SENEGAL

Image

SENEGAL

15,571

Total Cases

322

Total Deaths

14,437

Total Recovered

812

Total Active Cases

0

New Deaths

0

New Cases


via voanews09/21/2020

UN Marks 75th Anniversary in Atmosphere of New Challenges - Voice of America

The United Nations marked its 75th anniversary Monday amid a global pandemic and other serious challenges that the secretary-general said highlight the urgency for stronger international cooperation.    “The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the world’s fragilities. We can only address them together,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, referencing the disease caused by the coronavirus. “Today, we have a surplus of multilateral challenges and a deficit of multilateral solutions.”

via beaumontenterprise09/20/2020

Chef wants to give African food a bigger stage - Beaumont Enterprise

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Serigne Mbaye sees links to the food of his ancestral home of Senegal all around his adopted home of New Orleans, in the gumbo, the rice dishes, even the beignets. The young chef wants to build new connections through modern New Orleans cooking, and one avenue is a series of collaborations with local restaurants. That series begins next week (Sept. 22) in conjunction with chef Marcus Jacobs, of Marjie's Grill, the Mid-City restaurant known for its own exploratory approach of different cooking cultures. Kin, Willie Mae's Scotch House, MoPho, Bywater American Bistro, Turkey & the Wolf and Mosquito Supper Club are all on deck for the weeks ahead. "African cuisine doesn't get as much credit as it should, so how can I show people how it connects to other cuisines?" said Mbaye. "Making dishes with these different chefs, I think it shows how Senegalese cuisine is part of so many cuisines and can be related to them." At 27, Mbaye had already racked up a remarkable résumé in the highest levels of American cuisine, cooking at Commander's Palace and the Michelin-starred restaurants L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in New York and Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Today, he runs a recurring pop-up called Dakar NOLA at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. Mbaye is working to eventually turn Dakar NOLA into a full-service New Orleans restaurant. He's driven by a mission to see the flavors of Senegal recognized and celebrated in the same way as French or Italian cuisine, both through traditional preparations and the kind of creative energy chefs bring with their own interpretations. "My idea is to bring classic and modern together in a way that makes sense for people of different generations," said Mbaye. "The dishes I cook are...

via kff.org09/18/2020

WHO DG Urges Nations To Join COVAX; Agency Releases Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution Plan; Some Developing Countries Push To Limit Patent Protections On Successful Vaccines - Kaiser Family Foundation

ABC News: World Health Organization announces distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccine “…The World Health Organization and its appointed Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, or SAGE, have released a worldwide vaccine distribution plan — it pushes back on so-called vaccine nationalism, the idea that each country should prioritize its own citizens. Instead, the WHO<span class="readmore-ellipsis">…</span><a href="https://www.kff.org/news-summary/who-dg-urges-nations-to-join-covax-agency-releases-coronavirus-vaccine-distribution-plan-some-developing-countries-push-to-limit-patent-protections-on-successful-vaccines/" class="see-more light-beige no-float inline-readmore">More</a></p>

via uk.finance.yahoo09/14/2020

African Energy Chamber: Senegalese President Macky Sall Is Right About African Debt Relief - And the G20 Shouldn't Stop There - Yahoo Finance UK

