Latest Developments

Zambia’s debt crisis worsens

“Zambia’s debt situation seems to be deepening with some commercial creditors ‘refusing’ to grant it some relief it has been seeking to ease the pressure.”

via The East African

$100M genomic sequencing initiative launches in Africa

“A $100 million initiative launched this week that aims to expand next-generation genomic sequencing tools and expertise across the African continent, which experts say could be used to tackle disease outbreaks more effectively.”

via Devex

Moody’s downgrades Uganda’s economy to Ba3

“The coronavirus crisis weighs on the short-term outlook, and also a significant increase in domestic political instability that could jeopardise economic conditions would be negative credit.”

via Daily Monitor

The double danger that faces emergency medics: the deadly virus and attacks from communities

“There have been 40 attacks on emergency medical staff in the Western Cape since the start of the lockdown. It’s become such an issue that provincial health authorities are looking into getting body cams for staff, said an official from the emergency medical services.”

via Daily Maverick

Uganda: Truck drivers buy COVID-19 results at Shs150,000

“Long distance truck drivers and their association leaders confirm that since they are required to enter into some East African countries with a COVID-19 negative certificate, the easiest way to acquire it is to pay between Shs50,000 and Shs150,000.”

via Daily Monitor

Zambia warns it is preparing for default

“Zambia has warned it is ready to become the first African country to default as a result of the coronavirus pandemic if investors in its $3bn worth of US dollar bonds reject a request by the southern African nation to suspend payments.”

via Financial Times

COVID-19 Alert South Africa app: The fine balance between public health, privacy and the power of the people

“It’s been just over a month since the Department of Health launched the COVID-19 Alert South Africa app to improve its COVID-19 contact tracing system. The app promises South Africa that the choice is not between individual privacy and public health, but that the two go hand in hand.”

via Daily Maverick

China’s High-Risk, High-Reward COVID-19 Vaccine Diplomacy in Africa

“After months of hesitation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunyin delivered a surprise announcement last Friday that the government will join the COVID-19 global vaccine alliance known as Covax. “

via China-Africa Project

Stung by the pandemic, Ethiopia boosts health budget 46%, PM says

“Ethiopia has raised its health budget by 46% this year after the coronavirus crisis exposed the need for more equipment, facilities and personnel, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.”

via Reuters

Population of extremely poor persons in Nigeria hits 102m

“NECA’s report says that the number of citizens in extreme poverty now stands at an estimated 102 million, representing 50 per cent of the Nigeria’s estimated population of about 205 million, as against the 40 per cent reported by NBS in October last year.”

via Vanguard (Nigeria)