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West-Africa

Rwanda Offers Help For Ghana’s Reforms

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The Rwandan government has offered its experience and expertise to support the reforms being undertaken by the Nana Akufo-Addo government in Ghana.

President Paul Kagame made the offer on Wednesday October 1, 2017 when he met with Ghana’s Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on the side lines of the ongoing Global Business Forum on Africa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The structural economic reforms being undertaken by the Ghana government, including the implementation of a National Digital Property Addressing System, the issuance of a National ID card, the introduction of a Paperless Port system and e-registration of businesses has already received commendation from international bodies such as the World Bank Group.

Rwanda is renowned for its business-friendly environment and is ranked highest in Africa for the ease of doing business.

Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who accompanied the Vice President on the trip, said Ghana and Rwanda will soon meet to iron out areas they could collaborate.

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM

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West-Africa

Missing Nigerian Air Force Jet Found Crashed

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The Nigerian Air Force has announced it has discovered its missing jet days after it disappeared from radar while in action attacking rebel bases.

Details indicate that the missing Alpha jet was discovered to have crashed at Abba-Jille in Konduga LGA of Borno State.

In actual Geographical terms, the crash location is approximately 30Kms outside Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in the North East of Nigeria.

Sources said that “The fighter jet was seen flying around Goni Kurmiri and Njimia villages after attacking terrorist locations at the Sambisa axis.”

However, there is no information yet about what became of the pilot and the co-pilot, that is, whether they were taken prisoners of war or parachuted into safety.

The plane was reported to have lost contact with the radar on Wednesday evening, according to Air Force spokesman, Commodore Edward Gabkwet.

He said the plane lost contact with radar in Borno State, while on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops.

“The mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East.

“The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 p.m. on 31 March 2021. Earlier Friday, the Air Force had said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) “that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed.”

It said, “The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remain unknown,” it said in a statement signed by Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.

“The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele. Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on the ground.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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Crime

Denmark Deploys Warship To Fight Pirates In Gulf of Guinea

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The Danish government has authorised the deployment of a warship far away into West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea to fight pirates.

According to a statement issued by the Danish government, the vessel will combat piracy by providing escorts to civilian shipping and carrying out rescue operations following attacks, it said.

This ship will arrive in the gulf of Guinea international waters in November for an initial period of five months, according to a statement published Tuesday. The ship is equipped with a helicopter to patrol international waters.

“If we are to get serious about managing security in the Gulf of Guinea, an international military presence is necessary,” Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen said in Tuesday’s statement. “We are working for more countries to assume a responsibility.”

World’s biggest shipping company Maersk based in Copenhagen is responsible for more than a third of maritime trade in the gulf.

Details indicate that as many as 40 Danish-operated vessels sail through the Gulf of Guinea daily.

The decision to deploy this warship follows a call by A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and shipping industry groups for a more assertive international response to kidnappings that occur in the region.

The waters in the Gulf of Guinea are the most dangerous for seafarers worldwide, accounting for almost all maritime abductions in recent years.

Last year, 95% of the 135 seafarers seized worldwide were kidnapped in the gulf, a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola, in 22 separate incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Hostages are usually taken to Nigeria, where ransoms are negotiated.

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CORONA VIRUS

ECOWAS Distributes Second Consignment of Covid-19 Medical Supplies

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has started the distribution of its second consigment of Covid-19 medical supplies as part of regional response to the pandemic to Member States starting with the Nigerian government.

The consignment consist of PPEs, Covid-19 test kits, consumables and other medical equipments. These items were donated by UNDP, GIZ and the European Union (EU).

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Abuja, the Director-General of WAHO, Prof. Stanley Okolo, said the donation was part of the organisation’s mandate to support ECOWAS States in their national health response.

Mr Okolo noted that the medical supplies worth over U$18 million will be distributed to 15 West Africa countries including Nigeria.

He said the supplies will support countries in the fight against the Covid-19 virus even as Nigeria has received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.

“The provision of critical medical supplies to aid the fight against the pandemic is one of the contributions we make towards achieving the regional health agenda at WAHO” he said.

“We at WAHO have set up ourselves to support both strategically and operationally. Vaccines are now beginning to arrive, and that in itself is a very good thing”.

He noted that WAHO has over half a million diagnostic test kits to be distributed. Some of the distributed supplies include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), oxygen tube, extension, PCR tubes, and Oxygen concentrator flow splitter.

Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, represented by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance, Halima Ahmed under-scored the importance of the medical supplies to the fight against the pandemic.

She therefore stressed the urgent need to strengthen regional and national capacities to respond to the health emergencies such as COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahmed commended the effort of the Ni-gerian government for the protection of all Nigerians through evidence-based prevention and integrated disease surveillance.

European Union, Head of Cooperation European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs. Cécile Tassin-Pelzer said, “As part of a rolling programme of procurement to support the on-going response to Covid-19 and strengthen the health systems in the region, the consignments handed over today contain critical personal protective equipment (PPE) consisting of aprons, gloves and boots which will be used by the health care workers involved in response activities and patient care”.

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