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2017

January 2017

20 January 2017

AfDB backs construction of Uganda-Rwanda highway

By Antony Kiganda | Construction Review Online

The construction of Uganda- Rwanda Highway is now set to kick off after the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed loan agreements of $151 million to finance the project.

According to the officials of the Multinational Busega-Mpigi Express Highway it will be able to links Uganda and Rwanda on a new alignment with four grade-separated interchanges.

The road is expected to have 23.7 kilometer highway with a four express lanes hence making it one of the biggest road that will border the region.

The officials added that the project is estimated to cost a total $192 million has includes capacity building for the Ministry of Works and Transport; and training and capacity building for cross-border women traders at Mirama Hills and women and youth vendors in Busega Market.

“The road project will be one of the greatest and we will ensure that its completed on time as our main mandate is to deliver the project” added the officials

He added that the project will reduce the current traffic that is always witnessed on the Busega-Mpigi Express Highway, it will have an Operations and Maintenance Concession to address its future requirements for maintenance.

The signing of the loan agreements was facilitated by AfDB’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office Director General Gabriel Negatu who thanked the Ugandan government for its commitment to the development of infrastructure in the country.

Matia Kasaija, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development thanked the Bank for its support while highlighting the vital role of the highway in improving transport services in central Uganda and its contribution to regional integration.

The African Development Fund officials said that they expect the project to change the face of the country once completed and above all to be completed within the time frame.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/afdb-backs-construction-of-uganda-rwanda-h...

2017

January 2017

12 January 2017

Kenya’s exports to East Africa drop by $105 million

By Kevin Kelly | The East African

Kenya’s exports to the region dropped by the largest margin in three years in the third quarter of last year, to $275.7 million from $380.3 million in the first nine months of 2015, new data shows.

All countries in the region, with the exception of the Democratic Republic of Congo, cut their uptake of imports from Kenya, according to a report from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

While the drop in exports has been attributed to encroachment in key market segments by Chinese products, local factors like taxation, new competing industries in export markets and instability in South Sudan have contributed to the trade down turn.

Goods from China, some of dubious quality, have flooded the market, making the Asian giant the biggest exporter to the region.

Relying on Africa

Kenya relies on Africa to absorb more than 40 per cent of its manufactured exports. The data shows a 30 per cent drop in exports to Uganda to $152.1 million in the period under review, from $228.18 million over the same period in 2015.

“Africa remained the leading destination of the country’s exports, accounting for 40.6 per cent of the total during the review period. Within Africa, Uganda was the largest market for Kenya’s exports, accounting for 11.3 per cent of total export earnings, followed by Tanzania, which accounted for 5 per cent of total export earnings in the third quarter of 2016,” the report notes.

Tanzania’s imports from Kenya dropped to $67.5 million in the third quarter of last year, from $78.2 million over the same period two years previously.

Rwanda, which in 2015 was the only country that had increased its imports from Kenya, also recorded a drop to $43.12 million from $56.55 million. It was only DRC that recorded an increase at $51.3 million from $48.8 million.

The KNBS figures show that imports from China rose to $935.4 million in the third quarter of 2016, from $909.8 million over the same period the previous year, making it the leading source of imports in the Asian region.

Kenya has also seen its trade with the region drop significantly over the quarter to $359.4 million, from $480.1 million over the same period in 2015.

Kenya exports edible oil, fabrics, food, animal products, tobacco and cement to the region, but the growing push by local firms to set up subsidiaries in the region has also seen a decline in supply of these goods.

Adulterated Fuel

The biggest drop in exports was registered in cement, which dropped to $7.6 million, from $25.6 million in 2015. Cement manufacturers blame the declining volumes on the proliferation of cheap imports, while the entry of Dangote Cement into markets like Tanzania compounded the problems as the firm offered a 40 per cent price cut on its products.

Concerns over adulteration of the country’s petroleum products saw its exports to neighbouring countries drop to $13.9 million, from $20 million in the third quarter of 2015.

