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UBER ends operations in Tanzania over unfriendly regulations. See implications

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Ride-hailing company, Uber, has suspended its services in Tanzania as a result of regulations that are not business-friendly which has made its operation in the East African country.

The US-based company, which has operated in the country for six years said operations will resume after arriving at an agreement with the Tanzanian authorities, the company announced in a statement on Thursday.

Uber has become one of the lucrative income sources, as proven by Uber drivers carving their own spot in the gig economy statistics which Africa has benefitted immensely from. It is not yet clear what becomes of the thousands of Uber drivers and riders who rely on the services of the ride-hailing company in Tanzania.

“We have made the difficult decision to suspend our services in Tanzania from Thursday 14 April 2022. The guide fare set by the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) has posed significant challenges for systems like Uber to continue to provide services to our customers. It becomes increasingly difficult for us to continue providing services. We will not be able to provide services until the environment becomes friendly for us to continue providing services.” The statement reads.

“Current regulations in the transportation sector have created an environment that is not friendly and has been a challenge in our business,” the firm said.

“This is a difficult time for all of us, but this does not mean that it is the end of everything. We are ready to co-operate with the relevant authorities and reach an agreement that will create a stable environment for our business,” the statement says.

The company, however, said it was ready to key into Tanzania Vision 2025 which it believes is committed to building a strong, diverse, resilient, and competitive economy that is in line with the regional and international market and technological changes. While suggesting that its decision to leave Tanzania could be reversed the environment became better for its businesses

“We hoped that this would include creating an enabling environment for domestic and international trade to thrive in a positive and balanced way, but unfortunately, the situation is contrary to expectations.” The stamen reads further.

Uber has been providing transportation services in Tanzania through UberX, UberX Saver and UberXL services.

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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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