The Midday Recap

BILATERAL COOPERATION 

Libyan Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has met with his Maltese counterpart, Robert Abela in Libya’s capital Tripoli to discuss mutual cooperation.

The Libyan Prime Minister’s Information Office issued a statement commending Malta’s important role in resolving the conflict in Libya by organizing several meetings between the Libyan factions.

Dbeibah said the two countries are working to cooperate at the bilateral and regional levels. 

On his part, Prime Minister Abela remarked that both countries will cooperate in the fight against COVID-19 while the Maltese embassy returns to Tripoli in a few days.

ETHNIC CLASHES 

In East Africa, Sudan has declared a state of emergency in West Darfur state, following ethnic clashes that have left at least 40 people dead and thousands others displaced.

On Monday, the UN said at least 40 people were killed after violence broke out between Arab groups and the non-Arab Massalit ethnic community in the city of El Geneina.

UN Humanitarian Affairs Agency, OCHA said gunfire could be heard in the neighborhoods of Hay Al Jabal and Al Jamarik on Monday.

It adds that the situation remains tense in the town as the two sides mobilize their forces.

The agency says humanitarian operations have been suspended and the humanitarian flights have been cancelled until the security situation improves.

GRAND ETHIOPIAN RENAISSANCE DAM 

Meanwhile, Sudan has reiterated the need to change the approach to negotiations regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) after 200 ineffective days of talks in the previous rounds.

Sudanese Foreign Minister, Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi on Monday said the previous rounds, under the patronage of the African Union chaired by South Africa, were ineffective. 

He disclosed this while addressing a session of ministerial talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that started in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa on Monday.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been in talks for years over the technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

RWANDA TO THE WORLD 

Staying in East Africa, Rwanda has put its name on the world map for good reasons.

Zipline, which is arguably the world’s largest drone delivery service for medical supplies founded in Rwanda has announced a partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a member of the Toyota Group.

This will see the Zipline model rolled out in Japan, delivering medical supplies to even remote parts of the country.

While the firm is owned by American investors, the concept was first tested in Rwanda before being rolled out in other countries. 

The firm which covers about 260 health centres in Rwanda with an aim to reach 700, made a name and caught international headlines by becoming the first firm to deliver critical medical supplies on demand using drones.

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WRONG LANDING 

Ethiopian Airlines is co-operating with Zambian authorities investigating one of its cargo planes which accidentally landed at an airport still under construction near the capital, Lusaka.

Zambian air traffic controllers at the intended airport, 15 kilometers away, told the pilot they couldn’t see his aircraft after he informed them he was about to land.

Ethiopian Airlines note that pilots had not been told about a new airport with the same runway orientation as the existing one.

The Ethiopian plane had to be flown to its original destination.

“NOT LAMU RIYADHA” 

Leaders of a mosque in Kenya’s coastal town of Lamu have written to a U.S. based designer who made a t-shirt worn recently by musician Jay Z. 

The t-shirt featured the historical mosque of Lamu Riyadha which they say should not be displayed on garments that could end up in bars.

The leaders admit they appreciate the display of Lamu mosque by the designer Zeddie Lukoye but prefer that he uses non-religious historical sites.

COVID-19 VACCINE 

A report by the World Bank has estimated that Africa needs about $12 billion to buy and distribute enough coronavirus vaccines to interrupt transmission of the virus.

A paper written with the International Monetary Fund also argues that G-20 countries should extend their moratorium on debt repayments offered to the world’s poorest countries.

There are suggestions this should be done for another year, in response to the pandemic.

The World Bank and the IMF are hosting their spring meetings this week to discuss issues of global concern, including vaccines, debt, economic recovery and climate change.

COVID-19 NIGERIA 

In West Africa, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 135 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to over 163 thousand.

The NCDC notes that the West African country’s daily new cases have continued to follow a downward trajectory, from an all-time high of more than 2 thousand on January 22 to 48, by March 29.

The NCDC says the new cases were registered from 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). 

Kwara recorded 37, Lagos-32, Ondo-23 Nasarawa State-13, and the FCT-nine.

The agency says the country’s active cases currently stand at over 9 thousand in the last 24 hours.

COVID-19 MOZAMBIQUE 

In Southern Africa, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has announced a night curfew in all the country’s provincial capitals for 21 days to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Starting Tuesday midnight, the 10:00 to 04:00 curfew will no longer be exclusive to the Greater Maputo metropolitan region.

