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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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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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