West Africa Times | Serving The Community Since 2001 | Page 8
TANZANIA SECURES $300MLN SOUTH KOREAN SUPPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
(Ecofin Agency) - Tanzania will benefit from $300 million in funding from South Korea to finance several development projects, Xinhua reported citing official sources. The agreement was signed on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 in Dar es Salaam between the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Doto James, and Cho Tae-Ick, South Korea’s ambassador to Tanzania. The new financing will be provided through t h e S o u t h Ko r e a n Economic Development C o o p e r a t i o n F u n d (EDCF), an agency managed by the South Korean Export-Import Bank, which handles bilateral loans granted by South Korea. Granted in the form of concessional loans, the new funds will enable the implementation of four development projects. These include the construction of two substations for the K i g o m a - N ya k a n a z i power transmission line, and the New Selander Bridge in Dar es Salaam, the improvement of the national land data infrastr ucture, and sanitation services in the capital Dodoma.
T h e T a n z a n i a n authorities hope that this financing will also help reduce the budget deficit caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has slowed economic activity in several countries on the continent.
MOROCCO, FRANCE REACH A DEAL TO EASE THE RETURN OF UNDERAGE MIGRANTS TO THEIR HOME COUNTRY - Morocco and France signed an agreement on the care of underage migrants. T h e Fr e n c h a n d Moroccan Ministers of Justice validated on Monday, December 7, 2020, a document that frames the cooperation of their two countries in this sensitive aspect of the fight against illegal migration in Europe. The agreement mainly concerns unaccompanied underage mig rants, meaning those who find themselves on French territory without an accompanying person. A c c o r d i n g t o t h e authorities, the objective is to put in place “concrete tools” for the migrants. According to the French justice minister, Eric Dupond-Moretti, this will enable “youth magistrates to have at their disposal the indispensable elements t o t a k e t h e m o s t appropriate measures in the interest of these children, including the
return” to their home country. I n r e c e n t ye a r s , the place of underage mig rants has often been at the heart of discussions on the fight against illegal migration in Europe. In France, their number is estimated at between 16,000 and 40,000. The process for return to the home country is cumbersome, particularly because of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which France is a signatory. It should be noted that this is not the first time that a European country has negotiated w i t h t h e C h e r i f i a n Kingdom for the return of underage migrants from its territory. Procedures initiated with Spain and Sweden previously have never been successful. M o u t i o u A d j i b i Nourou ZAMBIA OFFICIALLY ENGAGED NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE IMF FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Z a m b i a h a s j u s t b e g u n n e go t i at i o n s for financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF announced this in an official statement. “ T h e Z a m b i a n authorities have formally requested a financing arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support
their reform efforts,” IMF said. This announcement comes at a time when the Zambian economy has been declining due to several years of crisis. Drought, difficulties in the mining sector, and rising debt had pushed the country to adopt austerity measures in recent years to cope with the situation. However, the covid-19 pandemic that has plagued global economic activity has c o n t r i bu t e d t o t h e accelerated decline of the Southern African country’s economy. On November 3, the country led by Edgar Lungu became the first African country to default on its inter national debt since the start of covid-19. The copperproducing country failed to make the $42.5 million in interest payments expected by investors on its three Eurobonds on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, as well as at the end of the grace period. To get out of this situation, Zambia had asked its creditors for six months to build up some cash flow to resume repayment of its international debt. But a majority of creditors refused to grant this request, requiring the country to reach an agreement with the IMF. “The Fund is currently assessing this request,” from Zambia, the IMF said
in its statement, adding that a mission is currently in Lusaka for high-level discussions. According to estimates, by the end of this year, the country’s external debt could jump to 70% of GDP while growth is expected to plunge to -4.8%. As a reminder, in 2017, the country had b e g u n n e go t i at i o n s to obtain a financing agreement of $1.3 billion from the IMF, but the Fund rejected the request several times.
BURUNDI TO RESUME COOPERATION WITH EU, AFTER FIVEYEAR NO DEAL PERIOD
( E c o f i n A g e n c y ) - Burundi says it will resume cooperation with the European Union, after a nearly five-year suspension. President Evariste Ndayishimiye met last Dec 7 with EU Ambassador to B u j u m bu r a C l a u d e Bochu to discuss the deal. T h e y a g r e e d t o “break free from the past and look to the future by rebuilding their relationship,” an official Presidency statement said. Following the very controversial reelection of the former Head of State Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015, EU decided on March 2016 to suspend its direct aid to Burundi, mainly budget support. However
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