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President Patrice Talon of Benin to head West Africa’s sub-regional body, WAEMU

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In the push for greater regional integration with unified external tariffs in the West Africa sub-region, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) has appointed President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin as its new head.

The sub-regional bloc is made up of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

President Patrice Talon would be the first President of Benin to head the sub-regional institution. He will take office in one month during a virtual summit, according to Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aurelien Agbenonci.

The minister said, “his mandate will be placed under the sign of a desire for reform and good governance, in a spirit of permanent consultation with the other heads of state. His intention is not to give lessons to anyone.

Talon’s appointment was agreed upon on Friday by heads of respective member states during a joint summit of WAEMU and the Economic Community of West Africa State (ECOWAS) in Accra.

President Tallon takes over from Roch Christian Kaboré, former head of state of Burkina Faso who was ousted from office in a coup in January 2022.

Speaking about his appointment, Benin’s Foreign Minister stated that Benin had also requested its minister of economy and finance to also head the ministerial council of the union.

This according to Benin will improve cohesion and also speed up initiatives by the union.

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Politics

Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

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An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and the military.

The arrangement is toward elections and ends a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

The power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition was delayed due to the absence of a Prime Minister after a coup in 2021.

The military under the new arrangement agreed it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilians should control politics and guide foreign policy. Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Recall that Sudanese politician, Wagdi Salih was released from prison on Sunday ahead of the discussion surrounding the coalition agreement.

Meanwhile, the transition plan does not seem to have sat well with some session of the public as security officers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters about 1-1/2km from the presidential palace on Monday over the development.

One of the protesters, 36-year-old state employee Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman, said. “We want justice for our martyrs, trial for the military, and civilian rule.” “We will defeat this agreement because it is an extension of the coup.”

Will the arrangement lead to lasting progress in the political crises facing the East African country?

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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