African Loans – Bungeni Mon, 03 Jan 2022 06:48:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 African Loans – Bungeni 32 32 East African countries embark on lending frenzy to fill huge budget deficits Mon, 03 Jan 2022 06:48:53 +0000


East African economies are starting the new year with a borrowing frenzy with their eyes riveted on commercial debt to boost their economies out of the downturn in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have indicated they will be in the market as early as this month for a mix of sovereign bonds, syndicated and commercial loans as they seek to support their budgets, which have to huge deficits, amid impending loan repayments for ongoing infrastructure projects. .

Kenya plans to issue two new sovereign bonds over the next six months to fund the budget and repay part of its inaugural Eurobond issued in 2014.

Kenya’s National Treasury told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week that it plans to launch an issue under the external component of budget financing for the current fiscal year, and another by June 2022. to refinance the 10-year $ 2 billion bond issued. in 2014.

Nairobi is seeking $ 2.19 billion in the two commercial loans.

Last June, Kenya issued a $ 1 billion bond.


Kenya is expected to return to the Eurobond market in the first half of 2022 to raise funds, with $ 1.1 billion in the 2021/22 budget, as well as a takeover bid for part of the $ 2 billion. of dollars 6.875%, 2024 Eurobond. The Treasury is considering issuing in euros, ”says the latest Sovereign Debt Radar from REDD, a data and market intelligence company.

Nairobi is also considering lifting the debt ceiling of $ 78.9 billion set two years ago, as its debt stock of $ 67.5 billion is on the verge of exceeding that target.

The government had planned to borrow $ 5.49 billion domestically in the year ending June 2022, and as of December 10, it had already borrowed more than half of that amount, or 2.77 billions of dollars.

Modification of the debt ceiling

Loan servicing expenses are set at $ 5.46 billion, of which $ 2.33 billion will be principal repayments of domestic debt.

In November 2021, the Treasury submitted to the Attorney General and Parliament a proposal to change the debt ceiling under the Public Financial Management Act.

According to the IMF, the new debt anchor will be set at 55% of GDP, with debt being measured in terms of present value.

Kenya’s overall public debt has increased in recent years. Gross public debt fell from 44.4% of GDP at the end of 2015 to 71% of GDP at the end of 2020, reflecting high deficits, in part due to past spending on large infrastructure projects, and in 2020 by global shocks of Covid-19.

About half of Kenya’s public debt is owed to external creditors.

In the third quarter of its fiscal year, Nairobi paid $ 262.5 million to Chinese creditors to lift the deadlock on debt repayments. Payments were made to Chinese lenders, most notably Exim Bank, after suspending disbursements for projects in Kenya due to Chinese pushback to Kenya demanding a suspension of debt repayment.

In January 2021, Kenya applied for the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), as it finalized details of an Extended Finance Facility (EFF) and Extended Facility program. $ 2.4 billion three-year credit facility (ECF) with the IMF, which was approved in April.

DSSI’s request, which allowed Nairobi to receive $ 425 million in relief through December, added to existing tensions in its relationship with China, its largest bilateral creditor.

While the Exim Bank of China is a widely recognized bilateral creditor, its $ 3.6 billion loan to Kenya for the construction of the standard gauge railway has been extended on commercial terms, hence the insistence of Beijing to be treated on an equal basis with other commercial borrowers.

In Budget 2021/2022, Kenya set aside $ 1.03 billion to service its debt to China, including $ 217.1 million in interest payments and $ 817.6 million in repayments. , according to budget documents.

This year Nairobi will only receive $ 89 million in debt relief, lower than the $ 379 million originally planned, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said in a recent letter to the IMF.

Kampala in the market

Across the border, Uganda is also in preliminary talks with lenders for a new $ 500 million syndicated loan that is expected to be launched before April 2022.

Kampala has already sent out a request for proposals to lenders, but no bank has yet been appointed. It is understood that Uganda is looking for a 10 year facility, but it is unlikely to achieve such a long maturity period.

Uganda has yet to issue a Eurobond, although it has been approved by major credit rating agencies since 2013. It was active in the international syndicated loan market in March 2021 when it was first released. signed a $ 200 million seven-year facility with Societe Generale and East and South Africa. Bank of commerce and development. Kampala had requested a syndicated loan of $ 351.8 million.

REDD analysts said in December that although a Eurobond issue for Kampala is unlikely in the near term, the domestic bond market has attracted increased inflows over the past 18 months, as non-resident holdings increasing rapidly in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

“Although the stock of non-resident domestic debt holdings is still significantly lower than Ghana’s in terms of GDP and total market share, potential withdrawals could still be destabilizing due to the smaller size of the financial sector. “, he added. REDD report says.

Uganda’s total public debt is valued at $ 14 billion while the debt-to-GDP ratio is just under 50%. Overall debt repayment expenditure represents more than 15% of the total budget.

Tanzania has also indicated that it will seek loans in the new year to carry out its ambitious infrastructure projects, days after signing a contract with Turkish company Yapi Merkezi for the construction of a section 368 km of its standard gauge railway, which will be financed by loans. and is expected to cost $ 1.9 billion.

President Samia Suluhu said Tanzania would borrow to finance the project.

“We will find friendly loan facilities and the best way to get loans. We will not get this money from levies or internal taxes. We will continue to implement projects despite efforts to discourage us from borrowing. Even developed countries have debts. We will borrow to complete the development projects that we have initiated, ”she said.

In February 2021, Tanzania launched a $ 200 million seven- and ten-year loan in syndication.

Dodoma is keen to keep its infrastructure investments on track and is building, among other things, a high speed standard gauge railway from the port of Dar es Salaam to the hinterland border with Rwanda.

Tanzania’s stance on borrowing comes amid growing debate over the country’s new lending frenzy, which Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai has called “unhealthy”.

Mr. Ndugai argued that the country cannot rely on external borrowing to support its large infrastructure projects, instead proposing the use of internal revenue.

