown, the street vendors could not sell their goods. And now, we manage to sell a little but I receive a fine of 11.04 euros so how am I supposed to pay this fine selling steel straws at 4 euro cents? ” Resident squalor, littering the streets or conducting business in public spaces are now banned by the municipal hygiene code — which contains 69 regulations that can result in a fine as high as 865 euros if not respected. Local resident René makes a living as a street mechanic, but now his 15-year profession could cost him around 68,000 euros, “This law will further encourage the inhabitants to become criminals because there are thousands of mechanics and roadside workers. It is with this work that they support their families." Regulation Confusion Even supposedly making noise has been banned. For dog-owner Felena Andrianary, she would have to pay a fine if her canine companion’s barking is considered noisy. She appears a bit bewildered by the law, “I don't know at what time my dog is not supposed to bark. I am not sure if I pay the 11 euro fine as soon as my dog barks once or if it is only at night he shouldn’t bark?” To clarify the confusion on the hygiene regulations, the City Hall will train close to 150 agents — police officers and district officials to inform and warn the public before issuing fines. Tsiresy Rabeharisoa, Director of Commune Communication, states the official position on the subject matter, "It's a cautionary measure to create a sense of living well together within the community. In other words, you must have hygiene rules. Hygiene rules are clear, we've seen them with the pandemic that happened and also with others such as the plague and cholera. If the streets are dirty, if no one is committed, the commune does its job, but citizens also have a duty and responsibility." Correspondent Closing : "Antananarivo City Hall has assigned the task of convincing the community of the usefulness of these new measures in two months. An undertaking that promises to be difficult as a few days ago 100 street vendors staged a protest against the new municipal hygiene code." - Volana Razafimanantsoa for Africanews. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 08:35:53 (Kizzi Asala) Bars allowed to reopen, restaurants to serve alcohol again President Uhuru Kenyatta annonced on Monday that bars could reopen and restaurants could sell alcohol again as the rate of new coronavirus infections slowly declines in the country. Bars were shut in March but soon began serving food to exploit a loophole allowing restaurants to serve drinks with meals. So in July, as new cases rose among young people who socialised there, Kenyatta banned the sale of alcohol in eateries too. Schools will remain closed until it is safe to reopen, he added: "I call upon the Cabinet Secretary for Education, once we have agreed on the 'how', he will then thereafter immediately issue a calendar for the resumption of the 2020 academic year - if it is to be or if it is going to be 2021." For now, the 2020 academic year has been written off. The national curfew will remain in place for another 60 days but its starting time has been pushed back from 9pm to 11pm. The number of daily coronavirus infections has declined since the summer's peak, but Kenyatta has warned a second wave is still very possible and threatened of reimposing measures if cases rose again. Kenya has reported 38,168 cases of Covid-19 and 700 deaths. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 06:12:15 +0000editorial@africanews.com's sanctions may take longer than expected to be lifted was hoped the Sunday appointment of Mali's new civilian prime minister, Moctar Ouane, could lift sanctions imposed by neighbouring countries. ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali soon after the junta led August 18 coup and said they would be lifted after civilian leaders were appointed during the transition period. But the bloc of West African leaders may take aim at junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita being appointed vice president. He was one of the junta leaders who took power and toppled president Keita last month. Former defence minister Bah Ndaw was sworn in as interim president on Friday and after announcing a new prime minister, he appearing to meet those conditions. But Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari's office said regional leaders "may confer again to discuss outstanding grey areas in the Mali political situation" after he met ECOWAS envoy and Nigerian ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. The statement said Buhari told the envoy to present a formal report to the ECOWAS chairman, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo, "who will then write us officially, and we then determine the next steps". "According to the special envoy, the military leaders are yet to satisfy ECOWAS demand of a full civilian as vice president, and what his roles would be in government," the statement said. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 13:37:22 +0000editorial@africanews.com label Marni rises from coronavirus lockdown with global video fashion industry has had to get creative amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially during fashion week.  In Milan, Italian label Marni sent 48 newly created looks to the four corners of the Earth -- including Dakar, Detroit, London and Tokyo.  Friends and collaborators of the fashion house donned them for a film montage, which was live-streamed at Milan fashion week.  The project is called "Marnifesto" and makes a point about the universe as a collective.  It answered the question that often hangs in the air after runway shows: Who would wear this, and where? "That has been the biggest challenge: To create a space that is metaphysical of course, where we can be together," Marni creative director Francesco Risso said in a video interview ahead of the virtual unveiling. The lockdown, Risso said, instantly interrupted the Marni creative process, which he described as "very sensorial and tactile," characterised by pieces passing from one hand to the other, while inspiring new ways of creating. "People were dying things in bathtubs, or painting and draping in their homes,'' Risso said. "I was impressed how every member of the team adapted that moment into new exploration." "Making fashion is a collective work. But this time more than usual. Somehow the anarchy about it, the devotion to freedom and self-expression has been central to the work," Risso said. Tue, 29 Sep 2020 11:27:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com celebrates Meskel holiday amid coronavirus restrictions's marked one of its most famous and colourful holidays but drew a much smaller crowd due to coronavirus measures.  