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Russia set for talks with Ukraine In Belarus

The suggested conversation will be held in Minsk, according to the readout. [Image: courtesy]
Russia is said to be prepared to send delegates to Minsk, Belarus’s capital, to begin negotiations with Ukraine.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, stated this in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request.

“Following Zelensky’s suggestion to discuss Ukraine’s neutral status,” the readout stated, “Putin can send officials from the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry, and his administration to consultations with the Ukrainian delegation.”

The suggested conversation will be held in Minsk, according to the readout.

Russian soldiers have penetrated the Obolon neighborhood in the city’s north, just a few kilometers from its center, as previously reported. The forces looked to be closing in on Kyiv, putting tremendous pressure on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian soldiers are said to have forced Russian forces back by blowing up a municipal bridge in order to halt their advance.

Africa: The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Africa’s food supplies

In the same way, Ukraine exported agricultural goods worth $2.9 billion to Africa in 2020. Wheat made up around 48% of this, maize 31%, while sunflower oil, barley, and soybeans made up the balance. [Image: courtesy]
Africa—Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, wheat and other crops are once again at the center of geopolitics. In the global agriculture market, both nations play a significant role. Leaders in Africa must pay notice.

A substantial amount of agricultural commerce takes place between African nations and Russia and Ukraine. In 2020, African countries would import agricultural goods from Russia worth $4 billion. Wheat accounted for 90% of the total, with sunflower oil accounting for 6%. Egypt was the largest importer, accounting for about half of all shipments, followed by Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

In the same way, Ukraine exported agricultural goods worth $2.9 billion to Africa in 2020. Wheat made up around 48% of this, maize 31%, while sunflower oil, barley, and soybeans made up the balance.

In the global commodities market, Russia and Ukraine are major actors. Russia produces around 10% of the world’s wheat, whereas Ukraine produces only 4%. This is approximately equal to the total wheat production of the European Union. The wheat will be used for both domestic and foreign markets. Together, the two countries export a fourth of the world’s wheat. In 2020, Russia will account for 18% of the market, while Ukraine will account for 8%.

Both nations are also significant producers of maize, accounting for 4% of global maize output. Ukraine and Russia, on the other hand, contribute even more in terms of exports, accounting for 14% of global maize exports in 2020. In addition, both nations are major producers and exporters of sunflower oil. Ukraine’s sunflower oil exports will account for 40% of world exports in 2020, while Russia will account for 18% of global sunflower oil exports.

Some observers are concerned about Russia’s military activity. The danger is that escalating war would impede commerce, posing a serious threat to world food security.

These are my fears as well, notably the repercussions of large price increases in global grains and oilseeds. Since 2020, they’ve been one of the main causes of global food price increases. This is mostly due to dry weather in South America and Indonesia, which led in low harvests, as well as increased demand in China and India.

The African continent, which is a net importer of wheat and sunflower oil, is concerned about this. Furthermore, there are concerns about dryness in various parts of the continent. The disruption of commodity shipments would add to the widespread fear of food price increases in an area that imports wheat.

South African Province Clears Way for $10 Billion Coal Complex

In addition, the Chinese government has said that it would not invest in coal projects outside of China. [Image: courtesy]
South Africa—A Chinese-backed project to spend more than $10 billion developing a 4,600-megawatt coal-fired power station, a cooking facility, and ferroalloy and steel mills received environmental approval in South Africa’s Limpopo region.

According to South Africa’s Trade, Industry, and Competition ministry, the approval endorsed the formation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone, in which a number of Chinese businesses have vowed to invest.

The project, which is not included in the country’s emissions objectives, may face opposition at the national level from campaigners concerned about its impact on thousands of Baobab trees, which take hundreds of years to develop, water sources, and air pollution.

In addition, the Chinese government has said that it would not invest in coal projects outside of China.

The province recognized the possible impact on ancient tombs, but warned against air pollution, adding that mitigation measures would be required and that water would be transported from Zimbabwe. Nonetheless, the decision was justified by the fact that the province is the poorest in South Africa and has a high unemployment rate.

Senators from Zimbabwe pay visit to the Rwandan National Police.