DGAP-News: African Energy Chamber / Key word(s): Miscellaneous 14.09.2020 / 14:30 The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. Senegalese President Macky Sall Is Right About African Debt Relief - And the G20 Shouldn't Stop ThereBy NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber"Flatten the curve." Do you remember that phrase? It was on everyone's lips back in the spring, when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began rampaging across the world in earnest.Image Link: https://bit.ly/2FjmCKMAt the time, the idea was that the best way to combat the germ known as SARS CoV-2 was to go home and stay there long enough for hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities to build up the capacity needed to handle the expected flood of new patients. Most of us expected that this departure from routine would be a temporary thing. We hoped it wouldn't last long - that we'd be able to return to our normal routines after a brief disruption, with confidence that all necessary safeguards were in place.Of course, it didn't turn out that way. We spent far more time than we expected sheltering in place, unable to visit friends and family, attend school, or go to work in the usual manner. Many of us lost our jobs and saw our businesses fail, and the cumulative result of all these individual disasters was that the global economy took a sharp downward turn.We Still Need To 'Flatten the Curve' . But How?Along the way, of course, we've learned quite a bit more about SARS CoV-2 - how it makes people sick, how to treat it more effectively, what kind of resources our medical providers need most, and so on. But we've also stopped talking about "flattening the curve." Even in places where hospitals and clinics have been able to build up their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other necessities, we've moved on to other topics.In my view, this is a mistake. I'd like to explain why I think so.It's not because our understanding of the virus has changed over time.It's not because we've seen infection rates rise after the lifting of lockdown orders.It's not because we don't have a vaccine yet.It's not because the idea of "flattening the curve" seems callous when more than 900,000 people out the nearly 28 million infected around the world have already died of COVID-19.It's because we need to rethink the idea of what "flattening the curve" means.And I believe President Macky Sall's call for African debt relief is a good place to start that rethinking.The President's PerspectiveFirst, let's look at what President Sall has to say.In late August, the Senegalese leader urged members of the G20 group of countries to continue helping African nations balance their obligations to creditors with their obligations to their own citizens in the face of a deadly pandemic. Speaking to a group of business leaders at the French Entrepreneurs' Conference, he noted that the group had taken up his call for a moratorium on the collection of debt from impoverished countries in Africa and elsewhere in April. He suggested that this moratorium be extended into 2021 rather than allowed to expire at the end of 2020."For the most part, and for all African countries, internal efforts will not be enough to lessen the shock of COVID and revive economic growth," he said. "We need more financial capacity, which is why, with other colleagues, I have made a plea for substantial relief of Africa's public debt and private debt on terms to be agreed upon."What the President's Words MeanSall's statements reflect the fact that the emergence of SARS CoV-2 was not a one-off event that sparked a short-term crisis, but rather the start of a struggle that will take a long time to resolve. They recognize that the outbreak is likely to be a drag on the world economy for years to come - and that the countries battling COVID-19 outbreaks need time to build up their capacity to fight back.What's more, the president's words advance the idea that African states will be in a better position to meet their financial obligations in the future if they take the time and the trouble to address the public health situation first. Indeed, he made a point of stressing that Africa takes its financial commitments seriously, since he mentioned debt relief and not debt forgiveness. (He also suggested that members of the G20 group offer debtors the same kind of breathing room they have granted themselves, such as temporary exemption from rules limiting debt to 3% of GDP or less.)In other words, Sall is asking the G20 group to give Africa time and space to flatten the curve. He may not have used those exact words, but that appears to be his goal. He is hoping creditors will agree to suspend business as usual so that African states can build up their capacity for economic growth, just as regular citizens of many countries around the world agreed to disrupt their usual routines of work and school and leisure activities so that hospitals could build up their