“Is it appropriate for us Tanzanians to continue to borrow and increase the national debt which currently stands at around $ 33.8 billion or will we agree to shoulder the burden ourselves?” Asked Mr. Ndugai.

“Should we continue to borrow and sing praises once we get the loans or should we continue to charge direct debits whether people are ready or not, but the end goal is to build our infrastructure with our own money? “

For the past four years, Tanzania has taken out syndicated loans to advance its infrastructure plans. In August 2017, she turned to Credit Suisse Bank for a five-year $ 500 million loan and returned to the market two years later to apply for a $ 1 billion syndicated loan from Trade and Development. Bank.

Since March 2021, when President Samia took power, the country has received more than $ 3 billion in debt, including concessional loans and aid funds from the World Bank, IMF and the Bank. African development.

BoT data

The latest data from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) shows that Dodoma plans to borrow at least $ 2.34 billion from foreign financiers to finance its 2022/2023 draft budget of $ 17.1 billion.

According to Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba, $ 1.32 billion of the 2022/23 budget will be financed by direct concessional loans and grants from development partners under the traditional general budget support agreement.

An additional $ 1.04 billion will come from project-specific commercial loans from international lenders, Nchemba said during the presentation of the 2022/2023 budget proposals to parliament in November.

The government will borrow an additional $ 2.32 billion from the domestic market to secure at least $ 12.4 billion in domestic funding from its 2022/2023 budget to balance external funding.

Tanzania’s total national debt stands at $ 33.88 billion, with the latest BoT report showing the national debt increased by $ 182.3 million at the end of August compared to July.

External debt represented 76.6% of the stock (at $ 25.95 billion), while external debt service payments stood at $ 27.8 million in August 2021, of which 18 Millions of dollars were spent on paying principal and the rest on repaying accrued interest, the central bank said. A total of $ 4.63 billion has been allocated to repay the public debt in the 2021/2022 budget, representing 29% of total spending.

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January transfer window – Ranking every big signing of the best European clubs Sat, 01 Jan 2022 15:35:31 +0000

The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact football finances, but unlike in recent times, the January window will be open as usual for top European leagues. (Find out when each league’s window opens and closes here.)

European clubs from Italian Serie A (550 million euros), German Bundesliga (415 million euros), French Ligue 1 (375 million euros) and Spanish LaLiga (295 million euros) have spent much less over the summer, but the Premier League got big and splashed € 1.1 billion on players, according to Deloitte. January is generally a calm month, but will world events see different strategies for the top teams?

Here are the notes for all major transactions. The most recent articles are at the top; each day is in the order of the highest price. If you don’t see a note for a completed move, come back later. All charges are reported unless confirmed with an asterisk.

January 4th

RB Leipzig rating: D +
Ajax Rating: C

What a strange gesture. After leaving Ajax on a free transfer when they signed another striker (Sebastien Haller) this summer, Brobbey will return after struggling to make an impact in Germany. The 19-year-old has had two assists in nine Bundesliga games, but he feels like he gave up too easily after just six months, and Leipzig hasn’t seen anything to suggest keeping him.

Ironically, Ajax need a replacement for Haller when he leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations in January. Brobbey knows the club, knows the style of play, but it’s a bit of a gamble considering how he’s gone. Ajax aren’t taking too many risks on a six-month loan, but the fans might not be so keen on seeing him again.

January 3

Man City Rating: A-
Barcelona rating: B +

Just over a year after signing Spain striker Valencia for around € 23million, City opted to transfer him for more than double that fee. Pep Guardiola has a plethora of attacking players in his place so they have cover, but it seems odd to let him go mid-season. Also, at 21, he was a player who could have represented the future of the club.

With 1.4 billion euros in debt, it’s interesting how Barca managed to find 55million euros to spend on a player. Obviously, this came from a bank loan, a route they took in spectacular fashion when signing Antoine Griezmann for € 120million from Atletico Madrid in 2019. Neither can Barca No longer save Torres as long as they haven’t removed some current players from the payroll, so it seems a gamble. Terrific player, but is he worth it amid Barca’s financial struggles?

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Barcelona make Alvaro Morata first January target after talks with Juventus and Atletico Thu, 30 Dec 2021 23:05:22 +0000

Barcelona made Alvaro Morata their first goal for January after signing Ferran Torres for € 55million, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Morata, 29, is on loan to Juventus from Atletico Madrid, but sources have told ESPN he is ready to cut his time in Italy short with Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez pushing for his signing.

Barca have had initial talks with all parties involved over a loan deal with an option to make the move permanent this summer.

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However, the financial situation of the Catalan club complicates any potential deal as it is constrained by La Liga’s € 97million spending limit.

Until they’re within that limit – which won’t happen this season – they’re only allowed to spend 25% of what they get back on transfer fees or save on pay cuts.

Having finished signing Torres from Manchester City earlier this week, Barca have yet to lighten their squad up before they can save him and any other new signings.

Yusuf Demir and Luuk de Jong’s loans are expected to be cut short, while the club remain open to offers for Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti. Sources told ESPN that Barcelona will also listen to interest in US international Sergino Dest.

Sources add that Barca are also exploring other ways to increase what La Liga allow them to spend and allow them to save Torres.

Xavi has made strengthening the attack a priority since taking office. Barca have only scored two goals in six Champions League appearances as they left the group stage competition and scoured the market for low-cost options.

Edinson Cavani was a target, but Manchester United’s reluctance to let the Uruguay international go led them to Morata, which Xavi is a fan of.

Barca have already tried to sign the former Real Madrid striker. the Blaugrana made an unsuccessful move for him in 2019 when Luis Suarez injured himself.

The Spain international is on his second stint at Juve, having also spent time in England with Chelsea. His loan to Juventus runs until the summer, while his contract at Atletico expires in 2023.

He has scored seven goals in 23 appearances in all competitions for Juve this season after ending the previous campaign with 20 goals in 44 appearances.

