News & Analysis: Niger

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

Financial, development and humanitarian arms provide $20 million to curb the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and their hosts in the Sahel

“Public health, the wellbeing of refugees and the host communities in the Sahel are at the heart of the latest tripartite agreement between the African Development Bank, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the G5 Sahel signed today. The agreement enables a critical $20 million COVID-19 response across the five countries of the Sahel region.”

via AfDB

Why the attack on civil liberties in Africa is a matter of life and death

“Given that many African governments performed comparatively well in terms of restricting the spread of the virus, one might not expect the pandemic to have increased political pressure on the media. Yet many governments that have taken the disease seriously have also sought to evade scrutiny by undermining press freedom and civil liberties.”

via African Arguments

World Bank Provides $100 Million to Help Accelerate Digital Transformation in Niger

“The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a $100 million International Development Association which includes $50 million credit and $50 million grant to help Niger implement an ambitious program to use digital infrastructure and services to modernize its economy and strengthen access to basic services.”

via World Bank

Digitalizing Sub-Saharan Africa: Hopes and Hurdles

“In many sub-Saharan African countries, digital tools are supporting efforts to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Rwanda, for example, anti-epidemic robots are monitoring patients, delivering food and medication, while free e-consultation tools are helping Nigerians to self-assess infection risk and get tested based on symptoms.”

via IMF

COVID-19 and the challenge of African borderlands

“Borderlands are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of disease control measures, in particular those that restrict movement and hinder informal trade. In the haste to combat the disease, these measures are not always justified by an analysis of the trade-offs between protecting public health and ensuring that people are able to meet their basic food and protection needs.”

via UNDP

COVID-19: African Development Bank mobilizes $22 million for low-income ECOWAS countries

“The Bank is making $22.4 million available for the project, approved by the Board on May 22. Part of the funding, $9.55 million, will provide screening tests, laboratory equipment, ventilators and personal protective equipment for medical personnel in the three countries. The remaining $12.83 million will be used to strengthen and integrate the health systems of Gambia, Mali and Niger to better address the pandemic.”

via AfDB

Post-coronavirus: More sorrow for Africa’s new oil and gas producers

“For new producers in the pandemic era, some licensing rounds are likely to be cancelled, and production is being pushed back once more. Debt is becoming an even greater issue. Yet some investors—like Total in Uganda—still show signs of interest.”

via The Africa Report

Meeting Africa’s urgent liquidity needs while protecting its access to international markets

“A solution to finance Africa’s commercial debt service could free up over $44bn of fiscal space for Africa in 2020, providing immediate liquidity to governments – a much needed immediate bridge to renewed growth for Africa and the global economy.”

via New African Magazine

Coronavirus in Africa: Prison fever

“What are the consequences of the pandemic on the living conditions in African prisons?”

via Prison Insider