Newsflash: China to take over JIA in 2022 over unpaid debts

Juba International Airport to be taken over by China over unsettled debts | File

China is now proposing to take over Juba International Airport in the event that the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, fails to pay off its unsettled debts, which amount to $2.96 billion, according to an internal document obtained by Thessherald.

South Sudan has become one of the latest African countries to fall into Chinese debt-traps after Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Latest data obtained from the China-Africa Research Initiative, reveal that China currently owes more than $30.34 billion from developing countries in Africa.

In 2016, the South Sudanese government requested $1.9 billion from China to boost its developmental projects and repair key oilfields ravaged by years of conflict.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, with oil accounting for almost the totality of exports, 90% of revenue, and more than one-third of its gross domestic product (GDP).

However, a recent study by Transparency International revealed that South Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, followed by Somalia and Yemen.

Aid agencies plead with UK to cancel budget cuts for South Sudan

Over 85 international and national NGOs have signed a petition calling on the UK government to reconsider its decision to cut 59% of South Sudan’s life-saving humanitarian aid.

“International and National Non-governmental Organizations working in South Sudan call on the UK Government to reconsider urgently the reported 59% budget cuts to vital international aid,” the group said in joint statement seen by Thessherald.

Noting that, “South Sudan is at a pivotal point, based on the recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification of “Famine Likely” and “Catastrophic” food insecurity at a number of locations across the country, with over 60% of the population projected to face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity.”

“Humanitarian assistance is one of the only factors keeping thousands of people from succumbing to the worst outcomes: malnutrition and death.
Severe humanitarian needs across the country have significantly worsened due to a combination of flooding, displacement, and protracted sub-national violence.”

The sustained support of the international community is critical. As humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organisations working to support the people of South Sudan coming out of a painful civil war, we call on the UK Government to ensure South Sudan remains a funding priority.
The UK has long played an important role in bolstering South Sudan’s progress with humanitarian support.

The aid agencies warned that the projected budget cuts for South Sudan will certainly cost lives and put millions on the brink of starvation.

“There is no doubt that the anticipated cuts will cost lives, and undermine significant, long-term progress made with UK funding to date – from saving lives with access to food and safe water, to reducing violence through support for locally-led peacebuilding, and interventions to reduce gender-based violence.”

“It is vital that the UK continues to invest in both humanitarian response and longer-term action that builds resilience and integrates Disaster Risk Reduction in the country. There needs to be continued support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding – as an end in itself but also, as UK Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs Nick Dyer has rightly pointed out, because conflict remains closely linked with food insecurity. After years of engagement and investment, for the UK to step back now would constitute a crushing blow to the people of South Sudan.”

Announcement: Kendeka Prize for African Literature


Nairobi, February 24, 2021

Announcement of Judges

Kendeka Prize for African Literature is honoured to announce Lucas Wafula (Kenya), Renee Edwige Dro (Côte d’Ivoire) and Remy Ngamije (Namibia) as the judges for the 2021 prize. The Panel will be chaired by Lucas Wafula.


Lucas Wafula | Photo: Kendeka Prize

Lucas Wafula

Lucas Wafula is Editor-in-chief, and CEO, Booklyst Press Limited. He is also Director and Lead Facilitator, at Global Editorial Centre-KE. Lucas has been working as a publisher/editor for nearly 20 years now, during which he has worked with award-winning authors, authors of note, as well as young writers. He has worked in and on projects for, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, and South Sudan. Lucas is passionate about growing African literature and helping budding writers sharpen their writing craft.


Edwige Renée Dro | Photo: Kendeka Prize

Edwige Renée Dro

Edwige Renée Dro is a writer, a literary translator and a literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire. Her writings have been published by Bloomsbury, Harper Collins and in magazines like Popula, This is Africa, etc.
She has judged and facilitated many writing competitions such as the PEN International Short Story Prize, the AfroYoungAdult anthology project or the Bakwa Magazine Literary Translation workshops.

She strongly believes that arts and literature are the tools that can change a society for the better and in February this year, she set up 1949, a library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world. 1949’s mission is to unearth and shine the light upon the contributions of African and black women to the world in order to inspire present and future generations.


