South African rand takes hit on new Covid fears, variant

South African rand.

RapidEye | iStock | Getty Images

The South African rand fell sharply against the dollar on Friday after a new variant with many mutations was discovered in the country.

The currency fell as low as 16.2391 against the greenback during Friday’s Asian session and was last trading 1.6% weaker at 16.2215 per dollar.

The losses came as investors turned to safe-haven currencies like that Japanese YEN, which is up about 0.6% against the greenback to 114.69 per dollar. The USA Dollar indextracking the greenback versus its peers was at 96.712 – compared to levels below 96.5 seen earlier this week.

World Health Organization officials said Thursday They are monitoring a new variant with numerous mutations in the spike protein – the part of the virus that binds to body cells. The health authority is planning a special meeting for Friday to discuss what this can mean for vaccines and treatments.

According to the WHO, the variant with the designation B.1.1.529 was found in small numbers in South Africa.

“We don’t know much about it yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. “Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director on Covid-19, said in a question-and-answer session that was broadcast live on the organization’s social media channels.

Hours after the announcement, the UK announced that it would Temporarily suspend flights from six African countries.

– CNBC’s Hannah Miao contributed to this report.

Africa was shortchanged on Covid vaccines: African Improvement Financial institution

A health worker vaccinated a man in Abidjan on August 17, 2021 during an Ebola vaccination rollout on August 17, 2021 after the country recorded its first known case of the disease since 1994. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP via Getty Images)

ISSOUF SANOGO | AFP | Getty Images

African countries are “underserved” in terms of their access to Covid-19 vaccines, said the president of the African Development Bank.

“Africa [has] If I’m allowed to use that term, it has certainly been falling short when it comes to global access to vaccines, “Akinwumi Adesina told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

“The vaccines are not arriving on time, in the right amount and at the right price,” he said, adding that saving lives “is all about timing.”

According to Our World in Data, only 2.48% of the continent was fully vaccinated by August 23, far behind other continents.

By comparison, vaccination rates are 25.31% in Asia and 27.1% in South America, while vaccination rates in Europe and North America are both over 40%, as statistics from Our World in Data show.

“If we have learned one lesson from this, it is that Africa shouldn’t depend on the rest of the world for essential vaccines and therapeutics,” he said.

I assume that Africa will recover after this particular pandemic. The fundamentals remain very strong.

Akinwumi Adesina

President, African Development Bank

Africa “shouldn’t be dependent on others, it should be self-sufficient,” he said.

To this end, the African Development Bank wants to invest in primary, secondary and tertiary health infrastructure, Adesina said. It also hopes to allocate $ 3 billion to the pharmaceutical sector so that Africa can have vaccines and medicines for itself.

Economic effect

The pandemic had “very dramatic effects” on Africa, Adesina said, adding that GDP growth has declined, the budget deficit has doubled and the debt ratio has risen in 2020.

However, he expects growth of 3.4% this year after shrinking 2.1% in 2020.

“Africa still has fantastic fundamentals,” he said, citing rapid urbanization, good consumption potential and a large, young population.

The African continental free trade area is “too big to ignore,” said the bank president.

According to the World Bank, the AFCFTA, as it is called, is is the largest free trade area in the world based on the number of participating countries. It seeks to connect over a billion people in 55 countries with a combined GDP of $ 2.5 trillion.

“I assume that Africa will recover from this particular pandemic,” he said. “Fundamentals remain very strong.”

Seagram’s Escapes Hosts Digital Dialogue with Main African American Ladies in Leisure

WHAT: Summer is in full swing, the popular flavored malt beverage brand, Sea grams escape, in partnership with Rolling Out, organizes a virtual discussion with black influencers in the fields of comedy and entertainment with the fourth episode of their Empowerment Tour 2021. During the discussion, the presented women tell how they climbed the ladder of success in the entertainment industry, personal branding tips and how they overcame challenges. Attending the panel discussion is free and also includes a few laughs, gossips and tea-spilling “to complement the conversation. The contents create the perfect combination of information and entertainment for the audience at a summer get-together with friends or when relaxing at home alone.

WHO: The June panel features well-respected African American female entertainers – including comedians, reality TV stars, radio hosts and actresses – covering aspects of entertainment from a variety of spectrums. Panelists include:

  • B. Simone – rapper, singer, comedian, actress, esthetician, and social media personality who has appeared on MTVs Wild ‘N Out
  • Claudia Jordan – Talk show host (Cocktails with the Queens), actress, model, businesswoman, former reality TV personality (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Radio personality (The Rickey Smiley Morning Show) and host of VH1s love and hip hop reunions
  • LaLa Milan – Actress, comedian and podcast host, best known for her roles in the hit BET series Boomerang and the popular and provocative podcast The Salon With Lala Milan
  • Nina Parker – News correspondent (E! ‘S Nightly Pop, E!’ S Daily Pop, E! News, Live from the Red Carpet), apparel designer and producer. (Moderator)

WHY: As part of the tour, Sea grams escape presents this virtual panel to highlight black women entrepreneurs who have overcome obstacles on their path to becoming innovators in their fields. Sea grams escape launched the virtual conversation to nurture black women and provide resources and tools to advance them in pursuing their passions. The series of virtual tours provides a space for honest conversation where a variety of trailblazers openly share their stories with others in similar spaces to inspire, encourage, and share the knowledge they need to accelerate their entrepreneurial journeys.



WHEN: Saturday, June 26th 2021 7 p.m. EST

SOURCE Seagrams Escapes

Africana Model’ now on show at Seacoast African American Cultural Middle

The African American cultural center on the coast has planned a colorful season full of thought-provoking programs and two fascinating exhibits, and it starts with a real sucker.

“Fashion Forward: Africana Style: Connection of African fashion through time and place” is published SAACCIt’s season with all wearable things, in picture and artifact.

The exhibition occupies all three floors of the center, with each level highlighting a different theme, said SAACC President Sandi Clark Kaddy. And she adds, it’s unlikely to be what people expect.

“When people look at African fashion, they often think of dashiki, a piece of clothing worn in West Africa that covers the upper half of the body,” she says. “It’s different. And it’s really fabulous.”

More:Obama Photo Exhibition comes to the Seacoast African American Cultural Center

On the ground floor is the centerpiece of the exhibition, “Sapeurs: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo”, with photographs by the award-winning London photographer Tariq Zaidi.

Zaidi’s pictures documented the Sapeurs, a fashion subculture in an impoverished community in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. The sapeurs, also known as members of the Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the society of taste makers and elegant people), are made up of workers who turn into fashion dandies of an earlier age at night.

Learn more:History Matters: Yes, Virginia, there was slavery in Portsmouth too

After a day at work, these stylists go home, change and then wander through the streets in creative, elegant and often colorful clothes, a mixture of newly purchased, used or self-designed and made from fabric or offshoots.

“‘Sapeurs’ is the jewel of the show,” says Clark Kaddy. “The photography is amazing … the outfits are so creative, just wonderful.”

Clark Kaddy was referred to Zaidi’s work by a board member familiar with his job. She tracked down the artist in a museum where his work was exhibited.

“It worked out just fine,” she says. “It’s just one of those times when you thank God for the internet.”

Zaidi’s oeuvre contains numerous series. But it was his sapeurs who “blew me away,” she says. “I looked at his pictures and said, ‘Oh, we have to tell this story.'”

More:Vernis Jackson was named Granite Stater of the Month in February

The images of the photos go beyond images of fashion costumes. You speak of the earlier French colonialism, an era from which the “elegant people” originated strongly and which it made its own. More importantly, they deal with the humanity of the fashionistas.

“Tariq focuses on issues of inequality, tradition and vulnerable communities around the world,” she says. “(Sapeurs) use fashion to brave their circumstances … If you look at the photos of these brilliant outfits, you can see that the environment is one of poverty.”

“He captures the dignity of these people in his pictures, the strength and soul of the people around them. That is his passion.”

Images from the show arrived electronically and were donated by Green Acre, a Baháʼí school center for learning, Eliot, Maine.

“You have to know the story behind these pictures. These people work like us. They could be cops, housewives, school kids, and they run home and put on their outfits. … They walk the streets like celebrities and they become.” treated like celebrities. “

Favorites from the collection show the child Sapeurs.

“Remember, they use fashion to brave their circumstances,” she says. “So, the ones that really resonate with me are the ones with the kids wearing their outfits; they’re so proud.”

“Contemporary African Fashion” (CAF) is installed on the upper floor. As the title suggests, this is the fashion of the day with some “incredible quilts”.

“Everything here is authentic and actually used,” she says. “Every piece tells a story.”

Some mark cultural traditions, such as funeral attire, says Clark Kaddy.

Ghanaians traditionally print pictures of the deceased on fabric and then make clothes that are worn in honor of loved ones.

“The items are made for the family, a skirt, a top, a shirt, an armband, a handbag, whatever you want,” she says. “The pieces we have are from private collections … and belong to Dzifa Patterson and Akua Zika Daisy Houdegbe, both Seacoast folks.”

“CAF” includes homemade objects and pieces by African designers, including clothing by Monica Ami Gligah from West Africa, residing in the USA, and quilts by Kathleen Otoo from Ghana, also in the USA, made with scraps of fabric.

The Gustin Collection is located in the basement. These items are part of the SAACC collection, brought together by Harold and Mabel Gustin and donated by Andrew Slusarski of Maine.

“It’s vintage African fashion from Liberia with influences from Islam and African American expats,” she says. “There is fashion, jewelry and accessories … purses, alligator skin shoes … fans (and) we were also lucky enough to receive a quilt made of sheep, otter and leopard skin, which we will exhibit.”

SAACC’s second exhibition is “We the People: The Fight for Justice, People of Color in White Suburbs,” curated by Joanne Kelly (from Portsmouth’s Cup of Joe).

Kelly, who organized Portsmouth’s Black Lives Matter Rally, suggested the idea, Clark Kaddy said. “She showed me some amazing photos,” she says. “So I told her to run with it!”

“We the People” presents around 50 pieces, including photos, art and videos, which are exhibited and staged on the three floors.

“There are photos that were taken last year and show the Justice and Unity Movement from across New Hampshire,” says Clark Kaddy. “They are from ordinary people, with some professionals, people who might have been to a rally and took an incredible picture of unity, in the union’s whitest state.”

SAACC also has numerous programs in the works for 2021. Some issues and dates have been confirmed, others are pending.

“It all depends on COVID how open things can be,” says Clark Kaddy. “COVID determines certain data.”

The “Color Filled Conversations” series is returning after starting in 2020.

“Our goal is to do four to six a year,” she said. “They can only be live-streams, although it is possible to make arrangements to host both in-person and live-streamed events. But virtually or physically we will have them.”

One thing is certain: “Black Lady Poetry”, a two-day event with presentation and workshop (May 28 and 31).

Others on the series are: “Black Dancers”; “Mitreden”, a look at the Delany sisters, who lived for over 100 years; “Black Leadership In Higher Education” and two other TBA topics.

It’s been a great year made possible by the work of many, including Vernis Jackson, Kelvin Edwards, the board of directors and volunteers, “and all the newbies,” says Clark Kaddy. “It takes a village.”

“I feel great this year. I feel inspired by the things we plan, the things we do, the message we send,” says Clark Kaddy. “I am very positive about the direction we are going and I am proud of the organization. I am very proud to be involved.”

Go & Do

What: “Fashion Forward: Africana Style: Connection of African fashion through time and place”

When: Until September 1st

Where: Seacoast African American Cultural Center, at the Discovery Center, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth

What’s next: “We the People” exhibition from September 1st to December 23rd

More information: Visit the center’s Facebook page and visit its website or call (603) 430-6027

African leisure startups had their greatest ever yr in 2020 — Quartz Africa

African entertainment startups had their best funding year last year, despite struggling to find business models that work on the continent.

The startups raised a total of $ 13.9 million in 2020, nearly 19 times the sector’s income in the previous year and nearly 116 times the sector’s income in 2018 the report by Disturb Africa, a website for the latest news on African tech startups.

“Purchasing power is growing, entertainment startups are increasingly thriving where others have failed, and investors are looking for opportunities that go beyond busy areas like fintech, healthcare and e-commerce,” Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, told Quartz . “There would always be a drip-down effect and we’re starting to see it.”

The tremendous growth reflects the success of a handful of companies rather than the entire sector. This year, according to the report, all funds went to just 10 companies.

Africa’s entertainment space ”is still in its infancy and is characterized by a large number of early supporters who occasionally collect money. Otherwise the landscape is relatively sparse, ”says the report.

The best funded African entertainment startups

The main beneficiary of funding in the African entertainment sector last year was Kenya Mdundo, a music streaming and download platform. It raised $ 6.4 million from its oversubscribed IPO on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market in Denmark.

Other startups that have secured funding are from South Africa Carry1st, who develops and publishes mobile games and content apps, and Sea monsters, a game and animation creator. They received $ 2.5 million and $ 1 million, respectively. StarNews Mobile, an Ivorian video-on-demand startup, received $ 1.8 million. The investments came mainly from venture capital funds.

Fintech is still king

Despite its record performance, the entertainment sector lagged most of the rest, with fintech far ahead. The entertainment sector secured 2% of funds last year, compared to 0.15% in 2019.

Look for a profitable model

As internet connectivity and the number of connected devices increase, Africans are becoming larger consumers of content. However, it remains difficult to find a sustainable model for entertainment companies on the continent to operate with, partly due to the high cost of data and piracy. A relatively small middle class and non-essential spending on entertainment has also prevented startups from entering the market, Jackson said.

As an an example, iROKOtv, one of the first mainstream movie streaming websites in Africa and an early success story among entertainment startups on the continent, has shifted its focus from Africa to African diaspora markets in North America and Western Europe in search of profit.

But Mdundo seems to have found a way to make money. It generates revenue by selling song advertising space that users can download for free. The company generated $ 300,000 in ad sales this way in 2019. Mdundo and StarNews Mobile, Jackson, said, “Realize that mobile-first, data-lite and low-cost solutions are the way forward, on a large scale and in multiple markets.”

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Ashley Judd recounts ‘harrowing’ leg damage in African jungle | Leisure

Actress Ashley Judd is in an intensive care unit in South Africa after her leg was “crushed” in an accident in the Congo, which she said in an Instagram Live interview.

“Accidents happen – and there was a fallen tree along the way that I didn’t see and I had a very powerful step in front of me and just fell over that tree,” she told New York Times columnist Nicholas on Friday Kristof. “When I broke my leg, I knew it was broken.”

It took “an incredibly harrowing 55 hours” to get her from the jungle to an operating table in South Africa.

She was stuck on the floor with a “badly misshapen leg” for five hours, bit her stick in pain and “howled like a wild animal.”

She was eventually taken to a trauma unit on a motorcycle while holding the top of her broken tibia together.

“We did this for six hours,” she recalled. “I was on the verge of my edge.”

The star and activist “Double Jeopardy” spends a large part of each year in Africa and wanted to use the interview to raise awareness of problems of poverty and animal welfare. She was there on a research project on bonobos, a type of endangered primate.

Judd recognized the “privilege” that enabled her to receive medical care relatively quickly. “Most of the people I know would not have had access.”

Maryland confirms case of South African Covid variant that is extra infectious

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will hold a press conference on November 17th in Annapolis, MD to discuss COVID-19 concerns.

Bill O’Leary | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Maryland has reported a case of the new, highly communicable Covid-19 The first variant found in South Africa marks the third case discovered in the United States, Governor Larry Hogan announced on Saturday.

The case involves an adult resident who lives in the Baltimore area and has not taken any international travel in the past. Maryland health officials and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed this.

“We strongly encourage Marylanders to exercise particular caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this variant,” said Hogan. “Please continue to practice normal health and safety precautions, including wearing masks, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.”

The first two U.S. cases of the South African variant, known as B.1.351, were identified in South Carolina on January 28. Other variants found in the US come from the UK and Brazil.

The variants do not appear to cause more serious illness or an increased risk of death, but are considered highly contagious. Health officials are particularly concerned about variant B.1.351 as preliminary research suggests that vaccines may be less effective at controlling it.

president Joe Biden signed a travel ban last week on most non-U.S. citizens who entered the country and were recently in South Africa Reintroduction of travel restrictions on the entry of non-US citizens from the UK and Brazil.

The virus has infected more than 25.9 million people and killed at least 436,000 people since the pandemic began in the United States. according to dates compiled by Johns Hopkins University.