Africa Current Affairs - 2020

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Malawi to Test Groundbreaking Malaria Vaccine

African Nation, Malawi will be undertaking large scale pilot tests for the world’s most advanced experimental malaria vaccine in a bid to prevent the disease that kills hundreds of thousands across Africa and Asia every year.

Vaccine for Malaria

  • Vaccine for Malaria under the trade name Mosquirix has been developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
  • Four successive doses of the vaccines must be administered on a strict timetable for it to work.
  • Even though the potential vaccine does not give full protection against the mosquito-borne disease, it is the furthest along in development and so far the most effective.
  • The pilot tests aim to immunize around 120,000 children aged 2 and below to assess the effectiveness of the pilot vaccine and whether the delivery process is feasible.

Malaria which spreads to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes has killed 435,000 people in 2017 alone and the majority of them were children under 5 in Africa.

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India turns out to be Net Steel Importer in 2018-19 Fiscal

For the first time in three years, India was the net importer of steel during the financial year 2018-19. This was attributed to India losing market share among its traditional steel buyers and an increase in imports of higher-quality steel domestically.

Indian Steel Exports

  • Indian steel exports fell by 34 percent to 6.36 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended in March 2019.
  • India’s exports during the fiscal year 2018-19 declined after rival steelmakers in China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia who were blocked from markets in the United States and Europe by tariffs and other protectionist measures, ate away at the India’s markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Indian Steel Imports

  • During the 2018-19 financial year, India’s finished steel imports rose 4.7 percent to 7.84 million tonnes.
  • Imports from the China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia also increased as they diverted supply into India after the tarrif and other protectionist measures in the US and EU.

The Ministry of Steel has urged local automakers to cut Japanese and South Korean imports to support domestic producers but the automakers who are the biggest importers of the high-quality steel say they cannot get the quality of steel they need locally. On the other hand Indian steel companies have sought imposition of higher duties on imports.

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