Remy Ngamije | Photo: Kendeka Prize

Remy Ngamije

Rémy is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organization in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine, Namibia’s first and only literary magazine. His debut novel “The Eternal Audience Of One” is forthcoming from Scout Press (S&S).

His work has appeared in Litro Magazine, AFREADA, The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, The Amistad, The Kalahari Review, American Chordata, Doek! Literary Magazine, Azure, Sultan’s Seal, Santa Ana River Review, Columbia Journal, New Contrast, Necessary Fiction, Silver Pinion, Lolwe, Barzakh Magazine, Journal Periferias, The Forge Literary Magazine, Yellow Means Stay: An Anthology Of Love Stories From Africa, Menelique, Barely South Review, Bad Form Review, Hypertext Magazine, and The Selkie.

He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020. He was also longlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prize. In 2019 he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.

Comments from the Kendeka Prize Board

—We are excited to have this panel to help us go through some of the best new writing to come out of Africa today. Their experience working with some of the most exciting writing talent in journals, anthologies, and novels between them will go a long way to shining a deserved light on the growth of the short story on the continent. The composition of this panel from three different regions of the continent underlines that this is a Pan African prize for all African citizens. We can’t wait to read the stories that these three judges will bring to us.
James Murua,
Chairman
| Kendeka Prize for African Literature

The Prize

Kendeka Prize for Africa Literature is based in Kenya and it is administered by Solano Publications Ltd. Entrance is free and was opened on 1st February, 2021 and will close on 31st May, 2021. This is its’ first edition.
The Prize will be awarded for the best piece of unpublished short story either fiction or creative non-fiction. The first prize will be KShs.100,000 while the 2nd and the 3rd shall receive Kshs 50,000 and 25,000 respectively. The remaining two of the five short listed stories shall receive Kshs 5,000 each.

All long-listed stories shall be published in an anthology titled I Am listening, 2021 Edition. Winners shall be awarded at a ceremony to be held during the Nairobi International Book Fair. Please send unpublished manuscripts to info@solanopublications.com

Eligibility;

• Entrants must be born in, or are citizens of any African country.

• One entry per writer.

• Manuscripts should be of between 3000 and 5000 words.

• All entries must be in English.

• Entries should be attached in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format, with the title of the story as the file name.

• The first page of the story should include the name of the author, the title of the story, country of origin and the number of words.

• The entry must be typed in Times New Roman 12 point font with 1.5 line spacing.

• Entries must be sent as attachments to an email.

• The email to which the story is attached must include the legal name of the writer, telephone number, a short Bio, age, and country of residence.

• Entrants agree that the prize organizers may publicize the fact that a story has been entered, long listed, or shortlisted for the prize.

• An author of a long-listed story agrees to its inclusion in an anthology, and to work with editors to get the story ready for publication.

• Every author confirms that the submission is their original work, it has not been published anywhere else, and that it has not been long listed in any other prize.

• Every author gives exclusive global print and digital rights to Solano Publications Ltd for the long-listed stories for publication in an anthology. The author retains the copyright.
• The judges’ decision is final.
For more details, visit www.solanopublications.com

About the Short Story Prize

The prize is an annual event and it is an initiative of Andrew Maina, a Kenyan writer, through Solano Publications Ltd. It aims at giving African writers, especially the unpublished a platform on which to show case their work. Through this platform more people will have access to their work which will in turn inspire more writing.

We want to hear stories of the beauty of our people, the ingenious architect of the pyramids and that of Timbuktu, the snow-capped mountains in the tropics, the roar of the Victoria Falls, the wild savannas and much more.

Timelines for the Prize

Submissions: From 1st February to 31st May 2021
Judging: 1st June to 31August 2021
Long List; First week of August
Short List; Third week of August
Prize Giving Ceremony; 1st October at Sarit Centre, during the Nairobi International Book Fair
The Prize Advisory Board Members
James Murua – A blogger, podcaster, journalist, and editor who has written for a variety of media outlets in a career spanning print, web and TV. His online space www.jamesmurua.com focuses on literary news and reviews. He was a judge of the 2020 Cain Prize for African Writing. He is the Chairman to the Board.

