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Kenya’s Janak Elected Africa Journalists Body Secretary General

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CAPTION Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) chairman and newly formed Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) Secretary General

Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) chairman William Oloo Janak has been picked to serve in the newly-formed Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) as the Secretary-General.

 

Janak was picked during the inaugural meeting to launch the Congress through a virtual session facilitated by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

 

 

The Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) was formed with the objectives of tackling the effects of COVID-19 on the media, advocating for press freedom and journalists’ welfare.

 

The Congress will also champion access to information and provision of a conducive working environment for journalists’.

 

Participants in the CAJ launch were drawn from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe.

 

Janak has vast experience in administration, serving as the East Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) regional coordinator for press freedom and advocacy

 

Janak and Kenya’s Police spokesman Charles Owino were recently appointed to a technical team of media experts to serve in the Commission on Peoples’ Human Rights under the auspices of UNESCO in collaboration with the African Union (AU) in Banjul, Gambia.

 

The President of Union of Burundi Journalists, Alexandre Niyungeko will lead the interim six-member Governing Council executive as the president.

 

Other members of the executive include the Secretary-General of Zimbabwe Union of Journalists Foster Dongozi as Vice-President while Patricia Adjissekou the Secretary-General of Togo Union of Independent Journalists as the treasurer.

 

The President of Nigeria Union of Journalists Christopher Isiguzo and Aicha Ahmed Youssouf President of Djibouti Union of the Press and Audiovisual are CAJ’s committee members.

 

“On the launch of this Congress of African Journalists we commend all African journalists for their dedication to press freedom and access to information for the general public,” said the interim President of CAJ.

 

‘’We call on African Governments to empower the journalists and media organizations to do their work efficiently in this trying moment of COVID19,” he added.

 

Reports have noted that many journalists have fallen sick or died of COVID19, and others have been victimized in the course of their duties as essential workers in the frontline to inform the general public. “We condole with the victims and their families” the CAJ added.

 

The CAJ condemns all attacks on journalists and calls for the release of all journalists in prison in Africa.

 

The CAJ said it will continue to engage with all Governments, the African Union and partners in expanding freedom of expression and access to information for good governance and welfare of the people in Africa.

 

The interim Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) executive:

 

President –  Alexandre Niyungeko

 

Vice President – Foster Dongozi

 

Secretary-General – William Oloo Janak

 

Treasurer – Patricia Adjissekou

 

Committee Members

 

Christopher Isiguzo

 

Aicha Ahmed Youssouf

 

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COVID-19 Pandemic: Which African Airlines Are Taking Off and When?

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While the reopening of air borders is looming, many uncertainties remain about when air traffic will return to normal to and from Africa. Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report takes a look at the situation.

After more than three months without flying, airline companies are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Since 25 June, Royal Air Maroc began operating a portion of its domestic flights (Agadir, Dakhla, Laâyoune and Oujda) from its Casablanca hub, followed by its other hubs, Marrakech and Tangier. The low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc will also resume operations on the same date, while Air Côte d’Ivoire will reopen for business on 26 June.

 

 

However, for many airlines, the situation is less certain. The pan-African carrier ASKY Airlines, which provides service to destinations from Lomé, is waiting for African countries to open their borders before making any announcements. Similarly, Air Algérie has not announced an operations resumption date. Plagued by major financial difficulties, Air Mauritius is set to get back to business on 1 September, whereas RwandAir has suspended its flights until further notice.

On 25 June, Egypt Air said it would resume international flights gradually as of 1 July. The first round from 1 – 7 July will include: Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Paris, Toronto and Washington DC (among others).

As of 8 June, South Africa’s Airlink began taking bookings, while Safair began flights on 15 June. Mango, the low-cost airline of the near bankrupt South African Airways (SAA) group, also resumed domestic flights as of 15 June.

 

 

South Africa has banned leisure travel until the 5-phase lockdown is entirely lifted. It is currently at level 3.

Many question if South African Airways will be able to resume international flights given it was struggling with bankruptcy prior to the pandemic. A vote by SAA creditors has been postponed to 16 July.

TAKE TO THE SKIES
Coronavirus: Which African airlines are taking off and when?
By Rémy Darras
Posted on Friday, 26 June 2020 16:47

South Africa Zuma Inauguration
A South African Airways Airbus takes to the skies on Saturday, May 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)/
While the reopening of air borders is looming, many uncertainties remain about when air traffic will return to normal to and from Africa. Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report takes a look at the situation.

