Africa: News Updates

A 2 week BREDA campaign for a new gender paradigm

Dakar, July 28 (APS) – The UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA) announces to launch, on August 3 and 4, a two-week campaign, through a series of portraits and online discussions, with a view to to create a space for dialogue for “a showcase for the enhancement and development of a new paradigm of thought on gender, more sensitive, adapted and inclusive”.

Entitled “The Voice of the Resilient Women: Women Creators from West Africa”, this initiative will be launched during two webinars scheduled for August 3 and 4, 2020 and focused on “role models of the West African creative community”, with the ambition to contribute to an overhaul of the discourse on gender.

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How an art icon wants to revitalize Nigeria’s creative ecosystem with a residency for artists

Yinka Shonibare is fascinated by the complexities and the global flows that make up African identities. This is evident in his widely recognized use of “African” wax print fabrics, a recurring motif in Shonibare’s artworks. These designs however are Indonesian batik fabrics produced by the Dutch, and are widely distributed across Western Africa.

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Rwanda launches COVID-19 recovery program for cultural industry, artists

A multi-party program, named the Cultural and Creative Industry Recovery Plan, was launched on Friday in Rwanda to support enterprises in the cultural and creative industry, as well as artists, to recover from COVID-19.

The program focuses on supporting seven federations in Rwanda in the sectors of music, film, plastic arts, writing, beauty and fashion, traditional dance and performing arts, according to a press release.

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Zimbabwe: Culture Fund, EU Unveil Grants for Creative Sector

The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, in partnership with the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, has unveiled grants worth more than US$117 000 to the creative sector to facilitate projects that artists are implementing in various parts of the country.

Nine projects, classified under bigger and smaller grants, will benefit from the funds that will be disbursed soon to artists, cultural practitioners and institutions.

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Artistic and cultural associations: room for professionalism

Cultural industries that create jobs and wealth. The law on artistic and cultural associations proposes to promote a regulatory management method in a sector where the various players are struggling to tune their violins. Hence the intense debate that the subject had aroused during its examination and its defense in Parliament by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Bidoung Mkpatt, during the June 2020 session.

Indeed, many artists believe that the proposed law is tainted with ambiguity and that it tends to exclude them from the management of a sector in which they are the main players.

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Gambia: COVID-19 – NCAC Presents D50,000 to Gambian Artists to Ease Burden

The National Centre for Arts and Culture Wednesday presented the sum of D50,000 cash to 10 Gambian artists to ease burden on them in this face coronavirus pandemic.

The amount was made available to the National Centre for Arts and Culture by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) to support Gambian artists. The GCCI has just completed a fund raising drive for the business sector to support them in this period of Covid-19 pandemic malaise.

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Government launches $10m COVID-19 relief package

THE Government has come to the aid of local athletes with a US$10 million COVID-19 relief package.

The elite athletes are set to receive one-off payment in allowances.

This group includes the athletes vying to qualify for international competitions, such as the Olympics and FIFA Under-20 World Cup football qualifiers.

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The Ministry of Culture presents its Sectorial Program 2020-2024

The Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico publishes in the Official Gazette of the Federation the Culture Sector Program 2020-2024, as well as the decree by which it is approved.

This program is built on the essential principles of inclusion, recognition of cultural diversity, unrestricted defense of freedoms and guarantee of the rights established in article 7 of the General Law of Culture and Cultural Rights.

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Africa: How Live Music Is Meeting the Coronavirus Challenge

The Urban Sessions, a series of live streamed music concerts, is exploring a new way of online performance to help musicians hit badly by Covid-19 restrictions.

“I’ve never been away from music for that long since I was 14,” says bassist Shane Cooper. “And it all happened so fast: six months of booked work gone in five days. It was like skittles going down… You acknowledge the power of the collective in creating music, but don’t feel how huge it is until it’s gone.”

