What’s Going On: Senegal appoints new prime minister, Ghana declares end of Marburg virus outbreak

notable headlines from around the continent

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.

Ghana declares end of Marburg virus outbreak

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has officially declared Ghana free from the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed in July. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Marburg virus disease, which belongs in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease, is a highly virulent disease that causes haemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88%. This was the first time the disease was detected in Ghana.

GHS’s director general Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye made the declaration on behalf of the Minister of Health in a statement, saying that “appropriate outbreak response to Marburg disease has been implemented during the 42 days following the last negative PCR result for the sole surviving patient with a recommendation by WHO. Ghana has therefore successfully interrupted the first Marburg virus disease outbreak and hereby declare that the outbreak is over,” he added.

The outbreak was declared on 7 July 2022 after laboratory confirmation of the virus that affected the Ashanti, Savannah and Western regions. The statement revealed that a total of 198 contacts were identified, monitored and completed their recommended initial 21-day observation period which was then extended for another 21 days out of an abundance of caution by the Ghanaian health authorities. In total, there were three confirmed cases, with two deaths recorded.

Senegal’s president appoint new prime minister

Senegal’s president Macky Sall named Amadou Ba as the new prime minister on Saturday, a position he abolished in 2019 and reinstated last year. The appointment comes after July’s tense legislative elections and five days after the return of parliament in the country.

The 61-year-old Amadou Ba served as minister of finance and economy under Sall between 2013 and 2019 before becoming foreign minister in 2019 until 2020. “The major priorities that the president has outlined include improving household purchasing power, taming inflation, security, housing, vocational training, employment and entrepreneurship,” Ba said on national television after a meeting with Sall on Saturday. Later on Sunday, Sall appointed a new government that included 38 ministers. Ministers from the previous government—defence, interior, foreign affairs and finance—remained unchanged.

Sall, 60, was elected into power in 2012, ruling for seven years. In 2019, he was re-elected for another five years. Sall’s reign has been plagued with concerns over wanting to break the two-term limit and run again in 2024. Last year, protests began in Senegal after Ousmane Sonko, Sall’s main opponent who came third in the 2019 presidential election, was arrested on rape charges, which he denied. Many observers saw Sonko’s arrest as a ploy by Sall to sideline a potential competitor.

Special adviser to Congolese resigns amid bribery scandal

Vidiye Tshimanga, a special adviser to Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi, resigned on Friday after footage showed him promising to facilitate a mining investment in exchange for a “percentage.”

According to AFP, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Swiss newspaper Le Temps published an investigation on Thursday, which implicated Tshimanga. The investigation showed Tshimanga promising two unidentified people, who claimed to represent a Hong Kong-based conglomerate interested in minerals, to protect their investment in the DRC. “If we do business together, I will take my percentage of the investment,” Tshimanga said in the footage. He also underlined his connection with Tshisekedi saying that he had financed the president’s campaign. “If I ask him something, he gives,” Tshimanga said.

French footballer Paul Pogba’s brother is detained over alleged extortion plot

Mathias Pogba, 32, has been detained and placed under formal investigation over an alleged plot to extort money from his brother, French international Paul Pogba. He admitted his involvement in a video that appeared online last month promising “revelations” about his 29-year-old brother.

Four other suspects, aged 27 to 36 years, who are relatives of the Pogba brothers, have been placed under formal investigation for charges involving extortion with a weapon, kidnapping in an organised gang and criminal conspiracy. “We are going to challenge this decision,” Mathias’ lawyer Yassine Bouzrou told French broadcaster BFMTV. “Justice notes that the most serious offence charged (kidnapping) does not concern my client, and unfortunately, we have a decision that goes against a case.” He added that Mathias is “an individual who has never been talked about, who has a clean criminal record, who is not a thug, who is presumed innocent.”

On 16 July, Paul Pogba filed a complaint with Turin prosecutors claiming he was the target of a 13 million euros (£11.29m) blackmail plot. He told the investigators that he had been trapped by childhood friends and two hooded men holding assault rifles. The group blamed him for not having helped them financially.

Tunisia hikes prices in bid to cut subsidies

Over the weekend, government authorities in Tunisia shared that it was raising the price of cooking gas cylinders by 14% and fuel by 3% as part of a plan to reduce energy subsidies, a policy change which is said to be wanted by the country’s international lenders.

The Energy Ministry said the cooking gas price will increase to 8.800 dinars from 7.750 dinars, in the first raise in 12 years while the gasoline price will be raised on Tuesday to 2.400 dinars per litre from 2.330 dinars, a 3% increase. The rise in fuel prices is the fourth this year in the country which already suffers from an ongoing financial crisis. The North African country is struggling to revive its economy, which is challenged by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war. The inflation steadily increased and edged to 8.6% in August, compared to 8.2% in July.

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