African Loans – Bungeni http://bungeni.org/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 20:04:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://bungeni.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/bungeni-icon-150x150.png African Loans – Bungeni http://bungeni.org/ 32 32 African alarm – The Statesman https://bungeni.org/2021/09/25/african-alarm-the-statesman/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 18:52:58 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/25/african-alarm-the-statesman/

Is China’s African reach crumbling? The first signs are now visible that Beijing’s decision to attract African countries to its supply chain as part of its ambitious Belt and Road (BRI) initiative over the past decade is emerging. wade. There has been a wave of cancellations of major projects undertaken by China on the African continent, with governments citing the debt trap that accompanies Beijing’s billions of injections, the quality and transparency issues around megaprojects and the hegemonic and “exploitative” approach of the Chinese.

It all started with Ghana’s cancellation of Beijing Everyway Traffic and Lighting Tech Company’s contract to develop an intelligent traffic management system for the country. This was followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which announced a review of mining contracts signed with China dating back to 2008. DRC President Felix Tshisekedi reportedly said: “Those with whom our country has signed agreements. contracts get richer while remain poor. Chinese state-owned companies Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Group were to build roads, hospitals and bridges in the DRC in exchange for a 68% stake in the country’s Sicomines company. Lack of transparency around the deal reportedly led Congo to review China-led projects in the country, while Ghana canceled the traffic management system project citing substandard work. Last year, a Kenyan High Court ordered the annulment of a $ 3.2 billion contract between Kenya and China for the construction of the standard gauge railway, calling the project “illegal. “.

According to the China-Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, China signed 1,141 loan commitments worth $ 153 billion with various African governments and state-owned enterprises between 2000 and 2019. Massive loans, as experts have warned for some time, are becoming increasingly difficult to insure for developing countries, dragging them headlong into the debt trap.

The fact that most of the Chinese projects under the scanner in Africa are part of the BRI which aims to connect Asia to Africa and Europe via land and sea trade networks, has sounded the alarm in Beijing. But the Chinese political establishment can rejoice in the fact that neither the US-led West nor aspiring regional powers such as India have the will ~ or, indeed, a comprehensive plan ~ to bridge the gap. strategic vacuum that these developments can create. For now, Beijing hopes its approach of reaching out to African governments ostensibly informed by humility but underpinned by implicit threats will be enough to overcome the crisis. The math is that most of the retreating countries are already too far advanced for any substantial policy to move away from China.

Source link

]]>
Rwanda hits target in Covid vaccination campaign, outside EU red list https://bungeni.org/2021/09/25/rwanda-hits-target-in-covid-vaccination-campaign-outside-eu-red-list/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 03:33:54 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/25/rwanda-hits-target-in-covid-vaccination-campaign-outside-eu-red-list/

By BOB KARASHANI

By Ange Iliza

A JOINT REPORT

East Africa

Rwanda has reached the global September target of fully vaccinating 10% of its 12.9 million inhabitants against Covid-19 and is one of the countries recommended by the European Union to have unlimited access for non-essential travel on his territory.

The country has vaccinated 2,029,038 people with the first vaccine and 1,466,966 are fully immunized as of September 24. In August, Rwanda launched a vaccination campaign targeting Kigali residents over the age of 18.

Rwanda has so far received 3.4 million doses of vaccines, according to the World Health Organization. Of these, it administered 3.3 million doses and fully immunized 10 percent of its population.

The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in the latest weekly briefing on Thursday that African countries have so far acquired 181.2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The agency said about 4.06 percent of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated. Some 136.3 million of the 181.2 million total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date. Five countries – Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia – have acquired and administered the most doses to their populations, according to the agency.

Advertising

Morocco has so far administered 39.5 million doses, or about 48.63 percent of the country’s total population. So far, at least 70,739,842 Covid-19 tests have been carried out on the continent. These numbers are set to rise as Tanzania pledges to officially release Covid-19 statistics as part of the conditions for access to the $ 567.25 million loan from the International Monetary Fund, disbursed earlier this month. to mitigate the effects of the global pandemic.

Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba, in an official letter dated August 20 to the Fund, pledged; “We commit to begin, by the end of September 2021, to regularly and transparently report and disseminate critical information about the pandemic to the WHO and to the public at least once a week,” Nchemba said. Tanzania stopped the official release of Covid-19 data in April last year, with just 509 cases and 21 deaths reported at the time.

The IMF says on its website that the approval and disbursement of the loan meets Tanzania’s need for “urgent financial assistance” to implement its Covid-19 response plan.

Source link

]]>
Tax preparer convicted on multiple counts of tax evasion for filing false tax returns | USAO-WDWA https://bungeni.org/2021/09/23/tax-preparer-convicted-on-multiple-counts-of-tax-evasion-for-filing-false-tax-returns-usao-wdwa/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 22:46:39 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/23/tax-preparer-convicted-on-multiple-counts-of-tax-evasion-for-filing-false-tax-returns-usao-wdwa/

Seattle – A 58-year-old resident of Pacific, Washington was convicted last night in Seattle U.S. District Court of 14 counts of aiding and abetting false income tax returns, the Acting U.S. prosecutor said Tessa M. Gorman. Jean Mpouli worked for 25 years as an aviation inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), while next door he ran a tax preparation company with hundreds of clients, mainly offering his services to African immigrants. During the three-day trial, prosecutors showed how Mpouli falsely increased deductions for unreimbursed business expenses and education expenses to increase tax refunds for his clients. Mpouli took a percentage of the reimbursement as a fee, so the higher the reimbursement, the larger the fee. On his personal tax returns, Mpouli hid more than $ 200,000 in income generated by his illegal side activity. The jury deliberated less than two hours before rendering the guilty verdicts.

Mpouli faces up to 3 years in prison per count when convicted by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on January 11, 2022.

“Even though he was employed by the federal government, this defendant sought to deceive the government on tax revenues,” Acting US Attorney Gorman said. “He drew his clientele from his community, which consisted of immigrant workers from Africa and their children. He filed the false returns largely without the knowledge of the immigrants who asked for his help – leaving them to deal with the IRS when the false entries were discovered. “

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, in late 2016, an IRS analyst noted that an unusually high number of returns prepared by Mpouli claimed deductions for unreimbursed business expenses. In 2017, the IRS’s criminal investigations division sent an undercover agent into the company to take a close look at how Mpouli prepared tax returns. Using the W-2 information provided by the undercover agent, Mpouli correctly determined that the agent owed around $ 800 in taxes. However, Mpouli then proposed to enter approximately $ 34,000 in fraudulent expenses in order to bring the undercover agent’s reimbursement to over $ 5,600. Mpouli explained that the undercover agent should consider the repayment a “loan” in case the agent is audited by the IRS. Mpouli then accepted $ 250 in cash as a fee for preparing the fraudulent return.

When officers executed court-authorized search warrants on the business in September 2017, they found more than 1,200 personal tax returns on Mpouli’s computers. Hundreds of tax returns show surprisingly high amounts of unreimbursed business expenses and education expenses. In one example, Mpouli claimed that a customer had driven over 33,000 business miles in one year. However, the client did not own a vehicle, did not have a driver’s license, and had never driven a vehicle in the United States.

When investigators contacted a random sample of clients who had used Mpouli’s services, they said they were unaware of the extent of the deductions he had claimed on their behalf. Many did not own vehicles although Mpouli recorded unreimbursed car expenses. Others never attended the educational institution indicated on the statements. In some cases, he claimed that children attended secondary school, even though they were in fact enrolled in daycare or primary school. Customers said Mpouli did not discuss the statements with them before filing them, and when told they were being vetted, he refused to help them.

“Mpouli brazenly scammed taxpayers while simultaneously collecting a paycheck from the taxpaying public. As a tax preparer, he had an obligation to his clients to prepare tax returns that were accurate and compliant with the law. Instead, he took advantage of their trust and pocketed a percentage of each fraudulent refund, ”said Bret Kressin, special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigations. “Tax preparer fraud is a top priority for IRS criminal investigations, and special agents will continue to investigate tax preparers who defraud the government, their clients, and the taxpayer public.”

