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Twitter initiates talks with Elon Musk over his $43b takeover bid

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The board of microblogging giant, Twitter, has reopened talks for a takeover by billionaire Tesla Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, after his initial bid was rejected.

On April 14, shortly after becoming Twitter’s single largest shareholder by buying 9.2 percent of its stock, Musk had announced an offer to buy the social media platform for $54.20 per share, or about $43 billion, but did not say at the time how he would finance the acquisition.

The announcement was said to have put serious pressure on the board to negotiate a deal but after rejecting the bid, the two sides are now open to a negotiation and as at Monday morning, were discussing details including a timeline and fees if an agreement was signed and then fell apart.

Shortly after Musk, the world’s richest man according to Forbes and founder of SpaceX, a privately held space company, announced the takeover bid, Twitter had enacted an anti-takeover measure known in international business circles as the “poison pill” that could make a takeover attempt prohibitively expensive.

But now, it appears the Twitter board has decided to negotiate after Musk updated his proposal to show he had secured financing.

While announcing the bid, Musk, said in documents filed with U.S. securities regulators that the money would come from Morgan Stanley and other banks, some of it secured by his huge stake in Tesla, the electric car maker.

He had hinted that he wanted to buy Twitter because he doesn’t feel it was living up to its potential as a platform for free speech while in recent weeks.

He had also promised a number of changes for the company, from relaxing its content restrictions such as the rules that suspended former President Donald Trump’s account, to ridding the platform of its problems with fake and automated accounts.

Musings From Abroad

Uganda turns to China for $150 million loan after World Bank halts funding

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East African country, Uganda will now seek to borrow $150 million from China’s Export-Import Bank (Exim), following lending restrictions by the World Bank for its anti-homosexuality law.

The action highlights the country’s growing dependence on Chinese lenders after the World Bank’s decision earlier this year stopping all new loans to the country.

Uganda is negotiating a loan to finance the construction of a pipeline to help export its crude oil to foreign markets with the Chinese export credit organisations SINOSURE and Exim Bank.

The money, the finance ministry says, is “to finance the supply, installation, commissioning, and support of the national data transmission backbone infrastructure.”

A law prohibiting LGBTQ was passed by the Ugandan legislature in May. Several stringent regulations were incorporated into the legislation, which drew strong criticism from the international community, including the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and major corporations like the World Bank.

Before lending to Uganda was suspended by the World Bank, it was the country’s largest development partner.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act imposes severe penalties, including death, for a variety of homosexual offences.

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Musings From Abroad

Russia’s free grain to hit 6 African countries this week

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Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s promise to send free grain to six African countries in July, Russian shipments of donated grain are due to begin landing in Africa within days.

The supply will give fresh impetus to Russia’s bid to bolster its influence on the continent after criticism over its invasion of Ukraine and withdrawal from a deal that facilitated the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea linked to pushing up global food and fertilizer prices.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry stated earlier this month that the shipments would amount to 200,000 metric tonnes by the end of the year, with Somalia and Burkina Faso scheduled to be the initial recipients. According to Putin’s July statement, Zimbabwe, Mali, Eritrea, and the Central African Republic are also expected to receive between 25,000 and 50,000 metric tonnes of grain each.

Two of the top exporters of grain and vegetable oil worldwide are Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s bombardment of Ukrainian ports and stores has affected the world’s supply of both commodities during the war. Russia in July also quit a year-old agreement that had allowed Ukraine to ship grain from its Black Sea ports, which, according to a study by a South African agency, helped feed about 95 million people but fell short in ensuring that fertilizer-originating from Russia could flow freely to global markets. Had that happened, food could have been produced to feed about 199 million people.

However, Putin, in order to fulfil what he claimed was Moscow’s crucial role in ensuring global food security, stated that Russia was prepared to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa on both a commercial and assistance basis.

While most African countries have adopted a non-aligned posture in the war, Russia’s influence in the continent has been on the rise lately, particularly with regard to defence relations.

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