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Investing In WASH Africa, Key To Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 – AfDB

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Investing in the water and sanitation (WASH) sector in Africa is crucial to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, which calls for universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

This indication was given by the African Development Bank’s Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Wambui Gichuri, at a meeting of African finance ministers’ high-level virtual meeting.

Some 50 African finance ministers attended the high-level virtual meeting that discussed the crucial role of water, sanitation and hygiene to the African economy, people and environment, during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was convened by the Bank, together with Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), a global partnership committed to achieving universal access to potable water and adequate sanitation.

According to a press release issued by the AfDB on Tuesday, Gichuri told the ministers that investing in new systems provides job opportunities, especially for the young, and sets up a decades-long stream of future health, economic and social benefits.

She pointed out that the financing gap between the current state of WASH in Africa and what is needed to achieve the SDG6 remains huge.

“In Sub-Saharan Africa, the annual investment required to meet SDG6 has been estimated at US$35 billion per year. In North Africa, the amount is US$4 billion per year. This is many times more than what has historically been invested.

“As part of the UN Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water Survey, a small sample indicated finance gaps of between 39% for urban water supply and 78% for rural water supply,” Gichuri said.

She said the pandemic had amplified these challenges, leading governments to introduce legislation to ensure that their people continue to access lifesaving water and practise hand washing.

However, most African water utility service providers cannot collect payment for customer water usage, leading to further financial stresses and over-stretched resources.

Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and the current SWA High-level Chair, told the African finance ministers that WASH projects made for good politics at the local, regional, and national levels.

“These are areas where you can deliver to local communities and it’s, therefore, a good news story for finance ministers, prime ministers, presidents, and sector ministers as they seek their reelection,” Rudd said.

Catarina de Albuquerque, SWA Chief Executive Officer, urged the finance ministers to create and maintain the necessary partnerships to guarantee investments and more intelligent investments in the water and sanitation sector.

As finance ministers, they are expected to provide solutions that would help Africa close the financing gap in water supply through a combination of measures, including maximising the use of existing resources and mobilising additional finance from taxes, tariffs and transfers, she added.

Gichuri reassured participants that the Bank would continue to prioritise the search for solutions to the WASH sector’s financing challenges. The AfDB invested around $6.2 billion in WASH services over the past decade and mobilised an estimated $150 million in climate finance from the Global Environmental Facility and the Green Climate Fund to co-finance water sector projects.

This investment has provided an estimated 52 million people access to improved water supply and sanitation services. Bank water sector investments aim to provide an additional 154 million people with the same, across Africa, with greater emphasis on private sector participation, as an option to sustainable management and financing of water services.

The Africa Finance Ministers’ Meeting is one of three regional gatherings organised by the Sanitation and Water for All partnership.

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Algeria Reduces Hydrocarbon Exports by 11 Per Cent

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Algeria reduced its hydrocarbon exports by 11 per cent to 82.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE), the country’s Ministry of Energy has said.

According to the ministry, the total volume of hydrocarbon exports in 2020 reached 82.2 million TOE amounting to $20 billion, “i.e. down by 11% and 40% respectively compared to 2019.”

Oil exports from the North African country stood at 571,000 barrels per day in 2019, while exports of the natural gas were 42.5 million cubic meters (over 1.5 billion cubic feet), in line with the data from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

With Algeria ranked in the world’s top ten gas producers, authorities adopted in November 2019, a law on hydrocarbon resources, designed to facilitate the work of foreign companies.

The law is also expected to boost the inflow of much-needed investment in the country’s oil industry, which has been halted and required foreign investments in order to recover.

Earlier in the month, Algerian Energy Minister Abdelmadjid Attar expressed hope that oil prices would remain above $50 per barrel in the first half of 2021.

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Nigeria Bourse Resumes Week With N40Bn Loss

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Nigerian Stock Exchange to complete public listing

The Nigerian stock market opened for the week on Monday with a loss of N40 billion, halting five consecutive days positive run.

Speficially, the market capitalisation which opened at N21.530 trillion shed N40 billion to close at N21.490 trillion.

Also, the All Share Index which opened at 41,176.14 lost 93.76 points or 0.23 per cent to close at 41,082.38.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, among which are; Dangote Cement, Flour Mills, Guinness, NASCON Allied Industries and FBN Holdings.

Analysts at United Capital said that investors would take advantage of gains posted recently to book profit.

“While we expect investors to book some profit from last week’s gains, demand for high-yield dividend companies should sustain the market’s bullish momentum,” they said.

An analysis of the price movement chart shows that Japaul Gold and Ventures led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 6.58 per cent to close at N1.42 per share.

Flour Mills trailed with a loss of 5.49 per cent to close at N31, while Wema Bank dipped 5.33 per cent to close at 71k per share.

Neimeth shed 4.76 per cent to close at N2, while GlaxoSmithKline depreciated by 4.29 per cent to close at N6.70 per share.

Conversely, African Alliance Insurance, AIICO Insurance, Cadbury Nigeria, R.T. Briscoe, Trans-Nationwide Express and Universal Insurance dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each, to close at 22k, N1.32, N10.45, 22k, 88k and 22k per share, respectively.

BOC Gases followed with 9.98 per cent to close at N13.77, while Livestock Feeds rose by 9.95 per cent to close at N2.32 per share.

Meanwhile, the total volume of shares traded increased by 10.77 per cent as investors bought and sold 738.53 million shares worth N4.17 billion in 7,396 deals.

This was in contrast with 666.61 million shares valued at N6.39 billion achieved in 6,980 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of Japaul Gold and Ventures topped the activity chart with 92.36 million shares worth N145.79 million.

Universal Insurance followed with 51.79 million shares valued at N10.41 million, while Transcorp traded 43.15 million shares worth N46.17 million.

FBNH traded 39.77 million shares valued at N298.25 million, while AXA Mansard Insurance transacted 38.19 million shares worth N63.88 million.

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Uganda Extends Central Bank Governor’s Contract for Five Years

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Emmanuel Mutebile will head the Bank of Uganda for another five years after his contract was extended by President Yoweri Museveni.

According to local reports, Mutebile’s contract was extended on the eve of Uganda’s parliamentary and presidential election last week. It was gathered that the details of the extension were not released because of Internet shutdown in Uganda.

The Acting Director communications at BoU, Mr Kelvin Kiyingi confirmed the development.

“We have learnt that the president has re-appointed Prof Emmanuel Mutebile as governor bank of Uganda for the next five years,” he said.

Mutebile will be appearing before the Parliamentary Committee for approval.

Mutebile, 71, has been at the helm of Bank of Uganda since 2001. The new term makes him one of the longest servicing governors of the Central Bank..

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