According to financial documents, during the period of the fraud, Mpouli was sending more than $ 300,000 to his native Cameroon to pay for the construction of an apartment building.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service: Criminal Investigation. The case is being pursued by Deputy U.S. Attorneys Lyndsie Schmalz and Frances Franze-Nakamura.

Source link

]]>
South African rand strengthens ahead of interest rate decision https://bungeni.org/2021/09/23/south-african-rand-strengthens-ahead-of-interest-rate-decision/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 06:47:47 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/23/south-african-rand-strengthens-ahead-of-interest-rate-decision/

JOHANNESBURG, September 23 (Reuters)The South African rand strengthened on Thursday, as traders awaited the results of a central bank monetary policy meeting later in the day, where the regulator is expected to leave its policy rate unchanged.

At 0643 GMT, the rand ZAR = traded at 14.7300 against the dollar, 0.4% firmer than its previous close.

Wednesday’s data showing consumer price inflation in August to hit 4.9% did little to change market expectations that the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would maintain. the benchmark rate at 3.5%.

Consumer price inflation has remained within the central bank’s target rate of 3-6%.

“Policymakers are unlikely to be overly concerned with the latest inflation figures and will remain focused on supporting the economic recovery. After all, the headline rate hike was prompted by temporary factors and inflation. underlying remains very low, ”said Virág Fórizs, Africa economist at Capital Economics.

In fixed income, the yield on the government loan maturing in 2030 ZAR2030 = rose 1.5 basis points to 9.1% in first trades.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by Jason Neely)

((Olivia.Kumwenda@thomsonreuters.com; +27 10 346 1084;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source link

]]>
OPINION: Bill Gates – Doing better and listening to African civil society https://bungeni.org/2021/09/22/opinion-bill-gates-doing-better-and-listening-to-african-civil-society/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 20:30:00 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/22/opinion-bill-gates-doing-better-and-listening-to-african-civil-society/

by Community Alliance for Global Justice / AGRA Watch


Earlier this year, several media outlets made alarming headlines about Bill Gates’ status as the largest private owner of farmland in the United States. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). African civil society organizations have spoken out against AGRA’s industrial agriculture model for over a decade, and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), the largest civil society network on the continent, recently called on wealthy donors to “stop telling Africans what kind of agriculture Africans need.” So how does the agricultural development of the Gates Foundation still seem positive to so many people in the United States?

First, Gates spent millions of dollars to fund media. Analysis from 2019, as well as our own reviews, suggest that AllAfrica.com, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Le Monde, National Public Radio, and Public Radio International are among the media that have received large grants from the Gates Foundation for extend their coverage. development and public health issues. Some journalists from Gates-funded media have suggested that this “philanthro-journalism” prevents public criticism of the Foundation, encouraging journalists to cover the “successes” of development aid rather than the failures.

Second, the Gates Foundation claims that its interventions are backed by “science”. By extension, critiques of their work are presented as “anti-science” – a serious accusation in this age of “alternative truths” and disinformation campaigns. The Foundation only supports certain forms of science, namely genetically modified seeds, increased use of chemical fertilizers and other inputs that farmers have to buy from large food companies and their African subsidiaries. They have also funded programs, like the Cornell Alliance for Science, that train communications professionals to write compelling propaganda for biotechnology and anti-agroecology.

Yet agroecology is too scientist. It has been defined as “the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems”, and it stems from an appreciation of indigenous and non-Eurocentric agricultural practices and knowledge.

A 2009 report co-authored by scientists around the world suggested a role for the two biotechnology and agroecology in the food production of tomorrow. Specifically, the report identified a need for increased public and private investment to strengthen agroecological research capacities and extension services. Despite this, a tiny minority of Gates Foundation grants go to agroecological research and partnerships, while a majority of their agricultural development grants go to industrial agriculture and biotechnology development. Additionally, the Foundation funds programs that attack agroecology rather than working with communities to develop holistic, integrated and participatory approaches for truly sustainable agriculture.

