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Gabon president appoints country's first female PM

BBC Monitoring
The world through its media
Christiane Ossouka Raponda
AFP
Christiane Ossouka Raponda has served as mayor of the capital and defence minister
Gabon's President Ali Bongo has appointed Christiane Ossouka Raponda as prime minister, the first woman to become the head of government in the West African country.
The 56-year-old replaces Julien Nkoghe Bekale, who held the post for 18 months.
"The priority mission of the new prime minister will be, above all, the economic revival and the continuation of the social support of the Gabonese people in a world context marked by the consequences of the crisis linked to Covid-19," La Libreville website said.
Ms Raponda, who previously served as the mayor of the capital, Libreville, was appointed defence minister in February 2019 after a failed coup against President Bongo. He had been convalescing in Morocco at the time after suffering a stroke in Saudi Arabia in October 2018.
Mr Bongo has not been seen in public for weeks. However, he is reportedly expected to travel abroad for a holiday amid rumours about his health.

Kenya court orders $12m payout for lead poisoning

Phyllis Omido
Goldman Environmental Prize
Phyllis Omido spearheaded the campaign to get compensation for lead poisoning
A Kenyan judge has awarded $12m ($9.6m) to a community that suffered from lead poisoning from a battery smelting plant.
The court case came about as a result of work done by Phyllis Omido, a resident of the slum settlement of Owino Uhuru, which is in Mombasa on Kenya's coast.
As an employee at the plant, she was inspired to act after her baby son was diagnosed with lead poisoning.
Her young son became very ill after she had been working at the plant for three months.
After tests, doctors discovered that he was suffering from lead poisoning that could have been passed through his mother's breast milk.
She found that other community members had similar problems and finally got the plant shut down in 2014.
But Ms Omido went to court in 2016 to get the government to clean up the area and pay compensation to the families of those who had died or were made sick from the lead.
As well as the money, Justice Ann Omollo ordered the authorities to get rid of the remaining lead, the Daily Nation reports.
Journalist John-Allan Namu, who has been following the case, says that various government agencies will have to fund most of the $12m pay out.

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