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We bring you various leading news from across Africa, on business, economy, market, and politics. Towards A Profitable Africa.

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1796 episodes

IMF Cuts Global Economic Growth Forecast

The International Monetary Fund warned that the global economy is entering 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected as it downgraded its global growth outlook largely due to clouds gathering over the recoveries in the United States and China. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook calls for the global growth to downshift from 5.9 per cent in 2021 to 4.4 per cent this year. The Fund saw the US economy growing 4.0 per cent this year while China’s economy grew 4.8 per cent this year thanks to the country’s business-sapping, zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy, and ongoing stress in its heavily indebted property sector.

1m
Jan 26
Microsoft Boasts Quarterly Revenue On Cloud Growth

Microsoft Corp exceeded analysts’ expectations for second-quarter revenue on Tuesday, propelled by strong demand for its cloud-based services from more businesses migrating to hybrid work models due to the coronavirus pandemic. Microsoft has become one of the most valuable companies in the world by betting heavily on corporate software and services, especially its cloud services and the movement to the web of its Outlook email and calendar software, known as Office 365. Revenue from Microsoft’s biggest segment, which offers cloud services and includes Azure, its flagship cloud offering, rose 26 per cent, while the business that houses its Office 365 services increased 19 per cent in the quarter.

1m
Jan 26
The US Says Putin May Face Sanctions

US President Joe Biden says he would consider imposing economic sanctions personally targeting Vladimir Putin if the Russian president orders a new attack on Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged European allies to have sanctions ready to go if Russia invades Ukraine. Russia has amassed some 100,000 troops within reach of Ukraine’s border but denies planning an invasion. Instead, it has cited the Western response to its military buildup as evidence that Russia is the target of aggression.

52s
Jan 26
Zimbabwe Committed to Ending Zimdollar Volatility

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe held a crisis meeting with captains of industry on Monday at which they pledged a commitment to work closely in curbing the parallel market exchange rate volatility. The central bank governor, John Mangudya says both parties acknowledged the positive economic achievements made so far which include year on year inflation reduction to end the year at 60,7% from 348,6% recorded in 2020 with local manufacturing production going to 80% of products on the market were locally produced. Mnagudya says the Bank should continue fighting inflation through restrictive monetary policy and building foreign exchange reserves as a way of augmenting the defence of the value of the local currency.

1m
Jan 26
Kenya Extends Avocado Export Ban

Kenyan growers and exporters dealing in the avocado export business face an indefinite ban on the export of Hass and Fuerta varieties. Kenya Agriculture and Food authority director, Benjamin Tito noted that the ban, which took effect on November 15, 2021, is aimed at curbing the harvest and export of immature avocados. The food regulator noted the ban will remain in effect in order to control the export of immature avocadoes which have negatively impacted the image of the commodity in overseas markets. It further warned that exporters who use marketing agents without valid registration permits shall have their licenses revoked.

1m
Jan 26
Egypt Calls For Binding Agreement to Renaissance Dam Issue

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli has expressed Egypts keenness on reaching a legally-binding agreement for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to achieve the interests of all parties through striking a balance. Madbouli says Egypt showed interest in resuming negotiations at the nearest chance with the aim of finding solutions to points of technical and legal differences and finding a fair and balanced agreement taking into consideration Egypts water scarcity and its dependence on the Nile as the main water resource. He says that Egypt always gives priority to achieving development in Nile basin countries, so it offered assistance to sisterly countries to provide stability for their peoples.

1m
Jan 26
Nigeria’s Security Agencies Directed to Use 5G Tech to Tackle Insecurity

President Muhammadu Buhari launched the national policy on 5G for Nigeria’s digital economy, with a clear directive to all the security agencies to immediately leverage the technology to enhance security in the country when it has been deployed. President Buhari also allayed fears over health safety of 5G, affirming that such issues had been effectively addressed in developing a policy that suits the country. The president stressed that it would support virtually every sector of the economy, including enhanced connectivity, improved healthcare, support for education while fostering smart cities, and boosting agriculture, among other advantages.