The Gates Foundation has been able to put a positive spin on what the available evidence suggests is in fact an embarrassing record of failure in agricultural development:

  1. Despite Bill Gates’ emphasis on data, until recently the Foundation did not engage in comprehensive evaluations of some of its major agricultural development programs. An evaluation carried out in 2020 found that although beneficiaries collected data, they did not do it in a systematic manner; therefore, it was not possible to draw reliable conclusions about the results of the program.
  2. AGRA and the Gates Foundation’s broader agricultural development funding have also failed to deliver on promises to reach tens of millions of smallholder farmers, increase crop yields and increase farmer incomes. . Although yields of some crops increased slightly, most of the gains were limited to demonstration plots, as high-yielding seed varieties cost more and require more chemical inputs than farmers could afford. And the yields of many other important staple crops in Africa, such as millet and sorghum, actually declined under AGRA.
  3. Finally, AGRA did not reduce hunger. In Kenya, for example, the number of food insecure people has increased by 4.2 million since AGRA’s programs began, with hunger rates remaining at the same level, commensurate with the size of the population.

As recent reports have pointed out, Bill Gates’ model of “catalytic philanthropy” is based on giving money to the rich to “help” the needy. Much of the Foundation’s agricultural development funding goes to research institutions, businesses and NGOs located in the Global North. Meanwhile, AGRA’s Board of Directors exclusively represents the interests of government and / or the private sector. There is not a single board member who represents civil society or agricultural organizations. The model of industrial agriculture promoted by AGRA, which benefits businesses far more than real farmers, is gaining even more ground at the global level thanks to the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), which the President from AGRA, Agnes Kalibata, supervises as Special Envoy. The controversial UNFSS sidelined civil society and gave greater voice and decision-making power to corporate interests.

Many aspects of the Gates Foundation (and other philanthropic foundations) are deeply undemocratic. The board of directors of the Gates Foundation has long been made up primarily of family members and founders. Although the Foundation receives huge public tax grants, there is also no democratic mechanism for the general public to have a say in how the Foundation’s assets are spent for public purposes. Yet even in the context of these very problematic structures, Gates can do better.

At the very least, Bill Gates should engage with his critics and fund solutions that are required and relevant to the African farmers and communities he claims to want to help. Since June of this year, African civil society organizations and farmers’ associations have written letters to the Gates Foundation (and other AGRA donors), calling for dialogue and encouraging a shift in priorities. funding, away from industrial agriculture towards agroecology. The Gates Foundation has still not responded.

As Ijeoma Oluo writes in his new book, Mediocre: The dangerous legacy of white male America, “Somehow we have agreed that rich white men are the best group to bring us prosperity, when their wealth has been stolen from our work. Bill Gates epitomizes this white male mediocrity, and we have to stop believing that he’s somehow more of an expert on African agriculture than real farmers and community organizations based in Africa, just because he’s rich.


Community Alliance for Global Justice (CABJ) is a Seattle-based grassroots organization. CABJ’s dedicated volunteers put their skills, time and money to work for a fair local and global economy. CABJ AGRA watch is a local Seattle-based group that challenges the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s questionable agricultural programs in Africa, including its Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). You can find out more about CABJ and AGRA Watchworks on cagj.org.

?? Featured Image: Members of the Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) / AGRA Watch celebrate with the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa at the 2018 African Food Systems Summit in Senegal. Photo courtesy of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa.

Before you move on to the next story …
Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. 
Support the Emerald!

Source link

]]>
Co-op Bank signs agreement to boost green energy financing https://bungeni.org/2021/09/22/co-op-bank-signs-agreement-to-boost-green-energy-financing/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:53:00 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/22/co-op-bank-signs-agreement-to-boost-green-energy-financing/

The Cooperative Bank of Kenya on Tuesday (September 21) signed a loan portfolio guarantee agreement with the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) for small and medium enterprises in the amount of Ksh 750 million to increase transaction financing green in Kenya.

The guarantee facility will allow, on the one hand, Co-op Bank to strengthen its commitment to the financing of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and promote emerging companies in Kenya involved in green energy and solar installation projects.

According to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency, increasing demand and technological advancements have contributed to a significant decrease in the costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems over the years.

