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Rwanda, South Korea reach $1 billion finance agreement

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The Finance Ministry of Rwanda has revealed that the country has received $1 billion in concessional loans from South Korea to finance various projects in the transportation, healthcare and education sectors.

According to a statement from the finance ministry, the $500 million arrangement for 2024–2028 doubles and takes the place of the previous four-year agreement that was scheduled to expire at the end of 2026.

The government of Rwanda announced in May that 1.32 trillion Rwandan francs ($1.02 billion) or the whole 2024–2025 budget will come from borrowing from outside sources.

 

Early in June, South Korea hosted a summit that brought together African leaders, including Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, and Yoon Suk Yeol, the president of that nation.

The five-year deal, which runs from 2024 to 2028, will correspond with Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation, a five-year development initiative.

According to the government, it would fund initiatives in important areas of the Rwandan economy like health care, education, and transportation.

According to Rwanda’s finance minister, Yusuf Murangwa, collaboration between the two countries is in line with the country’s transformation strategy. It is essential to building the country’s human capital for the twenty-first century, revolutionizing the agriculture sector, and laying the groundwork for governance driven by information and communications technology (ICT).

“The framework signed is a significant milestone in our bilateral cooperation and provides assurances to achieve even more results in areas of our engagement,” he said.

Musings From Abroad

IMF lowers Botswana’s growth projection for 2024

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In a statement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its earlier April estimate of 3.6% growth for Botswana to 1%, primarily because of decreased diamond production.

In addition, the IMF warned that a decline in mineral income would cause the budget deficit to balloon to 6% from 3.45% and urged the diamond-rich nation in southern Africa to think twice before embarking on new infrastructure projects to support the economy.

“The continued (economic) slowdown is mainly due to a fall in diamond production,” said IMF said in a statement released late on Friday.

“Some fiscal relaxation is warranted this year given the fall in mineral revenues, but the execution of the ambitious capital budget should be slowed down to contain the deterioration of the deficit and prioritize projects with the highest returns,” the IMF said.

 

The demand prognosis for diamonds, which are typically regarded as luxury goods, has decreased due to weaker consumer demand and a weakening in the global economy.

Finance Minister Peggy Serame predicted in February that the economy would expand by 4.2%, but a few months later the central bank issued a warning, stating that the ongoing challenges in the world diamond market made it doubtful that this goal would be met.

Diamond sales account for 30–40% of Botswana’s total revenue and 75% of its foreign exchange profits.

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Musings From Abroad

Russian state company, Malian junta negotiate nuclear deal

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According to Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear business and the ruling military junta in Mali have signed three cooperation agreements and discussed several projects, including the construction of a low-power nuclear power plant with Russian design, on Wednesday.

For years, Rosatom has been pursuing a charm offensive in Africa in an attempt to secure business through the signing of cooperation agreements with nations all over the continent. As part of that effort, closer ties have been made with juntas in the Sahel region of West Africa, who have retreated from conventional Western allies after seizing power in coups before 2020.

Junta-led administrations in the West African states of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger Republic, and Mali have all tilted towards Russia for military ties, severing relations with former colony France and its international ally, the United States.

In a statement, Rosatom claimed that it had met with Assimi Goita, the head of Mali’s junta, on July 2 and 3. It has talks with junta authorities in charge of energy, education, and economics.

The statement added that in addition to talking about a “strategic project to build a Russian-designed low-power nuclear power plant in Mali,” junta leaders and Rosatom also discussed geological exploration projects and solar power generating.

Regarding the projected low-power nuclear power station that might be constructed in Mali, Rosatom withheld information.

“The parties agreed to continue maintaining close contacts and periodically coordinate positions as joint work progresses,” it said.

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