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Ethiopia’s war and conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia will shape 2022 Wed, 29 Dec 2021 06:01:57 +0000

welcome to Foreign police‘s Africa Brief.

This week’s edition is the last of the year. Below, we take a look at the conflicts that will shape Africa over the coming year and other things we will monitor, from the governance crisis in Somalia to the stalled transition in Sudan. See you in 2022.

If you would like to receive Africa Brief in your inbox every Wednesday, please sign up here.

Conflicts in the Horn of Africa take center stage

Ethiopia’s federal government said last Thursday that its forces would not advance further in the northern Tigray region. The move came days after Tigrayan rebels announced a retreat and the recent takeover by federal troops of strategic towns north of the capital, Addis Ababa. Aid organizations hope the latest announcement will lead to an eventual ceasefire, although no official peace talks have started.

No one could have predicted the many twists and turns of the more than one year old war in Ethiopia. Since taking office in 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who received the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, has risen from international hero status for ending his country’s 20-year conflict with the ‘Eritrea leading the frontline troops in the battle against the Tigrayan rebels.

The conflict in the region began on November 4, 2020, when Abiy ordered a military response against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) after attacking military bases of the Federal Army’s North Command.

The outbreak of war follows months of growing tensions between the federal government and the TPLF, which previously dominated the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, as the head of a repressive authoritarian government from 1991 until the ‘Abiy’s rise in 2018 following widespread anti-government protests. Abiy’s steps to make peace with long-time enemy Eritrea and bring ethnic diversity into the upper ranks of the Tigray-dominated federal army were seen as provocations by the TPLF.

Abiy promised a swift offensive and initially appeared to have quashed the rebellion in early 2021, but Tigrayan forces then recaptured their regional capital, Mekele, over the summer and made further strides. Last month, the TPLF threatened to march on Addis Ababa, before retreating as federal troops retook key cities.

The United Nations has accused all parties of committing atrocities during the war. More than a million people have been displaced from Tigray since the conflict began, and some 5.2 million of Tigray’s 6 million people suffer from hunger, according to the US Agency for International Development.

On December 24, Ethiopia was withdrawn from the United States’ free trade agreement under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. US officials threatened in November to revoke preferential trade status for “gross violations” of human rights. Guinea and Mali were also expelled due to coups d’état in those countries.

The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that Turkey, China and the United Arab Emirates are helping to arm Ethiopia’s federal troops with drones. The possibility of additional sanctions or interventions can only exacerbate the conflict, analysts warn. As Bronwyn Bruton and Ann Fitz-Gerald argued in Foreign police this week: “US policy in the Horn of Africa is in tatters. … The United States has been losing ground in Africa to China, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf States for some time. But now, there isn’t a single nation in the geostrategically vital Horn region that reliably lies in the Washington corner. “

Ethiopian leaders have shown little appetite for Western mediation, having resisted various international calls to end the fighting. Attempts by the African Union to negotiate a ceasefire have also yielded few tangible results.

What happens in Ethiopia in 2022 will likely reverberate throughout the Horn of Africa, making it a key region to watch.

What we’re looking at in 2022

The governance crisis in Somalia. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (better known by the nickname Farmaajo) on Monday suspended the powers of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble. The president accused the prime minister of corruption in an ongoing investigation. “The prime minister’s duty and powers remain suspended pending the conclusion of ongoing investigations,” the Somali presidential office said in a statement.

Roble said the move amounted to a open shot. The two have been locked in a power struggle for months and accused each other on Sunday of delaying the ongoing indirect parliamentary elections which began on November 1 and were due to end on December 24.

Only 24 of the 275 representatives were said to have been elected on Saturday. The U.S. Embassy in Somalia urged leaders to “take immediate action to defuse tensions”. In April, fighting erupted in the capital Mogadishu, after Farmaajo controversially approved an extension of his term, which should have ended in February, a move he defended in the pages of Foreign police in May.

Somalia’s crisis is multi-faceted, including widespread food insecurity, drought and escalating violence from the extremist group al-Shabab, affiliated with al-Qaeda. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of Somalia is experiencing severe drought, the United Nations has warned, which will likely lead to further conflict.

South Sudan’s decade of war. Two years after seceding from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan sank into turmoil amid clashes between President Salva Kiir and his vice-president, Riek Machar. A civil war ensued that killed some 400,000 people, and although the war officially ended in 2020, violence continued between warring government factions and competing local groups.

Nicholas Haysom, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for South Sudan, has warned that emerging insecurity is a “serious concern”. In July, a four-month supply for 41,000 people was looted or destroyed in violence between armed youths in Tonj, in the north-west of the country. Some 8.3 million people need humanitarian aid, UN says As the 2023 elections in South Sudan approach, security experts fear tensions could rise.

Sudanese anti-coup protesters attend a rally to express support for the country’s democratic transition in Omdurman, Sudan, October 30.– / AFP via Getty Images

Sudan’s stalled transition. Sudanese protesters continued to demand an end to the military’s role in the country’s transition to democracy. The Sudanese Central Medical Committee, a union allied with the protest movement, said 178 people were injured by security forces on Saturday on the 10th day of pro-democracy protests against the October 25 coup led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The Sudanese army reinstated ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on November 21, nearly a month after his house arrest. Hamdok said the deal he signed with the military allowed him to form a new technocratic transitional government, but protesters are now demanding his resignation over an agreement that guarantees the legitimacy of the military, blocking civilian politicians from the Sudanese cabinet.

The country will enter 2022 in apparent bankruptcy. Authorities are said to have withdrawn more than $ 1.2 billion in hard currency reserves to cover goods imported during the coup, leaving its cash flow empty. Sudan got a $ 2.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund in June, but the loan, along with $ 700 million in direct aid from the U.S. government, has been frozen due to the coup.

Sudan has spent 52 of its 65 years of independence under military control; some analysts suggest that any transition to a fully democratic system would be extremely difficult to achieve.

