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Davos: Global economists see bright spots in Africa growth prospects

Davos: Global economists see bright spots in Africa growth prospects

TOP economists agree that Africa's economic prospects for 2024 are positive, as small countries sparkle in the face of sluggish global growth projections. Chief economists from the World Economic Forum, World Bank and United Nations project Africa’s economy will defy the impacts of weak investments, debt crises, inflation, tight financial conditions and extreme weather patterns to record an improvement over 2023. A strong majority (65%) of World Economic Forum Chief Economists expect most of the continent to record at least moderate growth, according to the World Economic Forum Chief Economists Outlook 2024. This comes against a background in which 56%…
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World Bank to provide $750 mln for clean energy projects in Nigeria

World Bank to provide $750 mln for clean energy projects in Nigeria

THE World Bank's fund for poor countries plans to provide a credit of $750 million for clean energy projects in Nigeria to increase electricity in Africa's most populous nation, the International Development Association said. The bank said that more than 85 million people lacked access to electricity in Nigeria as of 2021, with households and businesses reliant on expensive diesel and petrol generators. It said the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project will be financed by the International Development Association credit and provide access to new or improved electricity supplies to more than 17.5 million Nigerians. "To further…
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Uganda plans to double domestic borrowing in 2023/24 FY

Uganda plans to double domestic borrowing in 2023/24 FY

UGANDA is planning to more than double its level of domestic market borrowing to 6.8 trillion Ugandan shillings ($1.79 billion) in the 2023/24 financial year to help finance new spending needs, the Ministry of Finance said. Government finances have been squeezed since the World Bank, traditionally a key source of cheap credit for the country, cut lending earlier this year to protest against the enactment of one of the world's strictest anti-homosexuality laws. In a budget speech in June, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said the government intended to borrow 3.2 trillion Ugandan shillings from the domestic market via issuance of treasury bills…
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Uganda to borrow $150 mln from China’s Exim after World Bank halts funding

Uganda to borrow $150 mln from China’s Exim after World Bank halts funding

UGANDA is preparing to borrow $150 million from China's Export-Import Bank (Exim) to help expand its internet infrastructure, the finance ministry. The move underscores the East African country's increasing reliance for credit on Chinese lenders after the World Bank halted all new lending to Uganda earlier this year in protest at a new anti-homosexuality law. A junior finance minister and the minister for information asked lawmakers on Monday to authorise the debt, the finance ministry wrote on X, the social media platform. The money, the ministry said, is "to finance the supply, installation, commissioning and support of the national data…
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World Bank sees $12 billion support to Kenya over next 3 years

World Bank sees $12 billion support to Kenya over next 3 years

THE World Bank said that it foresaw $12 billion of support to Kenya over the next three years, potentially a major boost to the East African country's strained finances. The bank said in a statement that the total amount was subject to the approval of its executive directors and other factors that could influence its lending capacity. Kenya's public finances have been pressured by the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic and frequent climate change-induced droughts. "The World Bank is fully committed to supporting Kenya in its journey to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030," the statement said. "Subject to the…
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Kenya could lose up to 7.25% of GDP to climate change, World Bank says

Kenya could lose up to 7.25% of GDP to climate change, World Bank says

KENYA could lose up to 7.25% of economic output by 2050 if it does not take strong action to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects, the World Bank said. Like other so-called frontier economies, the East African nation has been suffering from the effects of global heating, including prolonged droughts, in recent years. "By 2050, inaction against climate change could result in a decline in real GDP of 3.61–7.25 percent," the World Bank said in a new publication called Kenya Country Climate and Development Report. "The impact of climate change on the economy could be partly buffered by…
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World Bank suspension of Uganda funds over anti-homosexuality law: what this says about the struggle over funds and sovereignty

World Bank suspension of Uganda funds over anti-homosexuality law: what this says about the struggle over funds and sovereignty

THE World Bank issued a statement on 8 August 2023, announcing that it had effectively suspended all new public financing to Uganda over concerns with the country’s anti-homosexuality law, which “fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values”. According to Human Rights Watch, the anti-homosexuality act violates multiple fundamental rights guaranteed under Uganda’s constitution and a number of international human rights agreements which the government of Uganda has signed. The act was first proposed in March 2023, and adopted by the Ugandan parliament in early May. JON HARALD SANDE LIE, Research Professor, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs The World Bank, and…
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World Bank approves $1 bln loan to help South Africa tackle power crisis

World Bank approves $1 bln loan to help South Africa tackle power crisis

THE World Bank said that its board had approved a $1 billion loan to help South Africa reform its energy sector, as the country tries to overcome regular power cuts that have curbed economic growth. The bank wants to support the country's reforms to split struggling power firm Eskom and to transition to a low carbon economy, it said in a statement. Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, the World Bank's director for South Africa, had told Reuters last month that the loan was under discussion and could come soon. In Wednesday's statement, Marie-Nelly said reforms the government had launched would "benefit the people of…
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World Bank to implement LGBTQ safeguards before new Uganda funding resumes

World Bank to implement LGBTQ safeguards before new Uganda funding resumes

THE World Bank will aim to ensure gay and transgender Ugandans are not discriminated against in its programmes before resuming new funding, which was halted in August over an anti-LGBTQ law, a bank executive said. World Bank project documents will make it clear that LGBTQ Ugandans should not face discrimination and that staff will not be arrested for including them, Victoria Kwakwa, the bank's head for eastern and southern Africa, told Reuters. Rights groups have said that the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), which was enacted in May and prescribes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, has unleashed a torrent of abuse against LGBTQ people, mostly…
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Zambia, bondholders kick off formal talks on $3 billion debt restructuring, sources say

Zambia, bondholders kick off formal talks on $3 billion debt restructuring, sources say

ZAMBIA'S international bondholders have formally started debt talks with the government this week, according to three sources, a key step to restructure more than $3 billion of overseas bonds. A group of the country's biggest private creditors has entered into a restricted period, which means they temporarily cannot trade the country's notes in exchange for non-public information, the sources added, asking not to be named because the discussions were private. The non-disclosure agreements(NDA) would be still in place next week, one of the sources added when Zambia officials and creditors are set to meet in person during the World Bank…
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