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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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Ivory Coast aims regional shipping hub, completes $953 million container terminal

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West African country, Ivory Coast is making waves at becoming a regional shipping hub as it has completed construction of a second container terminal at its main port in Abidjan.

The project, financed by China’s Eximbank by 85% and 15% by the Ivorian state costs about 596 billion CFA francs ($953 million).

The new container terminal, called Cote d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT), started operations on Nov. 1 but was officially unveiled at a press conference on Friday. It is able to receive large ships from Asia, Europe, and America that previously had to land goods in South Africa, transferring them to smaller ships to reach West Africa.

The technical director of the terminal Andre N’Doli, remarked “we are no longer a second port. We are becoming a hub,”

“In addition to national traffic, we will handle traffic from other ports that cannot accommodate large vessels,” he told reporters.

According to official data, there has been growth in recent years in the country’s maritime sector. Ivory Coast shipped goods worth USD 12,717 million in 2019, an -8.5% dip as compared to the previous year.

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Ghana makes strong push to save currency, Cedi, orders mining companies to sell 20% stock

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As part of its many initiatives to out of its current economic challenge, Ghana has ordered all large-scale mining companies to sell 20% of their entire stock.

The gold rich country wants the companies to pay the Bank of Ghana with refined gold at their refineries from Jan. 1, 2023.

According to Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawumia said in a social media post on Friday, the government is planning a new policy where gold rather than U.S. dollar reserves will be used to buy oil products.

The move is meant to tackle dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with the demand for dollars by oil importers, which is weakening the local cedi and increasing living costs.

“The Bank of Ghana and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) will coordinate with the large-scale mining companies to ensure compliance with this directive,” the vice-president said.

“The gold to be purchased by the Bank of Ghana and the PMMC will be in cedis at spot price with no discounts,” he added.

The VP further revealed that community mining schemes and licensed small-scale miners will also have to sell gold to the government.

Statista reports that gold reserves in Ghana stood at a volume of 8.74 metric tons from the first quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2021.

Moreover, gold mine production in the country reached a volume of 150 metric tons in 2020, an increase compared to the previous year. Ghana did not suspend its production of gold in 2020 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ghana hinted at the Gold for payment policy in May but the continued fall to a point of being rated worst in the world demands pragmatic measures. Hopefully, the gold-for-pay policy will bring some solace.

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