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Somalia begs IMF, wants 3 months to conclude talks on budget support programme

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Somalia has pleaded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend its financial support by three months to Aug. 17.

IMF’s country mission, Laura Jaramillo, made the disclosure to newsmen on Friday.

Jaramillo said the government has written to the IMF’s board asking for more time to conclude talks on the budget support programme’s renewal, said Laura, IMF’s mission head.

“The extension is expected to provide the time needed to confirm policy understandings with the new government after presidential elections are completed,” she said.

Jaramillo did not comment on whether the automatic expiration of the programme will be extended.

The Executive Board of the IMF granted additional interim assistance to Somalia under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in the amount of SDR 0.68 million (about US$ 0.97 million) on a lapse of time basis.

The monetary body in February warned that Somalia’s delayed legislative and presidential elections put the renewal of the three-year budget support programme, worth nearly $400 million, at risk of automatic expiration this month.

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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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