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Zambia’s president, Hakainde Hichilema, hopeful of medium term 4% economic growth

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Zambian president, Hakainde Hichilema on Friday said the government expects its the country’s economy to grow at 4% per year in the medium term and is focused on resolving the country’s debt crisis.

Zambia was the first African nation to default on its debt in the Covid-19 era. The country was struggling with a debt burden of almost $32 billion, around 120% of its gross domestic product.

The West African country that opted to bow out of a $42.5 million Eurobond repayment in 2020,  is seeking $8.4 billion of debt relief from 2022 to 2025.

Zambia is one of the African countries currently facing economic woes. The country has been in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid amidst the crisis.

The IMF approved a $1.3 billion, three-year loan to Zambia in August, in what is considered a crucial step in the southern African country’s quest to restructure its debts.

 

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Kenya’s new president, William Ruto, walks the talk, cuts government spending by $2.5 billion

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President William Ruto of Kenya has made another bold policy decision as he instructed the finance ministry to cut 300 billion shillings ($2.5 billion) from annual government spending this year,

The newly elected president in what he referred to as “back to sanity” on Thursday.

General elections were held in Kenya on 9 August 2022. Voters elected William Ruto as the East African country’s fifth president after a close contest with a veteran contender, Raila Odinga.

The president in his first speech as president to parliament “instructed Treasury to work with ministries to find savings of 300 billion shillings in this year’s budget,”

“Next year, we will bring it further down so that, by the third year, we have a recurrent budget surplus.”

Ruto earlier this week unveiled his cabinet as he appointed former central bank governor, Njuguna Ndung’u, as finance minister as the East African country battles rising inflation, a heavy debt burden, and drought.

The government expenditure in Kenya stood at 2.07 trillion Kenyan shillings (around 17.7 billion U.S. dollars) from July 2021 to March 2022. The amount consisted of interest payments, salaries and wages, pensions, and payments for maintenance, and operations.

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Niger Republic to stop oil exportation to Mali if…

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Diplomatic issues surrounding the West African country, Mali, are yet to be over as one of its neighbours, Niger has temporarily stopped issuing authorizations for oil products to it.

Niger insisted that it would not supply to Mali if the products are meant for the United Nations peacekeeping mission there.

The government of Niger in a statement said it would also revoke authorisations that had already been issued, but did not specify any reasons for the suspension.

Until the last military incursion in Mali, the two countries have enjoined cordial relations. They share a border of 828 km (520 m) in length that runs from the tripoint with Burkina Faso in the west to the tripoint with Algeria in the east.

According to national statistics, Mali mainly imports oil products from Ivory Coast and Senegal via Togo.

While reacting to the development, Mali’s industry and commerce minister, Mohamed Ould Mahmoud, told journalists the impact of Niger’s move would be minimal.

“This could have an impact on regions in the north…but even their imports from Algeria are more important,” Mahmoud said.

In the bid to boost national stocks amid a global rise in fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine, Nigerien government banned refined fuel exports in June.

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