South Africa acknowledges ‘Afrophobia’ partly to blame for violence against foreigners

People rummage through a burned car in Johannesburg suburb of Malvern, on September 4, 2019, after South Africa's financial capital was hit by a new wave of anti-foreigner violence. (AFP)
Updated 05 September 2019

South Africa acknowledges ‘Afrophobia’ partly to blame for violence against foreigners

  • At least five Africans have been killed in attacks on foreigners in South Africa this week
  • ‘There is an Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that’

CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s Foreign Minister acknowledged on Thursday that prejudice against people from other African countries was one of the causes behind deadly attacks on foreign-owned businesses, a day after Pretoria was forced to shut its embassy in Nigeria over threats of retaliatory violence.
At least five Africans have been killed in attacks on foreigners in South Africa this week. On Wednesday South African companies MTN, and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria after retaliatory attacks.
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said the government decided to temporarily close the embassy in Nigeria for security reasons after a protest march was planned there and threats of violence were received.
In an interview on the sidelines of a continental economic conference in Cape Town, Pandor said South Africa was in constant contact with Nigerian authorities and was also working to restore calm in areas affected by the violence.
“There is an Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that,” Pandor said.
“There is a targeting of Africans from other parts of Africa, we can’t deny that. But, there is also criminality ... because a lot of this is accompanied by theft,” she said, describing the attacks as a complex phenomenon whose root causes were not easy to define.
The violence in South Africa has overshadowed the conference of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town. Nigeria announced on Wednesday it would boycott the meeting.
The withdrawal from the summit of Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was scheduled to address a panel on universal energy access on Thursday, has cast a cloud over initiatives to boost intra-African trade.


WHO decries ‘vast global gap’ in funds needed to fight coronavirus

Updated 10 August 2020

WHO decries ‘vast global gap’ in funds needed to fight coronavirus

  • More than 19.92 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally

GENEVA: There is a “vast global gap” between funds needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic and funds committed, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, and the WHO was only “10% of the way” there.
More than 19.92 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 729,883​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
“The coming three months present a crucial window of opportunity to scale-up the impact of the ACT Accelerator for global impact,” Tedros told a briefing in Geneva, referring to the “Access to COVID-19 Tools” initiative.
“However to exploit this window, we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are funding the ACT Accelerator and prioritize the use of new tools. There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT Accelerator, and the amount of funds that have been committed.”
He said the WHO was only “10% of the way” to funding the billions of dollars required.
“For the vaccines alone, over $100 billion will be needed,” Tedros said. This sounds like lot of money and it is.
“But it’s small in comparison to the $10 trillion that have already been invested by G20 countries in fiscal stimulus to deal with the consequences of the pandemic so far.”
However, he said he saw “green shoots of hope.”
“It is never too late to turn the pandemic around,” Tedros said. The message is to “suppress, suppress, suppress.”
Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies program, said the coronavirus was simple, brutal and cruel.
“It’s brutal in its simplicity, it is brutal in its cruelty, but it doesn’t have a brain,” he said. “We have the brains... we can outsmart something that doesn’t have a brain but we are not doing such a great job right now.”
Ryan said that Brazil is registering 50,000-60,000 cases per day. “Brazil is sustaining a very high level of epidemic, the curve is somewhat flattened, but it’s not going down and the system is under great deal of pressure.
“In a situation like that, hydroxychloroquine is not a solution and not a silver bullet,” he added, referring to the malaria drug which President Jair Bolsonaro has encouraged Brazilians to take against COVID-19.