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Africa Wide

#Africa PegasusProject: African Leaders on Potential Spyware List

The phone numbers for 14 heads of state, including 7  African leaders were selected as people of interest by clients of Israeli spyware company NSO Group, according to a Washington Post report. NSO Group’s spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a massive scale, according to a major investigation into the leak of 50,000 phone numbers of potential surveillance targets.

The Pegasus Project is a collaboration by more than 80 journalists from 17 media organisations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with the technical support of Amnesty International, who conducted forensic tests on mobile phones to identify traces of the spyware.

#Diaspora Kunda Kids adds two new books to its collection

Kunda Kids is made up of a diverse team of writers, illustrators, musicians, and animators, with a single purpose: to inspire the next generation about African history and culture. The studio specialises in creating books, songs, and animations for children based on African themes.

As part of its continuous effort in diversifying children’s books in homes, libraries and schools around the world and inspiring young people about African history and culture, Kunda Kids has added two new books to its collection. One of such books is Queen Moremi Makes a Promise, a story written by Ayo Oyeku, inspired by Queen Moremi a legendary Yoruba queen and folk heroine in the Yorubaland region of present-day south-western Nigeria.The other book written by Sokhna Ndiaye, is King Alboury Cooks the Best Jollof  inspired by King Alboury, the last king of the great Jolof Kingdom of Senegal, and which celebrates the popular African dish jollof rice which originated from Senegal.Find more details on them in the descriptions below 


#Nigerian leadership  dispute jeopardises return of Benin Bronzes

A dispute between Nigerian leaders could jeopardise plans for the return of some of Africa’s most famous artefacts, the Benin Bronzes, which were looted during the colonial era and are now mainly in Western museums.The return of the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria would mark an extraordinary moment in Africa’s post-colonial history, and is a prospect that seems more likely now than at any time since 1897.The  Benin Oba( king) Ewuare II, the great-great grandson of the Oba who was toppled by the British in 1897,has argued that some Nigerian leaders whom  he called an “artificial group” want to divert the return of the Bronzes for their own Financial gain, stating that the right and only legitimate destination” for the Bronzes would be a Benin Royal Museum insisting that the Bronzes had to come back to where they were taken from, and that he was “the custodian of all the cultural heritage of the Benin Kingdom”.

#South Africa Pfizer-BioNTech to produce COVID-19 jabs with S African company

Pfizer and BioNTech have said they struck a deal with South Africa-based company Biovac for the production of COVID-19 vaccines for the African Union (AU).In a statement published on Wednesday, the two companies said Cape Town-based Biovac will complete the last step in the manufacturing process, known as “fill and finish”, of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.

In a statement published yesterday  the two companies said Cape Town-based Biovac will complete the last step in the manufacturing process, known as “fill and finish”, of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.

Ingredients to produce the jabs will arrive from plants based in Europe, while the manufacturing of finished doses will start in 2022, it added.The companies expect that at “full operation capacity” the annual production of Biovac will hit 100 million doses per year – which will be distributed among the AU member states.

East Africa

#Djibouti, Ethiopia to Launch Second Power Link

Djibouti and Ethiopia have secured finance to build a second electricity transmission line after the two neighbours enjoyed the returns from the first project that linked their power grids.The first project has enabled Djibouti to import Ethiopia’s hydropower-processed, renewable and cheap electricity.After, the two countries agreed to further develop the project, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has now approved two grant loans worth $83.6 million which enables Ethiopia and Djibouti to proceed with the construction of their second power transmission line which will eventually boost their energy trade.According to a statement the bank issued last week, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved the funds in a bid to boost cross-border trade in electricity between Ethiopia and Djibouti.The grants also intend to deepen economic integration in the Horn of Africa’s region.

Africa Wide

#Africa How Organised crime syndicates are ripping off Africa’s gold wealth by the tonne

Incomplete data, poor record-keeping, and illegal channels define artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Central,East and Southern Africa, robbing the sector of an opportunity to grow, warns a report by the Global Initiative, which monitors transnational organised crime.The report, Illicit Gold Markets in East and Southern Africa, says that the increase in illicit activities in gold-rich markets has undermined the potential for this precious commodity to be a catalyst for development in these regional African markets.According to the report, about 3.5 million people depend on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.Criminals will use corruption and violence, as well as financial levers to profit from and control the trade. As a result, informal mining operators struggle to comply with regulatory demands and are increasingly reliant on criminal actors who seek to maximise profits from illicit gold markets.


#Haiti swears in new PM Ariel Henry.

Haiti’s new prime minister Ariel Henry took office Tuesday in the aftermath of the president’s assassination two weeks ago, pledging to improve the country’s dire security and to organize long-delayed elections.Henry was installed as head of a new government in an attempt to stabilize a country on the brink of chaos since the murder of president Jovenel Moise at his residence in the early hours of July 7.The swearing-in of Henry, who was named to the post by Moise days before his death, was seen as a key step towards holding elections as demanded by many Haitians and the international community.After the president was killed by armed commandos, acting prime minister Claude Joseph declared a “state of siege” and said he was in charge, launching a power tussle in theCaribbean nation.