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New dawn for Somalia: Arrears owed to the African Development Bank Group cleared
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Bank Group will immediately provide a new policy-based operation to help boost economic growth and accelerated development of Somalia

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, March 24, 2020/ — Arrears on loans owed by Somalia to the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) Group have been cleared following the payment in full of $122.55 million by the governments of the United Kingdom and the European Union, marking the end of sanctions and the resumption of full re-engagement between the Bank Group and the East African nation. 

The long road to resolution of Somalia’s debt arrears began in 2014 and included the completion of three Staff Monitored Programs of the International Monetary Fund, and significant advances on a fourth program.

The process saw the high level of political commitment and consistent engagement of Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’, and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre. This translated into the implementation of reforms that gave confidence to international financial institutions, including the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Speaking on behalf of the Somali government, Minister of Finance, Abdirahman Beileh, said: “The settlement of the arrears of Somalia to the African Development Bank, is a new beginning for us in Somalia. We stuck with our reforms, we were persistent, and it has paid off”.

In response, Bank President Akinwumi Adesina noted that it was a historic moment for Somalia. “I am absolutely delighted that the African Development Bank provided the leadership needed to push for and successfully negotiate the arrears clearance for Somalia. It was a reflection of the power of partnerships and consensus building,” Adesina said.

Adesina further noted, “I commend the government of Somalia for their diligence in implementing reforms, and the UK government and the European Union for paying off Somalia’s arrears to the African Development Bank Group. Together, we got it done for the people of Somalia.”

The Bank Group will immediately provide a new policy-based operation to help boost economic growth and accelerated development of Somalia.

The Bank’s current portfolio in Somalia totals $135 million, covering operations in the agriculture, water and sanitation, transport, social and energy sectors, and capacity building for multiple sectors of the economy.
 
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states

*AFDB
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Energy Law Firm offers support to businesses affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic and the oil industry crisis
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Our firm will offer assistance to local services companies in our countries of operation on contractual disputes, employment issues and compliance matters

Zion Adeoye, Managing Director of Centurion Law Group.
Zion Adeoye, Managing Director of Centurion Law Group.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 24, 2020/ — Recognizing the toll that the Covid-19 Pandemic has taken on the oil and gas industry, Centurion law Group  will assist small and mid-sized African businesses that are currently dealing with the economic impact of the Coronavirus, which is hitting many African countries. With our strong African footprint, we believe it is an opportunity to give back to a continent that has given so much to us.
 
Our firm will offer assistance to local services companies in our countries of operation on contractual disputes, employment issues and compliance matters. We will also extend our support to multinational entities at significantly discounted rates.

“While we believe that the industry will bounce back from this and come out even stronger and more united, we feel a great sense of duty at this time when the worst effects of the crisis are being felt on a daily basis,” stated Zion Adeoye, Managing Director of Centurion Law Group. 
 
In this regard, we are joining hands with the African Energy Chamber in its call for relief measures and tax incentives for oil and gas companies to ensure that jobs are protected, and business can rebound.
 
Across Africa, more than 130 lawyers working for our clients have already been set up to work remotely and will continue supporting our oil and gas clients and service companies through this Coronavirus crisis.

About Centurion:
Centurion (https://CenturionLG.com/) is a leading pan-African legal and energy advisory group with extensive experience in the oil and gas sector. The group provides outsourced legal representation and covers a full suite of practice areas for its clients, including arbitration and commercial litigation, corporate law, tax and anti-corruption advisory and contract negotiation. Centurion specializes in assisting clients that are starting or growing a business in Africa with offices and affiliates in Ghana, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, South Sudan, Nigeria, Gabon, Angola and Senegal

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Ventures Platform and Lagos State Government Partner in Fight Against Covid-19
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

– #COVID19InnovationChallenge Final Call for Applications

Ventures Platform Team

Monday 23rd March 2020. Abuja, Nigeria. Ventures Platform, the Africa-wide network that supports entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed, today announced a partnership with the Lagos State Government through its agency, The Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), in a bid to find tech-enabled solutions to address the current Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Ventures Platform and LASRIC will provide funding and rapid operational assistance to the selected teams and startups alongside technology and business industry experts, including LoftyInc, ACIOE, Wennovation, Flutterwave, AGS Tribe, SilverChip Consulting, Bluechip Technologies, IROKOtv, Lakunle Runsewe, Manasseh Egedegbe, and also supported by Facebook. 