Andrew Maina – A writer and a representative of Solano Publications Ltd.
Dr Tom Odhiambo – A Senior Lecturer in Literature, at the University of Nairobi
Muthoni wa Gichuru – A short story writer, a multiple award winner of the Burt Award for African Writing and a coordinator AMKA, space for women writers, Kenya
Mercy Kiragu – A psychologist
Patrick Gatobu – A public policy expert
William Mureithi – A writer and lecturer at Kagumo Teachers College

IGAD commends S. Sudan’s contribution to regional peace

IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais and President Kiir discuss status of the implementation on September 12, 2019.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in a statement, commends South Sudan’s recent offer to settle border-related disputes between Sudan and the Federal Democratic Ethiopia.

Speaking on Monday as the country marked its First Anniversary since the formation of South Sudan’s unity government, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Amb. Ismail Wais applauded South Sudan’s role in promoting regional peace and stability.

“IGAD also recognizes and appreciates the significant contribution that South Sudan is making to regional peace and stability by successfully hosting and mediating the Sudan talks as well as by offering to mediate between Ethiopia and Sudan to help peacefully resolve the ongoing border dispute between the two countries. This is one clear indication that besides the people of South Sudan the neighboring countries and the region at large are reaping the fruits of peace in South Sudan.”

Earlier this month, the world’s youngest country offered to calm border tensions between Sudan and neighboring Ethiopia after months of military confrontations.

South Sudan has succeeded in brokering the Juba Peace Agreement between the Sudanese unity government and opposition groups, but failed to restore its own peace.

On the same note, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, called on the South Sudanese parties to commit to the implementation of the peace agreement.

All in all, the last one year has witnessed a mixed-bag of progresses and delays with regard to the implementation of the R-ARCSS, and it is the right time for the Parties and Stakeholders of the R-ARCSS to take stock of achievements and challenges and have a genuine discussion and dialogue on the way forward.

AU Commission welcomes GERD agreement between the Tripartite

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat/ Photo: AU

GERD

May 24, 2020 (Thessherald)–On Saturday, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed and commended the Tripartite Agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomes the recent developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and commends the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan for agreeing to resume technical level engagements through their Water Ministers to resolve outstanding differences and reach an amicable solution,” the statement said.

In a statement, the African Union called on the three countries to build on the recent developments in order to find a durable solution to the dispute.

“The Chairperson further encourages the tripartite to pursue their engagements in good faith, guided by principles of cooperation, common understanding and transparency, as stipulated in the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD.”

The African Union renewed its commitment to support the Tripartite in their quest for a diplomatic and peaceful solution.

“The AU Commission stands ready to assist all parties in finding a peaceful resolution and achieving a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Analysis: The Dangers of Covid-20: South Sudan’s Political Dilemma

Analysis

(Right to Left) Vice President Taban Deng Gai,FVP Dr. Riek Machar, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Vice President James Wani Igga/Photo: File


May 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–The novel coronavirus is not changing the world. While the virus itself fails to discriminate between the poor and the powerful, its effects are mediated by unequitable social structures and economic hierarchies. These are not crumbling but are rather being reinforced through quarantines and lockdowns. Such responses are immobilizing the structures that the most vulnerable use to prevent crisis, resulting in Covid-19 overwhelmingly afflicting those who are already suffering. In countries suffering from conflict and hunger, such responses are likely to entrench class divisions between political elites and the suffering majority. The Covid-19 response in South Sudan is a clear example.

On Tuesday 28 April, South Sudan’s Covid-19 taskforce, led by Vice-President Riek Machar, announced that the country had 34 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. With this announcement came further measures designed to halt the spread of Covid-19, including the immediate closure of all tea and shisha stalls, a 7pm-6am curfew, and the closure of all bars. These measures follow on from earlier government decrees that banned large gatherings, suspended international flights, limited all international and inter-state travel, and shut down all non-essential service providers, amongst other measures.

