This article appears in the August 6, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
‘India Scenario’ Looms for Africa: Delta Virus Exploits Lack of Health Care Depth
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is rapidly destroying any hope that the nations of Africa, with their severely insufficient health care systems, might somehow escape the violence of the global pandemic.
A July 9 report from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, titled Devastating Human Toll as the Delta COVID Variant Takes Hold in Africa, warns that “the India scenario looms” for the continent. It documents that, while peak cases from the first and second waves almost doubled—rising from 18,164 cases per day in July 2020 to 32,750 cases per day in January 2021—fatalities more than tripled, going from a cumulative total of 17,104 to an additional 56,288. During the third wave, cases per day have already topped 37,000 and fatalities are nearing an additional 74,000.
Africa was not so severely hit during the first wave partly because it had ample warning and took effective evasive actions, enforcing strict lockdowns and travel prohibitions, and it built some extra capacity, especially hospital beds (as in South Africa). By mobilizing all available capabilities to fight the pandemic, Africa succeeded in saving lives.
But the limits of Africa’s in-depth health care capabilities are now becoming apparent, as 26 countries saw their case numbers jump about 50% in June compared to May, of which 17 have confirmed the presence of the Delta variant. South Africa, which bore the brunt of the first and second waves, is now joined by previously less affected states, including Uganda, Tunisia and Namibia, all of which have even fewer resources at their disposal than South Africa.
The ACSS report warns that Africa and India, each with a population of 1.3 billion (but vastly different geographies and population densities), could both face the same outcome, although Africa’s caseload is currently nowhere near India’s peak of 391,000 cases per day. What Africa has to fear, it says, are the implications of its death rate for the third wave being already almost double what India’s was at its worst: 2.58% of cases compared to India’s 1.32%.
Egypt Celebrates Launch of El-Dabaa Nuclear Plant Construction
Less than a year after the August 2020 announcement that Egypt would build the second nuclear power plant on the African continent—at El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast, 250 km west of Cairo—the preliminary paperwork is now completed and the construction phase is about to commence. That exciting news was announced by Russia’s Rosatom, the plant’s main contractor and supplier, together with the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), in a press conference July 12, to celebrate and emphasize the “win, win” nature of their accomplishment.
Rosatom regional director Alexander Voronkov, in the description on the NPPA website, situates the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the context of “clean” energy, but also stresses the larger economic benefits, saying that the NPP is Egypt’s “largest infrastructure project, that supports the development of various [economic] sectors and contributes to increasing the state’s income. The NPP is considered one of the most important drivers of sustainable development, a source of employment and stable development at the level of the region and the whole country.”
From the Egyptian side, Hesham Hegazy, who heads the Nuclear Fuel Sector at NPPA, emphasized that this mission was accomplished despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Dr. Grigory Sosnin, Vice-President and Director of the El-Dabaa NPP Project, further emphasized the positive impact it will have on the industrial development of Egypt and on the country’s GDP, estimating that it would “amount to about US$4 billion” during the construction phase alone. In addition to stabilizing the energy system, he said, “new jobs will be created at all stages of the NPP life cycle, including companies involved in the supply chain.”
At the peak of construction work, the total number of construction and installation personnel will be about 25,000 people, including more than 11,000 skilled workers, 70% of whom will be drawn from the local population. These figures are for the construction of reactor Units 1 and 2, completion of which is expected by 2026. The plant will eventually have a total of four 1,200 MW units.
UNICEF Signs Agreement for Purchase of Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine
An announcement from UNICEF has leaders of African nations breathing a little easier:
“On 12 July, the Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, announced that it had signed an Advance Purchase Agreement with [China’s] Sinopharm on behalf of the COVAX Facility for the purchase of up to 60 million doses to be made available from July through October 2021. The agreement also includes an option to purchase a further 60 million doses in Q4 2021 and 50 million more doses in the first half of 2022, if necessary. This totals a potential 170 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine available to COVAX participants.” Deliveries could start as early as August.
Former UK Ambassador Lectures Nigeria to ‘Cut Emissions’
In line with the drive to impose “Green Reset” deindustrialization policies, Paul Arkwright—the UK’s former COP26 Regional Ambassador to Sub-Saharan Africa—issued a “country-specific” list of requirements for Nigeria, the country with Africa’s (and the world’s) largest black population. His article, in The Africa Report of July 20, is meant to be seen by the entire continent.
Arkwright, also a former UK High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Nigeria, has a narrow path to walk here, as African and other developing-sector nations increasingly and correctly see the “climate crisis” as a creation of the industrialized west, for which African countries are now being forced to pay, while the $100 billion per year Climate Fund Commitment (CFC) for developing nations, promised at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009 and again in the 2015 Paris Agreement, has never materialized. Recognizing that fact, Arkwright titles his piece, “Nigeria: The UK Has a Part To Play in the Climate Crisis,” with the blurb, “The negotiating lines for November’s UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow are already being drawn in the sand.”
Beyond that concession, however, Arkwright is determined to make Nigeria—also Africa’s largest petroleum producer—understand that, regardless of how small its emissions might be, this “decarbonization” applies to Nigeria, too. Here Arkwright reveals the true, vile intentions of the Green Reset and COP26, for listing Nigeria’s alleged climate crimes—gas flaring, deforestation—he also includes “urban development,” and then adds: “Given that [Nigeria’s] population is projected to double to 400 million by 2050, Nigeria cannot afford to ignore climate change.”
As part of the Paris Accord, developing nations all agreed to carbon-reduction quotas—as was required for them to qualify for the $100 billion CFC that never came. Nigeria’s portion was a 20% reduction. However, Arkwright says, “the UK will be looking for a more ambitious plan this time around,” with the “key sectors” being energy and agriculture. Serious “government investment” will be required, too, Arkwright said—this to a nation where more than half of the national budget already goes for payment of foreign debt.
Elements for Secessionist Break-Up of Nigeria Emerge
While the surge in terrorism which Nigerians have suffered since the beginning of this year has subsided somewhat, another danger has grown: long-simmering separatist movements based on the same ethnic divisions that lay behind the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970.
One of two leading movements today is the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in a region comprising seven states in southeastern Nigeria. It is led by Nnamdi Okwu Kanu, a British Nigerian with dual citizenship, who fled the country four years ago to escape charges stemming from an uprising in 2017. Since then, Kanu has been running his “revolution” from London, over the airwaves of Radio Biafra.
The second is the Yoruba Nation movement, active in six states in the Southwest, including the nation’s largest city/state of Lagos. A leading figure in the Yoruba separatist movement is Sunday Adeyemo, a wealthy businessman and “philanthropist” popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
In recent weeks the government has begun a crackdown, targeting the two miscreants. Nigeria has captured Kanu, grabbing him in Kenya on June 29 as he was changing planes. London is incensed at the arrest of this British-Nigerian citizen. Kanu now has Bindmans, one of the largest and most prestigious legal firms in London, working to get his trial moved from Nigeria to London.
Ten days later, on July 9, the Nigerian Department of State Service (equivalent to the U.S. FBI) raided the home of Sunday Igboho, seizing a cache of arms and making several arrests. Igboho managed to escape capture. But he has now been detained in neighboring Benin while apparently planning to fly to Germany, and his deportation to Nigeria is currently before the courts.