Applications for the #COVID19InnovationChallenge has been extended to Monday 23 March 2020, as the Ventures Platform team continues to search for hackers, developers, enthusiasts or founders to build solutions for the pandemic and  experienced professionals in technology, public health and pandemic research, healthcare investment, public sector engagement, digital experience management, virtual care, entrepreneurship development, and support. 

Ventures Platform opened applications for their #COVID19InnovationChallenge to find tech-focussed ideas around heat mapping, preventative or information bots, solutions to assist with lifestyle adjustments, COVID-19 reporting and more. The mission for the cross-community collaboration is to rapidly build and scale solutions that will have a significant positive impact on the current pandemic, not only in Nigeria but across the continent. 

Six successful applicants will be selected by Ventures Platform and LASRIC to participate in the #COVID19InnovationChallenge and will receive a $2,000 equity-free grant, opportunity for further funding, as well as access to virtual workspace and mentorship from some of Africa’s top, healthcare, business, and technology leaders, including; Rebecca Enonchong, Alexis Roman, O.O Nwoye, Seun Onigbinde, Titi Akinsanmi, Dr. Ola Brown,  Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, Dr. Ebi Ofrey and Dr. Femi Kuti. 

On launching the #COVID19InnovationChallenge, Kola Aina, Ventures Platform founder, says, “Due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus, we really do not have a moment to lose, which is why we are grateful to have assembled such a talented and influential group of program partners and mentors, as we look to move on this very quickly. Our partners, like us, understand the need for action today. We know the talent is out there, now our job is to provide an enabling environment as well as access to mentors and funding so that our chosen companies and innovators can focus on building the best solutions for this big challenge in support of the NCDC and other actors. 

“We are especially pleased to welcome on board LASRIC as a partner; challenges like the one we are currently faced with will only be solved through a proactive and dynamic collaboration between the private and public sectors. When LASRIC approached us, to partner on our #COVID19InnovationChallenge, we were delighted to accept. Their ability to mobilize support at such short notice, speaks highly of their commitment to protecting the people of Lagos State, Nigeria and the rest of Africa and we cannot thank them enough”. 

African nations have, so far, not recorded the same volume of COVID-19 infections as other countries. However, Governments across the continent are taking more preventive measures, as they start planning for the pandemic to take more hold within their countries. The Ventures Platform  #COVID19InnovationChallenge is part of the wider global push to apply technology and innovation to curb the spread and prevent future outbreaks. 

Olatunbosun Alake of LASRIC adds, “The Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council is partnering with Ventures Platform as we look to solve issues around the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that the State tackles issues around the pandemic in areas such as tracking, managing and solving related problems even for various health issues at large. We believe that this partnership and the Venture Platforms’ stellar record in delivering such projects, the breadth of their technology and business networks, will help us source a number of products and services that will help vast swathes of our population stay healthy and protected. We also believe that what works here in Lagos will help the rest of Africa”.

Aina concludes, “The response we have received to-date has been astonishing. Such as the level of interest been, we have even extended the deadline to close of play on Monday 23 March, in order to review as many strong applications as possible. The entire Ventures Platform team is ready to select the top six applicants, and get to work with them straight away so that together, we can get ahead of the curve and build products and services that benefit millions of people not only in Nigeria but across the whole of Africa too”. 

About Ventures Platform Hub

Ventures Platform Hub is a catalyst for innovation & entrepreneurship across Africa. It provides smart capital through its early-stage fund, Ventures Platform Fund, it provides infrastructure and nurtures communities of entrepreneurs and innovators through Ventures Park and it builds pipeline by providing capacity and ecosystem support through its not-for-profit – Ventures Platform Foundation. More information about Ventures Platform Hub is available at www.venturesplatform.com.

About Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council

The Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council is Lagos State’s semi autonomous Research and Innovation promotion and funding agency. It’s primary mandate is to create and promote a culture of problem solving through Research and Innovation. LASRIC manages a percentage of Lagos States capital budget for the purposes of resourcing cutting edge research and enabling the industries of tomorrow.

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International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation Recognized as Best Islamic Financier at the International TFG Trade Awards 2020
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC
Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC

(Jeddah, March 23, 2020) – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, has been named ‘Best Islamic Financier’ by the trade finance platform, Trade Finance Global, in cooperation with BAFT.

The international work carried out by banks, financial institutions and technology vendors to enable trade has never been more important, particularly in an age of rapid digitization, interconnected supply chains and increased competition.

