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IMF keen on debt restructuring for Chad, Zambia, Ethiopia. Will creditors agree?



Debt restructuring discussions for African countries, Chad, Zambia and Ethiopia are progressing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

IMF spokesperson, Gerry Rice told newsmen that Chad has sought to access the G20’s common framework. But to benefit from the initiative which supports low Income Countries with unsustainable debt, Chad needs a debt agreement among creditors.

Rice further revealed that the IMF awaits assurances from Chad’s creditors to advance discussion.

“We need financing assurances, and we need assurance on debt sustainability, so, the Creditor Committee on Chad, we expect to continue to meet. We think it’s essential. Again, that an agreement be reached promptly with all creditors, including Glencore […]” Rice stated.

For Zambia, another country that has been keen on debt restructuring, Rice revealed that the same prerequisites are also necessary for Zambia since the Southern African nation wishes to unlock IMF funding. Yet again, Lusaka’s creditor’s committee has agree.

The IMF spokesperson said, “if official creditors can succeed in providing the financing assurances to Zambia within the next few weeks, we can then take that to our Board for consideration of a program; and, that could happen very soon after our Board recess, which is the first couple of weeks in August.”

While for Ethiopia, Rice also explained that the Creditor Committee has been formed under this G20 common framework. And will continue to work closely to provide the needed technical support for Ethiopia amidst its revenue challenge.

Many African countries depends on international creditors to fund critical aspect of their economies. External debts are not as contentious in many African states as the discipline to expend the funds appropriately on development centred projects, which has always been a course for concern amidst the nature of corruption that characterizes the political and public system in Africa.


Russia assures Africa of minimal impact after ditching Black Sea deal



Russia has insisted that African countries will not suffer much from its decision not to renew the Black Sea deal which expired on Monday.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Vershinin, told journalists those countries would not lose out.

“We will be ready to reimburse the countries in most need with the approximate amount of grain that passed last year under the Black Sea Initiative,” he said. “And we are ready to do it”.

“These concerns from African countries are not only understandable and will be fully taken into account, because as far as grain supplies are concerned… I just gave you a figure that was just over 900,000 metric tons.

“For the most needy countries, this volume, of course, is not so big. And, of course, contacts are being made. Efforts are being made so that they do not feel any negative consequences.”

The Black Sea grain agreement contributes to the stabilization of the world’s spiralling food costs and works to ensure that Russian food and fertilizer reach international markets. The programme expressly permits commercial exports of food and fertilizer, including ammonia, from the three important Black Sea ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi in Ukraine.

The agreement came to an end on Monday, and Russian President, Vladimir Putin maintained while speaking with South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa in a telephone conversation last week that Moscow was free to decide whether to renew it or not because the conditions to lower export restrictions on Russian food and fertilizer had not yet been completed.

The war has driven up the global cost of food and energy, as the two countries are significant producers of staple foods. The World Food Programme (WFP), which provides food assistance to 115.5 million people in more than 120 countries, receives a significant portion of its wheat supply from Ukraine. As the second-biggest producer of natural gas, Russia is also one of the top three producers of crude oil globally.

While countries like Algeria and Nigeria have benefited from the war by receiving higher patronage for their gas resources from some of Russia’s buyers boycotting Moscow, Africa has collectively suffered the most from the food situation.

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EU considering $1 billion loan to Tunisia



An official of the European Union has revealed that the body is considering lending a North African country, Tunisia 900 million euros ($1.0 billion).

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced on Sunday that the EU would give Tunisia 100 million euros ($112,36 million) as part of a “strategic partnership” agreement to fight human trafficking and encourage commerce and investment.

The official revealed that talks would take place in the third quarter and depend on a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF has set financial reform requirements for its loan that President Kais Saied must accept if the country is to receive further monies in the form of bilateral aid, according to the country’s creditors, who are primarily European. But Saied has maintained that any reductions in subsidies, namely for food and energy, as the creditors mandated, might have a negative impact on the nation.

The EU official said, “Macro assistance is still on the table, but this needs to meet IMF conditions,” and “Tunisia says it may not need an IMF agreement, so we will see in Q3.”

Tunisia’s struggling economy has drawn policy reactions from the European Union which announced it would offer 900 million euros ($978.03 million) in loans contingent on an IMF programme amid fears that further delay might escalate the migrant crisis in Europe, where Tunisia is a major border state.

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