Invasive Asian mosquitoes cause Ethiopian malaria outbreak
In early 2022, malaria cases in the Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa surged, with more than 2,400 people sickened. The spike in infections was the work of an invasive mosquito species that is spreading across Africa, scientists said.
The finding, presented on November 1 in Seattle at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, provides evidence that the invasive vector can drive malarial outbreaks. Worryingly, the species can thrive in urban environments, bringing the threat of malaria to potentially many millions more people across the continent.
The researchers tracked 80 patients in the city who had sought care for malaria at a local or university clinic, as well as 210 patients who had sought treatment for other reasons, and they screened the patients’ household members for malaria. The team also scanned the patients’ neighborhoods for the presence of mosquito adults and larvae within a 100-meter radius of households or, in the case of students that visited a clinic, dormitories.
PepsiCo invests $40 mln to expand snack business in Ethiopia
PepsiCo says it is finalizing an investment proposal of approximately USD 40 million to expand its Senselet snacks business in Ethiopia. It is also considering further investments in the country to expand its portfolio beyond snacks.
Established in 2015 by Veris Investments, Senselet produces chips under the brand name Sun Chips, which are sold across approximately 10,000 outlets in Ethiopia.
Senselet’s potato processing site was constructed in 2017 and has generated more than 300 jobs since its establishment, as well as initial exports to two neighboring countries.
The investment will fund the creation of another potato chip product, among other snacks, in line with its production facility.
Chris Wijnterp, general manager of PepsiCo’s foods unit in Ethiopia, said: “The investment is further proof of the confidence that PepsiCo has in the potential of the country for economic growth. This cash injection will allow us to increase our production capacity for snacks tenfold.”
The company says it hopes to “contribute to food security in Ethiopia by developing the production of potatoes locally, increasing farmers’ income, and building a more stable potato value chain.”
Ethiopian Airlines launches fifth Freedom flight between Manchester and Geneva
During the weekend, Ethiopian Airlines increased its current operation out of Manchester International Airport (MAN) to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD). The carrier has added a new fifth-freedom stop between these two destinations by launching commercial services between Manchester and Geneva International Airport (GVA), Switzerland.
On October 30, Ethiopian Airlines increased its operation between Manchester and Addis Ababa to four flights per week, operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
From this date, all flights from Manchester are operating via Geneva, Switzerland. The airline received a fifth freedom grant earlier this year, which allows it to carry passengers on this flight between two countries that are not Ethiopia, the UK, or Switzerland.
These flights operated via Geneva will offer passengers from Manchester a convenient service to Switzerland, Ethiopian said in a statement. Moreover, Ethiopian will be the only full-service carrier on the route and will employ its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet to fly these routes.
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates 19 Boeing 787-8 and eight Boeing 787-9. These have the capacity to carry 270 and 315 passengers in a two-class configuration, according to data from ch-aviation.
UN warns more districts at risk of Cholera outbreak in Ethiopia
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that more districts are at risk amid the ongoing cholera outbreak in the southeastern part of Ethiopia.
UNOCHA said the cholera outbreak is currently active in 23 localities in three districts of the Bale zone in the Oromia region and nine localities in one district of the Liban zone in the Somali region.
It said in its latest situation update that the figures indicated that as of October 25, some 273 cholera cases had been reported, including nine deaths.
It added that suspected cases in East Bale are under investigation.
The caseload has increased by 30 percent since October 10, with new daily cases reported in Berbere and Kersadula districts, according to UNOCHA. It said that the ongoing response is hindered by insufficient funding and partners’ presence.
It noted that shortages of water, sanitation and hygiene treatment chemicals, limited water storage items, insufficient water trucking capacity, and a large number of non-functional water schemes represent the major gaps.
Ruto asks for more time to reduce cost of living
Kenya’s President, William Ruto, is asking for a period of one year to deal with the high cost of living, while blaming his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, for implementing policies that failed to tackle the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities, such as food, electricity, and fuel.
In the run-up to August’s presidential polls, Ruto had promised to deal with the situation with urgency should he win.
However, almost two months after he was sworn in, Ruto has ruled out the possibility of government subsidies for basic commodities, particularly maize flour. He has instead announced that his administration will use KSh3.6 billion (USD 29.6 million) to purchase fertilizer to boost farm production, which will then reduce the price of maize flour.
Ruto’s statement comes at a time when ordinary Kenyans are complaining of soaring prices, notably of maize flour, which is used to prepare ugali, a staple food in Kenya.
In the last five years, the price of two kg of maize flour rose from KSh100 (USD 0.82) to KSh230 (USD 1.89), making it difficult for ordinary citizens to afford it.
(The Africa Report)
Death toll in Uganda due to Ebola rises to 48
The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Uganda has risen to 48, with 131 confirmed cases, a health official involved in managing the outbreak said.
Last week, Uganda’s health minister put the death toll at 30, with 109 confirmed cases.
“On the spread and when we are likely to have the outbreak end, I see no experts on this panel who can actually predict when it will end,” he said, adding authorities were using measures like contact tracing, risk communication, and appropriate treatment and burials to control the outbreak.
Last month, the government said it was optimistic the outbreak could be wiped out by the end of the year. Africa’s top public health body said last week that it thought the situation was “not getting out of hand.”
The virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudan strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, unlike the more common Zaire strain seen during recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in mid-October that a clinical trial of vaccines to combat the Sudan strain of Ebola could start within weeks.
Rwanda to launch investors’ green project fund at COP27
Rwanda’s new fund, dubbed the “Green Investment Facility,” which is solely dedicated to financing private investors’ green projects, is expected to be launched at the 27th UN climate conference (COP27), taking place from November 8 to November 18 in Egypt, officials announced.
Teddy Mugabo, the CEO of the Rwanda Green Fund, known as FONERWA [ which provides grants to public, private, and NGO initiatives], said that the new financing facility for only private-sector green projects will be managed in partnership with the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD).
The facility will operate under the “Green Bank” model and is seeking USD 100 million to start operations.
“We had to rethink about the instruments we needed to put in place to attract private capital. This is how the Green Investment Facility came about. Its first objective is to leverage private investments, and its second objective is to provide tailored financial products to attract the private sector,” she said.
Rwanda plans to reduce carbon emissions by 38 percent by 2030, and this will require Rwanda to mobilize USD 11 billion by 2030.
(The New Times)
Kenya’s Safaricom launches commercial 5G WiFi service
Safaricom has announced the availability of 5G Wi-Fi to empower its customers with superfast internet at home and at work, complementing its growing fiber network.
Safaricom became the first service provider in Kenya to announce 5G trials in March last year, and this development now gives customers in 5G-ready areas fast and reliable internet connectivity for their homes and businesses.
Customers in 5G-ready zones can access 5G Wi-Fi by purchasing a 5G router for KES 25,000 plus a KES 5,000 setup fee and selecting from three packages on offer. Customers will also have the option of signing up for a 36-month contract that will enable them to receive the router for free.
The introductory 5G Wi-Fi plans include: 10Mbps with a usage limit of 300GB at KES 3,499; 40Mbps with a usage limit of 500GB at KES 5,999; and 100Mbps with a usage limit of 1TB at KES 14,999. Customers will be able to continue using the internet at throttled speeds upon depletion of the allocated usage limit.
(The Fast Mode)