According to the CDC, the African Union’s center for disease prevention, the continent recorded 96,829 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday and 3,031 deaths from the disease. The most affected states are South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria.
• Benin: overwhelming majority for pro-Talon parties in municipal elections
Organized on Sunday despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Benin municipal elections delivered their verdict: an overwhelming success of formations supporting the head of state Patrice Talon, who won 1,555 seats out of the 1,815 involved, or 77%. This was no surprise since among the opposition parties, only the FCBE, which had left ex-president Boni Yayi by accusing them of complacency with the authorities, had been allowed to compete. This party won 260 seats, or about 15% of the votes.
The other opposition parties had called for a boycott and are questioning the official voter turnout presented by the electoral commission. The rate is 49.14% according to the Céna, which did not give the figures by municipality. Of 25%, had calculated the opponents Tuesday.
• DRC: the government resumes the collection of income tax
Decided at the end of March to cushion the coronavirus crisis, the suspension of the collection of income tax will not have lasted the three months announced. It resumes at the end of this month. In the end, therefore, only April’s pay and bonuses will have escaped the 15% deduction. The Directorate General of Taxes, which already records large deficits, estimated that this measure had cost $ 11 million in public coffers.
The DRC is currently sorely lacking in revenue with the closure of the borders and the reduction of mining production, and the IMF had asked the government to increase its revenues in order to access its aid. The unions believe that the authorities would do better to reduce the standard of living of public institutions rather than to cut the meager wages.
• Political reactions to Paul Biya’s speech
Coming out of his silence Tuesday evening to call for national unity in the face of the coronavirus crisis, the Cameroonian president drew comments. Maurice Kamto’s party, the MRC, is also for the sacred union, but demands concrete and coherent acts, and returns the ball to the authorities as regards the instrumentalization of this crisis. On the side of power, we invite not to argue.
Reaction to the call to sacred union of Biya
• African football clubs try to survive, Ivorian players in difficulty
The ball is no longer round in Africa, where all the football championships are stopped because of the pandemic. The clubs – which are also businesses – organize themselves to survive and await the help of the parent company, FIFA, to save themselves. Olivier Rogez explains to us how in Africa economy.
The first victims of the stoppage of competitions are the players, deprived of the field and with salaries sometimes cut in half, for example in Côte d’Ivoire. The association of Ivorian footballers, AFI, is helping the 1,200 players in the championship, while the Burkina Faso striker Aristide Bancé is buzzing on social media with a video full of anger.
Ivorian footballers in difficulty
• Tanzania to reopen universities
Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced the reopening of universities from June 1, adding that a decision on primary and secondary education would be taken later. He also promised to resume sports competitions on the same date, but with respect for measures of social distancing.
While the US Embassy reported signs of “ exponential growth “Of the virus in several places of the country and that the opposition denounces maneuvers of” concealment “The head of state assured that the number of cases decreased continuously thanks to the prayers of the Tanzanians. He also announced a new three-day national prayer session starting on Friday to thank God.
• Threat of famine in Zambia, WFP in action
The World Food Program has started helping people in urban centers in two northern and eastern provinces. The country was marked by an exceptional drought last year, then by floods at the end of the rainy season. According to WFP, this year’s crop should nevertheless be good and the food situation in the countryside should be satisfactory. But for people in urban centers, food distress follows drastic measures taken to stem the spread of Covid-19.
This is explained by Jennifer Bitonde, WFP director in Zambia, at the microphone of Léonard Vincent :
” If you look at the big urban centers, you will see that the prices on the shelves have increased, especially the imported products. Food products are now taking longer to reach the interior of the country, given the challenges and delays at the borders. This is due to the measures imposed to combat the Covid-19: compulsory tests, self-containment measures in quarantine for truck drivers … This slows down the arrival of food. So what does this mean for urban populations, and especially for the poorest, whose survival depends on the informal economy and supermarkets ? This means that if they have no work, if they have no economic activity, it will be very difficult for them to access food, even if it is available. ”
• First day of deconfinement in Botswana
After 48 days of “lockdown”, Botswana returned to its habits on Thursday. Shops were allowed to reopen, but welcoming no more than 10 people at a time. ” The three phases of containment have come to an end (…) the need to contain the virus remains “, Said the head of the presidential structure in charge of the fight against the pandemic. Wearing a mask in public space is compulsory, under penalty of a fine of 5,000 pula (380 euros), and travel between the provinces of the country remains prohibited until further notice. Schools are scheduled to reopen on June 2. Botswana has only one death in 29 cases of Covid-19.
Behind the scenes of the response in Nigeria
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has soared to Nigeria, reaching 6,677, with 200 deaths. The Federal Center for Disease Control (NCDC) coordinates the screening system, which is not easy in a country of 200 million people, organized in 36 states with relative autonomy. The metropolitan areas of Lagos and Abuja are thus continuing to ease restrictions, while Kano, the big city in the north, remains confined. Our correspondent Moses Gomis followed the work in an NCDC center.
In addition, the main union of doctors in Lagos, suspended this Thursday afternoon the strike call launched this morning to protest against the abuses of the police, which prevent them from moving during the cover fire. The governor would have intervened to give them wages. Health workers are exempt from the night curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
• Many positive tests in a Renault factory in Morocco
A screening campaign led by the Renault group has led to the detection of 32 cases of Covid-19 at its Casablanca factory, the group announced in a press release. They were part of a first wave of 300 people tested. These patients being asymptomatic, the group believes that the contamination did not take place in the factory but outside. Screenings are also underway at the Tangier site, the objective being to test all the staff present, according to Renault, which employs nearly 12,000 people in Morocco.
Moroccan authorities decided this week to extend compulsory confinement until June 10, citing a “ stable but not reassuring health situation ” The country has more than 7,100 cases and 194 deaths.
• Reopening on June 4 for places of worship, cafes, restaurants and hotels in Tunisia
At a joint press conference, several ministers announced the reopening on June 4 of mosques and places of worship, as well as cafes, restaurants and hotels. The shops have been closed since March 22, and will have to be limited to 50% of their capacity. A date that can be modified in the event of a new epidemic outbreak. Tunisia is the least affected Maghreb country, with 1,045 cases identified, and 47 deaths.
The lifting of all containment measures is scheduled for June 14. Until then, travel between governorates remains prohibited, and controls will be strengthened this weekend for Eid el-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. Schools, however, remain closed until September: only bac preparation courses will resume at the end of May for a month. Crèche and nurseries will also reopen at the end of May.
” We didn’t waste time and made difficult, bold and sometimes creative decisions Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh welcomed Wednesday evening in a televised speech. However, this crisis has ” exposed deep problems that we already know but that we no longer have the right to ignore : poverty, the fragility of the economy and the exhaustion of public structures, starting with those of health. ”
• Algerian protesters want to resume Hirak after pandemic
Invited this Thursday by RFI, the president of the Youth Action Rally (RAJ), Abdelouahab Fersaoui, says he is certain that the Algerian people will be ready to ” resume fighting for democracy After the coronavirus crisis is over. This 39-year-old academic, one of the figures of “Hirak”, has just spent 6 months in prison.
Our selection on the coronavirus