Friday, November 26, 2021

EURweb Presents: Black Diaspora News Brief | VIDEO

*EUR has long been known as a destination for the latest news, interviews and opinion pieces on Black celebrities, with an emphasis on music and films produced by American creative minds that are of African descent. But Black cultural research and understanding have long been the very pillars of our existence.

It is in that tradition that we present to our new column The Black Diaspora News Brief– a weekly summary of news stories from throughout the African Diaspora, culled from reliable news sources from around the world, and written from a straight-forward, objective perspective.   

The Ongoing Fight for Africa’s COVID Vax Independence

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According to reports, 27 nations of the African Union will supply six million single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shots to 18 member countries, according to AU envoy Strive Masiyiwa-who also says the countries receiving the vaccine are currently finalizing loans from the World Bank, as well as other global lenders, before an initial payment. 

The vaccine will be delivered in increments of 10 million a month starting in September and will expand to 20 million in January 2022, scheduled to maintain those monthly levels through September of next year. 

“If you want land we will give you. If you want to own everything 100%, we don’t mind, just produce from the African continent,” he told the firms. 

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‘Global pharmaceutical firms should license production of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa rather than just do piecemeal contract deals, Masiyiwa said while speaking a day after Pfizer and BioNTech announced a “fill and finish” deal with South Africa’s Biovac Institute under which it will carry out the final stages of vaccine manufacturing where the product is processed and put into vials.’ 

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Production for portions of the vaccine will be done in Europe by Pfizer and BioNTech. However, some have said this deal is restrictive and more is needed to support vaccine independence on the continent.  

Currently only 60 million vaccine doses have been distributed in Africa, which has an overall population of approximately 1.3 billion. This is reportedly being caused by shipment restrictions from exporters, primarily China and India.  

Mozambique Reluctantly Accepts Neighborly Assistance Against Rebels 

Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 1.53.33 PMMozambique has a very bad insurrection problem that has thus far killed over 3,100 people and displaced nearly a million. 

The four-year revolt has wrested control of five districts in Cabo Delgado province in the northeast of the country.  In March, the gas and oil production hub of Palma, home to the second largest gas field in all of Africa, was captured by the rebels before government forces recaptured the region several days later.  

Mozambique’s troops are largely described as inept and corrupt by several sources. Thus, President Filipe Nyusi has decided to call for help from neighboring Rwanda for assistance against the insurgency.  

CNN reports that the rebellion was started by the young and unemployed over growing poverty and inequality, as well as social injustice and the lack of public benefit from the vast mineral and gas resources of the country.  

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However, the majority of the victims of the fighting have been local citizens. Also, French oil giant Total has completely withdrawn from the area since fighting began, citing the rise in militant violence as the reason why. 

South Africa, arguably the strongest military on the continent, the United States, which currently has military advisors in the country, and Portugal, the nation’s former colonizer, initially angled to send troops to Mozambique’s aid, but a history of mistrust scuttled the idea. 

The “compromise” was the Rwandan army, which deployed 1,000 troops in the troubled region of the country several weeks ago. Rwandan troops are in the country for “as long as needed”, while South African troops, air and sea power have a three-month charter. 

Amnesty International accused both government and insurgents of “war crimes”, so many people will be frightened by the return of Mozambican soldiers and police. And the insurgents are local people, known to their communities. Read more here.

 COVID-19 Deaths in Africa Skyrocket Due to Delta Variant

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The World Health Organization’s Vaccine Introduction Officer for the African Region recently told CNN that deaths from coronavirus have risen by 80 percent in large part due to the Delta variant.  

Phionah Atuhebwe also told the news organization that the highest weekly rate of death to date started on July 19. 

“COVID-19 death rates have increased across Africa, with the highest weekly rate (6,343) to date reported during the week starting 19 July 2021,” said Atuhebwe. 

“Deaths increased by 89%, from 13,242 to 24,987, in the last 28 days, when compared against statistics for the previous 28 days,” she added. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes the infections are being powered by the large number of unvaccinated people on the continent. 

“Almost 4 million cases were reported to WHO last week, and on current trends, we expect the total number of cases to pass 200 million within the next two weeks,” Ghebreyesus added. 

Atuhebwe says most of the deaths over the past month were mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, which accounted for 64 percent of total deaths with 16,019 while North Africa only accounted for 24 percent. 

“The 15 countries are Algeria, Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco,” she said, attributing to the surge in Covid fatality rates to increased transmission rates of the virus. 

EurWebWriter
Ricardo A. Hazell began his career in journalism in 1996 as a Research Intern for the prestigious Editor & Publisher Co. His byline has appeared in The Root, Washington Post, Black Enterprise and he helped define culture within the African Diaspora as Senior Cultural Contributor at The Shadow League. Currently working on the semi-autobiographical novel "Remorse".

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