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IMF reaches staff level agreement for release of $240 million with Uganda

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African countries have continued to turn to the International Monetary Fund as financial crises continue to ravage the continent. In the latest of IMF intervention in the continent, the body has reached a staff-level agreement with Uganda for a release of about $240 million in financing to the country.

The IMF on Wednesday said Uganda will have access to the funding once the review is formally completed by the executive board of the IMF in the coming weeks, it said.

Despite a range of constraints including weak global demand and supply-chain shocks, the IMF said Uganda’s economic recovery was underway.

Uganda’s economic growth in the fiscal year 2022/23 (July-June) was projected at 5.3%, 0.7 percentage points lower than at the time of the first review in March.

The World Bank reports that the Ugandan economy grew at 4.6% during FY22, faster than had been anticipated due to an uptick in activity after the economy reopened in January 2022. The new projected growth figure would still be higher than last year’s 4.7% as economic activity picks up.

According to the IMF, some of the risks to Uganda’s growth outlook include, among others, “persistently higher inflation in advanced economies and associated tighter global financial conditions… and more frequent disruptions in activity due to climate change.”

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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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