Africa This Week 103022: Namibia-Germany Genocide Agreement, Egypt-IMF Loan Agreement, South Africa 5G High Speed Launch, and More

Namibia wants Germany to return to the bargaining table so they may go through the genocide agreement they came to last year. The issue was discussed by the technical committees of Namibia and Germany, according to Namibia’s vice president, Mbumba, who spoke at a gathering of traditional leaders in Windhoek on Thursday. They suggested that changes be made to the joint declaration in the form of an addendum, which was sent to the German government. The requested changes were not specifically described. Namibia is now awaiting word from Germany. Germany admitted to committing “genocide” in the southern African territory it colonised between 1884 and 1915. In May of last year, Germany committed to providing descendants of the Herero and Nama ethnic groups with $30 billion in development funds after more than five years of negotiations, stating that the payment would be made “voluntarily” and that the agreement was not equivalent to “reparations”. Many Namibians rejected the agreement, arguing that the descendants of the Herero and Nama had not been sufficiently involved in the talks, saying that at least 60,000 Hehero and about 10,000 Nama were killed between 1904 and 1908.

The International Monetary Fund has reached a preliminary agreement with the Egyptian government that paves the way for them to access a $3 billion loan, officials said Thursday. In a statement issued Thursday, Egypt’s IMF mission chief, Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, said the 46-month deal, known as an “Extended Fund Facility Arrangement,” allows Egypt access to the loan on the condition that it implements a series of economic reforms. In the hours before the announcement of the loan agreement, Egypt’s central bank announced a series of economic measures, including a hike in key interest rates by roughly 2 percentage points and a switch to a more “durably flexible exchange rate.” The bank said the exchange rate switch would now allow international markets to “determine the value of the Egyptian pound against other foreign currencies.” Data from the National Bank of Egypt shows that after the announcement, the Egyptian pound hit a record low against the dollar, falling from roughly 19.75 to at least 22.80. The coronavirus pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, which have disrupted international markets and raised oil and food prices globally, have had a significant negative impact on the Egyptian economy. According to Horllar, the deal aims to lower Egypt’s overall debt and implement significant fiscal policy changes. The central bank announced that as part of its monetary reforms, it will start dismantling a system for importers, a bureaucratic procedure put in place in February to limit the demand for the currency for imports.

Huawei Technologies’ equipment has been used by South African telecom provider Telkom to launch its 5G high-speed network, the two firms announced on Thursday. As demand for the internet grows, Telkom, a state-owned company, joins larger competitors Vodacom and MTN, as well as smaller peer Rain, in the 5G race. In addition to supporting new services for South African consumers like online augmented reality and virtual reality gaming and ultra high definition streaming, 5G, with its ultra high speed and low latency, will also enable businesses with cloud and artificial intelligence technologies, according to Fortune Wang, Carrier Business Director for Huawei South Africa. Lunga Siyo, the chief executive officer of Telkom Consumer and Business, stated that Telkom will initially concentrate on offering extremely quick 5G fixed wireless access solutions.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, expressed unsatisfaction on Thursday with the US embassy’s “unfortunate” decision to issue a warning about a potential weekend “terrorist” attack in the nation without first consulting his administration. The potential target was identified as Sandton, a suburb in the nation’s financial centre of Johannesburg, by the US embassy on Wednesday. The alert was quickly circulated on social media and in WhatsApp groups throughout Johannesburg. According to the advisory, the attack may happen there on Saturday. However, the president expressed regret that the US issued such a warning without first consulting with the government. Ramaphosa said Pretoria has been “working round-the-clock to verify and to examine very attentively at this message,”.

Thursday marked the swearing-in of Kenyan President William Ruto‘s cabinet, two months after he barely won a contentious election. The centrepiece of Ruto’s election campaign platform, the 22-member team would be tasked with addressing the cost of living crisis and other economic problems in the nation of East Africa. Ruto tasked the new ministers with making successful improvements and promised his support. As he seeks to restructure the regional powerhouse, he has pledged to lead an inclusive, transparent, and accountable government. Former vice president Musalia Mudavadi took over as principal cabinet secretary after siding with Ruto instead of Raila Odinga, the opposition leader and unsuccessful candidate for president. As the most senior government official, the 62-year-old will report directly to the president and his deputy. The foreign ministry will be managed by former governor Alfred Mutua, whose party supported Ruto. The influential interior ministry will be led by Kithure Kindiki, a lawyer who was a member of the legal team that successfully defended Ruto’s election victory in court in August. Additionally, Kindiki defended Ruto in his prosecution at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for his alleged part in planning the 2007–2008 post-election turmoil that resulted in at least 1,100 fatalities and more than 600,000 displaced people. Former central bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u is the new treasurer.

The relatives of 70 children who officials suspect may have passed away after ingesting a tainted cough medication imported from India were urged to receive compensation by Gambian MPs on Wednesday. A few weeks after the World Health Organization raised the alarm regarding 66 deaths from acute renal damage, a special legislative session was held. Authorities in the Gambia started a quick door-to-door operation to seize any remaining syrup bottles. Alhagie S. Darbo, the minority leader in the nation’s assembly, suggested that the government’s probe should also look into “the responsibility of the pharmacies and alleged importers of tainted pharmaceuticals. Four cough and cold syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited in India “have been potentially associated with acute renal damage,” according to the WHO’s medical product alert in youngsters. The U.N. health agency says that investigations are being conducted with the company and Indian government agencies.

Following the most recent coup to shake the terrorist-torn Sahel state, Burkina Faso’s new administration said on Wednesday that securing the country’s borders will be its top priority. At the first cabinet meeting under the new leadership of Captain Ibrahim Traore, who overthrew the previous government this month, Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela laid out the nation’s priorities. He claims that improving the system of administration, safeguarding the territory, and doing what is necessary to improve the quality of life for Burkinabes are his top priorities. Premiered on Friday, the 64-year-old lawyer leads a 23-member cabinet that includes five women and three military personnel to run the nation until its anticipated return to civilian power. Colonel Kassoum Coulibaly was appointed minister of defence and veterans, a crucial role in a nation decimated by Islamist violence, and was one of the important positions in the cabinet that was revealed late on Tuesday. Colonel Boukare Zoungrana, who is in charge of territorial management, decentralization, and security, and Colonel Augustin Kabore, who is in charge of the environment, are the other two officers.

The border between Burundi and Rwanda has officially reopened, according to the minister of international affairs of the East African nation. This was confirmed by Minister Albert Shingiro on October 25 during a press conference. He added that Burundi continues to demand the repatriation of coup plotters it claims fled to Kigali after attempting to oust former President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015. For nearly six years, the border between Burundi and Rwanda has been blocked due to political unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. For its part, Rwanda has reopened its border with Burundi. The reopening of the border comes after Kenyan President William Ruto asked his East African Community partner states to remove obstacles that prevent trade inside the community.

Despite an uptick in cases that have extended to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, Africa’s top public health organization, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declared on Thursday that the Ebola outbreak in Uganda was “not getting out of hand” and that it was still under control. In addition, Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, the organization’s president, stated that it was currently impossible to make any predictions on the disease’s potential future spread. Unlike the more prevalent Zaire strain observed during recent outbreaks in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, the virus spreading in Uganda is the Sudan strain of Ebola, for which there is no known vaccine. According to Uganda’s Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, the outbreak has claimed 30 lives and there are currently 109 confirmed cases of the disease. She also announced that the government was constructing a new treatment facility.

Writer, journalist, and legal researcher, Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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