Counter the ADF in Uganda. Uganda on Thursday indicted 15 people with terrorism offenses linked to bombings in the country’s capital, Kampala and elsewhere in October and November, which left at least nine dead. ISIS, which is allied with the local rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), claimed responsibility for the November attacks.

Originally a Ugandan group, the ADF settled in the dense forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than three decades, after fleeing Ugandan army offensives. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2019, although some experts dispute this connection. However, the increased violence of the ADF and the evolution of propaganda correspond to higher levels of external funding and relations with the Islamic State, according to other researchers.

Ugandan forces entered the Congo this month as part of a joint military offensive against the ADF. But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, is himself accused of targeting opposition figures and of violating human rights. Uganda is also the largest refugee host country in Africa, with an estimated 1.56 million refugees from neighboring South Sudan, Congo and Somalia.

Nineteen months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ugandan schools are still closed, the longest shutdown in the world. It is feared that a third of these students will never return to class. Ugandan security forces’ murderous crackdowns, an irresponsible authoritarian government, and declining economic prospects for young people without formal education are likely to help rebel groups such as the ADF recruit new members.

Famine in camps for internally displaced people in Nigeria. Some women living in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Nigeria said they preferred to live as abductees in cities ruled by Boko Haram because they had access to food, HumAngle reports. Aminata, a former Boko Haram captive who was once forcibly married to a terrorist after her kidnapping, said her livelihood was better with the insurgent group. Many people living in the Dalori IDP camp, located on the outskirts of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, said HumAngle that they had gone for months without meal vouchers from the government or non-governmental organizations.

Can Barrow deliver to Gambia? Now that Gambian President Adama Barrow has secured a second term, he is under increasing pressure to deliver effective public services, writes Sait Matty Jaw in African arguments. Overall, the December elections were the most credible in The Gambia’s recent political history. Many Gambians are hopeful that Barrow’s second term will be different from his first and that he implements promised institutional and legal reforms to fight corruption.

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Saidy Janko: From Old Trafford to Gambia and the Africa Cup of Nations Mon, 27 Dec 2021 10:36:01 +0000
Janko made stints at Manchester United, Celtic, St Etienne and Porto before joining Valladolid in October 2020

Swiss Real Valladolid defender Saidy Janko said Gambia’s qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations had a significant impact on their decision to represent the Scorpions.

The marauding full-back made his international debut in September in a friendly against Sierra Leone, after joining his new team-mates for the first time that month.

“I’m not going to lie, [Afcon] made it a lot easier – but the coach has spoken to me for the past two years, “the former Manchester United youngster told BBC Sport Africa.

“I was already bent over coming even before the last order, but now it was definitely, ‘I have to do this.’

“I had to do it for my dad, as well as for my dad’s family, myself and the team. If I can help achieve anything at the tournament, that would be great.”

Choose Gambia after the Swiss wait

Scorpions coach Tom Saintfiet has been busy looking for players of Gambian descent to add to his squad ahead of the country’s very first Nations Cup appearance.

West Africans have been drawn in Group F alongside 2004 champions Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania for the tournament, which kicks off in Cameroon on January 9.

“I’m 26, so this is an incredible opportunity,” said Janko. “After all these years qualifying, for such a small country, is exceptional.”

Janko, born in Switzerland to a Gambian father and Italian mother, has only been to Gambia once before – in 2000.

“My father has his family there and he always said, ‘It’s your decision whether you play for Switzerland or Gambia.’

“Now is a good time to choose The Gambia. I am very close to my father and I have told him about my decision, and he supports me.”

Saidy Janko (left) in action for Switzerland's Under-19 against England
Here in action for Switzerland’s Under-19, Janko has represented his country of birth up to the Under-21 level.

He represented Switzerland at the junior level but was unable to achieve his goal of becoming a full international.

“I grew up in Switzerland so it was my goal to play for the senior team,” he explained.

“After several years and competing with the best, I was never called up. It was a disappointment for me and my family but it was their decision.

“It was maybe the best for me so I can represent Gambia.”

Ronaldo’s Real Valladolid mainstay

Janko has struggled to win at his previous clubs, including Celtic and St Etienne, but has been a mainstay at Valladolid since his transfer from FC Porto in January 2020.

He made 19 La Liga appearances last season, which ended in relegation to the Spanish second division.

“I had a very good year after my injury, when I joined Valladolid for the first time, I played almost every game and played really well,” he recalls.

“Unfortunately, we fell and it was huge for me mentally and for the whole team, because with [former Brazil striker] Ronaldo as president, we had high hopes.

“Maybe we wanted to get closer to European places. But now we have to face the second level and do our best to get promoted and play in La Liga again.”

MK Dons forward Dean Bowditch and Manchester United full-back Saidy Janko fight for the ball
Janko (right) in his only Manchester United appearance – a 4-0 loss to third tier MK Dons in a 2014 League Cup draw

Brazilian legend Ronaldo, which bought a majority stake in Valladolid in 2018, played “a big role” in the transfer of Janko from Porto.

“After he spotted me, he knew someone on the Porto board and said, ‘Can you do it?’,” Janko said.

“For a legend like Ronaldo wanting me at his club is incredible. Every time he’s at the training ground or at the stadium it gives all the players a boost.”

After the disappointment of relegation from La Liga, Janko remained with the club despite interest elsewhere.

“At this point I don’t want to rush into another transfer just because we’re in the second division,” he said. “The opposite – I want to challenge myself with something different, play to go up. It’s also the first time for me and I’m happy with my decision.”

A gesture that changes life

Janko signed for Manchester United in 2013 from FC Zurich after being spotted by the Premier League giants in a youth tournament.

He was named a United reserve team player in 2014 and made his debut against MK Dons under Louis van Gaal in August.

“It was a life changing decision, but if Manchester United call you don’t think twice,” Janko said.

“I was sad to leave home, but I was delighted to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so the transition went pretty well. I started working from day one and this was really a great experience.

