Egypt has been listed among the countries that India could potentially supply with modern missile systems as part of its new bid to emerge as a major arms exporter.
Recently, it was reported that New Delhi had made a list of friendly countries to which it could sell advanced its Akash missile systems and BrahMos cruise missiles over the next few years.
Indian weapons researcher Amiet R. Kashyap disclosed that Egypt along with the Philippines, South Korea, Algeria, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Venezuela, and Bulgaria are all interested in the missile systems.
Egypt has shown interest in BrahMos, a cruise missile developed by India and Russia as an Egyptian delegation had visited the BrahMos pavilion at DefExpo India in Chennai back in 2018. Egypt first indicated interest in this type of missile back in 2016.
The Egyptian delegation, which included former Minister of State for Military Production Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Assar and chief of the Armament Authority of the Egyptian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Tareq Saad Zaghloul, met with Sudhir Kumar Mishra, the CEO of BrahMos Aerospace.
The BrahMos, which has a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and a speed of Mach 2.8, is a medium-range cruise missile that can be launched from a submarine, ship, aircraft, or land at altitudes from 10 to 15,000 meters (33 to 50,000 feet), and can carry warheads of up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds).
BrahMos is a product of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia and the Indian Ministry of Defense’s; Defense Research Development Organization.
Kashyap noted that BrahMos Aerospace’s Indian and Russian teams have discussed about the potential of exporting these systems to some mutually agreed upon countries.
Under the Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in 1998 between India and Russia, questions of exporting to a third country are to be decided jointly by the two countries.
Meanwhile, Egypt has been building up ties with both India and Russia.
Speaking about Egypt possibly acquiring the BrahMos systems, Kashyap said, “Maybe AERO India 2021, Asia’s largest aerospace exhibition scheduled to take place on Feb. 3-5 will reveal something on that.” However, Egypt has not yet announced that any of its officials will be attending the exhibition.
India is aiming to achieve a target of exporting defense equipment worth $5 billion by 2025, and systems like the BrahMos will play a role,” Kashyap added.
International human rights organizations are pressing the administration of US President Joe Biden to stop arms deals with Egypt. The United States has provided annual military aid worth $1.3 billion in the form of arms deals to Egypt since the Camp David Peace Agreement between Egypt and Israel was signed in 1978.
Egypt has focused on doubling its arms deals with several countries, most notably Russia, France, Germany and Italy since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rose to power in 2014.
According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in March 2020, Egypt’s arms imports tripled from 2010 to 2014 and 2015 to 2019, making it the world’s third-largest arms importer.
Nestlé Nigeria Posts N39.35Bln Profit in 2020
Nestlé Nigeria Plc has reported revenue of N287.08 billion for the 2020 financial year.
The company’s audited result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that the revenue was higher by 1.1 per cent in contrast with N284.04 billion recorded in 2019 comparative period.
Gross profit for the year stood at N 119.21 billion compared with N128.15 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.
Also, the company posted profit after tax of N39.25 billion during the review period against N45.68 billion in 2019.
The board in addition to N25 per share interim dividend already paid in December 2020, proposed an additional dividend of N 35.50 per share making for a total dividend of N60.50 for 2020.
The proposed dividend would be submitted for approval at the company’s Annual General Meeting on June 22.
Commenting on the results, Mr Wassim Elhusseini, Managing Director and CEO of Nestlé Nigeria, said that the company strengthened market leadership across its categories.
“Amidst a very challenging business environment in 2020, we strengthened market leadership across our categories. Thanks to our high performing team, we successfully continued to provide our consumers with high-quality affordable foods and beverages to enjoy every day.
“In line with our purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come, we broadened our portfolio in 2020 to help our consumers fulfil their nutrition needs.
“Our latest innovation is the new GOLDEN MORN Multi-Cereal, fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals,” Elhusseini said.
Speaking on future outlook, he said that the company would remain committed to supply of high-quality nutritious foods and beverages to consumers.
“Going into 2021 – which portends to be another challenging year – we will continue to focus on keeping our people safe, continued supply of high-quality nutritious foods and beverages to consumers as well as caring for our communities and the planet.
“We will also keep supporting our business partners as we strengthen our operations to adapt to the rapidly changing reality,” he said.
Zambian High Court Cancels State Acquisition of CEC Company Power Lines
Judge Elita Phiri-Mwikisa of a High Court in Zambia has quashed last year’s decision by the Minister of Energy, Matthew Nkhuwa, to declare a private company’s electricity transmission lines as a common carrier.
By declaring infrastructure owned by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), Zambia’s leading supplier of electricity to the mines, as “common carrier”, Nkhuwa effectively placed the company under obligation to provide its facilities to any entity that wished to use the transmission lines – provided they agreed the terms and conditions set by Zambia’s Energy Regulation Board (ERB) with CEC.
However, CEC dragged the Zambian government before the courts, arguing that Nkhuwa’s decision amounted to “expropriation” of its infrastructure.
In her ruling, Judge Phiri-Mwikisa of the Lusaka High Court said the Minister’s decision to declare CEC’s transmission and distribution lines as common carrier through the passing of S.I No.57 of 2020, took away CEC’s rights to negotiate terms and conditions of use of its infrastructure in view of the fact that any enterprise can use CEC’s infractructure at the wheeling charge that ERB has set, which CEC had argued was not cost effective.
“In fact, KCM has abrogated its contractual obligations under the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) to pay the debt owed to CEC amounting to USD 144 million. I agree with CEC that S.I No. 57 of 2020 is too wide in its application, in that it affects all the applicant’s transmission and distribution lines instead of only affecting lines supplying power to KCM,” Judge Mwikisa said.
She added, “The respondent’s decisions were illegal and tainted with procedural impropriety. All in all, I find that the applicant has succeeded on all grounds…I accordingly quash the decision of the minister of 29 May 2020, to declare the applicant’s transmission and distribution lines as a common carrier.”
Analysts had argued that the move was meant to aid Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), the local unit of Indian mining giant Vedanta, which has been under control government control since May 2019.
Okonjo-Iweala’s First Day at Work as WTO Director-General
As Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes her role as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the former Nigerian Finance Minister went straight into business, as she was at a meeting of the Congress of the WTO.
She makes double history as the first woman and first African to be in the role.
In her first day in office, the former former World Bank Vice President said she’s in one of the most important institutions in the world. She indicated her readiness for the huge task ahead of the organisation.
Okonjo-Iweala saw off competition from several strong contenders before becoming the chosen candidate for the top office of the WTO.
She’s an experienced economist and one of the most respected Africans in the world.
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