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Regional bloc, EAC sets 10 priorities, budgets $91.5 million for 2022/2023

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The regional bloc, the East African Community has tabled a $91.5 million budget for the financial Year 2022-2023.

The EAC Chair of the Council of Ministers and Kenyan Minister for East African Affairs, Betty Maina, said that the rising commodity prices are negatively impacting the economy of the region.

On priorities for the 2021/2022 financial year, the EAC in a statement on its website says it would “focus on 10 priority areas, namely: Private Sector Development; Peace and Security; Health/COVID-19 Response; Trade Development; Infrastructure Development; EAC Digitalization Agenda; Agriculture, Nutrition, Biodiversity, Environment, and Circular Economy…”

Maina revealed during the budget speech presented to the East African Legislative Assembly members in Arusha that the budget is targeted at helping the region recover from the threat posed the ongoing Russia-Ukrainian conflict

“The budget estimates for the financial year 2022-23 are being presented at a time when the speedy economic recovery experienced in the region and beyond in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic is being threatened by rising prices of fuel and other commodities occasioned by the Russia-Ukrainian conflict,”

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six (6) Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The body has seven organs: The Summit, The Council of Ministers, The Co-ordinating Committee, Sectoral Committees, The East African Court of Justice, The East African Legislative Assembly, and The Secretariat.

 

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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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