“At a club like United it’s always difficult as a young player – especially if you’re 17 – to have a lot of playing time because they have a lot of superstars who have to play.

“At that time it was the first year after Sir Alex Ferguson left, so there was a lot of pressure on David Moyes and I can understand that he couldn’t really give the youngsters a lot of chances.

“I think if the results were a little better I would have had more playing time.

Saidy Janko in action for Real Valladolid
Janko says he’s inspired to have former Brazilian star Ronaldo as club president

“Then there was a regime change. Van Gaal came along, it was kind of the same situation; he needed the points and couldn’t afford to play with young players.

“It’s no excuse because he gave me my debut and I’m forever grateful to him – but it’s really hard to get a chance on the team.”

After 45 minutes of his senior debut, Janko never appeared for United again. After a championship loan to Bolton, he left Old Trafford in 2015, switch to Celtic.

“At that point, I felt it was the right time because I felt I didn’t have enough opportunities,” he said.

“I wasn’t complaining. I see players like [Angel] Di Maria and [Wayne] Rooney and of course they have to play, so I get it. For me, it was time to move on. I need some playing time, so that’s the main reason I left. “

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Review: Notable events that defined African policy in 2021 Sat, 25 Dec 2021 17:00:05 +0000


2021 was a year of presidential elections on the continent. In January, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected to a 6th term amid intense and deadly opposition protests.

Then in Niger it took two rounds to give the country a new ruler when Mohammed Bazoom defeated his opponent and former President Mahamane Ousmane for the top post.

And in Benin, it was a hill climb for Patrice Talon who was reelected for a second term in the very first round of the elections, largely boycotted by the opposition.

In Congo, President Sassou Nguesso has extended his reign. A victory for a 4th term in the midst of a sad event – the death of his opponent Perfect Kolelas from Covid.

Then Idris Deby of Chad was re-elected, but this victory will be short-lived as the strongman died fighting against the jihadists soon after his election victory was proclaimed.

In August, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, in his sixth presidential attempt, displaced Zambian Edgar Lungu in a hotly contested ballot. The victory was made by a landslide triggering celebrations in the country.

And that of Gambia-Adama Barrow maintained his grip on power after beating his opponent Ousanou Darboe who obtained around 28% of the vote.

Winds of change blew through Sao Tome and Principe and Cape Verde as opposition candidates in island nations won the elections. And in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti’s elections were largely peaceful, with President Ismael Guelleh extending his two decades in power.


Although it was still a pandemic year, major summits on Africa have taken place. These include the China-Africa summit held in Dakar, Senegal, the summit on the financing of African economies held in Paris with many African leaders among some thirty heads of state present in May.

In October, hundreds of young African entrepreneurs activists and civil rights activists gathered in Montpellier for a one-day Africa-France summit

In November, African leaders at the COP 26 climate summit demanded more action from rich countries


Now, since 2010, there has been a steady decline in the number of coups in Africa. But this break has been tested this year.

A coup in Guinea toppled President Alpha Condé, ending the 83-year-old’s retention in power in a controversial third term. Mutineer soldiers led by Mamadi Doumbouya carried out the coup to the cheers of the population.

In Mali, Assimi Goita consolidated the powers of his regime by ousting his civilian partners, orchestrating one blow within a blow.

There would have been more coups d’état but they failed in Niger, Madagascar and Sudan where there is still no political solution to the power arrangement between the civilian government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the ‘army. At least 50 people have been killed so far.


And in South Africa, widespread looting took place during deadly protests against the conviction and imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma for corruption.

Neighbor Eswatini has also seen riots with the young population frustrated by King Mswatini’s monarchy

The protests rocked Tunisia and escalated when President Kais Saied suspended parliament and froze legislation in July.


The armed conflict in North Kivu escalated and saw the assassination of Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his bodyguard and driver.

Deadly attacks continued in the Sahel in Mali and Burkina Faso while the civil conflict in Ethiopia took many dramatic turns between Tigray rebels and government forces, forcing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to go to the front.

Tensions between Morocco and Algeria reached an unprecedented high for more than 25 years when Algeria accused the northern kingdom of starting wildfires and other hostile acts against Algeria.


In April, Tanzanian President John Magufuli passed away at the age of 61. Mr. Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks before his death and rumors had circulated about his state of health.

He was one of the most prominent coronavirus skeptics in Africa and called for prayers and herbal steam therapy to counter the virus.

He is believed to have died of heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, but it is widely believed that he died of Covid.

In June, Kenneth Kaunda, founding president of Zambia and hero of liberation, died in a military hospital in Lusaka where he was being treated for pneumonia.

In August, former Chadian President Hissène Habré, who was serving a life sentence in Senegal for war crimes and crimes against humanity, died at the age of 79.

FW de Klerk, the former president of South Africa and the last white to rule the country, died aged 85 in November.

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Nonprofits with big COVID-19 roles now come under close scrutiny Thu, 23 Dec 2021 16:02:15 +0000

At St. Paul-based African Economic Development Solutions, an organization that primarily helps businesses run by immigrant entrepreneurs, the past year was unlike any other in the organization’s 13-year history with purpose. non-profit.

“It was crazy business,” said founder and CEO Gene Gelgelu.

He said the association’s lending, granting and advisory work has quadrupled and has supported around 1,400 entities through its various programs. In addition to its work to mitigate the effects of business disruption related to COVID-19, the organization has also focused on the recovery of those affected by civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

All this support has done something else: it has pushed the organization into a category where it is subject to more stringent audits.

Because it has managed over $ 750,000 in federal awards, African Economic Development Solutions is in the middle of what is called a one-time audit. This means more control over how the money was used, compliance testing on various grants, and a lot more paperwork.

The rush for federal money that many nonprofits have received to help provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic has hit some in the new financial arena. For these nonprofits, this is the first time they have had to meet more stringent audit requirements than they normally face.

