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Morocco to still host IMF-World Bank annual meeting despite earthquake— Source

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Morocco is not backing out of hosting the International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meetings scheduled for October.

The meeting, which is meant to be held in Marrakech will go as planned despite Friday’s devastating earthquake, two sources familiar with the meeting planning said on Monday.

A source close to the Moroccan government quoted by Reuters said, “From the viewpoint of the Moroccan authorities, the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank will take place as scheduled: October 9-15, 2023. There is no change of plan as of now.”

The IMF and World Bank have not commented on Morocco’s stance about the meetings. Both institutions had said their immediate focus was on the response to the disaster.

Marrakech’s historic city centre sustained considerable damage, while the majority of the city’s more contemporary areas were spared. One of the sources revealed that the site for the IMF and World Bank meetings, a campus of temporary structures on the city’s outskirts near the airport, is largely intact, and preparation work is continuing.

According to a situation report issued on Monday by the nation’s Interior Ministry, the death toll from the terrible 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country on Friday night has risen to 2,497, with another 2,476 confirmed injured.

Every three years, the IMF and World Bank convene their annual meetings in a developing nation that has demonstrated effective economic policies and governance to serve as a model for other nations to follow. Similar meetings of the IMF occurred in Peru in 2015 and Indonesia in 2018.

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Nigeria has received $10.9 billion multi-sector investments from AfDB— Official

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Nigeria has received $10.9 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB), comprising $4.9 billion in public and private sector initiatives.

AfDB Director-General of the West Africa Region, Lamin Barrow, said the bank’s Nigeria funding approvals total $10.9 billion since it started operations.

Barrow made the revelation at the Second Interactive Session and Workshop on Developing Bankable Business Proposals/Business Plans for Youths in Agriculture in Abuja on Monday.

It was part of the bank’s 60th anniversary celebrations with stakeholders. Nigeria is the AfDB’s largest shareholder, and the bank’s relationship with it has grown, Barrow said.

The AfDB invests in Nigeria’s energy, power, transport, water, and sanitation infrastructure.

“Over the last 60 years, the Bank has grown into a trusted partner and the continent’s premier development financial institution.

“Our cooperation with Nigeria has expanded over the years, especially considering that Nigeria is the largest shareholder.

“Since it started operations in the country, cumulative financing approvals have reached 10.9 billion dollars and our portfolio currently stands at 4.9 billion dollars supporting projects in the public and private sectors,” he said.

After taking office eight years ago, AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina prioritized the High 5—Power, Feed, Industrialize, Integrate, and Improve Africa’s quality of life—Barrow added. He said these were accelerators for achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063 ambitions. The projects and programs supported during this time have reportedly affected over 400 million individuals.

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Analysts expect Egypt’s economy to rise 4.0% in 2024/25

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A recent study that sampled seventeen economists by Reuters has predicted slower economic growth for Egypt in April after a $8 billion IMF accord in March.

The median projection for GDP growth in the fiscal year starting July 1 was 4%, down from 4.35% in April and 4.15% in January.

The poll predicted the GDP grew 2.9% in the fiscal year ending June 30. This is below their April and January predictions of 3% and 3.5%. Poll: 2025/26 growth should rise to 4.99%.

After the IMF agreement, Capital Economics’ James Swanston predicted slower growth due to tighter fiscal and monetary policies and a weaker pound.

“The overall net impact is that economic growth will be weaker this fiscal year, but there are reasons to be more optimistic on GDP growth from FY2025/26 onward,” Swanston said.

Egyptian tourism and Suez Canal revenue have slowed due to the Gaza crisis, which has cut Egypt’s foreign revenue by more than half.

Egypt’s planning ministry predicted 4.2% growth in 2024/25 on June 2. Analysts expect the Egyptian pound to fall to 49.50 per dollar by June 2025 and 52.50 by June 2026.

Before dropping it in March 2024, the central bank kept the pound at 30.85 per dollar. It’s roughly 48.40 per dollar.

The survey forecast 20.5% headline inflation in 2024/25 and 12.05% in 2025/26. In June, inflation dropped to 27.5% from a record high of 38.0% in September, exceeding the central bank’s objective of 5%-9%.

The analysts expect the central bank’s overnight lending rate to drop to 21.25% by June 2025 and 15.25% by June 2026.

Foreign money shortages have slowed the Egyptian economy. However, a $24 billion real estate transaction with the UAE in late February, a significant currency devaluation, and a $8 billion IMF accord in early March have mitigated that.

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