The winners were selected by an independent steering committee of industry experts from around the world.

Commenting on the achievement, ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, said: “ITFC is proud to have been recognized as the Best Islamic Financier. This prestigious accolade is a testament to the effectiveness of the Corporation’s strategic approach to advance trade and improve lives in all OIC member nations. The recognition also underscores the relevance and viability of ITFC’s unique blend of trade finance and trade development solutions that are designed to support the strategic sectors of member countries, thereby enabling them to improve their trading capacity”.

ITFC’s overarching goals are directly aligned with the UN SDGs aimed at creating greater inclusive prosperity in the developing world. A key component of the Corporation’s strategic focus is to work through partnerships with banks, financial institutions and key stakeholders who have long-term vested interest in the socio-economic development of Member Countries. This allows ITFC to develop Integrated Trade Solutions with Trade Finance and Trade Development components to help remove barriers to trade while providing stronger access to the financing of new trading opportunities.

Mark Abrams, Director at Trade Finance Global and a member of the Awards Steering Panel said: “A core aim of TFG is to help companies access information and education around trade finance. It is important to highlight those leading the way in trade and receivables finance, whether that be from the perspective of financiers, insurers, logistics, law firms or tradetechs.”

“Continuous innovation is needed from within the trade industry, to support businesses around the world, as they navigate the changing landscape of trade finance in uncertain times. We are delighted to be cooperating with BAFT on this industry initiative.”

“At a time when companies face significant challenges fulfilling cross-border trade, it is critical that banks are able to demonstrate leadership in providing financing and innovative solutions that evolve with the changing needs of their clients,” said Tod Burwell, President & CEO, BAFT.  “We congratulate the organizations being recognized for their leadership and commend TFG for showcasing these institutions.”

In 2019, ITFC approved US$ 2.1 billion of financing to Least Developed Member Countries, representing 36% of its total portfolio. Of this, US$ 565 million went towards the food and agriculture sector, including pre-export financing in key value chains, such as cotton and groundnuts and import of key commodities for the food security of member countries. ITFC’s financing has provided incomes and contributed to better livelihoods for over 480 000 farmers.

Around US$ 4.5 billion of financing was extended to support a sustainable supply of energy inputs in member countries, which provided an estimated 13 million people with access to electricity. Additionally, in 2019 ITFC strengthened its support to the private sector by channelling US$ 821 million of financing to private sectos and SMEs through 16 partner banks.

About the International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC)  

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC Member Countries – a key contributor to the ITFC’s overarching goal of improving the socio-economic conditions of people within OIC member countries and those living in other trading nations.  

Commencing operations in January 2008 (Muharram 1429H), ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. ITFC has earned an A1 rating by Moody’s, reflecting its efficacy in service delivery by responding swiftly and responsibly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment. 

Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion to OIC Member Countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for the Member Countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, enabling them to successfully compete in the global market. 

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Prominent UAE investment banker takes on new venture with SKYCAP Investment Management Limited
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Saikat Kumar to steer global financial services industry to new era with a world-class one-stop-shop for investors

Saikat Kumar, SKYCAP
Saikat Kumar, SKYCAP

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

SKYCAP Investment Management Limited, a diversified financial services firm, has officially soft launched in the UAE.  Touted to be a one-stop-shop for global investors (Middle East, Africa, India, South East Asia, US and UK investors), SKYCAP seeks to disrupt the banking and finance industry by providing trusted advice and access to best-in-class investment products and services to support its clients’ goal of wealth preservation and growth.

From its base in Dubai, SKYCAP will offer a wide range of financial products and services, which are mutually reinforcing and can be tailored to a client’s specific needs.  Among the firm’s core offerings include Advisory (including Government, M&A, and Capital Raising/Restructuring), Private Equity (Fintech and Special Opportunities), Asset and Wealth Management Advisory, Credit Opportunities Funds, as well as Digital, Forensic, IT Risk Management and BPO services.

SKYCAP has been founded by Saikat Kumar, one of the most respected names in the Middle East banking and financial industry.  He is now the Founder and CEO of SKYCAP Investment Management Ltd., after completing his stint as Partner and Senior Executive Officer of Al Masah Capital Limited.  With over 23 years of banking and finance expertise under his belt, Kumar has amassed a proven track record in strategy planning, distribution management, client management, risk and compliance, business development, and product management.  He has also worked with a number of internationally-recognized firms, to name a few, Fullerton Fund Management (Temasek Singapore), ABN AMRO, Standard Chartered, ICICI Bank and ANZ Grindlays, as well as leading nationalized banks.

