Category Archives: World Development

‘Covid-19 Cases in Africa Now Over 115,000’ WHO Reports

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa as at Tuesday, had risen to over 115, 000.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter handle @WHOAFRO.

“There are over 115,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 46,000 recoveries and 3,400 deaths,” it said.

The figures showed that South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria had the highest reported cases in Africa.

According to the report, South Africa had 23,615 cases and 418 deaths followed by Algeria with 8,503 cases and 609 deaths. Nigeria had 8,068 confirmed cases and 233 deaths.

It stated that Ghana had 6,808 reported cases and 32 deaths. Cameroon recorded 4, 890 confirmed cases and 165 deaths.

The report said Lesotho, Seychelles and Namibia were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

It said Lesotho had only two confirmed cases with zero death; Seychelles had 11 reported cases and zero death. Namibia recorded 21 confirmed cases with no death.

Meanwhile, as at May 25, the novel coronavirus had infected more than 5.4 million people and killed over 344,000 worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

But, World Health Organisation (WHO), Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has paid tribute to African leaders for the progress they have made in their fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Moeti gave the tribute yesterday on the official twitter account of the WHO Regional Office for Africa @WHOAFRO.
The regional director also commended Africans for their patience and support in the fight against the pandemic.

“So again, a shout out to African people, I thank them so much for the courage that they have shown, the forbearance under sometimes difficult circumstances.
“We are committed to continue in this fight with them.

“I would like to pay special tribute to African communities. It was said by the WHO Director General, Dr Tedro that our leaders have put in place some measures to control the pandemic.

“We have seen African countries take very tough decisions to put in place some of the control measures.

“I am very pleased to have joined this celebration of Africa Day yesterday, and especially pleased to have been in the company of special envoys on COVID-19 in Africa,” she said.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963.

US Dollar Trails South Africa’s Rand For Eight Weeks

South Africa’s rand raced to its highest in more than eight weeks against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, as optimism about a global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic boosted riskier assets, with investors looking past Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

At 0605 GMT, the rand traded at 17.4700 per dollar, 0.91 per cent firmer than its previous close.

The currency was at its strongest since March 27.

“The optimistic recovery narrative is holding within markets, keeping the dollar subdued and seeing the rand remain on a stable footing following last week’s rally,” Bianca Botes, executive director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, said in a note.

“While there are looming geopolitical risks, it seems as though markets are currently pushing them onto the back burner, and will likely continue to do so until there is a new escalation or increased threat.”

Remember that, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday a further easing of the country’s lockdown from June 1, allowing the vast majority of the economy to return to full capacity.

China Foreign Minister ‘We’ll Help Ease Africa Debt Burden’

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently declared that China will work with other G20 members to implement the debt service suspension initiative to ease Africa’s debt burden.

Minister Wang made the remarks when he responded to a question asked by an African journalist at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Chinese national legislative session on Sunday, May 24th.

According to Minister Wang, who is concurrently a State Councillor (equivalent of Deputy Prime Minister) of China’s cabinet, China and Africa are good brothers who have shared weal and woe together.

He said, “our people, having fought shoulder-to-shoulder for national liberation, are partners for common development. A few years back, we were together fighting Ebola.”

He stated that he fully agreed with the AU Commission Chairperson in saying that “Africa and China are friends and, more importantly, comrades-in-arms. Nothing can change or damage this friendship”.

Minister Wang made it clear that in the battle against COVID-19, China and Africa have again stood by each other.

Nigeria’s GDP grows in 1st quarter 2020

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2020.

This revelation was made by the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) on Monday while announcing the ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product’ report for first quarter 2020 .

The reported growth can in the midst of significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 public health crisis, a sharp fall in oil prices, and restricted international trade.

The Q1 2020 growth represents a drop of –0.23 per cent points compared to Q1 2019 and –0.68 per cent points compared to Q4 2019. This are indication of the effects of the global disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy.

Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27 per cent compared to 5.59 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.

In terms of quantities, the aggregate GDP stood at N35.64m in nominal terms of Q1 2020.

This performance was higher when compared to the first quarter of 2019 which recorded N31.82m, with a nominal growth rate of 12.01 per cent year on year.

Relative to the first quarter of 2019, the nominal growth rate was higher by 0.11 per cent points but lower than the proceeding quarter by –0.32 per cent points.

Covid-19: China Reports Zero New Cases for the First Time Since January

China on Saturday reported zero new coronavirus infections for the first time since it started reporting data in January , a day after Communist Party leaders celebrated “ major achievements” in the virus fight .

The virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year , but cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid- February as the country appears to have brought the virus largely under control .

The official death toll in the country of 1 . 4 billion people stands at 4 , 634 , well below the number of fatalities in much smaller countries .

However , doubt has been cast on the reliability of China ’ s numbers and the United States has led the charge in questioning how much information Beijing has shared with the international community.

The milestone comes a day after the opening of China ’ s rubber – stamp parliament , the National People’ s Congress , where Premier Li Keqiang said the country had “ made major strategic achievements in our response to COVID- 19 . ”

However , he warned that the country still faced “ immense ” challenges.

Authorities in Wuhan have come under fire for reprimanding and silencing doctors who first raised the alarm about the virus late last year , and repeated changes to counting methodology have cast further doubt over China ’ s official data.

Beijing has strenuously denied accusations of a cover up , insisting it has always shared information with the World Health Organisation (WHO ) and other countries in a timely manner.

Since first emerging in Wuhan the virus has spread across the world , claiming more than 335 , 000 lives globally

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