On 7 May, with the number of cases in South Sudan increasing rapidly (as of 12 May, there are 174 confirmed cases), the Presidency announced an immediate relaxation of the lockdown, with the beginning of curfew moved to 10pm, the re-opening of shops and restaurants, provided that social distancing is followed, and the promise that internal travel within South Sudan shall resume soon.

Covid-19 is highly likely to cause significant mortality in South Sudan. If the spread of the virus follows patterns that have occurred elsewhere in Africa, cases in South Sudan could be in the hundreds of thousands in June. The country has a young population, and thus, like elsewhere in East Africa, can hope to avoid the shocking death rates amongst the old that Italy and other Western European countries have witnessed. Yet, much is not yet known about how Covid-19 will interact with other comorbidities that are prevalent in South Sudan such as malaria, hepatitis, yellow fever, measles and malnutrition. Across Africa, high levels of TB, untreated HIV, diabetes and hypertension may all put people at increased risk of severe Covid-19. To combat these risks, the South Sudanese government introduced draconian measures that are unlikely to be successful.

The lockdown measures imposed on 28 April and partially lifted on 7 May effectively import into South Sudan the approach to the virus that has been taken by much of Europe, and ignore alternative strategies that might be feasible in this context.

There are two possible justifications for ‘lock-down’. In China, the government effectively erected a cordon sanitaire around Hubei and implemented firm restrictions on movement within this cordon, successfully containing the virus. In Europe, lockdown has attempted to ‘flatten the curve’ – slow the spread of the virus so that medical services do not become overwhelmed, due to an excessive demand, for instance, on intensive care units.

Neither of these conditions pertain to South Sudan. Confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Sudan are not restricted to a single area, so there is no dangerous population to isolate (cases have rather first appeared in Juba and in the border areas with Uganda, with unconfirmed cases now apparent in clusters across South Sudan).

Plus, there is inadequate state capacity to meaningfully implement lockdown on the scale that we have seen in China or South Korea – places where it has worked effectively. Even at the best of times, state capacity would fall far short of what is required for such measures, and currently, while the transitional government is still being appointed, there are no country commissioners and serious ambiguities over sub-national authority. Any implementation of lockdown is likely to be piecemeal, focused on the poor, and aggravate already-existing state–society tensions.

South Sudan’s medical infrastructure is also not sufficiently equipped for a strategy of ‘flattening the curve’ to be meaningful; in a country with five vice-presidents, there are only four ventilators. The UN has expanded the bed capacity from a few dozen in hospitals in major cities, but even this small increase is unlikely to be matched with even basic equipment and health professionals. At the same time, South Sudan’s limited medical infrastructure has suddenly become of great interest to the country’s elite. In prior years, this elite sought help abroad. However, with the closing of the borders of regional neighbours like Uganda and Kenya, it is unclear whether the elite can still seek to be treated elsewhere, and thus, the state of South Sudan’s own infrastructure has become of pressing importance.

At the same time, according to many South Sudanese across the country, the lockdown is itself a function of the leadership’s fear of a virus that fails to distinguish between rich and poor, especially when medical infrastructure is available to neither. The lockdown primarily functions to try and protect the political elite, at the cost of South Sudanese society, which cannot easily bear the costs of lockdown. South Sudanese also accuse their leaders of setting up the Covid-19 Taskforce to divert aid for their own private benefit. This is already happening in Somalia and threatens to have serious, violent political consequences. South Sudanese accusations are driven by the political elites’ past indifference to previous problems faced by the country. All over the world, the implementation of lockdown orders has revealed stark inequalities between wealthy classes with sufficient resources to isolate and socially distance, and a class on which they depend: those who do not have the financial resources to isolate and whose labour is necessary for society to function. In South Sudan, this divide is particularly egregious. The only people in South Sudan even potentially able to endure a lockdown are the political class.

