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Saudi Arabia boosts Egypt’s economy with $5bn

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Egypt’s business and religious ally, Saudi Arabia, has boosted the dwindling economy of the North African country by depositing $5 billion in Egypt’s Central Bank as the Egyptian economy faces new pressures as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

Saudi Arabian state news agency, SPA, said on Friday that the gesture was meant to help Egypt revive its economy after its currency was devalued on March 21 by about14% as investors pulled out billions of dollars out of the Egyptian treasury markets.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to implement the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Highness the Crown Prince, deposited $5bn with the Central Bank of Egypt,” the SPA said.

In October 2021, the Saudi Arabian government had also deposited $3bn with Egypt’s Central Bank and extended the term of another $2.3bn in previous deposits. The new deposit would thus bring the total to $10.3bn.

The Egyptian government had, last week, announced it was in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for potential funds and technical support to hedge against the effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on its economy, as funding from additional donors is often a condition for finance from the IMF.

Egypt and Qatar have also agreed to sign investment deals worth $5bn, the Egyptian cabinet said in a statement.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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