Coronavirus: Is chloroquine Africa’s wonder drug? | AFP

A humble anti-malarial pill may be the answer to COVID-19. Despite caution over its effectiveness African countries hope it will stem the disease’s spread. Health systems are unprepared to handle the pandemic, with too few ventilators to treat patients if it spreads in the continent’s densely populated poorer areas. Football boss Pape Diouf becomes Senegal’s first virus fatality. These and other stories in this edition of Africa Weekly.

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African countries in lockdown to escape coronavirus | AFP

The military in the streets, road blocks, teargas to clear markets: countries across Africa shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the global death toll from pandemic approaches 25,000.

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African countries in lockdown to escape coronavirus | AFP

The military in the streets, road blocks, teargas to clear markets: countries across Africa shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the global death toll from pandemic approaches 25,000.

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Coronavirus: Lockdown in South Africa | AFP

South Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent.

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Coronavirus: Young Liberians make African print masks for protection | AFP

With only three confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Liberia, young people are getting creative in finding means to fight the pandemic among the local population. A young Liberian woman starts making the African version of the face mask using Ankara fabrics to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Africa Weekly: new coronavirus cases reach Eastern Africa | AFP

This week in Africa Kenya and Ethiopia record their first coronavirus cases, the Democratic Republic of Congo records first COVID-19 positive diagnosis as Ebola outbreak nears end and South Africa repatriates over 120 nationals from virus-hit China.
And in other news: African leaders agree to Libya peace talks in July, Ethiopian Airlines marks one year since Flight 302 crash, Malawi security forces fire teargas at protesters as activist detained, Hunger, economic slump as Zambia battles drought, Business booms for Seychelles’ suggestive love coconuts and French-Rwandan artist Gaël Faye debuts film based on bestseller.

#Coronavirus #COVID-19

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African leaders meet in Congo to lay groundwork for Libya peace talks | AFP

Three African presidents, the chairman of the African Union Commission and representatives of the United Nations and the Algerian and Egyptian governments meet in Oyo, north of the Rpublic of Congo, to pave the way for future dialogue between warring factions in Libya. IMAGES

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Malawi braces for ruling on alleged election fraud | AFP

Malawi’s constitutional court is to rule on whether to annul a controversial vote result that got President Peter Mutharika re-elected, with the verdict likely to stoke turmoil no matter which way it goes. The case has gripped the southern African nation and kept Malawians glued to radio stations for hours on end listening to live broadcasts of witnesses presenting evidence of alleged vote rigging. IMAGES of political figures and lawyers arriving for court

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Leaders at UK-africa Investment Summit pose for family photo | AFP

Leaders at the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 pose for a family photo in London. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with 16 African leaders at the investment summit that will see Britain cast out a net for trading partners in its new life outside the EU. IMAGES

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First malaria vaccine given to babies in Africa

Babies in three African nations are getting the first and only vaccine for malaria in a pilot program. World health officials want to see how well the vaccine works in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya before recommending its wider use. (Jan. 19)

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FILE: Spike Lee to be first black head of Cannes film festival jury | AFP

American director Spike Lee has been named president of this year’s Cannes film festival jury, becoming the first black head of the panel. The maker of “Malcolm X” and “Do the Right Thing” is the first person of black African descent to preside at the world’s biggest film festival, which is held in May on the French Riviera.

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Selfless African grey parrots get by with a little help from friends | AFP

Acting selflessly to help others in need was long thought to be a trait confined to mammals, in particular humans and great apes. But a new study has found that African grey parrots volunteer assistance to both their good friends and mere acquaintances — even when there is no expectation of personal gain. Video shows scientists in the Canary Islands conducting the study with several African grey parrots

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Secrets of Germany’s virus island revealed | AFP

It is perhaps Germany’s most dangerous island: the Baltic island of Riems is home to a research centre for deadly animal diseases. Established 100 years ago, the Friedrich Löffler Institute tests the world’s most dangerous viruses on animals, such as African swine fever, which has been devastating China since mid-2018.

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New EU chief in Ethiopia for first trip outside bloc | AFP

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen arrives in Ethiopia, her first trip outside Europe since assuming her post, for meetings expected to touch on migration and support for African security operations.

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Did Italian priest father two African sons?

When Gerald Erebon accused a priest of being his father, church officials refused to compel a DNA test to check the Kenyan man’s claims. After The Associated Press wrote about the case, another man came forward with a key piece of the puzzle. (Dec. 6)

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Street artist paints giant Nelson Mandela mural in Florence | AFP

From Naples to Palestine to Florence, Neapolitan street artist Jorit is painting charismatic icons on giant walls. His murals often feature ‘African tribal patterns’ on the faces of his subjects.

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Malawi tobacco pressured as US butts in over labour abuses | AFP

Malawi’s minister of agriculture Kondwani Nankhumwa says all efforts are being taken to ensure the nation eradicates all forms of child labour, admitting the issue exists in some areas where tobacco is grown. Malawi is being forced to confront child and forced labour practices after the US restricted tobacco imports from the impoverished southeastern African nation over allegations workers including children were being exploited. The trouble began in late October. British law firm Leigh Day announced it was preparing a landmark class action case against British American Tobacco (BAT) on behalf of 2,000 Malawian farmers, including hundreds of children, for forced labour and poverty wages. The US suspended imports of tobacco from Malawi, saying it had information that reasonably indicated it was being produced using forced labour and forced child labour.

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Brothers in arms: African and French armies join forces in fight against jihadism in the Sahel | AFP

In the border zone between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, French and Burkinabe soldiers march in step. Named Bourgou IV, their mission was the first official joint ground operation between the French army and the so-called G5 Sahel force, which pools troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Their goal: assert control over an area where no troops had set foot for over a year. It is in this “three borders” area that 13 French soldiers lost their lives in a helicopter accident on Monday.

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Rome’s ‘invisible’ migrants offer guide to Eternal City | AFP

The Eternal City’s famed monuments are given an African twist by refugees Abdul, Kaba and Sidia, who use anecdotes from their life journeys to show the Italian capital in a unique light.

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Floods in Somalia: Red Crescent carries out rescue operations | AFP

A member of rescue operation with Somalia Red Crescent in the capital city of Mogadishu says they have found five dead bodies following floods in the African nation.

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Rome’s ‘invisible’ migrants offer guide to Eternal City | AFP

The Eternal City’s famed monuments are given an African twist by refugees Abdul, Kaba and Sidia, who use anecdotes from their life journeys to show the Italian capital in a unique light.

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