It is thus darkly ironic that some of the political elite are acting as if the rules do not apply to them. Last month, the pastor Abraham Chol was arrested for violating the order banning large gatherings, and sentenced to a month in prison. However, in footage widely shared on South Sudanese social media, the military and police officers present at his trial were themselves not obeying social distancing instructions. Further images have circulated of SPLA-IO defectors to the government gathering in defiance of the government’s own order, and not obeying social distancing requirements. Some military leaders have refused to let their children be tested or quarantined. Murle leader David Yau Yau flew to Juba on 26 April, defying the ban on inter-state movement. While the lockdown has been imported into South Sudan to protect the elite, it is unlikely to be successful. As we have seen, it is the elite themselves who are most likely to travel abroad, break social distancing requirements, and become the main vectors for viral transmission.

Rather than these measures blocking transmission of the virus, it is likely that the reaction to Covid-19 will be as deadly as the disease itself, especially as it increases vulnerability to hunger and other possible comorbidities. A friend in Western Bahr el Ghazal (South Sudan) recently told us that he was suffering from Covid-20. We queried: surely you mean Covid-19? No, he corrected us, Covid-20, that is what we are calling hunger these days. ‘It is a virus worse than Covid’. Lockdown measures are putting people out of work, and putting increased pressure on scarce resources. Covid-20 is not bringing about a new world, but is reproducing and intensifying existing situations of hunger and inequality.

Already, the closure of the land border with Uganda and other international restrictions has seen food prices spiral in April 2020, with the price of a kilogram of maize in Juba going from 159 SSP to 298 SSP. At the same time as food prices are increasing, stay-at-home orders are ripping through South Sudanese society’s capacity to provide for itself. Even if everyone – including the elite – followed the government’s mandated rules for lockdown, it would still not be a viable strategy for South Sudan. There is not a sufficiently developed service economy that would allow people to do work-at-home jobs. Indeed, the measures announced on 28 April, including the ban on selling tea, are likely to hit some of the poorest and most disadvantaged members of South Sudanese society, as they have in neighbouring Uganda. At the same time, there are not sufficient government resources to engage in the sort of income replacement measures we have seen work in Canada or Denmark, for example.

The partial lifting of the lockdown on 7 May is welcome, and will alleviate some of the worst consequences of these measures, by allowing tea sellers to work and businesses to resume. It should also allow humanitarians, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, to bring urgently needed health workers to the places most in need. However, the incoherence of South Sudanese policy comes with its own risks, as allowing inter-state travel to resume might bring a wave of people leaving urban areas such as Juba, where food and rent are expensive, and returning to rural areas, risking the further spread of Covid-19.

In addition, the disturbances created by the lockdown measures are likely to intensify the threat of other illnesses, such as malaria, cholera, malnutrition, and measles, as resources become scarcer, international NGOs find it more difficult to move around and replace staff, and already-minimal health services become even harder to access. The situation remains particularly difficult in the Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs). Conditions in the PoCs, in terms of population density and the impossibility of social distancing measures, are akin to the conditions in prisons, and it is in prisons that we have seen particular challenges during Covid-19.

The very structure of South Sudanese society makes lockdown and social distancing very difficult to implement. In South Sudan’s urban areas, much of the population lives in sufficient density that social distancing is not possible; there is also not sufficient clean water, in many places, for handwashing to be a viable strategy, and there are acute shortages of masks. People also rely on the daily collection of water and purchase of food, forcing regular interactions. There is no social basis for quarantine to occur.

In many rural areas, in contrast, where low population densities function as their own sort of social distance, forms of work and living require close contact between members of society. The deep social and economic connections between towns and rural areas also make it impossible to isolate and protect rural areas. Elites often move between rural areas and the towns, and these are precisely the people which police and soldiers cannot restrain. The best hope rural areas have for protection from Covid-19 is the early intensification of the rainy season that interrupts rural travel by road and by air.

As elsewhere in the world, Covid-19 is not bringing about a ‘new normal’ but rather intensifying already existing trends in society. Covid-19 presents opportunities to authoritarian governments throughout Africa to extend their control of society. The same is true in South Sudan. The lockdown measures have further concentrated power in the hands of the security state in South Sudan, which has become increasingly powerful in recent years. Lockdown will also intensify the separation between a Juba-based political elite class with access to resources and the rest of the country, increasingly immiserated and struggling for basic resources. The measures announced on 28 April will do nothing to stop the spread of Covid-19, but may increase the spread of the sentiment that the political elite in Juba is acting only in its own interests.

