Rwanda receives US$3.6m from EU to revamp labs for Covid-19 vaccine production

RWANDA – The government of Rwanda has signed a Rwf3.6 billion (US$3.6 million) partnership with the European Union to help upgrade the country’s laboratory capacity to help it attract investors to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines. The funds will be used to strengthen the Foods and Drugs Authority’s quality control for medical products to enable the regulator to acquire the necessary certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO). “What we signed is a step to revamp and also strengthen the Rwanda Foods and Drugs Authority. The money we will receive from the EU will support…

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Kenya Airways hires consultancy firm to guide its turnaround strategy

KENYA – Kenya Airways (KQ), the flag carrier airline of Kenya has picked a British consultancy firm, Steer Group, to guide it on the most viable turnaround strategy options in the face of deepening financial losses and depressed passenger numbers. The airline’s  chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka said the London-based consultancy firm took up the assignment in May 2021 and will be retained for three months. “Kenya Airways has come up with short, medium, and long-term strategies to help in realising two main objectives.” “The first is to survive the…

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Kenya seeks another debt service suspension to June 2022

KENYA –  The government of Kenya has sought the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) extension to June 2022, a one-year extension from the earlier granted June 30, 2021, debt service suspension secured in January. Besides the relief under the DSSI, the country is also pursuing new limits access to International Monetary Fund funds through the reallocation of existing special drawing rights and the allocation of new special drawing rights. Such facility will allow faster access of disbursements from the IMF Rapid Credit facility and the Rapid Finance Instrument, granted to countries…

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IMF revises Kenya’s 2021 economic growth forecast to 7.6%

KENYA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised Kenya’s 2021 economic growth forecast upwards from 4.7% to 7.6% after reaching a financing agreement with Kenyan government. In February 16, 2021, IMF revealed that it had reached a US$2.4 billion financing agreement with Kenya to support the country’s Covid-19 response and to reduce the level of debt relative to the GDP. The IMF program is based on revenue-led fiscal consolidation and strong economic growth. East Africa’s largest economy expects a steady increase in tax revenue from the main tax revenue…

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Madagascar reaches deal with IMF for US$320m financing

MADAGASCAR – The government of Madagascar has reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the disbursement of US$320 million to support the country’s economic reforms. In an official statement, the Fund said the new deal is an Extended Credit Facility set up to assist the country in the implementation of its economic reforms whose  goal is to support the post-Covid-19 recovery, improve and sustain inclusive growth and reduce poverty. Last year, Madagascar suffered an economic decline of more than 4% due to the harsh blow to the…

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IMF loans Kenya US$2.4b for budget support to weather Covid-19 hardships

KENYA – The government of Kenya is set to receive a US$2.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for budget support to weather the Covid-19 pandemic economic hardships. International Monetary Fund (IMF) said this week that the two have inked the deal for the 38-month credit facility whose disbursement will start in the coming weeks. Kenya had sought the loan from IMF in December 2020, making it the second following the US$739 million received in May, that Kenya applied to help it respond to the economic shocks caused…

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Kenya in fresh quest for US$626m debt service suspension

KENYA – Kenya is in a new quest in its debt service relief request to all its bilateral lenders, hoping to save US$626 million, the country’s National Treasury has said. The move comes days after a decision by the Paris Club of international decision to give Kenya a US$300 million loan repayment break to help ease the financial distresses linked to Covid-19. The Treasury said that it had expanded the bid for reprieve from servicing its looming debt payment obligations under the landmark debt relief initiative – known as the…

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IMF completes review of the CAR’s arrangement under the ECF, approves US$34.4m disbursement

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the first and second reviews of the Central African Republic’s (CAR) economic and financial program supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement which now enables the disbursement of US$ 34.4 million, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to US$ 51.6 million. In completing the two reviews, the Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for waiver of non-observance of performance criteria. CAR’s ECF arrangement was originally approved by the Executive Board on December 20, 2019…

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IMF disburses US$488m to Angola for Covid -19 impacts mitigation

ANGOLA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board has approved the disbursement of US$488 million to Angola, just four months after the lender increased the loan size by almost a quarter to US$4.5 billion, to help Angola survive the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which began in 2018, aims to overhaul the country’s economy with reforms to reduce its dependence on oil and lower its debt burden. Last year, a sharp drop in crude prices, stemming from the pandemic, forced Angola to seek…

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Eurobond holders reject Zambia’s US$3b payment deferral request

ZAMBIA – Zambia’s US$3 billion Eurobond holders have rejected a request from the Southern Africa’s nation government to defer interest payments, risking it to become Africa’s first COVID-19 era sovereign default. The government of Zambia had requested its Eurobond holders to grant it a deferral of interest payments until April 2021, as it struggled with the dual burdens of fighting the pandemic and a dwindling economy. However, The Zambia External Bondholder Committee, which holds more than 40% across all Zambia’s bonds and a blocking stake in each issue, had already…

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