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U.S. welcomes independent probe of report that cleared African Development Bank chief

Africa

Adesina had been accused of abuse of office by a whistleblower at the bank, including favoritism in hiring. He has denied the allegations.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday welcomed the African Development Bank’s decision to appoint former Irish President Mary Robinson to lead an independent probe of a report that cleared the bank’s chief of wrongdoing.

Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embalo. File image

Africa

He did not state the reason for the dismissal of the ministers, who are all members of Embalo’s MADEM-15 party or parties loyal to the president.

Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has dismissed five government ministers, including the ministers of defence and the interior, according to a decree released on Sunday.

Ghana Cocoa Board, African Development Bank and financial partners celebrate first $200 million disbursement of loan to boost cocoa productivity in Ghana

Africa

Ghana supplies 70% of all cocoa beans imported into Japan and cocoa is seen as one of the nation’s most essential import commodities

Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and lenders have welcomed the first disbursement of $200 million of a syndicated loan facility to boost cocoa productivity in the world’s second-largest producer.

African Development Fund approves COVID-19 response grants for six Southern African countries and São Tomé & Príncipe

Africa

The funds will facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund on Tuesday approved nearly $8.9 million in grant funding to bolster COVID-19-related control measures in six Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Separately, the Board approved $683,000 in grants to São Tomé & Príncipe, to support the two-island nation’s response to the pandemic and its impacts. The grant funding comes under the Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility.

Angola committed to meeting energy objectives amid COVID-19

Africa

Until 2025, power demand in Angola is expected to grow at a substantial rate, with the overall system load reaching 7,200 MW

Africa Oil & Power, the African Energy Chamber and the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce united to present, ‘Powering Forward: The Pathway to Grid Stability, Increased Capacity and a Diversified Angolan Economy,” on Thursday; The webinar addressed how Angola can continue to prioritize its development of national transmission and distribution capacities in the long-term, with a view toward increasing electrification, job creation and economic growth; Panelists included Maria da Cruz, President & CEO of the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce; Paul Ghiotto, Deputy Political-Economic Chief/Energy Officer, Political-Economic Section, U.S. Embassy Luanda and Frederico Martins Correia, Energy, Resources & Industrials Partner, Deloitte.

Republic of Benin COVID-19 Laboratories Commence Operations after Grant from the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program

Africa

The grant, which falls under the umbrella of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, provides immediate emergency funding to fight against novel coronavirus

The Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, led by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org) has granted emergency funding to the Republic of Benin to facilitate its COVID-19 ‘Screen-Isolate-Treat’ strategy as it fights to halt the spread of the virus.

How Rwanda is spurring a generation of women in technology

Africa

Rwanda is renowned as a pioneer for gender equality

In 2020, it was the only African country ranked in the top 10 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report.

A miner washes gold at Makala gold mine camp near the town of Mongbwalu in Ituri province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, April 7, 2018. Picture taken April 7, 2018. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Africa

The countries along Congo’s eastern border have long been conduits for gold worth billions of dollars mined using rudimentary means by so-called “artisanal” miners.

Gold production in Democratic Republic of Congo continues to be systematically underreported while tonnes of the precious metal is smuggled into global supply chains through its eastern neighbours, a United Nations report has found.

Sudan committee seizes Bashir's bank account, closes FX bureaus

Africa

It oversees investigations into crimes involving public funds and corruption by the former president and members of his extended family and old regime.

A Sudanese anti-corruption committee said on Tuesday it had confiscated a bank account belonging to ousted President Omar al-Bashir and closed five foreign exchange bureaus used to fund his regime.

Boko Haram kills 69, razes village in northern Nigeria: sources

Africa

The men attacked the village of Faduma Koloram, in Gubio local government area of Borno state, starting about noon.

Boko Haram gunman killed at least 69 people and razed a village to the ground in northern Nigeria’s Borno state on Tuesday afternoon, three sources told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza talks to the media after casting his ballot at a voting station during the presidential, legislative and communal council elections, under the simmering political violence and the growing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ngozi, Burundi May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Clovis Guy Siboniyo

Africa

“The government of the Republic of Burundi announced with great sadness ... the unexpected death of his Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi,” the statement said.

President Pierre Nkurunziza, a fitness enthusiast who increasingly relied on religion and repression to rule the impoverished and unstable central African nation of Burundi for 15 years, has died, the government announced on Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Africa

"Like many South Africans, I, too, have been worried as I watch these figures keep rising," Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly letter to the nation.

South Africa's numbers of COVID-19 are “rising fast,” according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who says that he's worried.

African Development Bank approves $288.5 million for Nigeria COVID-19 Response Support Program

Africa

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s largest oil producer, is facing twin crises – a health epidemic caused by COVID-19, and an economic crunch largely occasioned by a global oil price plunge.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Friday approved a $288.5 million loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses.

The loan will bolster the government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses and strengthen the social protection system

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s largest oil producer, is facing twin crises – a health epidemic caused by COVID-19, and an economic crunch largely occasioned by a global oil price plunge. As of June 5, the country reported 11,516 coronavirus cases, 3,535 recoveries and 323 deaths.