In October, Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said that the regional economies, apart from Uganda, had drastically reduced fuel imports from the country; Kenya also lost business to Tanzania.

“We have decided to cancel all the licences for the firms involved. We cannot allow cartels to compromise the quality of our petroleum products, thereby hurting our exports,” said Mr Keter.

British American Tobacco company on the other hand, accused the Tanzanian government of imposing higher local content requirements for exports, leading to Kenya’s exports dropping to $23 million last year, from $38.6 million in 2015.

Edible oil exports to the EAC dropped to $11.9 million from $12.4 million. Salt also dropped to $9.89 million from $13.69 in the third quarter of 2015.

Business Expansion

Joseph Kosure, the head of the bilateral Trade Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said that the drop in numbers could also be attributed to firms setting up shop in traditional export markets, leading to a drop in orders from Kenya.

“We have seen firms like Bidco establish footprints in Uganda, General Motors in Tanzania and other firms, resulting in a drop in orders,” said Mr Kosure.

Trade and Industrialisation Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said that recently, the Cabinet approved a national export strategy seeking to correct the decline in exports.

“From our data, 70 per cent of our exports end up in 12 markets, six of them being in Africa. This shows that our export destination is narrow. This strategy will now see us diversify and penetrate while also deepening our export destinations,” Dr Kiptoo said, adding that regionally, they have had discussions with Tanzania on how to deal with the trade barriers affecting exports and imports between the two countries.

The report also shows that the imports of European Union products (mostly from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) into the country rose despite export earnings by Kenya, from these two destinations declining in the quarter under review.

This could signal bad news for the stalled ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as it could embolden Tanzania, which has taken issue with the “skewed” EPA, saying it favours the EU and threatens its local manufacturing base. Kenya has under a month to persuade Tanzania and Uganda to sign the agreement, before the February 2, deadline.

Outside of the region, The Netherlands and the UK remained the key markets for the country’s exports including tea, coffee and flowers, jointly accounting for 14 per cent of total exports in the third quarter of 2016. In Asia, Pakistan provided a vital market for the country, with a 15.2 per cent increase in exports to $91.3 million.

Buoyed by the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), and driven by a rise in clothing and apparels exports, earnings from America grew by 12.4 per cent.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/kenyas-exports-to-east-africa-drop-by-105-...

12 January 2017

US widens its lead over UK as top importer of Kenyan goods

By Brian Ngugi | Business Daily, Kenya

The United States has strengthened its position as Kenya’s third-largest export destination — making it Nairobi’s most valuable economic partner outside East Africa.

Kenya’s exports to the US grew seven per cent to Sh35.3 billion in the first 10 months of 2016 as exports to Britain tumbled by a similar margin to Sh30.9 billion, according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data.

The growth saw American consumers open a Sh4.4 billion gap over their counterparts in the UK, wider than the Sh2 billion in 2014 when the US first outpaced Britain to become the third largest importer of Kenyan goods after Uganda and the Netherlands.

The KNBS data also shows that the US overtook Britain for the first time as the top source of foreign tourists who visited Kenya in the year to October 2016, cementing its position as a crucial source of dollar inflows in addition to diaspora remittances.

International trade experts said local traders are increasingly opening more supply channels to the US, helped by increased interactions with American investors.

“Besides the renewal of Agoa [the African Growth and Opportunity Act], Kenya’s increased visibility on the global map is as a result of conferences like the Global Entrepreneurship summit that attracted US President Barack Obama,” said Joseph Kosure, a consultant in international trade.

Kenya is a beneficiary of the preferential trade pact, Agoa, which allows sub-Saharan African countries to export goods to America tax-free.

Textiles and apparel account for about 80 per cent of Kenya’s total exports to the US under the pact.

The KNBS data shows that women’s trousers and shorts (valued at Sh6.8 billion) topped the list of items that Americans ordered from Kenya in the first 10 months of last year, followed by men’s trousers (Sh6.1 billion) and coffee (Sh2.9 billion).

