World Bank announces 36.7 ME for transport and infrastructure in Cape Verde
The World Bank announced Wednesday November 22 that it has approved a credit of 40 million dollars (around 36.7 million euros) to improve resilient urban and transport infrastructure in Cape Verde.
“In this way, the Cape Verdean government will intervene, through the Requalification, Rehabilitation and Accessibility Programme, in different municipalities, to unlock locations with agricultural and tourist potential”, the organization explains in a statement.
At the same time, investment in remote locations should benefit fishing and similar infrastructures. In general, the aim is to “create conditions to improve the performance of agricultural, tourist and fishing activities, with an impact on the local economy”.
The aim is to improve various aspects of local life: production, employment and income for Cape Verdean families. The projects to be supported must be resilient to the transformations induced by climate change.
The funding includes a component for technical assistance to strengthen transport management capacity and another for contingent intervention in cases of emergency.
“It is estimated that approximately 190,000 inhabitants and 4,500 companies in Cape Verde will benefit from the improvements”, estimates the World Bank. The funding is allocated under the IDA (International Development Association), in line with the government’s Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development (PEDS) for the period 2022 to 2026 and the World Bank Group’s Partnership Framework with Cape Verde for the period 2020 to 2025.
Traditions from Mozambique and Angola nominated for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
A traditional Mozambican dance and geometric sand drawings from Angola are among the nominations to be voted on at the 18th session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the UN agency announced Wednesday November 22.
The traditional Mozambican Mapiko dance is a candidate for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, says UNESCO.
Mapiko, or Ingoma ya Mapiko, as used by the community that practises it, originally takes place on the Makonde plateau comprising the districts of Muenda, Nangade and Muidumbe in the province of Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique. In the application process presented by the Mozambican Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it is pointed out that Mapiko practitioners are the second largest Shimakonde ethnolinguistic group after the Macuas. The urgency invoked has to do with Islamic fundamentalist activities in Cabo Delgado, “which forced the suspension of Mapiko festivals due to the flight and dispersal of the population,” reads the application process.
“The aim is to improve the safeguard strategy in the face of the risk of extinction due to the war of terrorism and to make young people aware of the importance of the Makonde identity in respect for the human being. In the future, we hope that its recognition will strengthen social and territorial cohesion between the different peoples that make up the ethnic mosaic of Cabo Delgado, if not of Mozambique and the world”, says the Mozambican Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The Angolan application is competing for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The decision on the Mozambican and Angolan candidacies will be made at the meeting scheduled to take place in Kasane, Botswana, between December 4 and 9.
The first Mosquirix Malaria vaccines arrive in Cameroon
On the night of November 21 to November 22, 2023, Cameroon received its first shipment of Mosquirix malaria vaccines manufactured by the GSK laboratory. Cameroon is the first African country to receive the vaccine after the pilot phase in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.
Cameroon has received 331,200 doses of Mosquirix, also known as RTS-S, the first malaria vaccine recommended by the WHO.
According to Dr. Shalom Tchokfe, Permanent Secretary of the country’s Expanded Program on Immunization, this vaccine is a great help in the fight against malaria: “With its capacity to reduce deaths by at least a third, we can hope to go further and achieve a new level of results.”
This first batch of vaccines should cover 42 health districts, not enough for a country with 203. Malachie Manaouda, the country’s Minister of Health, points out that the vaccine complements good old-fashioned malaria prevention methods. “The vaccine will not remove the mosquitoes. We need to take the same precautions we did before. It’s just an additional measure to help us avoid fairly high mortality rates.”
According to the WHO, malaria kills nearly 11,000 people in Cameroon every year. Around 400,000 children aged between 6 and 24 months are expected to benefit from the first doses of this vaccine on a four-dose schedule.
DRC and Rwanda commit to “de-escalation” after visit by US delegation
Tensions in the eastern DRC are under US scrutiny. On Sunday, November 19, and Monday, November 20, a group of high-ranking officials from the Biden Administration visited Kigali and Kinshasa, where they met respectively with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi. The aim was to achieve de-escalation between the two neighbors, as tensions have risen sharply in recent weeks. According to Washington, the DRC and Rwanda are “committed” to “reducing current tensions”.
Just two weeks ago, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke separately by telephone with Rwandan President Paul Kagamé and Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi, asking them to promote diplomacy in their relations and defuse tensions, including by withdrawing troops from their shared border.
This time, the Biden administration was on the move. The delegation included the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Joe Biden’s Africa advisor, and the National Security Council, above all Avril Haines. The latter coordinates all US national intelligence, including the CIA, FBI, and military intelligence, and is placed under the direct authority of the President of the United States. That’s how important this issue is.
Avril Haines made the trip in order to obtain commitments from the two leaders to defuse tensions in the east of the DRC.
“We’ve never been so close to a war,” says a source close to the Congolese presidency, explaining the arrival of the American emissaries earlier this week. On Monday, they met with President Tshisekedi before he left to campaign in Kongo-Central. Tshisekedi is running for a second term in the December 20 presidential elections.
Following the talks with the Americans, “Presidents Kagame and Tshisekedi commit to taking specific steps to reduce current tensions by addressing the respective security concerns of both countries”, said the White House in a statement issued on Tuesday, November 21, after the return of its delegation.