International Monetary Fund (IMF) decision to bailout the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) this week is expected to allocate around $2 billion in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Reuters news agency reports, referring to its sources.
Following two years of negotiations, the IMF’s executive board approved a three year programme worth nearly $449 million for Congo, an OPEC member suffering a setback by a 2014 crash in crude prices.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Alex Segura-Ubiergo visited Brazzaville to hold discussions toward a possible arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). As a result the proposed ECF-supported program aims to help the Republic of Congo restore macroeconomic stability and achieve higher and more inclusive growth. In particular, the program seeks to restore debt sustainability and targets a wide range of reforms to improve governance, reduce corruption, and achieve greater transparency and efficiency in the management of public resources, especially in the oil sector.
African survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) say they are in need of mental health aid, and urged governments and charities to provide support for dealing with long-term trauma.
Survivors and activists from across the continent attending a summit on FGM and child marriage in Senegal this week said mental health should have been on the agenda.
Common in 28 African countries, FGM is often seen as a rite of passage and justified for cultural or religious reasons but can cause chronic pain, infertility and even death.
FGM typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia and is practiced on girls from infancy to adolescence, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating about 200 million women and girls have undergone the procedure.
World leaders pledged to end the practice under a set of global goals agreed in 2015.
Cut at 18 against her will, 29-year-old Lekumoisa said she has never received any services to help with the trauma.
A lawsuit filed by environmental and community groups accuses South Africa’s government in failure to resolve the problem of high air pollution levels in an area which is site of coal-fired power stations and refineries.
The case filed in the Pretoria High Court claims the government has violated the Constitutional right to a healthy environment for inhabitants of the densely-polluted Highveld Priority Area. It was brought by environmental justice group @groundWorkSA and community organisation Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action.
Africa’s most advanced economy is generating most of its energy from coal-fired power plants that emit millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Image above: illustration
Authorities in Kenya withdrew 10 Cuban doctors from the northeastern region, where suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen abducted two medics last week and moved them into neighboring Somalia. (Image: illustration).
The doctors were recalled from Wajir, Tana River, Garissa, Isiolo and Lamu counties, according to the Kenyan Ministry of Health. The regions are either along or next to those at Kenya’s border with Somalia, where the al-Shabaab militants are active.
The Kenyan government hired 100 Cuban doctors last year to boost healthcare in the country’s underserved areas. The two abducted were based in Mandare county. Elders from the area followed the suspected militants into Somalia to negotiate release of the doctors, Nairobi-based Star newspaper reported.
Tanzania has launched a manhunt for suspects in the abduction and murder of up to 10 children in January in cases believed to be linked to witchcraft and black magic, the home affairs minister said.
Officials in the Njombe district in southern Tanzania told local media this week at least four dead bodies of missing children had been found abandoned near bushes with missing body parts, which are believed to be used in black magic rituals.
“Our preliminary investigations have established that these incidents are caused by superstitious beliefs,” Kangi Lugola told parliament, replying to a lawmaker who had demanded to know what the government was doing to stop the killings.
Superstition is deep-rooted among some communities in Tanzania. Albinos, who lack pigment in skin, eyes and hair, are among groups targeted by assailants who kill them or chop off their limbs.
On 19 November 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on Ethiopia. The Council notes that Ethiopia has witnessed momentous change and that political and economic reforms have gained a new impetus under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. His ambitious agenda towards a more democratic and just Ethiopian society is a positive example for the region and beyond.
The Council welcomes the commitment of the government of Ethiopia to multi-party democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and gender equality. The EU encourages the government to continue its efforts in this area and towards developing an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders, including federal and regional authorities, opposition groups, civil society, youth groups and media, on sustainable solutions towards better governance, justice and accountability, elections, job creation, and security challenges.
There are presently 21 EU Member States represented in Ethiopia, in addition to the EU and like-minded partners, such as Norway and Switzerland, constituting the EU+ group. In recent years, the EU+ group disbursed annually around € 1 billion of ODA, equivalent to roughly a quarter of total external aid to Ethiopia and can reach up to 10% of the country’s annual federal budget in certain years. In this context, joint programming is not only about aid effectiveness, but most importantly, has a strong political dimension and is one of the instruments in support to the implementation of the wider EU-Ethiopia strategic engagement.
On 19 November 2019, the EU Council adopted conclusions on water diplomacy. The Council recalls that water is a prerequisite for human survival and dignity and a fundamental basis for the resilience of both societies and the environment. Water is vital for human nutrition and health, and essential for ecosystem management, agriculture, energy and overall planetary security.
The Council notes the potential of water scarcity to affect peace and security, as water related risks can have grave human and economic costs, all of which can have direct implications for the EU, including through migration flows.
The Council intends to enhance EU diplomatic engagement about water as a tool for peace, security and stability, and firmly condemns the use of water as a weapon of war. The Council also underlines the EU’s commitment to promoting transboundary and integrated water management as well as effective water governance.
The Council reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, as components of the right to an adequate standard of living. It underlines the EU’s strong commitment to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and highlights that progress on Goal 6 (“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”) is essential for the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals.
The Council stresses the essential link between water and climate change, and welcomes recent discussions at the UN Security Council linking water, climate, peace and security. The EU confirms its continued commitment to address water challenges around the world and to give the necessary consideration to the importance of water and sanitation in the programming of future financial and technical cooperation with partner countries.