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South Africa Manufacturing up by 1.8% Year-on-Year for December 2020

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South Africa’s manufacturing sector is reporting output expanded 1.8% year on year in December. The data for November dipped 4.1% according to the statistics agency .

Factory production was down 0.1% in December month on month and rose 5.2% in the three months to end-December, Statistics South Africa reports.

According to Stats SA, the seasonally-adjusted manufacturing production decreased by 0.1% in December 2020 compared with November 2020. This followed month-on-month changes of -0.6% in November 2020 and 2.5% in October 2020.

In 2020, total manufacturing production decreased by 11% compared with 2019. All ten manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates over this period. The largest contributions were made by Basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery (-13.1% and contributing -2.4 percentage points); motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment (-26% and contributing -2.1 percentage points); petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products (-9.1% and contributing -2 percentage points); wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing (-13.3% and contributing -1.4 percentage points); and food and beverages (-4.2% and contributing -1.2 percentage points).

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Egypt to Host Second Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development

The first edition of the forum held in December 2019. Against the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants will explore stimulating conversations on Post-Conflict Reconstruction & Development (PCRD), Forced Displacement, Sustainable Energy, Climate Change & Security, Resilience of State Institutions among others. It will deliberate on possible risks, new challenges, as well as associated opportunities for Africa.

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Egypt is set to host the second edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development.  It is expected to bring together representatives of regional governments, experts, international organisations, financial institutions, the private sector, as well as members of civil society.

The virtual forum expected to hold from 1-5 March 2021 is titled “Shaping Africa’s New Normal: Recovering Stronger, Rebuilding Better”. It will be chaired by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Cross section of participants at the Aswan Forum 2019

 The first edition of the forum held in December 2019. Against the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants will explore stimulating conversations on Post-Conflict Reconstruction & Development (PCRD), Forced Displacement, Sustainable Energy, Climate Change & Security, Resilience of State Institutions among others. It will deliberate on possible risks, new challenges, as well as associated opportunities for Africa.

With a focus on Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, the forum will develop action-oriented recommendations for a strong post-COVID-19 recovery.

The forum is supported by the African Development Bank, international players and regional partners.  The meeting seeks to advance a comprehensive and ambitious agenda to address the peace, security and development challenges facing Africa.

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Nigerian Senate Confirms Abdulrasheed Bawa as Head of Antigraft Agency

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The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Bawa had earlier at plenary responded to questions from senators on his vision and mission if confirmed as chairman of the commission.

First to contribute was the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege who said that the nomination of Bawa was unique and an inspirational one.

“I am so impressed and in awe in this awesome presentation by Mr Bawa. Ordinarily there would have not been no need to ask the young man any question.

“I have been here; this is my sixth year in the Senate. And I have seen nominees come before us. I have not seen any as eloquent in his presentation.

“Ordinarily I would have said take a bow. Clearly he is a very brilliant young man. He is a good product.

“His nomination has generated hope for our young generation. It’s an inspirational nomination. It is a nomination that has generated hope for millions of our youths in this country.

“With this nomination, the youth of this country can now sit in offices and make those very crucial and fundamental decisions on how Nigeria should be governed. And there cannot be a better platform than the office of the chairman of EFCC.”

He said that the appointment of Bawa was the first time a nominee was appointed within the EFCC environment.

Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi drew the attention of Bawa to the pitfalls experienced in the institution over the years.

“For you as a young man, how are you going to straighten up your operations as Chairman of EFCC so that it works for Nigeria and that the controversies of the past are not repeated?”

Sen. Bala Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi) said Bawa had clearly demonstrated that he had the capacity and knowledge to run the office of EFCC as chairman.

“I call on my colleagues to approve his nomination.”

Sen. Ike Ekewremadu (PDP-Enugu) on his part advised the nominee to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors.

The approval of the appointment of Bawa was endorsed by the lawmakers after a Voice Vote by the President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan.

Bawa, an indigene of Kebbi and a certified anti-money laundering specialist has a Bachelor.s Degree in Economics.

Former chairmen of the commission included Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde, Ibrahim Magu and Mohammed Umar.

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Somalia Bans Street Demonstration

The Ministry of Security said appropriate measures which may include arrests will be taken against those who defy the ban.

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In what could cause skirmishes with opposition groups, the government of Somalia, citing the upsurge in cases of Coronavirus on Tuesday directed that all street demonstrations are hereby banned.

The Ministry of Security stated that the rising number of infections had forced authorities to stop all forms of street protest. The country had reported over 6000 cases by Monday, with at least 200 deaths and 3778 recoveries.

This is coming days after opposition presidential contenders scheduled protests for Friday in Mogadishu against President Mohamed Farmaajo for delaying national polls.

Somalian protesters were shot at by Security Forces

Somalia slipped into an electoral stalemate and a significant rise in cases of covid-19 this month. This compelled the Ministry of Health to order compulsory use of face masks in public places and banned public meetings.

The Ministry of Security said appropriate measures which may include arrests will be taken against those who defy the ban.

Protests were disrupted last week after security forces shot at protesters. The government later accused the opposition of using an armed militia to attack security forces. The group on the other hand accused security forces of assassination attempt on their members.

Many see the ban as targeting the Council of Presidential Candidates – a group of opposition presidential nominees.

Secretary of Himilo-Qaran party, Senator Ilyas Ali Hassn said on Tuesday that they’ll push on with the planned “peaceful” protests.

“We will continue to fight for our constitutional rights until timely, peaceful, transparent and inclusive elections are held,” he said.

Members of the opposition as well as Jubbaland and Puntland federal states have rebuffed engagements with President Farmaajo, accusing him of overstaying in power and rescheduling elections on purpose.

Both sides disagreed on membership of electoral management bodies, venues for elections in Jubbaland among other contentious issues in the implementation of a September 17 agreement from last year. The agreement was between the federal government and five federal states; Jubbaland, Hirshabelle, South West, Puntland, and Galmudug.

The UN has called on Somalia to hold delayed polls as soon as possible to avert further breakdown of law and order.

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