Munyuza gave them an overview of the RNP’s history from its inception 21 years ago, emphasizing the force’s dedication to sharing information about Rwanda’s path to long-term peace and stability. [Image:courtesey]
Rwanda—On Friday, February 25, a group of Zimbabwean senators paid a visit to the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru, where they were welcomed by Inspector General of Police Dan Munyuza.

Senators from the Zimbabwean Parliament’s Thematic Committee on Peace and Security visited RNP to learn about Rwanda’s internal security administration, including community policing and participation in peacekeeping deployments.

Charity Manyeruke, the Zimbabwean ambassador to Rwanda, and Jeanne Chantal Ujeneza, the Deputy IGP in charge of Administration and Personnel, were also present at the meeting.

Munyuza gave them an overview of the RNP’s history from its inception 21 years ago, emphasizing the force’s dedication to sharing information about Rwanda’s path to long-term peace and stability.

RNP was formed in June 2000 after the merger of three agencies: the Gendarmerie, which was under the Ministry of Defence, the Police Communale, which was under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Judicial Police, which was under the Ministry of Justice. The goal was to create an organized, well-coordinated, and professional police force capable of dealing effectively with security challenges.

“RNP began with a force of 3,000 personnel and has since increased its capacity and capability by more than five-fold. RNP, in collaboration with other government agencies, has been at the forefront of ensuring that Rwandans are safe, secure, and involved over the years. “Through community-centered policing, the RNP has implemented a ‘all-inclusive’ approach to people’s protection,” IGP Munyuza remarked.

“The strategic guidance from President of the Republic, H.E Paul Kagame, to RNP has been that, in order for a country to thrive and progress, its citizens must be involved in policy formation and implementation at all levels,” he continued. This is why, in the battle against crime and keeping Rwanda safe and secure, we have always cooperated with the people.”

RNP has been at the vanguard of ensuring security not just at home, but also overseas in peacekeeping missions, according to IGP Munyuza.

The RNP is now serving in four peacekeeping missions: the Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, Abyei, and Haiti, as well as a counter-terrorism unit in Mozambique.

Qatari investors encouraged to look into Mozambique’s energy and manufacturing industries.

During the meeting, Nyusi met with HE Sheikh Faisal, who welcomed the president and emphasized Qatari businessmen’s desire to collaborate with their Mozambican counterparts. [Image: courtesy]
Mozambique—President Felipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique has urged Qatari investors to look into the infrastructure, energy, gas, fisheries, transportation, agricultural, real estate development, and mining sectors in the East African country.

HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA), made the statement at a meeting with Nyusi on the fringes of the president’s visit to Doha. The purpose of the meeting is to introduce Mozambique and its investment opportunities.

During the meeting, Nyusi met with HE Sheikh Faisal, who welcomed the president and emphasized Qatari businessmen’s desire to collaborate with their Mozambican counterparts.

Sheikh Faisal also stated his desire to learn more about Mozambique’s investment climate, emphasizing that the Qatari private sector “is constantly looking forward to researching and searching for new investment opportunities.”

Nyusi emphasized that Mozambique has become a popular investment destination due to the country’s enormous oil and gas reserves, as well as its agriculture sector, which is one of the country’s most important industries.

Sheikh Faisal emphasized his interest in studying the Mozambique market and relevant business opportunities at the conclusion of the meeting, emphasizing the need of developing new markets, expanding cooperation, and forging strong relationships between the two countries.

In 2021, the volume of trade between Qatar and Mozambique was estimated to reach around QR71 million.

Protesting students shut down South Sudan embassy in Cairo

South Sudanese students studying at Suez Canal University are being requested to pay tuition costs that they should not have to pay due to the scholarship arrangement, according to a statement sent to Sudan Post this morning. [Image: courtesy]
CAIRO, Egypt—Students at Suez Canal University shut down South Sudan’s embassy in Cairo this morning, alleging that the mission had broken scholarship agreements signed by the students.

South Sudanese students studying at Suez Canal University are being requested to pay tuition costs that they should not have to pay due to the scholarship arrangement, according to a statement sent to Sudan’s Post this morning.