Meskel -- otherwise known as finding the cross -- is the the Christian celebration that marks the finding by Roman empress Helena of the so called "true cross" on which Jesus was crucified. There are usually tens of thousands who participate in the drumming, dancing and prayer. But this year, only church members attended the ceremony In Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on Satruday. The holiday is on UNESCO’s world heritage list.  The festival is also a time when families get together and migrant workers return home.   Hundreds of thousands of people from diverse communities flock to the square dressed as priests chant hymns and prayers and perform their unique rhythmic dance in front of the pyre.  Participants of the holiday are believed to receive spiritual rewards from the celebration and blessings from the Holy Cross. Though smaller- the celebrations continued into the night and ended with the large bonfire- known as Demera. It is believed the smoke from a bonfire showed Queen Eleni, as she is also known, the way to the where the true cross was buried.  Mon, 28 Sep 2020 16:27:12 +0000editorial@africanews.com teachers stike over pay as new term starts in Zimbabwe have returned to the classroom for the first time in six months since the coronavirus outbreak.  But teachers are nowhere to be seen as two unions went on strike on Monday in a dispute over pay, working conditions and COVID-19 protective equipment.  The government shut schools in March to prevent the spread of the pandemic, which has infected 7,683 people and led to 225 deaths in Zimbabwe.  Many schools have reopened this week as students prepare to sit their final exams.  "They did not turn up for duty and its early days yet to come up with a conclusive position in terms of attendance but the most important point is that teachers are not happy, teachers can’t survive, teachers couldn’t come to work," said  Raymond Majongwe, Secretary General, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.  Pay has been eroded after Zimbabwe switched from the US dollar to using its local currency two years ago.  "Teachers have lost their ranking in terms of our society, its actually an insult to be a teacher, its a curse and people are simply saying if government is honest address the problems so that we don’t have people who are coming 100 percent everyday to school yet they are physically absent, yet they are psychologically absent in these schools," said Majongwe.  Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:06:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com celebrate their culture of the Afro-Mexican community of Cuajinicuilapa, in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, pay tribute to their origins and culture by celebrating their patron saint Nicholas of Tolentino. A colorful celebration that takes place every year... but the Afro-Mexican population has long struggled for recognition. "We have been telling the world that Afro-Mexican people, due to internalised racism, due to the whitening that has gone on for years and years, from generation to generation, we are the product of that," Mijane Jimenez said. "I am Afro-Mexican because I want to be and because I can be." The African part of Mexico's story was relegated to a few sentences in school books, where it is likely to remain unless the mestizaje concept is to be redefined again. Some observers say that Mexico's African past has been buried so deep that even black Mexicans are only just beginning to hear about it. "Children, especially young ones, are motivated from an early age to accept their origin because there is still denial," said Angelica Sorrosa. "Who wants to be the descendants of slaves? No one." Around 200,000 slaves were imported into "New Spain" in the 16th and 17th centuries to work in the silver mines, sugar plantations and cattle ranches. The demise of Mexican slavery helped the descendants of slaves rise to prominence early on, but independence also put the black population on the road to invisibility with the drive to eliminate ethnic distinctions and build a national identity on the idea of mixed race. Jorge Anorve explained: "We created a museum so that it would be like a stone that says that we did exist, and I hope that we will be remembered by those who come in the two thousands that follow." The Afro Mexican communities were recognized in the Mexican Constitution last year. According to the 2017 National Survey on Discrimination, Only 2.9 million of the 100 million Mexicans identified as Afro-Mexican. Mon, 28 Sep 2020 11:18:06 +0000editorial@africanews.com plastics in Mozambique many Mozambicans, the Hulene dump, in Maputo, is a rescue resource to which they desperately resort in order to survive and support their families. It is the largest dump in the country and has become the basis for a plastic collection business dominated mainly by young people and women. Those who come here have all known hunger and deprivation. One of them is Madalena Júlio, who has a disabled father and an unemployed mother. "I started picking up plastics at the age of 13 because my mother had no money to pay for school," Madalena Júlio, now 16, explained. "I picked up the trash to sell and buy notebooks." "I went to the dump in 2000", Lisete Boavida, 57, said. I was having a difficult time at house, with children." "So I started to go to the dump. My life started to move forward, until today." The collectors survive by selling their findings to recycling companies which operate right next to the dump, such as Valor Plástico, a Maputo-based company that works with 800 registered collectors. "Basically we acquire and collect plastic from other industries, from the collectors who are on the streets and in the dumps," Luís Stramota, the CEO of Valor Plástico, said. "The plastic is collected, selected by type. Then there is the