News Brief: Ex-Ivory Coast PM dies after contracting Covid; Ethiopia’s GERD to start producing power next month
Standard Chartered arranges $1.1 bln financing for Angola water project
Standard Chartered (STAN.L) announced on Monday, September 6th, 2021 that it had set out $1.1 billion financing arrangements to the Angolan government for a water supply project to serve its capital Luanda. According to the company, the financing comprises two loans – a $910 million facility partly supported by a World Bank guarantee, and $165 million supported by France’s export credit agency. The project targeted improving the availability of drinking water for residents in Angola’s capital.
AU, ECOWAS Suspends Guinea days after coup
Following the seizure of power from embattled President Alpha Conde by Guinean special forces, African Union and ECOWAS have moved to suspend the country. The ECOWAS suspension was announced during a virtual crisis summit by Burkinabe Foreign Minister, Alpha Barry on Wednesday. According to him, the West African bloc will also extend its suspension by ensuring that the African Union and United Nations give a nod to its decision to suspend Guinea. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed to send a mediation mission representative to Guinea on Thursday,
Mali makes key gesture to ousted ex-president
Following the post-political turmoil in Mali, Malian authorities have made a key gesture to the ousted ex-president, Bah Ndaw. According to reports, the erstwhile President Bah Ndaw would be given a chief of staff, four advisers, and an aide-de-camp. Bah Ndaw was initially appointed transitional president to restore the country back to democracy following Mali August 2020 that ousted Mali’s elected head of state, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. But he and interim Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were ousted again in a coup led by Colonel Assimi Goita in May.
Morocco ruling party suffers heavy defeat in general election
Morocco’s ruling party, Justice and Development Party (PJD), has suffered a huge defeat in the just-concluded Morocco general election. A statement by the country’s interior ministry indicated that the opposition, the National Rally of Independents party (RNI) took 97 out of 395 seats in the lower house of parliament. The ruling party, PJD, which has led the government since 2011, won only 12 seats, down from 125 in the last elections in 2016.
According to the RNI leader, and the new prime minister, Aziz Akhannouch, he said their victory is targeted at boosting the economy of the country, expanding health insurance to all Moroccans, increasing teacher salaries, and providing a guaranteed pension for the elderly.
EU Pledges support to Libyan Election
The European Union on its part has pledged to reform the security sector of Libya, as part of the preparation of elections scheduled in late December 2021. This was announced on Wednesday 8th September 2021 in Tripoli by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
The Libyan people have been making efforts to emerge from a decade of violence since the death of Gaddafi, currently having a unified, transitional government which was installed under United Nations auspices in the early moments of 2021 to lead the country to elections, after an armistice agreement by the rival authorities in October 2020.
Network blackout in Nigerian state amid crackdown on kidnappers
On Monday 6th September 2021, Nigerian authorities ordered a blackout of all telecommunication networks in Zamfara- a northwestern Nigerian state. In a statement released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to network provider Globaom, it is in a bid to help armed forces fight kidnappers and bandits terrorizing the state.
“To enable relevant security agencies to carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state”.
Following waves of mass abductions of pupils from schools across northwestern Nigeria by armed gangs of abductors and kidnappers, Zamfara has been one of the worst-hit states of banditry and kidnappings.
South African rand starts week stronger following U.S. jobs report
After poor US employment data lowered expectations of when the Federal Reserve will begin unwinding stimulus measures, South Africa’s rand rose on Monday, continuing to trade on the front foot. The rand was trading at 14.2350 against the dollar at 1618 GMT, up 0.7 percent from its previous close.
The rand rose on Friday after the US employment report came in below market forecasts, as the Federal Reserve has made a labor market recovery a condition for reducing its post-pandemic asset purchases. The rand, like other risk-sensitive currencies, reacts to changes in the outlook for US monetary policy on a regular basis.
Guinea coup leader bars travel for government officials
Following Sunday’s coup and seizure of power from President Alpha Conde of Guinea, the special military forces involved in the coup have barred Guinean government officials from travel until further notice, and must hand over their official vehicles to the military, the special forces leader Mamady Doumbouya, who led the coup, told a government gathering on Monday.
Nigeria says it seizes 14 tons of fertilizer meant for Boko Haram bombs
Nigerian troops said on Thursday that they have seized 14 tons of fertilizer from insurgent Boko Haram groups who had planned to turn them into roadside bombs. The insurgents, whose leader Abubakar Shekau died in May, as a result of conflict with rival group, the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) has murdered hundreds of people in its over 11-year war against the armed forces in northeast Nigeria. But in a statement released by the military spokesman Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, he said close to 6,000 insurgents now surrendered in recent years to turn to a new life.
Ex-Ivory Coast PM dies after contracting Covid
AFP news agency quotes aides of Charles Konan Banny, who served as Ivory Coast’s prime minister from 2005 to 2007, that the former PM has died in a hospital in Paris after he had contracted coronavirus.
President Alassane Ouattara paid tribute to Mr Konan Banny, who was 78, saying on Twitter that his “friend and brother” was “a great servant of the state” who made an important contribution to national reconciliation.
Court rules Mugabe’s body can be exhumed
A magistrate court in Zimbabwe has said that the body of former President, Robert Mugabe can be exhumed after a traditional leader said that his burial had violated cultural practices.
Mugabe, who died aged 95 in 2019, was buried in a courtyard of his family homestead. But after a local court hearing in May, the traditional leader said the internment broke local custom.
“I give powers to those who are permitted by law to exhume the late Robert Mugabe’s remains from Kutama and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare,” a copy of the ruling in the local Shona language quoted by Reuters said.
Mugabe’s family challenged that ruling, but a magistrate has dismissed the challenge. The family is likely to appeal to the High Court.
Mugabe led Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 to 2017, when he was overthrown. His family says he remained bitter after being ousted from power and did not want to be buried at the national shrine.
Ethiopia’s GERD to start producing power next month
Ethiopia says the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam it Is building over the Blue Nile will start generating electricity in a month.
The announcement by the country’s water ministry comes as the two downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, continue to raise concerns that the dam will impact their essential water supplies.
The $5bn (£3.6bn) project is aimed at providing power to tens of millions of Ethiopians, which could transform people’s lives and the economy.
Ethiopia’s Water Minister Sileshi Bekele said that an initial 750 megawatts of electricity will be produced by two of the dam’s turbines. When it’s finished, the dam is expected to generate eight times that amount.
The project has caused tension between Ethiopia and its neighbors, with Egypt and Sudan worried about droughts and water security.