#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe

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SADC releases cross-border movement guidelines and the US Treasury sent $1.4bn of pandemic aid to dead people; take a look at these and other headlines making waves around the globe.

1. Local headlines: 

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has released guidelines on the harmonisation and facilitation of cross border transport operations across the Region During the Covid-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the guidelines are to limit the spread of COVID-19 through transport across borders; facilitate the implementation of transport related national COVID-19 measures in cross border transportation; facilitate interstate flow of goods and services; institute safe measures to allow movement of passengers across borders; and balance, align, harmonise and coordinate COVID-19 response measures with the requirements for trade and transport facilitation.

They also seek to promote safe trade and transport facilitation for economic growth and poverty alleviation in the SADC region; and facilitate the adoption and implementation of harmonized standard operating procedures for management and monitoring of cross border road transport at designated points of entry and Covid-19 checkpoints.

[SADC releases cross-border movement guidelines, TheReporter]

2. Local headlines

In an effort to intensify the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) global outbreak, the Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) has donated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment to the value of M1.2 million to the Maluti Adventist Hospital in Mapoteng, Berea. 

Speaking at the handover ceremony Maluti Adventist Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabang Pulumo commended SLB, adding that the donation will go a long way in assisting the hospital fight the pandemic. “I know that Berea Hospital has been selected by the government to treat Covid-19 patients but we know that when cases increase Maluti hospital will have to step up and help hence we have to be capacitated with equipment,” he said. 

Maluti Adventist Hospital Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Noel Noa Lehoko thanked SLB for the support of essential ventilators and other important medical equipment they provided to the hospital. Lehoko also emphasized on the importance of the equipment in taking care of Covid-19 patients.  [SLB donates ICU equipment worth M1.2 million, InformativeNews]

3. Global headlines

The US Treasury mistakenly sent more than $1.4bn (£1.1bn) of its pandemic rescue funds to dead people, government inspectors have found. The finding was one of several “challenges” uncovered in the official review of federal coronavirus aid.

Since March, Congress has pumped some $2.6tn into the American economy in an effort to shield it from virus slowdown. But the rush to deliver the money has contributed to errors, inspectors said.

For example, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the Treasury Department, which was in charge of mailing stimulus cheques to American families, did not check death records, even though some of the tax officials working on the programme said they raised concerns about the risk of erroneous mailings.

[US Treasury sent $1.4bn of pandemic aid to dead people, BBC News]

4. In arts/lifestyle

Local stars, rapper Sekonyela ‘Q-Real’ Qaitsane and actress/filmmaker Ayesha Khuele are the new ambassadors of youth educational platform U-Report that provides a platform for young people to access information and share their views and opinions with decision makers, while strengthening and promoting citizen-led development and social accountability for sustainable change.

Partnered with UNICIEF and Misa Lesotho, U- Report is expected to identify challenges, propose solutions that work on the ground, express their concerns and organize themselves via U-Report which  is currently implemented in over 22 countries across Africa. 

Q- Real said he is looking forward to being a U-Report ambassador and, as daunting as the role seems, he is ready to make the most of it. He believes it is his music that led to his selection as an ambassador. Q- Real also revealed that he will soon be releasing an album and he is excited that the project will allow him to still enjoy his craft. [Stars now U-Report Ambassadors, TheReporter]

5. What we’re reading

Most people appreciate the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and why it’s crucial for leaders to embody. What you might not be aware of is the need for a Decency Quotient (DQ), which this article defines as a step above EQ. Read the rest of the article to find out why the combination of IQ, EQ and DQ is a powerful one in any leader. [For Leaders, Decency Is Just as Important as Intelligence, Harvard Business Review]

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Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.