Tag Archives: Senegal

Fmr Senegal Minister of Finance, Makhtar Diop gets World Bank appointment.

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Diop, currently World Bank vice president for infrastructure and previously vice president for Africa, will take his new post at the IFC on March 1.

The World Bank on Thursday announced it selected former Senegal finance minister Makhtar Diop to lead the agency responsible for private sector finance at a critical time for the global recovery.

He would be the first African to lead the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which leverages financing to support private firms in developing nations.

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The announcement comes just days after the World Trade Organization selected Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its new director-general, the first African and first woman to serve in that role.

File Photo: Former Senegal’s Finance Minister, Diop Makhtar | Noble Reporters Media | Adigun Michael Olamide | NoRM News

Noting his “deep development and finance experience,” World Bank President David Malpass said, Diop’s “skills at IFC will help the World Bank Group continue our rapid response to the global crisis and help build a green, resilient, inclusive recovery.”

Diop, currently World Bank vice president for infrastructure and previously vice president for Africa, will take his new post at the IFC on March 1.

The Washington-based development lender said Diop’s key responsibilities will be to “deepen and energize” what it called the IFC’s 3.0 strategy to mobilize private capital, increase climate and gender investments and support countries facing conflict.

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“It also aims to expand IFC’s impact in the poorest and most fragile countries, with a goal to more than triple IFC’s annual own-account investments,” the World Bank said.

Diop, an economist who studied in Britain, worked in finance before entering government. He was named Senegal’s minister of Economy and Finance in April 2000, a position he held for just over a year.

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#Newsworthy

Trouble looms in Senegal.

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Sonko’s current whereabouts are unknown. Senegal’s government was also not immediately available for comment.

Dozens of supporters of Senegalese opposition figure Ousmane Sonko clashed with police in the capital Dakar on Monday, an AFP journalist said, after a beautician accused the politician of rape.

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Sonko finished third in 2019 election, which saw President Macky Sall win a second term in office, and is considered a future presidential contender in the West African state.

But controversy has dogged the politician since early this month when Senegalese media reported that an employee of a beauty salon had filed rape charges against him.

Sonko denied the charges in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday evening, explaining that he had visited the salon to receive massages to relieve back pain.

The 46-year-old head of the opposition Pastef party added that the rape accusation was an “attempt at political liquidation,” noting that two people had always been present during the massages.

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“I explicitly accuse Macky Sall… of fomenting this political plot against me,” he said.

A Pastef official told AFP that Sonko had refused to attend a police summons on Monday.

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On Twitter, Sonko said he could not attend because he had parliamentary immunity, but added that he would speak to investigators were his immunity lifted.

Supporters of the senegalese political figure Ousmane Sonko clashes with security forces on february 8, 2021. – Dozens of supporters of Senegalese opposition figure Ousmane Sonko clashed with police in the capital Dakar on Monday, an AFP journalist said, after a beautician accused the politician of rape. Sonko finished third in 2019 election, which saw President Macky Sall win a second term in office, and is considered a future presidential contender in the West African state. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP)

Dozens of supporters gathered outside Sonko’s residence in Dakar on Monday and hurled rocks at police officers, according to an AFP journalist. Officers fired teargas canisters to disperse them.

Sonko’s current whereabouts are unknown. Senegal’s government was also not immediately available for comment.

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The rape scandal comes amid uncertainty about whether 59-year-old Sall will run for a third term.

Presidents in the former French colony are limited to two consecutive terms.

However, Sall launched a constitutional review in 2016, raising suspicions that he intends to run again.

Other presidents in the region have used constitutional changes to extend their grip on power.

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Last year, in Guinea, 82-year-old President Alpha Conde won a controversial third term in October after pushing through a new constitution that allowed him to bypass a two-term limit.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, 78, was also elected for an equally contentious third term, after having revised the country’s constitution.

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#Newsworthy

Liverpool star, Sadio Mane test positive for COVID-19

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Liverpool and Senegalese forward Sadio Mane is in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, his club said in a statement on Friday.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Inferno hit Dakar’s memorial market.

