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Archive for the tag “Sub-Sahara Africa”

Press Release: Africa Faces the Challenge of Sustaining Growth amid Weak Global Conditions (05.10.2015)

SAP WB

WASHINGTON, October 5, 2015— Sub-Saharan Africa countries are continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace, due to a more challenging economic environment. Growth will slow in 2015 to 3.7 percent from 4.6 percent in 2014, reaching the lowest growth rate since 2009, according to new World Bank projections.

These latest figures are outlined in the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, the twice-yearly analysis of economic trends and the latest data on the continent. The 2015 forecast remains below the robust 6.5 percent growth in GDP which the region sustained in 2003-2008, and drags below the 4.5 percent growth following the global financial crisis in 2009-2014. Overall, growth in the region is projected to pick up to 4.4 percent in 2016, and further strengthen to 4.8 percent in 2017.

Sharp drops in the price of oil and other commodities have brought on the recent weakness in growth. Other external factors such as China’s economic slowdown and tightening global financial conditions weigh on Africa’s economic performance, according to Africa’s Pulse. Compounding these factors, bottlenecks in supplying electricity in many African countries hampered economic growth in 2015.

“The end of the commodity super-cycle poses an opportunity for African countries to reinvigorate their reform efforts and thereby transform their economies and diversify sources of growth. Implementing the right policies to boost agricultural productivity, and reduce electricity costs while expanding access, will improve competitiveness and support the growth of light manufacturing,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa.

According to Africa’s Pulse, several countries are continuing to post robust growth. Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania are expected to sustain growth at around 7 percent or more per year in 2015-17, spurred by investments in energy and transport, consumer spending and investment in the natural resources sector.

Gains in Poverty Reduction

Africa’s Pulse found that progress in reducing income poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has been occurring faster than previously thought. According to World Bank estimates poverty in Africa declined from 56 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012. At the same time, Africa’s population saw progress in all dimensions of well-being, particularly in health (maternal mortality, under-5 mortality) and primary school enrollment, where the gender gap shrank.

Yet African countries continue to face a stubbornly high birth rate, which has limited the impact of the past two decades of sustained economic growth on reducing the overall number of poor. Countries still lag behind those in other regions in making progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). For example, Africa will not meet the MDG of halving the share of population living in poverty between 1990 and 2015.

Weaker Commodity Prices

Sub-Saharan Africa’s rich natural resources have made it a net exporter of fuel, minerals and metals, and agricultural commodities. These commodities account for nearly three-fourths of the region’s goods exports. Robust supplies and lower global demand have accounted for the decline of commodity prices across the board. For instance, the drop in the prices of natural gas, iron ore, and coffee exceeded 25 percent since June 2014, according to the report.

Africa’s Pulse notes that overall decline in growth in the region is nuanced and the factors hampering growth vary among countries. In the region’s commodity exporters—especially oil-producers such as Angola, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria, as well as producers of minerals and metals such as Botswana and Mauritania, the drop in prices is negatively affecting growth. In Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia, domestic factors such as electricity supply constraints are further stemming growth. In Burundi and South Sudan threats from political instability and social tensions are taking an economic and social toll.

Fiscal deficits across the region are now larger than they were at the onset of the global financial crisis, the report finds. Rising wage bills and lower revenues, especially among oil-producers, led to a widening of fiscal deficits. In some countries, the deficit was driven by large infrastructure expenditures. Reflecting the widening fiscal deficits in the region, government debt continued to rise in many countries. While debt-to-GDP ratios appear to be manageable in most countries, a few countries are seeing a worrisome jump in this ratio.

The dramatic, ongoing drop in commodity prices has put pressure on rising fiscal deficits, adding to the challenge in countries with depleted policy buffers,” says Punam Chuhan-Pole, Acting Chief Economist, World Bank Africa and the report’s author. “To withstand new shocks, governments in the region should improve the efficiency of public expenditures, such as prioritizing key investments, and strengthen tax administration to create fiscal space in their budgets.”

Moving Forward

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will be repeatedly tested as new shocks occur in the global economic environment, underscoring the need for Governments to embark on structural reforms to alleviate domestic impediments to growth, the report notes. Investments in new energy capacity, attention to drought and its effects on hydropower, reform of state-owned distribution companies, and renewed focus on encouraging private investment will help build resiliency in the power sector. Governments can boost revenues through taxes and improved tax compliance. Complementing these efforts, governments can improve the efficiency of public expenditures to create fiscal space in their budget.

Press Release: AfricInvest to exit its invesment in Alios Finance S.A. (21.09.2015)

Africenvest 210915

Press Releases on the Coup d’etat in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso2

It’s been a day with heavy deployment in Burkina Faso. The recent activities are still under way and the reports from the ground and they will continue to come. The Coup d’etat which is happening as we speak is strange especially thinking about the recent process that the nation has been under in recent months. That the military has all of a sudden carried out! The releases that are released are from certain big organization, multilateral organization and bigger nations that have a say in the world.

