Is Sudan on the brink of another civil war?

On Saturday, April 15th, a clash broke out in Khartoum between Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the army in an alleged power tussle.  According to Reuters, the Sudanese Doctors’ Union declared at least 25 people dead and 183 people wounded, as of Saturday. Earlier in the week, the Sudanese army warned of the risk of confrontation after General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalothe led the mobilisation of para-military force in the capital Khartoum and other cities.

Also, the country’s airspace has been shut down following the crisis and the Khartoum International Airport witnessed violent attacks. At least, two commercial planes were destroyed, flights were cancelled and some people were injured in the process. This development has hindered flights from leaving or entering Khartoum Airport. Some of the airline operators affected include Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Flynas, flydubai, Egyptair, and SAUDIA, among others.

Kenya launches satellite into space

Last week, Kenya launched its first operational earth observation satellite, Taifa-1 satellite, onboard a SpaceX rocket from the United States. The launch follows three initial cancellations necessitated by bad weather. Nine Kenyan engineers developed the satellite -with the help of Endurosat, a Bulgian company- to collect agricultural and environmental data, including on floods, drought and wildfires for disaster management and to combat food insecurity.

In the past couple of years, Kenya has experienced severe climate conditions including flooding, drought and locust outbreaks. Early in the month, on the 2nd of April, flash floods caused severe damage in Taita-Taveta County in southern Kenya, leaving four people dead and displacing many from their homes. It further destroyed the livelihoods of local farmers.

Ghana takes a chance at a novel malaria vaccine

Ghana has approved, and wants to explore, a new malaria vaccine from Oxford University. The vaccine is yet to undergo the publication of its final-stage trial data. Ghana is working hard to curb the penetration of the malaria parasite within its borders, making it the first African country in the world to approve a new malaria vaccine.

Between 2008 to 2019, malaria was the prevalent cause of death among children under the age of five, followed by people aged 15 to 49 years, a report shows. As of 2019, malaria has caused roughly 21.6 thousand deaths in the country.

The West African country’s population is a little over 30 million people and malaria is a major cause of death in the country. In 2020, close to 5.9 million cases of malaria were diagnosed, a drop from 6.7 million diagnoses in the previous year. 

ICYMI: Market roundup

The market opened for four trading days last week as the federal government of Nigeria declared Monday 10th April 2023 as a public holiday to mark the easter celebration. 

  • The NGX All-Share Index dropped by -0.10% (-51.95) to close the week ending the 14th of April at 51,893.94 points.
  • The top gainers were Multiverse +9.96%, Transcorp +9.74%, Royal Exchange +8.93%, FTN Cocoa Processors, +8.00% and Ikeja Hotel +7.41%. On the other hand, the top decliners were Cadbury Nigeria -9.73%, Wapic Insurance -9.52%, R T Briscoe -8.33%, Sterling Bank, -7.50%, FCMB Group -6.58%
  • The naira rose to close the week at N460.54/1$ on Friday compared to the N462.25/1$ recorded the previous week.  
  • Brent crude closed the week at $86.34, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $76.33.
  • The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $$1.28 trillion, at 10 pm Sunday, the 16th of April, 2023. Bitcoin stood at $30,333.11 (a 6.83%increase in 7 days), Ethereum stood at $2,124.61 (a 13.79% increase in 7 days) and Binance coin stood at $349.73 (an 11.59% increase in 7 days).
  • FarmTrace, a South African agri-tech startup, raises funding to help it expand operations.
  • Nigeria’s SPLIQ DEFI launches to create more utility for NFTs.
  • Ghana’s Farmerline expands operations to Francophone Africa with Ivory Coast launch.

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