Other items that the world’s largest economy took in from Nairobi are tea (Sh1.8 billion) and titanium (Sh1.6 billion). Titanium is used as an alloy with other metals to produce lightweight metals for jet engines.

Last September, Kenyan authorities said they were looking to expand the list of products that the country exports to the US under Agoa as competition intensifies in the garment and apparel market.

Relations between Nairobi and London came into focus four years ago following threats by the UK to cut ties with Kenya should Uhuru Kenyatta, then an ICC indictee, be elected president in the 2013 polls.

The charges against Mr Kenyatta have since been dropped, and the UK has been working to reset the frosty relations with Kenya.

Meanwhile the US-Kenya trade basket has continued to expand.

Ongoing growth now puts America on the path to overtaking the Netherlands for the first time as the second-largest buyer of Kenyan goods.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/us-widens-its-lead-over-uk-as-top-importer...

 

12 January 2017

Uhuru and Modi in $100 million agriculture mechanisation deal (Kenya)

By James Anyanzwa | Business Daily, Kenya

India has extended a Sh10 billion ($100 million) loan to Kenya for agricultural mechanisation.

The funding deal was signed Wednesday in India following bilateral talks between the two countries. President Uhuru Kenyatta is on a two-day state visit to the country.

Kenya’s trade with India is tilted in favour of the emerging Asian giant. In 2015 Kenya imported goods worth Sh205 billion from India, while exports to the country stood at less than Sh10 billion.

“The government is keen to increase the volume and value of Kenya’s export base from agriculture and mineral-based raw products to value added manufacturing products,” said Mr Kenyatta at a joint press briefing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

He said Kenya is also seeking a partnership in technology transfer, especially on processing of natural resources.

Several Indian multinationals have business interests in Kenya, including the ongoing construction of a power transmission line under a Line of Credit (LOC) of Sh6.16 billion ($61.6 million).

Rising Star

The upgrading of Rift Valley Textiles Factory (Rivatex) funded by a Sh2.995 billion ($29.95 million) LOC is ongoing, while another Sh1.5 billion ($15 million) LOC to IDB Capital Limited for development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is being implemented.

India is a rising star in the global economy with its middle class offering a vast market to investors. Mr Kenyatta, who is on a reciprocal visit following the Indian premier’s visit to Nairobi late last year, urged Mr Modi to subject Kenyan exports to the same tariff as other East African countries.

He asked India to improve market access for Kenyan goods such as leather products and pulses. He invited Indian investors to take advantage of the special economic zones in Mombasa and along the standard gauge railway.

A joint trade committee was established to explore further ways of enhancing trade co-operation. Mr Modi noted that in the past three years, investment by Indian companies in Kenya had increased by Sh350 billion ($3.5 billion) as a result of business reforms by the Kenyan government.

Installation of a telecobalt cancer therapy machine from India is underway at Kenyatta National Hospital. Mr Modi said his country is committed to the donation of essential anti-retroviral (ARV) medicines, medical equipment and capacity building programmes in the health sector.

Equally, training has been given to Kenyan oncologists under the India Africa Forum Summit Framework.

Kenya would greatly benefit from collaboration in transfer of technology through investment by Indian pharmaceuticals given the high demand for the drugs in the region.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/uhuru-and-modi-in-100-million-agriculture-...

12 January 2017

World Bank: Nigeria’s economy to rebound and grow by 1% in 2017

By Bernard Busulwa | This Day, Nigeria

The World Bank has predicted that the Nigerian economy would rebound from recession and grow by one per cent in 2017.

The multilateral institution stated this in its January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report.

Nigeria’s third quarter 2016 real gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 2.26 per cent from -2.06 per cent in the second quarter of this year, and -0.36 per cent in the first quarter.

But the World Bank predicted that: “Growth in South Africa is expected to edge up to a 1.1 per cent pace this year. Nigeria is forecast to rebound from recession and grow at a 1 per cent pace. Angola is projected to expand at a 1.2 per cent pace.”

