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Senegal: Opposition leader freed, Benin opposition candidate jailed and accused of terrorism | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

Across the 54 Countries in Africa, these are the 5 top stories you may have missed:

Senegal: Opposition leader freed

Senegalese Government critic, Ousmane Sonko who was charged with rape has been freed from detention as police clashed with protesters in Senegal – All Africa reports

Authorities freed him from detention pending an investigation on Monday, 8th March, after his arrest last week sparked deadly protests in the country.

According to reports, even after the 46-year old was released, new clashes erupted between security forces and crowds gathering in anticipation of his arrival.

Benin opposition candidate jailed and accused of terrorism

The first female presidential candidate and leader of Benin’s largest opposition party, Reckya Madougou, has been arrested and accused of “planning to assassinate several political figures” – Africa News reports

Reckya’s candidacy for the presidential election on April 11 was rejected by the electoral commission last Thursday for failing to garner signatures of support from 16 mayors or MPs.

“Compatriots who were preparing to commit crimes have designated Reckya Madougou as their sponsor,” Alain Orounla, spokesperson for the government of Benin, told reporters.

AfDB approves $1.3 million research grant to aid financial inclusion in Nigeria, two others

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved two grants for research that will focus on increasing African women’s access to a range of digital financial services including loans and micro-insurance – Premium Times reports

According to the bank, the grants, $1 million and $300,000 respectively, will be disbursed through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility.

“This grant funding will be used to leverage technology to develop innovative and responsive loan and insurance products that can spur productivity and inclusion, especially for our women smallholder farmers and traders,” said Sheila Okiro, the Bank’s Coordinator for ADFI.

Zimbabwe struggles post-COVID lockdown

Zimbabwe’s lockdown measures may have been relaxed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the impact of a month-long national lockdown since Jan. 5 2021, after a spike in coronavirus, continues to linger – News Central Africa reports

“We haven’t opened everything, we haven’t even opened restaurants for sit-ins because in the first place for this disease to be in this country, it had to be imported,“ President Mangwana said addressing the state of the economy.

Ivory Coast: Patrick Achi named as interim PM

President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast has named his close confidant and chief of staff, Patrick Achi, as interim prime minister on Monday, 8th March in place of Hamed Bakayoko – Aljazeera Africa reports

“State minister Patrick Achi will take over the functions of prime minister and head of government in an interim capacity,” the presidency said in a statement.



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