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Coronavirus - Africa: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) proposes COVID-19 exit strategies to bring African economies back on track - Africanews English
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has released a new report proposing to African nations various coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exit strategies following the imposition of lockdowns that
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has released a new report proposing to African nations various coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exit strategies following the imposition of lockdowns that helped suppress the virus but with devastating economic consequences. At least 42 African countries applied partial or full lockdowns in their quest to curtail the pandemic. The ECA estimates that a one-month full lockdown across Africa would cost the continent about 2.5 per cent of its annual GDP, equivalent to about $65.7 billion per month. This is separate from and in addition to the wider external impact of COVID-19 on Africa of lower commodity prices and investment flows. In the new report titled; COVID-19: Lockdown exit strategies for Africa, the ECA proposes seven exit strategies that provide sustainable, albeit reduced, economic activity. The report sets out some of the exit strategies being proposed and tried around the world and outlines the risks involved for African countries. With the lockdowns came serious challenges for Africas economies, including a drop in demand for products and services; lack of operational cash flow; reduction of opportunities to meet new customers; businesses were closed; issues with changing business strategies and offering alternative products and services; a decline in worker production and productivity from working at home; logistics and shipping of products; and difficulties in obtaining supplies of raw materials essential for production. Among the most sensitive issues facing policymakers is the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on food security. The seven lockdown exit strategies being proposed by the think tank are identified from proposals and trials around the world. They are assessed with respect to the extent to which each strategy minimizes uncertainty over fatalities. In most cases, countries are applying a combination of several strategies such as testing, contact tracing and gradual segmented reopening. They are improving testing; lockdown until preventive or curative medicines are developed; contact tracing and mass testing; immunity permits; gradual segmented reopening; adaptive triggering; and mitigation. Under adaptive triggering nations can ease lockdown once infections decline and re-impose if they begin to rise above intensive-care capacity. These would require regular shutdowns lasting two-thirds of the year, making little difference to permanent lockdown from an economic perspective. African health-care capacity is limited meaning capacity would quickly be exceeded, potentially resulting in fatalities. Mitigation gradually allows the infection to spread across the population with some social distancing measures in place. It is reportedly working in Sweden, where an estimated 2540 per cent of Stockholm have contracted COVID-19, but relies on good adherence to basic social distancing measures and strong health-care capacity. This could imply considerable risk in African populations with low health-care access and unknown comorbidities. Firms surveyed by the ECA reported to be operating at only 43 per cent; 70 per cent of slum dwellers report that they are missing meals or eating less as a result of COVID-19. Lockdowns, the report notes, forestall severe vulnerabilities, and that testing, contact tracing and easing restrictions may be possible for countries with sufficient public health systems and that have contained COVID-19 transmission, put in place preventive measures, engaged and educated communities, and minimized risks to vulnerable groups. Gradual segmented reopening may be needed in countries where containment has failed with further measures to suppress the spread of the disease being required where the virus is still spreading, notes the report. The spread of the virus is still accelerating in many African countries on average at 30 percent every week. Active learning and data collection can help policymakers ascertain risks across the breadth of policy unknowns as they consider recommendations to ease lockdowns and move towards a new normal. The report urges African nations to take advantage of being behind the curve. This may be an opportunity to learn from the experiences of other regions and their experiments in reopening; and to use the extra time afforded by the lockdowns to rapidly put in place testing, treatment systems, preventive measures, and carefully design lockdown exit strategies in collaboration with communities and vulnerable groups. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).Download logo
The international photographer endorses TECNO CAMON 15 Premier Vlog, comments from fans: Amazing! - Africanews English
Recently, Michael Christopher Brown post several photos and a Vlog on his Instagram and shared his experience on TECNO CAMON 15 (www.TECNO-mobile.com) Premier photography. Michael Christopher