After more than three months without flying, airline companies are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Since 25 June, Royal Air Maroc began operating a portion of its domestic flights (Agadir, Dakhla, Laâyoune and Oujda) from its Casablanca hub, followed by its other hubs, Marrakech and Tangier. The low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc will also resume operations on the same date, while Air Côte d’Ivoire will reopen for business on 26 June.

READ MORE Ethiopian Airlines to China: last international carrier standing

However, for many airlines, the situation is less certain. The pan-African carrier ASKY Airlines, which provides service to destinations from Lomé, is waiting for African countries to open their borders before making any announcements. Similarly, Air Algérie has not announced an operations resumption date. Plagued by major financial difficulties, Air Mauritius is set to get back to business on 1 September, whereas RwandAir has suspended its flights until further notice.

On 25 June, Egypt Air said it would resume international flights gradually as of 1 July. The first round from 1 – 7 July will include: Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Paris, Toronto and Washington DC (among others).

 

 

As of 8 June, South Africa’s Airlink began taking bookings, while Safair began flights on 15 June. Mango, the low-cost airline of the near bankrupt South African Airways (SAA) group, also resumed domestic flights as of 15 June.

South Africa has banned leisure travel until the 5-phase lockdown is entirely lifted. It is currently at level 3.

Many question if South African Airways will be able to resume international flights given it was struggling with bankruptcy prior to the pandemic. A vote by SAA creditors has been postponed to 16 July.

Gradual reopening of borders

In the intercontinental segment, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways will be providing service to Paris, Geneva and Brussels in July, but with a reduced flight schedule. After a controversy sparked by the posting of a fake flight schedule on social media in May, Air France has listed several African capitals in its flight plan for July: Conakry, Cotonou, Douala, Yaoundé, Nouakchott and Tunis. The airline is currently preparing landing authorisation requests for the various countries concerned.

Resurrecting flights from Europe is pinned on both the ability to receive authorisation from national civil aviation authorities and the reopening of the Schengen Area. In mid-June, the ECOWAS Ministerial Coordinating Committee for Transport, Logistics, Free Movement and Trade recommended a gradual reopening of air borders: 15 July for flights between member states, 22 July for flights to non-member African countries and 1 August for intercontinental flights.

 

 

These projected dates come up against two obstacles: the health situation is neither clear nor stabilised in several African countries and fears about a second wave remain high in Europe. As a result, no one wants to be responsible for potentially importing cases in either direction.

For passengers, new restrictions are surfacing. For example, Congolese nationals stuck in Paris who want to get on an Air France repatriation flight will have to provide proof that they were tested for COVID-19 before boarding the flight upon their arrival in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. Once they have disembarked, they will have to undergo another COVID-19 screening and quarantine at a hotel.

Air Senegal targets mid-July for Paris flights

Airlines think it will take a while for business to return to pre-pandemic levels. Air Côte d’Ivoire, whose operations are currently limited to domestic destinations (Korogho, San Pedro, Bouaké, Man and Odienné), accordingly plans on a gradual return to its normal service schedule: in a first phase, 25% of flights will resume, before increasing to 50%, all the while having no intention of giving up its expansion strategy in the long-haul segment.

Another example is that of Air Senegal, which resumed its service to Ziguinchor this past weekend, a destination it will get back to serving daily as of next week. While Senegal’s borders are to remain closed until 30 June, the young company, which sent all of its pilots to France to take a “refresher” flight simulator course, plans, according to our sources, to resume flights to Abidjan (four times a week, initially) and to Praia in mid-July. Air Senegal hopes to get back to operating flights to destinations such as Conakry, Bamako, Casablanca, Barcelona and Marseille in early August, and, starting in September, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Accra and Lagos. This means the airline could be operating 80% of its pre-pandemic flights at the end of August. Air Senegal will begin offering daily service to Abidjan in October, if traffic allows for it.

The airline will know in the coming days if it will be able to resume its service to Paris in mid-July, as it hopes, with an initial schedule of five flights a week. “We can’t figure out how high demand will be. We don’t want to be in overcapacity, but we assume there will always be a segment of travellers who are flying to visit their loved ones,” says a source from Air Senegal, which is set to receive its two A321s in September and October and was the beneficiary of government grants of 45bn CFA francs (€68.5m), an amount which surpasses its target for the funding round scheduled in 2021.

