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Weeks after Nordgold left, Burkina Faso’s mines chamber assures extra security for industries

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Following the shutting down of Russia’s Nordgold, a gold mine in the insurgent-hit country earlier this month, the president of Burkina Faso’s mines chamber said that extra measures are in place to avoid a future occurrence.

Nordgold subsidiary Société des Mines de Taparko (SOMITA) director-general, Alexander Hagan Mensa announced the decision to shut down in a statement that said access to the mining site has become ‘quasi-impossible’ in recent weeks, placing the lives of staff in danger at the site, which is located close to the tri-border area of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

The Russian firm said the decision was due to the deteriorating security situation in the West African nation where Islamist militants have gained ground and escalated attacks in recent years.

However, the closure prompted a meeting on April 14 between the head of the army and the mines chamber.

“Measures will be taken and strengthened on all aspects… to give us even more security,” the chamber’s president Adama Soro told journalists but did not reveal details of strategies discussed.

Improved security was the way to avoid a “spiral of suspensions,” he said and urged investors to stay in the country, noting 16 gold and one zinc mine felt protected enough by the army to continue their operations.

Nordgold closure is another in the recent wave of shutting down of foreign businesses in African African countries, many of which largely depend on foreign investment to drive their economy. Exit or lack of foreign investment are developments that threaten fragile economies like Burkina Faso.   Slamreportsafrica.com reported on Thursday that 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.

Over the weekend, Standard Chartered Bank, another multinational, said it has decided to end its operations in seven countries in the Middle East and Africa to “accelerate its strategy, deliver efficiencies, reduce complexity and drive scale.”

Burkina Faso is currently under a military junta headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba who amongst other reasons seized power through coup in 2021 to address security challenges bedeviling the West African country, but the current development does not suggest not much has changed for now too.

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AfreximBank to train African companies under AfCFTA

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The African Export-Import Bank declared that it would begin a programme of capacity building to enable African companies to capitalize on the advantages of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The continental bank said in a statement on Wednesday that its academy will oversee the capacity-building initiative in coordination with the AfCFTA Secretariat.

With 54 of the 55 members of the African Union signing the AfCFTA, the number of participating countries makes it the largest free trade area in the world.

According to Afreximbank, the American University in Cairo will work with them to offer the training, slated to take place in September in Cairo, Egypt.

The bank declared that it will concentrate on the AfCFTA’s commercial ramifications and the many opportunities it offers African businesses.

“Afreximbank is a key supporter of the implementation of the AfCFTA, whose focus is on transforming Africa from a fractured, commodity-dependent group of economies to a vibrant, integrated single market of about two billion people with a combined GDP of about $3.4tn,” said Dr. Yemi Kale, Group Chief Economist and Managing Director of Research at Afreximbank, in response to the program.

“In this regard, we believe that well-informed and prepared businesses are key to driving intra- and extra-African trade and investment. Through this training program, which is one of the numerous capacity-building initiatives the Bank has put in place to promote intra- and extra-African trade and investments, we aim to empower African businesses to fully exploit the vast opportunities created by the AfCFTA, thereby enhancing their competitiveness and contributing to sustainable economic growth in Africa.”

Additionally, Tsotetsi Makong, Head of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance at the AfCFTA Secretariat, emphasized the significance of capacity building for the AfCFTA’s successful implementation.

Makong said, “Investing in capacity building for the corporates and SMEs will ensure that home-sourced investments are mobilised and deficits with third country markets reduced, proving the AfCFTA to be the single most important instrument that de-risks the African continent in its entirety when it comes to investments.”

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Ghana: Inflation decreases to 22.8%

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According to the statistics office, Ghana’s consumer inflation decreased for a third straight month in June, falling from 23.1% in May to 22.8% year over year.

Samuel Kobina Annim, a government statistician, stated at a press conference that the June inflation was mostly caused by a decrease in non-food inflation, which fell to 21.6%, sufficient to offset a rise in food inflation.

The West African nation that produces oil, gold, and cocoa is struggling to recover from a financial catastrophe.

Last week, it overcame a significant obstacle to restructure its foreign obligations when its official creditors verified that the suggested debt rework was not unduly advantageous to bondholders.

In Ghana, the rate of inflation was approximately 9.98 per cent higher than the previous year. By 2029, inflation in Ghana is expected to have dropped to 8% from its peak of about 17.5% in 2016.

Economists say that a stable economy of a nation should aim for a constant inflation rate of two to three per cent. The rise in consumer goods and services prices over a specific period is known as inflation.

Excessive money supply is often the cause of high inflation rates, which can lead to hyperinflation—that is, inflation that happens too quickly and swiftly, devaluing currency and even triggering a recession or even an economic collapse.

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