Browsing: IMF

Over 22 million people face a dire lack of food in the Horn of Africa. Climate change, Russia-Ukraine war worsening food shortage in EAC as Tanzania invests millions of dollars to develop over 12 irrigation schemes in one year. Photo/ABCNews

The Horn of Africa region – Eritirea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti and Somali – has faced persistent food shortages due to a mix of climatic conditions and conflict in some parts of the region. Over 22 million people face a dire lack of food, a decade after setting the global sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Four consecutive seasons of failed rains in the region and in Northern Kenya has threatened to further exacerbate the food situation in the Horn.

The single known reason why rains are failing in what is supposed to be the world’s most rain rich region is climate change, and that is not a natural disaster, it is man made.

Also Read: The economics of harvesting rain

Weather patterns have changed. Seasons have become unpredictable. The phenomenon explains itself, weather, by definition is the condition of the atmosphere at any given time, but climate is the noted weather patterns …

 

World trade is increasingly relying on new technologies to meet demand and Asia is likely to take centre stage in the future of global trade.

Analysts predict Southeast Asia will be the world’s busiest trade area by trade volume.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that billions of dollars are already been invested in warehouses and distribution centers across with ports investing in automated vehicles and cranes to increase efficiency and cut costs in the long term.

Trade in the modern world is global. Flow of goods, services, capital, people and data connects us all. Value chains of even the smallest of daily consumer products are global. Raw, a raw material from Africa is developed in Asia and consumed in the Americas -, that is the modern world and countries that wish to be competitive must adopt.

However, this view of a ‘world village’ is changing, in the wake

At the close of 2022, between September to December, food prices soared around the world and with no signs of this abating in 2023, countries in Africa will have to move with speed to mitigate a looming food crisis. 

Food inflation is particularly pronounced and severe in low-income and middle-income countries. According to most recent sector reports, up to 94.1% of low-income countries around the world suffer food inflation.

With increasing food prices, the cost of living is increasing, and it is no better in lower-middle-income countries of which 92.9% are contending with food inflation.

Also Read: Starvation, death threaten Horn of Africa stability 

Even the upper-middle-income countries are also facing food inflation with 89% reporting unprecedented double-digit inflation. 

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), maize prices in December 2022 went up by 27% while wheat shot up 13% higher compared to the same period in 2021.

As we

Before the Covid-19 Pandemic struck, East African countries had a common agenda to invest in infrastructure development.
As the three main economies of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda they sought to become competitive and attractive investment destinations, the issue of borrowing in foreign currencies created the debt burden they face today.
The mega investments in roads, railways, ports and aviation, have all been challenges, as low revenue collections and high recurrent expenditures continue to plague their respective governments.

Most of the countries have no choice but borrow to bridge budget deficits. According to the IMF, the major EAC nations, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, together, had borrowed more than $100 billion in both external and domestic borrowing.

With the global economy in teeters post Covid-19 and the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, economies worldwide are contracting, leaving East African nations in a perilous situation.

According to the IMF, about

The world has in recent months witnessed a dramatic turnabout on the future of nuclear energy, mainly in the developed countries.

This is on the back of the Russia-Ukraine war which has seen post-pandemic energy shortages turn into a full-blown energy crisis.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), nuclear power plants slated for closure across Europe have been given “an 11th hour reprieve.

Japan has announced, after a decade of paralysis, that it plans to restart many of its reactors, which have sat idle since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

France, which had launched plans to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy during President Macron’s first term, reversed course and now, plans to build at least six new reactors and a dozen smaller modular reactors.

The UK on the other hand recently launched an ambitious plan to build eight new reactors and16 small modular reactors.

Even anti-nuclear Germany

Kenya’s President William Ruto has asked his Cabinet Secretaries to act fast to deliver on his administration’s development programmes, “with speed and efficiency”.

“We made important promises to the people of Kenya, especially those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. And we must deliver,” the president said.

According to Ruto, there are no excuses not to deliver his mandate adding that the government must work as a team and drive the interests of the people.

He was speaking at a cabinet retreat on the implementation of the government’s development priorities for 2023.

In the run up to the August 2022 General Elections, Ruto gave a number of promises under his bottoms-up economic plan.He unveiled a five-point manifesto dubbed ‘The Plan’, which he said would address Kenya’s economic challenges.

Economic recovery in a post-Covid era was one of his main objectives. Ruto also pledged to invest at least Sh250 billion …

  • Africa produces more fertilizer than it consumes yet it imports to meet demand gaps
  • Poor inter-country trade facilities affect fertilizer supply chain within the continent
  • Developed countries use up to seven times more fertilizer per hectare than Africa

Recent reports show that fertiliser prices have tripled since early 2020 and remain volatile, putting a previous stable supply of fertiliser out of reach of many small farmers impacting food security across the continent.

The reason for this decline in access to fertilizers and hence the increase in global prices has been two fold; first the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains then the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbated the shortage.

There are other reasons like restricted supply caused by increased export taxes and even complete export bans by various countries. However, these policy restrictions, which in most cases are meant to protect the farmers of the exporting countries, all came into play owing to …

Sierra Leone's government may have to impose severe austerity measures.  These measures will address inefficiencies and inadequacies in allocating and administrating public resources. However, all hands must be on deck within these economic management measures. This will secure the ring-fencing of money for essential objectives like education, livelihood preservation, and health. These objectives remain critical to maintaining social stability and a rapid return to the economic recovery path.…

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Ghana competes in the global economy primarily using natural resources. Other than the usual exports of cocoa, gold, lumber, and crude oil, Ghana has a competitive advantage in numerous product categories. Increasing the proportion of high-income commodities in the export basket hastens economic transition.

The opportunity is providing better, economically advantageous items to regional and worldwide markets. Cocoa processing, wood processing, aluminium products, palm oil, food and agro-processing, and fish processing are examples of manufacturing sub-sectors that fit these two requirements.

Manufacturing subsectors that capture considerable proportions of manufacturing value-added, such as food and drinks, chemicals, and textiles, have significant technology, knowledge, and skills inherent in them. These assets can be used to produce additional goods within the sub-sector or even outside of it. It is also easier to go up the value chain after you have mastered relevant technologies and markets.…

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The Gambia has a small economy that relies primarily on agriculture, tourism, and remittances for support. It remains heavily dependent on the agriculture sector.  The Gambia can bank on these sectors for economic growth and to repay their debt.

Gambian agriculture has been characterized by subsistence production of food crops comprising cereals (early millet, late millet, maize, sorghum, rice), and semi-intensive cash crop production (groundnut, cotton, sesame, and horticulture). Farmers generally practice mixed farming, although crops account for a greater portion of the production.

Groundnuts are the traditional cash crop. The Gambia also exports produce to Europe; Gambian mangoes and other fruits may now be found on the shelves of the supermarket chains like Tesco and Sainsburys. The Gambia’s largest trade partner is Cote D’Ivoire, a fellow Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member, from which The Gambia imports the majority of its fuel products. Other major trade partners…