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COVID-19: Nigeria Reopens Schools, Relaxes Curfew

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The Nigerian Government has okayed the reopening of schools across the country but says states in the country should conduct a risk assessment before calling for resumptions.

The government also relaxed a curfew it placed on movement across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic from 12 midnight to 4am.

Schools in African most populous nation were shut in March. The government had earlier announced the resumption of graduating pupils effective August 4, 2020, to enable them to write this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from August 17, 2020, through September 12, 2020.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, on Thursday, however, said educational institutions should begin the process of working towards a potential reopening.

Aliyu who made this known during a briefing at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, said the task force recommends a phased return of students to learning centres.

“Educational institutions which include daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions should begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase.

He however strongly recommend that states conduct risk assessment to ensure all schools are at a level of compliance and create a monitoring mechanism to assess, create, and monitor levels of preparedness.

“Meanwhile, all daycare centres and educational institutions are to remain closed to in-classes until this level of risk is assessed. And if there will be opening of schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public and in particular to vulnerable groups that might end up getting infected when students going back home.

As for the curfew, the Nigerian government has now relaxed restrictions on movement from 12 midnight through to 4am.

Aliyu said the curfew does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from overseas.

Nigeria had on May 4, 2020, imposed a nationwide curfew from 6pm to 8am. It later reviewed the timing to between 10pm and 4am on June 1, 2020.

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#NC16DaysofActivism Against Gender-Based Violence

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South African poet, Hope Netshivhambe presents a poem titled “Mother Said”.

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Ghana and Switzerland Sign Historic Pact for Climate Action

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

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The government of Ghana and Switzerland has signed a bilateral pact as a framework for the implementation of Article Six (6) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

After two years of negotiations between the two countries, the signing of the framework agreement marks the first of its kind in Africa, and second in the World. The new partnership will enable the adoption of green and low carbon technology solutions across the country resulting in social and environmentally beneficial outcomes.

With this Agreement, Ghana will receive funding from the Swiss side for sustainable development projects.  Switzerland will take carbon credits from the Ghanaian side for the emission cuts to meet her climate commitments without compromising Ghana’s effort to achieve her own climate actions.

The negotiations between technical teams of Ghana and Switzerland was further boosted by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Bern between Ghana and Switzerland during the State visit to Switzerland by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February, 2020.

​Read also: https://newscentral.africa/rwanda-to-create-green-energy-bank/

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stated, “We are proud to have been able to facilitate the dialogue between Switzerland and Ghana, build trust in the process on both sides and offer our technical support in the implementation…”

Article six (6) of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets is an innovative voluntary instrument available to countries to mobilise finance and catalyse private sector investments for the implementation of nationally determined contributions.

Steiner further explains “…We hope this bilateral agreement will enable Ghana’s national clean energy access programme (NCEP) to fulfil its objectives by abating up to 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, providing energy access to millions and head towards a green recovery.”

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/experts-kenya-global-emission-challenge/

In his speech, the President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway called on the private sector of both countries to consider “this bilateral cooperation as a step to further strengthen collaboration between Swiss and Ghanaian companies to identify commercially viable and sustainable development projects over the next decade”.  

​In formulating this agreement both parties have highlighted practical ways of operationalising the envisioned architecture of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Credit: wri.org

Read also:https://newscentral.africa/fossil-fuel-human-cost-powering-africa/

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

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South Sudan Appoints Awut Deng Acuil as First Woman to Chair University Governing Council

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South Sudan has appointed Awut Deng Acuil to chair the governing council of the University of Bahr El-Ghazal.

Acuil, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from August 2019 until March 2020 and the current Minister of General Education and Instructions, became the first woman to be appointed to chair the governing body of a university.

Her appointment was announced in a presidential decree read on the national broadcaster, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.

The university was established in 1991, when South Sudan was still part of Sudan. The country gained its independence in 2011

Acuil was also the first woman to serve as South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

She relinquished the post following the appointment of a unity government in February to end the conflict between rival groups in South Sudan.

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