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Tunisia Cabinet Meet to Confirm Reshuffle as Tension Rises on Death of Protester

A group of young men tried to storm and torch the local police station after news of his death broke, TAP reported.

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A protester in Tunisia who got injured in recent clashes with police died on Monday night. The protester’s death occurred ahead of a Cabinet meeting which is focused on the previously announced reshuffle and the country’s ongoing political crisis.

Calls from activists, several political parties and the major trade unions have been made to thousands of followers to protest the death of the 20-year-old protester, Haykel Rachdi.

As MPs meet to vote on new ministers appointed in a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, the protesters will also gather outside the Parliament.

While speaking to local media, Richard’s family said the 20-year-old was struck with a tear gas canister after he joined protests in his home town of Sbeitla that erupted this month on the anniversary of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution.

The state news agency TAP, reports that The Public Prosecutor’s office in nearby Kasserine, which is about three hours south of the capital, has ordered a post-mortem to determine the cause of Rachdi’s death.

A group of young men tried to storm and torch the local police station after news of his death broke, TAP reported.

A joint statement by Tunisia’s civil society organisations said thousands are expected to gather on Tuesday, outside the Bardo Palace “in rejection of the government’s approach in dealing with popular protests in which hundreds of youths arrested.”

On Monday, President Kais Saied indicated he would oppose the cabinet reshuffle, a statement which was seen as a further blow to Mr Mechichi.

According to the president, the reshuffle would be unconstitutional on procedural grounds. He condemned the absence of women among the prospective new ministers and said some potential new Cabinet members may have conflicts of interest.

The North African country has been in a political deadlock since 2019 when two separate elections put President Kais Saied in office but left a deeply fragmented parliament where no party now holds more than a quarter of the seats.

After the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy gave parliament the main voice in forming a government, the constitution worked out but this doesn’t leave out the president as he still has a role to play in system of vetoes and approvals.

After the election early in 2020, it still took several months for a government to be formed, but it lasted only until the summer before falling in a scandal as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

The country’s economy which is already struggling, has been further weekend by the COVID-19 crisis.

Government efforts to enact longstanding change have also been further delayed by the political jostling among parties and prominent figures and these have accompanied each stage of the process.

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Nigeria Buries Air Force Personnel Killed In Plane Crash

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Thursday, February 25th, was an emotional day for Nigeria as it buried its Air Force personnel who died in an air mishap last week.

The crash occured after the airmen left Abuja on an intelligence mission, enroute Minna as part of plans to rescue the abducted Kagara boys at the time. All seven men on board were killed.

Those who died in the crash were named as: Haruna Gadzama (Pilot); Henry Piyo (Co-pilot); Michael Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist) and Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).

Others were Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist) and Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

The deceased were buried on Thursday at the National Military Cemetery, Lugbe in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Nigeria’s service chiefs were all present at the burial ceremony as they paid their last respects.

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All Eyes on Ghana as African Gold Rises Like the Phoenix

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Ghana has become the toast of exploration firms in the continent and is now Africa’s largest gold producer. It churned out 80.5 tonnes in 2008. To prove her worthiness of the title, Ghana has 23 large-scale mining companies producing gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese.

There are over 300 registered small scale mining groups and 90 mine support service companies. So, apart from earning revenue for Ghana directly, it also ensures many people earn a stable living along the value chain.

Gold production in becoming an important export earner in West Africa.

This is true for countries like Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali as these nations are expected to increase their export quota by 2.7% in 2021 to 8 Moz (million ounces) and grow to 8.4 Moz (million ounces) by 2024 – a 1.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

After strong growth in 2019, West Africa’s gold production was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, owing to the temporary suspension of mines such as Fekola in Mali.

The pandemic had a significant impact on African operations, mainly during the early part of the second quarter of 2020, when, at one point, the region’s gold mines were on hold with no production due to COVID-19 lockdowns according to Global Data, a leading data and analytics company.

And Ghana is expected to lead the growth, where the production is expected to reach 3.9moz (million ounces) in 2024 from a forecasted 3.6 Moz in 2021. West Africa’s second largest economy is looking more money in her coffers in 2021.

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Africa’s Largest University Hospital Opens in Tangier

Africa’s largest university hospital, Tangier University Hospital with a capacity of 865 beds has opened in Morocco’s coastal city, Tangier.

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Africa’s largest university hospital, Tanger University Hospital – a 71,000 sqm healthcare facility with 865 beds capacity is now open in Morocco’s coastal city, Tangier.

The hospital, built by Morocco’s Health Ministry – Ministere de la Sante’ (MDS) at a cost of $130 million will help ease pressure on the northern regions’ hospitals.

Tangier is Morocco’s second-largest industrial hub, strategic port, and trade centre with a burgeoning population due to large-scale investments in industry, services, and transport.

The edifice shows two prominent semi-circular volumes linked by glazed pedestrian links and surrounded by planted green courts. Its facade features angled sun-shading fins and peculiar aesthetics that make the building respond to its climatic context.

The port is the largest on the Mediterranean and in Africa by capacity. connecting over 170 ports in 77 countries.

This is outstanding especially for Tangier, which has been one of the worst-hit Moroccan cities by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 865-bed university hospital covers 4 floors, and comprises 15 surgical rooms and a unit for victims of fire accidents.

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