According to the bank, sub-Saharan African growth was expected to pick up modestly to 2.9 per cent in 2017 as the region continues to adjust to lower commodity prices.
Growth in South Africa and oil exporters was however expected to be weaker, while growth in economies that are not natural-resource intensive should remain robust.

Global economic growth was forecast to accelerate moderately to 2.7 per cent in 2017 after a post-crisis low last year as obstacles to activity recede among emerging market and developing economy commodity exporters, while domestic demand remains solid among emerging and developing commodity importers, the World Bank said in the report.

Furthermore, growth in advanced economies was expected to edge up to 1.8 per cent in 2017.

Fiscal stimulus in major economies—particularly in the United States—could generate faster domestic and global growth than projected, although rising trade protection could have adverse effects. Growth in emerging market and developing economies as a whole should pick up to 4.2 per cent this year from 3.4 per cent in the year just ended amid modestly rising commodity prices.

Nevertheless, the outlook, it said, was clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that is holding back low, middle, and high income countries.

“After years of disappointing global growth, we are encouraged to see stronger economic prospects on the horizon,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Now is the time to take advantage of this momentum and increase investments in infrastructure and people. This is vital to accelerating the sustainable and inclusive economic growth required to end extreme poverty.”

The report analysed the worrisome recent weakening of investment growth in emerging market and developing economies, which accounted for one-third of global GDP and about three-quarters of the world’s population and the world’s poor. Investment growth fell to 3.4 percent in 2015 from 10 percent on average in 2010, and likely declined another half percentage point last year.

Slowing investment growth was partly a correction from high pre-crisis levels, but also reflects obstacles to growth that emerging and developing economies have faced, including low oil prices (for oil exporters), slowing foreign direct investment (for commodity importers), and more broadly, private debt burdens and political risk.

“We can help governments offer the private sector more opportunities to invest with confidence that the new capital it produces can plug into the infrastructure of global connectivity,” said World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer.

“Without new streets, the private sector has no incentive to invest in the physical capital of new buildings. Without new work space connected to new living space, the billions of people who want to join the modern economy will lose the chance to invest in the human capital that comes from learning on the job.”

Emerging market and developing economy commodity exporters were expected to expand by 2.3 per cent in 2017 after an almost negligible 0.3 per cent pace in 2016, as commodity prices gradually recover and as Russia and Brazil resume growing after recessions.

Commodity-importing emerging market and developing economies, in contrast, should grow at 5.6 percent this year, unchanged from 2016. China was projected to continue an orderly growth slowdown to a 6.5 percent rate. However, overall prospects for emerging market and developing economies are dampened by tepid international trade, subdued investment, and weak productivity growth.

Among advanced economies, growth in the United States was expected to pick up to 2.2 percent, as manufacturing and investment growth gain traction after a weak 2016. The report looks at how proposed fiscal stimulus and other policy initiatives in the United States could spill over to the global economy.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/world-bank-nigerias-economy-to-rebound-gro...

12 January 2017

Arkana Partners announces new fund targeting Nigerian businesses requiring $20-$60 million

By Staff Writer | Nairametrics

Mid Cap Nigerian businesses looking to attract private equity funding have received an added boost. Arkana Partners, an investment firm have set up a private equity fund that will target equity investments in Nigeria of up to $100 million.

Reuters reports that the fund is set up by Kayode Akinola and Marlon Chigwende who were previously with Africa at private equity giants KKR and Carlyle respectively.

Here is Akinola as reported by Reuters.

“We will be focused on the mid-cap, where we believe the bulk of opportunities are,” Akinola said, adding that while the emphasis will be on private equity investments the new firm will be flexible in its approach.

“You need to bring your entire tool bag to the market. (In Africa) you can’t just say you’re only going to do buy-outs or just greenfield,” he said, referring to developing projects, often in infrastructure, from scratch.

The new firm will look for ventures which are ready to absorb up to $100 million but will mostly focus on opportunities requiring between $20 and $60 million of equity, Akinola said, highlighting that what counts as “mid-cap” can vary widely in different African economies.

It remained unclear when fundraising for the new venture would take place or how much the firm aimed to raise.

