Guinea : Statement of an IMF Mission at the End of its 2017 Visit

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Giorgia Albertin visited Conakry from July 31 to August 15, 2017 to negotiate a new program that could be supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

  • Significant progress was made in discussions of the economic policies and reforms that could be supported by a new IMF arrangement
  • Real growth is expected to 6.7% in 2017 supported by dynamic activity in the mining and construction sectors and good agricultural performance;
  • Average inflation would remain moderate at 8.5 percent in 2017.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Giorgia Albertin visited Conakry from July 31 to August 15, 2017 to negotiate a new program that could be supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

At the conclusion of the mission, Ms. Albertin issued the following statement:

“The Guinean authorities and the IMF staff made significant progress in the discussions of the economic policies and reforms that could be supported by a new IMF arrangement and would support the Guinea’s 2016–20 National Social and Economic Development Plan (PNDES) aimed at fostering higher and broad-based growth and significantly reducing poverty.

“The Guinean authorities’ economic policies and reforms program would aim at strengthening macroeconomic resilience, increasing investment in infrastructure to generate higher growth and diversify the economy while preserving debt sustainability, strengthening social programs aimed at reducing poverty and promote inclusion, and improving governance and business climate to support private sector development.

“The Guinean economy has rebounded from the negative impact of the Ebola epidemic and real growth is expected to 6.7% in 2017 supported by dynamic activity in the mining and construction sectors and good agricultural performance. Average inflation would remain moderate at 8.5 percent in 2017.

“Exports of bauxite and gold would increase further in 2017 and imports would continue to be sustained owing to the projects to increase production capacity in the mining sector and investment in infrastructure.

“Efforts to mobilize revenues and contain current expenditures and strong mining revenues led to basic fiscal surplus of 0.9 percent of GDP at the end of June 2017.

“The mission met with Prime Minister Mamady Youla, the Economic and Finance Commission of the National Assembly, Minister of Economy and Finance Malado Kaba, central bank Governor Lounceny Nabé, Minister of Budget Mohamed Doumbouya, Minister of Planning and Cooperation Kanny Diallo and other members of the government, the Ministers Counselors to the President and other senior government officials. The mission also met international partners, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations.

“The IMF team thanks the authorities for their hospitality and for the constructive and productive discussions.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Media files

Download logo

Source:: Statement of an IMF Mission at the End of its Visit to Guinea

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Economics, Guinea | Tags: | Leave a comment

South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass 1 million mark, UNHCR renews call for help

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today reiterating its call to the international community for urgent additional support for the South Sudan refugee situation and Uganda in particular, where the number of refugees from South Sudan has now reached 1 million.

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day. In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

In Uganda, more than 85 per cent of the refugees who have arrived there are women and children (below 18 years in age). Recent arrivals continue to speak of barbaric violence, with armed groups reportedly burning down houses with civilians inside, people being killed in front of family members, sexual assaults of women and girls, and kidnapping of boys for forced conscription.

With refugees still arriving in their thousands, the amount of aid we are able to deliver is increasingly falling short. For Uganda, US$674 million is needed for South Sudanese refugees this year, but so far only a fifth of this amount (21 per cent) has been received. Elsewhere in the region, the picture is only marginally better – in all US$883.5 million is needed for the South Sudan situation, but only US$250 million has been received.

The funding shortfall in Uganda is now significantly impacting the abilities to deliver life-saving aid and key basic services. In June, the World Food Programme was forced to cut food rations for refugees. Across settlements in northern Uganda, health clinics are being forced to provide vital medical care with too few doctors, healthcare workers and medicines. Schooling, meanwhile is also being impacted. Class sizes often exceed 200 pupils, with some lessons held in the open air. Many refugee children are dropping out of education as the nearest schools are too far away for them to easily access.