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‘Choose Your Own Fake News’ game wants to tackle misinformation in East Africa

Africa like many other parts of the world has witnessed a recent rise in the spread of misinformation.

Over the past few years, the continent has experienced a string of events propelled by the spread of “fake news.”
Examples include Facebook posts that sparked ethnic violence in Nigeria and false information circulated via social media during Kenya’s 2017 presidential elections.

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Nigeria’s new broadband access plan is doomed to fail unless it fixes a perennial problem

It takes an average of just over seven hours to download a five-gigabyte movie file in Nigeria.

With a mean download speed of 1.56 megabits per second (Mbps), Africa’s largest internet market is rooted in the bottom quarter of global broadband speed rankings for 2019 by UK analytics firm Cable. But the country is looking to fix that problem—at least on paper.

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Kenyan Company Rolls Out First African-Made Video Conferencing App

NAIROBI – A Kenya-based company has developed a video conferencing application, the first made in Africa, designed to be more affordable than foreign counterparts. Gumzo, which means “chatting” in Swahili, is free to join and costs only $1 per week for users who want to host meetings.

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In Cameroon, Social Media Used to Fight Misinformation

YAOUNDE – Cameroon is one of the African countries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and has been struggling against misinformation and fake news on the virus.  Cameroon’s  digital first responders have taken to social media to counteract the misinformation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has flooded Cameroon’s health workers with questions  about the virus and about false rumors that hospitals are  overwhelmed,  and  that  testing is either not available or costly.

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Lockdown: 1 520 artists, 296 athletes to receive relief funding – Minister Nathi Mthwetha

Almost 300 athletes will receive relief funding, alongside around 1 500 artists, Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Saturday.

The R200 million in relief funding has been made available by the ministry and the MECs of Sport, Arts and Culture in all provinces.

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Don’t let Covid-19 kill SA’s cultural sector and its economic value

Internationally, as well as in SA, the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are increasingly being recognised for their economic as well as social and intrinsic values. Economic value — that is, the contribution of the creative economy to GDP, job creation and innovation — is a more recent addition to our understanding of the value of the CCIs.

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SA-based rhumba groups join Covid-19 fight

South Africa-based rhumba groups, Dubia Masters and Dupute Warriors have joined the fight against Covid-19 by combining forces to produce a single to educate the public about the pandemic which has claimed many lives.

The single titled Covid-19 was released two weeks ago on YouTube where it was accompanied by a video.


Haute couture: DRC designer pulls of 3D show via Instagram LIVE

In the era of physical and or social distancing, ‘normal’ human interaction has transited more to online platforms. Meetings, conferences and even musical shows have moved online, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

The entertainment industry in Africa and across the world has been hit, maybe not as badly as for example sporting activities were, in the wake of strict limits in public gatherings.

But over in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Congolese designer, Anifa Mvuemba, will not be bogged down by the rules. No physical models, no physically present audience, just a runway and 3D models doing the walk – location, online.

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Galaxy of African stars hold virtual coronavirus concert

More than 100 artists and celebrities from across the continent and the diaspora took part in the WAN Show broadcast online by the Worldwide Afro Network and carried by 200 African channels on Monday to mark Africa Day.

Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour and Grammy-winner Angelique Kidjo were among a galaxy of African talent brought together for a virtual concert to raise awareness of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The fight against COVID-19 – how Africans are embodying the true meaning of Africa month

If you have ever wondered why you feel such a strong sense of responsibility for the people in your community with the COVID-19 crisis upon us, just know that the spirit of unity was forged in our continent through centuries of struggle against colonisation and enslavement. The qualities of Ubuntu are deeply rooted in Africa and its people. The month of May should be a testament to this.

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Locals in sports, arts and culture sectors invited to apply for financial relief before June 5

MBOMBELA – Sports and entertainment are, according to the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation, some of the hardest hit sectors by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“The department, working with the National Youth Development Agency (Nyda) and Creative Industries Federation of Mpumalanga (CIFMP) and Mpumalanga Sports Confederation, has set up the Covid-19 Relief Fund to assist artists and athletes in mitigating the economic impact of the virus,” explained the spokesperson for the department, Sibongile Nkosi.

