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

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Here’s your mid-week wrap of the local and global headlines you might’ve missed this week.

1. Local headlines

The Minister of Development Planning Hon. Selibe Mochoboroane launched the Agricultural Census aimed to assist the government of Lesotho in making constructive decisions for agricultural planning and policy making last Wednesday. 

When launching the Agricultural Census Mochoboroane stated that the government learned the hard way the importance of being ‘self-reliant’ through the coronavirus pandemic which forced countries to close borders as a result of lockdown restrictions aimed to keep the virus at bay. With Lesotho importing 80 percent of food from South Africa, the data that will be derived from the agricultural census is expected to help understand the constraints faced by farmers in increasing agricultural production and the type of agricultural products they are involved in,  among others.       

Mochoboroane further noted that the government is going to finance the project with M25 million. The project is expected to take six months starting from July to December 2020, wherein the Food and Agricultural Organization will only provide technical assistance. The data collection will be piloted in five districts in Lesotho; Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Maseru, Mohale’s Hoek and Thaba-Tseka before it covers the other remaining districts.

[Agric census begins, Informative News]

2. Local headlines

Alliance Insurance Company handed over a cheque for M800 000 to the Street Vendors Association last Tuesday. The fund is aimed at assisting Basotho Street Vendors across the country with a voucher of M400 each as part of the launch of the second phase of Alliance’s ‘U- Mang?’ brand promise.

Speaking at the event, Alliance head of marketing and communications, ‘Makeabetsoe Mabaleha, said the company will be working closely with the association’s committee to ensure that there is transparency in the distribution of the vouchers, and that vendors who will require assistance across the country are registered and assisted accordingly.

Mabaleha added that Alliance was also donating over 4000 masks to the association. She said more masks will also be given to taxi associations and the Lesotho Mounted Police Services, which they regard as sectors that are in constant interaction with multitudes of people on a daily basis, thereby placing them at a high risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus.

[Alliance supports vendors, The Reporter]

3. Global headlines

‘ISIS’ has warned South Africa that it would “open the fighting front” within South Africa’s borders, should it get involved in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province. This is according to reports on ISIS’s latest newsletter, Al-Naba.

An organisation linked to ISIS, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah, has been waging a violent insurgency in Mozambique’s northernmost province, Cabo Delgado. It started in 2017, but the violence has escalated in recent months. They want to establish an extremist form of Islamic law in the province, even though their motives have been questioned by some as more compelled by greed. 

In its newsletter, which is published in Arabic, ISIS reportedly wrote that European and American states are trying to convince South Africa to lead the war in Mozambique. It states further that South Africa’s military involvement might prompt ISIS soldiers to start fighting within its borders.

On Tuesday, DA MP Kobus Marais called on the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to urgently engage her counterparts in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regarding the increasing ISIS threat.

[‘ISIS’ warns SA: Steer clear of Mozambique conflict, News24]

4. In lifestyle

South African streaming service Showmax on Tuesday announced that it will be launching a new service named Showmax Pro which will bundle the existing Showmax entertainment service with music channels, news, and live sport streaming from SuperSport.

The service features all Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and PSL games, as well as a wide range of other live sport events. According to the statement Showmax Pro will initially roll out in Nigeria and Kenya from 7 July, with additional countries following shortly after.  

The entire process is expected to be completed within 6-8 weeks with coverage across sub-Saharan Africa. Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice, said: “Showmax is an African video on demand service with many years’ experience operating on this continent. 

[Showmax launches new live-streaming service, News24]

5. What we’re reading

This short article from Forbes asserts that “Sleep is the foundation of both a strong immune system and psychological resilience—the very things we need to navigate this pandemic.” It also lists small lifestyle changes you can make to get better sleep during this difficult time. We hope it inspires you to prioritize your sleep so you can continue going after your goals for the rest of the week. [10 Ways To Get Good Sleep In Bad Times To Keep Your Career Ahead Of The Pandemic, Forbes]

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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.