Tunisian Football Federation president arrested; Ghana’s widespread power outages; Zimbabwe’s currency crisis; Nigeria won legal case against P&ID Limited in London; Morocco signed agreements with the AFDB worth $281.96 million and more
The president of the Tunisian Football Federation, Wadie Jary, was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of corruption involving a contract with a technical director. The Ministry of Youth and Sports filed a judicial complaint against him and said he is also under investigation for other crimes such as match-fixing and money laundering. Mr. Jary has denied the allegations and clashed with the Minister of Youth and Sports and a local club president over his management of the Federation.
Ghana experienced widespread power outages on Thursday after a drop in electricity generation caused by a problem with gas delivery from a pipeline. The Ghana Grid Company said there was a 550 megawatt gap in power supply, which affected consumers across the country. The Ghana Gas Company said the issue was not related to gas supply but to the West African Gas Pipeline Company’s pipeline, which was out of service. The reason for the pipeline shutdown was not disclosed.
Zimbabwe’s government on Friday announced that it will keep using foreign currencies, mainly the U.S. dollar, for transactions and payments until 2030. The decision reverses a previous order that had set 2025 as the end of the multi-currency system. The move is expected to ease uncertainty in the banking sector, which has been reluctant to lend beyond 2025. Zimbabwe has been facing a chronic economic crisis, with high inflation and a weak local currency. The Zimbabwean dollar, which was reintroduced in 2019 after a decade of absence, has lost more than 80% of its value this year.
Mozambique’s police clashed on Friday with opposition supporters who protested the outcome of local elections held on Oct. 11. The ruling party, FRELIMO, won 64 out of 65 municipalities, but the main opposition party, RENAMO, claimed fraud and appealed to the Constitutional Court. Police said they used force to quell the violence, which injured 10 people and led to 70 arrests.
The Federal Government of Nigeria won the legal case against Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited in a London court on Monday, quashing the $11 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID. The judgement was delivered by Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales, who upheld Nigeria’s argument that the gas processing contract was obtained by fraud. The UK judge dismissed the $6.6 billion arbitrary judgement against Nigeria, which had increased to $11.5 billion with interest, over a failed contract to develop a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State. Judge Knowles ruled that the awards were obtained by fraud and that what had transpired in the case was contrary to public policy.
In another development, Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the appeals of two opposition leaders who challenged the election of President Bola Tinubu in February. The court ruled that Tinubu’s victory was valid and that he met the legal requirements to be president. Tinubu, who faces economic and security challenges, called for unity and cooperation among Nigerians. The opposition parties said they were dismayed by the ruling and accused the judiciary of failing to uphold justice and democracy.
The Rapid Support Forces, which have been fighting the Sudanese army for control of the country since April, said they had taken over the army’s main headquarters and equipment in Nyala on Wednesday. Nyala is a strategic trade hub that could serve as a base for the RSF, which has also taken or contested other state capitals in Darfur. The RSF, led by Abdelrahim Dagalo, has been accused of committing atrocities and ethnic cleansing in the region. The latest development comes as the two sides are due to resume peace talks in Jeddah.
In another development, Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces accepted an invitation to return to the U.S.- and Saudi-led negotiations in Jeddah on Thursday, after six months of war that have devastated the country and exhausted both sides. The talks, which were suspended in June due to ceasefire violations, will also involve the African Union and IGAD and focus on humanitarian issues, ceasefires, and confidence-building measures. Civilian leaders, who have been sidelined by the military coup and the subsequent conflict, will not participate in the initial rounds but could join later. The war, which started in April over plans to integrate troops, has caused a massive humanitarian crisis, displacing almost 6 million people and killing thousands.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted against a bill that would have required President Joe Biden to pull out U.S. troops from Niger, a West African country where a military coup took place in July. The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Rand Paul, was defeated 86-11. Paul argued that the U.S. military presence in Niger was unauthorised and unnecessary and that Americans should not be involved in a conflict in Niger. However, Senator Ben Cardin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that withdrawing from Niger would create a vacuum that could be exploited by Russia or its mercenaries. The U.S. has about 1,000 troops in Niger who are engaged in counterterrorism training and operations against Islamist militants in the region.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level agreement with Senegal for the country to receive a disbursement of 126 billion CFA francs ($203 million) subject to executive board approval, the IMF mission chief said on Tuesday. Senegal will also get an additional 40 billion CFA francs ($65 million) from a climate facility if approved by the IMF board, Edward Gemayel told a press conference in Dakar. The West African country reached an agreement with the IMF earlier this year on financing facilities totaling $1.9 billion, mostly from a 36-month extended credit facility. Gemayel said on Tuesday that Senegal’s debt outlook remained sustainable. The forecast for 2024 economic growth has been revised down to 8.3% from 10.6% due to delays in oil and gas production, he said.
Morocco signed three financing agreements with the African Development Bank worth more than 2.9 billion dirhams ($281.96 million), Morocco State News Agency (MAP) reported on Tuesday. The first agreement would finance a health infrastructure programmeme with about $126.4 million, while another agreement would support a social coverage programmeme with about $155.6 million. The third agreement is for financing an emergency assistance project following the deadliest earthquake in the country’s recent history in September with $1 million.