Latest Developments

Coronavirus: Malawi president takes 10% pay cut

“Malawi’s president and all government ministers are taking a 10% wage cut for three months to raise money to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. President Peter Mutharika made the announcement as he set out a stimulus package to help cushion the economic impact of the disease. Malawi reported its first cases of the coronavirus on Thursday.”

via BBC

Burundi records three cases of coronavirus

“Burundi’s Health minister called on the public to remain calm as the situation was under control. Burundi is yet to take drastic measures of lockdown, prohibiting social, official or public gatherings, but the government has encouraged citizens to wash their hands and provided a hotline for reporting those who could have been infected.”

via The East African

Eritrea urged to free political prisoners amid COVID-19 threat

“Prominent human rights groups have urged the government of Eritrea to “immediately and unconditionally” release political detainees held in the country’s jails amid the threat of the new coronavirus pandemic. In a statement released on Friday, Amnesty International said ;the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions’ in Eritrean prisons increase chances of transmission of COVID-19.”

via Al Jazeera

Relying on the Neighbours

“President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s leadership on the coronavirus crisis got off to a bad start. On 21 March, days after telling the nation about isolating, not travelling, and all the other precautions, he flew to Windhoek to attend the inauguration of President Hage Geingob. On his return in went into 14 days of isolation, which didn’t protect him from a storm of opposition criticism for hypocrisy.”

via Africa Confidential

Malawi records first three cases of coronavirus

“Malawi confirmed its first three cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, becoming the 50th African nation to be infected. President Peter Mutharika said on national television that a 61-year-old Indian national had tested positive for the virus. The woman is in quarantine and in stable condition, said Mutharika.”

via Anadolu Agency

Poll in a plague year

“The new presidential election… was always going to be bad news for President Peter Mutharika, especially with the new requirement that the winner take over half of the popular vote. But then, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party formed a coalition with one of the minor parties, and then came the coronavirus crisis, which led to the banning of all meetings of more than 100 people. Meanwhile, the opposition has significantly boosted its prospects.”

via Africa Confidential

Coronavirus deals a blow to Ethiopia’s elections

“On March 31, the government of Ethiopia indefinitely postponed historic elections that were scheduled to take place in August. The postponement of these elections is noteworthy for many reasons. To start, Ethiopia is the first African nation in what is likely to be a wave of countries that will be forced to set back highly contentious political contests.”

via Atlantic Council

‘I need to be in the streets so I don’t go hungry’: Zimbabwe’s lockdown tests shaky economy

“Zimbabwe’s 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus started on a relatively calm note with minimal activity in the country’s main city centres, but the risky measure could hurt an economy already battling inflation and citizens working to stave off hunger from a crippling drought.”

via African Business Magazine

Third wave threatens the continent

“Top African and UN officials are desperately lobbying a divided international system for a US$100 billion emergency fund to combat what they fear will be a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic ripping through Africa in mid-April, as it ravages Europe and North America.”

via Africa Confidential

East Africa: Central Banks Ramp Up Coronavirus Response

“Central banks of the East African Community member countries are contemplating swift interventions in response to the coronavirus crisis amid calls on regional governments to implement significant economic stimulus packages… Such measures include lockdowns, curfews, and quarantines; meanwhile, businesses such as hotels and tourism are shut down.”

via MFW4A