Africa Briefs

20 February 2020 | Economics

Zim threatens to withdraw mining licences

Zimbabwe has given holders of mining concessions up to the end of April to pay US$11 million in outstanding annual fees or risk losing their licences, the mines minister said on Tuesday.

Mining is the biggest earner of foreign exchange in Zimbabwe, which hopes the sector will help anchor a revival from the worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by shortages of foreign exchange, food, fuel, electricity and medicines.

Mines minister Winston Chitando, who has previously accused some companies of holding mining concessions for speculative purposes, said the government was owed at least 200 million Zimbabwe dollar (US$11 million) in annual fees as of Jan. 30.

Under Zimbabwe's laws, companies have to pay an annual fee to keep their concessions.

Chitando did not give any details on which mines or companies were in arrears.

But information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said that "those who owe money are being given until April 30 to pay up, failing which the mining title will be lost". – Nampa/Reuters

SA's stats agency faces funding crisis

South Africa's statistics agency is facing a funding crisis that might affect the quality of official data if not addressed, the organisation which oversees the agency said on Tuesday.

David Everatt, chairman of the Statistics Council, said the agency needed R200 million in funding to work efficiently.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is the source of official data in Africa's most industrialised economy, including gross domestic product (GDP), consumer price inflation, mining and manufacturing output.

Everatt said the agency was being forced to consider cost cuts because of the hole in its budget and faced staff shortages due to a hiring freeze imposed by the government in 2015.

"Sample sizes are being cut, which over time will lead to wider error ranges. Activities are having to be ranked, and some simply dropped," Everatt said in a statement issued on behalf of the Statistics Council.

"Stats SA right now is at a tipping point. The warning lights are flashing red, and government needs to act swiftly if South Africa were to retain a robust and innovative Stats SA," Everatt said. – Nampa/Reuters

IMF cuts Nigeria's growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth forecast for Nigeria this year to 2% from 2.5%, reflecting fears the coronavirus outbreak in China will hit demand for oil.

Nigeria has been grappling with low growth since exiting a recession four years ago. President Muhammadu Buhari, who began a second four-year term in May, has vowed to revive the economy, but investors have been waiting for policies.

The IMF said growth was still recovering, but inflation was rising which, along with external shocks, would weaken Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves due to its deteriorating terms of trade and capital outflows.

Nigeria's statistics office said on Tuesday inflation rose to 12.13% in January, its highest in nearly two years and the fifth straight month of increases.

"Under current policies, the outlook is challenging," the IMF said in a statement, following a consultation with the government and central bank officials, as well as banking and private sector representatives. – Nampa/Reuters

Locust swarms arrive in S. Sudan

Swarms of locusts which are wreaking havoc across East Africa have now arrived in South Sudan, the government said Tuesday, threatening more misery in one of the world's most vulnerable nations.

Billions of desert locusts, some in swarms the size of Moscow, have already chomped their way through Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan and Uganda.

The arrival of the locusts could be catastrophic in South Sudan, where war followed by drought and floods has already left six million people – 60% of the population - facing severe hunger.

Meshack Malo, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative in South Sudan, said about 2 000 locusts had been spotted so far, and if not controlled quickly, could have a devastating impact.

"These are deep yellow which means that they will be here mostly looking at areas in which they will lay eggs." – Nampa/AFP

Similar News

 

No change in fuel price

4 hours ago | Economics

Fuel prices in Namibia will remain unchanged in November, the ministry of mines and energy said this morning.This means diesel in Walvis Bay will still...

Dead-end debt

17 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Government will spend about N$1.2 billion more in 2020/21 on interest on its debt than on its entire development budget for Namibia.The...

'Stuck without tap water since 2003'

17 hours ago | Economics

A group of Helao Nafidi residents on Monday started excavating a traditional well to use as their source of water after the town council failed...

Emerging markets' debt tops US$4 trillion

17 hours ago | Economics

US dollar-denominated debt in emerging markets has risen past US$4 trillion for the first time following a surge in issuance during the Covid-19 crisis, data...

Pandemic slashes tourism by 70%

17 hours ago | Economics

Madrid - International tourists arrivals plunged by an annualised 70% during the first eight months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Tourism...

China brainstorms new 5-year plan

17 hours ago | Economics

BEIJING - China's fifth Communist Party Plenum - which runs through Thursday behind closed doors – is expected to lay out the framework for the...

Another boost for Africa’s WTO candidate

17 hours ago | Economics

Brussels - Nigerian finance ministrer Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has picked up crucial backing from the European Union, giving her bid to become the first African head...

Global FDI halved in first six months

17 hours ago | Economics

Stephanie Nebehay - Global foreign direct investment (FDI) plunged by 49% in the first half of 2020 from the same period a year ago and...

Housing troubles grow in SA's Soweto

17 hours ago | Economics

Kim Harrisberg - Crumbling walls, sewage leaking into homes, dangerous loose wires - and sometimes, snakes.These are some of the myriad issues residents in Soweto,...

Tanzania's 'Bulldozer' hopes mega-projects impress voters

1 day - 27 October 2020 | Economics

John Magufuli's investments and his refusal to shut down Tanzania's economy this year have buoyed his already strong chances of winning a second five-year term.NAIROBI...

Latest News

Education ministry to advertise 488...

5 hours ago | Education

The education ministry has, as part of their efforts of improving efficiency of use of resources, an internal audit was conducted to establish the magnitude...

Dead-end debt

17 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Government will spend about N$1.2 billion more in 2020/21 on interest on its debt than on its entire development budget for Namibia.The...

'Stuck without tap water since...

17 hours ago | Economics

A group of Helao Nafidi residents on Monday started excavating a traditional well to use as their source of water after the town council failed...

Emerging markets' debt tops US$4...

17 hours ago | Economics

US dollar-denominated debt in emerging markets has risen past US$4 trillion for the first time following a surge in issuance during the Covid-19 crisis, data...

'Calibre' of youth worries Swapo

17 hours ago | Politics

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATI“We are ready to pass on the seats but when you see the calibre of young people we have and the utterances they make...

Old guard must go and...

17 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKWalvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge, who is vying to retain his seat in the upcoming local and regional authority elections, says it...

Pandemic slashes tourism by 70%

17 hours ago | Economics

Madrid - International tourists arrivals plunged by an annualised 70% during the first eight months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Tourism...

China brainstorms new 5-year plan

17 hours ago | Economics

BEIJING - China's fifth Communist Party Plenum - which runs through Thursday behind closed doors – is expected to lay out the framework for the...

Namibians feel unsafe

17 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibians polled by an international organisation say they do not feel safe walking the streets, while Namibia has once again been ranked as one...

Load More