Poverty rate at 41 pct in Angola



The poverty rate in rural areas is 57.2 percent, almost double that in urban areas, which is 29.8 percent, according to the report released by Angola’s National Statistics Institute.

Luanda has the lowest poverty rate of 20 percent, while Cunene Province and Moxico province have the highest rate of 62 percent, the report said.



IMF to disburse 1bn dollars to Angola to address COVID-19 crisis



The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said it would disburse 1 billion dollars to Angola to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The IMF executive board made the decision after completing a third review of Angola’s three-year economic programme under its Extended Fund Facility approved at the end of 2018, bringing the total disbursements under the arrangement to some 2.5 billion dollars.

“Angola’s economy has been hit hard by a triple, COVID-19-induced external shock.

The shock led to economic and health crises, compounded by the decline in oil prices in view of Angola’s dependence on oil exports,” the IMF said in a statement.

The fund went on to list some “decisive measures” adopted by authorities to tackle the impact of the crisis.

The board’s deputy managing director and acting chair, Antoinette Sayeh, said that “pursuing structural reforms is critical to diversify the economy and lay the foundations for private sector-led economic growth.

“The government will need to remain steadfast in enhancing the business environment, strengthening governance, and fighting corruption.”

In late June, the IMF said that economies in sub-Saharan Africa were projected to contract by 3.2 per cent due to the pandemic, with growth expected to recover to 3.4 per cent in 2021, assuming that the health crisis abates and lockdowns ease further in the second half of 2020.

In the region’s largest economies – Angola, Nigeria and South Africa – gross domestic product was projected to return to pre-crisis levels only by 2023 or 2024.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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Angola, DR Congo discuss security issues along border



Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday came together in Luanda to debate security issues along their common border.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the bilateral defence and security commission meeting, the commander-general of the Angolan National Police, commissioner general Paulo de Almeida, said crimes and incidents along the common border is a concern.

According to the senior Angolan police officer, among the main crimes recorded along the border are illegal immigration, the smuggling of fuel, drugs, medicines and diamonds, human trafficking as well as poaching.

De Almeida said both countries should strive to prevent these crimes since they affect the political, economic and social stability of the two states.

On his side, DRC spokesman Louis d’Or Ngalamulume pointed out that his country and Angola have a long-standing relationship which must be maintained.

The Congolese official underlined that both countries “are working to maintain security on our border, both on the Angolan side and on the Congolese side.”

Several legal instruments concerning security and that emphasis cooperation are expected to be signed during the event.

The meeting taking place behind closed doors will last until Wednesday.


Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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Wild polio declared eradicated in Africa



Africa has been declared free of wild polio, the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARRC) for Polio Eradication says, leaving only one region of the world where the disease remains.

Polio usually affects children under five, sometimes leading to irreversible paralysis. Death can occur when breathing muscles are affected.

Twenty-five years ago thousands of children in Africa were paralysed by the virus.

Thousands of people across Africa still live with the effects of the disease, but on Tuesday the ARCC declared the region free of endemic wild polio, four years after the last case was recorded in Nigeria.

“Today is a historic day for Africa. The ARCC is pleased to announce that the Region has successfully met the certification criteria for wild polio eradication, with no cases of the wild poliovirus reported in the Region for four years,” said Prof, Rose Gana Fomban Leke, ARCC Chairperson.

The ARCC’s decision comes after an exhaustive, decades-long process of documentation and analysis of polio surveillance, immunization and laboratory capacity of the region’s 47 member states, which included conducting field verification visits to each country.

The certification, announced during a World Health Organization (WHO) event, confirmed that all 47 countries in the WHO’s Africa region have eradicated the crippling viral disease that attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours.

Children under five are the most vulnerable, but people can be fully protected with preventative vaccines. To keep the virus at bay, population immunisation coverage rates must be high and constant surveillance is crucial.

The last case in Africa was recorded in 2016 in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state, which has been ravaged by the Islamist militant Boko Haram insurgency since 2009.