Akinola is Nigerian while Chigwende is originally from Zimbabwe and are taregting businesses in South Africa and Nigeria.

Akinola was also bullish about Africa, despite the inherent fears.

“The thing about emerging markets is that sometimes you have to be countercyclical. Africa continues to be a market where structural demand across most sectors will drive long-term growth.”

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/arkana-partners-announces-new-fund-targeti...

12 January 2017

The Richest Africans in Technology

By Dean Workman | IT News Africa

When Forbes released their list of Richest Africans in 2017, the leaders in the tech industry could not be ignored.

Here are the 5 richest Africans in tech in 2017:

5. Onsi Sawiris- Egypt $1.07 Billion-telecoms

Onsi Sawiris is number 18 on the overall African rich list, he is the patriarch of the Sawiris family, Egypt’s wealthiest family. Onsi made a large portion of his fortune through his company Orascom Construction Industries. He then started Global Telecom Holding S.A.E. in 1998, it is an international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in the Middle East, Africa, Canada and Asia. The company now has a total population under license of approximately 409 million. Global Telecom Holding is a member of the VimpelCom Group, which is one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications provider by number of customers.

4. Koos Bekker- South Africa $2 Billion- media and investment

Koos Bekker number 11 on the overall African rich list, is a respected and shrewd executive who managed to oversee the transformation of South Africa’s newspaper publisher Naspers into a digital media powerhouse. Bekker saw the rise of Naspers due to their market capitalization which saw from $600 million to $45 billion all whle not taking a single salary, bonus or benefit, instead he was compensated via stock options which grew over time. In 2015 he sold more than 70% of his Naspers shares. The company now operates in 130 countries and it is also registered on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.Other than media in the US and China Naspers boasts the largest market capitalization of any media company and is larger than any in Europe.

3. Isabel do Santos- Angola $3.2 Billion- Investments in Unitel

Isabel do Santos, 8th on the overall African rich list, is the daughter of Angola’s long serving president. The richest African women on this list, dos Sants made her fortune through investments in various ventures in Angola and Portugal. In Angola, her assets include 25% of the county’s largest mobile network, Unitel, and 42% of a bank, Banc BIC. In addition, she owns 6% of Portuguese oil and gas firm Galp Energia and is a large stakeholder in both Portugal’s fourth largest bank and a cable TV and telecom firm, Nos SGPS . Dos Santos claims to be an independent businesswoman but controversy and rumors have always surrounded her with regards to her father’s dealings in her businesses.

2. Naguib Sawiris- Egypt $3.7 Billion- telecoms

Naguib Sawiris, 7th on the overall African rich list, built his fortune in the telecoms sector with his company Orascom Telecom Media & Technology (OTMT). Sawiris has also, since 2013, built major stakes in gold mining companies that operate in Canada, Australia and Africa. The Egyptian stepped down as CEO of OTMT in December 2016.

1. Mike Adenuga- Nigeria $5.8 Billion- telecoms

Mike Adenuga, is placed 3rd on the overall African rich list and is Nigeria’s second richest man thanks to the fortunes he has made from his telecoms and oil production companies. Adenuga’s telecoms company, Globacom is the second largest operator in Nigeria with 36 million subscribers, the company also extends into Ghana and the Republic of Benin. His oil business, Conoil Producing, runs 6 different oil blocks. He made his first fortune trading lace and Coca-Cola.

Full article available here.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/the-richest-africans-in-technology

12 January 2017

ENGIE to strengthen Senegal renewables sector

By Staff Writer | ESI Africa

ENGIE joins forces with the national renewable energies agency in Senegal, ANER, in order to accelerate renewable developments in the country.

The international energy company revealed the news on Wednesday, explaining that the first part of the partnership will involve the development of solar energy for individuals in multi-occupancy or individual housing.

The company elaborated that the aim of this collaboration is to study the initial deployment of these solutions to 11,000 households in the city of Dakar and its suburbs.

In achieving this, the focus will be on photovoltaic (PV) solar panels for the production of electricity and solar water-heaters for the production of hot water.

