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Italy signs gas deal worth billions of dollars with Algeria to reduce reliance on Russia

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Algeria and Italy have signed a massive gas deal worth billions of dollars which would see the European country reducing it’s heavy reliance on Russian imports amid the raging Ukrainian invasion which has led to a plethora of sanctions including economic.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who announced the deal on Monday, said with the deal which comes into effect this autumn, increased gas supplies will be sent through the Transmed undersea pipeline, which links Algeria to Italy via Tunisia.

Before sealing the major gas deal, Italy which buys the vast majority of its natural gas from overseas, with 40% of it’s supplies coming from Russia, has been experiencing severe gas shortages since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with the attendant sanctions by the EU, the UN and several countries.

Speaking shortly after signing the deal in the Algerian capital, Algiers, Mr. Draghi said his government had signed a preliminary agreement on energy cooperation with Algeria.

“Immediately after the invasion of Ukraine, I announced that Italy would move with the utmost speed to reduce dependence from Russian gas.

“Today’s agreements are a significant response to this strategic goal. Others will follow,” he 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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