In 2021 the global mobile value stood at 1 trillion dollars. The African continent accounted for about 70 percent of the statistics. The adoption of mobile money in Africa continues to rise with Global System for Mobile Communications(GSMA) figures highlighting an increase from 27.5 billion in 2020 to 36.7 billion in 2021. Mobile Money Enables Growth…
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, much of the world mourned her passing. But the Western world, where the legacy of British colonialism stands out, mourned even more. But the reactions from the African continent are not so clear-cut. The monarchical system of Great Britain wreaked havoc on the continent – and many problems…
These African community resources — links and pages to elected officials, Africa’s top companies, soccer clubs, African-led businesses and organizations, grocery stores, churches, and more, are designed to give quick, easy access to the services that the African community needs and desires. Africa’s Top Companies on our list were pulled through online research. This random listing is…
Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by phone in April, are expected to focus their talks on trade and investment, infrastructure, climate and energy, among other issues.South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and United States President Joe Biden will meet on September 16, the White House has announced.
Thursday’s announcement comes as the administration looks to draw African nations closer to the US at a time when South Africa and many of its neighbours have staked out neutral ground on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global problems, during a visit to South Africa.
But the administration has been disappointed that South Africa and much of the continent have declined to follow the US in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
South Africa abstained in a United Nations vote to condemn Russia’s action, and Ramaphosa has avoided any criticism of Russia and has instead called for a mediated peace.
Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by phone in April, are expected to focus their talks on trade and investment, infrastructure, climate and energy, public health and South Africa’s leading role on the continent, officials said.
“The two Presidents will reaffirm the importance of our enduring partnership, and discuss our work together to address regional and global challenges,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement announcing this month’s meeting.
Biden also plans to host a US-Africa leaders’ summit in December.
During the Blinken visit, foreign minister Naledi Pandor maintained South Africa’s neutrality in the Ukraine war. In a press briefing following the meeting, Pandor accused the US and other Western powers of focusing on the Ukraine conflict to the detriment of other international issues.
“We should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine, as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine,” she said.
Blinken, for his part, underscored that Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports has led to scarcities in grain, cooking oil and fertiliser — an issue that has had disproportionate effects on Africans.
“The US is there for African countries in this unprecedented crisis, because that’s what partners do for each other,” Blinken said. “The United States will not dictate Africa’s choices, and neither should anyone else. The right to make these choices belongs to Africans, and Africans alone.”
South Africa’s neutral position is largely because of the support the Soviet Union gave during the Cold War era to Ramaphosa’s African National Congress in its fight to end apartheid – South Africa’s regime of repression against the Black majority that ended in 1994. South Africa is seen as a leader of several African countries that will not side against Russia.
The Biden meeting will come at a critical time for Ramaphosa, who is facing criticism from opposition parties and from within his own party for a scandal over revelations that $4m was stolen from his cattle ranch.
He has been grilled this week by members of parliament about whether the foreign cash had been properly registered with South Africa’s financial authorities and why he did not immediately report the theft. The scandal has damaged Ramaphosa’s reputation as a leader committed to battling his nation’s rampant corruption.
Ramaphosa faces significant opposition in his efforts to be re-elected as the leader of his party at a conference in December. If he fails to win the party leadership he will not be able to stand for re-election as South Africa’s president in 2024.
South Africa’s economy has been in recession since even before the COVID-19 pandemic and a third of the country is unemployed, so Ramaphosa would welcome any announcement of economic support from the US.
During Blinken’s visit to South Africa last month, he praised South Africa and Ramaphosa for achieving a multi-racial democracy after years of white minority rule. He also used the visit to formally launch a new US strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa.
Coronavirus cases are surging again in South Africa, and public health experts are monitoring the situation, eager to know what’s driving the spike, what it says about immunity from previous infections and what its implications are globally. South Africa experienced a decline in cases after hitting an Omicron-fueled, pandemic peak in December. But in the…
1. Widespread underlying SARS-CoV‑2 seropositivity was observed in Gauteng province, South Africa, before the omicron wave.
2. Epidemiologic data demonstrated a decoupling of hospitalizations and deaths from infections while omicron was circulating.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Study Rundown: The Omicron variant was first identified in November 2021 in Gauteng province, South Africa, and was designated as a variant of concern due to its predicted high transmissibility and its potential to evade immunity from neutralizing antibodies induced by vaccination or natural infection with wild-type virus. The omicron variant outcompeted the delta variant in Gauteng and was responsible for 98.4% of the cases sequenced in South Africa in December 2021, and a prior population-wide seroepidemiologic study demonstrate that 19.1% of the population was seropositive for Covid-19. However, there is a gap in knowledge as to understanding the seroprevalence of Covid-19 before the omicron wave. This study found that there was widespread underlying SARS-CoV‑2 seropositivity in Gauteng before the omicron-dominant wave of Covid-19. This study was limited by changes in the frequency of testing over time which limited head-to-head comparisons of case numbers across waves, and the fourth omicron wave had not fully subsided at the time of this analysis, which will result in a lag in the reporting of data such as hospitalizations and deaths attributable to this wave. Nevertheless, these study’s findings are significant, as they demonstrate that there was widespread seropositivity of Covid-19 in Gauteng prior to the omicron wave and that there was a decoupling of hospitalizations and deaths from infections while omicron was circulating.
Click to read the study in NEJM
Relevant Reading: Omicron — Decoupling Infection from Severe Disease
In-Depth [seroepidemiologic survey]: This seroepidemiologic survey was conducted from October to December 2021 in Gauteng province, South Africa, to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV‑2 IgG, obtaining samples from 7010 participants, of whom 18.8% had received a Covid-19 vaccine. Patients who live in the Gauteng province and were able to provide written informed consent were eligible for the study. Patients who resided outside of the studied province or declined to participate were excluded from the study. The primary outcome measured was seroprevalence measured with dried-blood-spot samples and tested for IgG against SARS-CoV‑2 spike protein and nucleocapsid protein. Outcomes in the primary analysis were assessed via unadjusted, univariable analyses for each risk factor with generalized linear models with a log link to estimate risk ratios. Based on the analysis, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV‑2 IgG ranged from 56.2% among children younger than 12 years (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 52.6 to 59.7) to 79.7% among adults older than 50 years of age (95% CI, 77.6 to 81.5). 93.1% of vaccinated participants were seropositive for SARS-CoV‑2 while 68.4% of unvaccinated participants were seropositive. Epidemiologic data also demonstrated that the incidence of Covid-19 infection increased and subsequently decreased more rapidly during the omicron wave than it had during the three previous waves. The incidence of infection was decoupled from the incidences of hospitalization, recorded death, and excess death during the fourth wave, as compared to the proportions seen in the previous three waves. Overall, this study demonstrated that there was widespread Covid-19 seropositivity in the Gauteng province of South Africa before the omicron wave, showing that there was a decoupling of hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 infections while the omicron variant was still circulating.
©2022 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.
South Africa will begin lifting Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday in an address that marked
JOHANNESBURG — A plan to build African headquarters for the tech giant Amazon in Cape Town is in peril after
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZDF1eGMWlw There’s been a major development for sexual health in South Africa. The country has just approved the dapivirine vaginal
Delta Air Lines recently announced plans to launch flights to Cape Town, South Africa. Not so fast, says United