Solar costs have fallen by more than 80% since 2010, while the discounted cost of energy generated by large-scale solar power plants is less than 10 Ksh / kWh, compared to around 38 Ksh / kWh a decade ago. The figures further show that between 2018 and 2019 alone, the price of solar energy fell by 13%.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Co-op Bank Director – Corporate and Institutional Banking, Jacquelyne Waithaka said: “The challenge that banks and other financiers face in financing solar energy relates to the type of securities. that customers offer as collateral. for credit. Solar panels and inverters, for example, are not preferred collateral because they cannot be easily liquidated in the event of default. Co-op Bank’s partnership with AGF has created an instrument that overcomes this challenge, thus giving the bank considerable capacity to effectively finance solar energy programs.

A branch of Co-op Bank Kenya in Nairobi

To file

“Energy costs remain one of the heaviest input costs for many MSMEs. This partnership is expected to have a significant positive impact on MSMEs involved in manufacturing, light industry and agribusiness by reducing the cost of doing business, thereby making them more competitive. For the environment, the successful adoption of the program will lead to the reduction of carbon emissions. It is also expected that as the prices of solar technologies continue to fall and AGF continues to develop other products, more Kenyans will afford renewable energy products and services. “

AGF Group Business Development Director Franck Adjagba reaffirmed AGF’s commitment to promote sustainable economic growth in the country.

He said: “Banks in Kenya urgently need risk mitigation instruments to support their SME lending activities. However, we must aim for economic growth without degrading the environment. Sustainability improves the quality of our lives, protects our ecosystem and preserves natural resources for future generations. Our partnership with Co-op Bank today reflects our commitment to increasing funding for green sector businesses.

Through this partnership, Co-op Bank will take advantage of opportunities to clients across the country.

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) is a non-bank financial institution whose objective is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and assistance. capacity development specifically aimed at supporting SMEs in Africa.

The African Guarantee Fund was founded by the Government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the Government of Spain through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The other shareholders are the French Development Agency (AFD), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and the KfW Development Bank (KfW). AGF is rated AA- by the rating agency Fitch.

Headquarters of the Co-operative Bank in Nairobi CBD.

Headquarters of the Co-operative Bank in Nairobi CBD.

Twitter

Source link

]]>
Senate Speaker Gives Committee One Week To Review Buhari’s Loan Application https://bungeni.org/2021/09/21/senate-speaker-gives-committee-one-week-to-review-buharis-loan-application/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 14:54:26 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/21/senate-speaker-gives-committee-one-week-to-review-buharis-loan-application/

The Senate began legislative work at President Buhari’s request for approval of multinational fund projects under the federal government’s 2018-2021 external borrowing plan.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari last week requested Senate approval for an external loan of 4.054 billion dollars, 710 million euros and 125 million dollars.

Buhari in the letter explained that the projects listed in the federal government’s 2018-2021 borrowing plan are to be financed by sovereign loans from the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered / China Export and Credit (SINOSURE) for a total amount of USD 4,054,476,863.00; 710,000,000.00 euros and grant component of 125,000,000.00 USD.

He explained that the amount would be used to fund federal and state government projects in key sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food security, energy, education and capital development. human, and COVID-19 response efforts.

According to the president, the projects spread across the country’s six geopolitical zones would result in job creation and poverty reduction, as well as protection of the most vulnerable and poorest segments of Nigerian society.

When the issue of applying for the loan was raised in plenary on Tuesday, Senate Speaker Ahmad Lawan referred the Senate Foreign and Local Debt Committee for proper legislative work.

The committee, which is chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP) Edo, is due to report next week Tuesday for general consideration in plenary.

YOU MUST NOT MISS THESE NIGERIAN TRIBUNE TITLES

Experts say mixture of snail slime and evaporated milk cannot cure stroke

CLAIM: Facebook user claims water from snails (snail slime) and spike milk can cure partial or full stroke.

VERDICT: The claim that the water obtained from snails (snail slime) and spike milk can cure partial or complete stroke is false.

FULL STORY: On July 26, 2020, Facebook user Prince Nnamdi Enyinnaya Emelelu Eluwa claimed in an article that water obtained from snails (snail slime) and spike milk can cure an accident partial or complete cerebrovascular. The post, which is over a year old, was recently re-shared by other Facebook users.

