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Cocoa farms spring back to life in Sierra Leone

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As Mary Sia Kombo walks through the trees and shrubs of her family’s cocoa farm, images of her father flood her memory. “He used to carry me to the farm with him,” recalls 23-year-old Kombo. “It was a special time spent with my father. I learned a lot.”

Though her father died in 2007, she remembers how he encouraged her to pursue farming – and to work hard at it. “He showed me many techniques of farming. I’m always missing him,” she says. However, the farm her father owned could not be maintained after the devastation of the country’s 11-year civil war. When the war ended in 2002, he father tried to revitalise the farm, but it was difficult. After his death, there was still a lot of work to be done.

Despite agriculture accounting for almost half of the country’s gross domestic product, farms neglected owing to the war are common. A project initiated by the German government is hoping to revive the cocoa industry by offering a programme known as the Integrated Farmers Training to youth like Kombo, who has been involved with the programme since its launch in February 2014.

The project is implemented by the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Currently, about 5,000 young people from the eastern districts of Kailahun and Kono are learning about the cocoa farm trade, many of them owning the plantations upon which they learn to farm. “So many [farmers] died, and younger generations were not able to take care of plantations. The knowledge was lost and interest was not there,” says Ralf Zimmermann, the team leader of the cocoa component of the programme.

Aljazeera.

 

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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