AfDB approves US$1.4m grant to improve food security in Zambia in the wake of Covid-19

ZAMBIA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US$1.4 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program to reduce malnutrition among the Southern African nation’s most vulnerable households. The Mitigating Impacts of Covid-19 on Household Food Security Project will create about 150 permanent skilled or semi-skilled positions and 40 part-time unskilled jobs in crop, livestock and fisheries value chains. The project will supply inputs for crops, livestock and aquaculture enterprises to promote good agricultural practices and increase food production and a capacity…

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Kenya Airways to resume Nairobi – London flights as the summer season begins

KENYA – National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) will resume operations on the Nairobi-London route on June 26 after the East African nation restored flights ahead of the peak summer tourism season. The airline suspended flights on the route in April following a government directive banning all flights to or from Kenya to the UK. “We are starting with one at the moment, but we shall add more frequencies if we realise that there is a rise in forward bookings,” KQ director of Corporate Communication Dennis Kashero told the Business Daily.…

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Sub-Saharan Africa records 2.4% economic decline, worst recession in 60 years – World Bank

SSA – The economic output of economies in Sub-Sahara Africa declined by 2.4% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s first economic contraction in a generation and the deepest recession since the 1960s, latest World Bank reports indicates.  However, the recession was milder than previously projected as the virus spread more slowly than anticipated and agricultural activity was unexpectedly intense in some countries such as Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria. According to the June 2021 issue of the  Global Economic Prospects Reportby the World Bank, growth in the Sub-Sahara region has…

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World Bank gives Kenya US$750m for COVID-19 recovery

KENYA – The government of Kenya has received US$ 750 million from the World Bank to reinforce its resilient, inclusive green economy recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The World Bank approved this development policy financing to support policy reforms that will strengthen transparency and accountability in public procurement and promote efficient public investment spending. The support will enable Kenya to improve its medium-term fiscal and debt sustainability through greater transparency and efficiency in government spending, building on ongoing World Bank support to enhance public finance management systems. The operation provides for…

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Asian e-commerce company QNET to enter Kenyan market

KENYA –  E- Commerce giant QNET has announced plans to expand operations in the Kenyan market.  In its latest update on Kenya, the firm said it is seeking to establish a physical presence in Kenya with the intent to grow a large network of Independent Representatives. In East Africa, QNET’s regional distribution hub exists in Rwanda and while in  West Africa, the company has a physical presence in  Ivory Coast. The company has over 250,000 Independent Representatives across Africa, with the goal to expand and increase this manifold.  Kenya, Uganda…

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Aviation traffic in Africa sank 73.7% in March 2021 – IATA

AFRICA – The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) has announced that passenger traffic fell in March 2021 compared to pre-COVID 19 levels in March 2019 but rose compared to the immediate month prior to February 2021. The comparisons were done that way because between 2021 and 2020, monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to March 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern. Total demand for air travel in March 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) was down 67.2%…

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EIB backs Zim’s CABS with US$18m facility to support businesses affected by COVID-19

ZIMBABWE – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has unveiled a €15 million (US$18 million) seven-year facility to Zimbabwe’s biggest mortgage lender, CABS, a member of Old Mutual Group, to bail out thousands of firms that have been affected by COVID-19. The intervention is part of EIB’s strategy to scale up interventions across African markets to build resilience in the region’s companies during the pandemic. It is part of an approved response strategy unveiled by European Union (EU) finance ministers after the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Speaking at a signing ceremony…

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East Africa Bank of Djibouti partners with IFC to strengthen its risk and credit framework

DJIBOUTI – The International Finance Corporation, (IFC), part of World Bank Group and Djibouti-based East Africa Bank (EAB), have signed a partnership to help EAB better mitigate financial risks which have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and improve its sustainability. Under the agreement, IFC will help EAB strengthen its risk, trade, and credit management framework and capacities in line with international best practices to ensure it achieves sustainable growth considering the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy. EAB is a fully Shariah-compliant bank with seven…

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Ethiopian Airlines becomes the first African airline to trial IATA travel pass

ETHIOPIA – Africa’s most profitable airline, Ethiopian Airlines Group, has become the first African airline to conduct trial of IATA Travel Pass, a digital travel mobile app to enhance efficiency in testing or vaccine verifications. As air travel restarts, travellers need accurate COVID-19-related information like testing and vaccine requirements which vary among countries and the IATA Travel Pass initiative helps verify the authenticity of test information presented by travellers which is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers while complying with entry requirements of countries. The trial will be conducted…

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Ethiopian Airlines partners BGI Genomics to launch high-end COVID-19 testing lab at Bole International Airport

ETHIOPA – Ethiopian Airlines has joined hands with BGI Health Ethiopia, a subsidiary of China’s biotech giant, the BGI Genomics Co., Ltd, to launch high-end COVID-19 testing laboratory at its main hub and the continent’s busiest airport, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The testing centre is set to revitalize the passengers’ business by creating seamless travel experience that includes COVID-19 testing to passengers that are departing or transiting via Addis Ababa. The state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing lab is equipped with cutting-edge technologies to provide quick and accurate testing for passengers. Currently,…

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