Tunji Funsho, a Nigerian anti-polio coordinator for Rotary International, said one way the disease was stamped out in Borno was to use the military and a government-approved militia to escort vaccinators in unsafe areas.

Globally, wild polio case numbers have been cut drastically due to national and regional immunisation for babies and children. The disease remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, however.

“Until wild poliovirus is eradicated everywhere, it’s still a risk everywhere,” Michael Galway, a polio expert at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told Reuters, urging continued vigilance.

“There’s nothing that prevents the virus from making the route from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Africa,” he said.

The WHO estimates that 1.8 million children have been saved from life-long paralysis from wild polio.

Yet in spite Tuesday’s announcement, a vaccine-derived strain of the disease – which can infect people where there is only partial vaccination and results in the same symptoms as the wild form – continues to circulate in Africa.

“We must stay vigilant and keep up vaccination rates to avert a resurgence of the wild poliovirus and address the continued threat of the vaccine-derived polio,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Vaccine-derived poliovirus cases can occur when the weakened live virus in the oral polio vaccine passes among under-immunized populations and eventually changes to a form that can cause paralysis.

The 16 countries in Africa affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks include Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia.


Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
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Africa: COVID-19 cases pass 1.08m as death toll surges to 24,660



The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Friday said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa surged to 1,084,687 as the death toll rose to 24,660.

The centre, in its latest situation update issued on Friday, said the number of COVID-19 cases across the African continent has risen from 1,073,788 on Thursday to 1,084,687 as of Friday.

The Africa CDC also noted that the continent-wide COVID-19 related death toll registered an increase of 404 deaths compared to Thursday’s 24, 256 to reach 24, 660.

The continental disease control and prevention agency also said the number of people who recovered from their COVID-19 infections also reached 780,076 so far.

South Africa currently has the most COVID-19 cases at 572,865. The country also has the highest COVID-19 related deaths, with death toll currently standing at 11,270, according to the Africa CDC.

Egypt comes next with 96, 108 COVID-19 cases and 5,107 COVID-19 related deaths followed by Nigeria which has so far recorded 48,116 COVID-19 cases and 966 deaths.

The northern African country of Morocco comes fourth in terms of number of COVID-19 related cases recording 37, 935 COVID-19 cases out of which 584 resulted in the deaths.

Rounding up the top five COVID-19 infected African countries list is Algeria which has so far recorded 37, 631 COVID-19 cases out of which 1,328 resulted in the deaths.

These five countries in total account for almost three-fourth of all COVID-19 cases in Africa, with South Africa alone accounting for more than 50 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the continent.

The Southern Africa region is the most affected area in terms of confirmed cases, followed by Northern Africa and Western Africa regions, the Africa CDC said.

South Africa accounts for the highest number of COVID-19 cases per one million people, with 9,792 cases per one million people, followed by Djibouti with 5,358 cases per one million people.

Cape Verde comes third with 5,000 cases per one million people and Sao Tome and Principe comes fourth with 4,410 cases per one million people.

Rounding up the top five lists is Gabon with 3,846 cases per one million people.

The Africa CDC also said nine African countries are reporting case fatality rates comparable to or higher than the global case fatality rate of 3.7 per cent.

These African countries are Chad, Sudan, Liberia, Niger, Egypt, Mali, Angola, Burkina Faso and Tanzania.

Amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the Africa, the centre disclosed on Thursday that some 23 African countries are currently implementing entry and exit restrictions, requiring COVID-19 testing and test certificates.

Amid the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent, the Africa CDC has called for strong continental and global collaboration to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Africa.

The Centre Director, John Nkengasong, called for the strengthening of national public health institutions, the development of competency-based workforce and expansion of community-based health programmes to fight COVID-19.

He in particular mentioned China’s “barefoot doctor” programme as an exemplary initiative African countries can emulate to help them comprehensively fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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