Recently, Michael Christopher Brown post several photos and a Vlog on his Instagram and shared his experience on TECNOCAMON 15 (www.TECNO-mobile.com) Premier photography. Michael Christopher Brown was a contributing photographer for National Geographic and a member of Magnum, one of the top photography organization. Michael is famous for his mobile photography to capture the best moments and create works with great acuity and insight, and centering around the 2011 Libyan Revolution and record the war with a phone camera. In 2019, Michael presented the offline training camp of TECNOCAMON 12 in Nigeria to share the skills and fun of mobile phone photography with the campers, praising the accuracy of TECNOCAMON 12 in color and color imaging. With launch of TECNOCAMON 15 series, Michael received a gift from TECNOTECNOCAMON 15 Premier. After a photography experience, Michael posted several photos and a Vlog on his Instagram and got lots of comments from photography lovers: Great shot!, Amazing, Tres beau!. Michael's photos are mainly of architecture, art paintings and some selfies. The composition form of the architecture and the sky from the angle of inverted photography shows the great size of the architecture, Selfie photo highlights than light and shadow contrast, which is more powerful to impress the readers. The photos taken by Michael are simple and powerful, with strong texture. They show a rich picture with simple lines, which makes the photos full of story. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, operation and special features of TECNOCAMON 15 Premier, all at a relatively low price point compared with other phone cameras. And the super night mode, the pop-up selfie lens and the macro lens impressed me a lot, this device was great for closeup work. commented by Michael. TECNOCAMON 15 Premier is equipped with 64 MP SONY cameras and trademarked TAIVOS technology, combined with TECNO's underlying software advantages to provide excellent image shooting capability in dark environment, with improved dynamic range by 68% to simultaneously filter image noise and optimize image sharpness, bringing users a new ultra-sharp photo experience. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of TECNO Mobile.Media filesDownload logoMichael shared TECNOCAMON 15 Premier photography Vlog and samples (1) Africanews provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes.
Like Time: 40% of Parents in Nigeria agree that Cute Photos with Kids get more likes - Africanews English
In current times, during the Coronavirus pandemic, people have to stay home with their families and kids. Staying at home usually also means spending lots
In current times, during the Coronavirus pandemic, people have to stay home with their families and kids. Staying at home usually also means spending lots of time using different gadgets, in particular spending time on social networks. It means that the urge to update ones social account with a kids photo can be even stronger. When it comes to responsible digital parenting, it is hard to draw the line that defines the breach of childrens rights along with jeopardising their safety and the safe sharing of photo and video materials to keep memories. However, there actually are some basic rules to follow in order to make social media interaction as safe as possible. Kaspersky (http://www.Kaspersky.co.za/), a global cyber security company, shed some light on the challenges that modern parents can face while interacting in a digital space, by creating a special survey for parents¹. The campaign focused on different aspects of digital parenting including the sharing of photos, the discussions about childrens digital life, cyberbullying and its consequences, the usage of tracking tools such as geolocation. Speaking about photo sharing, it is a very burning topic as it provokes many hot discussions and the behaviour of parents is not so harmless. It was estimated that over half (61%) of respondents in Nigeria post their childrens photos in social media (with 20% posting them 1-2 times a month) and 23% of them allow strangers to see them which brings some associated risks. The goals of such an extensive sharing vary, but the interesting fact is that usually people want to keep memories (66%) and just consider it an important part of their lives (17%). It goes on with the fact that 40% of Nigerian parents, who participated in the survey, admit that photos with children gain more likes and comments than the ones without them. Modern parents face a big set of new challenges considering new opportunities that emerge. It is complicated to distinguish between a safe sharing and compromising a childs safety, however, it is crucial to set aside the urge to overshare with an aim of getting popular, as it may be quite dangerous. According to Kasperskys survey for parents, 48% of parents post their childs name, while 36% publish information about the childs hobbies, and it is quite a harmful tendency, explains Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky. To safeguard our childrens data and share safely, Kaspersky strongly recommends following this advice:
- Limit access to your social media profiles and make them visible to friends only (but always mind that you add to the list of friends the people you know personally). Do not forget about general safety settings such as two-factor authentication in the Instagram app and a secure password.
- Do not share the materials that may cause any harm for your child that includes personal photos and videos, other information that is not meant for public the contacts of your child, the name of their school, etc.