“Although the market is in for tough times, given the extraordinarily challenging situation happening across the globe, I believe in the half year onwards, the market will offer investors excellent opportunities to invest in good quality blue chip stocks across the world at cheap valuation and prices. With interest rates at all time low, stocks would offer best upside,” Kumar said.

Despite growing demand and turbulent growth factors, however, the SKYCAP founder said that the supply of credit to the private sector is considerably lower than developed markets such as the USA and UK.  Underpinned by very strong values and principles to deliver the best possible outcome for clients, Kumar brought to fruition his vision of a trusted and innovative diversified financial services firm that truly understands and services its clients with utmost transparency and integrity.

“My goal is to always be client-centric and be driven to provide financial solutions and services designed to execute effectively our clients’ vision at the highest level, ultimately delivering on their financial ambitions.  Whilst SKYCAP is a new venture, we have all the capabilities that can meet all the investment needs of its shareholders in addition to retail, HNI, UHNI, institutional, family office, SWFs and pension fund investors.  Our company is differentiated by a core value of integrity and transparency through a strong, global regulatory framework. Moreover, with an international strategy complementing a global roll-out plan – plus a robust core investment team that is backed by a competent support services function – I am confident that SKYCAP will go on to be the partner of choice for the most discerning investors,” Kumar concluded.

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Combat Covid 19: Top Gambian Artists Release Songs to Educate Public
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Jizzle and ST two award winning Gambian artists

Jizzle, Multiple awards winning Gambia’s Afro- pop artiste and ST, also awards winning Gambia’s finest Afro rap sensational have released songs songs to educate and sensitize the public on the Coronavirus.

They partnered with  Office of the First Lady and UNICEF The Gambia.

Fatoumata Bah Barrow, First Lady of The Gambia  hailed the collaboration with UNICEF and the two artists as an important milestone in the country’s fight against the Coronavirus.

She explained: “communication is vital to the containment of the spread of the Coronavirus. These songs will educate, inform and raise the awareness of the general public especially the youth and vulnerable members of society about the preventive measures and the symptoms of the virus.”

Since the Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, First Lady Madam Fatoumatta Bah Barrow has made a personal commitment to reach out to Gambians with proper information about COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves.

“We need the power of positive thinking more than ever before and I hope that these songs will be shared, and that the messages contained therein would naturally address any element of doubt or misperceptions that people may have about the pandemic.”

UNICEF The Gambia Country Representative Sandra Lattouf believes the songs have the potential to awaken the public to the realities of the Coronavirus and motivate people to take action to fight the virus and keep The Gambia safe.

“These songs contain strong messages on preventive measures against the Coronavirus. We are confident that people will learn from these messages and be inspired to take action to protect themselves and others around them.”

UNICEF and the UN system in The Gambia continue to work with The Gambia Government and partners to keep the public informed about preventive measures and how they can contribute to the containment of the Coronavirus.

“As members of the national COVID-19 taskforce, we have identified strategic priorities to support the government in keeping the people safe from the virus. We are strengthening risk communication, supporting in proper coordination, case management and logistics to contain the Coronavirus and protect Gambians from the disease.”


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COVID-19 Mai Fatty Calls On Gambian Leader To act Quickly to avoid Potential Crisis
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Mai Ahmad Fatty

Mai Ahmad Fatty, former special adviser to President Adama Barrow has  called on the Gambian leader to exhibit decisive leadership over the coronavirus crisis that is threatening to run the whole world over.

Gambians are unhappy with the way and manner the government is taken the preventive measures in curbing the Coronavirus which many describes the quantine facilities as poor facilities and lack of human capacity and lack of daily update from ministry of health. No implementation of President declaration on ban of public gathering and other preventive measures. 

However, on  Tuesday, the former interior minister wrote on his official Facebook page, at times directly addressing the president: “I commend the Government for the initiatives thus far. Yet we are not doing enough. President Barrow, work with the National Assembly and declare a State of Emergency without delay. Impose a sensible curfew regime with other effective measures to enforce new public health directives. Deploy microscopic monitoring of the 500 million Dalasi emergency fund, ensuring that monies are being prudently spent to curb the novel corona virus pandemic.

