Africa 54 – March 18, 2020

7 months ago



You are watching Africa 54, your daily news and feature magazine-style program, from the Voice of America. Host Esther Githui-Ewart and a team of correspondents zero in on the big stories making news on the continent and around the world with context and analysis.

Top Stories:

As the global COVID-19 pandemic engulfs many of the world’s countries, sub-Saharan Africa’s already strained public health systems could become overwhelmed, according to the World Health Organization.

South Africa’s health ministry on Wednesday confirmed that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has risen by 31 since Tuesday to 116. South Africa’s foreign ministry says it is banning entry to travelers coming from high-risk countries including China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Germany, France, and the United States, among others. In Nigeria, officials say their largest city, Lagos, could handle up to 2,000 Coronavirus cases.

Kenya is suspending travel from any nation with reported COVID-19 cases and only Kenyan citizens, foreigners with residence permits and united nations workers will be allowed entry into the country — and then only if the immediately self-quarantine.

Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana are among other sub-Saharan nations that are also imposing travel restrictions.

Wool and Mohair are the bread and butter of many of Lesotho’s Basotho people. Surrounded on all sides by South Africa, Lesotho owns 17% of the world’s Mohair market. But this industry has been rocked in recent years after Lesotho’s government struck a deal with a Chinese entrepreneur that turned the wool export business into a monopoly. Wool farmers say the terms have driven them to bankruptcy and desperation, with millions of dollars’ worth of product they can’t sell.

Every year, the Mother Tongue Film Festival, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., showcases films about indigenous cultures that celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity. Most of these films have been made in indigenous languages from around the world.

A54: In part two of our African Women in Technology series, we feature Regina Honu, a Ghanaian social entrepreneur, software developer, and founder of Soronko academy, the first coding and human-centered design school for children, young adults and women in west Africa. Honu is a former YALI fellow, who used her grant money to help the community. Her academy has trained over 4500 women and girls coding. Africa 54 tech reporter Paul Ndiho caught up with her in Accra.

#Coronavirus #Kenya #SouthAfrica #Ethiopia #Rwanda #Cameroon #Senegal #Ghana #Nigeria #Lesotho #MotherTongueFilmFestival

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