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Covid-19 Botswana MYSC Financial Relief Fund Programme Arts & Culture Sector

The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development invites artists. promoters, artist’s representatives, representatives of arts associations and all other qualifying stakeholders to apply for the COVID -19 Financial Relief Programme.

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Africa Day Solidarity Concert for the Covid-19 Response Fund

Watch video


African Union COVID19 Response Fund aims to raise $1 Million on Africa Day

The African Union has created an African Union COVID-19 Response Fund with the aim of strengthening the continental response to COVID-19 and mitigate its socio economic and humanitarian impact on African populations. The fund was established by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat on 26 March 2020.

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Namibia: COVID-19 Impact On Arts and Culture

As the novel coronavirus affects industries across the world, stakeholders are scrambling to minimise the damage caused. The arts, culture and music industries are particularly feeling the burn of Covid-19 in Namibia, and industry experts came together on Friday at the Covid-19 Communication Centre in Windhoek to discuss the impact of the virus, and the way forward.

The panellists consisted of Nascam chief executive officer, John Max; deputy director of arts, M’kariko Amagulu; Namibia Film Commission board member, Marinda Stein and Patrick Sam, the chairperson of the National Arts Council.

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How Kenya’s artists are coping amid COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is having significant effects on the art market, as well as established and emerging artists.

Artists have now found themselves without commercial outlets for their work, as many galleries, auction houses, theatres, music venues and art fairs have shut down.

“It’s a big challenge for now, especially to us artists. Very big, big, big challenge.” Cyrus Kabiru, a visual artist, tells Al Jazeera.

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Cape Town’s creative firms are business innovators – but they’re vulnerable

In 1941 Hedy Lamarr, a Hollywood actress, and George Antheil, an experimental composer, patented “frequency hopping”. The technique is still used today for secure radio communications, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth.

Frequency hopping employs a spectrum of frequency for radio communications that’s repeatedly changed according to an agreed sequence between sender and receiver. This secures a message against interception. Lamarr hoped the idea would help in the defence of her adopted country, the US, in the second world war.

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Idris Elba to host Africa Day Benefit Concert with some of the continent’s biggest music stars

Some of Africa’s biggest music stars are lined up to perform at a 2-hour long virtual concert on Monday to celebrate Africa Day. Actor and musician, Idris Elba is hosting the concert titled ‘Africa Day Benefit Concert at Home’ through a partnership with music channel, MTV Base Africa, and YouTube. Elba, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 in April says the concert is to “raise funds for those impacted by Covid-19.”

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COVID-19 shouldn’t break our spirits says Minister in launching Culture Week

Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry says COVID-19 should not break our spirits and lead us to shun our culture.

In launching the Culture Week on Monday, Minister Coventry said COVID-19 had affected many cultural events like funerals, burials, weddings, and other social practices that bring people together to celebrate or support each other.

“As we practice social distancing let us not forget our values of Ubuntu/Unhu.

“Let us continue to co-exist and engage in respectful dialogue even on social media, where most of us now spend much of our time on, as a result of the lockdown measures.

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 Zimbabwean musicians rise up to the challenge in spreading a message of unity

Watch the Music Video 


 

African Culture Fund launches a solidarity fund called “SOFACO”

In this context of health crisis where no continent or country is spared, the creative sector is proving to be one of the most severely impacted sectors by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is with this in mind that the African Culture Fund (ACF) has decided to launch, from May 15, the SOFACO project, whose main objective is to strengthen the resilience of artists and cultural organizations through assistance for creation and reconstruction of the social fabric of the artistic sector in Africa facing the COVID-19 crisis.

