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Africa Wide

Free trade can help Africa beat recession.

Trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area  (AfCFTA) finally kicked off on January 1, 2021, to a lot of excitement, after being delayed for six months due to the pandemic.The overarching objective behind the AfCFTA is the elimination or reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers amongst the 54 Countries that agreed to be members of the bloc by providing a single market for goods and services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration and prosperity. The AfCFTA unites an estimated $3 trillion market and could help to realize more than $84 billion in untapped intra-African exports, according to a report by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).Countries now have to harmonize customs and tariff regimes and this will greatly influence the countries economies and beat recession.

East Africa

Rwandan Enslaved Descendants Want Recognition in Kenya.

Rwandans whose parents came to Kenya to work as slaves for the British colonial government now want to be recognised as Kenya’s 44th tribe.Statistics show that about 12,000 Rwandan nationals live in Kenya, spread across different towns.The third generation of Rwandan nationals who came to Kenya in colonial days, complain that they have suffered rejection from both the Kenyan and Rwandan governments.They are hopeful that President Uhuru Kenyatta will decree that they be recognised as Kenyan citizens as he did with the Makonde, who were originally from Mozambique.

South Africa

South Africa deploys  army to quell unrest linked to Zuma jailing.

South Africa deployed soldiers on Monday to quell violence that erupted following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma, after days of riots left at least six people dead.Police said disturbances had intensified as Zuma challenged his 15-month prison term in the country’s top court.The judgment in the case has been reserved.Smoke swirled from burning buildings as items from burgled shops lay strewn by the side of the road in Pietermaritzburg in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).The sporadic pro-Zuma protests that broke out when he handed himself over last week have escalated into looting and arson, mainly in KZN but also in Gauteng where the country’s biggest city, Johannesburg, is located.

Gabon

Gabon Becomes the First African Country to Receive Payment for Reducing CO2 Emissions.

Gabon is the first country in Africa to receive results-based payments for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.The first payment is part of the breakthrough agreement between Gabon and the multi-donor UN-hosted Central African Forest Initiative’s (CAFI) in 2019 for a total of $150 million over ten years.

The country’s forest management approach is science-based and robust, despite low historical rates of deforestation and forest degradation, Gabon has been able to reduce CO2 emissions even further.Gabon’s forests house pristine wildlife and megafauna including 60% of the remaining forest elephants, sometimes called the “architects” or “gardeners” of the forest for their roles in maintaining healthy ecosystems and recently listed as critically endangered.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia Signs Military deal with Russia.

Russia and Ethiopia on Monday signed a military cooperation agreement, according to media reports.The agreement came at the conclusion of three days of deliberations held as part of the military technical cooperation forum in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Finance Division State Minister of the Ethiopian National Defense Force Martha Liwij said the agreements will have a “paramount significance” in transforming the longstanding relations between the two nations to a higher level.The agreement will be focusing on transforming capacity of the Ethiopian national defense force in knowledge, skill and technology.Russia has long been one of Ethiopia’s leading suppliers of military hardware.

Djibouti

Djibouti to sell stake in state-owned telecom firm.

Djibouti is the latest African countrlooking to open up its telecoms sector to competition.Authorities in the Horn of Africa nation were, on Monday, reported to have said the government plans to offer a ‘significant minority’ stake in the state-run telecoms monopoly, Djibouti Telecom.The move is said to be part of a plan to open up the sector, modernise Djibouti’s economy, and increase digitalisation. 

Diaspora

Haitian police arrest assassination suspect with ‘political’ aim.

Haitian police announced Sunday they had arrested a Haitian national “who had political objectives” in recruiting the gunmen who assassinated President Jovenel Moise last week.Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who is of Haitian nationality, arrived in the island nation in June accompanied by several Colombians, according to details provided at a press conference.Eighteen Colombian citizens have been arrested since Wednesday. By interrogating them, the Haitian police learned that Sanon had recruited 26 team members via a Florida-based Venezuelan security company named CTU.According to Haitian authorities, the 28-member hit squad burst into Moise’s family home and opened fire on him and his wife, Martine.The president was killed and his wife gravely injured. She was airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment.