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Hello IMF My Old Friend, A Tale of Two Ethiopias and SA Leads the Way

Hello IMF My Old Friend, A Tale of Two Ethiopias and SA Leads the Way
By TheBrief • Issue #52 • View online
Note from the Editors: Thank you to each and every one of you our readers. Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of TheBrief, and we would never have made it here without your encouragement and engagement.
Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa!
Quote of the Week:
It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to it, that matters.” — Epictetus.
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford
Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
— Miyamoto Musashi

What's the Palava? (What's going on in Nigeria?)
Ole L'everybody (Everyone is A Thief)
This week, the U.K. joined the U.S. in resisting Nigeria’s plan to hand almost $110 million to a top ruling-party official. The money is alleged by American authorities to have been stolen by late dictator Sani Abacha. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration says a 17-year-old agreement entitles Kebbi state Governor Abubakar Bagudu to the funds and prevents Nigeria from assisting U.S. confiscation efforts.
What’s Free? Electricity
To help manage the negative effects of Covid-19, the government of Nigeria is providing two months of free electricity to the populace!
What's Going On Across Africa?
Hello IMF My Old Friend
Since March 16, the IMF has pledged $993 million and the World Bank $1.53 billion, according to EXX Africa, a risk consultancy. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, is in talks for $7 billion of support from the two lenders and the African Development Bank. 
The World Bank has predicted the first recession in sub-Saharan Africa in 25 years with an economic contraction of as much as 5.1% in 2020.
Who You Gonna Call?
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa acting in his role as Chair of the African Union (AU), announced that the AU will establish a task force to address problems related to Covid-19 on the continent.
African leaders have now agreed to establish regional coronavirus task forces in each of Africa’s five regions, which are Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa and Northern Africa.
Come Rain or Hail!
Mr D Food, a South African food delivery company, will now deliver medicineThe startup has partnered with Medirite, a local pharmacy, to deliver to users who place their drug orders with the pharmacy. To have them delivered, users will have to request for delivery through the Mr D Food app quoting their Medirite order number. 
WhatsApp targets Mothers
Amidst a rise in COVID-19-related misinformation, WhatsApp has put limits on how viral messages can be forwarded. For instance, messages that are ‘highly forwarded’ (i.e. sent by more than 5 people) can only be forwarded to a single person. Previous attempts to limit forwarding have seen the company reducing the number of people a message can be forwarded to to five and labelling forwarded messages. The company alleges that forwarding decreased by 25% in the last year. In reality, what this means is that our mother’s University of WhatsApp degrees in COVID-19 just became seriously devalued.
A Tale of Two Ethiopias
Ethiopia’s central bank has allowed non-financial institutions, including telecommunications companies, to offer mobile money services. Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecommunications company which dominates the sector, will now be able to move into financial services. This is one of many economic reforms which the Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, hopes would increase foreign investment into Ethiopia.  But, notably, the country’s telecommunications market remains closed to foreign companies - despite interest from MTN, Vodacom, and Orange.
Another Shutdown in Ethiopia
Due to an internet and telecommunications blackout, people of the Wollega province in Ethiopia have not had access to the internet for 3 months; the 7th internet shutdown in Ethiopia since 2016. This particular blackout was because of a security crackdown in the area. And the effect has been devastating. Besides preventing people from communicating, it has: (i) inhibited humanitarian services; (ii) made it difficult to locate abducted students by ending an online campaign for their rescue; (iii) stifled freedom of speech and expression; and (iv) limited access to COVID-19 health information. Shutting down the internet is not, and should not be, a viable option.
SA Leads the Way
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa and ministers will take a 33% pay cut for the next three months, and the money will be diverted towards social and economic relief measures to help the country weather the Covid-19 pandemic.
What in the world??
(our segment where we highlight the most outrageous story we have come across while scraping the web for news articles for you). We have taken to using what we call the Ehn scale. The longer the Ehn the more incredulous.
Nothing this week folks! The world is crazy enough!
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