KW 40: WHO: Covid-19 herbal medicine clinical trials, Ghana’s Western Togoland region declares sovereignty, Floods in Africa

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WHO: Covid-19 herbal medicine clinical trials: The Regional Expert Committee on Traditional Medicine for Covid-19 formed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union Commission for Social Affairs has endorsed a protocol for phase III clinical trials of herbal medicine for Covid-19 as well as a charter and terms of reference for the establishment of a data and safety monitoring board for herbal medicine clinical trials.

Ghana’s Western Togoland region declares sovereignty: An area of eastern Ghana has declared itself a sovereign state. Armed men demanding the secession of Western Togoland from Ghana blockaded major entry points to the Volta region of Ghana on Friday morning. Ghana’s Western Togoland region is predominately wedged between Lake Volta and the Ghana-Togo border. Currently, a number of splinter groups are demanding the area be recognized as a sovereign state.

Ghana is planning to sell most of its future gold royalties: Ghana’s government is struggling to cope with the economic hit of Covid-19 and to sustain public spending under the crushing weight of debt that is expected to equal almost 70% of GDP this year. A rush is now under way to sell the rights to most of the government’s bullion royalties in Africa’s biggest gold producer. The deal, which some see as a model for other resource-rich developing countries, is aimed at providing cash now against income from royalties in the future.

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German-African trade weakened: The Covid pandemic is troubling Africa – and economic relations with Germany are also becoming ever weaker. German imports and exports will decline by up to 25 percent, said Heiko Schwiderowski, Head of Division for Sub-Saharan Africa at the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The numbers didn’t look this bad even during the financial crisis around ten years ago. There are major setbacks for many German companies as well as for African exporters.

Explosion in Nigeria: At least 25 people have been killed in central Nigeria after a fuel tanker exploded following a collision with other vehicles. A primary school pupil and students were among the dead. The crash happened on Wednesday on a major highway in Lokoja when the driver lost control of the tanker after the brakes failed, local police said.

Floods in Africa: From Senegal to Ethiopia and beyond, record levels of flooding are devastating the African Sahel region, with the United Nations warning that the situation could worsen throughout September. The Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in West and Central Africa, Julie Belanger, warned that the rainy season is far from over and the worst is still to come.,

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Women – The face of a digital and green revolution? Africa’s digital revolution is gathering strength, buoyed by the continent’s success as the world’s pioneer in mobile money. In 2019, African technology startups raised a record level of venture capital – close to half a billion dollars. The continent has registered some of the world’s fastest internet penetration and usage rates and has increased the volume of cashless transactions and the extent of financial inclusion. However, digitalization is not happening at uniform pace or scale and women are the missing face of Africa’s digital revolution.

South African government creates startup fund: South Africa’s Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has outlined a plan for the government to help fund the development of digital skills in South Africa. Her National Digital and Future Skills Strategy whitepaper includes a number of planned interventions across the business, education, and society sectors to improve the digital literacy and skills of the populace.

Islamist attack in northeastern Nigeria: The death toll from a jihadist attack on the convoy of the regional governor in northeast Nigeria has risen to 30, security sources said Saturday. Tatalities from the attack Friday in restive Borno state had doubled as more bodies were found and now included 12 policemen, five soldiers, four members of a government-backed militia and nine civilians.

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In West and Central Africa, more than 800,000 people have been affected by the most recent torrential rains, and in East Africa it is said to be as many as 2.4 million.


“The rain falls either too early, too late, not at all or in too large quantities.”

Bettina Iseli, Director Programmes of Welthungerhilfe, on the extreme floods in West and Central Africa.


Student entrepreneur’s digital library helps children read: University of Cape Town student Qhawe Bula and his team have developed a unique digital library comprising a series of read-along children’s audiobooks written in South Africa’s 11 official languages. This in an effort to change the way young children view literature and language, and to encourage a culture of reading.

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