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Firefighters worked through the night in a bid to stop a huge blaze that destroyed Dakar’s historic market.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Teacher in Senegal crowdfunds school rebuild

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Schoolteacher Mamadou Junior Diakhaté is on a mission to rebuild a school in Senegal in time for students to pass their exams to enter high school.

The teacher nicknamed “Junior” used his social media accounts to crowdfund the rebuild and has raised about 3,000 euros.

The institution was shut due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and only pupils who were sitting the tests could partially return in June, coinciding with the heavy rain period.

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“This school must host students on September 14th for exams and look at the state of the classrooms. So we came to give a hand,” said Diakhaté.

“With the money we buy equipment, then we publish on social media the invoices, everything the money was use for. We show before and after photos and regular updates. So people trust us because they see that their donation is used for something and not used for other purposes .”-

Thanks to his popular Twitter page, he has raised about 3,000 euros. But he says one headteacher accused him of playing politics.

But many other schools in the country are in the same state. He’s received about 40 requests from schools in similar conditions.


#Newsworthy…

Akon City Underway In Senegal.

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Business Development in Africa
Akon City, the futuristic pan-African city named after and envisioned by Senegalese-American Hip hop R&B recording artist Akon, is officially underway. Located in Mbodiene, Senegal some 100 kilometres from the capital, the grammy-nominated star intends for this project to provide much-needed jobs to the Senegalese and serve as home to people of African ancestry in the Diaspora who feel out of place due to racial injustice they face outside the Motherland.

Akon City is afrofuturistic
He explained, “I wanted to build a city with or a project like this, that will give them (Black Americans) the motivation that there is a home back home and it’s something they can relate to. That they are familiar with, and it’s something they don’t have to fear and they also have a choice. Because the system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way.”

Afro Diaspora and Africa
Akon, who was born in the United States to Senegalese parents, spent much of his childhood in the West African country.

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Senegalese authorities have embraced him as a native son, introducing him by his given name Aliuane Thiam and praising him for investing in Africa at a time of such global financial uncertainty.

Alioune Sarr, Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, expressed his admiration and appreciation for such a huge investment in Senegal, “This is how we show ourselves in Africa, that while Covid-19 makes all the countries of the world doubt the confidence they have in their economy, during this time, a Senegalese, an investor, who could stay in the United States all his life, decides to come and invest in his country.”

It was a true celebratory kickoff indeed on Monday as the first phase of the $6 billion project will begin in 2021 — with a third of the financial investment already secured by as yet unidentified investors due to non-disclosure agreements.

Afrofuturistic Paradise
Akon could not contain his excitement, “When this project came about that was actually before the movie (‘Black Panther’). But when the movie came it was almost like a blessing, almost like God allowed this movie to be successful for me to get compared to such success to give people that mind state that this can be possible in Africa. And it also motivated us too when we were creating the city from an architectural standpoint that it has to feel and it has to be futuristic.”

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RIP Chadwick Boseman and “Wakanda Forever” perhaps in the form of Akon City

Akon City is to be an African utopia with everything available to its inhabitants. Its own hospital, police stations, plus a seaside resort, a tech hub and even a recording studio. A hotel within the city plans is to feature rooms with themes of each of the 54 African countries. The city will also boast a zone dubbed “Senewood” that developers hope will evolve into a thriving film industry in Senegal and even have its own cryptocurrency already named AKoin.

The almost surrealist, water-like designs of Akon City will be structured out of glass and metal – and were inspired by forms of traditional African art found in villages continent-wide since the beginning of Africa’s long history.

Many compare Akon City to Wakanda, the fictional technologically advanced African kingdom in the blockbuster record-breaking movie ‘Black Panther.’ A huge honour for Akon, especially after having just lost the Chadwick Boseman at 43 years to colon cancer — the iconic and beloved actor who portrayed the royal superhero in the film and was a real-life hero to many in the global Afro community.


#Newsworthy…

As school resumes: Universities in Senegal reopening

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Senegal’s universities began reopening their doors on Tuesday after being closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the county’s largest university, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, the 78,000 students were split into three groups.