Since December 2013, when South Sudan’s crisis erupted in Juba, more than two million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries, while another two million people are estimated to be internally displaced.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Media files

Download logo

Source:: South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass 1 million mark, UNHCR renews call for help

      

Categories: AFRICA, South Sudan, Uganda | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Zambia : USTDA Connects U.S. Companies to Wind Power Opportunities

USTDA Connects U.S. Companies to Wind Power Opportunities in Zambia

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant supporting a feasibility study for a 130 MW wind power project in Zambia. The grantee is Access Zambia Wind One Limited, a wind power project developer and subsidiary of Access Power, a Power Africa partner and developer, owner, and operator of power assets in emerging and frontier markets.

Slated for completion in 2019, the wind farm is anticipated to be the first wind independent power production project in Zambia and will help meet the country’s growing demand for electricity.

“USTDA is pleased to support this important project that will help diversify Zambia’s energy generation mix,” said USTDA’s Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy. “The project will create opportunities for U.S. exports in a new and growing sector in Zambia.”

Vahid Fotuhi, Managing Director for Access, noted, “By bringing this pioneering project to fruition with the support of USTDA we aim to diversify Zambia’s energy mix and tap into its vast clean energy power generation potential in order to help fuel its economic development and satisfy the urgent need for electrification.”

Access Zambia will competitively select a U.S. firm to complete the study. Businesses interested in submitting proposals for this USTDA-funded feasibility study should visit the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website at
Download logo

Source:: USTDA Connects U.S. Companies to Wind Power Opportunities in Zambia

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Environmental Issues | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Nigeria : Acting President Osinbajo hate speech statement

Today We Draw Line, Hate Speech Will No Longer Be Tolerated – Acting President Osinbajo

Opening Remarks by His Excellency The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, San, Gcon, At The National Economic Council, NEC, National Security Retreat, at the Banquet Hall of The State House, Abuja, 17 August 2017:

I am delighted to welcome you to this special session of the National Economic Council, focusing on Security. As you’re all aware, the Buhari administration came into office on a vision that covered three key areas: Security, the Economy and the fight against Corruption.

All three issues are closely linked, of course. Without guaranteeing security, we will struggle to attract the kind of investments, domestic or foreign, needed to create jobs and prosperity for our people. And when those jobs are hard to find and keep, our people will naturally be more susceptible to the lure of criminal activity. Which means that governments that are serious about fighting crime ought to be extremely serious about fighting poverty.

And I take the point that the Chairman of the Governors’ forum made about investments in agriculture, although the N23 billion investment is one aspect of agriculture which is the Anchor Borrower’s Programme. Our total investment is well over five times that. If you look at all the other areas in which we are investing in agriculture, and that excludes what the States are also investing in agriculture. So I think that substantial effort is being made, still not enough but certainly more than N23 billion.

Corruption and Security are also interconnected. We are all witnesses to how, only a few years ago, much of North Eastern Nigeria was at risk to falling completely into the hands of Boko Haram, largely because widespread corruption in the military had robbed our troops of the resources and morale needed to fight and defeat the terrorists.

Regarding this all-important issue of security in Nigeria, we all know what the issues are. In our lives as politicians and as elites; in our security meetings and confidential briefings, in news reports and editorials in the media, we are all daily confronted by the disturbing reality of Nigeria’s security situation.

Now I think is the time to implement our thinking and our talking; to add action to our analysis. And this action must be bold, ambitious, urgent – and, and very importantly – innovative. It was Albert Einstein who said, and I quote, that “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created the problems in the first place.”

This is a challenge to all of us, to confront these matters with utmost seriousness. Because the problems we face as a nation are not static, but instead continue to evolve, our thinking and our solutions for them must also be equally dynamic, to take into account the peculiar realities of the 21st century. I have spoken at a number of recent fora about how technology and the internet have altered the nature of conflict and war in contemporary times, enabling and amplifying the efforts and impact of terrorists, insurgents, warmongers, secessionists, and peddlers of hate speech.

