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Commercial flights resume around Ethiopia’s Tigray region after 18-month shutdown

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Air travels are getting back to shape in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, 18 months after long shutdown.

State carrier, Ethiopian airlines, has resumed commercial flights on Wednesday to and from Mekele, the capital of the Tigray Region, an action that has been referred as one of the many first steps towards peace in the region.

The airlines announced multiple frequent flights to and from the region depending on the need.

It also reintroduces of flights to and from Mekele, which was connected to the national electricity grid earlier in December.

Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region on Tuesday agreed to a permanent truce to cease hostilities following the conclusion of a peace deal brokered by the African Union in South Africa.

The truce includes the disarmament of rebel forces, the re-establishment of federal authority in Tigray and the reopening of access and communications to the region, which has been cut off from the world since mid-2021.

The Tigray Region is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob, and Kunama people.

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Progress as Kenya’s January 2023 inflation rate slows to 9.0%

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The Kenyan statistics office has revealed that the country’s inflation rate slowed to 9.0% year-on-year in January from 9.1% a month earlier.

The latest inflation figure makes it the third straight month that inflation has fallen in the East African country. The figure hit 9.6% in October, its highest level since May 2017. January’s inflation is still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5%-7.5%.

The statement by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that on a monthly basis, inflation was 0.2% compared with 0.5% in December.

Inflation inched down to 9.1% in December, the second straight month of decrease, but still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5%.

Kenya’s central bank on Monday announced a new monetary policy holding its benchmark lending rate steady at 8.75%.

According to African Development Bank, Kenyan economic growth is projected to decelerate to 5.9% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023, driven on the demand side by a decline in domestic and external demand caused by lower income and by an increase in food and fuel import costs and on the supply side by tepid economic activity across sectors due to cost-push factors.

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Nigeria’s legislature approves extra $2.2 bln central bank loans to government

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Nigeria’s debt crisis isn’t going away anytime soon as the country’s lower house of parliament has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow an extra $2.2 billion.

According to the lawmakers, the approval is in temporary advance from the country’s central bank.

Nigeria’s minister of Finance in December made the revelation that the country will henceforth focus on concessionary loans from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, and others for external loans, Ahmed told Reuters in Abuja after a cabinet meeting.

The legislators plan to discuss with officials in order to turn central bank loans to the government worth 23.7 trillion naira ($52 billion) into long-term debt.

President Buhari asked parliament in December for approval to convert central bank’s temporary advance to government into 40-year bonds at 9% interest to cut interest payments but lawmakers questioned the plan.

Government debt in Nigeria averaged 73641.06 USD Million from 2012 until 2022, reaching an all-time high of 103312.80 USD Million in the second quarter of 2022 and a record low of 48361.37 USD Million in the first quarter of 2013.

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