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Mozambique braces for new Tropical Storm Gombe

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A new low-pressure system named Gombe, which has recently formed in Madagascar and evolved into a moderate tropical storm, could reach Mozambique on Friday, March 11, Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) announced.

According to the forecasts in the INAM statement, the system could reach the Mozambique Channel on Wednesday and approach the Mozambican coast on Friday.

On Tuesday, two deaths, one missing, 935 victims were confirmed by Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC).

“Tropical storm Gombe could influence the weather in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Zambezia, with the occurrence of heavy rains, accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds,” says the statement.

These are the provinces that are still reeling from the recent ravages of storms which passed through the country earlier this year.

INAM says it is monitoring this phenomenon and appeals to the population to continue to follow the meteorological information and the warnings disseminated by the competent national authorities.

In February, cyclone Emnati hit Madagascar with wind speeds of up to 170 km/h, the government’s meteorological department said, making it the fourth major storm to slam into the Indian Ocean island in February.

Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said nearly 275 000 people were in the cyclone’s path.

Tens of thousands of people have already been made homeless in this year’s cyclone season.

Xinhua News Agency

Metro

Zambia signs creditor agreement deal with China, India to resolve debt crisis

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President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia has announced the signing of an official creditor agreement with China and India that will help resolve the country’s debt crisis.

Hichilema, who made the announcement on Saturday, said the agreement would also help pave the way for the country to negotiate with private creditors.

Before signing the agreement, Zambia had struggled to revive its debt restructuring process after a deal to rework $3 billion Eurobonds was rejected by its official creditors, with international media reporting that China and other creditors did not believe that it offered comparable debt relief to that of bondholders.

Earlier on Friday, Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane, had assured that the government was trying to clarify the meaning of a “comparable treatment” with bondholders.

However, while addressing a gathering during the Nc’wala ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people of Eastern Province, President Hichilema confirmed the signing of the agreement with the two Asian nations.

“On the official creditors’ side, the last two countries that had not signed, China and India, have now signed,” Hichilema said.

The President added that Zambia was now turning to the private creditors in a bid to address the debt issue because the had defaulted on its foreign debts in November 2020 and that its restructuring had been beset by delays.

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Metro

Four of 10 Nigerians indebted to loan sharks— Report

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A report from a research carried out by Nigerian fintech platform, Piggy Vest, has revealed that four out of 10 Nigerians are indebted to online loan sharks and are finding it difficult to come out of such debts.

The report noted that 26 per cent of average Nigerians were indebted to different loan apps spread across the country which is as a result of the harsh economic challenges brought about by different unfavourable government policies.

The report which was discussed at a Finance Roundtable in Lagos on Saturday by co-founder and COO of PiggyVest, Odun Eweniyi, lamented the widening wealth divide among Nigerians, saying it was inimical to economic growth as a vast majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

According to Eweniyi, the report ‘captures the attitude of different demographics in the country viz- a-viz their savings and spending habits, debt management, and future financial plans.’

As a panacea to solving the problems of indebtedness, Eweniyi advocated ‘savings before spending in order to avoid running into debt,’ adding that the option of savings was still elusive to Nigerians who live below the poverty line of $2 per day dollars per day.

“We must also know that while innovation is key, it cannot go far without social interventions for the people.”

She urged the government to focus on Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid in its conversation as well as simplify access to public credit facilities to improve income status of average Nigerians.

“This is why government must as much as possible explore collaboration with private sector to improve the living conditions of Nigerians and also drive financial literacy and inclusion,” Eweniyi emphasized.

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