Africa in the News: Updates on vaccines, politics and natural resources

by MMC
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On a related note on vaccines, according to the latest iteration of vaccination data reported by Our World in Data (OWID), vaccine administration in Africa has accelerated in recent months, the vaccination rate doubled since the end of September. Actually, more than 260 million doses, including 650,000 boosters, have been administered on the continent this year. The increase in vaccination in Africa coincided with increase in global production of COVID-19 vaccineswhich is now 1.5 billion doses per month.

However, also on December 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 cases in Africa increased by 83 percent last week. According to WHOThe increase in cases comes from the increased prevalence of the delta and omicron variants on the continent. New cases double every five days, the shortest such window the WHO has observed this year. Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, deaths in the region have not started to increase.

Growing citizen dissatisfaction in Burkina Faso as other countries grapple with delayed elections

On December 11, Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has announced that Lassina Zerbo, former executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), will be the country’s new prime minister.. This announcement comes after the departure of former Prime Minister Christophe Dabire on December 8. Kobre’s administration has recently been under pressure as citizen discontent is increasing due to the years-long security crisis in the country.

Also on December 11 Libya’s electoral commission says it will delay publication of list of presidential candidates until some legal issues are resolved. Notably, with elections scheduled for December 24, there will be little to do. there is no time left for the final list of candidates to campaign throughout Libya due to the publication delay, according to VOA.

Furthermore, on December 13, Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have demanded that Mali’s ruling junta meet the agreed deadline to hold elections no later than February 27. If Mali does not begin the process in January, ECOWAS will impose sanctions, says ECOWAS President Jean-Claude Brou. Earlier in the day, the head of the Malian government had promised to provide ECOWAS with an electoral calendar by the end of January 2022.

Also in related news, Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Monday that the country Parliament would remain suspended until elections scheduled for December 2022 and called for a referendum on constitutional reforms scheduled for July 25. Saied said he appoint a committee of experts to draft a new constitution before the referendum. However, on Thursday, Tunisian President Rached Ghannouchi refused to suspend Parliament for another year on the grounds that it would be “unconstitutional and illegal.”

Protests against Royal Dutch Shell’s plans for seismic oil exploration in South Africa; uncontained oil spill in Nigeria sparks protests; East Africa’s coral reefs threatened with extinction by 2070

Responding to protests against Royal Dutch Shell’s plans for seismic oil exploration along 6,000 square kilometers of South Africa’s rugged coastline earlier this month, South Africa’s energy minister defended company’s oil exploration plans and welcomed an increased influx of investments into the country’s energy sector. Efforts in court by Greenpeace Africa and local fishermen to stop the surveys were nevertheless quashed earlier this month because “irreparable harm to marine species has not been proven by the applicants. » However, last year the The US government refused to renew permits for similar oil seismic surveys on the East Coast, following similar objections.

Furthermore, the Nembe community in Nigeria continues protests calling for action to resolve destroyed oil and gas well in Bayelsa State, southern Nigeria. The wellhead, which has been leaking for over a month, has contaminated the Santa Barbara River in the Niger Delta with more than 2 million barrels of crude oil and gas. The wellhead is owned by Aiteo Eastern E&P, Nigeria’s largest national oil company in 2015, and is among the near 5,000 oil spills documented in Nigeria in the last six years.

Last week, a study published in the journal Nature Sustainability concluded that The coral reef system of the western Indian Ocean along the eastern coasts of Africa is at risk of functional extinction within 50 years., citing rising ocean temperatures and overfishing of key predator species. The study authors predict that the collapse of East Africa’s coral reefs, marked by the bleaching of their vibrant colors, will reduce fish production, harming low-income communities that rely on fishing for their livelihoods. subsistence and as a source of food. because it hampers tourism in East Africa.

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