capacity for patient care.Sall also understands that this flattening of the economic curve is not a simple process. He knows it will take more than one round of deferred payments to compensate for the economic consequences of the pandemic, and that is why he has now asked the G20 to extend the debt moratorium, which was originally due to expire at the end of 2020, into next year.Compensating for the Setbacks of the Last Six MonthsAnd make no mistake: Africa needs that extra time. The continent has suffered enormously over the last six months.On the economic front, the pandemic has triggered a global recession that has caused millions of salaried African workers to lose their jobs. Meanwhile, many more millions have seen their livelihoods dwindle or disappear because restrictions on movement have stifled the informal sector and forced the closure of small businesses. Additionally, the continent has experienced shortages of fuel and other essential goods as a result of disruptions in the supply chain.Some parts of Africa have also weathered political disruptions. Mali suffered a coup in mid-August, following more than two months of anti-government demonstrations. Libya's civil war, pitting the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), has continued to grind on, effectively crippling the country's lucrative oil industry. Investors in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Mozambique have grown more nervous since a militia with ties to the Islamic State group, also known as Daesh, seized control of a key port in Cabo Delgado state.Under other circumstances, African fossil fuel producers might have been able to use their reserves to help build up the cash needed to cope with the consequences of COVID-19. After all, as I explained in my latest book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, the oil and gas industry has the potential to serve as a springboard, amplifying and accelerating economic growth. It can create opportunities for economic diversification and - through petroleum companies' research and investments - help pave the way to the creation of a renewable energy sector.Unfortunately, though, world oil prices crashed earlier this year, partly because of the competition between Russia and Saudi Arabia for market share and partly because the pandemic undercut energy demand. Prices hit historic lows in late April. And since they have yet to recover completely, African producers will need more than oil and gas to compensate for the setbacks they have experienced this year.A Necessary Step: Debt ReliefThat's where debt relief comes in.Debt relief will help African states weather the storms caused by the pandemic.Debt relief will help African states take the steps needed to help people go back to work or build up their businesses.Debt relief will help African states re-establish stability following political disruptions.Debt relief will help African states make up for the sharp decline in oil and gas revenues and begin building renewable energy sectors.Debt relief is necessary to flatten the curve. It's what will give Africa time and space to start carving out a path towards recovery - to take the steps necessary to bring new investment to the oil and gas industry, to build Africa's sustainable energy sector, to expand business and residential consumers' access to electric power, to revive small businesses, to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, to foster job creation, and to remove red tape and regulatory obstacles.Asking for More: Debt ForgivenessSenegal's president understands this - and I hope the leaders of the G20 group's members do, too. I hope they can see how reasonable it is for impoverished countries in Africa and other regions to ask for what they need to flatten the curve.But I'd also like to take it a step further. I'm going to ask for more.I'm going to ask for debt forgiveness.I'm going to suggest that members of the G20 group agree to forego payments from African debtors - specifically, from eligible African debtors. And by eligible debtors, I mean countries that commit themselves to a forward-looking agenda that includes wide-ranging and market-oriented reforms, as well as safeguards for economic freedom, good governance, free trade, and investment in education.All of these points are in line with the ideals that have helped most G20 member states achieve so much with respect to economic growth. What's more, they are exactly the sort of things that African states ought to do in order to maximize their chances of building up the momentum lost as a result of the pandemic - and to extend their recovery far into the future, beyond the point when vaccines, cures, and more effective treatments remove the threat of COVID-19.I hope that G20 lenders to Africa will see it my way. I hope they will agree to help Africa do as much as it can to flatten the curve. * * *14.09.2020 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases. Archive at www.dgap.de * * *


