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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Business News

  • Zanzibar’s blue economy set to provide 9000 jobs with over 180 projects
    by Chinedu Okafor on December 4, 2022 at 8:45 AM

    Zanzibar has registered record investment projects worth $3 billion.Around 181 projects have been created and could create as many as 9000 jobs if maximized.The nation continues to call for investment in its blue economy.  In the last 2 years, Zanzibar has registered record investment projects worth $3 billion. Once these projects are maximized and fully implemented, the island nation of Zanzibar could see as many as 9000 jobs created for its residents. These figures were relayed on Wednesday during the start of the Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum 2022. The Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency (ZIPA), pointed out that these projects rely on the water surrounding the island nation, signaling a growth in the nation's blue economy. Zanzibar’s most vital and abundant resource is the body of water that surrounds it. The island nation’s administration continues to find new ways to utilize this asset to develop its economy. So far, the projects mentioned earlier lean more towards Mangapwani Integrated Hub Port Project, renewable energy, marine transportation, and infrastructure. According to the Isles' second vice president Hemed Suleiman Abdulla, Zanzibar has recorded almost 200 projects that have generated approximately $3 billion. “Since November 2020, ZIPA has recorded 181 investment projects valued at $3.056 billion,” During the forum, he also welcomed the idea of foreign and local investments in the nation’s blue economy. “Foreign direct investment is of paramount importance for socio-economic growth,” he said on behalf of President Hussein Ali Mwinyi. The goal of the forum, which lasted for two days, was to spotlight the investment opportunities in Zanzibar’s blue economy, promoting trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) framework. Angelina Ngalula, the chairperson of the East African Business Council (EABC), said that Africa’s contribution to global trade was much too low, and the continent needs to make efforts in playing a bigger role on the world's economic stage. She noted that a good place to start would be with AfCFTA which has a market of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion. “Investing in Zanzibar offers investors a gateway to access the EAC and the AfCFTA market,” she said.

  • Night clubs in Kenya face closure and WhatsApp groups could help save them
    by Chinedu Okafor on December 3, 2022 at 4:55 PM

    The Nairobi county government has begun shutting down bars and clubs as a result of noise pollution.The Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BAHLITA) is putting measures in place to reduce the pollution.The crack down on bars and clubs could have a devastating impact on the Kenyan economy.  About 3900 nightclubs face closure in Kenya following the government’s directives. These clubs and bars face closure owing to noise complaints across the capital city of Nairobi. The closures could cause the loss of around 256,000 jobs. The Nairobi county government has seized licenses of nightclubs operating in residential areas. However, the Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BAHLITA) has noted that development of new mechanisms that will help save their members' businesses from closure is being implemented. Boniface Gachoka, BAHLITA’s secretary general disclosed that the association has come up with several ways, including the appointment of a professional environmentalist who will help bars follow the set guidelines by the government. He also noted that the association has established an online platform that will host key players in the association, and help control their businesses effectively. “On a matter of urgency, we have told our members to create a WhatsApp group that will have the bar owners, managers, Djs and also the residents so that we are able to solve these issues in haste, and prevent the same from repeating itself,” Gachoka said. “We urge all residents, should there be a complaint on any bar, kindly reach out to BAHLITA. By Posting these issues on the WhatsApp group, the bar owners association will be able to respond quickly to solve the matter,” he added. Speaking further on the turn of events, Gachoka noted that the closure of bars and clubs is counter productive to the government’s goal of creating more jobs, adding that the association would do its best to maintain workable relations with the country’s administration. “I know the government has no plans to close businesses nor create job loss. The President said that anyone who creates employment is his friend and we are working on maintaining the friendship,” Gachoka said. The bars and restaurant lobby says that the government will lose close to Sh22 billion annually if the crackdown continues.

  • It would take Nigeria 300 years to build world class infrastructures according to the World Bank
    by Chinedu Okafor on December 3, 2022 at 4:05 PM

    Nigeria currently has an infrastructure problem.The government has in the past solicited funds for the development of infrastructures.The World Bank says Nigeria would need 300 years to fill its infrastructure gap at its current pace of development. The World bank recently assessed Nigeria’s capacity to build the kind of infrastructures the country is currently seeking funding for. The assessment shows that Nigeria’s current level of infrastructure is low, and it would take quite a lot to get it to where it needs to be. It also noted that there is a huge discrepancy with the country’s level of borrowing and its infrastructures. The Nigerian government has in the past justified its borrowing expenditure by asserting that the funds would be used to build state of the art infrastructures. Last month, the president of the country, Muhammadu Buhari , explained his rationale behind the Nigerian government's borrowing, stating that it is imperative that infrastructures are built to create more opportunities to grow the Nigerian economy, and for this to happen the government needs external aid. “We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow and increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.” The president said. However, the World Bank has disclosed that Nigeria’s physical infrastructure gap would likely reach $3tn in the next 30 years, and at this rate, it would take the country 300 years to close the infrastructure gap, which would cost the country 4% of its yearly GDP. The Bank’s public finance review report on Nigeria reads in part; “the level and quality of Nigeria’s infrastructure quality is low, with the country ranked 132 out of 137 countries for infrastructure in the 2018 Global Competitive Index. Nigeria’s physical infrastructure gap is estimated to reach $3tn over the next 30 years.” The report also discloses that Nigeria’s development outcomes were among the lowest globally. Nigeria’s debt burden currently stands at about N66.61tn, including N23.77tn from the CBN and N42.84tn from domestic and foreign creditors.

