Russia’s S7 Airlines and Aeroflot to start flying to Morocco in their destination expansion plans

MOROCCO – Russian carriers S7 Airlines and Aeroflot are set to start flying to Casablanca, Morocco, as part of plans to expand their travel destinations. Flights to Casablanca’s Mohammed V International (CMN) will begin on April 30 before switching to a Sunday service from May 9. The route, which will be S7’s first to Morocco, will be operated using Boeing 737-800s. The airline will become the second carrier to serve DME-CMN this summer alongside fellow oneworld alliance member Royal Air Maroc. Morocco’s flag-carrier currently provides 2X-weekly flights, set to increase…

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Russia overtakes Egypt to become second biggest buyer of Kenyan tea

KENYA – Russia has overtaken Egypt as the second biggest buyer of Kenyan tea in August, signalling gains from a two-year campaign by the Kenya’s Tea Directorate to woo customers in the world’s largest country. Data from the directorate indicate that in August, Russia bought 2.3 million kilogrammes of tea, which was 40 percent more compared with the same period last year. This saw Russia overtake Egypt, which for the longest time has been the second key buyer of the Kenyan commodity after Pakistan. Pakistan maintained the top same spot…

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Egypt receives more railway passenger vehicles from Russia

EGYPT – Egypt has received a total of 13 new railway passenger vehicles from Russia to enhance capacity of the country’s railway transport system. According to a statement by Egypt’ Minister of Transport Kamel Al-Wazir, the 13 new vehicles arrived at Egypt’s Alexandria Port from Russia in August this year and are part of a deal to manufacture and supply 1,300 new vehicles. Their arrival, according to the minister totals the number of passenger vehicle received so far to 46- third class vehicles with dynamic ventilation. He further noted that…

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Russia supports Rwanda in the establishment of nuclear technology

RWANDA – The government of Rwanda and Russia have a signed an agreement for the establishment of a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology in the country. The pact was signed on the sidelines of the just-concluded Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia. The agreement was signed by Minister for Infrastructure Claver Gatete on behalf of Rwanda and the Director General of Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom Alexey Likhachev. The agreement lays ground for the establishment of Center for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) with the latest technology of a 10…

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Oil reliant economies, oil companies risk losing their credit ratings due to free falling prices

GLOBAL – The world’s top rating agencies have said that the sharp drop in oil prices, if sustained, could cause a wave of sovereign downgrades as well as heavy multi-notch rating cuts to junk-rated oil and gas firms. According to Jan Friederich, Fitch’s top Middle East and Africa sovereign analyst, the recent plummeting of oil prices was putting countries from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Oman to Nigeria and Angola were at a disadvantaged position. “Countries that are in a somewhat vulnerable external position and have a fixed exchange rate are…

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Oil prices jumps by 8% as US producer slash spending and govt promises economic stimulus package

GLOBAL – Oil prices which have been free falling in the past months finally jumped over 8% on Tuesday, bouncing from the biggest dip in nearly 30 years a day earlier. According to a report by Reuters, the possibility of economic stimulus from the Trump administration and the move by U.S. producers to slash spending could have resulted in price appreciation due to increased demand. U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged “major” steps to gird the U.S. economy against the impact of the spreading coronavirus outbreak.  Japan’s government has also…

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Saudi Arabia declares oil war after OPEC+ fail to agree on oil cuts

SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia has said that it will ramp up its output to above 10 million barrels per day (bpd) and further slash the cost of its own crude oil in April. The decision was made after a meeting of OPEC+ failed to agree on further oil cuts. A report by Reuters described the decision by Saudi Arabia as a detonation of a metaphorical nuclear weapon in the global oil market. The OSP for Saudi Aramco’s benchmark Arab Light grade was cut by $6 a barrel for Asian…

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Nigeria secures US$1.46bn from Russia, Afreximbank for Ajaokuta completion

NIGERIA– The Federal Government has said that the Russian government and Afreximbank will provide up to US$1.46bn to fund the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited. The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who disclosed this in Lagos said a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed by the Nigerian and Russian governments in January for the project. The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, agreed in October 2019 at the Russia-Africa Summit to pursue the completion of all abandoned projects initiated by…

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Nigeria secures key fertilizer production ingredient from Russia to boost local production

NIGERIA – The Federal Government on Monday entered into an agreement with a Russian firm, Uralchem, on fertiliser production in Nigeria. The signing which was done under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) will see Russia supply Nigeria potash, a key ingredient for the production of fertiliser to cut down the wholesale importation of fertiliser into the country. The signing ceremony took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji, signed on behalf of the Nigerian government while Uralchem’s…

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Nigeria seeks Russian, Chinese support in quest to expand rail network

NIGERIA – The Federal Government has started negotiations for the commencement of the construction of the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said. Ameachi said the ongoing negotiations were between Nigeria and the Chinese government for the project that would stretch from Rivers to Borno State. The rail line, according to Amaechi, will go through several states including Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Nasarawa, Rivers, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe and Yobe. The minister also stated that the Federal Government would continue its negotiations…

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