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South Africa’s Ramaphosa Calls For African-Made Vaccines   

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South Africa's President Extends COVID Lockdown

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has says Africa needs the skills and capacity to manufacture its own coronavirus vaccines.

Speaking at a conference of African leaders, he said the world is facing “vaccine apartheid,” because less than 2% of the hundreds of millions of vaccines produced so far has been given to Africans.

He said the continent has had a low number of COVID-19 infections compared to Europe or the US because many African governments reacted quickly closing borders and imposing restrictions.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned another wave of COVID-19 infections could happen and that less developed heath care systems may be struggling.

Experts have warned about new variants and transmission.  They say new variants are capable of infecting individuals who had already been infected” in the first wave.

 

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Rwanda Leads Way In Gender Equality

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Rwandan government has been hailed for leading way in gender parity.

A latest report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union dubbed ‘women in parliament’ (IPU) says Rwanda remains the world’s leading country with the most number of women in government positions. The analysis shows Rwanda was the only African country in this year’s top ten leading countries with women in politics.

Besides the 61% of the country’s parliamentary seats being occupied by women, the report also ranked Rwanda as the sixth country with women holding 50 %or more ministerial positions.

The report’s authors have said, women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030, citing that achieving gender parity in political life is far off, with the current data.

Besides Rwanda, there are only two parliaments where women account for above 50% of the seats. They include Cuba and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), occupying the second and third spots respectively.

For the first time, however, the global average of women in parliament reached a record-high 25.5%, an increase of 0.6% from the previous edition.

“Progress is being made, but parliaments must be more open to women. They should be gender-sensitive and transform their functioning and structures to facilitate work-life balance for women and men,” the IPU secretary-general, Martin Chungong, said.

The report said, at the current pace, it will take another 50years before gender parity is achieved in parliaments worldwide.

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Ethiopia Says UN Role In Nile Dam Row ‘Unhelpful’

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Ethiopia Says UN Role In Nile Dam Row 'Unhelpful'

Ethiopia says United Nations role in Nile Dam row is unhelpful. The huge dam known as the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a point of contention for a decade between Addis Ababa and downstream nations Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia says the project is essential to its development and has started filling it. But the other two countries fear it could restrict their citizens’ water access.

Ethiopia has described as “unhelpful” the intervention of the U.N. in the long-running dispute over the Nile River mega-dam.

The county’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that it was “regrettable to witness that the progress of negotiations has been dragged and politicized”. Ethiopia said on Tuesday that the African Union-led process was important in addressing the concerns of the three concerns and that it was committed to seeing the process to a successful conclusion.

The statement added “Ethiopia has made its position clear time and time again that this is unproductive and bringing the subject matter to the United Nations security council was and is unhelpful and far from the mandate of the council.

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EU To Train Mozambique Military Forces

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EU To Train Mozambique Military Forces

The European Union (EU) has approved a military training mission in Mozambique to support armed forces there to protect the civilian population. Nearly a million persons have fled their homes amid jihadist violence there.

The EU mission says it aims to train and support Mozambique military in restoring security to northern Cabo Delgado which has been plagued by extreme violence amid jihadist attacks since 2017.

The mission, initially set to last for two years, will also involve “military training in operational preparation, specialized training in counter-terrorism, and training and education in the protection of civilians.

Over the last three years, more than twenty-eight hundred persons have died in the violence which has forced about 900,000 others from their homes.

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