Download the Concept Note


 

COVID-19 disrupts tradition, business of Kenya’s Maasai community

Kenya’s famous Masaai warriors are renowned for rituals and customs which they keep to this day, but the spread of COVID-19 is disrupting their traditional way of life.

Fears over the pandemic has forced them to cancel their semi-nomadic lifestyle and all the traditional celebrations.

David Nina, a Maasai moran (youth) leader recounts how past diseases ravaged the community and fears they have over the current pandemic: “Our history as told to us by our elders tells of a time when our people faced a disease which was brought into our midst by the white man …

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Egyptologists attack transfer of sphinxes to Tahrir Square

The transfer of four sandstone sphinxes to Tahrir Square in Cairo will expose them to intense heat and air pollution and amounts to an attempt to erase Egypt’s recent history, Egyptologists and academics have said.

Officials from Egypt’s antiquities ministry recently announced that the ram-headed sphinxes had been taken from the Karnak temple in Luxor to the capital’s busy traffic roundabout, where they have joined a pink granite obelisk. The sphinxes are being stored in wooden crates until an unveiling ceremony, for which a date has not been set.

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Youths must lead fight againt COVID-19 says NACZ boss

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Director Nicholas Moyo, says young people need to play a big role in the protection and mitigation initiatives against the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease.

Speaking at NACZ head office in Harare while receiving a donation of 50 litres of sanitizer donated to the Council by House of Arts Association, Moyo said youth initiatives at raising awareness using the Arts had become very pertinent especially on Social Media.

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African Artists Share Culturally Relevant COVID-19 Information

Rabat – African artists and creatives are taking to social media with the hashtag #DontGoViral, a creative campaign UNESCO and Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy) launched in an effort to crowdsource culturally relevant information about COVID-19.

“The bad news is that everyone is a potential victim. But the good news is that everyone is a potential solution,” sings Ugandan Bobi Wine to a catchy beat.

The Ugandan musician and legislator is just one of many artists addressing the need for culturally relevant and accurate information about how communities across Africa can help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and related misinformation.

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ECOWAS ‘rejects’ COVID-Organics, Madagascar’s untested virus cure

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has dissociated itself from reports of a donation from Madagascar regarding a coronavirus herbal cure, COVID-Organics.

In a May 6 press release, the ECOWAS Commission said it dissociates itself from claims that it had “ordered a package of COVID Organics (CVO) medicine from a third country.”

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The challenge with African countries promoting traditional cures for Covid-19 without research

After seeing traditional Zulu healers using the medicinal plant Sutherlandia Frutescens or Cancer bush to treat HIV/AIDS patients during the height of the South African epidemic in the late 1990s it would take a health authorities a full year before the efficacy of the herbs could even be fully tested by scientists.

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Covid-19: Sport, Arts and Culture Minister discusses relief funding for athletes and artists

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa engaged with a number of organisations on 6 May to discuss relief funding for athletes and artists.

According to a statement released by the department, it invited national organisations and the federation of the sector, the Cultural and Creative Industry Federation (CCIFSA) of South Africa, to join the meeting. The national organisations invited included the South African Music Industry Council, the South African Screen Federation, the South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum, the South African Roadies Association, Sisters Working In Film and Television, the Independent Black Film Makers Collective and the Children’s Foundation.

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The arts after Covid-19: Artistes speak on ED’s call for policy direction

AFTER seeing their livelihoods severely affected by lockdown regulations, artistes in Zimbabwe are now turning their attention to life after Covid-19, amid President Mnangagwa’s appeal for strategy and policy direction on how the sector can be helped after the shadow cast by the virus has passed.

During his May Day speech on Friday, President Mnangagwa pointed out that the Government was aware of the perilous plight of artistes, and was thus looking at the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry for policy direction to guide the arts in a world free of Covid-19.

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Take a leaf from creative arts sector, Sport told

EXPERIENCED football administrator Kennedy Ndebele has challenged the sports industry to take a leaf from the creative arts sector, which has managed to charm the Government and is in line to benefit from the Covid-19 stimulus package.

