AfDB approves $20m to contain spread of COVID-19 in G5 Sahel nations | #54DegreesAcrossAfrica

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $20 million in grant funding from the African Development Fund, to build capacity to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.

Other details: According to a statement by AfDB’s Communication and External Relations Department, Olufemi Terry, the operation will provide funding for the project which will also boost resilience of vulnerable communities, including internally displaced persons, refugees and their host communities, in the countries, also known as the Sahel zone’s Group of 5 (G5).

The Project will support epidemiological surveillance and case management capacity; make available medical products for COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment; ensure the deployment of social protection measures in targeted communities, especially, internally displaced persons, refugees and their host communities; and strengthen food and nutrition systems. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) will provide operational support for the project.

Burundi cabinet wants court to declare presidency vacant

Burundi will seek constitutional interpretation on how to proceed over the power vacuum created after the death of president Pierre Nkurunziza on June 8.

Go deeper: The First Vice-President, Gaston Sindimwo Thursday, chaired an extraordinary Council of Ministers – cabinet – meeting which agreed to refer the issue to the apex court.

Cabinet wants the court “to declare the vacancy of the post of President of the Republic following the death of Pierre Nkurunziza,” a tweet by the VP’s office said. The country is observing a one-week national mourning period.

Ethiopia govt using pandemic to stay on ‘indefinitely’ – Jawar

With COVID-19 as the perfect excuse, the Ethiopian government is aiming to extend “its term of office indefinitely,” activist – turned – politician Jawar Mohammed says.

Backstory: Jawar was reacting to the decision on Wednesday by the House of Federation – upper parliamentary chamber – to extend the mandate of federal and regional parliaments till the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer deemed a threat.

Jawar said, “We are not surprised as we knew where they were heading from the outset,” he said. He took a swipe at experts who he said had been “duped” by the government which used them for “sham show” of a constitutional consultation panel.

Go deeper: Abiy has serially insisted that he did not fear elections and was ready to hand over power if he loses.

Kenya hits tech companies with 1.5% digital tax

The Kenya government has slammed a 1.5% digital tax on tech companies in an effort to squeeze more from online firms that do business and earn profits in the country.

Go deeper: Kenya joins the list of countries that have imposed tariffs on tech giants such as Google, Netflix and Facebook.

The US is opposed to digital taxation saying it “unfairly targets” American technology companies. Last week, it launched a formal investigation into plans by 10 jurisdictions, including the UK, European Union and India, to increase the tax burden on American big tech companies.

Coronavirus dashboard:

WHO warns of coronavirus acceleration in Africa

South Africans are calling for the alcohol ban to be reinstated

Nigeria prepares for gradual reopening of Airports

The Western Cape Education Department says it’s standing by its decision to support the reopening of schools, despite having 98 reported COVID-19 cases from dozens of schools in the province.

East Africa aims to cushion economic impact of Covid-19

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