via koreabiomed09/11/2020

Yonsei, KOICA to help Senegal with Covid-19 response efforts - Korea Biomedical Review

Yonsei University Health Systems (YUHS) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) said that they would provide Covid-19 response support worth $130,000 to the Kaolack region in central Senegal.Under the support package, the two will help maintain public health facilities in the communit

via science.sciencemag.org09/10/2020

News at a glance - Science

SCI COMMUN### Astronomy Talk about a sharper image: A recently constructed imaging sensor array (above) that will be used when the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile opens in 2021 has captured a world-record 3200 megapixels in a single shot. It recorded a variety of objects, including a Romanesco broccoli, at that resolution, which is detailed enough to show a golf ball clearly from 24 kilometers away. The sensor array's focal plane is more than 60 centimeters wide, much larger than the 3.5-centimeter sensors on high-end consumer digital cameras, says the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, which built the array. When the telescope, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, begins operating next year, it will image the entire southern sky every few nights for 10 years, cataloguing billions of galaxies each time. The surveys will shed light on mysterious dark energy and dark matter, which make up most of the universe's mass. With its repeat coverage, the telescope will make the equivalent of an astronomical movie in order to discover objects that suddenly appear, move, or go bang. ### Biomedicine Corticosteroids given orally or intravenously should be the standard therapy for people with “severe and critical” COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in new guidelines issued last week—but they should not be given to patients with mild cases. In June, a large U.K. trial named Recovery first showed that the steroid dexamethasone cut deaths among ventilated COVID-19 patients by 35% after 28 days of treatment. That result was confirmed by a WHO-sponsored metaanalysis published in JAMA on 2 September that included Recovery and six other studies testing dexamethasone, as well as two other corticosteroids—hydrocortisone and methylprednisolone. Many countries, including the United States, had already included corticosteroids in their national treatment guidelines. But WHO's recommendations will be important as a signal to low- and middle-income countries, says Martin Landray, one of Recovery's principal investigators. ### Public health COVID-19 virus particles drifting through a Chinese apartment building's plumbing may have infected some residents, a study has found, raising fears of yet another way that the disease could spread. The case echoes a 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that spread through the pipes of a Hong Kong apartment building. Such transmission is difficult to prove. But scientists suspect that aerosolized coronavirus may have spread from the bathroom of a Guangzhou family of five through a floor drain and into the building's wastewater pipes. Two middle-aged couples living in apartments above the family later contracted COVID-19. The study appeared last week in Annals of Internal Medicine . ### Conservation A plan to reforest a cross-continental strip of Africa to hold back expansion of the Sahara Desert and the semi-arid Sahel has made little progress—even though the project is halfway toward its planned completion date in 2030, a report says. Participating countries have planted only 4 million hectares of trees and other vegetation for the Great Green Wall, well short of the 100 million planned to stretch 7000 kilometers from Senegal to Djibouti, says the report by the Climatekos consulting firm, presented on 7 September at a meeting of the countries' ministers. Supporters predicted the project would also create jobs and capture carbon dioxide. Scientists have said creating grasslands may be more effective than planting trees to resist desertification, The Guardian reported. ### Philanthropy Rice University last week received a $100 million gift for materials science. It is the largest to date in that discipline recorded in a database of gifts for engineering maintained by The Chronicle of Philanthropy . The funding will be used to pair materials science with artificial intelligence to advance the design and manufacturing of new materials, for applications that include sustainable water systems, energy, and telecommunications. The donor was the Robert A. Welch Foundation, which supports chemistry research in Texas. ### Conservation Scientists hailed a move last week by the European Union to ban the use of lead ammunition near wetlands and waterways. The European Chemicals Agency has estimated that as many as 1.5 million aquatic birds die annually from lead poisoning because they swallow some of the 5000 tons of lead shot that land in European wetlands each year. Its persistence in the environment is also considered a human health hazard. The EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) committee approved the ban after years of controversy. The German delegation, which had abstained in a July vote on the issue, changed its stance to support the measure after a letter from 75 scientists and petitions signed by more than 50,000 people called for it to do so. The European Commission and the European Parliament are expected to formally approve the ban, allowing it to go into effect in 2022. REACH may debate a complete ban on lead ammunition and fishing weights later this year. ### Chemical weapons Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition politician, was poisoned with a nerve agent “identified unequivocally in tests” as a Novichok, an exotic Sovietera chemical weapon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on 2 September. Navalny fell ill on 20 August after drinking a cup of tea at a Siberian airport. He was flown to Berlin and this week emerged from a coma. German military scientists at the Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich haven't released details of their tests, but they had clear targets to hunt for: Like other nerve agents, Novichoks bind to the enzymes acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, creating a telltale conjugate compound. Novichok agents came to wide public notice in 2018 after one was used in an assassination attempt against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom. The attack prompted nations to push for a crackdown on Novichok agents, and last year they were added to the list of toxic chemicals regulated under the Chemical Weapons Convention. ### COVID-19 In one of the largest surveys of Americans since COVID-19 lockdowns began, a majority reported having some symptoms of depression, up from one-quarter in a prepandemic survey. The prevalence of symptoms graded as moderate to severe tripled, to 27.8% of respondents. A research team compared results from two surveys used to screen for depression: one administered to more than 5000 people in 2017 and 2018 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the other given to 1400 people in early April by NORC at the University of Chicago. Prevalence of depression symptoms rose in all demographic groups and especially among individuals facing financial problems, job loss, or family deaths. The increases in self-reported symptoms are larger than those recorded in previous surveys after large-scale traumatic events in other countries, including outbreaks of the severe acute respiratory syndrome, H1N1, and Ebola, the authors write in the 2 September issue of JAMA Network Open . ### A U.S. vaccine leader's vow: Politics stays out “I would immediately resign if there is undue interference in this process.” So said Moncef Slaoui, scientific director of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. effort to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19, in an interview with Science . To date, Warp Speed has invested more than $10 billion in eight vaccine candidates. Three are now in large-scale efficacy trials, and interim reviews of their data by independent safety and monitoring boards could reveal evidence of protection as early as October. Slaoui, an immunologist who formerly headed vaccine development at GlaxoSmithKline, answered questions from Science last week about how Warp Speed operates and addressed concerns that political pressure before the 3 November U.S. presidential election may lead to an emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine before it is proven safe and effective. (On 8 September, nine companies developing vaccines for the pandemic coronavirus pledged not to seek a premature authorization.) “It needs to be absolutely shielded from the politics,” Slaoui says. “Trust me, there will be no [authorization request] filed if it's not right. … The science is what is going to guide us. … And at the end of the day, the facts and the data will be made available to everyone who wants to look at them and will be transparent.” Slaoui defended Warp Speed's decision to not consider vaccines made of whole, inactivated viruses, a time-tested approach. China has three such vaccines in efficacy trials, but he worries they could cause serious side effects in people who receive them. Slaoui also said if it had been his choice, the United States would have participated in COVAX, a mechanism for countries to invest collectively in vaccines and share them; the Trump administration declined to join. The full interview—one of Slaoui's most detailed since taking the job in May—is at <http://scim.ag/SlaouiQA>.