“It’s not something we budgeted for. We haven’t budgeted. No one paid for it, ”Gelgelu said last week as he reviewed the external auditor’s latest investigation. “So we have to try to find the resources. “

African Economic Development Solutions President and CEO Gene Gelgelu met with Business Development Specialist and Housing Program Director Jato Chabsi on Tuesday.

Patience Zalanga for MPR News

Billions of federal dollars have arrived in Minnesota as part of the COVID-19 response, with more in the works for 2022 and beyond. State and local government agencies have relied in part on nonprofits to make sure dollars are going where they are needed most – from housing to employment supports to grants. survival skills and more.

Kate Barr, president of a nonprofit support organization called Propel Nonprofits, said dozens of small organizations accustomed to simple balance sheet audits will undergo their first comprehensive review this year after crossing the $ 750,000 threshold. She wouldn’t be surprised if it affected 100 nonprofits.

“It’s pretty detailed in terms of the level of checking and double checking and triple checking,” Barr said. “And it’s also an additional cost because it’s an additional cost that you pay to your auditor. “

Barr said it doesn’t end there.

“Minnesota nonprofits, as part of their charity application to the attorney general, must have an audited financial statement if they have revenues over $ 750,000,” Barr said. “And a number of organizations have been kicked out of that number over the past year for everything from special philanthropy to donor generosity to federal money.”

To be clear, nonprofits that have obtained money from the payroll protection program to keep their staff employed will not have this on their account.

Minnesota accountants are also keeping an eye. Elizabeth Barchenger, director of insurance at Mahoney CPAs and Advisors, recently wrote about this for the state CPA association.

Barchenger said the situation could pose problems for some organizations that had not planned ahead – and expense, given that these types of audits can cost two to three times as much as standard financial reviews.

“A lot of accounting firms specifically avoid dealing with one-time audits because it’s such a complicated thing,” Barchenger said. “Their accounting firm may not be able to help them – someone with whom they have a long-term relationship – may not be able to help them with this specific new thing.”

It is still unclear to what extent these audits will be enforced or whether the federal government will be lenient. Barchenger’s ears are glued to the ground.

“The parts of government that are responsible for this are expecting a lot of setbacks, and a lot of people have missed this too,” she said. “And honestly, with the pandemic funding, you probably heard it, it came out quickly; it came out a bit sloppy. Advice on this has continued to change.

Gelgelu, the founder of a non-profit organization in St. Paul, said he agrees with transparency and believes he has the information he needs. It’s been a learning curve, he said. But at least now he knows what to expect for what will sure be a busy 2022.

“I don’t mind doing that. I’m more about the funding source and the timing, ”Gelgelu said. “You know, it takes a long time to do a single audit. “

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Grit Real Estate raises $ 156.7 million Mon, 20 Dec 2021 09:05:56 +0000

Grit Real Estate, the pan-African real estate company, raised $ 156.7 million through an open offer and placement.

A portion of the proceeds, $ 80.6 million, was realized through the issuance of 155 027 444 new ordinary actions to the shareholders the development company Gateway Real Estate Africa Limited (GREA) and its asset manager Africa Property Development Management Limited (APDM) in consideration for the sale of their stakes in GREA and APDM to Grit.

The balance, $ 76.1 million, will be used to repay debt and reduce ready to value (LTV) which had reached 53.1% as of June 30, 2021.

A total of 97 185 369 shares were issued as part of the Open Offer, 49 156 943 shares in the placement, and 155,027,444 shares issued to the selling shareholders of GREA and APDM.

Peter Todd, non-executive chairman of Grit, said: “We are delighted with the success of the show and, on behalf of the advice, I would like to thank the current and new shareholders for their support. The success of the issue reflects our confidence in reducing Grit’s overall level of indebtedness and in continuing to expand our core and extended business, which we hope will bring increased value to our shareholders. Grit board plans to take over dividend payments for the current year, allocated to the net operating income generated by our existing real estate assets.

Following the admission of the new ordinary shares, Grit will have a total of 477,577,858 outstanding shares.

Details on GREA and APDM and benefits of the proposed acquisition

The proceeds from the issue will also allow Grit to acquire a majority stake in GREA and a majority stake in APDM, GREA’s external management company. Following the completion of the proposed acquisition, Grit will hold a combined direct and indirect majority stake in GREA (51.66%) and a direct majority stake in APDM (78.95%).

The group said the acquisition should “dramatically accelerate” its ability to access development feedback from mitigated risk development projects from GREA’s attractive portfolio of development opportunities and give Grit the resources to manage and control. necessary to lead further development of GREA, through APDM. . Acquiring a controlling stake in APDM offers Grit the potential for new sources of income and fees, asset management and facilities as it relates to the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) – the program global overseas construction department of the Department of State and the United States government..

From increasing the capital allocation to development projects, the group said it expects its target total return to shareholders over time to increase from 12% to 13-15% per year. .

GREA is the only development company covering all regions of Africa and with a multi-asset class focus, providing real estate solutions for global global tenants within Grit’s existing and target client lists. Taking control of a single transaction dramatically speeds up Grit’s ability to access development feedback from mitigated risk development projects. GREA’s existing pipeline is fully funded by existing equity contributions and is expected to provide strong NAV growth as projects are completed over the next 24-36 months.

GREA has access to a broad portfolio of OBO (diplomatic housing in the United States) and data center development opportunities, which are expected to increase net asset value, are extremely resilient asset classes and provide exposure to well-rated tenants to support future income levels.

Acquiring a majority stake in APDM offers Grit the potential for new sources of income and fees, asset and facility management with regard to OBOs and other asset classes and accelerates Grit’s strategy of increasing its exposure to providing professional services to its customers and other third parties. parties.

The proposed acquisition would diversify the group’s geographic exposure (and, in particular, reduce the company’s current overexposure in Mozambique).

