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Mali achieves record high 760,000 ton production of Cotton to top list in Africa

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There is something to cheer about in Mali as the West African country has recorded its largest cotton production of more than 760,000 tons for the 2021-2022 season.

Head of the military junta, Assimi Goita declared the record production on Saturday.

The latest feat of the country puts  as the top cotton producer on the African continent.

According to the government, record production was made possible by maintaining a subsidy on agricultural inputs, maintaining a minimal shift in the cost of cotton seen among other initiatives.

In September 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had indicated in its report that “Mali will be the largest cotton producer in Africa for the 2021/2022 season, followed by Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

The growth in Mali is mainly due to an increase in the area harvested in Mali, which jumped 382 percent from last year. This increase followed a year-long boycott in cotton production in Mali.

Cotton producers boycotted the 2020/2021 cotton season following a misunderstanding with the authorities over the price of cotton seeds set by the government.

Mali planted a record 795,000 hectares (ha), up 630,000 hectares (382%) from last year’s crop, the document noted.

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COVID-19: Friendship renewed as Algeria opens land border with Tunisia

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Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced that it will reopen the land border between the two countries in mid-July.

The border, which starts in the north at the Mediterranean coast, proceeding overland in a broadly southwards directions via a series of overland lines was closed in 2020 during the peak of Covid-19.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune made the announcement at Algiers airport alongside his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied who was preparing to leave the country after attending the festivities marking the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

“We have taken a joint decision to reopen the land borders from July 15.”

Until the pandemic, more than three million Algerians travelled to Tunisia each year, according to local media.

Generally speaking, relations between Algeria and Tunisia have so far been homogenous. Although Algeria postponed the opening of it borders with Tunisia in May.

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The Gambia benefits from World Bank’s $68m grant to revive tourism industry

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The Gambia and the World Bank have sealed a $68m grant deal which will go to support the West African country’s tourism industry, hitherto the biggest contributor to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the global tourism sector, causing a near economic meltdown.

World Bank’s Managing Director of Operations, Axel Van Trotsenburg, who announced the signing of the deal at a ceremony in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, on Tuesday, said the grant is meant to support the diversification and climate resilience of the country’s tourism after the pandemic and economic crisis.

Trotsenburg added that promoting the diversification and climate resilience of tourism will help protect the Atlantic coastline of The Gambia from the effects of climate change.

About 20 per cent of The Gambian economy depends on earnings from its tourism as it is the largest foreign exchange earner for the government but the advent of the pandemic had caused the country’s economic growth to contract by 0.2 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.

This was as a result of the global restrictions on travelling between 2020 and 2021, which prevented tourists and visitors going to the country, leading to the tourism industry taking a huge hit.

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