Namibia bans poultry imports from South Africa due to bird flu
Namibia has suspended imports of live poultry, birds, and poultry products from South Africa following the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the neighbouring country.
The suspension is in effect until further notice, the agriculture ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.
South Africa is facing a major bird flu outbreak that poultry producer Quantum Foods said last week had killed about 2 million chickens.
Another South African poultry producer, Astral Foods, said the total cost associated with the outbreak amounted to about 220 million rand ($11.5 million). Namibia consumes an estimated 2,500 tons of chicken every month, relying on imports mainly from South Africa.
Uganda suspends 11 staff over fake gorilla permits
Uganda’s wildlife authority has suspended 11 employees over the suspected sale of fake gorilla permits.
The government agency, which sells passes allowing tourists to see gorillas up close, said it had found anomalies among its online transactions.
According to the BBC, Bashir Hang, a spokesperson from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), said the possibility that staff and tour operators had worked together to commit fraud was being investigated.
The agency added that it had not yet established how much money it had lost to the suspected fraud. State-run New Vision newspaper said that some UWA bosses are set to be questioned about the scandal.
Gorillas generate significant tourism revenue for Uganda, and some of the money goes towards wildlife conservation efforts.
French ambassador to Niger leaves as relations nosedive after coup
France’s ambassador to Niger left the country early on Wednesday morning, around one month after the military government ordered his expulsion and days after President Emmanuel Macron said the diplomat would be pulled out and French troops withdrawn.
Relations between Niger and France, its former colonial ruler, which maintained a military presence in the country to help fight Islamist insurgents, have broken down since army officers seized power in Niamey in July.
The junta had ordered French ambassador Sylvain Itte to leave the country within 48 hours at the end of August in response to what they described as actions by France that were “contrary to the interests of Niger”.
France initially ignored the order, sticking to its stance that the military government was illegitimate and calling for the reinstatement of elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who was toppled in the July coup.
But Macron announced on Sunday that the ambassador would return to Paris and French troops would leave.
Two security sources in Niger disclosed to Reuters that he had flown out of the country. The President’s Office in Paris later confirmed the news.
There have been almost daily protests against France in Niamey since the military took power. Crowds of junta supporters have spent days camping outside a French military base to demand the troops’ departure.
Macron had said Itte and his staff were being held hostage at the embassy.
Nigeria unions call indefinite strike over living costs
Nigeria’s two largest labour unions have declared an indefinite strike to begin next Tuesday in protest over how the government is responding to the rising cost of living and hardships.
The National Labour Congress or NLC and the Trade Union Congress or TUC accused the government of failing to ease the financial burden for Nigerians, worsened by the recent removal of the subsidy on fuel.
“It’s going to be a total shutdown until the government meets the demand of Nigerian workers and Nigerian masses,” the union leaders said in a joint statement sighted by BBC News.
They called on all workers to stop activities from Tuesday, October 3 and said they would organise street protests.
Food and commodity prices have risen in recent months owing to the increase in the cost of fuel, which has pushed up production and transport costs.
Nigeria’s currency, the naira, has also fallen significantly against the US dollar, exchanging at an average of 780 naira to $1, which has increased the cost of imports.
The government had appealed to the union leaders to suspend the strike and allow room for negotiations, citing the impending damage the strike could cause to the economy.
President Bola Tinubu said ending the fuel subsidy was essential as it was too costly to keep the price of petrol artificially low.
Morocco to host 2025 Africa Cup of Nations
The president of the Confederation of African Football or CAF, Patrice Motsepe, has announced Morocco as the host for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations or AFCON, BBC Africa Sport confirms.
It will be the second time the North African country has hosted the tournament, having first staged it in 1988. The other 2025 contenders – Algeria, Zambia and a joint Benin/Nigeria bid – all agreed to withdraw, which left Morocco as the only candidate.
Hosting AFCON will allow Morocco a greater chance of bringing the World Cup to Africa in 2030 as part of a joint bid. AFCON 2027 has been awarded to a joint bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
It takes Africa’s showpiece men’s football event to East Africa for the first time since 1976, when Ethiopia hosted. The next edition, AFCON 2023, will be held in Ivory Coast and will kick off on January 13 2024.