via finance.yahoo09/08/2020

African Nations Say They’re Being Ripped Off by Wall Street - Yahoo Finance

(Bloomberg) -- Macky Sall had a bone to pick with creditors. Sitting before the head of the International Monetary Fund, investors and diplomats during a conference on African debt in December, the Senegalese president complained that Western prejudice keeps borrowing costs unfairly high on his continent.“This negative-risk perception is not in tune with the reality of our continent,” Sall told the gathering that included the IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva. “People think that this is a problematic continent and demand a rate of return that is unparalleled elsewhere in the world.”Sall, 58, was lashing out from inside a high-ceilinged, post-modern conference center that overlooks a satellite city being built on the outskirts of Dakar. The new city, which will house ministries, universities, residential buildings and a sprawling industrial park, together with the six-lane toll highway connecting it to a gleaming new airport were all financed with debt.Like other African governments, the former French colony has rushed to sell sovereign bonds to fuel an era of unprecedented growth that helped lift millions out of poverty over the past decade. Eurobonds have displaced multilateral lenders like the IMF as Africa’s main source of financing, going from one nation offering $200 million in 2006 to about two dozen selling $117 billion of such paper.Africa PremiumForeign investors, hungry for returns in a world awash in cheap money, have snapped up African debt. But that hasn’t lowered African nations’ borrowing costs, which for 10 years are between 5% and 10% -- well above other emerging markets.To some, the “Africa premium” stems from racial prejudice and lazy analysis that taints all countries on the continent with the same brush -- one of political instability, corruption and financial mismanagement.“Some investors really think that Africa is the jungle and there is a lot of chaos; that is the underlying perspective with which they establish their own required return,” said Misheck Mutize, who leads an African Union project to help governments improve their credit ratings.Consider Senegal, for example. It is one of continent’s most stable democracies, praised by the IMF for its economic management and poised to become a major oil exporter after discovering crude and natural gas off its shores. Yet it pays over five times more on its 10-year notes than Greece, the epicenter of Europe’s debt crisis in 2008, which has a lower credit rating. With average annual growth of over 6% for the past five years, Senegal also pays nearly three percentage points more than similarly-rated Serbia, whose economy expanded at half the pace over the period.Then there is Ghana, whose borrowings are more expensive than those of Belarus, rocked by protests against its autocratic leader since August. The Eastern European nation, which issued notes in June, pays one percentage point less than similarly-rated Ghana, a stable democracy that until recently was one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.Black Lives MatterThe premium demanded by investors is increasingly driving the region’s better-managed countries like Senegal and the Ivory Coast to cry foul. It’s a sentiment that’s getting more traction amid the Black Lives Matter protests after the killing in the U.S. of George Floyd, a black man, by a Minneapolis police officer.“Black Lives Matter raises a broader question about the history of systemic racism and maltreatment of people of color in the world,” said Howard Stein, a professor at the University of Michigan. “Has this spilled over into the perception of Africa in these markets? It’s a possibility.”He and Michael Olabisi, a Michigan State University professor, found that sovereigns in Sub-Saharan Africa paid a premium of 2.9 percentage points over the rest of the world, or an extra $2.2 billion between 2006 and 2014. Recent data shows the penalty could be vastly larger, said Olabisi, who’s updating the 2015 study.Higher rates mean that many African countries are spending more to service their external debt than on health-care. Angola spends seven times more, for Cameroon its six times and for Ghana nearly four times, according to the Jubilee Debt Campaign, a London group that advocates relief for poor countries.Governance QuestionSeveral elements keep African borrowing costs high. Inexperience in debt markets has hurt the reputation of some sovereigns, AU’s Mutize said. In August 2016, the Republic of Congo missed a bond payment due to an administrative error, only to pay the coupon a month later in what is arguably one of the briefest defaults in history.In some cases, the high rates are a credible reflection of risk. Zambia, which called on its creditors to reschedule payments, pays a yield of nearly 40% on a 10-year note due in 2022 -- the most on the continent.Inconsistent data on finances and reserves in many of these countries makes analysis difficult, said Jan Friederich, head of Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings with Fitch Ratings. Low tax collection and high reliance on raw materials also makes the region vulnerable, but weak governance hurts ratings the most, he said.“Governance, politics and to some extent corruption certainly figure quite high in the list of concerns of investors considering African Eurobonds,” he said.Lumped TogetherAlthough not unique to Africa, political meddling in economic management has also led to unnecessary borrowing, undermining confidence in the continent’s capacity to manage its finances, said Kingsley Moghalu, the Nigerian central bank deputy governor between 2009 and 2014.“Excessive borrowing is driven by political dynamics with politicians looking for the quickest way to spend before their term ends,” said Moghalu, who now runs an investment advisory firm in Washington.Such financial mismanagement has unfortunately hurt other countries on the continent that run their economies responsibly, said Vera Songwe, the head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.“There is still a sense among some investors that an earthquake in Mozambique washes away Senegal,” she said.Illiquid MarketThe African bond market is dominated by a small group of investors, which raises the premium because there isn’t a liquid secondary market, Songwe said. To bolster competition and lower rates, she proposed a fund backed by central banks from the Group of 20 leading economies to help governments sell higher-rated bonds.But some efforts to help African economies may be doing more harm than good. A G20 initiative during the coronavirus outbreak to delay debt service payments from poor countries until next year have kept African yields high, said Kevin Daly, investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments.“The initiative was a factor in solidifying this perception that Africa is a riskier borrower compared to its peers elsewhere,” said Daly, who manages two dedicated Frontier bond funds and is involved in talks with African officials about the suspension initiative.After shooting up to 20% in April on pandemic fears, the average yield of Latin American sovereigns fell in a matter of weeks to less than 7%. In contrast, yields in Sub-Saharan Africa -- excluding South Africa -- have yet to drop to pre-pandemic levels and hover near 8%.The surge in rates has prompted African nations to steer clear of the market. Countries from Angola to Nigeria shelved Eurobond sale plans, with no Sub-Saharan sovereign issuing since February.Debt BingeIn the decade to 2018, though, the region piled up massive amounts of external debt, which doubled to $365 billion.Still, the continent’s track record in repaying its Eurobonds has been good, and doesn’t justify the wide yields spread against countries like Italy and Greece, which are still struggling to grow in the wake of the debt crisis, said Hippolyte Fofack, chief economist for the African Export-Import Bank.With the exception of countries like Mozambique and Seychelles, most African sovereigns have remained current on their bond payments since a continent-wide debt write-off backed by the IMF in the mid-2000s.“There is this tendency to think that the risk attached to African entities must be very high while in fact very few African countries have defaulted,” Fofack said. “How can the spread gap with Italy be over 800 basis points? It’s not justified.”(Updates with bond sale details in 26th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

via registercitizen09/21/2020

Olympic bid scandal linked to former IOC member's son - Torrington Register Citizen