Marburg virus: what you need to know about the disease recently detected in West Africa

On Monday August 9, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the first case of Marburg virus in West Africa in Guinea. This development has sent shivers down the spines of West Africans who are still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But before this dreaded disease is greeted with rumors and disinformation, here’s what you need to know about the virus. APC says it is creating a health emergency trust fund …

FACT CHECK: US failed to grant Nigeria 48-hour ultimatum to detain Abba Kyari

CLAIM: Several social media posts claim that the United States of America (United States) has given the federal government of Nigeria 48 hours to arrest suspended Deputy Police Commissioner Abba Kyari on pain of severe penalties.

VERDICT: The assertion is false and misleading. The United States did not give the Nigerian federal government a 48-hour ultimatum to detain Abba Kyari.

FULL STORY: Tons of backlash have greeted the indictment of suspended Deputy Police Commissioner Abba Kyari by the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The court indicted Kyari over his alleged involvement in the international scheme to defraud a Qatari school founder of more than $ 1 million. The fraud scheme was orchestrated by famous Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi.

The dangers of mixing toilet cleaner with bleach

A few weeks ago, Eniola Oyémolade, a journalist, decided to get creative by cleaning, mixing a toilet cleaner and bleach. She did it with the thought that if one product worked, mixing it with another would make it even better.

Unbeknownst to him, mixing bleach with a toilet cleaner creates a poisonous gas that can cause adverse health effects, including death.

“After the mixing I started to feel a burning sensation in my throat and had to leave the room because the smell was very bad too,” she said.

Source link

]]>
Kenya seeks IMF help to repay Chinese loans https://bungeni.org/2021/09/21/kenya-seeks-imf-help-to-repay-chinese-loans/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 03:01:55 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/21/kenya-seeks-imf-help-to-repay-chinese-loans/

Economy

Kenya seeks IMF help to repay Chinese loans


The Director General of the Bureau of Public Debt Management Haron Sirima. PHOTO FILE | NMG

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • Kenya is considering using funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay Chinese loans after dropping a previous request for deferment of debt payments.
  • SDRs are the IMF’s unit of exchange based on the pound sterling, dollar, euro, yen, and yuan, and can be used to settle obligations such as repayment of foreign public debt.

Kenya is considering using funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay Chinese loans after dropping a previous request for deferment of debt payments.

The Treasury said it could use its additional allocation of IMF reserves in Special Drawing Right (SDR) assets, which can be converted into government-backed money, as one of the options to fill the fiscal hole.

SDRs are the IMF’s unit of exchange based on the pound sterling, dollar, euro, yen, and yuan, and can be used to settle obligations such as repayment of foreign public debt.

The Managing Director of the Treasury’s Public Debt Management Office, Haron Sirima, said Kenya had a plethora of options, including “the use of an additional SDR allocation by the IMF” to bridge the gap. cash hole left after Nairobi started repaying loans from China in July.

Kenya had planned to extend by six months until December 2021 the moratorium on debt repayment of bilateral lenders, including China, which began in January 2021, saving it from paying nearly 50 billion shillings to Beijing lenders.

Chinese lenders, particularly the Exim Bank, were uncomfortable with Kenya’s pressure to extend the debt service suspension with rich countries, causing delays in disbursements to projects funded by them. Chinese financiers.

This forced Nairobi to forgo the extension of China’s debt repayment holiday for fear of straining relations with Kenya’s largest bilateral creditor.

Dr Sirima said the Treasury had other options, including seeking grants from development partners, changing the funding of “specific” investment projects to a public-private partnership (PPP) and using IMF reserves.

“In addition, (we also have the option) to rationalize additional spending to the extent of DSSI funding waived,” he said in an interview with Business Daily.

The IMF should play a role in shaping a policy that would force the government to implement tough conditions in many sectors.

The terms are tied to the fund’s multibillion shillings loan facility in Kenya, where money flows directly into the budget to supplement public funds.

Under the administration of former President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya has steered clear of this type of credit, with much of the support from institutions like the IMF and the World Bank taking the form of backstopping. to projects.

