Ivory Coast and Ghana are cancelling all cocoa sustainability schemes that U.S.-based Hershey corporation runs in their countries. They accuse the chocolate maker of trying to avoid paying the cocoa premium that is aimed at combating farmer poverty.
In a letter addressed to the company, Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa regulators accuse Hershey of sourcing unusually large volumes of physical cocoa on the ice futures exchange in order to avoid the premium, known as a living income differential.
Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, said they are also barring third-party companies from running sustainability schemes in the west African nations on behalf of Hershey.
Ivory Coast and Ghana also said they are reviewing their membership of the federation of cocoa commerce, a UK-based international organization that aims to promote, protect and regulate the cocoa trade.
Rwanda Closes Schools In Kigali Over COVID-19 Fears
Rwandan authorities have announced closure of nursery, primary and secondary schools in the capital, Kigali, over coronavirus fears as numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Education minister, Valentine Uwamariya, said the closure takes effect on Monday adding that schools in other provinces will also close if more cases are confirmed there.
Schools were reopened in November after eight months closure.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the country with more than 1,000 new cases and 22 fatalities reported in the last seven days. The government has ordered public hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients with their widely used community-based health insurance.
Rwanda has so far confirmed more than 11,000 cases and 142 deaths.
Ghana President Warns Of Health System Collapse
Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo says the nation`s health system is at the brink of collapse. Ghana has announced the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus at its main airport.
The president said on Sunday, Ghana’s COVID-19 infection rates are now skyrocketing and include new strains of the virus not seen before in the country. He said this is filling treatment centres and threatening to overwhelm the health system.
In a televised address, the president said the new variant was found on arriving passengers who have since been isolated. No details were given on the passengers or from where they came.
The increase in cases is attributed to the disregard for public health protocols during the recent festive season. The police have been instructed to now strictly enforce the protocols.
The government is also scaling up its strategy of tracing, testing, and treating confirmed cases.
Ghana has so far recorded more than 57,000 cases and in excess of 300 deaths since it reported its first case in march last year.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says a second coronavirus wave is infecting twice as many people per day across Africa than at the height of last year’s first wave, and has yet to peak.
Uganda’s Long-Time Leader Yoweri Museveni Declared Election Winner
Uganda’s electoral commission has declared incumbent president Yoweri Museveni as winner of Saturday’s presidential election. The commission says Museveni won with fifty-eight point six-four percent of tallied votes.
The commission claims seventy-six-year-old Museveni beat his main rival, thirty-eight-year-old Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, a popular musician-turned politician. Kyagulanyi is said to have garnered thirty-four point eight–three percent of the total votes tallied.
Kyagulanyi has since rejected the declared results. He says the election was rigged. The Ugandan army and police have stepped up security in the capital city of kampala to prevent possible violence.
This will be Museveni’s sixth term in office. He has ruled the country for thirty-five years now.