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File image - President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina

Africa

In January 2020, sixteen allegations of ethical misconduct were levelled against Adesina by a group of whistleblowers

A much awaited report by an Independent Review Panel has completely exonerated the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina of any ethical wrongdoings.

Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) selects Top 50 Finalists of 2020 “Africa’s Business Heroes” Competition

Africa

The 50 finalists were selected from over 22,000 applications all over Africa, representing twenty-one African countries, half are female, and work in 18 sectors like agriculture, AI, e-commerce, fashion, healthcare, renewable energy and ICT

Top 50 finalists were selected from over 22,000 applications across all 54 African nations; The finalists represent 21 African countries, half are female, and work in 18 sectors like agriculture, AI, e-commerce, fashion, healthcare, renewable energy and ICT; Finalists will advance to the next round of selection and will participate in an exclusive virtual boot camp on July 28.

African Development Bank Group supports Ghana’s COVID-19 response plan with $69 million grant

Africa

The funds will help to upgrade the capacity of healthcare facilities to isolate, diagnose and care for patients, and provide more test kits, pharmaceuticals, equipment and beds.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Friday approved a $69 million grant to support Ghana’s efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its socio-economic impact on the nation.

African Development Bank Regional Economic Outlook 2020: In West Africa, harnessing the youth workforce could speed economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era

Africa

The report points to policies needed to improve skills to empower the West African labour force

Growth in West Africa, poised to expand by 4.0 percent in 2020, now projected to contract by -2.0 percent in 2020; Demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics increasing, though school enrolment, retention rates poor.

East Africa holds its ground as Africa’s fastest growing region, despite COVID-19 disruption

Africa

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s economic growth was projected at more than 5 percent, well above continent’s average of 3.3 percent and global average of 2.9 percent

COVID-19 curbs East Africa’s growth, but still the strongest in the continent; Report calls for transition to higher value-added activities to build resilience to shocks.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita poses for a picture during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania June 30, 2020. Reuters image

Africa

Mali’s opposition coalition said security forces detained two leaders of anti-government protests and raided its headquarters on Saturday following violent demonstrations against the president in the capital.

Mali’s opposition coalition said security forces detained two leaders of anti-government protests and raided its headquarters on Saturday following violent demonstrations against the president in the capital.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

Africa

WHO and partners launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to speed up the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa joined immunization experts in urging the international community and countries in Africa to take concrete actions to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, as researchers around the world race to find effective protection against the virus.

Egypt arrests doctors, silences critics over virus outbreak

Africa

Egyptian security agencies have tried to stifle criticism about the handling of the coronavirus health crisis by President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi's government

A doctor arrested after writing an article about Egypt’s fragile health system. A pharmacist picked up from work after posting online about a shortage of protective gear. An editor taken from his home after questioning official coronavirus figures. A pregnant doctor arrested after a colleague used her phone to report a suspected coronavirus case.

In times when Black Lives finally matter, building purpose-driven businesses is key to economic empowerment

Africa

The Opportunity Fund will invest only in companies led by people of color, and is the first such fund to be created in response to growing protests

Earlier this month and following the death of George Floyd, SoftBank announced a $100m investment fund for minority-owned businesses. The Opportunity Fund will invest only in companies led by people of color, and is the first such fund to be created in response to growing protests, in the US and worldwide, against racism and lack of equal opportunities for black people. While the initiative is not the first of its kind in the US or abroad (South Africa has several financial institutions dedicated to providing financial support to black entrepreneurs), its significance is much stronger now.

The grant, awarded from the country’s ADF-15 Performance-Based Allocation, will help bolster Ethiopia’s COVID-19 National Emergency Response Plan (NERP).

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on 3 July approved a grant of $165.08 million to support Ethiopia’s response to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including helping to ease fiscal pressures on the economy.

Ecobank Group spearheads new private sector initiative to end malaria

Africa

Malaria remains one of the continent’s deadliest diseases, with more than 400,000 fatalities in 2018 alone. Malaria not only impacts the health of communities across Africa, but prosperity too, as the disease limits economic growth and increases poverty amongst the workforce.

The Ecobank Group has confirmed its commitment to support ending malaria, launching the first-of-its-kind Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative in partnership with Dakar-based not-for-profit strategic communications and advocacy organization, Speak Up Africa, and the UN-hosted RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

European Travel Bans are counter-productive and hurting the Oil & Gas sector’s ability to support Africa’s economic recovery

Africa

Restrictions of visa issuance are de facto preventing a lot of projects to move forward and to successfully contribute to the recovery of the continent

The continuation of travel restrictions and suspension of visas and travel between Africa and Europe is heavily restraining the oil & gas industry’s recovery efforts. Because of its international nature, the oil & gas sector relies on global value-chains and successful cooperation and movement of people, goods and services between foreign and local contractors. The ongoing travel bans and restrictions of visa issuance are de facto preventing a lot of projects to move forward and to successfully contribute to the recovery of the continent.

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.

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