58s
Jan 26
Central Bank of Nigeria Retains Interest Rate At 11.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5% and kept all other parameters unchanged. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made the announcement while addressing journalists at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja. Lowering the rate could have stimulated more borrowing while raising the rate could have signalled the CBN’s intention to reduce the economy’s money supply.

45s
Jan 26
Nigerian Government Outlines Conditions To Marginal Field Awardees

The Federal Government will outline its policy position for the marginal field bid round to eligible awardees who have fully or partly complied with signature bonus payment in the 2020 marginal field programme. It says the policy position would be made public at a forum being planned by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission in Abuja. It says all eligible awardees and relevant international oil companies associated with the MFBR were expected to attend the meeting.

49s
Jan 26
IMF Retains 2022 Growth Forecast For Nigeria At 2.7%

The International Monetary Fund has retained its 2022 growth forecast for Nigeria at 2.7 per cent and increased the 2023 projection by 0.1 per cent to 2.7 per cent. The IMF had in its October report last year projected a 2.7 per cent growth rate for 2022 and 2.6 per cent for 2023. The IMF downgraded its growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa to 3.7 per cent and 4.0 per cent for 2022 and 2023 respectively from 3.6 per cent and 3.9 per cent forecast in its October 2021 WEO report. The IMF also reduced its forecast for global economic growth to 4.4 per cent in 2023, representing 0.5 percentage points lower than the 4.9 per cent projected in October.

1m
Jan 26
Serbia Signs Deal To Boast Foreign Portfolio Investments.

Serbia and the Belgium-based Euroclear signed an agreement to make the Balkan country’s local debt euroclearable or clearable through the Euroclear international settlements system, which would help lure foreign portfolio investments. Finance Minister Sinisa Mali says the Euroclear membership was vital for the future sales of European Union candidate countries’ bonds. Mali says Serbia’s membership in Euroclear would bolster the development and liquidity of the domestic money and capital markets and lower financing costs. It would also lure more foreign portfolio investors.

57s
Jan 25
Lufthansa, Air France Kicks Against EU’s Climate Plans For Aviation

An alliance of airlines and airports called for changes to the European Union’s planned climate change legislation on Monday, arguing it will make them less competitive with non-European rivals. The alliance argues long-haul flights via non-European hubs would not be subjected to the same associated costs, leading to a potential shift in business to such carriers. The alliance rejects a kerosene tax outright and proposes that the environmental protection surcharge be based on the entire flight route, not just feeder flights bringing passengers from the EU to international hubs such as Istanbul or Dubai.

57s
Jan 25
Taliban, Western Officials Meet To Discuss Afghanistan

Taliban and Western diplomats are holding a meeting outside Norway’s capital Oslo for talks focused on Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis. The closed-door discussions with representatives of the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the European Union and Norway. The Taliban earlier met with Afghan civil society members, including women activists and journalists, for talks on human rights.

51s
Jan 25
Ghana Shut Down Mining Company After Fatal Explosion

Ghanaian authorities have shut down Maxam Mining Company Limited responsible for manufacturing, storing, and transporting explosive materials for mining operations in the country following a deadly explosion last week. Investigations are underway, the authorities say, into Thursdays blast near the mining town of Bogoso, that killed at least 14 people and injured dozens of others. The National Disaster Management Organisation says more than 40 critically injured people are being treated in hospitals, and more than 500 homes have been destroyed.

54s
Jan 25
Malawi's President Fires Cabinet Amid Corruption Charges

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has sacked his entire cabinet over corruption concerns. The president vowed to confront all forms of lawless conduct by public officials. He says a new cabinet would be announced in two days. Three ministers are facing charges including the minister of lands who was arrested last month in a bribery case. The labour minister has been accused of diverting Covid funds and the energy minister of meddling with fuel deals. All have denied the allegations.

