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COVID-19: Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo opens land, sea borders after 2 years

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Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo has announced the opening of sea and land borders, 2 years he announced the closure of borders to the West African country in the wake of the global pandemic – Covid-19.

The president made the announcement in his 28th Covid-19 address on Monday. The announcement takes effect immediately.

The president stressed that the economy would soon rebound and cited a “review premised on the background of rapidly declining Covid-19 infections, the relative success of the vaccination campaign … and the increased capacity in the public and private health sectors”.

The World Health Organization says Ghana has so far vaccinated over 14 million people with a single dose and over five million fully vaccinated – 16.3% of the population.

A vaccination overview obtained from https://ourworldindata.org/

The president also declared that all in-person activities such as private parties, churches, mosques, cinemas are to resume at full capacity as long as the audience is fully vaccinated while fully vaccinated travellers to Ghana will not have to take tests when they leave for the West African country nor will they have to take a test upon arrival in Ghana.

According to the World Bank, Ghana’s rapid growth was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 lockdown, and a sharp decline in commodity exports. The economy had grown at an average of 7 percent in 2017-19, before experiencing a sharp contraction in the second and third quarters of 2020.

The economic slowdown had a considerable impact on households. The poverty rate is estimated to have slightly increased from 25 percent in 2019 to 25.5 percent in 2020.

With the declaration of the opening of borders, Ghana’s economy is projected to recover gradually over the medium term, thanks to commodity price growth and strong domestic demand. The West African country largely depends on cross-border trade with Togo, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.

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Five killed as opposition protesters clash with security agencies in Somaliland

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At least five persons were killed on Thursday as a demonstration by Somaliland opposition members protesting over fears of a delayed election, turned bloody as security forces tried to repel the demonstrators from destroying properties.

An opposition leader said the police opened fire on the demonstrators after accusing them of not following officers’ instructions.

Hundreds of people took part in the protests across the country after talks between the government and opposition failed and the opposition accused authorities of trying to delay the election.

President Muse Bihi Abdi who confirmed the incident in a statement on Friday, said the five were killed in the capital, Hargeisa, and the towns of Burao and Erigavo in the northern region that separates the breakaway country from Somalia.

Abdi also confirmed that almost 100 others were wounded, with most of them members of security forces.

The president however, blamed opposition groups for the unrest, reiterating that unauthorized protests would not be tolerated and dissidents would be crushed.

Main opposition leader, Abdirahman Mohamed Irro, said despite the killings, protests will continue until the presidential election is held on November 13 as pronounced by Abdi.

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Mali declares 3 days warning after deadliest terrorist attack

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Troubled West African country, Mali declared three days of national mourning following the deadliest recent attacks by Islamist militants.

In a recent ambush on Sunday , 42 soldiers were killed in the northern region of Gao. A statement by the army claimed jihadi extremists used drones, artillery and booby-trapped vehicles.

Armed groups affiliated with al-Qa’ida, have for some time attacked military bases in the West African country. They claimed responsibility for attacks on Mali’s main military base in an attack last month.

Terrorists also recently killed 15 soldiers and three civilians in two separate operations in southwest Mali.

Meanwhile, Mali on Thursday announced the delivery of aircrafts L-39 and Sukhoi-25 jets as well as Mi-24P helicopter gunships were displayed during a ceremony from Russia.

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies. It started by breaking defence alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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