Connect with us


Italy snubs Russia over Ukraine invasion, signs gas deal with Angola



As one of the fall-outs of the Ukraine/Russia war, Italy has made move to look for alternative gas supply as the European country on Wednesday penned a deal with Angola to ramp up gas supplies.

A statement from the Italian foreign minister during the declaration of intent was signed to develop “new” natural gas ventures and to increase exports to Italy.
“Today, we have reached another important agreement with Angola to increase gas supplies,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in the statement.
“Italy’s commitment to differentiate energy supply sources is confirmed,” said Di Maio at the end of a two-and-half-hour long visit to Luanda.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is forcing Europe to diversify its energy supply.
“Germany and Europe must now quickly make up for what they have missed over the last 20 years,” Stefan Liebing, chairperson of the German-African Business Association, said in a recent press release.
He advised Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck to travel to African countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt and Angola, which could help free Europe from its dependence on Russian gas.
The Prime Minister, Mario Draghi reportedly want to add Angola and Congo-Brazzaville to a portfolio of suppliers to substitute Russia, which provides about 45 percent of Italian gas.
“We do not want to depend on Russian gas any longer, because economic dependence must not become a political subject,” Draghi said in a local media publication on Sunday.
“Diversification is possible and can be implemented in a relatively short amount of time — quicker than we imagined just a month ago,” he said.
Draghi was due to go himself but after testing positive for Covid-19 sent Di Maio and Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani in his place.


South Africa to withdraw from emergency reserves to reduce growing debt



South Africa’s National Treasury announced on Wednesday that the government would take $8 billion over the following three years from emergency reserves kept at the central bank in order to curb the country’s growing debt.

The most industrialised economy in Africa has not expanded significantly in over ten years, as the state budget has been increasingly consumed by escalating debt servicing expenses.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana stated during the presentation of the 2024 budget that the unconventional decision to remove 150 billion rand ($7.93 billion) from the Gold and Foreign Exchange Contingency Reserve Account (GFECRA) would not jeopardise the solvency of the central bank and would instead leave ample reserves to withstand shocks to the currency rate.

The Treasury stated that GFECRA, which records gains and losses on the nation’s foreign exchange reserve operations, has a balance of more than 500 billion rand, which is greater than likely reserve losses due to rand appreciation.

The next fiscal year, which ends in March 2025, will give the government 100 billion rand; the next two years, it will receive 25 billion rand each.

Duncan Pieterse, the director general of Treasury, informed reporters that the government was essentially substituting more costly borrowing with the reserve account.

Investor confidence regarding the government’s financial needs led to a minor increase in the rand and a strengthening of the nation’s sovereign dollar bonds.

A general election scheduled for May 29th is approaching, and given the dire state of the economy, it is possible that the ruling African National Congress party may lose its legislative majority for the first time since apartheid ended thirty years ago.

Continue Reading


Nigeria’s FDI in manufacturing rises by $644m in 2023



According to data from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), foreign investments into the industrial sector increased by $644 million in 2023 to $1.5 billion from $948 million the year before.

In its capital imports report, the NBS said that the manufacturing sector had the highest investment levels.

The industries comprising the top three investment magnates were banking and finance, which ranked distantly second and third, respectively.

Manufacturing investments of $1.5 billion in 2023 made up 39% of all capital imports that year ($3.8 billion). Compared to $5.4 billion in 2022, foreign investments in Nigeria decreased by $1.5 billion to $3.8 billion.

The total capital importation was primarily driven by foreign direct investments ($377.3 million) and portfolio investments ($1.1 billion), with other investments accounting for the largest share of the total at $2.37 billion.

With $2.5 billion, Lagos State was the most popular travel destination in 2023, followed by Abuja ($1.1 billion). $150 million and $6 million were recorded by Abia and Rivers States, respectively.

In the same year in review, investments were also drawn to Ogun, Ekiti, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, and Adamawa states. 29 states were unable to draw in any capital during that time.

Foreign investments in Nigeria have consistently decreased in recent years. The largest economy in Africa saw a $18.6 billion fall in foreign investment in just four years (2019–2022), according to NBS.

Eight states were unable to draw in any kind of foreign investment over the four years. Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, and Kebbi were the states that were impacted. The report indicates that $23.9 billion in foreign investments were made in Nigeria in 2019.

The amount fell to $9.6 billion by 2020, then to $6.7 billion the next year, and finally to $5.3 billion in 2022. This suggests a $18.6 billion drop in the following four years. Over the course of the four years, the world’s most populated black country earned roughly $46 billion.

With $35.4 billion in foreign investments, Lagos State topped the way, followed by Federal Capital Territory ($10 billion).

Continue Reading


VenturesNow2 mins ago

South Africa to withdraw from emergency reserves to reduce growing debt

South Africa’s National Treasury announced on Wednesday that the government would take $8 billion over the following three years from...

VenturesNow53 mins ago

Nigeria’s FDI in manufacturing rises by $644m in 2023

According to data from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), foreign investments into the industrial sector increased by $644 million...

Metro2 hours ago

Despite hardship in Nigeria, Tinubu insists on harsh economic reforms

Despite the hues and cries of agony by Nigerians over the excruciating high cost of living and economic challenges occasioned...

Sports15 hours ago

Nigeria’s D’Tigers withdraws from 2025 AfroBasket qualifiers due to lack of funds

Nigeria’s senior male basketball national team, D’Tigers, have withdrawn from the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket qualifiers dunking off in Tunisia on...

Tech15 hours ago

Ethiopia’s Awash Bank partners Mastercard to launch international prepaid cards

Ethiopia’s leading private financial institution, Awash Bank S.C, has partnered with global payments company, Mastercard, to launch the Awash international...

Metro21 hours ago

Zambia: Opposition FDD calls for creation of agric bank

Zambian opposition party, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), has called on the government to re-establish an agricultural bank...

Metro1 day ago

Hardship: Nigerian govt to resume direct cash transfers to 12m citizens

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, has revealed that the federal government will resume...

Musings From Abroad1 day ago

US keen on expanding bilateral trade with Nigeria

According to the US Consulate in Nigeria, it is looking for ways to guarantee prosperity for Nigeria by increasing bilateral...

Strictly Personal1 day ago

Nigeria’s Currency Crisis: Time to deploy Amotekun, By Chinedu Chidi

I have thought long and hard about just the right solution to the downward spiral of the Naira, and confidently...

Sports2 days ago

Kelvin Kiptum: Autopsy reveals late Marathon record holder died from head injuries

An autopsy carried out by the Kenyan government has revealed that late world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum, died from...