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African ports are tops at reducing vessel delays – report

African ports are tops at reducing vessel delays – report

AFRICAN ports are making the most progress in reducing vessel waiting times, contrasting sharply with trends in other regions, according to a new report. The report, which assessed over 182,000 vessel calls, 238.2 million moves, and 381 million TEUs in 2023, underscores the success of targeted infrastructure upgrades and strategic policy interventions in enhancing the efficiency of Africa's ports. ‘Container Port Performance Index (CPPI)’ was released on June 4, 2024, by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence and it shows that African ports have slashed port arrival times by an impressive 2.0 hours for all vessel sizes. “The…
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African countries can’t resolve their debt crisis under a system rigged against them

African countries can’t resolve their debt crisis under a system rigged against them

THE debt situation in many African countries has escalated again to a critical juncture. Twenty are in, or at risk of, debt distress. Three pivotal elements significantly contribute to this. Firstly, the rules governing the international banking system favour developed countries and work against the interests of African countries. Secondly, multilateral financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank focus on poverty alleviation. This is commendable. But it doesn’t address the liquidity crisis countries face. Many don’t have the necessary readily available funds in their coffers to cover urgent development priorities due to their dependency…
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NEW UNITED NATIONS REFORMS MUST FAVOUR THE GLOBAL SOUTH

NEW UNITED NATIONS REFORMS MUST FAVOUR THE GLOBAL SOUTH

ABBEY MAKOE THE rise of the Majority World, or global south, in world politics has triggered pertinent issues in relation to the archaic nature and form of the UN system. And, Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres summed it absolutely spot-on when he recently delivered a frank appraisal of the UN in this day and age. “We cannot solve 21st century problems with 20th century tools,” he said. The UN system has been grossly undermined by the stranglehold of the Western-led unipolar international world order. The UN Charter effected at the end of WW11 in 1945 sought to create a world that…
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Malawi gets $57.6 mln World Bank grant to address food crisis

Malawi gets $57.6 mln World Bank grant to address food crisis

THE World Bank said that it was providing $57.6 million in "quick release" grant financing to Malawi to help the country respond to a food crisis. "This support comes in the context of the severe food crisis the country is suffering due to El Niño conditions in the wider southern Africa region," the World Bank said in a statement. "A series of intense disaster events over the last few years has left almost no time for the country to recover and has resulted in a severe erosion of food security at the national level."
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World Bank suspends Tanzania tourism fund over abuse allegations

World Bank suspends Tanzania tourism fund over abuse allegations

THE World Bank has suspended new disbursements from a $150 million fund to expand a national park in southern Tanzania, a spokesperson said, after the lender received allegations of killings and evictions by rangers last year. Two anonymous complainants have accused rangers from the Ruaha National Park of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, evictions, torture and cattle seizures perpetrated against local villagers, according to the World Bank's independent complaints mechanism. "The World Bank is deeply concerned about the allegations of abuse and injustice related to the... project in Tanzania," a spokesperson said in a statement. "We have therefore decided to suspend…
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Zimbabwe needs predictable policy to support currency, World Bank says

Zimbabwe needs predictable policy to support currency, World Bank says

ZIMBABWE needs to make its fiscal and monetary policy more predictable to instil confidence in its depreciating currency, a senior World Bank official said. It could make progress by moving away from the central bank's "quasi-fiscal operations", Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank's Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, told Reuters in an interview. She did not spell out what those operations were, but the International Monetary Fund said last month the central bank should reduce its non-core activities, which have included printing money and borrowing to lend to the government. The Zimbabwean dollar has lost more than 60% of…
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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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