After taking control of GREA, Grit would have the ability to perform additional value creation activities, including:

  • Squeak balance sheet optimization. When combined with Grit’s balance sheet, GREA’s current low leverage is expected to result in a significant reduction in Grit Group LTV’s consolidated metrics from completion. The larger scale and reduced reliance on hospitality and retail, along with reduced overall exposure to Mozambique, would facilitate the eventual issuance of a corporate bond by Grit in a near future, defining the maturity profile and reducing costs. Grit said he is exploring the possibility of a bond issue after the proposals are completed.
  • Disposal of non-core assets. Grit is pursuing strategies to reduce exposure to the retail sector and would use GREA to push through such asset disposals. Such asset recycling should free up capital which can be recycled into new project opportunities within GREA.
  • Cost savings. Eliminating double cost structures and redeploying staff could lead to savings.

GR1T: Grit Real Estate raises $ 156.7 million

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Stricter loan criteria for independent bond seekers in South Africa Sat, 18 Dec 2021 12:00:04 +0000

The impact of the pandemic on small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa is clearly demonstrated by the drop in the number of bail applications filed by independent applicants since the initial lockdown in March last year.

That’s according to Kay Geldenhuys, head of sales execution at Ooba, who says that in the 24 months leading up to the pandemic, an average of 12% of their applicants came from this industry, with the figure dropping to 8% in June, only three months later.

“Independent applicants currently represent an average of 10% of our volumes, this increase being largely due to the fact that some lenders apply less stringent administrative criteria to assess independent applicants who can demonstrate that they derive the same regular monthly income from their business. . .

“In these cases, the lender will not require financial statements to assess the strength of the business, but will rely on a letter from the accountant of the business owner confirming the monthly withdrawals that will be compared to the income posted on personal bank account. of the business owner, ”Geldenhuys said.

Freelance applicants in medicine, accounting and law are generally typical freelance applicants who earn a regular monthly income and therefore can apply for a home loan with less paperwork than before, Ooba said.

“Banks are, however, very cautious with independent applicants who operate in sectors most affected by the pandemic lockdown – such as the hospitality industry, tourism and exports.

“Given that there is no indication on when the foreclosure risk will end, as well as the poor economic outlook and rising interest rates, we don’t expect banks to relax. . their criteria for self-employed loans. “

Buying a home is the biggest investment most people have ever made and most will need financing to do it, but the already laborious bond application process and its myriad of criteria are even more laborious. for the self-employed, said Cobus Odendaal, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Johannesburg and Randburg.

“Banks are generally more cautious when granting loans to these homebuyers and they generally require larger deposits and more documents than salaried buyers who only need their advice and salary copies. their bank statements for the past three months. “

He said it’s prudent for independent buyers to make sure their financial affairs are in order well before bidding on a property, as this will not only improve their chances of getting approved, but will also prevent costly delays. .

“Once an offer to buy has been made, the time is really short and it’s easy to rush mistakes. Some mistakes are corrected quickly, but others cannot be corrected overnight and that is when costly delays can arise.

According to Geldenhuys, the most common mistakes are:

  • Not having all the necessary documents in order and up to date (latest financial statements, IT34, etc.);
  • Not having your tax affairs in order;
  • Being unable to show a clear separation between personal and business expenses;
  • Failure to carefully manage income and expenses in the months preceding the purchase of a home to prove to the bank that they have sufficient disposable income to repay the deposit;
  • Do not include management accounts and cash flow forecasts when the last financial statements are more than six months old;
  • Do not check their creditworthiness by requesting their free annual credit report from a credit bureau such as TransUnion.

“Assessing the bank’s affordability on self-employed applications involves assessing whether the candidate’s business is generating stable income and has grown over the years.

“So the bank will want to see the applicant’s taxable monthly withdrawals and cover all personal expenses with net income. They need to be able to see that the bottom line of the business, after expenses, is directly in line with the profits reported by the business owner, ”Geldenhuys said.

Independent applicants should ensure that they are able to provide the bank with their most recent financial statements and management accounts, in addition to current bank statements. “It is prudent for potential applicants to institute the practice of separating their personal expenses from their professional expenses. “

Odendaal said the main areas of concern are often FICA compliance, life insurance and home insurance and that it is not uncommon for clients to arrive with non-existent or outdated FICA documents or incomplete details, especially when rental contracts are used to prove the address. .

“Incorrect, incomplete or unsigned documents like rental contracts are instantly rejected by banks and customers then have to go back to have contracts corrected, which, of course, leads to delays. “

Odendaal believes that errors and omissions are often overlooked due to the fact that people generally have an innate aversion to official documents and to filling out documents.

“It is imperative to carefully read all the details of correspondence from banks and lawyers. Implementation is largely the applicant’s responsibility and so they should always strive to put their documentary ducks in a very orderly row as soon as possible.

“The additional criteria for independent buyers are understandably intimidating; However, with the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced real estate finance specialists and real estate agents, it is possible to seamlessly navigate the potential administrative minefield of acquiring your dream home, ”said Odendaal.

Read: Marriage, divorce and property changes under review for South Africa


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IMF Executive Board Concludes Annual Discussions on CEMAC Common Policies and Common Policies in Support of Member Countries’ Reform Programs Thu, 16 Dec 2021 18:04:40 +0000 Download logo

The IMF Executive Board concludes annual discussions on CEMAC common policies and common policies in support of member countries’ reform programs. The pandemic crisis which lasted nearly two years left CEMAC in a fragile external position. A tougher political stance, high oil prices and renewed commitments from heads of state to accelerate structural, transparency and governance reforms are expected to support a stronger external position from 2022, as the region recovers from crisis.

On December 10, 2021, the IMF Executive Board concluded annual discussions with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) on common policies of member countries and common policies in support of reform programs of member countries. [1] .