The president urged Mozambicans to adhere to the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus so life can return to normalcy soon.

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He said the country must protect health professionals more and ease the impact of the third wave of the pandemic, which has been more severe in other countries.

According to him, the second wave of the pandemic had five times more cases, six times more hospitalizations and seven times more deaths. 

COVID-19 ZIMBABWE 

Staying in Southern Africa, more than a hundred and 20 thousand Zimbabweans have taken COVID-19 vaccines, heeding the government’s call to accept them as part of efforts to control the pandemic.

Vaccinations started in the first week of March and have been decentralized to residential suburbs to ease congestion at main vaccination centers.

On Monday, over a hundred and 23 thousand people had received their first jab while another 22 thousand received their second shots.

The vaccine uptake was low in the initial stages, attending mainly to frontline health workers, journalists, and selected security forces and staff at ports of entry.

COVID-19 ETHIOPIA 

In East Africa, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health registered 37 new COVID-19-related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide count to 3,000 on Monday.

The Ministry said over 2 thousand new COVID-19 cases were reported across the country, bringing the national caseload to over 217 thousand.

The East African country reported 1,054 more recoveries, taking total recoveries to more than 163 thousand.

According to the Ministry, Ethiopia currently has over 51 thousand active cases, and 862 of them are significant. 

Over 2.39 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far.

The latest figures from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Ethiopia’s COVID-19 cases accounted for about 5 per cent of the African continent’s total caseload.

WORLD WRAP 

DEFYING COVID-19 

Australian and New Zealand residents will be able to travel between the two nations without having to quarantine from April 19.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern announced the move on Tuesday.

New Zealand travelers have been allowed to enter more Australian states since October without quarantine, but this was not reciprocated on the News Zealand side.

Both nations have since contained Covid outbreaks and kept infection rates near zero.

The countries shut their borders in March 2020 and introduced compulsory quarantine for returning nationals.

GEORGE FLOYD 

The Minneapolis Police Chief has testified that ex-officer Derek Chauvin violated the agency’s policy on force during the arrest of George Floyd.

Chief Medaria Arradondo said the way Chauvin restrained Floyd was not in line with training.

The chief had fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved days after Floyd’s death in May 2020.

Chauvin is on trial for murder and has denied the charges against him.

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Footage of Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on African-American Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last year sparked global protests against racism.

Monday marked the sixth day in Chauvin’s trial, which is expected to last for at least one month.

BUSINESS

KENYA TEA AUCTION 

At the weekly Mombasa Tea Auction held on 29th, 30th, and 31st March 2021, about 12.6 million kilograms of tea were offered for sale. The amount on offer increased from 12.4 million kilograms offered in the same period last year, but decreased from 12.7 million kilograms offered in the previous sale.

Of all the tea offered for sale, 11.1 million kilograms were sold compared to 11.7 million kilograms sold in the same period last year.

The tea auction recorded a decrease in prices. A kilogram sold at an average price of $1.82, compared to $1.88 during the previous sale held on 22nd, 23rd and 24th March 2021, and from $1.94 for the same period last year.

TRAVEL BAN FALLOUT 

Kenya Airways will suspend flights to the United Kingdom effective from April 9, according to the airlines statement.

The announcement comes days after Britain decided to add Kenya to its travel red list.

Those arriving in the United Kingdom from countries on the list will be denied entry, while returning Britons must ensure 10 days of mandatory quarantine in hotels.

On March 26 the airline, suspended domestic flights to comply with anti-coronavirus lockdown measures announced by the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.

SPORTS

SPORTS DEVELOPMENT 

No doubt sport has historically played an important and diverse role in societies; formal recognition of the value of sport, on the other hand, with regard to development and peace is far more recent. 

The 6th of April 2021 will mark another day to celebrate the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace.

Joining me now is News Central’s Sports analyst ONYINYECHI OBARO…. to tell us more about this day.

TODAY’S MIDDAY RECAP IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MOJISOLA ADEBOLA, SHERIF LAWAL AND ISREAL EFEROBOR.

YOU CAN CATCH UP WITH OUR NEWS AND PROGRAMS BY DOWNLOADING THE NEWS CENTRAL TV MOBILE APP ON PLAYSTORE AND IOS. YOU CAN ALSO WATCH US LIVE ON STARTIMES CHANNEL 274.

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