TOKYO (AP) - A consulting company working for the Tokyo Olympic bid committee paid about $370,000 to the son of then-influential IOC member Lamine Diack before - and after - the Japanese capital was picked in 2013 to host the 2020 Games, news agency Kyodo reported on Monday. The payment is reported to be part of $2 million transferred by the bid committee to Black Tidings, a now shuttered consulting company based in Singapore. Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee at the time, acknowledged signing off on the $2 million payment. Takeda denied any wrongdoing, but the issue forced him to resign from his position in 2019 amid the looming investigation by French authorities. He also resigned from the International Olympic Committee. Kyodo said that in an interview with the news agency, Papa Massata Diack said the money he received was from a sponsorship deal in China and had nothing to do with Tokyo. The payments to Papa Massata Diack are new findings based on reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several news organizations, including Kyodo. Lamine Diack, who is from Senegal, was believed to have influence over IOC members from Africa. Tokyo won the 2013 final vote of the IOC at a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beating out Istanbul. The 87-year-old Lamine Diack is the former head of the governing body of track and field, which is now known as World Athletics. He was convicted of corruption last week in France in relation to a Russian doping scandal and sentenced to two years in prison, with another two years suspended. The scheme allowed Russian athletes who paid millions in bribes to keep competing when they should have been suspended for doping. Papa Massata Diack, Diack's son, was also found...

via michigansthumb09/20/2020

Chef wants to give African food a bigger stage - Huron Daily Tribune

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Serigne Mbaye sees links to the food of his ancestral home of Senegal all around his adopted home of New Orleans, in the gumbo, the rice dishes, even the beignets. The young chef wants to build new connections through modern New Orleans cooking, and one avenue is a series of collaborations with local restaurants. That series begins next week (Sept. 22) in conjunction with chef Marcus Jacobs, of Marjie's Grill, the Mid-City restaurant known for its own exploratory approach of different cooking cultures. Kin, Willie Mae's Scotch House, MoPho, Bywater American Bistro, Turkey & the Wolf and Mosquito Supper Club are all on deck for the weeks ahead. "African cuisine doesn't get as much credit as it should, so how can I show people how it connects to other cuisines?" said Mbaye. "Making dishes with these different chefs, I think it shows how Senegalese cuisine is part of so many cuisines and can be related to them." At 27, Mbaye had already racked up a remarkable résumé in the highest levels of American cuisine, cooking at Commander's Palace and the Michelin-starred restaurants L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in New York and Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Today, he runs a recurring pop-up called Dakar NOLA at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. Mbaye is working to eventually turn Dakar NOLA into a full-service New Orleans restaurant. He's driven by a mission to see the flavors of Senegal recognized and celebrated in the same way as French or Italian cuisine, both through traditional preparations and the kind of creative energy chefs bring with their own interpretations. "My idea is to bring classic and modern together in a way that makes sense for people of different generations," said Mbaye. "The dishes I cook are...


via thepoint.gm09/14/2020

100 Senegalese soldiers test positive for covid-19 in Gambia - The Point

The military contingent comprising 600 soldiers are returning home. They have been quarantined in Toubacouta, on Senegalese territory near the border with The Gambia, as a precautionary measure. Those who tested positive are asymptomatic. More tests were being done, according to reports.

via allafrica09/12/2020

Congo-Kinshasa: Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic, Senegalese Police Units Proceed With Rotations Within Monusco - AllAfrica.com

Press Release - After 17 months in operation instead of the 12 initially planned, a first portion of the troops of the Senegalese Formed Police Unit (SENFPU 13) left Goma, North Kivu and Bunia, Ituri, to return to their home country. In the meantime, 135 other elements of the Senegalese gendarmerie, including 38 women, making up the SENFPU 14, have arrived in the DRC, to take over from their colleagues at the end of their mission, a second portion of which will leave the Congolese soil on October 1.

via deccanherald09/11/2020

Covid-19 vaccine confidence volatile, vulnerable to misinformation, global study finds - Deccan Herald

