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Eswatini Ranked Lowest In Promoting Businesswomen




The Kingdom of Eswatini is not convulsive for women that want to take a slot in business as well as in top public positions, according to the recently-published World Bank Women, Business and Law 2021 report.

The UN Development Programme lists 46 of Africa’s 54 countries as sub-Saharan, excluding Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia. 

In sub-Saharan Africa, Eswatini has been placed third from the bottom with 46.3 out of 100 index points. 

According to World Bank, Women, Business and the Law 2021 is one of a series of annual studies measuring the laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies. 

The project presents eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law as they move through their lives and careers. 

The indicators include mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and pension.

Eswatini has scored a zero in the entrepreneurship indicator capturing differences between men and women in that area. 

This year’s report updates all indicators as of October 1, 2020 and builds evidence of the links between legal gender equality and women’s economic inclusion. 

“By examining the economic decisions women make throughout their working lives, as well as the pace of reform over the past 50 years, Women, Business and the Law 2021 makes an important contribution to research and policy discussions about the state of women’s economic empowerment,” reads the report in part. 

At the top of the rankings are Mauritius, South Africa, and Zimbabwe while Eswatini, Guinea Bissau and Sudan are listed at the bottom. 

Globally, 10 economies—Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden—score 100 on the Women, Business and the Law index. 

The Women, Business and Law 2021 report is a global ranking that assesses laws and reforms in 190 countries, looking at efforts made to eliminate gender-based discrimination and support women.

In the foreword, the report highlighted that the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic exposed and deepened global inequality. 

“For many women around the world, this could mean not only economic insecurity, but also threats to their health and safety. In times like these, a legal environment that encourages women’s economic inclusion can make them less vulnerable in the face of a crisis. 

“Yet in difficult moments many women start at a disadvantage,” shared the report. 

Mari Elka Pangestu Managing Director – Development Policy and Partnerships at The World Bank endorsed the report. 

The report suggested that locally,  both Women and Law in  Southern Africa and (WLSA) and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs was consulted during the research.

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East African Community Welcomes Re-opening Of Rwanda-Uganda Border



The East African Community has applauded the efforts of its two partner’s states Rwanda-Uganda in the normalization of relations and the current move to re-open borders.

“The EAC Secretariat applauds the relationship and government of Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Uganda for their efforts towards the re-opening of Rwanda-Uganda border,” the statement said.

Peter Mathiuki, the acting Secretary-General of the Community, hailed the move in the communique “as a boost to regional integration” noting that strengthening bilateral ties between EAC partner states will revitalize social, economic and political relations.

“The move is a reflection of the deep commitment and existing goodwill among the EAC Heads of States to widen and deepen cooperation in the bloc, particularly as the community expands the anticipated entry of the DRC,” he adds in a statement.

According to the EAC communique, “the re-opening of the border would also promote peace across the region. The secretariat is ready to provide any technical support that may be required to ensure sustainability on the movement of goods and services across all borders,”

“The re-opening of the border itself is set to spark social, economic and activities and also benefit the informal cross border traders who rely on the two partner states for the supply of the and market of their goods.” reads the statement.

In February 2020, Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe, then Minister of State for EAC Affairs, in a press conference said the Wanainchi (citizens)of both countries were expressing fatigue over the self-inflicted injury in the East African Community.

“They are just demanding security on the common border, the end of destabilizing activities by armed and terrorist groups, and the free movement of people, goods and services in peace and security,” Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe said during the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission on the implementation of the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda and Rwanda.

While referring to the Kampala attacks, in September, the Ugandan MP in the East African Community in the meeting with the EAC Council of Ministers demanded that unless the region builds stronger relations terror attackers would easily exploit disunity and attack other countries in the region.

According to African Report, last year, Uganda exported goods worth only US$1.4m to Rwanda, the lowest figure since 1997 when the Bank of Uganda started recording trade statistics.

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South Africa Omicron Study Points to end of Pandemic




A South African study from the epicenter of the world’s omicron surge offers a tantalizing hint that the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic may be ending.

