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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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Nigeria wants $2.25 billion World Bank loan

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Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Wale Edun, has revealed that the country is seeking up to $2.25 billion in World Bank loans and expects the bank’s board to approve the request in June.

The move was announced in a statement following the International Monetary Fund/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C as the country also aims to issue diaspora bonds later this year to attract much-need foreign exchange into the country.

The World Bank loans would include $1.5 billion for development policy and $750 million for program-for-results, the statement said. It also said that the bank would meet in June to decide whether to approve the plan in its entirety.

The multilateral body is yet to comment on the revelation at press time.

Nigeria one of Africa’s biggest oil producers has struggled lately mainly over industrial-scale crude oil theft, and troubles getting foreign currency, which caused its naira currency to drop to all-time lows against the U.S. dollar. It has since recovered, though.

Already, the country is on record levels of debt, high unemployment, and large amounts of money from the central bank. However, Edun has insisted that the government had cut the money it borrowed from the central bank in half.

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Ghana’s finance minister anticipates debt restructuring MoU with lenders

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Ghana’s Finance Minister has announced that the country’s two main creditors will send him a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a restructuring deal in May, signifying a major progress in the country’s debt reform.

Once the MoU is signed, it will make public the deal that was made in January to restructure $5.4 billion in loans with its official creditors, such as China and France.

The restructuring is a big step toward Ghana getting rid of its debt as it works to get out of the worst economic crisis in a generation. It should also allow the country to get more money from its $3 billion IMF program.

Mohammed Amin Adam said he was sure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank would work together at the Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. In June, the Monetary Fund’s executive board will agree to review its staff-level deal.

From 2023 to 2028, Ghana’s national debt to gross domestic product level was supposed to go down by 15%. This guess says that the number will have gone down every year for six years, ending at 69.96% in 2028.

Ghana didn’t pay back most of its foreign loans in December 2022 because it became too expensive to do so. But now it needs to work out a deal with private holders of about $13 billion in foreign bonds. It has also changed most of its domestic debt.

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