Africa Manufacturing 

Manufacturing sector in Nigeria and the reality of a “new normal”

Across the globe, there is a pervading awareness that things will never be the same in the post-pandemic era. Already, some business ventures that were once considered the ‘crème’ of the global economy have taken serious hits in unimaginable measures, and some of the little ones which were regarded as below the rung, are fast rising to match up. With the new social rules in place, some businesses have come to the sad realisation that they may have to remain closed for much longer than they expected. Even for those…

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Africa Covid19 

World Bank approves $114.3m grant for Nigeria to boost COVID-19 response

The World Bank Board of Directors, on Friday, approved a $114.28 million financing package to help Nigeria effectively respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 to the country’s economy. The grant includes $100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14.28 million from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to prevent, detect and respond to the threat with a specific focus on state level responses. Through the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP), the World Bank said the Nigerian government would provide grants to the 36 states and the Federal…

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Covid19 North America 

Congress Put the Brakes on Cuba Relief to Protect Front-Line Democrat

several House Democrats quietly killed an attempt to roll back aspects of the Trump administration’s sanctions on Cuba, which have exacerbated the economic fallout of the pandemic and hit the country with severe food and medicine shortages to protect a front-line Democrat. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill had proposed two Cuba-related amendments to the appropriations bill, aimed at alleviating the Trump administration’s efforts to strangle the country’s economy and returning to Obama-era policy. One of the measures would have prohibited officials from blocking food and medicine exports to Cuba, while the…

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Africa Covid19 

‘We have now reached the surge’: South Africa braces for deadly impact of coronavirus COVID-19

In a country named by the World Bank as the most unequal place on earth, the coronavirus has ripped open old wounds in South Africa. Despite the end of white minority rule more than two decades ago, some experts suggest a recent lockdown has highlighted how urban areas are still divided along racial lines. As predominantly white South Africans isolated themselves in suburban compounds with gardens and space, community advocate Edward Molopi says many black people didn’t have that luxury. “Data from the Western Cape demonstrates that black townships have…

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Covid19 North America 

COVID-19 exposing Canada’s dependency on temporary foreign workers in the agri-food sector

Edible mushrooms are a cash crop for Canada’s agricultural capitalists, and the multimillion-dollar industry is tied to high foreign demand. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the domestic mushroom industry has faced a 30 to 50 percent loss in production that has forced the closure of many farms, and placed the health and status of the majority of the industry’s foreign workers at risk. Nearly 200,000 tons of mushrooms are produced in Canada annually, according to Statistics Canada. The province of Ontario accounts for half of national mushroom…

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