The infection wave moved with “unprecedented speed” and caused much milder illness than earlier strains, a study of patients infected with COVID-19 at a large hospital in the South African city where the first outbreak of the omicron variant was recorded showed.

“If this pattern continues and is repeated globally, we are likely to see a complete decoupling of case and death rates,” the researchers said. That suggests “omicron may be a harbinger of the end of the epidemic phase of the COVID pandemic, ushering in its endemic phase.”

The study at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital Complex analyzed records of 466 patients from the current wave and 3,976 from previous bouts of infection. Researchers that worked on it included Fareed Abdullah, a director at the council and an infectious disease doctor at the hospital.

South Africa, the first country to have a major omicron outbreak, is being closely watched to see how infections from the variant may pan out globally. The comparatively young age of the country’s population and those hospitalized in the latest wave could also mask the severity of disease caused by the variant, the researchers said.

Still, the data add to hope among researchers that concern over omicron’s high transmission rates is being tempered by the mildness of the disease it appears to cause and the limited number of deaths that result from its infections.

South African hospitalizations have crested at half of their record in previous waves. Weekly excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths compared with a historical average, peaked at less than a fifth of their record during the pandemic.

If other countries have similar experiences, that may help move the pandemic to an endemic phase, where widespread exposure gives more people immunity resulting in less serious disease. Still, the virus could mutate further into a strain that causes more severe disease and more easily evades antibodies produced from prior infections or vaccinations.

The study showed that just 4.5% of patients with COVID-19 died during their hospital stay in the current wave compared with an average of 21% in earlier waves, according to the South African Medical Research Council’s website. Fewer people were admitted to intensive-care units, and hospital stays were “significantly shorter.”

The rate of admissions climbed rapidly but began to decline within 33 days of the first analyzed, the study said. A snapshot of patients in the hospital on Dec. 14 and 15 showed that almost two-thirds of those infected with COVID-19 had been admitted for other reasons.

“This phenomenon has not been observed to this extent before in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital Complex or anywhere in South Africa,” the study said. It “most likely reflects high levels of asymptomatic disease in the community with omicron infection,” it said.

It also found:

  • Hospital stays averaged four days compared with 8.8 in previous waves. The mean age of those admitted was 39 compared with almost 50 in earlier waves.
  • Admissions to intensive-care units dropped to 1% of patients from 4.3%.
  • Admissions peaked at 108 compared with 213 during the delta wave.

The findings “were comparable to city-wide trends when cases and admissions from all public and private hospitals reported,” the researchers said. There was “a lower admission per case ratio, lower death rate and lower rates of admission to the ICU compared to previous waves.”

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SADAC Forces Kill Terror Leader In Mozambique



The military mission of the Southern African Development Community in Mozambique (SAMIM) said Saturday it killed the insurgent’s religious leader in Cabo Delgado.

The Cabo Delgado–which is the terrorism’s epicentre in Mozambique–has seen the displacement of over 800,000 people and threatening the billions of gas projects by multinationals in the region.

Mozambique has been battling terrorists calling themselves Al-Shabaab.

According to the SAMIM’s statement, Sheikh Njile North who orchestrated the first attack on Mocímboa da Praia in October 2017, played a leading role in recruiting and indoctrinating terrorists’ personnel.

The Islamic State group took control of most of the five districts in Cabo Delgado in four years since 2017.

“He was leader of the religious sect of Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah”.

“Sheikh Njile North was killed last week along with 18 other insurgents and had an herbalist where he called on the population to rise up”, SAMIM said in.a statement.

The sheikh with ID name Rajab Awadhi Ndanjile was born in Litinginya village, Nangade district in Cabo Delgado.

Meanwhile, an armed group linked to the Islamic State attacked Saturday afternoon Namatili village in Mueda district in Cabo Delgado province without causing fatalities.

The group invaded the village on motorbikes, using machine guns of various calibres, causing widespread panic and the population fled into the woods, VOA Radio quoted eyewitnesses adding the armed group had not burned houses, they were just looking for food.

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