- Think about a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Total Security. It incorporates Kaspersky Safe Kids module and helps to guard your family and private data, plus protects your kids online and beyond. In these challenging times, staying safe is the top priority, so Kaspersky is now offering its best multi-device security free for 3 months (https://bit.ly/2VIf3lU).
Coronavirus - Africa Vaccination Week 2020 kicks off as COVID-19 threatens immunization gains - Africanews English
This year’s Africa Vaccination Week starts today as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant disruption to vaccination efforts and to the surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases
This years Africa Vaccination Week starts today as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant disruption to vaccination efforts and to the surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases on the continent. Prior disease outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies have underscored the importance of maintaining essential health services such as immunization. Even brief interruptions of vaccination activities make outbreaks more likely to occur, putting children and other vulnerable groups more at risk of life-threatening diseases. Africa has been experiencing a resurgence of measles. Measles preventive mass vaccination campaigns in Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan have been suspended because of COVID-19, leaving around 21 million children who would have been vaccinated, unprotected. While the complexity and breadth of the Covid-19 response is unprecedented, we must continue to protect African children against vaccine-preventable diseases, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. Let us not be blind-sided by COVID-19 and let down our guard against measles and other childhood threats. WHO has developed new guidelines on immunization in the context of COVID-19 that stress the need for a dynamic, approach. They recommend that countries temporarily pause preventive mass vaccination campaigns but they urge countries to prioritize the continuation of routine immunization of children as an essential service delivery, as well as adult vaccinations such as influenza for groups most at risk. The conduct of outbreak response mass vaccination campaigns will require a careful risk-benefit analysis on a case-by-case basis. For example, countries under total lockdown may not be able to fully implement routine health services at all sites, so they may opt to preemptively scale up routine services before the announcement of total lockdown, or to ramp up once the lockdown ends. If immunization services must be suspended, urgent catch-up vaccinations should be rescheduled as soon as possible, prioritizing those most at risk. The 2020 Africa Vaccination Week theme is #Vaccines Work for All. The campaign will focus on how vaccines and the people who develop, deliver and receive them are heroes by working to protect the health of everyone, everywhere. The initiative aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against diseases. As part of the 2020 campaign, WHO and partners aim to:
- Demonstrate the value of vaccines for the health of children and communities even in the context of Covid-19.
- Demonstrate that routine immunization is the foundation for strong, resilient health systems and universal health coverage.
- Highlight the need to build on immunization progress while addressing gaps, including through increased investment in vaccines and immunization.
Coronavirus - Africa: The potential impact of health service disruptions on the burden of malaria: a modelling analysis for countries in sub-Saharan Africa - Africanews English
Background Since 2000, the world has seen unprecedented progress against the burden of malaria following massive investments in providing effective prevention and treatment interventions to populations
Background Since 2000, the world has seen unprecedented progress against the burden of malaria following massive investments in providing effective prevention and treatment interventions to populations at risk in malaria-endemic countries. Download Report:https://bit.ly/2Y2DFYc Malaria case incidence declined by 30%, from 80 per 1000 population in 2000 to 57 per 1000 population in 2018. During the same period, the malaria mortality incidence rate declined by 60% from 25 to 10 per 100 000 population at risk. By far, the majority of these gains have been due to reductions in the burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), a region that still accounts for over 90% of malaria cases and deaths globally. These massive gains have been achieved despite important gaps in prevention and access to treatment, along with periods of conflict and other humanitarian emergencies. By all indications, however, the current COVID-19 pandemic will likely be the biggest threat faced by global efforts to reduce the malaria burden, especially in SSA where health systems are fragile. The WHO Global Malaria Programme (GMP) maintains a platform to track and analyse potential threats to malaria control and elimination (http://apps.who.int/ malaria/maps/threats/), including drug and insecticide resistance, Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein (pfhrp2) deletions and the spread of new invasive mosquito species. GMP has also used modelling as a tool to guide potential interventions in response to these threats, including during public health emergencies. For example, during the humanitarian crisis in Borno State (Nigeria), modelling was used to estimate the potential impact of different types of interventions. Based on this analysis, four rounds of age-targeted mass drug administration (MDA) were delivered by the local health authority and the WHO polio and health emergencies teams, reaching more than 1.2 million children under the age of 5. It was estimated that the MDA campaign prevented about 10 000 children from dying of malaria. A similar analysis performed following the Ebola crisis in West Africa demonstrated the utility of modelling both the threats to malaria service delivery and the impact of potential mitigating strategies for planning and decision-making, as well as to raise awareness among policy-makers. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a new threat to malaria service delivery. As the virus begins to spread in malaria-endemic countries, including in SSA (3), their fragile health systems will likely be overwhelmed. Indeed, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrated that a sudden increase in demand for health services can lead to substantial increases in morbidity and mortality from other diseases, including malaria. In response to this threat, WHOGMP has recently released guidance to help countries ensure the maintenance of their malaria services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. GMP has also been working with several modelling teams to analyse the potential impact on malaria burden of different service disruption scenarios. The outputs of these modelling exercises reinforce the message that country programmes and ministries of health must ensure the continuity of malaria prevention and treatment services during the response to COVID-19. The results of these analyses are presented in this document. It is important to note that this analysis does not consider the impact of disruptions to indoor residual spraying (IRS) and seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC). Analysis Malaria transmission seasonality Using the modelling framework previously employed in WHOs Global technical strategy for malaria 20162030 (5), normalized malaria incidence in cases per person per year was calculated for SSA countries, assuming 35 days between peak rainfall and peak malaria incidence (Fig. 1). The resulting information can be used to understand the timing of COVID-19-related service disruptions with respect to malaria transmission seasons and can assist programmes in determining the optimal timing for mitigation activities with respect to COVID-19-related service disruptions. The analysis shows clear seasonality varying by country, but with a broad regional signal. Peak malaria transmission starts later in the year in West Africa than in East and Central African countries. For many of the Sahelian countries in West Africa that implement SMC, peak transmission is likely to be reached in September. If the spread of COVID-19 continues along its current trajectory, the peak malaria season in these countries is likely to overlap with COVID-19-related disruptions. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).Download logo
OPEC+ slashes production, saves Oil Industry from collapse - Africanews English
In a watershed moment for the oil and gas industry, OPEC and its allies in the OPEC+ group finalized a deal on Easter Sunday that,
In a watershed moment for the oil and gas industry, OPEC and its allies in the OPEC+ group finalized a deal on Easter Sunday that, in conjunction with efforts from the G20 and International Energy Agency, could see up to 20 million barrels of oil per day removed from a severely oversupplied oil market. The deal is set to boost the oil price and provide some much-needed stability for an industry in crisis. Initially announced Thursday, the agreement was delayed as Mexico refused their share of production cuts. The original OPEC+ deal would have seen a cut of 10 million barrels of crude per day from an October 2018 baseline, for an initial two-month period. With OPEC+ letting Mexico off the hook, the official OPEC+ cut now stands at 9.7 million barrels, as Mexico agrees to cut 100,000 barrels per day instead of 400,000 barrels per day. In reality, however, the OPEC+ deal will cut more than the quoted 9.7 million barrels, since current production levels are much higher than the October 2018 baselines used to calculate the production cuts. The deal sees Russia and Saudi Arabia absorbing the brunt of the cuts, each agreeing to cut their production down to 8.5 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabias production stood at 12.3 million barrels per day, and Russia was producing 11.29 million barrels of oil per day in March. Both countries, however, used 11 million barrels per day as their baseline in the deal. These production adjustments are historic. They are largest in volume and the longest in duration, as they are planned to last for two years. We are witnessing today the triumph of international cooperation and multilateralism which are the core of OPEC values, said Secretary General of OPEC H.E. Mohammed Barkindo. Barkindo also noted that the OPEC+ deal paves the way for further collaboration with the G20. In a meeting on Friday, the G20 nations also agreed to take action to stabilize the market. The United States, for example, is set to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to store vast quantities of oil. Additionally, the US will see production cuts