The World Health Organisation says that the number of deaths due to malaria could far exceed that of the covid-19 pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa this year. In a new report published Monday, the WHO said that the particular attention given to the covid-19 pandemic worldwide has overshadowed the malaria control process. Even though Africa has managed to reduce malaria mortality by 44% in 20 years (from 680,000 deaths per year to 384,000), the funding gap is likely to significantly undermine the progress made so far. WHO said disruptions in access to malaria treatment could result in up to 100,000 more deaths than the death toll already recorded each year on the continent. When the pandemic broke out, many voices had been raised calling on leaders to continue fighting against the serious diseases that existed before the coronavirus. In May, the WHO warned that the number of deaths caused by malaria on the African continent could double this year to 769,000, a record in 20 years. One reason for this pessimism is the interruption in the manufacture of antimalarial drugs in the main countries where they are produced, such as India. Malaria killed 409,000 people worldwide in 2019, with more than 90% of the deaths in Africa and specifically the sub-Saharan region.

The Nigerian Air Force has dismissed reports that the subsisting contractual agreement between the FG and the United States for the supply of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is in jeopardy due to “bad runway at the 407 Air Combat Training Group, Kainji.” The NAF disclosed that six of the expected 12 aircraft had been produced and were presently being employed for conversion training of six NAF pilots who are in the US. NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said the utterances credited to the Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Mike Nnachi, while briefing the Senate Appropriation Committee on the 2021 NAF Budget proposal, were taken out of context. The Senate Committee on Air Force had last Thursday said Nigeria stood the risk of losing $493 million paid to the United States for the purchase of the Super Tucano fighter jets due to the bad runway at Kainji. In 2018, the FG had wired $493 million to the US for the purchase of the jets to tackle insurgency and other security challenges facing the country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that beneficiaries of diaspora remittances through the international money transfer operators (IMTO) shall now have such inflows in foreign currency (US Dollar) through the designated bank of their choice. The apex bank in a statement signed by O.S. Nnaji, director of trade & exchange of CBN, said recipients of such remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash or into their domiciliary account. “These changes are necessary to deepen the foreign exchange market, provide more liquidity and create more transparency in the administration of Diaspora remittances into Nigeria,” the statement read. “In addition, these changes would help finance a future stream of investment opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora, while also guaranteeing that recipients would receive a market reflective exchange rate for the market.” The apex bank also noted that beneficiaries shall have unfettered access and utilisation to such foreign currency proceeds, either in cash and or in their domiciliary accounts.

Côte D’Ivoire and Ghana have withdrawn their membership of a U.S. cocoa industry association, accusing the body of helping U.S. chocolate companies avoid paying a cocoa premium aimed at tackling farmer poverty. Reuters said a document sent to the Cocoa Merchants Association of America (CMAA) accused it of “condoning and conniving with American companies against poor West African cocoa farmers” by avoiding the premium. Spokespeople for the Ivorian and Ghanian cocoa regulators verified the document’s authenticity. The world’s top cocoa producers are also reviewing their membership of the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC), a UK-based international organisation that aims to promote, protect and regulate the cocoa trade.