Niger elections trigger violence, fatal explosion

Niger elections trigger violence, fatal explosion

Seven members of Niger’s Independent National Electoral Commission died Sunday when the vehicle they traveled in struck an improvised explosive device along a route near Waraou in the country’s troubled west. The explosion injured three others, according to an RFI report. It happened as Nigeriens went to the polls for…

Nigerian named new head of World Trade Organization

It’s official: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria is now the first African and the first woman to serve as head of the World Trade Organization. The anticipated selection of Okonjo-Iweala, a former foreign minister as well as finance minister, was announced Monday by WTO. She will serve as director general…

Ramaphosa centers COVID, corruption during SONA address

South Africa must prioritize both the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s economic recovery, especially with an eye toward climate change and the energy sector, the president said during the annual State of the Nation address. President Cyril Ramaphosa compared his nation to the fynbos, a South African…

COVAX forecast gives country-by-country breakdown on COVID vaccines

African nations may have a better idea of what COVID-19 vaccination products to expect with an update from the global COVAX Facility issued Wednesday. COVAX, led by the Gavi vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization, provided a country-by-country breakdown in a detailed…

Kenyan firm offers farmers AI-based locust monitoring tech

East Africans are now using an early warning tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help farmers fight off locusts that have devastated crops and communities across the past year. The new tool from Selina Wamucii, a platform that connects farmers and markets across Africa, is called Kuzi, the Swahili…

UNICEF warns of increased food insecurity in African nations

UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, warns that some 10.4 million children – all in countries on the African continent with the exception of Yemen – face severe food insecurity and malnutrition in the coming year. The affected nations include Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), northeast Nigeria, the…

U.S. to require pricey visa bonds in 15 African nations

A new program in the United States will require nonimmigrant visitors from 23 foreign countries – most of them African – to post a US$10,000 bond when applying for travel visas. The U.S. pilot program targets citizens of nations with high visa overstay rates, according to the U.S. Department of…

G20 wraps up with African debt relief a priority

With Zambia’s recent default on debt repayment and global concern over pandemic-related economic impacts, the G20 meeting in Riyadh wrapped up Sunday with a commitment through June for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to allow developing nations to defer debt payments. “The coronovirus pandemic is not only the greatest…

Mauritius PM calls for equal access to COVID vaccines

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius has called for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, saying the pandemic has made painfully clear the inequities that exist between the world’s richer nations and their impoverished counterparts around the globe. “Such an access is key to change the course of the pandemic and…

BRICS leaders focus on COVID challenges

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa joined China’s Xi Jinping in calling for cooperation and unity in the fight against COVID as leaders of the five developing BRICS economies met Tuesday in a virtual meeting hosted by Russia. Ramaphosa’s focus on trade disruptions, supply chain challenges and African debt follows…