“Reach out to businesses and NGOs for partnership and exploit our international goodwill to secure urgent help for our country. Engage and involve municipal councils, as veritable partners in grass-roots community containment and prevention measures. Put politics aside. Lives are at stake.

“Hospitals, clinics and healthcare workers are still poorly equipped. Communities are still without auxiliary support. The peril intensifies with each passing day. The fact that we do not know how and where the first corona casualty contracted the virus is dangerously troubling. We do not know how many people may have been infected by him with the multiplier effect.

“There could be more infections out there. We shouldn’t wait for more fatalities. With the typical nature of Gambian society, we need more measured response and utter decisiveness. This is a time for bold leadership. Act Mr. President. Declare a State of Emergency. Impose a sensible curfew that is both realistic and enforceable. This is a time when citizens must be protected against themselves


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African court suspends 56TH ordinary session due to coronavirus outbreak
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

President of the African Court, Hon Justice Sylvain Oré

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights which began its 56th Ordinary Session on 2 March 2020 at its Seat in Arusha, Tanzania, has cut-short its proceedings on Friday, 20 March 2020, because of the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Session was due to end on 27 March 2020.

The President of the African Court, Hon Justice Sylvain Oré, said that the measure was absolutely necessary to prevent any risk of contracting COVID-19 by the Judges and the Staff.

‘’The Court has decided to act decisively in the interest of health and safety of all Judges, Staff and residents of Arusha and beyond,’’ he stressed.

Among other emergency measures adopted by the Court, he said, was to decongest the Court by ordering all non-essential staff to work from home and key departments with limited staff to carry out their duties on shift-basis until further notice.

The President of the Court has urged the staff to take maximum precaution during this difficult period by ensuring that they adhere to all hygienic conditions, including use of sterilisers, frequently wash their hands and abstain from crowded places, among others.

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COVID-19: Zimbabwe Records First Casualties
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson  Mpofu

President Mnangagwa has sealed borders in Zimbabwe

Following the fast spread of the pandemic, Global threat of COVI-19 popularly known as CORONA VIRUS, many African countries have taken measures without any delay . South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia which are SADC member states are among those in the continent to take drastic measures by closing their borders .

Zimbabwe President Emmersom Mnangagwa by decree of powers vested in him yesterday declared boarders closed except for haulage trucks on duty on regional export and import business. Unnecessary business is no longer allowed. Un-necessary visits to friends, relatives were stop. Conjested areas are under close monitoring as all gatherings were banned.

‘’This will go for 21 days .’’  Mnangagwa goes on .

‘’All unnecessary business is banned. Only worth travel is tolerated and accepted at all boarders. This is worth done to contain the current spread of corona . We have 1 case of Journalist Zororo Makamba a Business guru’s son who died after travelling from USA few days ago . This has prompted us to take drastic measures without any delay ‘’

The Economic Commission For Africa has also touched on COVID-19 and the economic aspect. The Commission has stated that the pandemic has an impact on the Economy in the continent and on the Gross Domestic Product and Gross per-capita.

‘’Africa is in Emergency’’. It needs total amount of money like US 100 billion to go through the corona virus health challenge. The waiver of Interest payments is estimated at US 44 billion for 2020 . The possible extension waiver to the medium term would provide immediate fiscal space and liquid to Governments in effort to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.’’

This was confirmed by Africa’s Ministers of Finance and Economic Development

There is total of 16 100 deaths and 336,900 virus infections at Global level. Billions of dollars yet to be released in figures are needed to solve the problem World-Wide. Then Pan-African Communications Consultancy has promised to disseminate information through press releases in the whole region.

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Covid-19: Confirmed Cases rise to 66 in Cameroon
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Cameroon continues to grow exponentially overnight.

The country’s number of cases now stand at 66, with 10 additional cases breaking Tuesday, March 24. The number, however, is set to be much higher. By March 21, the number of cases in Cameroon were at 40.

In a tweet from Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health Dr Manaouda Malachie, he called on Cameroonians to respect the measures put in place by the government to fight against the virus. He said: “It is together, in discipline, solidarity, and in all responsibility that we will overcome.” “Stay at home, let us look at the barrier measures. This night 10 more cases,” He said.

Reports from the Ministry of Public Health shows that, most of the cases of Covid-19 in the country are imported cases.