Through this partnership, both the companies will be looking into financing solutions for the equipment to facilitate a feasible deployment plan.

Market Energy Performance Contracts

As part of the agreement, ENGIE has also committed to market energy performance contracts (EPC) to industrial operators and the tertiary sector in large urban communities in the country.

According to the company, the goal of this commitment is to reduce sites’ energy consumption and help to balance the Senegalese electrical system.

“In Senegal, ENGIE will adapt the concept of EPC that it has used in all its industrial client and large tertiary markets around the world for many years,” the energy firm stated.

The global energy company has further committed its participation in an industrial cluster to promote renewable energies, particularly by professional training actions and strengthening the local industrial network.

ENGIE CEO, Isabelle Kocher, commented: “ENGIE is aiming to use its technical experience and financial capacity to support Senegal’s energy policy, in close partnership with local stakeholders.

“The agreement we have signed today reflects our desire to be a major stakeholder in renewable energies and services in Africa and to solve the huge energy supply problems found on the continent.”

The group is also involved in the Senergy project, a 30MW photovoltaic power station in the town of Santiou Mekhé, scheduled for commissioning this year, the company said.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/engie-to-strengthen-senegal-renewables-sector

12 January 2017

China plans fresh $40 billion round of investments in Nigeria

By Staff | This Day, Nigeria

The Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi, has disclosed plans by the Chinese government to invest up to $40 billion in Nigeria as part of efforts aimed at deepening relations between the two countries.

The amount, which was announced by the minister during a joint briefing with his Nigerian counterpart yesterday in Abuja was in addition to other contributions China had made to Nigeria to support her developmental activities.

He said his country had invested about $45b in various projects in Nigeria and is at the verge of releasing another $40b.

“China has already invested or financed a total number of $22billion projects here in Nigeria, another $23billion projects are on-going. In addition, we are also following up another over $40billion of investments, which are in the pipeline,” Yi said.

The Chinese foreign minister had met earlier in the day with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, where the president pledged that Nigeria would honour all agreements signed with the People’s Republic of China.

“This administration is very serious about infrastructural development. We want rail, road, power, skill acquisition for our people. We ought to have developed beyond this point, but we neglected infrastructure when we had the resources.

“Now, we have to collaborate with you, and we will keep our side of the bargain in all the agreements we have signed,” Buhari was quoted to have said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The president had visited China in April, last year, as guest of President Xi Jinping, and the two countries signed memoranda of understanding on projects, running into billions of dollars.

At the press briefing with his Nigerian counterpart, the Chinese Foreign Minister said the purpose of his visit to Nigeria was to implement the important agreement and cooperation reached between the Chinese and Nigerian presidents and at the same time work closely with Nigeria to ensure that the outcome of the FOCAC summit are well implemented here in Nigeria.

“In order to achieve further development and prosperity of the two countries, we need to strengthen our political mutual trust, deepen complementarily between our developments, further expand practical cooperation and deepen our strategic partnership,” he said.

He described Nigeria and China as strategic partners whose relations he noted had developed well. He, however, said when compared with the size, population and markets of the two countries, their cooperation had large potential to be deepened.

The foreign minister said he was confident his visit would be successful in further strengthening the strategic partnership between China and Nigeria.

Earlier, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, commended the Chinese government for her solidarity with Nigeria and Africa.

He said the relationship between Nigeria and China was one that was very strong and had been going on for many years.

While commending the Chinese government officicials for their yearly visit to African countries with a view to discussing substantive issues of development, he stressed that the visits were unique because they helped to display and show solidarity of the Peoples Republic with Africa.

Onyeama said: “You know of course that the Peoples Republic of China has been meeting regularly with Africa and the forum for discussing technical cooperation with African countries, the acronym is FOCAC.

“The last one took place in South Africa last December and the government of China made available a total of $60b for Africa and a number of countries, including Nigeria are in discussions to see how much of that could be used to assist in the various projects that we have in this country.