Some will attend classes in person on rotation with others who will do online classes.

Senegal has eight universities but other institutions will open later in the week.

They must now adhere to COVID-19 safety rules, which include social distancing measures.

There have been over 13,500 coronavirus cases in the country with more than 250 deaths, according to data from The World Health Organization.


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: Senegalese singer, Sidibe dies

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Senegalese singer Balla Sidibe, a founding member of the legendary Orchestra Baobab which ruled the airwaves during the 1970s, died on Wednesday in Dakar, the country’s musical association said.

Orchestra Baobab’s unique blend of Cuban rhythms, soul and jazz, along with traditional sounds drawn from across the African continent, made them one of the most successful groups to emerge from the time.

Sidibe was in his sixties and died in his sleep “after a very full day of rehearsals with his musical comrades”, the association said in a statement, adding that it had lost “a father, a sage and a friend”.

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Local media said Sidibe died after “a short illness”, without giving further details.

Sidibe was at the heart of the booming African music scene of the 1970s.

After a long hiatus, Orchestra Baobab reformed to international acclaim in the early 2000s.

“Sidibe was the doyen of the Orchestra. Frankly, we have lost two monumental musicians without compare since he was a singer and a timpani drummer — bringing the two roles together. It’s very difficult,” bandmate Thierno Kouyate told the Senegal Press Agency.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Senegal Launch Huge Aid Scheme.

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A man in Senegal’s coastal capital Dakar lifts a sack of rice onto a donkey cart, ready to take home much-needed essentials as coronavirus cases increase across the country.

He is an early beneficiary of one of West Africa’s biggest aid programmes for softening the impact of coronavirus restrictions.

Senegal has shut its borders, banned travel between cities and imposed a strict dusk-to-dawn curfew in a bid to curb the contagion, also mandating mask-wearing in government and commercial sites.

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But 40 percent of the country’s roughly 16 million people live in poverty, often working in precarious informal jobs, and the restrictions have hit them hard.

Government-chartered lorries have been hauling supplies to the working-class Dakar suburb of Guinaw-Rails, where the first families received the aid on Tuesday.

Individual aid packages are lined up in the backyard of a cultural centre, each containing 100 kilos (220 pounds) of rice and 10 kilos of soap, as well as sugar, cooking oil and pasta.

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Some 60 people were at the pickup point on Tuesday out of about 3,200 people covered under the scheme in Guinaw-Rails, which lies beside a disused railway track some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the centre.

An official from the community development ministry on the scene said that the aid was being carefully handed out to 30 households each time in order to maintain social distancing.

“Each household will be summoned at a specific time,” he said.

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The government has mobilised 888 lorries to transport provisions to all corners of the country, in a scheme worth 69 million CFA francs ($114 million, 105 million euros).

Set to benefit are one million households, comprising a projected eight to 10 million people in total.

Alongside the government handout, private companies, religious groups and local authorities are also making donations to struggling Senegalese.

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– ‘No salary’ –


Ami Sakho, a 37-year-old fishmonger who has not worked since the beginning of the outbreak, was among the first people to receive her package on Tuesday.

“I can no longer leave (the house) because of this disease,” she said, noting that she had eight children and a jobless polygamous husband.

Sakho added she was pleased the “aid is going to the people in need”, although many in the country have feared the resources would be siphoned off.

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Diarra Ndiaye, a school teacher of about 40, had also come to collect her provisions.

“This aid will relieve us. My husband is a carpenter but now, he stops work earlier,” she said, referring to the curfew.

“We have no salary. I have six children with my husband, who has two wives,” she added.

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Before the aid handout, reports of suspected corruption linked to the scheme were widespread on social media.

But at a brief ceremony on Tuesday, Senegal’s Community Development Minister Mansour Faye dismissed the allegations, saying that the donations would proceed “by the book,” and that he had received no complaints so far.

“This is a very large operation, of great complexity,” he said, while urging people to maintain social-distancing measures.

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— Spreading disease —


Senegal has recorded 823 coronavirus cases to date, with 9 fatalities — a low number relative to the outbreaks in Europe and the United States.

