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Ghana: Nana Akufo-Addo Insists He Won Elections

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Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo has insisted that he won fairly the just concluded elections.

In his final state of the nation address ahead of his inauguration for a second term on Thursday, president Akufo-Addo said it was good for the nation that the opposition had resorted to legal means to address their concerns. The opposition has filed a petition at the supreme court against the result of the poll, alleging irregularities.

He urged parliament to unite and accommodate each others’ views.

President Akufo-Addo also said, on the economy, the coronavirus pandemic had reduced Ghana’s GDP growth from a promising 6.5% to 1.9% this year, negatively affecting livelihoods.

He urged a bipartisan discussion on how to address the increasing rate of illegal mining which has polluted water bodies in the country.

Opposition MPs have criticized the president for failing to acknowledge the violent incidents that led to the loss of lives during the polls and the country’s rising public debt running into more than 46 billion dollars.

Ghana’s next parliament, which will be sworn in on Thursday, has no clear majority, with both the opposition and the ruling party having 137 members of parliament each, and one independent MP.

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South Africa Expects First Vaccine Doses Next Week

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South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has said the country is expected to receive one million COVID-19 vaccine doses from India on Monday

Mkhize said the AstraZeneca doses would undergo technical processes on arrival, including quality assurance, adding that “these processes will take a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 14 days to complete, upon which we will be ready to distribute the vaccines to all provinces.”

The country which remains the most infected with COVID-19 in Africa is also expecting an additional 500,000 doses in February and a further 20 million doses procured for June as it continues to battle a highly infectious new mutation of the virus that has led to a surge in new infections.

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Baby Vaccination Drops In Rwanda Amid Lockdown

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Baby vaccination rate is of concern to Rwandan authorities.  The Rwanda biomedical center says it expects to vaccinate 360,000 babies every year with their first shot, but the number has dropped in Kigali during the total lockdown.

Some mothers in Kigali city say they cannot miss their babies’ vaccination schedules despite the city currently being in total lockdown.

At a vaccination exercise in Kigali on Monday, not all who were supposed to bring their babies for the vaccination showed up, thinking the medical personnel would not be available because of the lockdown.

The Rwanda biomedical center says the government spends $10 million annually to provide babies with no cost vaccinations.

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Tunisian Protesters Marching To Parliament Blocked

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Hundreds of Tunisians have taken to the streets in renewed protests.  The demonstrations first, in the town of Sbeitla were triggered by reports that an injured young man during last week’s clashes, Haykel Rachdi, had died. The man’s family said he was hit by a tear gas canister.

He had joined nationwide protests to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tunisian revolution, which ushered in democracy and triggered the Arab spring uprisings across the region.

Soldiers were deployed to government buildings in the town after protesters tried to storm the police station.

On Tuesday, Tunisian police blocked the path of hundreds of protestors who were trying to reach the parliament building in the capital, Tunis.

It was the latest in a series of demonstrations that have been fueled by frustration at the lack of jobs and spiraling prices.

More than one thousand young protesters had been arrested during the previous protests, and many of the protesters on Tuesday were calling for their release.

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