African Union statement:

“The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, continues to follow with deep concern the situation in Burkina Faso following the abduction yesterday, in Ouagadougou, of the President of Faso, Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida and some members of his Government, by elements of the

Régiment de sécurité présidentielle (RSP), as well as today’s announcement of the appointment of “new authorities” (…)”She welcomes the unanimous condemnation by the international community of these acts, which constitute a serious threat to peace, stability and security in Burkina Faso, the region and the rest of the continent. She calls on all the AU Member States and the international community as a whole to ensure that this attempt to undermine the Transition is defeated. The AU considers the announcement by the military of the “dismissal” of President Michel Kafando and the attempt of substituting him with “new authorities” as null and void” (…)”The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the imperative for the defense and security forces to operate under the control of the political authorities. She stresses that the repeated destabilization attempts by elements of the RSP since the beginning of the Transition highlight the need for security sector reform in Burkina Faso, as part of the efforts to deepen democracy and strengthen the rule of law in this country” (African Union, 2015).

Amnesty:

“The situation in Burkina Faso is deeply worrying. The interim president and all those detained must be immediately freed and their physical integrity protected,” said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher” (…)“The security forces must respect the right of the population to protest peacefully, and take action to avoid any more deaths or injuries,” (…)”The coup d’état comes just two days after the National Reconciliation and Reforms Commission recommended that the RSP be disbanded following accusations that its guards opened fire on unarmed protesters during last year’s anti-government protests” (Amnesty, 2015).

Freedom House:

“The Presidential Guard’s decision to detain key members of the transitional government weeks before the election is a direct threat to Burkina Faso’s transitional process,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “It is imperative these officials be released and citizens of Burkina Faso be given the opportunity to peacefully vote for their new government” (Freedom House, 2015).

South Africa;

“South Africa strongly condemns any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means or the resolution of political disagreements through the use of force. This incident is a serious violation of Burkina Faso’s Constitution and the country’s Transitional Charter. South Africa calls for the immediate release of Interim President Kafando, Prime Minister Zida and other leaders, and appeals to the people and all political leaders in the country to refrain from any violent activities that may further undermine peace, security and stability in the country. We urge all involved, including Burkina Faso’s security forces, to adhere to non-violence, and to debate issues in a peaceful and inclusive manner” (RSA, 2015).

United Nation:

“The United Nations stands firmly behind the transitional authorities and President Kafando.  The Secretary-General notes the strong support of the people of Burkina Faso for a peaceful transition and urges compliance with the transitional calendar, including the upcoming elections.”(United Nation, 2015).

U.S. Statement:

“The United States strongly condemns any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means or resolve internal political disagreements using force” (Kirby, 2015).

On a total different note:

“today confirms that operations at its Mana Mine in Burkina Faso have not been interrupted by the coup d’état that erupted yesterday in the Ouagadougou area” (…)”The Mana Mine is located 270 kilometers southwest and a five-hour road trip from the capital of Ouagadougou. We are closely monitoring the situation with our partners to ensure the continued safety and security of SEMAFO employees” (La Valliere, 2015).

Afterthough:

Hope this was some insights and hope when it has transgressed over the recent day. I have nearly ever read that governments and human rights organizations have been positive to a coup d’etat in any country. So that they are telling and condemning of the actions of the military should been seen as reasonable in any sense. The process of the matter and the reactions is normal. I and other just pray that this lead to security and safety for the public. The Burkinabe should get political and economic freedoms that they deserve, because there to many coup d’etat’s in the country. If they get this by yet another coup d’etat we cannot be sure of. That this will generate wealth or generate any kind of stabile government is not certain. Especially when they jail the ones that we’re leading the transitional government that was in place for the moment and time. And the outcome of this will lead to outrage and issues between the public and the new military government. The issues between the Burkina Faso and the outside world will also be in jeopardy and the legitimacy of the government would be hard task. Reasons for the coup and knowledge will be dropped later and the stories behind will surface. For now we will hope and pray that this will lead to something good. Though it’s hard to know since the ones grabbing guns and taking it by force isn’t often a way to a healthy democracy or peoples republics. The last one who stepped aside and made a difference this way was Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings. But he is a rarity in this world. Peace.

Reference:

African Union – ‘THE AFRICAN UNION REJECTS AS NULL AND VOID THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE MILITARY OF THE “DISMISSAL” OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE TRANSITION IN BURKINA FASO’ (17.09.2015) link:http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auc-press-release-burkina-faso-17-9-2015-.pdf

Amnesty- ‘Army must free detained leaders in Burkina Faso and avoid violent repression of protests’ (17.09.2015) link: http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/army-must-free-detained-leaders-in-burkina-faso-and-avoid-violent-repression-of-protests

Kirby, John – ‘Recent Actions by Elements of the Presidential Guard in Burkina Faso’ (16.09.2015) link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/09/246990.htm

LaValliere, Robert – ‘Business as Usual at SEMAFO’s Mana Mine in Burkina Faso’ (17.09.2015) link: http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/press-releases/story.aspx?id=1003706346

Freedom House – ‘Burkina Faso: President and PM Detained Ahead of Vote’ (16.09.2015) link: https://freedomhouse.org/article/burkina-faso-president-and-pm-detained-ahead-vote

RSA – ‘South African Government expresses concern over the Republic of Burkina Faso’ (17.09.2015)

UN – SG/SM/17080-AFR/3208: ‘Outraged over Reported Detention of Burkina Faso Leaders, Secretary-General Calls for Immediate Release’ (16.09.2015) link: http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sgsm17080.doc.htm

Parliament of Uganda – Report of the Committee on the National Economy on the Proposal by Government to Borrow EUR 42,9M from the AFD to finance the rural electrification grid extensions projects..(May 2015)

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