Long-term schedule reductions

For the main West African operators, the crisis could bring about a more streamlined offering, while just before the pandemic many players were battling over small markets. “There were 320,000 seats available for flights between Abidjan and Dakar in a market with 150,000 to 170,000 passengers. The end result is that planes were operating at between 50% and 70% capacity.

The most predatory airlines will surely be more cautious and no longer operate as many flights as before,” says an executive from a West African carrier, adding that Brussels Airlines suspends its stopovers in Conakry and Ouagadougou when Kenya Airways and Vueling reduce their flight schedules.

 

What’s more, the financial situation of certain players like Air Burkina and Camair-Co, which have temporarily laid off their employees, makes a quick resumption of service more hypothetical than anything else.

Several firms are currently working on air traffic recovery scenarios for carriers and airports. “Three different realities are possible: traffic will fully resume despite the presence of COVID-19 cases, traffic will resume between certain countries that reopened their borders and traffic will resume without any particular restrictions in the absence of no new COVID-19 cases,” says Jean-Marc Bourreau, Global Director of Aviation at the Canadian firm CPCS. He is not counting on a broad-based rebound of air traffic.

 

 

 

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MCP Takes over Malawi’s Presidency after 26 years

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By Agencies for Kenyaonlinenews.com

Malawi’s opposition leader Pastor Lazarus Chakwera  was sworn in as the new president for a five-year term on Sunday, June 28th, 2020, hours after unseating outgoing the Malawian Head of State Peter Mutharika in a re-run election.

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is Malawi’s founding party under the late president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda through Chakwera’s win brings it back into power after 26 years in opposition.

In Malawi’s first multiparty elections, held on 17 May 1994, Bakili Muluzi and his United Democratic Front (UDF) party unseated the incumbent president MCP’s Kamuzu Banda.

Chakwera, 65, won 58.57% of the vote in Tuesday’s poll, a dramatic reversal of the result of the original election in May 2019, which was later overturned by the courts.

The repeat vote was regarded by analysts as a test of the ability of African courts to tackle ballot fraud and restrain presidential power.

“To stand before you as president today is an honour. It’s an honour that fills with unspeakable joy and immense gratitude,” Chakwera said in his acceptance speech.

“With your help, we will restore a new generation’s faith in the possibility of having a government that serves, not a government that rules,” he told a cheering crowd dressed in the colours of his own Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the allied party of Vice President Saulos Chilima.

Before seeking public office, Chakwera served as president of the Malawi Assemblies of God.

At the same, President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a congratulatory message to Malawi’s new president Lazarus Chakwera.

Below is President Kenyatta’s full message to his Malawi counterpart:

Excellency and Dear Brother,

It is with a great sense of joy that we join our Malawi brothers and sisters in celebrating your victory as the incoming President of the Republic of Malawi following the Tuesday presidential election.

On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to convey my warmest congratulations on your well-deserved victory.

The mandate our Malawi brothers and sisters have given you is a clear expression of the confidence they have in your able leadership. It is also a confirmation of their desire for progressive leadership that will unite and propel their country to greater heights of development.

Kenya and Malawi enjoy warm and historical ties dating back to pre-independence times, facilitated by shared aspirations for growth and development, and a strong Pan-Africanist spirit traced back to the work done by the founding fathers of our two Republics, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

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Congo declares end of world’s second-largest ebola outbreak

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The second-worst Ebola outbreak in history is over as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Congo’s health minister Eteni Longondo on Thurday June 25.

Eteni Longondo noted that this has been the longest and most complex Ebola epidemic in the history of the country.

The 23-month long battle against the outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo resulted in the death of 2,280 people and also drew on 16,000 front-line workers, technological innovation and a new vaccine.

 

 

Efforts to curb the spread of the disease which affected 3,463 people, was hampered earlier due to mistrust from community members, feuds between government officials, attacks on health care facilities and the emergence of new hot spots.

The regional director of WHO, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said the outbreak is over due to the collaboration by various arms of government and the community. Speaking at a virtual news conference, Moeti said;

This is a sign of hope that with solidarity and science epidemics can be controlled.

“At times it seemed like a mission impossible. Ending this Ebola outbreak is a sign of hope for the region and the world, that with solidarity and science and courage and commitment, even the most challenging epidemics can be controlled.”

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever endemic in animal populations that reside in Africa’s tropical forests and is passed from person to person through contact with bodily fluids. Congo has had 11 outbreaks since the virus was first identified in humans in 1976.

 

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