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Hundreds of Somali students protest exam cancellation1 minute read

The cancellation of exams affects some 31,000 students in country.

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Somalia news
Somali high school students take to the streets of Mogadishu to protest the cancellation of national exams after the papers were leaked on social media.

Hundreds of Somali high school pupils took to the streets of Mogadishu on Tuesday to protest the cancellation of national exams after the papers were leaked on social media.

Education Minister Abdullahi Godah Bare on Monday announced that the six exams that had already been taken were cancelled, and that the whole process would begin again at the end of May.

“The ministry will take further steps to ensure that the exam is not leaked next time and there is the possibility of disabling online social media platforms in the country during the five days of the exams,” he said.

He did not elaborate on how the papers were distributed via social media but said they had been leaked from one of 90 examination centres, and that parents had participated in the sale of the tests.

“It was unfortunate that a hard-working student was sitting by the side of another one who relied on examinations he bought,” Bare said.

Students took to the street in anger.

“We stayed late at night to prepare these exams for three nights… and after all we went through, the minister says we have cancelled the exams to start afresh. We will not accept that,” said protester Hussein Iftiin.

“We will not accept to redo this exam and we don’t want that. This is corruption which we have nothing to do with, it is them (the government) who have sold the exam and they have failed their responsibilities,” said Fadumo Hassan, a parent of one of the students.

The cancellation of exams affects some 31,000 students in country.

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Heavy rains threaten Uganda’s coffee crop quality

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Uganda’s coffee crop quality could see a decline in the coming months as heavy rains across the country have reduced the amount of sunshine necessary for bean drying.

Uganda is Africa’s largest exporter of coffee followed by Ethiopia and grows mostly robusta variety.

The country has been pounded by unusually heavy rains that started in August resulting in deaths, displacement and extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Western Uganda, including the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains , some of the biggest coffee growing areas, has received some of the most intense rains.

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the state-run regulator, forecasts Uganda’s bean exports will climb 16 percent to 5.1 million 60-kg (132-pound) bags in the current crop year ending September.

The country’s coffee output has surged in recent years, the fruition of a government programme that has been distributing free seedlings to farmers to expand acreage and replace aging trees.

Authorities say their target is to help boost annual production to 20 million bags by 2025.

The beans have traditionally been Uganda’s biggest commodity export but were recently overtaken by gold which now annually earns the country over $1 billion.

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Tanzania, France sign water supply loan agreement

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Tanzania has signed a loan agreement with France to finance water supply projects that will benefit about 770,000 people in the country’s Morogoro municipality.

The French government will extend the loan worth about $76 million to Tanzania through its French Development Agency (AFD), according to Dotto James, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning who signed the agreement on behalf of Tanzania.

“Upon completion, the water supply in the Morogoro municipality will increase from the current 37,000 cubic meters a day to 108,000 cubic meters a day,” James told a press conference following a signing ceremony in Morogoro.

AFD Country Representative for Tanzania, Stephanie Mouen says the project will improve the well-being of the people in the municipality and it will also improve the environment.

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Uganda approves return of over 2,500 nationals stranded abroad

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Over 2,500 Ugandan nationals stranded abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic can now return home as approved by the Ugandan cabinet.

The cabinet on Monday, agreed that Ugandan nationals trapped in 66 countries can return home at their own cost.

The government is making arrangements with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to fly the stranded citizens home, Judith Nabakooba, the country’s minister for information, communication technology and national guidance says, adding that all the returning citizens will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine. 

President Yoweri Museveni last month, directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to study the possibility of evacuating dozens of citizens stranded abroad amid Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions. 

To contain the spread of Covid-19, the country on March 22 suspended all incoming flights, except cargo flights. 

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