“With great respect and admiration, we, South Sudanese students at Suez University, are releasing this press statement to the minister of higher education and the entire government of South Sudan in order to put a stop to this crisis,” they said in the statement.

They then went on to explain why they had chosen to demonstrate.

“The issue is a scholarship irregularity that the university has grossly infringed to the point of valor.”

“We have six distinct departments in the faculty of petroleum and mining engineering: petroleum engineering, petroleum exploration and production engineering, refinery and petrochemical engineering, metallurgy and materials engineering, mining and surveying engineering, and geology and geophysical engineering.”

“Department number two in the above is the issue of students being approached for money” (tuition fees). Why is this department not regarded similarly to other departments, and which item in the scholarship agreement states that it should be treated differently despite being in the same faculty?

“According to the scholarship agreement, this is a serious violation of specialty, and it should be investigated.” Any student admitted to the faculty has the right to specialize in any department of the faculty, according to the agreement. It is the only university that refuses to follow the scholarship agreement.

Botswana and Zimbabwe in action to strengthen economic ties

President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks to his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi at Munhumutapa Offices in Harare.-(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Africa—The neighboring countries of Zimbabwe and Botswana have committed to strengthening economic cooperation as they aim to boost their trade and industry growth potential.

The Third Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission’s Ministerial Conference in Victoria Falls on Thursday saw the two countries agree on the need to increase economic growth possibilities.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister and Botswana’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister have vowed to strengthen economic cooperation as the two countries seek to improve their trade and industry growth prospects.

The Third Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission’s Ministerial Conference in Victoria Falls on Thursday saw the two countries agree on the need to increase economic growth possibilities.

Ambassador Frederick Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade emphasized the importance of economic cooperation in developing relations between the two countries.

“In our bilateral relations, economic cooperation should be a strong pillar.” “I’ve noticed that bilateral trade is on the decline in 2020, which is unacceptable given our proximity,” Ambassador Shava stated.

“Our level of economic collaboration is also concerning. We must further up our efforts in this area by finalizing agreements on the enabling legal instruments and agenda items under discussion at the BNC this session.”

Ambassador Shava also discussed the outstanding agreements from the BNC’s second session.

“It took a long time for us to come to an agreement on the necessity to modernize the Plumtree-Ramokgwebana Border Post to a One-Stop Border Post,” I said. With the ones between Zimbabwe and Zambia at Chirundu and Botswana and Zambia at Kazungula, we already reap the benefits of such a facility. “A One-Stop Border Post facilitates trade by reducing freight and passenger transit times and transportation expenses,” he said.

“There should be no further delays in concluding instruments such as the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Development and the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic, Trade, and Investment Promotion, among others.” When completed, these instruments have the potential to boost our countries’ economic and commercial relations.”

Zimbabwe’s overall exports to Botswana in 2018 were valued 19.2 million US dollars, according to Zimtrade. The necessity of economic cooperation in enhancing bilateral relations was emphasized.

Bird strikes, delayed, and canceled flights cost Nigerian Airlines $60 million and N60 billion in 2021.

According to Onyema, Air Peace alone experienced 14 bird strikes in 2021 that harmed its engines, while the airline has experienced four bird strikes so far in 2022. [Image:courtesy]
The Nigerian airline industry’s umbrella body, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), has lamented the loss of $60 million and N60 billion in 2021 due to bird strikes, delayed flights, and cancelled flights, respectively.

The AON also stated that it never forced any of its members to fix the current contentious N50,000 minimum base fare on any economy seat to any of the country’s airports, claiming that the fares have always existed.

The leadership of the AON, speaking on Friday at the airline’s secretariat at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) in Lagos, lamented poor infrastructure at all of the country’s airports as one of the major challenges confronting the airline’s growth, stressing that this is costing them billions of naira annually.

On behalf of the others, Barr. Allen Onyema, Vice President of AON, said that instead of blaming the operating airlines for flight delays and cancellations, the traveling public should be informed about the bad infrastructure at airports, which he claims caused the delays and cancellations.

He claimed that the bad working environment in Nigeria was to blame for 99 percent of delayed and canceled flights, and he urged government agencies to enhance ground facilities for the sake of the traveling public.