Against this backdrop, the question we should be asking ourselves, as Governments, especially as Chief Security Officers in our States, as Law Enforcement Agents, is: how can we take advantage of these same tools and technology to stay permanently ahead of those who seek to wield them to create mischief, and cause terror, fear and bloodshed?

These are the conversations that we should be having, and at the highest levels of government no less. My expectation is that we will, at this forum, focus on solutions, instead of rehashing the problems.

But let me just reiterate an important fact, one of the reasons why the National Economic Council is so important is because the framers of our Constitution recognise that that the Federal Government alone cannot solve Nigeria’s security or economic challenges. Security is a collective enterprise, requiring the harmonization of efforts from all three tiers and branches of Government, and from the private sector, civil society and indeed the general public as well.

Yesterday, we took an important step in incorporating all of our society into this security issue and into the fight against insecurity in our country. Pursuant to our Constitution, I issued a directive to the Inspector General of Police to constitute the Community Policing Programme. As you know the Community Policing Programme is one that the Police itself had developed over the years.

But by this directive, we expect that the community Policing Programme will take root and take effect and all of our Police formations across the country will engage their communities in the very creative ways the Police themselves have prescribed in the Community Policing programme.

We expect that this will be a fundamental change in the way that policing is carried out in our country and that it will yield the kinds of results that we expect.

The Buhari administration has already set a pattern of engagement and collaboration with Governors, and we are committed to maintaining this atmosphere of frank engagement.

You are aware that this was not always the case; and prior to this administration, the National Economic Council had not exactly fulfilled its obligations as an economic council because of the unending series of conflicts between the Federal and State Governments over very many issues.

But we are determined to do things the right way, to be transparent in our dealings with you, to respect your views, regardless of partisan or ideological affiliations, and to join hands with you to create positive change in the lives of all our people.

Please permit me a comment on hate speech. The Federal Government has today drawn the line on hate speech. Hate speech is a specie of terrorism. Terrorism as it is defined popularly is the unlawful use of violence or intimidation against individuals or groups especially for political ends. The law, that is the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 (as amended), defines terrorism as inter Alia, an act which deliberately done with malice which may seriously harm or damage a country or seriously intimidate a population.

The intimidation of a population by words, by speech is an act of terrorism and this government intends to take this matter very seriously. As I have said, we’ve drawn a line against hate speech, it will not be tolerated, it will be taken as an act of terrorism and all of the consequences will follow it.

I call on all business, religious and political leaders, whatever your political leaning, your religion or tribe or faith to condemn in the strongest possible terms at all times, hate speech.

Speech that promotes violence against an individual or group, especially when such comes from people of your own faith, tribe or group, your silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement.

Hate speech, and the promotion of the same throughout history from Nazi Germany and the extermination of Jews to the Rwandan genocide succeeded in achieving their barbarous ends by the silence of influential, voices from the aggressor communities.

When leaders in communities that speak in such a manner as to create dissension or to intimidate a population are quiet, they do a great disservice to our unity and nation.

This is why I urge all of our political leaders, religious leaders, business leaders and all of those who truly want a united country and a country where there will be peace and security, to ensure that we do not tolerate by our silence the hate speech that we hear every day in our community.

In closing, let me remind you that our Constitution states that the primary purpose of government shall be the security and welfare of the people. And as President Buhari likes to say: “you cannot administer a country you have not secured.”

We will not relent in our vision to ensure a secure country, in which all citizens can confidently aspire to achieve their dreams and ambitions. I am confident that today will mark an important milestone in the achieving that vision.

I thank you very much for listening.

RELEASED BY:

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President
Office of the Acting President
17 August 2017

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the Acting President of Nigeria.

Media files

Download logo

Multimedia content

Source:: Today We Draw Line, Hate Speech Will No Longer Be Tolerated – Acting President Osinbajo

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Politics, Nigeria | Tags: , | Leave a comment