He said aside the FOCAC issue, China had, so far, invested between $60b and $80b in Nigeria, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to china last year had further opened up more areas of cooperation.

“In area of infrastructure, which is one of the priority areas in the diversification programme of this government from oil to agriculture and infrastructure, the Chinese government has been showing a lot of cooperation with us,” the minister said.

He identified transportation as one area the Chinese government had been very helpful to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has withdrawn its recognition for Taiwan, pledging her support for one China in a move considered as part of efforts at strengthening its relations with China.

Nigeria is, therefore, to withdraw all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country, as well as withdraw accreditation from Taiwan’s nationals. In addition, the Taiwanese office in Abuja would be shut, while it would be allowed to relocate to Lagos as a trade mission with skeletal staff.

This position, which was contained in a joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both Nigeria and China in Abuja yesterday, also saw the governments of the two countries reaffirming their mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other.

Nigeria, in the statement reaffirmed that the “One China” policy was at the core of its strategic partnership with china.

It said: “The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes that there is only one China in the world; that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.

“The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reiterates not to have any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan, and supports all efforts made by the Chinese government to realize national unification”.

On her part the Government of the People’s Republic of China while appreciating the gesture of Nigeria over the Taiwan issue reaffirmed her commitment to actively develop China-Nigeria strategic partnership across board.

Speaking to journalists after the statement, Onyeama stated that the federal government took the decision to remove any iota of doubt in the minds of the Chinese people about Nigeria’s commitment to the unity of China.

He said: “On the issue of building trust, the international community has embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue,” adding: “We adhere to it completely and there is no ambiguity at all.”

He said Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realize the one China policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well-being of the People’s Republic of China.

According to Onyeama, China is one of the countries that has been in full support of reforms in the UN that would see Africa having two seats at the UN Security Council, saying it deserved to be supported in her unification drive.

Similarly, Yi, while noting that the gesture would enhance the bilateral ties between the two countries, said China would not only respect the one Nigeria policy but would do everything to support the one Nigeria dream.

He pledged the support of China in helping Nigeria overcome her security challenges as well as supporting the administration’s efforts at diversification of the economy, particularly in the area of agriculture and infrastructure.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/china-plans-fresh-40-billion-investments-i...

2017

January 2017

11 January 2017

World Bank sees Zimbabwe GDP growing 3.8% in 2017

By Staff Writer | The Source Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s economy grew by 0,4 percent in 2016 and could accelerate by 3,8 percent this year, higher than the regional average, the World Bank has said in its latest report.

The projection contrasts sharply with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which expects the GDP to record a growth of -2,5 percent this year in the absence of reforms and new money while the government forecast a GDP growth of 1,8 percent over the same period.

The World Bank did not explain the basis of such a prediction.

The report titled: Global Economic Prospects, noted that the Sub-Saharan Africa economies growth rate slowed to 1,5 percent in 2016, the weakest pace in over two decades but are expected to pick up to 2,4 percent this year, as commodity exporting economies adjust to low prices.

South Africa and oil exporting countries, which contribute two-thirds of regional output, accounted for most of the slowdown, while activity in non-resource intensive economies generally remained robust.

The impact of low commodity prices is seen continuing throughout 2017, though some recovery is expected.

“South Africa is expected to edge up to 1,1 percent this year while Nigeria is forecast to rebound from recession and grow at a rate of 1 percent, as an anticipated modest improvement in oil prices, coupled with an increase in oil production, boost domestic revenues.

“Angola is projected to expand at a moderate 1,2 percent pace as high inflation and tight policy continue to weigh on consumption and investment. In other mineral and energy exporters, the outlook is generally favorable,” reads the report.

The World Bank also notes that the heightened policy uncertainty in the United States and Europe could cause financial market volatility, affecting borrowing costs and capital flows to the region.

“A reversal of flows to the region would hit heavily traded currencies, like the South African rand, hard. A sharper-than-expected slowdown in China could weigh on demand for export commodities and undermine prices,” the report reads.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/world-bank-sees-zimbabwe-gdp-growing-3-8-i...