According to Onyema, Air Peace alone experienced 14 bird strikes in 2021 that harmed its engines, while the airline has experienced four bird strikes so far in 2022.

Apart from that, he stated that Air Peace reimbursed over N1 billion to passengers in one month due to delayed and cancelled flights, while Aero Contractors refunded over N500 million in January 2022 due to the same reasons.

He argued that this would not have happened if the agency in charge of chasing away the wildlife had done its job properly, and that reimbursements for delayed and cancelled flights would have gone to the airlines’ pockets as well.

‘The issue of bird strikes has been highly concerning, and this has an impact on safety,’ he said. Last year, Air Peace alone had 14 bird strikes, and we’ve already had four this year. The airlines aren’t supposed to be pursuing wildlife. It costs millions of dollars to replace just one engine.

2 Nigerian rappers in custody over drug possession and abuse

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Mohbad and Zinoleesky are two well-known rappers in the country who have hit songs that have been exported across the continent and beyond the world. [Image: courtesy]
LAGOS, Nigeria—In a dawn raid on their apartment in Lagos’ commercial hub, Nigeria’s narcotics department arrested two popular singers and four people with illicit drugs, according to an official.

Femi Babafemi, a spokesperson for the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, told AFP that rappers Zinoleesky and Mohbad, as well as four other suspects, were found with cannabis and “Molly,” a term for MDMA, in their home and car.

“In the early hours of today, our operatives stormed the residence in Idado estate,” he stated.

“Four males and two ladies were arrested as suspects. Their flat and automobile had small amounts of Cannabis sativa and ‘Molly.'”

After an inquiry, Babafemi said the individuals would be charged in court.

Mohbad and Zinoleesky are two well-known rappers in the country who have hit songs that have been exported across the continent and beyond the world.

On YouTube, Mohbad’s smash “Feel Good” has over four million views.

Last year, the two rappers were signed to the recording company of Naira Marley, a well-known Nigerian rapper and Afropop singer.

Marley, who had his own run-in with the government over suspected computer fraud, took to Instagram to express his displeasure at the two’s arrests.

Malawi’s 2022 budget focuses on economic growth

Malawi has rebased its nominal GDP, which currently stands at 8.2 trillion kwacha (about 10.9 billion USD) as part of its recovery efforts. [Image: courtesy]
Malawi has taken a long time to recover after a severe storm hit the nation in 2019 and the impacts of the COVID19 epidemic that followed.

Malawi has rebased its nominal GDP, which currently stands at 8.2 trillion kwacha (about 10.9 billion USD) as part of its recovery efforts.

Domestic revenue is expected to reach 1.2 billion kwacha, mostly from taxes and levies. Early in February, he stated at the start of the national budget meeting for 2022/23 that the economic recovery measures being implemented as part of the government’s socio-economic reform plan will assist the country’s GDP rise by 4.1 percent this fiscal year.

Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun is joined by Hubert Patrick Nanthambwe, a Malawian development economist working in Kenya, on Business Edge to discuss Malawi’s 2022 budget, which focuses on growth.

“The economy of Malawi has been performing well, especially since 2016,” adds. “However, the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the cyclone were felt in 2020 and 2021 following 2019.”

The impacts were most visible in Malawi’s GDP, which shrank by 0.8 percent. Similarly, before 2019, Malawian people’s well-being was improving, with a 1.8 percent gain in per capita GDP, which was mostly reversed the following year. To make up for the shortfall, the government borrowed heavily to close the deficit.

All of these appear to be taken into account in the 2022/23 budget, which includes 11.1 billion kwacha in social cash transfers to sustain a segment of the population the government refers to as “ultra-poor,” as well as 820 billion kwacha in development spending.

Nonetheless, as Malawi begins on this economic recovery and growth phase, its debt is a source of concern. Malawi’s government intends to borrow 237 billion kwacha from abroad to cover the deficit in its budget.

“Like many other African countries, Malawi is deeply indebted: its debt profile is now about 8 trillion kwacha,” says Hubert Patrick Nanthambwe (452 billion dollars). To avoid delaying the country’s development, it will restructure its domestic obligations to have a longer maturity time.