Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 17,530 after 915 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Friday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.
This is so far the highest daily increase in the Horn of Africa country.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health, in a statement issued on Friday, revealed that from a total of 8,957 medical tests that were conducted within the last 24 hours, some 915 of them tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of positive cases to 17,530.
Eleven more patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 274, according to the ministry.
The ministry further said 6,950 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had so far recovered, including 187 in the last 24 hours period.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, a total of 10,304 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, out of which 138 are in severe condition.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation with about 107 million people, confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.
The East African country had so far conducted some 422,354 COVID-19 medical tests, according to the ministry.
Amid the rapid spread of the virus across the East African country, the Ethiopian government as well as healthcare experts and analysts mainly attribute the recent spike of COVID-19 pandemic to the unrest that affected the East African country earlier this month.
Deadly protests erupted in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, which is the hotbed of COVID-19 infection in Ethiopia, as well as some cities and towns in Ethiopia’s largest Oromia Regional State during the first two weeks of July as protesters went violent following a public outrage attributed to the killing of a popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa, who was killed on June 29 in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian government health officials had been warning the protestors to take maximum anti-COVID-19 protections, such as face masks.
However, some protests in the capital and in almost all the unrest-hit parts of the East African country were reported to be without face masks as well as without the recommended social distancing measures.
FG to resume Digital Switch Over roll out – Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government says it will “very soon’ resume the roll out of Digital Switch Over (DSO) – a transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting – across the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Tuesday in Lagos at a ceremony to unveil the new amendment to the 6th Edition of the Broadcasting Code.
Fielding questions from stakeholders at the ceremony, the minister said the DSO suffered some set back which led to a hold after it was launched in six states.
He reiterated the commitment of the government to spread the massive benefits of digital television to the people, stressing that it was the fastest way to create jobs.
The minister assured the stakeholders that they would hear from the government on the resumption of the DSO roll out in the coming weeks.
Mohammed also told the stakeholders that government had been implementing policies and programmes to reposition the creative industry.
He said one of the major recommendations of the Post COVID-19 Initiative Committee on the Creative Industry chaired by ace comedian, Ali Baba was a restructure of the industry.
The minister reassured that the government would soon set up a committee on the implementation of the recommendations to move the industry forward.
The Minister also reiterated government’s commitment to assist the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria in securing the N10 billion Nigeria Media Intervention Fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Digital economy: Nigeria must shift focus from certificate to skills – Pantami
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has advocated for shifting of focus from certificate to skills education for the actualisation of Nigeria’s digital economic drive.
Pantami made the call at the Graduation Lecture of the National Defence Collage Course 28, titled; “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister added that emphasis on certificate must be reduced in engaging labour force, urging that focus should be shifted to skills if the nation must catch up with development.
He said that many developed and developing countries such as China, United States and Morocco had shifted attention to skills rather than certificate, adding that many of them had established skills centres.
According to him, certificate is important but secondary to skill and that is why we must pay attention to skills in our journey to digital economy.
“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.
“We recently provided a platform, the DigitalNigeria.gov.ng platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.
“We are championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.
“The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here,’’ he said.
Pantami stated that the digital economy was a prime catalyst for development, adding that in less than one year, government’s modest efforts had already yielded remarkable results.
According to him, the recent first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP.
He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic technology, drone and many more.
“These are some of the emerging technologies that will go a long way in promoting security of nations. The security officials are in better position to look into and see how to customize them and make use of them.”
Also, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the Federal Government had taken steps to adopt, adapt and internalise the digital economy in a functional manner.
Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said it was important that security and defence establishments show more than a cursory interest in the digital economy.
He added that the adaptation of digital economy could result in increased cybercrimes thus undermining national security.
“I wish to commend the Commandant, staff and the entire College community for their collective efforts in pursuing the ideals of the College.
“In particular, I commend you for organising the graduation lecture, which was exciting, educative and would be helpful to the economic and security needs of the Nigerian nation,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of the collage, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, said the lecture had become a key component of the training programme of the College and a major highlight of its annual graduation ceremonies.
Kadiri said that a total of 107 participants had successfully completed the course comprising 67 officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, seven Senior Police Officers and 15 participants from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Others according to him, include 18 senior military officers from the Armed Forces of friendly nations.
“The Course was conducted under the theme “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria”. Economic diversification is a broad based strategy designed to cause positive and multi-sectoral economic growth and development,’’ he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Kwara Gov congratulates BUA boss at 60
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has congratulated the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, on his 60th birthday anniversary.
AbdulRazaq described the BUA boss as a distinguished Nigerian businessman with a track record of investments in human capital and community development.
“On behalf of his family, the people and government of Kwara State, His Excellency, the Governor sends his warm greetings to the business leader and philanthropist Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu on the occasion of his birthday.
“While assuring him of conducive business environment, the governor commends Alhaji Rabiu for his huge investments in Kwara State,” Ajakaye said.
He said Rabiu donated N100 million and three ambulances to fight COVID-19 in the state.
“The governor prays the Almighty Allah to continue to bless Alhaji Rabiu and his family and all his business concerns.
“He prays Almighty God to grant him more fruitful years and good health,” Ajakaye added.
Edited By: Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)
137 Rangers worldwide die in 2020, says International Rangers’ President
Its President, Chris Galliers, made the disclosure at the 2020 World Ranger Day, celebrated annually on July 31.
Galliers’ speech was read by Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General, National Park Service, during a Zoom meeting in Abuja to commemorate the World Rangers Day in Abuja.
He said that the figures accounted for the highest number of Rangers deaths since the inception of the Roll of Honour in 2011.
Galliers said of the seven IRF regions, Asia had the greatest number of rangers’ killed at 66 deaths, representing 48 per cent of all ranger deaths.
According to him, Africa has the second highest number of Rangers’ deaths of 40, making up 30 per cent.
“We know that this number could be considerably higher, as not all ranger deaths are reported or publicised.
“The number is still unacceptably high, with 1,013 recorded ranger deaths over the past decade.
“This is of major concern. We, as the ranger family, share in the loss of our colleagues and their families, and look to honour them on the World Ranger Day for all that they had contributed to the profession and conservation.”
He said the main cause of deaths on duty for rangers was homicide, which accounted for 43 deaths, adding that these deaths mostly occurred in Africa and Asia.
“In addition, the environment in which rangers work can be hostile and dangerous, threatened by the very animals that they serve to protect.
“Wildlife attack accounted for the second highest cause of rangers fatalities, with 24 deaths.
“Other causes include accidents- 33 deaths; drownings- 14 deaths and illness/natural causes- 23 deaths.”
The IRF president said the the federation, at the World Ranger Congress, at Nepal in November, 2019, set some ambitious actions to professionalise the sector and support those working on the frontline.
Galliers said that for the most part, rangers had been classified as essential services, allowing them to continue their invaluable works.
According to him, rangers need the support of the world, and to achieve this, regardless of COVID-19, or not, there is a need for empowered and well supported rangers, operating in a more secured work place, who will become ambassadors for the profession to inspire the next generation.
“We hope that the world takes a greater appreciation of the value of protected and conserved areas and the people who protect them, and realise having a minimum of 30 per cent of the earth protected by 2030 is a real necessity.
“On behalf of IRF and the Board, we thank all those that are taking the time to voice their support for rangers. Thanks too must go to all that are running programmes to keep rangers operational and effective through this difficult time.
“Finally, a thank you to the ranger families for their support and the sacrifices that they live with continuously.”
Dunn, however, said it was commendable to note that ranger patrols by the Nigerian National Park Service had not once faltered during this turbulent period.
According to him, with the support from WCS, Rangers are a force for good in Nigeria.
Dunn: “Ranger teams in Yankari Game Reserve have not lost a single elephant to poaching since 2015.
“Dedicated ranger units in Cross River National Park have drastically reduced poaching of Cross River Gorillas, and there has been no record of Gorillas killed in Okwangwo since 2008.
“Only constant patrols by courageous rangers in Gashaka Gumti National Park has kept Nigeria’s largest wilderness area safe and secure, free from the scourge of Boko Haram.”
He, however, noted that Nigerian rangers needed automatic weapons, better training, improved remuneration and better working conditions.
Dunn added that the rangers also needed joint patrols with the army and improved recognition of the work they do to improve security for all Nigerians, not just for wildlife.
“Also, confidence that the poachers they risk their lives to arrest will be prosecuted according to the full force of the law, and would not be released to reoffend; zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence against rangers,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some rangers from the various national parks across the country shared their experiences, and called for provision of more sophisticated equipment and support for effective service delivery.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)