- Ethiopia eases load shedding Programme after water level rises:
Ethiopia’s minister for water and electricity, Seleshi Bekele on Monday lifted measures rationing electricity for homes and companies after a rise in water levels at hydroelectric dams, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting said. Fana quoted the minister saying the changes were prompted by an increase in water levels at the country’s Gibe 3 dam. Seleshi had said in May when announcing the rationing that the drop in water levels at Gibe 3 dam had led to a deficit of 476 megawatts, more than a third of the country’s electricity generation of 1,400 MW. Companies will be allowed 50% of their power needs for the next 15 days during the day and 100% of needs from 11p.m. to 5 a.m. as part of the reduced load shedding programme, he said. Load shedding temporarily reduces supply of power to an area of the grid when demand exceeds its supply. Fana quoted Seleshi as saying power to the grid was also expected to increase when electricity from another dam, the Genale Dawa 3, is inaugurated next month. The dam has an installed capacity of 254 MW. Under the rationing programme announced in May, domestic consumers faced blackouts for several hours each day, while cement and steel firms had to operate fewer shifts due to the cuts, Seleshi said at the time.
- Afreximbank announces $1B adjustments facility, other AfCFTA measures:
President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Benedict Oramah on Monday in Niamey, Niger addressed the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State, announcing a series of initiatives to support the implementation of the Agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).Oramah told the heads of state, who were gathered to mark the start of the operational phase of the AfCFTA, that Afreximbank was instituting a $1-billion AfCFTA Adjustment Facility to enable countries adjust in an orderly manner to sudden significant tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the agreement. “This facility will help countries to accelerate the ratification of the AfCFTA, by starting the operational phase of the AfCFTA, “you have started a movement. You must not look back,” continued the President. “This movement is now unstoppable,” he said.
- Traders to use shilling on new platform:
Kenyan traders can now sell goods and services across Africa using local currency after the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) launched a digital payments platform. Afreximbank President Benedict Oramah told the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State in Niamey, Niger that the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) will see each African country use its own currency in any transaction, doing away with the traditional reliance on the US dollar as the sole currency for cross-border trade payment. “PAPSS, developed in collaboration with the African Union is a platform that will domesticate intra-regional payments saving the continent more than Sh500 billion in payment transactional costs per annum while formalizing an estimated Sh5 trillion intra-African trade,” he said. Kenya is banking on improved relations with its partner Africa states to export processed goods to increase earnings that dipped for the third year running to Sh216.2 billion in 2018.Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said free intra-Africa trade would increase intra-Africa trade from the current 17 percent compared to intra-Europe trade (60 percent), USA (40 percent) and Asia at 30 percent.
- Cotton output to hit decade high:
Cotton production this year is expected to triple compared to last year, marking one of the highest yields to have been recorded in the last decade. Fiber Crops Directorate forecasts production will increase from 10,672 tonnes realized last year to 30,000 tonnes. Increased production has been attributed to better investment and incentives to farmers as the government moves in to spur manufacturing under the Big Four agenda where President Uhuru Kenyatta is targeting manufacturing, affordable housing, universal healthcare and agriculture. “We will be witnessing tremendous harvest of cotton this year in a decade because of the investment that we have put on farmers to spur production in line with the government’s big four agenda,” said Naomi Kamau, head of directorate fiber crops. However, she noted that production will be slightly less than what had been projected because of harsh weather conditions witnessed during the current crop season.
Kindly note that the above mentioned news have been extracted and googled thru the various local news papers from African continent
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