Announcing a two-week lockdown extension at the weekend, President Mnangagwa said he had instructed Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry to make a proposal to the Government on how best the creative arts sector can be helped after being affected by Covid-19.

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COVID19: African Union in Discussions with Madagascar over herbal remedy

The African Union is in discussion with the Republic of Madagascar, through its embassy in Addis Ababa, with a view to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of a herbal remedy, recently announced by Madagascar for the reported prevention and treatment of COVID19.

In this regard, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs H.E Amira ElFadil convened a meeting with the Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Madagascar Mr. Eric Randrianantoandro on 30th April at which it was agreed that the member state would furnish the African Union with necessary details regarding the herbal remedy

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NAIROBI, Kenya — In a quiet office on the third floor of a building in Nairobi’s central business district, the cartoonist known by his pen name, Gado, was sketching a satire about the coronavirus.

Titled “Conspiracy Inc.,” it parodied the unfounded claims that have exploded about the pandemic, which has killed nearly a quarter-million people in 177 countries. He depicted men and women promoting claims that pharmaceutical firms invented the virus, and American soldiers spread it in China, and that the Chinese government wants to use it to depopulate and conquer Africa.

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Covid-19 an Opportunity to Reinvent Arts Education

Like other forms of teaching and learning, theatre training is being forced to change as education moves online to adhere to the government’s Covid-19 lockdown measures in South Africa. But for Market Theatre Laboratory head Clara Vaughan, it was important to put the humanity of the students before the teaching, and for the teaching to become an interim measure to support the students during this difficult time.

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E-commerce Powers Africa’s Rapidly Expanding Fashion Sector

Thirty-two-year-old Gambian economist Marie Ba used to buy most of her clothes online from British fashion retailer ASOS. But when she wanted to update her closet with some tailored wax print African dresses, she took a chance ordering through Ghana’s KIKI Clothing platform. “I was looking for something well designed and fitted, and it’s lovely to support brands based in West Africa, while looking quite unique in their pieces,” she says.

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Amazon Launches Data Centre Operations in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing platform of Amazon.com Inc, said on Wednesday it has launched its data centre operations at three locations in Cape Town, South Africa, setting up its first “AWS Africa region”.

The company defines a “region” as a combination of two or more physical data centre clusters, which Amazon says helps its clients store data and run applications, provide faster response and have content back-up.

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Kenya’s University Students and Lecturers Face Huge Challenges Moving Online

For over a decade Kenya has made moves towards e-learning for university students. This is all the more important now, as universities have closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But questions remain as to how effective it is. Jackline Nyerere shares her insights.

What types of e-learning do Kenya’s public universities offer, and how widespread is the use?

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Launch of Africa Free Trade Deal Postponed due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The implementation of a mammoth African free trade agreement will not begin on July 1 as planned due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“It is obviously not possible to commence trade as we had intended on 1 July under the current circumstances,” Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said during a conference call.

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Pentecostals and the Spiritual War Against Coronavirus in Africa

Since the emergence of COVID-19, a number of media commentators and academics have reflected on the “spiritualisation” of the pandemic among responses in different African settings.

There’s been particular interest in the influence of prominent Pentecostal pastors on public health messaging. Some have expressed concern about the possible consequences of their invocations of spiritual warfare.

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Africa’s iech innovators spy opportunity amid pandemic

In March, Kenyan telecom operator Safaricom announced a move that on the surface appeared counterintuitive. For a 90-day period, it made free all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under 1,000 Kenyan shillings ($9) on the popular Nairobi-headquartered mobile money service M-Pesa, which revolutionized mobile payments globally.

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Solidarity Fund appoints 12 board members and CEO

JOHANNESBURG – The Solidarity Fund on Thursday announced the appointment of 12 board members and Nomkhita Nqweni as the fund’s CEO.

