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Rwanda, South Africa sign mega dollar deals with China

China will invest $14.7 billion in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday after talks between the two countries

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China will invest $14.7 billion in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday after talks between the two countries.

The news sent the rand one percent firmer.

Speaking at the same event, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the world’s second-biggest economy would take active measures to expand imports from South Africa to support development in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Ramaphosa, who has promised to revive the economy since becoming president in February and after winning the leadership of the ruling African National Congress last year, said “Xi has indicated that China is ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors.”

The rand firmed after Ramaphosa’s announcement, spurred by offshore demand for the currency, traders said.

South Africa’s struggling state-run power firm Eskom, which swung to a full year loss on Monday, received a $2.5 billion loan from the China Development Bank.

Ramaphosa has focused on revitalising Eskom, Africa’s largest public utility, which was embroiled in corruption scandals under former president Jacob Zuma and narrowly avoided a liquidity crunch early this year after banks halted lending. Zuma has denied wrongdoing.

South Africa’s logistics utility Transnet also received a cash injection, as well as other sectors of the economy, officials said.

Xi said China and South Africa were important emerging economies with similar perspectives on many global issues.

“Hence the need to strengthen cooperation,” Xi said.

Read Also: World’s largest refinery to cost $10bn; Dangote secures $650m loan

Meanwhile, Rwanda has signed loan agreements worth more than $300 million with China and India to fund roads and irrigation, officials said, as leaders from the two Asian powers made their first visits to the East African nation.
Jinping visited Rwanda from Sunday to Monday and granted a loan to build two roads while India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived on Monday.
Modi, who was on the way to a summit in South Africa, agreed $200 million in loans.

“With India we signed a loan of $100 million for irrigation in three separate areas in the country and $100 million for developing special economic zones,” Rwanda’s minister of finance Uzziel Ndagijimana told Reuters.

“With China we signed a loan agreement of $76 million for the road from Huye to Kibeho and for the new Bugesera airport access road it is $50 million,” Ndagijimana said.

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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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