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IMF chief, Kristalina Georgieva, wants speedy debt restructuring deals for Chad, Zambia

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As the debt crisis continues to grow with most African countries, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, wants debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad completed shortly.

The IMF Managing Director on Monday said she hoped could be completed by the end of the year, which would pave the way for more countries to seek help.

Georgieva made the position known while speaking with civil society groups at the start of the annual IMF and World Bank meeting.

She said a Group of 20 initiative launched in late 2020 had been slow to become operational, but she was upbeat about the cases of Chad and Zambia, who together with Ethiopia was the first to request help.

Zambia opted to bow out of a $42.5 million Eurobond repayment in 2020 and is seeking $8.4 billion of debt relief from 2022 to 2025.

It was the first African country to default during the COVID-19 era as it struggled with debt that reached 133% of GDP at the end of 2021.

IMF spokesperson, Gerry Rice in July revealed 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.

Many African countries depend on international creditors to fund critical aspects of their economies.

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Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, TotalEnergies, discuss over gas project

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Discussion on the humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado area in Mozambique is ongoing between The head of TotalEnergies and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi.

TotalEnergies’ chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanne had visited the Cabo Delgado area to review the security and humanitarian situation, and Pouyanne had met the Mozambique President during his trip.

The multinational revealed that it has engaged Jean-Christophe Rufin, whom it said was an expert in humanitarian action and human rights, with an independent mission to assess the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province.

Pouyanné said, “since 2021, the situation in Cabo Delgado province has improved significantly, thanks in particular to the support provided by the African countries that committed themselves to restore peace and security.”

“The mission entrusted to Jean-Christophe Rufin should enable Mozambique LNG’s partners to assess whether the current situation allows for a resumption of activities while respecting human rights,” he added.

A force majeure’ was declared in 2021 on TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG project, valued at $20 billion, due to regional unrest after an insurgent group linked to Islamic State attacked the northern town of Palma.

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Sierra Leone, Liberia, 2 others, receive $311 million from World Bank for renewables

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Four West and Central African countries are set to receive aid worth $311 million from the World Bank after signing an agreement that would improve renewable energy projects.

The countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, and Chad will receive funds will finance around 106 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation capacity with battery energy and storage systems, and a 41 MW expansion of hydroelectric capacity.

Commenting on the development, Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, who presided over the signing ceremony on Wednesday, said the deal was the beginning of a revolution in energy supply and access in the respective countries.

“We are paying far more for energy now than we were 18 months ago. Very high and rising energy prices continue to have an adverse impact on other sectors of our economies,” Maada Bio said.

The World Bank’s Director for Regional Integration, Boutheina Guermazi said the project was the first time four countries had been brought together for a regional energy approach.

“It is a continental approach to make sure that we reach universal access to clean affordable energy by 2030,” Guermazi said, adding that the project would be completed in four years.

The West and Central sub-regions of Africa have one of the lowest electrification rates coupled with some of the highest electricity costs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Under a new World Bank Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project, the West Africa Power Pool, a regional approach to improve electricity in the sub-region, will also receive some funds approved in December.

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