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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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Tanzanian Central Bank reduces economic liquidity to curb rising inflation

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The Tanzanian Central Bank on Saturday said one of the measures it has taken to slow down rising inflation in September and October is to reduce the liquidity in the economy.

A statement published by the east African country’s apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said inflation in the country has been on the rise since the beginning of the year, rising from 4.6% on August from a previous 4.5% in July.

MPC said while the country’s economy was facing a range of challenges, including weak global growth, high commodity prices, tight financial conditions and the recurrence of COVID-19 in some countries, it was necessary to reduce the liquidity to stabilise the economy.

“In the context of high inflation and commodity prices, which has contributed to rising inflationary pressures in the country, the MPC approved for the bank to continue with gradual reduction of liquidity in September and October 2022.

“The policy decision aims at reducing inflationary pressures, while safeguarding economic activities,” the statement said.

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Air traffic controllers in West, Central Africa suspend strike for negotiations after 48-hour disruption

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The industrial action by air traffic controllers in West and Central Africa has been suspended.

The unions announced the suspension after a 48-hour strike having disrupted flights across the region and left hundreds of passengers stranded at airports.

According to a statement by the Union of Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions (USYCAA), the decision to suspend its strike notice for 10 days immediately so as to allow for negotiations.

“Air traffic services will be provided in all air spaces and airports managed by ASECNA from today Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1200 GMT,” the statement said.

One of the stranded passengers, Nsoh Brinston, lamented on how the strike would make him spend more than his budget on his intended travel to Kigali, Rwanda.

“I will have to spend more than I intended due to the cancelled flight. I will have to do another COVID test which costs 30,000 CFA francs ($45),” he said.’

Also, eight flights scheduled to leave the commercial hub of Abidjan on Saturday were cancelled in Ivory Coast.

Industries like aviationtelecom operators have all their operations disrupted across Africa lately largely as part of the fallout of the Russian/Ukraine war which has caused a hike in aviation fuel.

It is yet to be seen if the negotiations between air traffic controllers and government authorities will birth lasting solutions to the challenge which now cuts across the continent.

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