Nigeria’s central bank launches healthcare scheme to boost local manufacturing of drugs

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled a grant Scheme to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The Scheme, called the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) is intended “to boost domestic manufacturing of critical drugs and vaccines” within the country, as the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the country continues to grow, showcasing the need for…

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Global economy to hit 75-year low in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic

AFRICA – The coronavirus pandemic and shutdown measures to contain it have plunged the global economy into a severe contraction.   According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year. That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War, with the largest fraction of economies experiencing declines in per capita output since 1870, the World Bank said in its June 2020 Global Economic Prospects.  Sub-Saharan Africa has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic activity collapsed in the first half of this year. The…

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Drought, corona virus to slow Morocco’s economic growth to 2%

MOROCCO – Morocco’s economic growth is expected to be revised downwards to near 2% in 2020 from an initial forecast of 3.5% due to drought and the corona virus pandemic, Ahmed Lahlimi the head of Morocco’s planning agency (HCP) has said. Lahlimi in an interview with Reuters said that as a result of the drought which has ravaged many farmlands and the corona virus which has badly affected tourism, “Growth this year will witness the steepest drop in 20 years”. Lahlimi noted that Morocco’s volatile agricultural sector which accounts for…

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Coronavirus exposes Nigeria’s reliance on China, spells doom for an already strained economy

NIGERIA – The raging Coronavirus has ravaged economies through out the world, the worst hit being China which has been forced to effect far-reaching containment measures that have not only hurt its economies but those of others that rely on China for exports and imports. Nigeria is among some of the major economies in Africa that heavily rely on China and it is expected to be among the worst hit in the continent. According to a Punch Nigeria report, China accounts for around a quarter of Nigerian imports, greasing much…

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Corona virus induced flight disruptions could cost Africa airlines US$40m in revenues this year- IATA

AFRICA – Coronavirus disruption could cost African airlines US$40 million in revenue this year, the International Air Transport Association has revealed. According to a report by Reuters, such a colossal loss would be a potentially devastating hit to often struggling airlines counting on lucrative Chinese routes to fund expansion. IATA  had previously projected that African airlines would make a loss of around US$200 million this year, similar to 2019. The Corona virus just complicates issues for African airlines even further. Airlines around the world have suspended or modified flights after…

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Royal Air Maroc temporarily suspends Beijing flights due to Corona Virus

Royal Air Maroc

MOROCCO – Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has decided to temporarily suspend its flights between Casablanca and Beijing from Friday, January 31 to February 29. The company attributed the suspension to a “sharp drop” in bookings for flights between the two cities. The Moroccan airline said that “Customers scheduled initially on this air route, beyond January 31, will be personally notified through information provided in their reservation files”. Royal Air Maroc further noted that the customers whose flights had been suspended will be offered new travel dates at…

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