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Zambia sets for first meeting with creditors amidst growing fiscal challenges

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The finance ministry in Zambia said it is set for its first meeting with its creditors as the South African country struggles to escape its current financial mess.

The finance minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane made the revelation on Monday at a public meeting to discuss the country’s annual budget.

Musokotwane said at a budget speech last week Zambia’s external public debt reached $14.87 billion at the end of June 2022.

“Have we started negotiations with creditors? Not yet but right now we have preparations for the first meeting,” Musokotwane said in response to a question.

Zambia’s creditors are mainly Chinese lenders and bondholders.

The Southern 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 country was struggling with a debt burden of almost $32 billion, around 120% of its gross domestic product.

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, signs separate gas pipeline deals with Ghana, Guinea, others

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Nigeria’s oil company, the NNPC have signed separate deals with the national oil companies of Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in furtherance of the planned Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; highlighted the roles played by the participating countries to make the planned commencement of the project to fruition.

“Today, we will be attaining another feat by signing five MoUs with the national oil companies and relevant entities from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

“From inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by the governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded thus far.

“As the strategic vision of our great leaders gains momentum, I would like to express our appreciation to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for entrusting NNPC Limited with this strategic project,” he stated.

He added: “NNPC Limited will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station to be deployed in Nigeria, which is among the 13 stations earmarked along the pipeline route.”

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

Nigeria and Morocco signed MoU for the gas pipeline in September which would link Nigeria to Morocco as well as supply West Africa and Europe.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

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