Political polarisation and online misinformation are threatening vaccination programmes worldwide, with public trust volatile and varying widely between countries, according to a global vaccine confidence study. The study, which maps trends in vaccine confidence across 149 countries between 2015 and 2019, found that scepticism about the safety of vaccines tended to grow

via africacdc.org09/10/2020

COVID-19 genome sequencing laboratory network launches in Africa - africacdc.org

Addis Ababa/Brazzaville, 10 September 2020 – With several African countries now expanding COVID-19 testing, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have launched a network of laboratories to reinforce genome sequencing of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, in … COVID-19 genome sequencing laboratory network launches in Africa Read More »

via dailytarheel09/08/2020

North Carolina Museum of Art reopens Wednesday - The Daily Tar Heel

After hearing Gov. Roy Cooper's announcement on Tuesday that museums and other gatherings would be re-opened, the NCMA was ecstatic. “The museum was ready to welcome the people back as quickly as possible," Director of Visitor Experience Janis Treiber, said.&nbsp;


via arabnews09/19/2020

Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal says 10 players infected with COVID-19, requests match postponement - Arab News

RIYADH: The Saudi Al-Hilal team has officially requested to postpone its scheduled match on Sunday against its Iranian counterpart Shahr Khodro at Al-Janoub Stadium in the Qatari capital, Doha, in the fifth round of group stage of the AFC Champions League football competition. The club published a statement on its official Twitter account saying it had contacted the AFC to

via infomigrants.net09/16/2020

Lesbos migrants' dire humanitarian conditions overshadow threat of COVID outbreak - InfoMigrants

Migrants who fled the Moria camp blaze one week ago are still living on the streets in grim conditions, with no proper shelter or sanitation, fuelling fears of a future surge in coronavirus cases.

via allafrica09/12/2020

Congo-Kinshasa: Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic, Senegalese Police Units Proceed With Rotations Within Monusco - allafrica.com

Press Release - After 17 months in operation instead of the 12 initially planned, a first portion of the troops of the Senegalese Formed Police Unit (SENFPU 13) left Goma, North Kivu and Bunia, Ituri, to return to their home country. In the meantime, 135 other elements of the Senegalese gendarmerie, including 38 women, making up the SENFPU 14, have arrived in the DRC, to take over from their colleagues at the end of their mission, a second portion of which will leave the Congolese soil on October 1.

via thestreetjournal.org09/11/2020

Scores of Senegalese troops test positive for COVID-19 - The Streetjournal

The Senegalese army says about 100 of its soldiers from the peacekeeping mission in The Gambia have tested positive for coronavirus. The military contingent composed of 600 soldiers were returning home. They have been quarantined in Toubacouta, on Senegalese territory near the border with The...

