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China to intensify African investment prospects1 minute read

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China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, is on a five-nation tour of Africa.

The foreign minister made a stop in Zimbabwe and Burundi with Djibouti, Egypt and Djibouti included on his itinerary.

China has a strong presence in Zimbabwe with investments that span from energy to agriculture, mining and trade in wildlife but with Zimbabwe’s economy in dire straits, analysts say that Wang will, behind closed doors, urge Zimbabwe to improve the country’s economic performance and honour its debt repayments to China.

China has also increasingly broadened its ties to include the construction of a new parliament building estimated to cost more than $100 million. It also provides humanitarian assistance such as donations of food and technical assistance during natural disasters.

BURUNDI-CHINA

Still on China’s five- nation Africa tour,
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi has met with Burundian Foreign Minister, Ezechiel Nibigira.

According to Wang, China is willing to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with Burundi under the framework of building a joint Belt and Road and implementing the eight major initiatives proposed at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), with a focus on infrastructure construction and agriculture.

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Ethiopia, Sudan,Egypt inch closer to Nile water use deal

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Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have moved closer to formalising a water-sharing deal over the Nile after technical teams meeting in Khartoum drew up a draft agreement.

Following a consultative meeting on Thursday, the technical teams from the three countries say observations reached when the countries’ ministers met in Washington two weeks ago have been included.

There are expectations that the next round of discussions, due in Washington next week, could see a formal agreement signed on how to fill the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, without affecting the needs of the riparian countries: Sudan and Egypt.

Muhammad Al-Sebaie, the spokesman for the Sudanese Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, says technical teams have pored over suggestions from all the three countries in an earlier January 13 meeting in Washington, under the auspices of the US Treasury and the World Bank. The Washington meeting is due on January 28.

Al-Sebaie says there had been some form of “convergence” such as initially filling up to a significant portion of its height (the dam is 155 metres high), to ensure electricity generation for Ethiopia. Thereafter, the subsequent filling will depend on weather conditions and there would be a joint implementation committee to oversee when to suspend filling, reducing volumes or surging the flow.

The key pillars in the agreement, he said, will be how to fill up the dam in stages, during the months of July and August, and in September based on drought or rain condition

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Tanzania, Barrick sign new implementation deal

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Tanzania and Canadian mining giant, Barrick Gold Corp have signed an agreement to kick-start a new joint venture company overseeing Barrick’s future gold mining operations in the country, as a way forward following a year long impasse.
“Being a year now, we have finally completed the long journey of negotiations and renegotiations and agreed on nine key points that will underpin the activities of Twiga Mining company, a joint company between the Tanzanian government and Barrick,” Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Paramagamba Kabudi said at the signing held in State House in Dar es Salaam, and witnessed by President John Magufuli. 

No details were immediately available of the nine points highlighted in the new agreement which will oversee implementation of the original pact between Tanzania and Barrick dating back to October 2017 when former Barrick affiliate Acacia Mining was still running the Tanzanian operation of three gold mines in the country’s lake zone.

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Nigeria to consider private power sector overhaul

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Following a national Economic Council meeting yesterday, The Nigerian government has announced that it will consider an overhaul of the private power sector.

The country’s power sector was privatized in 2013, but millions of Nigerians remain without access to power, with grids plagued by frequent blackouts, leaving businesses and consumers reliant on power generators.

Plans to build privately financed power stations have been railroaded in recent years by concerns of persistent shortfalls in payments for electricity across the sector.

Currently, the government-owned Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company (NBET) buys power from generators and passes it on to distributors who then receive payment from customers and reimburse NBET.

According to Nasir El-Rufai, Chairman of a committee set up by the NEC to harmonise the Power Sector Reform, the government looks to end the existing challenges and the committee’s request to begin the process of finding solutions is now approved.

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