About the author: Naomi Pendle is a Research Fellow based at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa ( London School of Economics and Political Science).



Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The South Sudan Herald is not liable for any comment submitted by individuals authors and reserve the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com

S. Sudan joins battle against COVID-19, pledges $1 million to AUF, Africa CDC

Africa’s Map featuring African Union member states affected by the COVID-19 pandemic/Photo: Africa CDC

May 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan, one of the African Union member states, has joined the rest of the African countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, pledging $750,000 to African Union Fund and $250,000 to the Africa Centres for Disease (Africa-CDC).

The announcement came on Thursday following an urgent meeting held at the State House by the Presidency.

“The Presidency has approved the amount of $ 750,000.00 as contribution of the Republic of South Sudan to African Union Fund (AUF) to fight COVID-19,” the Presidency said on Thursday.

“The Presidency further approved the amount of $ 250,000 as contribution of the Republic of South Sudan to the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC).”

The Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) is a flagship continental body, supporting and cooperating with African Union member states in providing coordinated and integrated solutions to deficiencies in public healthcare services.

South Sudan’s m–GURUSH launches its International remittance service through App across Africa

April 30, 2020 (Thessherald)– South Sudan’s first Mobile Money service, m–GURUSH has launched its International remittance service on their Mobile Money Platform.

The service was launched by the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan Hon. Jamal Wani Abdalla. This is yet another ground breaking innovative feature that will enable customers to conveniently send money across Africa and beyond using their mobile phones.

Customers will now be able to send money across East Africa and beyond. The customers will be able to send this money digitally in form of US Dollars or South Sudanese Pounds from their m-GURUSH account from the comfort and safety of their homes.

The international remittance service will enable m-GURUSH registered customers to send and receive money to several countries across the globe using mobile money. “The service will be particularly beneficial to the South Sudanese living in East Africa who will now be able to receive money using the existing mobile money services such as m-Pesa in Kenya and MTN Mobile Money in Uganda. This will further spur socio- economic development in South Sudan and digitally connect South Sudan to her other East African Community counterparts. ” Hon. Jamal Wani Abdalla , the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan said as he officiated the launch of the service.

Depending on the recipient’s destination, the customer, can either send funds directly to a recipient’s bank account or to a mobile wallet. At the same time, the m-GURUSH International remittance service enables the South Sudanese in the diaspora in several countries around the world to send money home.

This is a fast, convenient and secure way to support loved ones by sending funds outside the country or receiving funds back home from outside the country.

The service will be accessed by customers dialing *355# on the Zain network and also through the mGURUSH application which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia confirm first COVID-19 cases today

(Thessherald)–Three east African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan – have confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic virus in 2019.

In Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute confirmed on Friday that a 48-year-old Japanese citizen who came from Burkina Faso had been tested positive and quarantined in a health facility to control the transmission of the virus.

“The person found positive is a 48 year old Japanese citizen who came to Ethiopia on March 4, 2020 from Burkina Faso,” confirmed the Ministry of Health.

“Ethiopia has put in place a disease surveillance program since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, and it has now identified the first positive case in the country. The patient is currently isolated at our facility.”

The Ethiopian government stated that the case is being addressed and that those who may have been in close contact with the patient are being tracked and quarantined when they are found as part of preventive measures against the transmission of the virus.

“He is undergoing medical follow up and is in a stable condition. Those who have been in contact with this person are being traced and quarantined. Since fear and panic are as dangerous as the disease itself, this first positive case in the country should not let us lower our guard but should propel us to redouble our effort to control the disease.”

In Kenya

On Friday, The Ministry of Health confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nairobi and was the first of its kind to be reported in Kenya since the outbreak in China in late 2019.

“The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020. She was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital,” the Ministry of Health explained in a statement obtained by The South Sudan Herald.

“The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures. I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness capacities since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the available resources to respond to this case,” the statement added.

The Government traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya.

–In Sudan

The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 of a man who died on Thursday after traveling to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, bringing the number of COVID-19 cases to 170 in African countries.