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Zimbabwe’s President Commissions $58M Belarus Mechanisation Facility2 minutes read

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Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President of Zimbabwe, on Wednesday commissioned the Belarus Mechanisation Facility worth over $58 million at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering in Hatcliffe, Harare.

The function was attended by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Ministers and the Belarus delegation led by the Minister of Industry for the Republic of Belarus.

The private sector and the representatives from the financial sector are also present.

The facility being commissioned is part of the deals struck by President Mnangagwa, during his tenure as Vice President in 2015 and as President in January 2019.

The equipment, which is the first tranch include 163 tractors, 19 combine harvesters and low bed trucks.

Zimbabwe and Belarus also agreed on another deal last night that will see Zimbabwe getting another tranch of 3000 tractors

As a result of the tight cooperation between Belarus and Zimbabwe in 2018, both governments agreed upon the supply to Zimbabwe machinery and equipment made in Belarus for agriculture and timber industry.

In June 2020, Zimbabwe’s Honorary Consul to Belarus, Alexander Zingman, the $58 million deal between the two countries will revolutionalise Zimbabwe’s agriculture industry.

“This deal brings Belarusian expertise in agriculture and engineering to Zimbabwe. Both countries have been expanding ties since 2015 and this deal is a win-win for both,” said Alexander Zingman at the time.

Mnangagwa had called for a comprehensive project to modernise and mechanise the entire agricultural sector. The country is reeling from the economic effects of coronavirus, a disastrous drought and Cyclone Idai last year, leaving over 5 million people in need of food aid.

The agriculture deal was signed in 2018, with Belarus providing farming machinery and advanced technology to Zimbabwe, as well as training for local farmers in cultivation, seeding, irrigation, and crop harvesting. It also provided the project with long-term financing for the acquisition of equipment.

AFTRADE DMCC represents all the leading manufacturers in Belarus. It has set up a servicing centre in Harare to provide spare parts and warranty services. Mobile service vehicles will also cater to farming communities in the provinces.

Belarusian technical specialists were sent to Zimbabwe for one year to provide training to farmers in modern farming techniques. Zimbabwean specialists also got two months training in Belarus.

“This project will enable Zimbabwean farmers to boost the productivity of their land and to reduce their losses through timely crops harvesting. The result will be that farmers can ensure the food security of Zimbabwe itself and, where possible, also raise their income levels by exporting their produce,” said Zingman.

The two countries are also developing joint projects in geology, farming and transport, as well as the construction of a solar power plant near Harare.

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Nigeria’s Central Bank Issues Guidelines For N75Bln Youth Investment Fund

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Nigeria’s apex bank to offer seven-year loans to youth corps members

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines for implementation of the proposed N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).

CBN, in a statement by its Development Finance Department, stated that the fund was a built-in strategy to effectively respond to the challenge of youth employment in Nigeria.

The Fund, an initiative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, is to be managed by NISRAL Microfinance Bank.

It stated that the major objective of the plan was to address fragmentation of youths initiatives that prevent assessment of impact.

`The Federal Executive Council on July 22, approved N75 billion for the establishment of the NYIF from 2020 to 2023.

“It will provide Nigeria youths with investment inputs required to build successful businesses that can become sustainable employers of labour and contributors to the country’s development.

“ The plan targets young people between 18 and 35 years and details the needed actions required to support business establishment, expansion and consequent employment creation for youths in critical economic and social sectors,” it stated.

The apex bank said that the fund was dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youths.

It added that it would institutionally provide the youths with special window for accessing the funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.

“The ministry is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilisation.

“The fund aims to financially empower youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023,’’the apex bank said.

It added that part of the objectives of the fund was to improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.

“It will also generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youths restiveness, boost their managerial capacity and develop their potential to become the future large corporate organisations,’’ it added.

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Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote Delays London Listing

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The Dangote Cement Company has delayed  it’s listing on the London Stock Exchange, again. The company announced that it will rather focus on selling it’s product to Central and other West African nations. And boost it’s foreign reserve and that of Nigeria in the process.

The firms head of investor relations, Temilade Aduroja disclosed their new path in Lagos this week. And, also projects that the continent’s biggest producer of the building material, could follow this path till 2023 at the least.

Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man.The 63-year-old entrepreneur has a net worth of more than $14 billion, has long expressed his ambition for Dangote Cement to have a secondary London listing to diversify its ownership and have access to funds from international markets.

Yet, for one reason or another he’s never managed to make it happen.

Dangote had made an initial attempt in 2018 with a proposed list by 2019 but that was changed by former Chief Financial Officer, Brian Egan to 2020.

Nigeria’s biggest listed company by market value, Dangote Cement took advantage of a drop in yields in the domestic debt markets to raise 100 billion naira ($259 million) through commercial papers in May and April, the largest offering of its kind at the time.

The group adds that in July it’s looking to export clinker to 15 countries in Central and West Africa in a bid to boost revenue and resolve a scarcity of foreign exchange scarcity in Nigeria.

Clinker is a nodular material used as the binder in cement products.

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Air Tanzania Resumes Scheduled Flights To Harare

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Air Tanzania resumed scheduled flights to Harare on Wednesday after a seven-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline joins a host of other regional and international airlines that have resumed flights into Zimbabwe after the country reopened its skies at in October.

Some of the airlines that have resumed flights into the southern African country include Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airways, South African Airlink and Fastjet.

“The flights resume today on Oct. 27 2020 and will be served initially twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday.

“Air Tanzania will operate the route via Lusaka, Zambia using a Dash8-Q400 aircraft,’’ the airline said in a statement Tuesday.

An official at the airline said as with the new normal, the flights would be operated under new COVID-19 health regulations.

“We are thrilled to be resuming the Lusaka-Harare flights. This South bound route connects both Lusaka and Harare business people, tourists and academics to the port city of Dar-es-Salaam and beyond,” the official said.

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