transformation process, of recycling itself, which has to do with grinding the plastic, washing it and turning it back into a raw material that can be used. " From Valor Plástico, where the plastic is smashed, the raw material goes to Topack, one of the few companies in Mozambique dedicated to transform the environment's number 1 enemy into new products. The plastic collectors are critical to the value chain based in the circular economy. Mon, 28 Sep 2020 11:09:05 +0000editorial@africanews.com's Nasser still a polarising figure, 50 years on years since Gamal Abdel Nasser's death, controversy over the legacy of the charismatic Egyptian president who championed Arab unity lives on in Egypt as deep divisions beset the Middle East. Best known for his colloquial charisma and pan-Arab populism, he enraptured listeners with his radio broadcasts and inspired enormous pride inside the North African country and well beyond its borders. Nasser was feted as a bulwark against Israel, colonialism and poverty during much of his 16 years in power, first as prime minister and then president. Early successes included the thwarting, albeit thanks to US influence, of an invasion by Britain, France and Israel in 1956 after Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal. Critics, however, saw him as a symbol of populist authoritarianism, economic folly and geopolitical imprudence which significantly compromised his standing by the time he died on September 28, 1970. To mark 50 years since his death, his oldest daughter, Hoda, published a book giving new insight into the life of the divisive leader. "Nasser: Secret Archives" includes excerpts of his journal while he fought the Arab-Israeli war in 1948 and exchanges with US president John F. Kennedy, as well as Soviet ruler Nikita Khrushchev. "All I did was recount the events as they happened, and explained the principles he followed by showing documents he wrote while an officer in the army and during his presidency," she told the press. "It is up to people how they perceive his rule." - 'Boosted dignity' - A senior army officer, Nasser led a group of officers who toppled British-backed King Farouk in a 1952 military coup that later came to be known as the "July 23 revolution". He served as prime minister from 1954 to 1956, when he became president, until his death. During his rule, Nasser dismantled the privileges of a landowning aristocracy that had thrived under the old monarchy, and pushed socialist policies including free education and substantial subsidies. Although very popular, his efforts to establish social equality proved increasingly difficult to fund. He initiated costly mega-projects like the building of the Aswan High Dam and nationalised the Suez Canal, a move that prompted the 1956 attack by Israel, Britain and France, who were forced to withdraw under US pressure. "He boosted people's sense of dignity, and that is what Arab peoples miss as they recall Nasser," said Mustapha Kamel, political science professor at Cairo University. Political parties were abolished under Nasser, while authorities launched a severe crackdown on opponents, including the Muslim Brotherhood. And Nasser ushered in decades of military rule, characterised by extended emergency powers and the army's significant, often opaque, influence within the economy. "While he sought to abolish classism, his regime initiated the concept of the police state, and instilled a culture of fear of authority," said Said Sadeq, political science professor at Nile University. Kamel added: "He did not believe in democracy and used to declare that openly." "He is a historic leader, who represented key features of the 1950's to 60's -- from battling colonialism and seeking social equality to undermining political and economic liberalism, " he added. In his public speeches, Nasser assumed a populist tone and used simple Arabic to openly lampoon colonial powers and Israel. - 'Still paying price' - But his assertiveness on the international stage sometimes amounted to imprudence, according to critics. In 1962, Nasser dispatched troops to back revolutionaries in Yemen against Saudi-backed royalists, draining Egypt's resources in a years-long quagmire. But the decimating blow to Nasser was defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War, during which Egypt, Jordan and Syria lost key territories. Israel occupied Egypt's Sinai Peninsula before withdrawing 15 years later, but still occupies the West Bank and parts of Syria's Golan Heights. "It was by all accounts a disaster and the Arab world is still paying the price," said Sadeq. Arab leaders have for years been urging Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders to allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Nine years after Nasser's death, his successor Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel. The 1979 pact was the first Arab-Israeli peace treaty. Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who hailed Nasser as a "patriot" said in an interview in 2018 that Egypt could not have remained at war with Israel forever. ***AFP*** Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:04:37 (Afolake Oyinloye)'s transitional government nominates new PM’s transitional president appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane, on Sunday as the West African nation’s prime minister days after being sworn into office. The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an Aug. 18 coup. ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government. Former Defense Minister and retired Col. Maj. Bah N’Daw was inducted Friday as the new transitional president while Col. Assimi Goita, head of the junta that staged the coup, was installed as Mali’s new vice president. The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months. The appointment of Ouane, 64, was made by official decree Sunday and signed by N’Daw. Ouane was minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2011 under former President Amadou Toumani Toure. He also served as Mali’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002 and later as a diplomatic adviser to ECOWAS. The junta, which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August, detaining him, the prime minister and other government officials. Keita, who became ill, was eventually released and has gone to the United Arab Emirates for treatment. -Foreign Intervention- ECOWAS became involved in negotiations that have pressed for a quick return to civilian rule. U.N. officials have called for the release of the 13 of the 18 detained officials still being held at the Kati military camp in the Malian capital of Bamako. There has been widespread concern that the upheaval in Mali will set back efforts to contain the country’s growing Islamic insurgency. After a similar coup in 2012, Islamic extremists grabbed control of major towns in northern Mali. Only a 2013 military intervention led by France pushed extremists out of those towns and the international community has spent seven years battling the militants. Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:07:02 (Afolake Oyinloye) commemorates September 28 massacres commemorate the September 28 massacres. On Sept. 28, 2009, the Guinean Security Forces attacked its own population during a large pro-democratic protest in a stadium in Conakry, the capital. The political event was organized by a Guinean opposition party where several thousand opponents had gathered. The massacre led to at least 157 people murdered and more than 1,200 injured. Most striking was the mass rape of more than 100 women and girls by the Guinean forces under the junta of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara. It’s been 11 years since these crimes were committed,the victims are still waiting for a trial to begin, which has been promised for 2020. Last January, the ministry of justice had promised the opening of a trial by June 2020, but there has been no significant progress since then. In a joint declaration, the embassies of France and the United States and the European Union delegation in Guinea, urge the Guinean State to hold a trial as soon as possible. Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:07:57 (Afolake Oyinloye)¨Playing for more than points: Auger-Aliassime vows to help children in Togo Tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime is eager to contribute to children care and education in Togo. Friday Auger-Aliassime launched his latest charity on social media, The FAAPointsfor Change. For every points scored during the season, $20 USD will be donated to charity. For the bi-national athelte, this move is personnal. The Canadian-togolese has chosen to help protect and educate children from the Kara region in Togo, his father's country. A Region known for having one of the worst school drop-out rates. Should he progress in the Roland Garros tournament, Auger-Aliassime could meet the likes of superstar Rafael Nadal. Although the tournament might be cut short for the Canadian-Togolose player, Auger-Aliassime has already started to collect money since the beggining of the season. For the 20 year-old, this tournament will be a bit more than just a sporting event.  Sun, 27 Sep 2020 19:41:14 (Rédaction Africanews) about to cross the Million Covid-19 Deaths the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide surpassing 32 million, the one million coronavirus related deaths mark should shortly be reached, as the situation has worsened in several countries. The United States remain the country with the most contaminations with close to 7 million confirmed cases, and 200 000 deaths.  India, who has struggled to stop an incredible surge in cases the past three months, has seen the number of deaths climb to 100 000. The World Health Organization said that Africa has reported both the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world and that fears the pandemic might devastate the continent have so far failed to materialize. " Certainly, the reported numbers and most importantly, the reported deaths from Africa are low, and they're the lowest in the world. So, yes, it is not a catastrophe by any means. And I would say and again, I've said it, that Africa has many lessons to teach the world about how to be resilient, how to be creative ", assures WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan. Ryan credited humanitarian agencies and governments in Africa for the protection of vulnerable populations, such as those living with HIV and refugees. The strength of community health workers across Africa has proven helpful in detecting and stopping the virus from spreading, according to the WHO. The U.N. health agency's emergencies chief did however stress that "Africa needs to remain on guard," noting that the virus has had different impacts across the continent's 55 countries. Sun, 27 Sep 2020 13:47:04 (Tancrede Chambraud) still evaluating Oil Spill damage saddening sight on the Mauritius coastline. Two months after a cargo loaded with fuel ran aground off Mauritius, the shores are still taking stock of the damage. The rich fishing grounds and sensitive marine habitats have been severly damaged by the oil.  Conservationists are particularly concerned about the long-term ecological damage to the island's marine ecosystems. " There is visible pollution, and invisible pollution. Some of the oil doesn't float but dissolves in the sea. The fish eat it, the coral absorbs it, it goes into the ecosystems ", environmental expert Sunil Dowarkasing said. The oil itself is known as VLSFO -- a fuel oil less viscous and lower in sulphur than conventional fuel oils. But this newer generation oil is poorly understood in terms of its environmental impact, said Ware. " They are quite new to us, compared to the heavy fuel oils that we mostly used to deal with... That is why we need to study this, and this will certainly help for future oil spills elsewhere ." The tourism industry, crucial to the country's economy, has suffered a heavy blow, in what is the worst environmental disaster ever witnessed in the Indian Ocean archipelago. "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster that Mauritius has ever faced. We are still assessing the damage to the mangroves and the coastal areas. We wish to thank all the countries and the UN system which rushed to assist Mauritius during these difficult times. I have a special word of thanks and gratitude to the people of Mauritius whose display of solidarity and spontaneous support helped protect our rumsaw sites and other environmentally sensitive areas", declared Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnaut in his address to the UN General Assembly. Following a second Oil spill a few weeks after in Sri Lanka, Mauritius Prime Minister Jugnaut has called for a regional response to be put in action. In the hope to avoid any futher disasters of the sort in the future. "At the same time, there is a need for a review of governance rule concerning bunkers and tankers. Mauritius happens to be on an important and busy sea lane between the West and the far East and is therefore directly concerned." continued PM Jugnaut. Cleaning up the spill Thousands of volunteers marshalled along the coast in the early days wearing rubber boots and gloves, scrubbing the shoreline clean and stringing together makeshift cordons to contain the oily tide. Since then the government has identified 26 affected sites around the coastline and commissioned the clean-up operation to French company Le Floch Depollution and Greek outfit Polyeco SA. " The work is progressing satisfactorily, but it is a very delicate clean-up operation, we must make sure that it is done in a methodical and systematic way ", Environment Minister Kavydass Ramano said. The clean-up is divided into four phases, and some sites are already in the second or third stage. The ship eventually split in two and the bow and hull of the wreck were towed 15 kilometres (nine miles) offshore and sunk. The stern remains on the reef and the government expects to announce a contract to remove it within days, Ramano said. A wake-up call ? On August 29, between 50,000 and 75,000 people protested the government's response to the disaster -- numbers not seen on the country's streets since 1982. A second rally on September 12 brought another 20,000 people out to Mahebourg, a fishing village near the spill site. Frustration over the handling of the oil spill has heaped pressure on Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, whose administration has been dogged by allegations of corruption and nepotism. "There is a general feeling of dissatisfaction, and Wakashio was the last straw," said Dowarkasing, a former MP. Sun, 27 Sep 2020 19:45:58 (Tancrede Chambraud) countries ask for Moratorium extension 'until 2021' nations came out swinging during the United Nations General Assembly,// calling for dramatic fiscal measures, in order to help economies survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. African countries estimate they need an annually support of $100 billion for the next three years, pointing out it is only a fraction of the trillions of dollars, some richer countries are using to revive their economies.  They have also asked that the current mortorium in effect be further extended. "I take this opportunity to commend the efforts made by the members of the G-20, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the context of the initiative for the suspension of debt servicing. I would call on the African Union to continue its efforts to attain this moratorium to 2021 ", said Amadou Ba, Senegal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese abroad Several countries have said maintaining the debt moratorium until 2021 was necessary, claiming debt cancellation is needed to free up more resources to tackle the virus and its effects, which includes the fight against other deadly diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS. Alongside Senegal, Niger and Côte d'Ivoire also expressed their concerns. Ivory Coast President Ouattara stated that the fight against COVID-19 and its economic effects has represented around 5% of the West African country's GDP. One of the world's fastest-growing economies before the pandemic, Ivory Coast hopes to obtain further international support to get its economy back on track. Sun, 27 Sep 2020 19:45:06 (Tancrede Chambraud) President Touadera looks for a second term in office african republic president Touadera has announced on saturday he will be running for a second term in office. " It is a heavy duty, a very heavry one. I accept to be your candidate ", Touadera said in front of his party members in capital city Bangui. If the President hadn't officially announced he would be the Mouvement Coeurs Unis (MCU) party candidate, the news sure doesn't come as a surprise for members of the presidential party. Faustin Archange Touadéra now joins a dozen of candidates, amongst which former president François Bozizé, who has come back to the CAR after years in exile. 7 years after François Bozizé was overthrown by the mainly muslim Seleka coalition, the Central African Republic is supposed to be hosting its presidential election on December 27th. Since 2013, two thirds of the country have been controlled by rebel militias. Many fear that with the elections approaching, violence would once again surge in the african country. Sun, 27 Sep 2020 19:46:40 (Tancrede Chambraud) Vincent Aboubakar back to Turkish club Besiktas's forward will be looking to restart his football career with Turkish side Besiktas after being stuck on the bench in FC Porto.  Aboubakar won't be heading in unknowned territory, as he was already loaned to the club for the 2016-2017 season. Vincent Aboubakar had brilliantly performed with the "Black Eagles". With 20 goals in 63 matches in his International Career, Aboubakar is regarded as one of Cameroon's finest players.  Sun, 27 Sep 2020 19:47:21 (Tancrede Chambraud) 19 dead in Lubumbashi firefight, attackers repelled Republic of Congo's second biggest town Lubumbashi has been at the center of at attack by armed militiathis saturday. Two police officers and a soldier were killed as a result of the firefights.  " 16 attackers were neutralised. Severa others wounded and captured " added Haut-Katanga regional Interior minister Fulbert Kunda Milundu. According to Milundu, the two police officers were decapitated by attackers, who then went on to attack the national TV RTNC's regional headquarters. The attack follows a jailbreak attempt on Friday in Lubumbashi, where "important damage" was sustained according to regional Interior minister Milundu. Several builings were set on fire and documents were burned in the chaos. " Healvily armed men attacked the prison. 