Kenya has faced a deteriorating cash flow situation marked by declining income, worsening debt service obligations and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

G20 countries, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Spain and the United States, rescheduled payments of 32, 9 billion shillings in principal and interest due between January and June over the next four years with a one-year grace period.

Kenya has called for an extension of debt relief for G20 countries until December, envisaging additional savings of 39 billion shillings.

Dr Sirima said the response to Kenya’s request for G20 relief has been “positive”.

Kenya spent 99.73 billion shillings less than the cash it initially budgeted for external debt service for the fiscal year ended June 2021, in part thanks to six-month debt relief .

While China is a member of the G20 and a signatory to the agreement, much of its lending to Kenya has been made on a commercial basis by government agencies, quasi-public corporations and state-owned banks, such as China Development Bank and Exim. Bank of China.

China has sought to negotiate its debt relief deals separately, but on the same terms as G20 countries while reserving the right to the size and loans that will attract the moratorium.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has borrowed heavily from China since 2014 to build roads, bridges, power plants, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

It started after Kenya became a lower middle income economy, preventing it from benefiting from highly concessional loans from development lenders such as the World Bank.

The terms of China’s loan agreements with developing countries are unusually secretive and require borrowers to prioritize repayment to Chinese state-owned banks before other creditors. A cache of such contracts was revealed in a previous Reuters report.

The dataset – compiled over three years by AidData, a U.S. research lab at the College of William & Mary – includes 100 Chinese loan deals with 24 low- and middle-income countries, a number of which are grappling with burdens. Growing debt amid the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He revealed several unusual features, including confidentiality clauses that prevent borrowers from revealing loan terms, informal collateral agreements that benefit Chinese lenders over other creditors and promise to keep debt out of collective restructuring – dubbed by the authors as “no Paris Club”, according to the report.

The Paris Club is a group of officials from major creditor countries whose role is to find solutions to the payment difficulties of debtor countries.

Source link

]]>
Mattress Firm, Owned by Steinhoff, Confidentially Files US IPO https://bungeni.org/2021/09/20/mattress-firm-owned-by-steinhoff-confidentially-files-us-ipo/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 15:52:54 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/20/mattress-firm-owned-by-steinhoff-confidentially-files-us-ipo/

Sept. 20 (Reuters) – Mattress Firm Group Inc, the mattress sales firm of South African retail group Steinhoff, confidentially filed documents with regulators on Monday for an IPO in the United States.

Steinhoff International Holdings NV said in August that it was evaluating options https://www.reuters.com/article/steinhoff-intln-mattress-firm-ipo-idUSL8N2Q24G0, including a public listing, for Mattress Firm, which is the leading specialty mattress retailer in the United States.

Texas-based mattress retailer emerged from bankruptcy https://www.reuters.com/article/us-steinhoff-intln-mattress-firm-bankrup-idUSKCN1NR0D3 in 2018, two months after filing for Chapter 11 protection , with access to $ 525 million in exit funding. It also closed about 660 underperforming stores, Steinhoff said at the time.

Steinhoff, whose balance sheet revealed multibillion-euro holes in 2017, has since reduced the group’s debt, financing costs and restructured the debt of some of its units through asset disposals and public quotes.

Mattress Firm sells mattresses both online and in more than 2,500 stores in 49 states of the United States, according to its website in January 2019. (Report by Sohini Podder in Bangalore; edited by Maju Samuel)

Source link

]]>
Paul Rusesabagina: hero of “Hotel Rwanda” and accused terrorist https://bungeni.org/2021/09/20/paul-rusesabagina-hero-of-hotel-rwanda-and-accused-terrorist/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 04:12:19 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2021/09/20/paul-rusesabagina-hero-of-hotel-rwanda-and-accused-terrorist/

Nairobi (AFP)

The gentle-mannered hero of “Hotel Rwanda” credited with saving hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide, Paul Rusesabagina became Kigali’s most bitter critic before being tried for terrorism.

The unassuming hotel manager in a hurrying suit became the world’s most famous Rwandan after the film’s release, but angered his government by using the Hollywood spotlight to campaign for political change in his tightly controlled homeland.

Outside the country, his journey from famous hero to sworn enemy of the government went almost unnoticed until August 2020, when Rusesabagina suddenly reappeared in Rwanda in handcuffs and a prisoner’s uniform.

Police said the 67-year-old was a mastermind terrorist accused of funding a rebel group responsible for a series of deadly attacks inside the East African country.

His family rejected the allegations, insisting that Rusesabagina was a political prisoner, whose character never strayed from the quietly courageous man portrayed by Don Cheadle in the Oscar-nominated blockbuster.

“Dad has always advocated for justice, peace and human rights. Now he is the one whose rights are being violated ”, recently declared Rusesabagina’s niece and adopted daughter, Carine Kanimba.

– ‘Ordinary man’ –

Born in 1954 to farmers in central Rwanda, Rusesabagina briefly studied theology after school before working in a hotel and studying hospitality in Kenya and Switzerland.

Returning to Rwanda in 1984, he was hired as deputy general manager of the most prestigious hotel in Kigali at the time, the Hôtel des Mille Collines, a five-star establishment owned by Belgium.

In April 1994, when the genocide began, Rusesabagina was besieged inside the Thousand Hills with his family and hundreds of guests – mostly Tutsi like his wife, seeking refuge from crowds wielding machetes outside the gates of the hotel.

Carine Kanimba: “Papa has always advocated for justice, peace and human rights. Now it is he whose rights are violated ‘ JOHN THYS AFP / File

Rusesabagina, a moderate Hutu critical of the extremist regime, appeased the killers with beer and used his connections to trade for food as guests drank the pool water in desperation.

Late that night, he sent SOS calls to European governments and then to US President Bill Clinton using the hotel’s fax line.

American journalist Philip Gourevich, who met Rusesabagina while researching the genocide, described “a man of gentle manners, solidly built and rather ordinary in appearance.”

“This is how he seemed to see himself too, as an ordinary person who did nothing extraordinary by refusing to give in to the madness that surrounded him,” Gourevitch wrote in his 1998 book “We Wish inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families ”.

– Spirited criticism –

Rusesabagina returned to work but became disillusioned with the new Tutsi-dominated government that overthrew the Hutu regime and ended the 100-day massacre that claimed some 800,000 Rwandan lives.

He accused the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), in particular its leader Paul Kagame, of authoritarianism and of promoting anti-Hutu sentiment as the new leaders violently consolidate their power after the genocide.

Rusesabagina left Rwanda in 1996 with other moderates who believed the space for political opposition was rapidly shrinking. He moved to Belgium with his wife and children and passed out in the dark.

But the 2004 release of “Hotel Rwanda” made Rusesabagina a celebrity overnight.

Rusesabagina received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President George W. Bush in 2005
Rusesabagina received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President George W. Bush in 2005 MANDEL NGAN AFP / File

He received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and traveled the world to warn of the evils of man.

Over time, he increasingly used his new platform to thunder against Kagame and the RPF in fiery tirades that alienated some allies and attracted powerful enemies.

He has come under relentless attack, with Kagame supporters shouting him out at speaking events all over the world.

The survivors of the Thousand Hills turned against him, accusing Rusesabagina of taking advantage of their misery and embellishing his exploits.

As the hunt intensified, Rusesabagina’s rhetoric turned darker, said Timothy Longman, who first met the hotelier in the mid-1990s.

“He was always a soft-spoken, fairly moderate person. What happened over time, of course, was that as he was attacked he was pushed into places. more extreme positions, ”said Longman, professor of political science and international relations in Boston. University.

– Enemy of the State –

Rusesabagina was closely linked to political opposition groups in exile.

But in a 2018 video, he pledged his support for the National Liberation Front, an armed group considered a terrorist organization by Rwanda.

“The time has come for us to use all possible means to bring about change in Rwanda, because all political means have been tried and failed,” he said.

Two years later, Rusesabagina boarded a plane he believed was bound for Burundi but landed in Rwanda instead.

He was arrested and tried as an enemy of the state.

Frail and bald, dressed in the pink uniform worn by Rwandan prisoners, Rusesabagina is now at the center of a global campaign led by his daughters Anaise and Carine, who are pushing for the release of their father.

Source link

]]>