The loan is the Bank’s initial response to help mitigate the slump in oil prices and its impact on the national economy.

About 40.1% of Nigerians live below the poverty line of $1.90 per day and it is feared that the fall in household income during the pandemic will result in wealth deterioration for both the formal and informal sector workers.

“The proposed program will ensure that the fiscal position and the economy are sufficiently supported to weather the COVID-19 shocks, thereby limiting its potential adverse impact on livelihoods and the economy more generally,” Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank for Nigeria said.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Nigeria’s economy was projected to grow by 2.9% of GDP in 2020 and further expand by 3.3% in 2021. But with the advent of the pandemic and the slump in crude prices, the economy is expected to shrink by between 4.4% under a conservative baseline scenario, and 7.2% should the pandemic persist to end-2020.

Faal said beyond the country’s immediate economic recovery needs, the Bank and other development partners, will dialogue with the government on proposals for medium-term structural reforms to diversify and boost domestic revenues away from the oil sector.

The Bank has instituted strong fiduciary measures to monitor the use of COVID-19 funds, and will maintain dialogue, particularly with the Office of the Auditor General in Nigeria, to ensure adherence to the transparency and accountability of the funds, Faal said.

The Bank’s intervention aligns with its COVID-19 Response Facility (CRF); Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022); and High 5 priorities, especially “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa”. It is also consistent with the second strategic pillar of the recently approved Bank’s Country Strategy Paper 2020-2024 for Nigeria.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Residents of a slum in Kenya’s capital have protested the death of a homeless man who they say was killed by police for violating a dusk-to-dawn curfew for the coronavirus

Residents of a slum in Kenya's capital have protested the death of a homeless man who they said was killed by police for violating a dusk-to-dawn curfew for the coronavirus.

U.S. warns of Russian bid for Libya stronghold after warplane delivery

Africa

Libya is once more on the brink after years of chaos that followed the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. With more arms and fighters flowing in, Libyans fear an unending conflict fueled by outside powers.

The U.S. military believes a Russian introduction of warplanes into Libya may not tip the balance in its stalemated civil war but could further help Moscow eventually secure a geostrategic stronghold in North Africa, a U.S. general said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Burundi's opposition National Freedom Council (CNL), presidential candidate Agathon Rwasa, addresses supporters during a campaign rally in Ngozi province, Burundi April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Evrard Ngendakumana

Africa

Large crowds have been gathering during the election campaign in Burundi, which has no lockdown measures in place at all, unlike many other African nations.

Burundi is expelling the national head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and three members of his team as it prepares for a presidential election that is being held next week despite concern about health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa to assign coronavirus restrictions by district: minister

Africa

“Depending on the average active cases per 100,000 people, districts will be individually assigned levels of lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus,” Mkhize said.

South Africa will assign levels of lockdown restrictions for each of the country’s roughly 50 districts, depending on the number of active coronavirus infections there, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.

ECOWAS Commission and WAHO refute alleged endorsement of CVO medication

Africa

The bloc said “We wish to dissociate ECOWAS and its health Institution, West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), from this claim and to inform the general public that we have not ordered the said CVO medication.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it has not ordered a package of Covid Organics (CVO) medicine from a third country.

African Development Bank approves €40 million in grants for bridge linking Cameroon and Chad

Africa

The grants, comprising a €20.785 million tranche for Cameroon and €19.215 million for Chad, were approved on 30 April 2020

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) has approved grants worth €40.94 million for the construction of a bridge to connect Cameroon and Chad across the Logone river.

Ecobank and Google collaborate to keep children learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Africa

This collaboration will help children study online and stay on top of their education

Ecobank Group, the pan-African Bank, is leveraging its distribution and partner networks to raise awareness of literacy apps in the Google Play Store to support the education of children who are at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republic of Ireland becomes African Development Bank Group 81st shareholder

Africa

Ireland’s Strategy for Africa 2025 includes a commitment to collaborate with the critical financial institution on the continent

The Republic of Ireland has become the African Development Bank Group’s (www.AfDB.org) 81st shareholder, following a declaration issued by the institution’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, on 24 April 2020.

Nestlé provides over USD 3.4 million for COVID-19 relief in Central and West Africa

Africa

Nestlé is also contributing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep frontline health workers safe

Nestlé is supporting more than 850,000 vulnerable people in Central and West Africa as part of a USD 3.4 million effort to help countries in the region fight COVID-19.

It was launched after being tested on fewer than 20 people

Africa

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

The president of Tanzania says he will send a plane to Madagascar to import a herbal tonic which has been touted as a cure for coronavirus by the country's president.

African Development Bank approves $40 million package for Angola’s Banco Millennium Atlântico to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Africa

The package consists of a $32 million line of credit from the African Development Bank and an additional $8 million in parallel financing from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on 15 April approved a $40 million financial package to support Angola’s Banco Millennium Atlântico (BMA) to bolster local production and job creation through its portfolio of small and medium-sized enterprises.

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