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EDITO
Thursday, 27 April 2017

The European Union has agreed to provide the Tanzanian government with TSh487bn ($205m) in budget support over the next four years ending in 2020. The money will be used to finance priority expenditure in the Second Five Year Development Plan, particularly in the agriculture, energy, health and industrial development sectors. The first tranche will be dispersed this year, as the two sides have managed to separate the grant from their long-running dispute over the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $450 million about (Rwf372 billion) trade finance facility for the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank). The facility consists of a three-year $150 million unfunded risk participation agreement and a four-year $300 million loan to support exporters. According to Dr George Elombi, the executive vice-president for corporate governance and legal services at Afreximbank, the composite facility will help to expand Afreximbank’s risk bearing capacity for the confirmation of letters of credit and to support more trade through the provision of increased funding to financial institutions and corporate firms in Africa. The project is aligned with AfDB’s priority goals, including lighting up and powering Africa, and helping to feed and industrialise the continent.

GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. This has been made possible through the European Union’s (EU) E60 million 11th EDF regional Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Trade Facility programme. Speaking during the launch of the consultations on the development of trade in services strategy for the country, EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said the EU recognises the importance of services in the economic growth and development of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partner states. The launch was held yesterday at Mountain Inn Hotel in Mbabane.

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.