  • Has Uganda successfully dealt with its Ebola endemic or should the country still be worried?
    by Chinedu Okafor on December 2, 2022 at 4:50 PM

    Uganda just discharged its last Ebola patient.The past few months have seen the infection of 142 people in Uganda.Health officials in the country have decided to use 21 days to monitor the situation, however, the WHO recommends 42.  The recent Ebola outbreak in Uganda which infected over 100 people, created quite the scare. Fortunately, amidst the tragedy that plagued the Mubende and Kassanda districts of Uganda, the Ebola outbreak has seemingly been contained. A recent report from a senior health official on Friday, confirmed that the last known Ebola patient has been discharged from the hospital. "Happy to announce that we discharged the last Ebola patient ... God has seen us through this epidemic," Diana Atwine, a top official at the health ministry, wrote on Twitter. She continued, reaffirming that health officials would continue to monitor those that came in contact with the infected patients in the coming weeks. The past few months have been a roller coaster ride for the people of Uganda, particularly those who reside in the Mubende and Kassanda districts, a sort of ground zero for the outbreak of the virus. In the early stages of discovering the virus, Ugandan officials seemed partially dismissive of the virus’s immediate threat. However, the Ebola strain found its way to the capital city of Kampala, forcing Ugandan authorities to be more attentive to the brewing health crisis. Read the story here. During the debacle, Uganda became a country of interest as several nations globally began to implement travel restrictions for those coming in from the East African country. Following a growing panic in the region, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni placed a lock-down on several districts, and prohibited all public gatherings. Institutions like churches and schools were mandated to seize every and all activities, and a curfew followed suit. It would seem that the protocols put in place have yielded tremendous results as 142 patients have become 0 in a matter of weeks. The World Health Organization has warned that a minimum of 42 days, twice the maximum incubation period, is required to fully assess Ebola status of the affected regions. Uganda has, however, said that it will use a period of 21 days to assess the situation. Diana Atwine noted that medics would continue to monitor people who had come into contact with infected patients until they had been clear for 21 days. She did not say when the last new case was confirmed.

  • Rwanda receives military funding from the European Union for its war in Mozambique
    by Chinedu Okafor on December 2, 2022 at 2:35 PM

    The European Union has donated €20 million to Rwandan troops in Mozambique. The Rwandan troops in Mozambique are there on a peacekeeping mission. The Rwandan Government has said that it would continue to remain unrelenting in its fight against terrorism. The European Union has donated €20 million to Rwandan troops in Mozambique. The €20 million from the European Union to the Rwandan troops was donated in support of the Rwandan army currently in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique on a peacekeeping mission. Rwanda’s entry into the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique dates back to July 2021, when they deployed around security personnel from both its army and police department. Rwanda was invited by Mozambique under a bilateral arrangement between both nations. There are currently around 2500 Rwandan troops in Cabo Delgado, engaged in joint operations with the Mozambican army. The funding information by Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is coming in the aftermath of new terrorist attacks in the region, and also after the disclosure by the Rwandan President Paul Kagame thatthe pledges which were made to assist Rwanada was yet to come to fruition. This is the first EU funding this particular mission has received since it was launchedHowever, the EU has spent €89 million for the Mozambican Armed Forces in conjunction with the EU Training Mission (EUTM) in Mozambique. The Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Biruta, noted that the Rwandan government is against any act of terrorism and it would continue to do its part in combating the vile act. “Rwanda remains a reliable partner in the fight against terrorism on the continent and we are pleased to collaborate with the European Union in this work,” he said n Thursday as he announced that the government had received the funding from the European Union. “We have increased the troops because since our arrival in Mozambique, many problems have been solved in collaboration with the Mozambicans. In the areas we operate in, the problem has been solved completely. But because the terrorists have fled to other areas of Mozambique, we could not reach in all regions." He added. Despite the minister’s words, Rwanda has been accused by the Democratic Republic of Congo of supporting rebel groups in the DRC. An accusation that has spurred a volatile relationship between both countries and has also gotten its neighbor countries involved. Read the story here.

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