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Tanzania Swears in First Female President

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Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday was sworn in as Tanzania’s president, making history as becoming the first female leader of the East African country.

Across East Africa, all eyes were glued on television sets to watch Suluhu, 61, taking her oath following the sudden and controversial death of his predecessor John Pombe Magufuli.

“I Samia Suluhu Hassan, swear and solemnly affirm that I will be faithful to the United Republic of Tanzania, and serve it with all my heart and that I will preserve and defend the constitution of the union of Tanzania in accordance with the law laid down, so help me God,” Suluhu said while taking her presidential oath.

“I swear that I will undertake my presidential duties for Tanzania faithfully and conscientiously fulfill those responsibilities,” she told the ceremony attended by military and government officials.

Hassan inspected a guard of honor and received a gun salute from the military.

In her first statement as the president of Tanzania, Suluhu told the nation: “The oath I took today of office is different and unlike any other, I have ever taken in comfort, excitement and joy. I took this oath with sorrow and all across the country there is great sadness, I took this oath on a day of mourning.”

She announced 21-day mourning for Magufuli, adding that all flags of Tanzania will fly at half-mast for the period.

She also said that the body of the late president will be moved from the Lugalo Military Hospital to St. Peters Church in the capital for prayers on Saturday and later to Uhuru Park where Tanzanian leaders will bid farewell.

His body will be moved from city to city all through the week for people to view it and say goodbye, and the deceased Tanzanian leader will be received in Chato region on Thursday for the funeral service.

Magufuli died of a heart condition at the age of 61 on Wednesday.

His death came after two weeks of speculation about his health on suspicion of contracting COVID-19.

Magufuli had declared that COVID-19 was defeated in his country, attributing it “to God’s help,” even when the World Health Organization asked the cooperation of the government.

But he had recently acknowledged that the virus was still being transmitted when Seif Sharif Hamad, vice president of semi-autonomous Zanzibar, reportedly died of COVID-19.

Before taking the office of the president, Suluhu served as the vice president for six years. The Muslim woman became the first Tanzanian vice president when she took the office in 2015.

The mother of four also served as a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives in 2000-2005. It was also during this time that she was elected as the minister of labour by the then President Amani Karume.

Suluhu served as the Zanzibar minister of tourism in 2005-2010. She was the parliamentary member of Makunduchi area of Tanzania in 2010-2015.

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Europa League: Arsenal in Tough Spot After Home Draw

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UEFA Europa League quarter-finals return leg will be played on Thursday evening at 8pm live on StarTimes.

Aubameyang’s Arsenal is in a tough spot after their disappointing draw against Slavia Prague at home last week. Manchester United will be much more confident thanks to Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes’ goals that gave the Reds a 2-0 victory.

Of the four home sides in last week’s first leg quarter-final matches of the Europa League, Arsenal achieved the best result.

The Gunners were the only club to avoid defeat in their own stadium, though the Premier League club were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Slavia Prague.

In the first leg, Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé gave Arsenal a late lead – five minutes from the end.

But just when Mikel Arteta’s side seemed to be able to take a one-goal advantage into Thursday’s away leg, Czech international defender Tomáš Holeš found an equalizer five minutes into injury time.

Slavia though will be wary of Arsenal’s away form in the competition, as the London side has yet to lose an away game in the Europa League this season.

They have won four of the six matches they have played away from home and drawn the other two.

The two other quarter-finals see La Liga club Villarreal take on Dinamo Zagreb in Spain with a 1-0 lead from the away leg, while Roma defend a 2-1 lead at home against Ajax Amsterdam.

Since being re-launched as the Europa League in 2009, the competition has grown in stature and regularly grabs its share of footballing headlines. With clubs like Arsenal and United involved, the world will be watching this week’s return legs in the quarter-finals.

African football fans will have a chance to watch the games live and exclusively on the StarTimes channels as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts all the action from the exciting Europa League.

And two months from now, StarTimes is going to broadcast all matches of the long-awaited UEFA Euro 2020 live and in HD.

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COVID-19: Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) Loan – Covid19.nmfb.com.ng

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In a bid to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals across Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria through Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) has reopened Targeted Credit Facility for COVID-19 loan to help struggling families, individuals and small businesses rebounded from the negative impact of COVID-19.

The facility provides individuals and businesses access to up to N25 million, according to a statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The statement reads “The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, sharp drop in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, massive cancellation of sporting and entertainment event, lockdown of large swaths movements of persons in many countries, and intercontinental travel bans/restrictions across critical air routes across the world.”

“These outcomes have had severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, resulting from drop in global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production.

“In this respect, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To apply for a COVID-19 NMFB loan click here to provide your details.

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Osinbajo to Kick off Ogun Digital Economic Empowerment Programme

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Barring any last-minute change in plans, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Thursday (tomorrow) join Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to flag off a digital empowerment programme in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Tagged ‘Ogun State Digital Economic Empowerment Project’, it is a plan of the State Government, being organised by the Bureau of Information Technology in conjunction with 21st Century Technologies.

In a press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin, he quoted the Director, Information Technology in the Bureau, Mrs. Olatundun Adekunte as saying that the event will hold at Ogun Tech-Hub Kobape Road, Abeokuta at 11am.

According to the release, the project is aimed at providing internet accessibility to indigenes and residents of the state and its environs in order to enhance lives and businesses of the people.

The release further stated that other special guests such as the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele; ministers, stakeholders, royal fathers will grace the occasion.

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