The government of Cameroon has continued to call for stricter adherence to the 13 measures made known by PM Head of Government Dr Joseph Dion Ngute

Some persons who tested positive earlier have now tested negative. According to the Minister of Public Health, these were the two first cases confirmed in Cameroon. They were allowed to leave the hospital in Yaounde but put under observation.

Dr. Manaouda Malachie, Cameroon Health Minister

Politicians, and others have accused the government of hidden the true figures of those affected due to the coronavirus. Edith Kah Walla, leader of the CPP speaking on a Cameroon media channel said the government of Cameroon is not giving the true figure, and it only shows how incompetent they are.

Testing kits that are needed to test the population are in short supply. There is only one testing centres in the entire country — the Centre Pasteur in Yaounde. This remains a major problem as other cities such as Douala, Baffoussam who have recorded cases of the virus do not even have testing capabilities.

Chinese billionaire and founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma has donated 20,000 testing kits to each African country which has been delivered to the African CDC in Ethiopia. These kits are urgently needed in the country.

Jazz Legend Manu Dibango succumbs to Coronavirus

Famed Cameroonian Saxophonist Emmanuel N’Djoke Dibango, popularly known as Manu Dibango, has died due to the coronavirus.

He died on Tuesday morning at a hospital outside the French Capital, Paris, BBC reported.

Last week, the 86-year-old jazz musician had announced on his Facebook page that he had contracted the virus.

The late Dibango is best known for his 1972 hit Soul Makossa, which won him the Grammy Award.

The coronavirus has already led to more than 340,840 cases with at least 14,582 deaths worldwide. Since the first case in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of cases has continued to rise.

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African Jazz legend, Manu Dibango dies one week after testing positive of Coronavirus in France
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

In this file photo taken on June 30, 2018, Emmanuel N’Djoke Dibango, known as Manu Dibango, saxophonist and Franco-Cameroonian singer of world jazz, performs during his concert at the Ivory Hotel Abidjan. – (Photo: Sia KAMBOU / AFP)

Cameroon-born singer and saxophone player Emmanuel N’Djoke Dibango, popularly known as Manu Dibango has died from the coronavirus, barely days after he was hospitalized in France.

According to a statement on his official Facebook page the veteran Afro jazz star, Manu Dibango succumbed to the Covid-19 virus Tuesday March 24, 2020.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango,” the post reads in part adding that funeral service will be held in strict privacy as per the family’s request.

Information about the hospitalization of the 86-year-old African Star, best known for the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa”, was first made public on Wednesday March 18.

Several Cameroonians including African football legend, Samuel Eto’o have taken to social media to mourn the loss of the saxophonist, who pioneered Afro jazz fusing funk with traditional Cameroonian music and performed in theaters the world over.

Among his biggest hit was the B side of a song to support the Cameroon football team in during the African Cup of Nations. The music gained international fame when it was picked up and popularized by New York DJs.

A one-time UNESCO Peace Artist, Manu Dibango was born in Douala, Cameroon, in 1933, and has amazed several international nominations and awards including a Grammy Award, two Charles Cros Academy awards for box sets, a Lifetime Achievement Award from AFRIMA among several others.

Rising from his humble beginnings to become one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians, World Music & Jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango became celebrated for his distinct amalgamation of Jazz and Funk with the tradition music of his native Cameroon and the rhythms of Africa.

While studying in Paris, Dibango become exposed to a wealth of music and art not accessible in Cameroon. His heart became enthralled with Jazz, and he soon began playing music that combined sounds of his homeland with the Western styles of American Jazz artists such as Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker. Categorized as everything from Afro-Jazz to World Music to Afro-beat to Makossa to Reggae, Dibango created his unique sound by embracing the musical spectrum.

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Former Cameroonian Athlete dies of Coronavirus in France
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Late Cameroonian Athlete, Alain Siekapen

Alain Siekapen, Cameroonian former karateka is reported to have succumbed to dead in a hospital in France on last Saturday March 21, after battling with Coronavirus infection.

Information about his demise was confirmed by the Cameroon Karate Federation with its president, Rodrigue Ngue stating that; “Alain Siekapen, first president of Cameroonian syndicate of karatekas in the diaspora prematurely left us this morning after being hit by COVID-19 which unfortunately didn’t allow him to live after several days of treatment and physical battle to stay alive.”

His demise brings to two, the number of Cameroonian to have died of the deadly coronavirus in France.

Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, WHO, Coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China and now poses a global threat with over 378,392 infected victims documented and over 16,490 deaths.

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