Chairperson Gloria Serobe said the appointments were to ensure accountability as the Solidarity Fund fulfilled its mandate.

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Zimbabwe’s Government Says Herbal Treatment OK for COVID-19

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s government has authorized traditional herbalists to treat coronavirus patients, but health experts are skeptical and are urging extreme caution.

Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health delivered a letter Monday to the head of the country’s main COVID-19 treatment center in Harare, asking him to consider using a herbalist who has questionable claims to have a cure for the virus.

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Apple Music expands into 25 African countries

Music streaming platform Apple Music today announced that it had expanded its services to 52 new countries. Twenty-five of those are in Africa.

Apple Music, App Store, Apple Arcade, Apple Podcasts and iCloud are now available in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda and Zambia.

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Struggles for New Normals after Corona

A now common phrase that has come with the global Covid-19 (corona virus) outbreak has been that ‘things will never be the same/normal again’. It is one laden with many attendant questions as to its full meaning.

Key among these would be, ‘What was normal in the first place?’ Another being, ‘What is actually obtaining/happening?’

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Who needs art at time like this? Don’t waste money – medics

Health workers have denounced President Uhuru Kenyatta for allocating Sh100 million to artistes to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

“I am finding it difficult to comprehend how a nation at war with one of it’s deadliest enemies since its birth can decide to give incentives to musicians who are playing background music. The nation completely forgets it’s the front line warriors [who count],” National Nurses Association of Kenya chairman Alfred Obengo said on Friday.

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Participate in survey to help African music sector address COVID-19 crisis

The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF), a pan-African non-profit organisation, is conducting an inclusive survey to uncover the financial impact of COVID-19 on the African music industry.

The short survey seeks to gather crucial data that will be used by the Foundation, its partners and members of its extensive network across Africa to make informed strategies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Bengatronics Recording Album To Support Musicians On Lockdown #WeCreateEA

Bengatronics Sound & System have given word that they’re taken initiative during this entire COVID-19 modern craziness to create something- a collaborative album entirely made during the lockdown in studio- with the effort broadening and including pieces of work from other artists as well.

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[Tribune] Coronavirus: to come out stronger together

Twenty-five African intellectuals including Kako Nubukpo, Alioune Sall, Felwine Sarr, Achille Mbembe, Reckya Madougou, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Franck Hermann Ekra and Hakim Ben Hammouda co-sign this call to the mobilization of the intelligence, resources and creativity of Africans for defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 is the scientific name for the virus responsible for a highly contagious respiratory disease that can become fatal. Epidemic then reclassified pandemic by WHO on March 11, 2020, its effects are devastating: it sows death, plunges the most powerful economies into recession, and constitutes an unprecedented threat to the existence of human societies. According to some experts, this virus would be the harbinger of the most dire days to come for the African continent and its inhabitants.

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Allow the media to work: Police

Law enforcement agents should allow journalists to travel to and from their workplaces as information transmission is part of the essential services that cannot be wished away during the ongoing 21-day lockdown meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has become a global pandemic, police have said.

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Ideological Praxis in Fighting Covid-19: Understanding ‘Philanthropy’ and Effect.

The government of Zimbabwe, in its reactions to the Covid-19 (corona virus) pandemic, as expected, has roped in domestic and international private capital. On the face of it, this is completely understandable. In times of a global pandemic, one can easily argue that we will always need all hands on deck. Especially if they contribute to critical lifesaving equipment such as ventilators or safety clothing.

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Filmmakers sweat under lockdown

LOCAL filmmakers have not been spared by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has stalled activity in most sectors such as tourism, transport, industry and commerce following the 21-day lockdown order by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to curb the spread of the virus.

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#DontGoViral: UNESCO and i4Policy launch a campaign to crowdsource local content to combat the Infodemic in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by an Infodemic, a spread of disinformation and misinformation making it difficult for people to find accurate information. To contribute to tackling this issue, UNESCO, in partnership with the Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy), is launching an online campaign to crowdsource local openly licensed content to inform communities across Africa about COVID-19.