4 prisoners that broke through the prison wall were gunned down ", says prison director Pelar Ilunga, who also mentions " six wounded by stray bullets amongst the prisonners ". Attackers entered Lumbumbashi with assault rifles, shotguns, machetes and arrows, patrolling the streets of Congo along with women and children. " They sang slogans in favor of the autonomy and independance of Katanga ", regional Interior minister Fulbert Kunda Milund claims. Officials are now saying they identified the attackers as members of the Maï-Maï militias. " The situation is now under control " officials say. Sat, 26 Sep 2020 16:35:56 (Tancrede Chambraud) Borno State governor ambushed by jihadist militants vehicules laying on the side of the road, remains of friday's attack. Jihadis fighters linked to the Islamisc State in West Africa Province ISWAP group killing 18 members of the convoy in an ambush on Friday, according to Major General Eneche . Insurgents opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, in an attempt to harm Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. The governor was unharmed, an was extracted to a nearby garrison, before heading back under tight security. Will the return policy stand? Zulum was on an assessment tour near the town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad, a region of Nigeria, known for being the bastion of terrorists for the last decade. Despite the insurgency still going strong, Zulum has insisted on Internally Displaced People returning to their villages from which they fled because of firefights. Last week Zulum said feeding the displaced was not financially sustainable, insisting the only option was for them to return and rebuild their homes and live a "dignified" life, despite concern from aid agencies of the security risks to which the returnees would be exposed. Most of the displaced have been housed into squalid camps where they depend on food handouts from international charities. A return that seems impossible, for over 2 million people. The decade-long insurgency in northeast Nigeria has killed 36,000 people and forced over 2 million from their homes. Sun, 27 Sep 2020 13:37:09 (Tancrede Chambraud) COVID 19 yet another daily problem for Libyans Libya seems to have passed the peak of Covid 19 contaminations, the situation has become dire for many Libyans.  As the pandemic drags on, Libyans' reluctance to upend their daily routines has become increasingly entrenched. With the price of Hygiene protection in Tripoli rising, financial constraints have lead to weariness amongst the population . " The usual greeting by hand has caused more widespread than before. Even though our customs and traditions is to directly reach out with your hands to greet before you think, with time everyone has become afraid and are trying to avoid greetings by hand " says one passerby. " With the pressure on the citizens and the lack of electricity and water, we come to public places to take a rest or for fresh air. We are forced to leave even though I know the situation and I am one of the people who does not wear a face mask " states another, who has come to the basketball court, in an effort to lead a normal life. Local authorities and shop owners struggle to enforce social distancing as many have resulted to scepticism. Some argue that after years of war, the virus will not be the end of Libyans.  Despite contaminations crossing the 30 000 mark, many are forced to go out, whatever the costs. Sat, 26 Sep 2020 13:21:03 (Tancrede Chambraud) Faso's Patriotic Movement for Salvation appoint Zida as candidate of joy at Burkina's Patriotic Movement for Salvation's (Mouvement Patriotique pour le Salut, MPS) convetion. Former president and Transitional Prime Minister Isaac Zida has been designated as the party's candidate. Zida, who fled to Canada in 2016, was supposed to arrive in capital city Ouagadougou.  But as he faced an arrest warrant for "desertion and insubordination", Zida chose to address his supporters in a video message, with the country's flag in the background. " We have decided with you, determined and entirely devoted young people, women and men, to go and conquer the State on November 22nd, in order to exercise its power with the people and for the people ", Zida said, as he could be seen cheering on the video. Since 2017, the Burkinabè governement have asked the former officer of the Armed Forces to come back to Burkina Faso, to face numerous charges. To no avail, to this day. Sat, 26 Sep 2020 10:33:05 (Tancrede Chambraud) contaminations could rise as COVID-19 fears disappear Zimbabwe not recording any COVID 19 related deaths for a whole week earlier this month, many have let their guard down. As a result, few masks are worn in public or are misused, worn as chinstraps. But lack of efficient national testing make it very difficult to realise the extent of the number of COVID 19 contaminations. Nevertheless, many say they don't see the need to remain cautious. " We used to be afraid especially during the first 21 days of lockdown, but now we are not scared of it. That's why I am not wearing a mask, there is no coronavirus " states confidently Omega Chibanda, a resident of Chitungwiza, on the outskirts of Harare. With many leaving social distancing behind, spreading awareness has become more and more challenging for Healthcare workers. " Our job is now harder because people are no longer afraid. Some even tell us they are not scared of the virus because it has not killed anyone they know ", explains Rosemary Rambire, a Community Worker that goes door to door to raise awarness among families of the danger of COVID 19. T_hey add that they are more afraid of HIV/AIDS because that has killed many people they know_.'' Many have become complacent about the threat posed by the coronavirus, which experts say could allow the disease to become a more serious problem in the coming months. Under strong economic and political pressure, Zimbabwe's government lifted the strict lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the virus, so schools, churches, bars, restaurants, airports, and tourist attractions were allowed to reopen. Should a second lockdown be put in place, the country's already struggling economy could suffer severe consequences. Sat, 26 Sep 2020 09:34:53 (Tancrede Chambraud) Ethiopia has "no intention to harm" Egypt and Sudan- PM Abiy Ahmed Prime minister Abiy Ahmed stated the country has " no intention to harm " neighouring Egypt and Sudan.  