via science.sciencemag.org09/10/2020

News at a glance - Science Magazine

SCI COMMUN### Astronomy Talk about a sharper image: A recently constructed imaging sensor array (above) that will be used when the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile opens in 2021 has captured a world-record 3200 megapixels in a single shot. It recorded a variety of objects, including a Romanesco broccoli, at that resolution, which is detailed enough to show a golf ball clearly from 24 kilometers away. The sensor array's focal plane is more than 60 centimeters wide, much larger than the 3.5-centimeter sensors on high-end consumer digital cameras, says the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, which built the array. When the telescope, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, begins operating next year, it will image the entire southern sky every few nights for 10 years, cataloguing billions of galaxies each time. The surveys will shed light on mysterious dark energy and dark matter, which make up most of the universe's mass. With its repeat coverage, the telescope will make the equivalent of an astronomical movie in order to discover objects that suddenly appear, move, or go bang. ### Biomedicine Corticosteroids given orally or intravenously should be the standard therapy for people with “severe and critical” COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in new guidelines issued last week—but they should not be given to patients with mild cases. In June, a large U.K. trial named Recovery first showed that the steroid dexamethasone cut deaths among ventilated COVID-19 patients by 35% after 28 days of treatment. That result was confirmed by a WHO-sponsored metaanalysis published in JAMA on 2 September that included Recovery and six other studies testing dexamethasone, as well as two other corticosteroids—hydrocortisone and methylprednisolone. Many countries, including the United States, had already included corticosteroids in their national treatment guidelines. But WHO's recommendations will be important as a signal to low- and middle-income countries, says Martin Landray, one of Recovery's principal investigators. ### Public health COVID-19 virus particles drifting through a Chinese apartment building's plumbing may have infected some residents, a study has found, raising fears of yet another way that the disease could spread. The case echoes a 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that spread through the pipes of a Hong Kong apartment building. Such transmission is difficult to prove. But scientists suspect that aerosolized coronavirus may have spread from the bathroom of a Guangzhou family of five through a floor drain and into the building's wastewater pipes. Two middle-aged couples living in apartments above the family later contracted COVID-19. The study appeared last week in Annals of Internal Medicine . ### Conservation A plan to reforest a cross-continental strip of Africa to hold back expansion of the Sahara Desert and the semi-arid Sahel has made little progress—even though the project is halfway toward its planned completion date in 2030, a report says. Participating countries have planted only 4 million hectares of trees and other vegetation for the Great Green Wall, well short of the 100 million planned to stretch 7000 kilometers from Senegal to Djibouti, says the report by the Climatekos consulting firm, presented on 7 September at a meeting of the countries' ministers. Supporters predicted the project would also create jobs and capture carbon dioxide. Scientists have said creating grasslands may be more effective than planting trees to resist desertification, The Guardian reported. ### Philanthropy Rice University last week received a $100 million gift for materials science. It is the largest to date in that discipline recorded in a database of gifts for engineering maintained by The Chronicle of Philanthropy . The funding will be used to pair materials science with artificial intelligence to advance the design and manufacturing of new materials, for applications that include sustainable water systems, energy, and telecommunications. The donor was the Robert A. Welch Foundation, which supports chemistry research in Texas. ### Conservation Scientists hailed a move last week by the European Union to ban the use of lead ammunition near wetlands and waterways. The European Chemicals Agency has estimated that as many as 1.5 million aquatic birds die annually from lead poisoning because they swallow some of the 5000 tons of lead shot that land in European wetlands each year. Its persistence in the environment is also considered a human health hazard. The EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) committee approved the ban after years of controversy. The German delegation, which had abstained in a July vote on the issue, changed its stance to support the measure after a letter from 75 scientists and petitions signed by more than 50,000 people called for it to do so. The European Commission and the European Parliament are expected to formally approve the ban, allowing it to go into effect in 2022. REACH may debate a complete ban on lead ammunition and fishing weights later this year. ### Chemical weapons Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition politician, was poisoned with a nerve agent “identified unequivocally in tests” as a Novichok, an exotic Sovietera chemical weapon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on 2 September. Navalny fell ill on 20 August after drinking a cup of tea at a Siberian airport. He was flown to Berlin and this week emerged from a coma. German military scientists at the Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich haven't released details of their tests, but they had clear targets to hunt for: Like other nerve agents, Novichoks bind to the enzymes acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, creating a telltale conjugate compound. Novichok agents came to wide public notice in 2018 after one was used in an assassination attempt against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom. The attack prompted nations to push for a crackdown on Novichok agents, and last year they were added to the list of toxic chemicals regulated under the Chemical Weapons Convention. ### COVID-19 In one of the largest surveys of Americans since COVID-19 lockdowns began, a majority reported having some symptoms of depression, up from one-quarter in a prepandemic survey. The prevalence of symptoms graded as moderate to severe tripled, to 27.8% of respondents. A research team compared results from two surveys used to screen for depression: one administered to more than 5000 people in 2017 and 2018 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the other given to 1400 people in early April by NORC at the University of Chicago. Prevalence of depression symptoms rose in all demographic groups and especially among individuals facing financial problems, job loss, or family deaths. The increases in self-reported symptoms are larger than those recorded in previous surveys after large-scale traumatic events in other countries, including outbreaks of the severe acute respiratory syndrome, H1N1, and Ebola, the authors write in the 2 September issue of JAMA Network Open . ### A U.S. vaccine leader's vow: Politics stays out “I would immediately resign if there is undue interference in this process.” So said Moncef Slaoui, scientific director of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. effort to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19, in an interview with Science . To date, Warp Speed has invested more than $10 billion in eight vaccine candidates. Three are now in large-scale efficacy trials, and interim reviews of their data by independent safety and monitoring boards could reveal evidence of protection as early as October. Slaoui, an immunologist who formerly headed vaccine development at GlaxoSmithKline, answered questions from Science last week about how Warp Speed operates and addressed concerns that political pressure before the 3 November U.S. presidential election may lead to an emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine before it is proven safe and effective. (On 8 September, nine companies developing vaccines for the pandemic coronavirus pledged not to seek a premature authorization.) “It needs to be absolutely shielded from the politics,” Slaoui says. “Trust me, there will be no [authorization request] filed if it's not right. … The science is what is going to guide us. … And at the end of the day, the facts and the data will be made available to everyone who wants to look at them and will be transparent.” Slaoui defended Warp Speed's decision to not consider vaccines made of whole, inactivated viruses, a time-tested approach. China has three such vaccines in efficacy trials, but he worries they could cause serious side effects in people who receive them. Slaoui also said if it had been his choice, the United States would have participated in COVAX, a mechanism for countries to invest collectively in vaccines and share them; the Trump administration declined to join. The full interview—one of Slaoui's most detailed since taking the job in May—is at <http://scim.ag/SlaouiQA>.

via waow09/08/2020

New this week: 'Cuties,' 'Unpregnant' and fresh 'Jeopardy!' - WAOW

This week’s new entertainment releases includes the return of “Jeopardy!” with Alex Trebek at the helm of a COVID-19-conscious season and Netflix’s “Cuties,” a poignant coming-of-age drama about an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living in Paris. A time in 1968 when Harry Belafonte took over hosting duties from Johnny Carson for a week of “The Tonight