News Brief: Tanzanian Abdulrazak Gurnah awarded Nobel literature prize; Google to invest $1 billion in Africa over five years

Tanzanian Abdulrazak Gurnah awarded Nobel literature prize

Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah was on Thursday announced as the winner of Nobel Prize for Literature, according to the Swedish Academy, his win was as a result of his works that explore the legacies of imperialism on uprooted individuals.

Gurnah, who was a former lecturer at Nigeria’s Bayero University was born and nurtured in the island of Zanzibar but came to England as a refugee at the end of the 1960s, has published 10 novels and a number of short stories. He would have normally received the Nobel from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, But the physical ceremony has been cancelled for the second consecutive time due to the pandemic.

Nigeria gets $400 million in World Bank financing for COVID-19

On Friday 1st October, Nigeria got approval for $400 million in World Bank financing to procure and deploy COVID-19 vaccinations, the bank said in a statement.

In a statement released by the bank, the World Bank board of directors signed off on the financing, provided via the International Development Association, which it said would enable Africa’s Nigeria to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for 40 million people, some 18% of its population, and support vaccine deployment to 110 million people. According to the bank, the money would ensure that the government can vaccinate 51% of its population within two years and “avoid the dreadful consequences of another lockdown that left in its wake an economic toll the country is still grappling with.”

Guinea junta names former civil servant as prime minister

Guinea’s military junta has on Wednesday named a former civil servant and agricultural finance expert, Mohamed Beavogui, as prime minister to preside over the country’s planned transition back to democratic rule, a transition whose precise contours have yet to be defined. His appointment was announced in a decree on the country’s national television. He is the nephew of Diallo Telli, a celebrated Guinean diplomat who served as the first secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor to the African Union, and was killed by the regime of dictator Sekou Touré in 1977.

Google to invest $1 billion in Africa over five years

In a virtual event to launch the Africa investment fund on Wednesday l, Google has announced plans to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years to ensure access to fast and cheaper internet and will back startups to support the continent’s digital transformation.

According to the unit of U.S. tech company Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), the fund will include $50 million in startups, and will provide easier access to networks and technologies. Nitin Gajria, managing director for Google in Africa said that startups focusing on fintech, e-commerce and local language content among others will be the major target of the company.

Sub-Saharan Africa GDP set to grow 3.3% this year, 3.5% in 2022

According to a World Bank report, rising commodity prices, the easing of some anti-coronavirus regulations, and a pick-up in global trade are predicted to propel Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy to 3.3 percent growth this year and 3.5 percent growth in 2022.

The World Bank report said, depending on how quickly COVID-19 vaccinations are rolled out, growth could be higher at 5.1 percent in 2022 and 5.4 percent a year later, with a slower inoculation rate reducing growth projections.

Ethiopia leader promises to fend off foreign pressure

After emerging victorious in Ethiopia’s june 2021 elections, and despite international concern, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed cemented his power and was sworn in for a new five-year term on Monday. Speaking before a crowd of thousands Ethiopians in Addis Ababa, shortly after the parliament confirmed his appointment, Abiy Ahmed said he would protect the country from foreign interference.

Mali summons French ambassador over Macron comments

Citing unfriendly and offensive remarks made by President Emmanuel Macron, Mali’s foreign ministry has summoned France’s ambassador to Bamako on Tuesday, this is the latest salvo in a tense standoff between Mali and its important military ally, France, over claims that Bamako is considering hiring Russian mercenaries as Paris restructures its 5,000-strong counter-terrorism mission in the region. 

Mali’s prime minister had earlier accused France of deserting the country in the war against Islamist rebels. Macron dismissed the accusation last week, questioning the legitimacy of Malian authorities handling a transition to elections following two coups in less than a year.

Southern African regional coalition extends troop deployment in Mozambique to fight insurgency 

At a summit on Tuesday, Southern African regional bloc SADC has  agreed to extend a troop deployment in Mozambique to help the government fight a State-linked insurgency, this was conveyed to the public in a communique signed by the top officials.

The SADC troop deployment was initially for three months and due to end on Oct. 15. The communique did not say how long the extension was approved for, but Southern African nations agreed to send troops to help Mozambique respond to the insurgency, which is concentrated in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and has claimed thousands of lives since beginning in 2017.

Mali receives four helicopters and weapons from Russia

A cargo plane has on Thursday delivered four helicopters, weapons and ammunition from Russia to Mali, according to Sadio Camara, interim Malian defence minister, Mali purchased the helicopters in a bid to fulfil the contract agreed in December 2020 to support its armed forces in their battle alongside French, European and U.N. troops with insurgents linked to Al Qaeda.

The delivery comes at a time when Mali and its key military ally France are at odds over allegations that Bamako is considering recruiting Russian mercenaries as Paris restructures its 5,000-strong counter-terrorism mission in the region.

South Africa removed from UK Covid 19 red list

Like Brazil and Mexico, South Africa has also been removed from the UK Covid 19 red list, which mandates travellers from South Africa to quarantine in an approved hotel for a full 10 days.

According to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the new policy will begin on Monday and “mark the next step” in opening travel. This latest move will be seen as a boost to the airline industry and families separated during the pandemic.


Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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