Comments that come after months of negociations over the Renaissance Dam, situated upstream of the two countries, have failed to produce any agreement. Egypt has warned the Dam project could have devastating effects on its economy. As the Nile river's flow would be diminished to fill up the dam's reservoir, Egypt would lose on its main source of scarce fresh water ressources.  A situation Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said he is willing to avoid. " I want to assure that we are firm in our commitment to addressing the concerns of downstream countries and reaching a mutually beneficial outcome in the context of the ongoing African Union-led process ", Ethiopia 's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, stated in an recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Regional tensions and a local crisis Abiy Ahmed, whose country is engaged in complicated talks in the region, also faces a major challenge in his country.  Deadly unrest shook Ethiopia as long-marginalized groups, who seek more say in the country's politics have taken their anger to the streets for the past few months. The long awaited first free elections, two years after Abiy Ahmed was sworn in as Ethiopia's Prime Minister have been postponed to 2021.  Opposition members, such as Oromo Federalist Congress leaderJawar Mohammed, have stated the government was using COVID 19 pandemic fears as a tool to stay in power. Sat, 26 Sep 2020 08:25:57 (Tancrede Chambraud) Psychiatrist Warns of Lockdown Dangers for Children Minister Hichem Mechichi stated that another lockdown is not in view in Tunisia - in spite of a climb in coronavirus infections. International flights resumed on 27 June and students have been back in class since last week, after a six-month hiatus. For this 13-year-old teenager, it will not be easy to catch up. Haider Dridi, a 13-year-old student, expresses his concerns, "I'm worried because in seventh grade we didn't study well and I didn't understand well and that's why I'm worried that I don't understand anything. In seventh grade, we didn't study in the third term, which is important." Maherzia Dridi, Haider Dridi's mother is also a little worried about how her son might cope upon going back to school, "The children got used to the rhythm, staying up late and the tablets. We hope that teachers will be up to speed and will be able to bring them back to the school rhythm and that they will all be okay. Between schools being shut down and limited internet access, the Covid-19 pandemic has harmed educational systems around the globe. And child psychiatrist, Mariam Boudali, believes school goes beyond academics, "School does not only have an academic role. It is also a place where you learn about social life. Of course, children learn to read and write but they also learn to integrate themselves with their peers, to play and live in a mini-society that is their class. So, indeed, lockdown in general and not going to school can upset not only the child's learning but I would even say well-being and life." At the height of the lockdown, 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, which UNICEF described as "a global education emergency" and the economic impact has been felt worldwide. Fri, 25 Sep 2020 20:12:04 (Kizzi Asala) Court of Justice Deems Gbagbo Worthy of Ivorian Presidency African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights ruled on Friday to reject the exclusion of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo from the upcoming presidential elections of October 31 — ordering the Ivorian state to "take all necessary measures to immediately remove all obstacles" hindering his participation in the race as his lack of signature on the candidacy bid - filed by supporters on his behalf given his current exile in Belgium, saw The Ivorian Constitutional Council find it inamissible. The Court also ordered the Ivorian state to "suspend the mention of the criminal conviction of the criminal record" of Gbagbo and had already passed a similar ruling — condemning the Ivorian state for another opponent, former rebel leader and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, whose candidacy had also been rejected by the Constitutional Council after a court conviction. Acquitted at a court of first instance of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, Gbagbo, 75, is awaiting a possible appeal in Belgium to be able to return to his native Côte d'Ivoire — whose authorities refuse, according to his lawyers, to issue him a passport. Fri, 25 Sep 2020 19:42:09 (Kizzi Asala)’s First Professional Surfer Khadjou Sambe is Making Waves by the postponement of the Olympic Games, Khadjou Sambe, Senegal's first professional surfer - male or female, trains when weather conditions allow, from her home in Ngor — a district mainly inhabited by the "lebous" ethnic group which she describes as "dolphins" or "mermaids" who, unlike other Senegalese, know how to swim dive and surf. The aspiring-Olympian tries to explain her passion for the sport of surfing, “It's like the sea is everything for me because I can say that the sea is my second family, the waves are my best friends, and the board is my love. “ How it All Began Sambe began surfing shortly after turning 14 to the dismay of her family who believed the sport was disgraceful for a girl to partake in - even banning her from the activity for around two years at one point in time. She recalls those challenging times when she would often have to overcome neighbour judgment, “You see how before when I started surfing, there were a lot of people telling me, "stay home, go cook, or go do find something to do at home, there was a lot of blah blah that I heard. A lot of talk. Just people who would say a lot of bad things about me but I don't listen to them. Yes because I mostly block my ears so that I don't listen to them because if I listen to them I won't make progress." Progress and Beyond The 25-year-old pro athlete is now a coach to girls in her hometown — encouraging them to develop the physical and mental strength to ride waves and break the mould in a male-dominated society. Founder of the Black Girls Surf school, Rhonda Harper, shares her first impressions of the ambitious and talented young lady, “Just the intensity in her face, in her position on the