But authorities are increasingly concerned about an uptick in cases of community transmission, or cases which cannot be traced to known infections.

Such cases are an indicator that the outbreak may be bigger than detected.

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Authorities detected one community-transmission case this week, who, alone, managed to infect 25 people, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry has previously warned that market traders — some of whom have defied travel restrictions — are particularly exposed to the virus.

Their people-oriented profession means they are also primed to spread the disease if they have it.

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Despite increasing cases and government health messaging, violations of anti-virus measures remain common in Dakar.

At the start of Ramadan, for example, many of the faithful crowded in markets or in front of bakeries to break their fast, often without wearing the compulsory face mask.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Cases in Tunisia exceed 900.


>>> Saudi Arabia ends flogging as punishment <<<


Saudi Arabia has ended the archaic punishment of flogging convicts, according to a directive by the General Commission for the Supreme Court.

Alarabiya.net reported that the courts will now limit punishments to jail time or fines.

The elimination of flogging is the latest step taken by the Kingdom to modernise the judicial system.

Under Sharia, flogging falls under the category of Tazir, punishment dispensed for offences not specified in the Quran or Hadith.


>>> Tunisia’s COVID-19 cases reach 922 <<<


The Tunisian Ministry of Health reported 4 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of the infected to 922 in the country.

“Following a total of 438 lab tests, 34 cases tested positive, of which four were new cases and 30 were previously confirmed cases who were still infected with this virus,” said the ministry in a statement on Friday night.

A total of 194 patients have recovered in Tunisia while 38 deaths were reported in 13 provinces, according to the statement.

“The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients reached 110, including 20 patients in intensive care units,” it said.

According to official figures, a total of 19,849 lab tests have been carried out since March 2, the date of the first COVID-19 case in Tunisia.


>>> 545 total COVID-19 cases in ‘Senegal’ <<<


Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action, on Friday reported 66 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 545 in the country.

Among the 528 virological examinations carried out within the past 24 hours, 66 came back positive, including 61 follow-up contact cases and five cases of community transmission, Senegalese health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr announced during the daily COVID-19 briefing.

According to him, five more patients tested negative after treatments, bringing the total number of cured to 262. But he also said there is one patient “in critical condition”.

Of the 545 confirmed cases, 400 are close contacts cases, 85 are imported ones and 60 are due to community transmission. Six patients have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Minister Sarr revealed vendors are among the most exposed to COVID-19 in Senegal, and insisted on mandatory wearing of masks in markets and other public places.

“In the context of case detection, I asked my services to considerably increase the number of samples taken per day, in order to allow the identification of a maximum of asymptomatic carriers”, he added.


#Newsworthy…

Senegal extends flight ban till last day in May amid COVID-19 fears.


Senegal, an important air hub in West Africa, has extended a suspension on all flights to and from its soil until May 31 as part of measures to contain coronavirus, Transport Minister Alioune Sarr announced overnight Wednesday.

The announcement, made on Twitter, gave no further details.

The country halted passenger flights, but not cargo, under a suspension implemented in mid-March.

The measure initially applied to France, Italy, Spain and a number of other countries in Europe and North Africa before becoming a blanket suspension.

Senegal’s official tally of coronavirus cases stands at more than 300, two of them fatal.

The authorities have closed schools, imposed a night-time curfew and banned travel between cities in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, but not implemented a lockdown


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Mane donate £41k to SHO to help fight pandemic.


Liverpool of England and Senegal striker Saido Mane has donated a whooping £41,000 to a health organization fighting the spread of coronavirus in Senegal as the West African nation comes to grips with the global pandemic.

Senegal has 27 confirmed cases of the deadly virus, with two recoveries and according to the player’s agent who spoke to BBC, the CAF player of the year made the donations ‘spontaneously’


Mane also took to social media to tell Senegalese people to take the virus ‘extremely seriously’, before giving them tips on how to avoid the disease by applying ‘disinfectant or wash their hands for at least 30 seconds’.