49s
Jan 25
Mali Asks Denmark To Immediately Withdraw Troops

Malis government has called on Denmark to immediately withdraw a contingent of troops deployed to the West African nation as part of an international counter-terrorism force. The military government says the deployment of about 90 Danish soldiers had taken place without its consent. Denmark says its in touch with the government in Bamako and is working intensely to clarify the situation. The government has denied their presence, saying Russian trainers were in the country to support the national army.

50s
Jan 25
Nigeria’s Drug Control Bans Alcohol in Sachet, Small Volume Containers

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has stopped the registration of alcohol in sachet and small volume and glass bottles below 200 mitres amidst other stringent regulatory measures. The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, says the registration of new alcoholic drinks in a sachet, small volume and glass bottles above 30 per cent alcohol by volume has been banned by NAFDAC. Adeyeye however said that the Agency will ensure that the validity of renewal of the already registered alcoholic products in the affected category will not exceed 2024. The NAFDAC DG explained that manufacturers of low volume alcohol beverages with satisfactory laboratory reports have been directed to reformulate their products to stipulated standards free of charge.

1m
Jan 25
Nigerian Government Considers Autogas As Alternative Petrol

The Federal Government is considering autogas as an alternative to the Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol. The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, explained that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Economic Council, is also leading an effort in collaboration with state governors to discuss the government’s plans to unveil palliatives to the people. The Minister says the Federal Government had in December 2021 rolled out an autogas programme called the National Gas Expansion Programme. Justice Derefaka, Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, had explained that vehicle owners will have different payment plans to covert their cars to autogas.

1m
Jan 25
Nigeria And Egypt Begin Bilateral Talks On Power Supply

The federal government, represented by the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has held a follow-up meeting with Egyptian authorities in an effort to boost electricity supply, including renewable energy in Nigeria. Aliyu affirmed the commitment of the federal government to see that Nigerians have an efficient power supply in the nearest future. Aliyu stated that the anticipated area of cooperation between Egypt’s ministry of electricity and renewable energy and Nigeria’s federal ministry of power may include the areas of provision of technical support in transmission and distribution networks, promotion as well as in renewable energy systems in the electricity sector.

58s
Jan 25
Nigerian Government Postpones Fuel Subsidy Removal Indefinitely

The Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says that the Federal Government had postponed the planned removal of subsidies on petroleum products till further notice. The finance minister says the Federal Government initially had plans to remove subsidies on petroleum products from July this year. She says that was the reason adequate provision was made in the 2022 national budget for subsidy payment till June. She says the provision was made sequel to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act which indicated that all petroleum products would be deregulated.

53s
Jan 25
Iran’s $18m UN Dues Paid With Frozen Funds

Seoul says Iran is expected to regain its vote in the UN General Assembly after South Korea paid Tehran’s delinquent dues to the world body with Iranian funds frozen in the country. Iran however announced that US sanctions had impeded its ability to make the payment on its arrears for the second year in a row. The finance ministry says Seoul completed the payment of Iran’s UN dues of about $18 million through the Iranian frozen funds in South Korea, in active cooperation with related agencies such as US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the United Nations Secretariat.

57s
Jan 24
German Navy Chief Resigns Over Controversial Ukraine Comments

The head of the German navy has resigned after coming under fire at home and abroad for saying that Ukraine would never regain the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach also said it was important to have Russia on the side against China, and suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved respect. The comments came at a sensitive time as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s borders. Russia denies it is planning to invade Ukraine.

52s
Jan 24
Armenian President Resigns Over Lack Of Influence

Armenian President Armen Sarkisian announced that he was resigning his largely ceremonial position, citing the inability of his office to influence policy during times of national crisis. The announcement comes on the back of a period of instability in the ex-Soviet Caucasus nation in the wake of a war with its long-standing rival Azerbaijan. Armenia’s humiliating defeat and loss of disputed territory in late 2020 ultimately sparked massive street rallies and a domestic crisis that pitted Sarkisian against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. He says the president does not have the necessary tools to influence the important processes of foreign and domestic policy in difficult times for the people and the country.