board, I knew that she was at a skill level that we hadn't seen before. This is why we are here, to find these girls and to put them in a showcase where people can see them, we're actually here and at this level where we can compete too. It's no longer the status quo, it's time to break that mould and to move forward into the future.” A Bright Future After training in California in 2018 at the school under Coach Harper, Khadjou Sambe intends to promote African women in the surfing world and be a model to young girls by winning big at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo and Paris. Fri, 25 Sep 2020 19:30:05 (Kizzi Asala)'s market leading property developer Aldar, upbeat about real estate market recovery COVID-19 pandemic has sent ripples through global real estate markets. According to property advisory & investment firm, Jones Lang LaSalle, commercial investments worldwide fell nearly 30% to $321 billion in the first 6 months of this year, compared to 2019. The Americas were worst affected, followed by Asia Pacific & Europe, then the Middle East and Africa which saw activity drop 13%. The MEA region was a relative outperformer, say JLL, due to the amount of pre-COVID deals that carried through into the first half of the year. In the UAE specifically, and on the residential front, the company says the market could head lower still. “COVID has definitely delayed hitting the bottom & we still have room for sale prices and rental rates to decline,” Dana Salbak, head of MENA research for JLL told Inspire’s Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham. “In Dubai, we’re talking about another 10-15% from now until about the next 6-12 months. In Abu Dhabi, a decline is expected, but at a much slower pace. We’re expecting 3-5% over the next 12 months.” Supply & demand A primary reason for the divergent rates of decline between the neighbouring emirates, says Salbak, is the supply gap. “In Dubai, you’re talking about residential stock of about over 570,000 residential units and that’s both apartments and villas,” she says. “Whereas in Abu Dhabi, you’re talking about 260,000 units. That shows you the quantum and supply of units in each of those cities.” For those looking to invest in the UAE’s market during this time, JLL says some might be attracted to projects on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island & Saadiyat Island, not least because of developers offering attractive payment plans. Abu Dhabi’s leading real estate developer, Aldar, is a case in point. Its financial incentives of late have included post-handover payment plans, the waiver of registration fees & payment options via credit card. Aldar’s outlook Talal Al Dhiyebi speaks to Inspire Middle East Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Aldar recently posted a 2% rise in its second quarter net profit. Year-on-year revenue jumped 21% to more than $544 billion, driven by inventory sales & state projects. Since it was established in 2004, Aldar’s projects have dotted the UAE's skyline, from shopping malls and residential projects, to offices, exhibition centres and a Formula 1 circuit. At a time when Abu Dhabi’s real estate market is being underpinned by government fiscal stimulus measures and programmes to promote private sector growth, Aldar’s CEO gave Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham the following update: “Between March, April, June & July, things have definitely become more clear. We're coming out of the times of uncertainty in a much stronger position & we delivered solid results. We are seeing pockets of demand return, in our shopping malls and in the staycation business, but particularly on the development side.” Growth & diversification A bird’s-eye view of some residential areas at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi When asked about how Aldar was diversifying its business portfolio at this time, away from traditional areas of investment like retail & hospitality, the chief executive confirmed the growth potential of other segments. “We do see new sectors, the logistics and warehousing sector is one of particular interest for us,” he said. “The other upcoming trend is PropTech (Property Technology). And we strongly believe that this overall sector is yet to be disrupted the way the financial sector, and other sectors, have been disrupted by digital transformation.” With international & institutional investors having taken a temporary step back from investing in the UAE’s real estate market, Inspire asked whether Aldar was seeing new sources of liquidity. Not least, from local high-net-worth individuals & Emirati families. “We definitely saw a trend of people investing more. Some moving away from equities and other things into real estate,” said Al Dhiyebi. “In this economy, between nationals and non-nationals, you have a very high net-worth population, and that population likes investing in real estate.” Concrete plans Al Dhiyebi went on to explain how the company had suspended any new development launches this year as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Adding that, Aldar had nevertheless achieved around $270 billion in off-plan development sales. The company's CEO was asked when the softening currently seen in the UAE’s real estate market might come to an end? Al Dhiyebi was upbeat in reply. “I see confidence coming back,” he said. “We see footfall in our malls increasing & we see sales increasing. We see more staycation business & the enrolments in our schools was encouraging.” With regards to a timeline, given the constantly changing landscape of COVID-19 and its impact of businesses around the world, the CEO said it was tough to call. “The trajectory is definitely a positive one, but whether it's going to take six months or 12 months to settle at the new norm, I think that question remains out there,” he said. “But in the meantime, it's not a waiting game. We need to continue to work hard and be ready for when the market comes back. It will come back strong, especially in Abu Dhabi.” SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: INSPIRATION Real estate employee Angelika from Germany is inspired by the UAE’s sunsets & modern skyline. With contributions from Nancy Sarkis and Arthur de Oliveira. Fri, 25 Sep 2020 16:18:04 +0000editorial@africanews.com