Thursday, April 18

Countries

Rise In Consumer Expenditure
  • The increasing food prices have majorly occasioned the rise in consumer expenditure. 
  • In the review period, 50 per cent of the Kenyans polled indicated static income levels over the last year
  • 53 per cent of Kenyans polled allocated less than 10 per cent of their income to travel and leisure expenditures.

The slight drop in inflation in Kenya has failed to soften the impact of Increased consumer spending after posting a 42 per cent rise in spending in the past six months. This is after a new survey showed that the country posted a six per cent rise in Kenyan expenditures compared to the preceding three months, which ended December 2023.

According to the latest spending index from ICEA LION Group, Kenyans’ spending escalated by 6 per cent from January to March this year. However, this growth was more subdued than the previous quarter, which witnessed a 36 per

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cybercrime ring in Zambia
  • A total of 77 people, including 22 Chinese and a Cameroonian, all suspects in an elaborate cybercrime ring in Zambia targeting thousands of people across the world, have been arrested in a crackdown. 
  • Masquerading as call centre agents, Zambian youth were recruited into conning people via Telegram and WhatsApp platforms.
  • Authorities in Zambia say the scam affected people in Singapore, Peru, the UAE, and some African countries.

In Zambia’s posh Roma district, the morning African sun barely peeked through the offices of Golden Top Support Services. This company had promised scores of respectable jobs to young Zambians as call centre agents.

Instead, it had covertly plunged them into the depths of a sprawling cybercrime syndicate. This chilling reality came to light following a decisive raid led by the country’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), exposing a narrative that conjures up the global challenges of cybercrime.

This operation was a huge score …

Africa's economic growth
  • Following a slow recovery from the debilitating impact of COVID-19, Africa’s economic growth declined to an estimated 3.8 per cent in 2022 and later deteriorated to 3.3 per cent in 2023.
  • Africa is not immune to economic shocks and has recently faced a multi-crisis situation.
  • African countries have posted more than 5 per cent output expansions in 2024.

Africas economic outlook

Before COVID-19, Africa experienced 20 years of solid growth and made tangible economic and social progress. However, the COVID crisis brought this progress to an abrupt halt, and many countries, which are under increasingly tight budget constraints, struggled to invest in essential sectors amidst recovering from the aftermath of the health crisis.

Following a slow recovery from the debilitating impact of COVID-19, Africa’s economic growth declined to an estimated 3.8 per cent in 2022 and later deteriorated to 3.3 per cent in 2023.

However, according to a recent UN …

HIV/AIDS in Africa
  • Using Nobel-Prize-winning CRISPR gene-editing technology, scientists have made a huge stride in eliminating HIV from infected body cells.
  • Research from the University of Amsterdam is promising a future where the complete eradication of the virus could become a reality.
  • With an estimated 25.6 million people living with HIV in Africa, the continent remains at the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

A new scientific breakthrough is offering hope in the battle against the HIV/AIDS virus that has long evaded a definitive cure, leaving millions of people in Africa devastated.

By harnessing the precision of Nobel-Prize-winning CRISPR gene-editing technology, scientists say they have made a huge stride in eliminating HIV from infected body cells.

This innovative approach, akin to using molecular scissors, can excise the DNA such that HIV can be entirely removed and or inactivated in patients.

This development presented by a University of Amsterdam team of scientists at a …

Husseim Bashe Farming in Tanzania | Tanzania's agriculture sector
  • Tanzania’s agriculture sector holds one-third of the country’s GDP and employs 75 per cent of the population.
  • The government target is to raise crop exports by 48 per cent to $3.5 billion by 2025 as food shipments rise to overtake the value that Tanzania earns from its traditional export crops.
  • Tanzania earned over $1.2 billion with the export of agricultural commodities in 2020.

An outlook into Tanzania’s agriculture sector

Numbers show that farmers are Tanzania’s most essential workforce. Tanzania’s agriculture sector holds one-third of the country’s GDP and employs 75 per cent of the population.

Available data shows that approximately 80 per cent of Tanzania’s exports are agricultural products such as coffee, cotton, sisal, tea, cashew nuts and tobacco, to mention a few.

From 2014 to 2020, the above crops benefitted the nation’s export baskets. Tanzania earned over $1.2 billion with the export of agricultural commodities in 2020, according to …

FGM ban The Gambia
  • In Gambia, two opposing sides clash over whether to repeal or keep an existing FGM ban.
  • This contest pits influential Muslim clerics, who are supporting a new bill seeking to repeal a 2015 law that banned FGM, against women rights activists.
  • The Supreme Islamic Council of the Gambia has already issued a strong condemnation of anyone who denounces FGM.

The Gambia, one of the smallest countries in Africa, has been thrust into the global limelight as two opposing sides clash over whether to repeal or keep an existing FGM ban.

This contest pits influential Muslim clerics, who are supporting a new bill seeking to repeal a 2015 law that banned female genital mutilation (FGM) against women rights activists, who seek to have the law stay in place.

In the last week, supporters of the cut have thronged the country’s streets seeking the lifting FGM ban, which has been in place …

Military takeover in Niger
  • Months after the Military takeover in Niger, the African Development Bank (AfDB) forecasts the country’s GDP to jump by 11.2 per cent in 2024, following growth of 4.3 per cent in 2023.
  • Niger has removed its military support agreements with the French and the US, respectively.
  • Niger becomes the third country, following Mali and Burkina Faso, to experience a military takeover.

Growth projections after the Military takeover in Niger

“Imperialist France”, “Down with France”, and “Chani (name of the Niger coup leader)” are a few energetic words chanted by the thousands of supporters and demonstrators who demanded the French troops leave Niger.

The latter reflects what is now referred to by the military regime as a people-led democracy. The question that then arises is; Could Africa be experiencing a withdrawal period from the grim historical chains of its colonial era, particularly the Francophone nations, Niger to be exact?

“I have …

EU-Egypt Strategic partnership
  • The three-year EU-Egypt strategic partnership aims to facilitate economic reforms and avert a migration crisis within the region.
  • The triennial agreement represents the latest endeavour by the bloc to prevent refugees from traversing the Mediterranean.

EU-Egypt strategic partnership

EU leaders have finalised a deal worth $7.4 billion with Egypt to bolster the nation’s struggling economy. This move seeks to foster stability within the “troubled” region and prevent a new European migration crisis.

The three-year EU-Egypt strategic partnership includes $5 billion in soft loans to facilitate economic reforms, $1.8 billion to encourage private sector investments, and $600 million in grants. Of these grants, $200 million is allocated for migration management.

Following months of intense and productive diplomatic engagement between the EU and Egypt, six EU leaders journeyed to Cairo on Sunday, as stated by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.”

The visit occurred just days following allegations by members of the European …

South Sudan is in economic crisis
  • Over a decade since gaining independence, South Sudan continues to be affected by fragility, economic stagnation, and instability.
  • South Sudan’s economy is clouded by production bottlenecks in the oil sector, with production dwindling in the face of limited new investment.
  • The susceptibility of South Sudan to climate change and natural calamities exacerbates the nation’s economic challenges, threatening the progress of growth and development initiatives.

The Republic of South Sudan emerged as the world’s newest sovereign state and the 54th country in Africa on July 9, 2011. However, the progress of development post-independence was significantly hampered by civil war outbreaks in 2013 and 2016, which also aggravated the humanitarian crisis.

Over a decade since gaining independence, South Sudan continues to be affected by fragility, economic stagnation, and instability. Pervasive poverty is further intensified by ongoing conflict, displacement, and external shocks.

Crisis facing the oil and energy sector

Oil production is …

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