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Rwanda: Local Publisher Introduces Platform for Audiobooks

Rwandans have been on lockdown for the past one week, limiting their access to a number of services, including physical libraries in an effort to control the spread of coronavirus.

To address the lack of access to books during the lockdown, local publisher, Fiston Mudacumura, has launched an audiobook distribution platform.

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Swedish embassy in SA launches digital platform for artists

The embassy of Sweden in South Africa, in partnership with local NPO Hear My Voice, has created a digital performance and collaboration platform designed for creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Covid-19 and virtual reality: The cultural cost of going online

So Art Basel Hong Kong happened last week. But with travel restrictions, curfews and social distancing in place, its organisers abandoned the fair’s physical edition: instead, it took place online. According to contemporary art magazine, ARTnews, the galleries that took part in the fair reported steady sales and positive feedback from buyers, despite there being technical glitches because of high traffic when the platform was launched to the public. “The online iteration is a sobering remedy to the major disruptions that the coronavirus has wrought on the global art calendar”.

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Manu Dibango: African saxophone legend dies of Covid-19

The African saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died in Paris after catching coronavirus. Dibango – best known for his 1972 hit Soul Makossa – is one of the first global stars to die from Covid-19. The 86-year-old fused jazz and funk music with traditional sounds from his home country, Cameroon.

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Zororo Makamba dies

Zimbabwe has recorded its first coronavirus death. Broadcast journalist and son of prominent businessman an politician James Makamba, Zororo, succumbed to the lethal virus today.

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Disappearing income: The impact of COVID-19 on the creative industry

Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, popular culture movies were dominated by doomsday thrillers, where a heartthrob hero would save the day from an unknown virus that threatens humanity. Fast forward to 2020 and the globe is in the grips of a tumultuous panic because of coronavirus (COVID-19), with the scale and rate of infections rapidly growing, preceding those of SARS, and hurtling towards another global economic recession.

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COVID-19 in Africa: watch a joint media briefing with WHO and WEF

Hear directly from WHO’s regional director in Africa, and experts, about the latest status of the novel coronavirus across the continent, and their answers to journalists’ most pressing questions.

Source: World Economic Forum


 

African musicians share strategies amid coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up most markets around the world, including the music industry. Many performing artists and event organisers, among others, may be on the brink of bankruptcy as national lockdowns prohibiting large gatherings like concerts are instated around the world. Although Africa isn’t the worst-hit, most experts in the field of infectious diseases agree that the continent will experience similar outbreaks as in other countries.

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Min. of culture sets plan to confront Covid-19 pandemic

CAIRO – 17 March 2020: Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem issued a set of decisions to confront the spread of coronavirus in various sectors of the ministry, in-line with the decisions taken by the Egyptian government.

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HEVA’s COVID-19 Response

In light of recent developments concerning the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) all over the world, and particularly in Kenya and Eastern Africa, HEVA is taking precautionary and safety measures to ensure that the wellbeing of our team, our beneficiaries and all those we interact with remains top priority, as well as to adhere to the national disease prevention, containment and management protocols issued by the Government of Kenya on Sunday, 15th March 2020.

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Sports, arts and culture sector to be hard-hit

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, on Tuesday met with stakeholders from the sports and arts sectors to communicate the department’s stance on COVID-19. This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the Coronavirus outbreak a national disaster on Sunday and outlined a comprehensive plan on how the country will respond in the short to medium term. He put in place a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people.

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Africa CDC joins forces with Co-Creation Hub to use Smart ways to Educate and Sensitize the Continent on COVID-19

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is collaborating with the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), the leading technology innovation centre in Africa, to launch a call, for innovative communication projects on COVID-19 based on African languages targeted at the semi-urban and rural population across Africa. The communication projects are expected to help counter disbelief and misinformation, catalyse citizens actions and solidarity as well as combat stigmatization.

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