The United Nations Children’s Agency, UNICEF, says it will redistribute more than one million of the nearly two million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to other countries, including Ghana, Comoros, Senegal and Angola, so they won’t expire.
DR. Congo had delayed its AstraZeneca vaccine rollout over fears it could lead to rare blood clotting. UNICEF says the vaccines will expire in late June.
The country has only administered 400,000 vaccine doses it received under the global Covax initiative after more than a month delay because of AstraZeneca vaccine’s safety concerns.
Interior minister Gilbert Kankonde says study has shown that the AstraZeneca vaccine already available in the DRC does not present any inconvenience to the population.
The DRC – with a population of more than 80 million – has received 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and has recorded 28,956 cases of COVID-19, including 745 deaths.
Rwanda Leads Way In Gender Equality
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.
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.
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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