Senegalese officials announced Monday the suspension of flights between the West African country and several countries in Europe (France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy) and in the Northern Africa (Algeria, Tunisia) while Morocco already announced the suspension of flights with Senegal.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Senegal confirms first case


Senegal confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on Monday, marking just the second infection in sub-Saharan Africa amid concerns over the continent’s vulnerability to outbreaks of contagious diseases.

A French man who lives in Senegal visited France in mid-February, contracting the virus before returning to the West African country and being quarantined in the capital Dakar, Senegal’s Health Minister Diouf Sarr said.


“The results of the tests carried out by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar came back positive,” Sarr told journalists.

“So far the patient’s condition has not raised any major concerns.”


The patient, a father of two who has lived in Senegal for more than two years, stayed in the southern French city of Nimes as well as an unspecified ski resort last month, Sarr said.

The man then returned to Senegal on February 26, where he went to a medical centre and registered a fever of 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) as well as a sore throat and headache.


The centre contacted the country’s coronavirus alert unit and the patient was quarantined, the minister said.

“The surveillance and response system for COVID-19 has been bolstered and all measures are being taken to contain the disease,” Sarr said.


He urged the population to stay calm, adding he was “perfectly confident” in the country’s health system.

The first case in sub-Saharan African was recorded last week in Nigeria, where an Italian national returned with the virus from his home country.


Italy has emerged as the European hotspot for the deadly virus, with more than 2,000 cases, while France has reported the third most in Europe, with at least 130.

Before Senegal and Nigeria, the only reported cases in Africa were in Egypt and Algeria.


But experts fear the virus spreading to Africa, which struggles with conflicts, poor health infrastructure, crowded cities with inadequate sanitation, rickety governance and porous borders — all of which provide excellent opportunities for the virus to spread.

The World Health Organization has urged African countries to come together and be more aggressive in attacking the virus.

“Our biggest concern continues to be the potential for COVID-19 to spread in countries with weaker health systems,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week.

A 2016 analysis by US thinktank the Rand Corporation found that of the 25 countries in the world that are most vulnerable to infectious outbreaks, 22 are in Africa.


#Newsworthy…

Update: Akon builds ‘Akon City’ in Senegal


American Musician and entrepreneur, Akon said he has finalised the agreement for a new city in Senegal to be named after him as AKON City.

“Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future,” he tweeted on Monday, accompanied with his photograph with Senegalese officials.

Read…

Just Now: Akon to build his own city


The new city according to him, would be built on a 2,000-acre gifted to him by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall. The location is a five minute drive from Dakar’s international airport.

Akon was born in Senegal before moving to Union City, New Jersey, at 7.


The artist has identified with his roots more often. One of his ventures is Akon Lighting Africa, which is providing solar power to African countries.

Known for songs like “Locked Up,” “Lonely” and “Oh Africa,” the Grammy-nominated rapper is more recognized as a business man than a musician these days.

According to billboard.com, Akon City will be Senegal’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) city.

It will be built up in a series of phases spanning 10 years. When finished, he claims it will also be the first city to ever run on 100 percent renewable energy.


#Newsworthy…

Senegalese, Sadio Mane named ‘African Player of the Year’


Senegalese footballer, Sadio Mane has been named the 2019 African Player of the Year after winning the UEFA Champions League with his club Liverpool and leading his country, Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Saido Mane defeated his liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah – winner in 2017 and 2018 – and Algeria attacker Riyad Mahrez to win the 2019 CAF player of the year award that held on Tuesday night in Egypt.

Sadio Mane wins CAF African Player of the Year award

Votes from head coaches/technical directors and captains of the senior national teams from CAF’s member associations saw Mane selected as the continent’s best footballer in 2019 ahead of his other two rivals who also play in the premier league .

Sadio Mane wins CAF African Player of the Year award

Mane helped guide Senegal to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations before ending the 2018-19 season by winning the Champions League and Premier League Golden Boot award.

He then scored twice in the UEFA Super Cup triumph over Chelsea, and provided the assist for Roberto Firmino’s goal that won Liverpool the FIFA Club World Cup for the very first time.


#NobleSport