CEMAC experienced a weaker than expected economic contraction in 2020, as non-oil activity recovered at the end of 2020, supported by the easing of containment measures and the strengthening of fiscal stimulus measures. A gradual recovery is expected to have started in 2021 with growth reaching 1.9% of GDP in 2021. The overall budget deficit (excluding grants) is expected to narrow by 0.5 percentage point to 2.7% of GDP in 2021 compared to by 2020, while public debt would decline by 3.8 percentage points, to 56.2% of GDP in 2021.

Despite a more favorable external environment, marked by the rebound in global growth, the rapid rise in oil prices and unprecedented financial support from the IMF, including the allocation of SDRs, CEMAC ends 2021 in a fragile external position with external reserves barely exceeding three months of potential imports. After a sharp deterioration in 2020, the external current account deficit is expected to improve significantly, mainly thanks to the rebound in world oil prices, and reach 2.1% of GDP in 2021.

Regional and national authorities began to tighten the policy mix in 2021. The BEAC strengthened its liquidity management framework, resuming liquidity absorption operations; the central bank also unwound the relaxation of the government securities guarantee framework adopted at the start of the crisis, reducing the haircuts to their pre-pandemic levels; and ended the government securities purchase program, as planned, at the end of August. In November 2021, the BEAC tightened its monetary policy, increasing the policy rate by 25 basis points, and raised the rate for its liquidity absorption window in December. Prudential regulations, which have been temporarily relaxed to cushion the impact of the crisis on the financial sector, are also gradually normalized, with the capital requirement being increased by 50 basis points in August 2021. At the national level, the resumption of the programs with Cameroon and Gabon and the prospects for new programs with Chad and Congo have made it possible to secure commitments in favor of budgetary consolidation and broader reforms.

Rising oil prices, strong global growth and a significant fiscal adjustment are expected to help strengthen overall external balances and the accumulation of foreign exchange reserves in 2022. Growth is expected to rebound to 2.8% in 2022 and continue. to recover gradually to reach around 4.1% in the medium term. , mainly due to stronger growth in the non-oil sector, as reforms aimed at improving governance, transparency and the business climate are expected to slowly take hold. The recovery in oil prices, coupled with increased revenue mobilization efforts, is expected to help reduce budget deficits and significantly reduce debt levels by 2024. Inflation is expected to remain below the regional convergence criterion of 3%, because monetary policy would remain tight enough to support the external position. Reserves are expected to reach the equivalent of five months of imports by 2026. This outlook assumes the continuation of IMF-supported programs with Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea, and the approval of two IMF-supported programs with Chad (2021) and Congo (2022).

Board assessment [2]

The executive directors approved the direction of the staff appraisal. They noted that despite a more favorable external environment and unprecedented financial support from the IMF, CEMAC’s external position remains fragile. In this context, they welcomed the resumption of IMF-supported programs in the region. Directors stressed that a strong mix of macroeconomic policies and strong structural reforms that improve competitiveness are essential to strengthen the external position and enable diversified, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Directors stressed that carefully calibrated fiscal consolidation is needed to strengthen fiscal and external sustainability while sustaining growth. They recommended mobilizing non-oil revenues and increasing spending efficiency to help finance targeted social spending and growth-friendly investments. Directors called for prudent use of SDR allocations and the fiscal space provided by restructured statutory advances.

Directors welcomed the recent tightening of monetary policy, which should help stem the decline in reserves and contain inflation expectations. They generally agreed that further tightening would be necessary if international reserves continued to decline. Directors recommended reverting to the pre-crisis liquidity management framework and restricting normal liquidity operations to solvent banks. They welcomed the central bank’s commitment not to extend direct monetary financing to its member states. Directors noted that the implementation of foreign exchange regulations would promote the accumulation of foreign exchange reserves.

Directors supported the planned withdrawal of the temporary easing of prudential regulations. They stressed the need to move towards risk-based supervision, contain the risks associated with banks’ sovereign exposure, deal with high non-performing loans, strengthen regulatory compliance and accelerate bank resolution.

Directors welcomed the reform momentum generated by the CEMAC Heads of State Summit. They called on the authorities to accelerate the implementation of structural, transparency and governance reforms. In particular, the directors called for ensuring full transparency of public finances and the hydrocarbon sector. They also recommended strengthening the regional monitoring framework.

Directors noted that the Central Bank of Central African States (BEAC) was unable to fully implement the insurance policy on the accumulation of net foreign assets (AFN) at the end of June. 2021, which was provided in the June 2021 follow-up policy letter. Support, due to lack of external funding. They felt that the BEAC took the necessary corrective measures to remedy the underperformance. The Trustees approved the updated NFA Accumulation Insurance Policy for late December 2021 and late June 2022 outlined in the November 2021 follow-up letter from the BEAC Governor. This assurance is based on the BEAC’s commitment to implement a sufficiently strict monetary policy as well as on the commitments of the member states to implement adjustment policies in the context of programs supported by the IMF. Directors stressed that the implementation of this assurance is essential for the success of IMF-supported programs with CEMAC member countries.

The views expressed by the Trustees will form part of the Article IV consultation discussions on individual CEMAC members that will take place until the next Council discussion on common policies. It is expected that the next CEMAC common policy discussion will be held on the standard 12-month cycle.

[1] Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with its members, usually annually. As part of these bilateral Article IV consultations, staff hold separate annual discussions with regional institutions responsible for common policies in four currency unions – the euro area, the Eastern Caribbean Monetary Union, the Union Central African Economic and Monetary Union and the African Economic and Monetary Union. For each of the monetary unions, teams of staff visit regional institutions responsible for common policies in the monetary union, collect economic and financial information and discuss with those responsible for economic developments and policies of the monetary union. Back at headquarters, the staff prepare a report, which forms the basis for the Board’s discussion. Staff discussions with regional institutions and Council discussions on the annual staff report will be considered an integral part of the Article IV consultation with each member.

[2] At the end of the discussion, the Managing Director, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the points of view of the Executive Directors, and this summary is sent to the country’s authorities. An explanation of all the qualifiers used in the abstracts can be found here:

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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