1m
Jan 24
UAE Intercept And Destroy Houthi Missiles

The United Arab Emirates says it intercepted and destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles that were targeting the country, and there were no casualties. The defence ministry says the remnants of the intercepted ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around Abu Dhabi. Houthi-run Al Masirah television channel says the group would announce within hours the details of a wide military operation against Saudi Arabia and the UAE amid concern over a further escalation in tensions in the region amid Yemen’s years-long civil war.

52s
Jan 24
US Orders Evacuation Of Ukraine Embassy Staff

The United States has ordered the families of all American staff at the US Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened concern that Russia, which has massed troops on the border, is about to invade. The State Department also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense and that all Americans should consider departing immediately. The US Embassy in Kyiv warned that military action by Russia could come at any time and the United States government will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so US citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly.

59s
Jan 24
Zimbabwe Government Pressured To Introduce Wealth Tax

A Civil Society Organisations grouping has demanded the urgent introduction of wealth tax to facilitate the trickledown effect of financial resources to the country in a bid to reduce the alarming poverty levels. The Zimbabwe Fight Inequality Alliances spokesperson, Janet Zhou declared a week of action, piling pressure on the government to introduce a tax for the countrys wealthiest. Zhou says the abolishment of unjust and harmful tax incentives to multinational corporations is a long overdue outcome of a stakeholder consultative process. Zhou stressed that it is time the government introduced a Covid19 Windfall Tax for corporates and individuals who have made phenomenal profits since 2020 to fund a just and equitable response to Covid19 induced poverty and suffering.

1m
Jan 24
UN Appeals for $60 Million for Victims of Violence in Cameroon

The United Nations Refugee Agency is appealing for nearly $60 million for tens of thousands of victims of intercommunal clashes over dwindling resources in Cameroons Far North region. UNHCR spokesman Boris Cheshirkov says the appeal will provide critically needed relief over the next six months for both the displaced and those sheltering them in Chad and Cameroon. Cheshirkov says the situation has calmed down in the last few weeks. He says security has been reinforced. He notes government-led reconciliation efforts, supported by the UNHCR are underway adding that urgent action is needed to address the root causes of the conflict.

1m
Jan 24
Eswatini Destroys Thousands Of Expired Covid Jabs

The Swazi Observer newspaper reports that Eswatini will destroy 10,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines that have expired. The countrys health ministry says that AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are still available and therefore vaccination will continue. The Johnson & Johnson vaccines expired on Tuesday last week. The newspaper reports that the current batch of Pfizer doses expires next week.

45s
Jan 24
Shell Appeals To Overturn N800bn Oil Spill Court Judgement

Shell Petroleum Development Company will attempt to convince the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, to upturn an N800 billion judgement against the oil giant by a Federal High Court in the state in 2020. The company however was expected to tell the appeal court that the lower court failed to listen to its argument that the oil spill claim was unsubstantiated. SPDC had appealed against the judgement and applied to suspend its enforcement. SPDC argued that the court was duty-bound to hear evidence to determine, first, if the spill occurred and the alleged cause before proceeding to fix liability and compensation, which it noted, didn’t happen in the case.

1m
Jan 24
Dangote Oil Refinery to Begin Production Before 3Q Of 2022

Aliko Dangote, says mechanical work on his much-awaited crude oil refinery had been completed and the facility would begin to run between August and September this year. Dangote says full production at the refinery could commence by the end of the year or the beginning of 2023. He says that Dangote Group would continue to do more towards strengthening investment in the country, stating that the company has been meeting its tax obligations. Dangote added that the Dangote Group had revitalised road infrastructure within Apapa and Isolo in Lagos, and also in Ogun and Kaduna, stressing that the group is equally involved in the development of deep seaports and other infrastructural projects across the country.

1m
Jan 24