Africa Briefs

07 May 2021 | Economics

Zambia denies shuttering mines

Zambia's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has not been temporarily or permanently shuttered, the state-appointed provisional liquidator of the copper mine previously owned by Vedanta Resources said, denying a Bloomberg report.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing mines ministry permanent secretary Barnaby Mulenga, that Zambia halted production at Konkola Deep and other KCM operations because of a lack of funds to develop new mining areas.

Zambia handed control of KCM to a provisional liquidator in May 2019, triggering an ongoing legal dispute with Vedanta.

"Konkola is currently operating and there are no plans to put it on care and maintenance now or in the future," provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu told Reuters.

Zambia's economy is heavily reliant on mining, making the sector highly politicised especially as the country heads into a general election in three months' time. – Nampa/Reuters

Sudan secures loan to clear AfDB arrears

Sudan has secured a multi-million-dollar bridge loan from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Ireland to clear its arrears to the African Development Bank.

The move comes as Sudan pushes to secure much-needed debt relief, access international financing and attract investment to rebuild its battered economy.

"The finance ministry signed ... a deal for a bridge loan worth US$425 million to clear the arrears to the African Development Bank," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the financing would be provided United Kingdom, Sweden and Ireland.

It also signed a separate deal "for a grant of US$207 million from the African Development Bank to support economic and financial reforms", the ministry said.

Sudan has been undergoing a rocky transition since the April 2019 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir, whose three-decade rule was marked by economic hardship, internal conflicts and international sanctions. – Nampa/Xinhua

Ethiopia hopes to boost foreign trade

Ethiopia on Wednesday inaugurated its first trackless station in a bid to boost the country's foreign trade efforts.

The trackless station was inaugurated at a ceremony held in the Chinese-built Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ) in Dukem city, 37 km southeast of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

Trackless station refers to an office or agency of the railway, which operates in the area far away from the railway station to facilitate the transportation of goods. With the help of trackless station, factories or companies can directly transport the freight from industrial parks to railway station.

Yehulashet Jemere, minister of transport, said the inauguration of the first trackless station of the Chinese-built 752.7-km Ethiopia-Djibouti electrified rail line is an important milestone in the east African country's quest to modernise its logistics sector.

The manufacturing sector is expected to register a sectoral growth of 20 plus percent, sectoral composition to the GDP to be 17 plus percent and creation of 1.3 million jobs every year. – Nampa/Xinhua

Kenya woos Tanzanian investors

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced a raft of incentives aimed at wooing Tanzanian investors to the country.

Kenyatta, who also announced decisions to lift work permit and business visa requirements for Tanzanian investors, said the prosperity of the two countries hinges on creating a conducive business environment, boosting economic cooperation and growing mutually beneficial trade and investment.

He gave concerned state agencies two weeks to clear truck congestions at Namanga and Holili border crossings to allow free flow of trade.

Traffic jams involving trucks along the common border have remained the norm since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020 with the two countries differing on the management of the pandemic.

Kenyatta also tasked the ministers of health from both countries to move with speed and streamline Covid-19 containment protocols required for traders to cross the borders unhindered. – Nampa/Xinhua

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