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Kenya Seeks More COVID-19 Vaccines

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Kenya is seeking more COVID-19 vaccines. The government says it wants to acquire two million doses of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to bolster its vaccination campaign as Covax supply falters.

Health minister Mutahi Kagwe says the additional doses will be used to supplement the vaccines supplied through the UN-led Covax scheme.

Kenya received more than a million doses through Covax in early march and has so far vaccinated more than 700,000 persons with the oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.  Government data show more men are taking the vaccines compared to women – though many members of the public are skeptical about being vaccinated.

Many African governments have been forced to look elsewhere for their next batches after India recently decided to halt vaccine exports in order to prioritize its citizens – throwing Covax supply chains in doubt.

AstraZeneca was an ideal choice for many as it is easier to store. The Pfizer vaccine might prove difficult to roll out in Kenya as it does not have enough cold-storage facilities.

Health minister Kagwe says Kenya plans to buy special refrigerators required to store them once they have been delivered.

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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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