of at least 2 million barrels as the market responds to a lack of demand. The US has also reportedly offered to take on an additional cut of 300,000 barrels per day on Mexicos behalf, although the details of how such a deal would play out have not been released. The OPEC+ group is expected to request the G20 to cut over 3 million barrels per day of production. The G20 energy ministers agreed Friday to create a task force to monitor the situation and formulate strategies. The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates the states oil and gas industry, is also scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss regulating formal cuts, though the US has largely maintained that the free market will determine oil production cuts. US President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the OPEC+ deal on Sunday. This will save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States. I would like to thank and congratulate President Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, he said. Finally, in a reported, but not confirmed, side deal, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates could agree to reduce production by an additional 2 million barrels of oil per day. OPEC has Breathed Life into Africa The historic production cuts provide a much-needed financial boost to Africas oil and gas producers, including Nigeria, Angola, South Sudan, Sudan, Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville and Equatorial Guinea, as the sudden drop in oil and gas prices coincided with the COVID-19 health crisis and the economic repercussions of closing businesses and restricting movement to deal with the pandemic. In a statement, Nigerias Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Hon. Chief Timipre Marlin Sylva, said he expects the oil price to rebound by $15 per barrel in a short-term outlook. This also promises an appropriate balancing of Nigerias 2020 budget that has been rebased at $30 per barrel, he said in a statement. NJ Ayuk, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, lauded the efforts of the OPEC+ deal, as a stable oil market will provide economic relief and save jobs throughout the continent. OPEC has hit a home run, Ayuk said. OPEC has breathed life and given hope to African nations, oil workers, investors and the African business community. We need to focus on exploration soon again. Now we have the ball; we need to run with it and start the process of bouncing back. We need to defend the African oil industry like a junkyard dog in the face of a hurricane. South Sudan, a member of the OPEC+ alliance, also welcomed the deal, said the countrys Minister of Petroleum Hon. Puot Kang Chol. South Sudan is East Africas only producing country. Our production was over 350,000 barrels per day before the civil war. At the present moment, we are producing about 185,000 barrels per day with a target on attracting more investment into the oilfields to get our nation to 300,000 barrels per day. The current price war and coronavirus has affected our economy, he said. We welcome all efforts to stabilize the oil market and South Sudan will continue to play its role. Our government will continue doing its utmost best in making the oil production and fighting the Coronavirus a priority and we will continue collaborating with all our partners, he added. OPEC+ Cuts Respond to Slashes in Demand Each nation, aside from Saudi Arabia and Russia, which are both cutting substantially more, is expected to cut 23 percent of production from May to June. Iran, Libya and Venezuela are exempted from the production cuts, and Mexico is only cutting 100,000 barrels per day. After this initial two-month period, overall production cuts will lower to 8 million barrels per day from July to December and then lower to 6 million barrels per day from January 2021 to April 2022. The OPEC+ group will meet in July to discuss further action, if needed. With about 40 percent of the worlds population ordered to stay home to stem the spread of COVID-19, demand for oil and gas has decreased by about 30 percent, from over 100 million barrels per day to under 85 million barrels per day, according to the Energy Information Agency. The International Energy Agency, which called for the G20 meeting of energy ministers on Friday, argued the market conditions were too much for OPEC+ alone to handle. The extreme volatility we are seeing in oil markets is detrimental to the global economy at a time when we can least afford it, said Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA. Todays oil crisis is a systematic shock that threatens global economic and financial stability. It requires a global answer. That is why the G20 can be an indispensable forum for decisive leadership when it is urgently required, he added. Brent crude was averaging $55.70 per barrel in February, but, with an oil price war and the impacts of COVID-19, both Brent and WTI have reached their lowest level in years, with Brent hitting $22.76 per barrel in March, its lowest price since November 2002. As demand for oil and the price of oil has declined, storage capacity is also reaching its limits. In just a few weeks, analysts predict oil production may be shut in due to a lack of global storage capacity. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Oil & Power Conference.Media filesDownload logoOPEC+ slashes production, saves Oil Industry from collapse Picture credit: OPEC Africanews provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes.