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South Africa to host US-Africa trade summit despite Russia spat
  + stars: | 2023-09-20 | by ( )   time to read: +3 min
South Africa's economic hub, Johannesburg, will host the U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum from Nov. 2 to 4, U.S. and South African officials said in a joint statement on Wednesday. "As President Biden has said, the future is Africa," United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in the statement. Despite Pretoria's declared neutrality, perceived close ties between Russia and South Africa, an important U.S. trading partner in Africa, have ruffled feathers Washington. Pointing to South Africa's joint naval operations with China and Russia in February, and plans to host Russian President Vladimir Putin at a BRICS bloc summit, they also suggested South Africa's trade benefits under AGOA could be revoked. The lawmakers appeared to back up an explosive accusation by the U.S. ambassador to South Africa that a Russian vessel under sanctions collected weapons at a South African naval base last year.
Persons: Katherine Tai, Biden's, Jonathan Ernst, Biden, Tai, Pretoria's, Vladimir Putin, Putin, Ebrahim Patel, Joe Bavier, Grant McCool Organizations: Trade, REUTERS, Saharan, Saharan Africa Trade, Economic Cooperation, United States Trade, U.S . House, U.S . Senate, U.S, Thomson Locations: Washington , U.S, Russia, Washington JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, U.S, Africa, South, Johannesburg, Saharan Africa, Ukraine, Washington, China, Russian, AGOA, United States
The second senior EU official confirmed that. A third source, also an EU official, said the Commission was "cooperating actively with WFP to resolve systemic defects" but said no aid was suspended at this stage. Last year, it contributed more than half of the $2.2 billion of funding that went to the humanitarian response there. The U.N. report did not attempt to quantify the amount of aid that was diverted but said its findings "suggest that post-delivery aid diversion in Somalia is widespread and systemic". In all, investigators collected data from 55 IDP sites in Somalia and found aid diversion in all of them, the report said.
Persons: Ayenat, Balazs Ujvari, Antonio Guterres, Devex, Jessica Jennings, gatekeepers, Gabriela Baczynska, Michelle Nichols, Aaron Ross, Emma Farge, Daphne Psaledakis, Joe Bavier, Howard Goller Organizations: REUTERS, UNITED NATIONS, European Union, Food Programme, Reuters, European Commission, EU, WFP, U.N, U.S . Agency for International Development, USAID, European, Somali Disaster Management Office, United Nations, Thomson Locations: Dollow, Somalia, NAIROBI, GENEVA, Ethiopia, United States, Nairobi, Geneva
BRICS invites six nations to join developing world bloc
  + stars: | 2023-08-24 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
A person walks past the Sandton Convention Centre, which will host the upcoming BRICS Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa August 19, 2023. REUTERS/James Oatway/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsJOHANNESBURG, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Leaders of the BRICS group of developing nations have invited Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates to join, in a move aimed at growing the clout of a bloc that has pledged to champion the "Global South". South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is hosting a summit of BRICS leaders, announced on Thursday that the new candidates would be admitted as members on Jan. 1, 2024. And while all BRICS members publicly expressed support for growing the bloc, there were divisions among the leaders over how much and how quickly. More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, say South African officials, and 22 have formally asked to be admitted.
Persons: James Oatway, Cyril Ramaphosa, BRICS, Carien du Plessis, Joe Bavier, Toby Chopra, Emelia Organizations: Sandton, REUTERS, Rights, United, West ., BRICS, Thomson Locations: Johannesburg, South Africa, Rights JOHANNESBURG, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Beijing, Moscow, West
BRICS - whose acronym was originally coined by an economist at Goldman Sachs, currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called the BRICS leaders' decision to invite Ethiopia to join "a great moment". "It shows the determination of BRICS countries for unity and cooperation with the broader developing countries." More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, say South African officials, and 22 have formally asked to be admitted. "The expansion and modernization of BRICS is a message that all institutions in the world need to mould themselves according to changing times," he said.
Persons: Cyril Ramaphosa, Narendra Modi, Sergei Lavrov, Alet Pretorius, Goldman Sachs, BRICS, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Ramaphosa, Lula, globalisation's, Mohammed bin Zayed, Abiy Ahmed, Antonio Guterres, Xi Jinping, Bhargav Acharya, Sergio Goncalves, Ethan Wang, Vladimir Soldatkin, Joe Bavier, Toby Chopra, Emelia Organizations: South, India's, Russia's, REUTERS, United Arab, United, United Arab Emirates, New Development Bank, Ethiopian, United Nations, . Security, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, BRICS, Indian, Thomson Locations: Johannesburg, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, UAE, JOHANNESBURG, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, United States, Beijing, Moscow, United Arab, Lisbon
Lula and counterparts Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for dinner and a mini-retreat on Tuesday evening. China and Russia are keen to expand BRICS to give the bloc more global clout. LEADERS DISCUSS MEMBERSHIP CRITERIAMore than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, say South African officials. While no new members are expected to be admitted to BRICS during the summit, leaders are weighing a framework and criteria for joining, details of which could be included in a joint declaration due to be finalised on Wednesday. South African organisers say there will be no discussions however of a common BRICS currency, an idea floated by Brazil as an alternative to dollar-dependence.
Persons: Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, China Xi, Cyril Ramaphosa, India Narendra Modi, Sergei Lavrov, Vladimir Putin, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Lula, Cyril Ramaphosa of, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Africa's Ramaphosa, Modi, Putin, Plessis, Krishn Kaushik, Joe Bavier, Emelia Sithole Organizations: Russia's, China, Washington, United States, Group, Indian, BRICS, U.S ., Thomson Locations: China, India, Sandton, JOHANNESBURG, Russia, Ukraine, South, Johannesburg, Brazil, United, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, BRICS, Argentina, South Africa, Johanneburg, New Delhi
A person walks past the Sandton Convention Centre, which will host the upcoming BRICS Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa August 19, 2023. South African summit organisers, however, say there will be no discussions of a BRICS currency, an idea floated by Brazil earlier this year as an alternative to dollar-dependence. Russian President Vladimir Putin, wanted under an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, will not travel to South Africa and instead join virtually. South Africa has also voiced support. Over 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, say South African officials.
Persons: James Oatway, Cyril Ramaphosa, Xi Jinping, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin, Vinay Kwatra, Bhargav Acharya, Joe Bavier, Andy Sullivan Organizations: Sandton, REUTERS, Indian, China, BRICS, Thomson Locations: Johannesburg, South Africa, JOHANNESBURG, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, United States
BRICS expansion hopefuls seek to rebalance world order
  + stars: | 2023-08-21 | by ( Joe Bavier | )   time to read: +6 min
[1/6] People walk past the Sandton Convention Centre, which will host the upcoming BRICS Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa August 19, 2023. The wealthy West's domination of international bodies, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. DEVELOPING WORLD DISCONTENTWhile BRICS has not divulged a full list of expansion candidates, a number of governments have publicly stated their interest. Others want changes at the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Its BRICS trade has indeed increased steadily since it joined, according to an analysis by the country's Industrial Development Corporation.
Persons: James Oatway, Rob Davies, South, bode, Vladimir Putin, Steven Gruzd, BRICS, Ramón Lobo, Gruzd, Lucinda Elliott, Deisy, Yousef Saba, Gustavo Palencia, Lamine Chikhi, Ahmed Eljechtimi, Tomasz Janowski Organizations: Sandton, REUTERS, United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, BRICS, Observers, South African Institute of International Affairs, U.S ., Reuters, United, Emirates, World Trade Organization, Argentine, New Development Bank, Russia, Industrial Development Corporation, South, Thomson Locations: Johannesburg, South Africa, JOHANNESBURG, Iran, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, Venezuela, Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, United Nations, United States, Montevideo, Caracas, Dubai, Tegucigalpa, Lamine, Algiers, Rabat
A view of logo of New Development Bank (NDB) at its headquarters in Shanghai, China July 10, 2023. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said boosting local currency usage among the NDB's members will also be on the agenda, with the aim of de-risking the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations rather than de-dollarisation. "Most countries that are members of the NDB have been encouraging (it) to provide loans in local currencies," Godongwana said. Reuters Graphics Reuters GraphicsSo far, China is by far the NDB's most successful local currency market. GROWING MEMBERSHIPNevertheless, the NDB, established with $10 billion in paid-in share capital from each BRICS country, wants to expand.
Persons: Aly, Enoch Godongwana, Godongwana, Leslie Maasdorp, Maasdorp, Alexander Ekbom, Chris Humphrey, Humphrey, Rachel Savage, Brenda Goh, Tannur Anders, Vincent Flasseur, Karin Strohecker, Joe Bavier, Alexander Smith Organizations: New Development Bank, REUTERS, Reuters, Finance, Federal Reserve, Reuters Graphics Reuters, U.S ., United Arab, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Reuters Graphics, Overseas Development Institute, Thomson Locations: Shanghai, China, Africa, JOHANNESBURG, SHANGHAI, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, India, Johannesburg, Ukraine, United States, Mumbai, Brasilia, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Uruguay, Algeria, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Asia, London
And it can only end on the basis of justice and reason," African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told Putin and African leaders in St Petersburg. Putin gave it a polite but cool reception when African leaders presented it to him last month. Putin responded by arguing, as he has in the past, that rising world food prices were a consequence of Western policy mistakes long predating the Ukraine war. On Thursday, he promised to deliver free Russian grain in the next several months to six of the countries attending the summit. Mali's Assimi Goita told Putin: "You have shown pragmatism and realism in efforts to reach agreement with Ukraine."
Persons: Putin, Vladimir Putin, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Macky Sall, Cyril Ramaphosa, Pavel Bednyakov, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Abdel Fattah al, Sisi, Russia's Wagner, Faustin Archange Touadera, Assimi Goita, Kevin Liffey, Joe Bavier, Alexander Winning, Angus MacSwan Organizations: Kremlin, Union, Reuters, South, Sputnik, Central African, CAR, Thomson Locations: Ukraine, Moscow, Russia, St Petersburg, Russian, Belarus, Congo, Europe, Kyiv, Africa, Saint Petersburg, Ukrainian, Western, Mali, Central, Central African Republic
Somalia says Russia grants relief on debt worth $684 million
  + stars: | 2023-07-27 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
MOGADISHU, July 27 (Reuters) - Russia has granted debt relief on over $684 million owed by Somalia in a deal finalised on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, officials from the Horn of Africa nation said. Emerging from decades of civil war, Somalia is seeking to secure sweeping external debt relief under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The agreement signed on Wednesday between Egeh and Russian deputy finance minister Timur Maksimov concerned Paris Club loans, Somali Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Somalia owed Moscow nearly $695 million in 2019, according to the IMF. Reporting by Hereward Holland, Abdi Sheikh and Rachel Savage; editing by Joe Bavier and Mark HeinrichOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Bihi Egeh, Timur Maksimov, Salah Ahmed Jama, Jama, Vladimir Putin, Putin, pare, Hereward Holland, Abdi Sheikh, Rachel Savage, Joe Bavier, Mark Heinrich Our Organizations: International Monetary Fund, Somali Finance, Moscow, Paris Club, RIA Novosti, African, IMF, Thomson Locations: MOGADISHU, Russia, Somalia, Africa, St Petersburg, Horn of Africa, Egeh, Paris, Russian, Moscow, Ukraine
Chicago wheat futures , a benchmark of global prices, have risen around 20% since Russia ended the deal on July 17. It's absolutely an important national security issue for a lot of these African countries," he said. Putin says Russia is expecting a record harvest this year and is ready to fill the gap for African countries by supplying grain both commercially and for free. Dizolele said, noting that Russia backed African countries at the U.N., had defence and security agreements with some of them and gave scholarships to their students. But Putin's response, when Ramaphosa and other African leaders presented the proposal to him last month, was to repeat a familiar list of accusations against Ukraine and the West.
Persons: Anton Vaganov, Putin, Wagner, Vladimir Putin, Mvemba Dizolele, Samuel Ramani, RUSI, Dizolele, WAGNER, Cyril Ramaphosa, Ramani, Mark Trevelyan, Joe Bavier, Carien du, Tom Balmforth, Michelle Nichols, Philippa Fletcher Organizations: Saint, REUTERS, Putin, Kremlin, U.S, Africa, Washington -, Strategic, International Studies, International Criminal Court, Treasury, Central African, Ukraine, South, United Nations, Thomson Locations: Russia, Africa, Saint Isaac's, central Saint Petersburg, Black, Russian, St Petersburg, Ukraine, Chicago, Washington, Turkey, Qatar, Moscow, United States, Kenya, Somalia, Central African Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, West, London, Johannesburg, Carien du Plessis
Nigeria today faces record debt, unemployment is worryingly high, and power shortages have contributed to years of anaemic growth. "The path to political power in Nigeria, over time, has always been through these vested interests," said Bismarck Rewane, CEO at Financial Derivatives Company in Lagos. ENTRENCHED NETWORKSTinubu's ambitions to build a $1 trillion economy in eight years could come unstuck in part due to chronic power shortages. Getting the lights on would be a major win, but to do so some say Tinubu must remove grid subsidies and cut red tape. Tinubu suspended the head of the financial and economic crimes agency, but has yet to outline an anti-graft plan.
Persons: Bola Tinubu, Jason Tuvey, Bismarck Rewane, Tinubu, Tunau Taiwo, Nnamdi Obasi, Prince Ojeabulu, Muhammadu Buhari, jihadists, beholden, Joe Bavier, Conor Humphries Organizations: New, Capital Economics, Financial Derivatives Company, International, Rensource Energy, Nigeria Delta, Observers, Thomson Locations: Nigeria, LAGOS, New Nigerian, Lagos
Summary African leaders travel to Ukraine and Russia Friday and SaturdayAiming to begin "diplomacy-led" process to resolve conflictAfrica hit hard by economic fallout of warJOHANNESBURG, June 15 (Reuters) - African leaders could propose a series of "confidence building measures" during their initial efforts to mediate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to a draft framework document seen by Reuters on Thursday. "The conflict, as well as the sanctions placed on Russia by major trading partners of the (African) Continent, have had an adverse effect on African economies and livelihoods," it said. The document lists a number of measures that could be proposed by the African leaders as part of the first stage of their engagement with the warring parties. The African peace effort is just one of several competing initiatives aimed at ending the fighting. Among the measures that could be proposed by the African leaders in the first stage of their engagement was an "unconditional grain and fertiliser deal".
Persons: Macky Sall, Cyril Ramaphosa, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Vladimir Putin, Putin, Antonio Guterres, Ramaphosa, It's, Guterres, Zelenskiy, Michelle Nichols, Tom Balmforth, Joe Bavier, Olivia Kumwenda, Mark Potter, Nick Macfie Organizations: Reuters, Ukrainian, Global, NATO, United, Johannesburg, United Nations, Thomson Locations: Ukraine, Russia, Africa, JOHANNESBURG, Senegal, Zambia, Comoros, Kyiv, St, Petersburg, Russian, Belarus, China, Moscow, United Nations, Turkey
US lawmakers call for S.Africa to lose summit over Russia ties
  + stars: | 2023-06-13 | by ( )   time to read: +3 min
Referring to the letter, South African foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said on Twitter: "There is no decision by the State Department/White House to move the AGOA Forum from SA." South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry, which manages the country's trade relations with the United States, said it was not planning to respond publicly to the letter. South Africa's government has declared its neutrality in the war in Ukraine, and President Cyril Ramaphosa is participating in an effort by African leaders to mediate in the conflict. The lawmakers also appeared to back up an accusation by the U.S. ambassador to South Africa that a sanctioned Russian vessel collected weapons at a South African naval base last year. South African officials say they are not aware of such an arms transfer and have launched an independent inquiry into the incident.
Persons: Russia S.Africa, Antony Blinken, AGOA, Clayson Monyela, Cyril Ramaphosa, Vladimir Putin, Antony Blinken's, Joe Bavier, Carien du, William Maclean Organizations: AGOA, Twitter, State Department, White, SA, Africa's Department of Trade and Industry, South, International Criminal, U.S, Thomson Locations: Johannesburg, U.S, Africa, Washington, Russia, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, South, Nigeria, Ukraine, United States, China, Russian
[1/2] Foreign ministers of BRICS nations pose for a family photo with representatives from Africa and the global South during a summit in Cape Town, South Africa, June 2, 2023. BRICS, which now consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is considering expanding its membership, and a growing number of countries, mostly from the global South, have expressed interest in joining. Developed countries have never met their commitments to the developing world and are trying to shift all responsibility to the global South," Pandor said. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Thursday's talks had included deliberations on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of what an expanded BRICS bloc would look like. As an ICC member, South Africa would face pressure to arrest Putin were he to travel to the summit.
Persons: Naledi Pandor, Pandor, Mauro Vieira, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Thursday's, Africa's Pandor, Vladimir Putin, Putin, Carien du, Krishn Kaushik, Joe Bavier, Mark Heinrich Our Organizations: Russian Foreign Ministry, REUTERS, South Africa's, United Arab, Democratic, Cape Town, International Criminal Court, ICC, Thomson Locations: Africa, Cape Town , South Africa, REUTERS CAPE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Argentina, Bangladesh, Guinea, Bissau, Indonesia, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Carien du Plessis
South African authorities confirmed that foreign ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa are attending Thursday's meeting in Cape Town. Amid the growing geopolitical polarisation resulting from the war in Ukraine, BRICS leaders have said they are open to admitting new members, including oil producing countries. South Africa, though the bloc's smallest member, is among its biggest champions. As an ICC member South Africa would face pressure to arrest Putin, were he to attend the meeting in Johannesburg. "Obviously, the best solution for South Africa is if Putin decided not to come."
Persons: Vladimir Putin, Putin, van Staden, William Gumede, Nic Borain, Wendell Roelf, Carien du, Joe Bavier, Grant McCool Organizations: BRICS, Criminal Court, South African Institute of International Affairs, New Development Bank, South, United, ICC, Independent, Thomson Locations: Ukraine, August CAPE, South Africa, Johannesburg, Moscow, Brazil, Russia, India, Cape Town, China, Beijing, South African, Venezuela, Argentina, Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, African, . South Africa, Africa, Pretoria, Carien du Plessis
"The answer is the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) will indicate what the final position of South Africa is. At a news conference later, the ministers side-stepped a barrage of questions about the Putin issue. The ICC accused Putin in March of the war crime of forcibly deporting children from Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine. South Africa had invited Putin in January. The BRICS bloc "was inclusive ... in sharp contrast to some countries' small circle, and so I believe the enlargement of BRICS will be beneficial to the BRICS countries," he said.
Persons: Putin, Naledi Pandor, Vladimir Putin, Pandor, Cyril Ramaphosa, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ma Zhaoxu, Hossein Amir, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Carien du Plessis, Anait, Bhargav Acharya, Nellie Peyton, Alexander Winning, Estelle Shirbon, Joe Bavier, John Stonestreet, Ros Russell, Andrew Heavens Organizations: West, International Criminal Court, ICC, United Nations Security Council, New Development Bank, China's, BRICS, Iran's, Saudi, United, Thomson Locations: Cape Town, Africa, South Africa, Johannesburg, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, Moscow, Beijing, Venezuela, Argentina, Algeria, United Arab Emirates
Now, according to an internal U.N. estimate obtained by Reuters, 5 million additional people in Sudan will require emergency assistance, half of them children. Even before the latest crisis, U.N. humanitarian appeals for Africa faced a $17-billion funding gap this year, risking leaving millions without lifesaving assistance. Last year, it spent a third of its overseas aid budget housing refugees inside the UK, a British aid watchdog said in March. Sudan was hosting over 1 million refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Syria, before the outbreak of fighting last month. Aid workers have been killed, food aid looted, and WFP says it's running out of stocks.
WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) - Africa is struggling with the triple shock of rising debt burdens, an ongoing food crisis and climate change fallout and needs more help from international institutions and wealthy nations to cope, African finance ministers said on Saturday. "African countries are really victims. The trio were speaking on behalf of the continent's finance ministers. The African finance ministers, meanwhile, called for a G20-backed framework aimed at helping countries restructure burdensome debt to go further. Two African countries - Zambia and Ghana - have already defaulted on their sovereign debt since the start of the pandemic.
WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) - Angola's next sovereign debt issuance will be an ESG bond of up to $1 billion, its finance minister told Reuters on Thursday, but she added that the southern African oil producer's government would not tap the market this year. "We are open to get funding from whoever is interested to participate," she said. But any ESG issuance will be the first one for us, so we want to start with the hard work." "We are very cautious about the moment to step into the markets because we want to stabilise our debt," she said, noting the current challenging market conditions. Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Kenya, along with other African frontier market nations, has been frozen out of international capital markets since early last year. However, it expects $250 million from syndicated loans this month and a $1 billion budgetary support loan from the World Bank in May, Njoroge said. "This compensates for the $1.2 billion we couldn't get from the market last year." Njoroge said Kenya is also seeking a new loan under the Fund's Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) to help countries ensure sustainable growth. Stubbornly high inflation that provoked a larger than expected rate hike last month was largely due to high food prices.
LUSAKA, April 6 (Reuters) - Zambia is being "punished" for a failure to complete debt restructuring that is not its fault, but its two main creditors, China and international bondholders, both want a resolution, the country's finance minister told Reuters. Zambia was the first African country to default in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic battered the global economy. Many Western officials have blamed delays in agreeing the debt relief on the largest bilateral creditor, China, something it denies. "The Chinese are asking questions, the bondholders are also asking questions ... but constructive questions, so that's no problem," Musokotwane said. Bondholders say they want a resolution to this, the Chinese say they want a resolution to this."
A bank of expensive backup batteries, theft-proofed within a block of concrete. "Our costs have gone through the roof," lamented Sitho Mdlalose, managing director of Vodacom South Africa (VODJ.J). President Cyril Ramaphosa in February declared a national state of disaster, calling the crisis an existential threat to South Africa's social fabric. While most network towers in South Africa are equipped with a battery for backup power, more advanced systems are less common. That risks delaying South Africa's pivot to the digital economy and could leave rural areas, which already suffer from sparse coverage, lagging even further behind.
[1/2] Dressmaker Faieza Caswell from Mitchells Plain sews under candlelight in her workplace, on the Cape Flats due to South Africa's struggling power utility company Eskom, implementing regular power cuts - called 'load-shedding', in Cape Town, South Africa February 11, 2023. South Africa's relatively wealthy, developed economy and nearly three decades of political stability helped drive industry growth and draw in reinsurers. And they are now tightening the conditions of their agreements with insurance companies. Reinsurers are also pushing insurance companies to include so-called "named perils" in policies rather than offering blanket cover for catastrophes. Grid failure would plunge South Africa into a nationwide blackout that could last weeks.
[1/5] Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov and Chinese frigate Rizhao (598) are seen ahead of scheduled naval exercises with Russian, Chinese and South African navies, in Richards Bay, South Africa, February 22, 2023. REUTERS/Rogan WardSummary Russian media reported planned test launch of hypersonic weaponSouth Africa hosting drills with Russia, ChinaWestern diplomats have voiced alarm over drillsRICHARDS BAY, South Africa, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Russia's navy will not fire its new generation "Zircon" hypersonic missile during a joint exercise with South Africa and China, a senior Russian naval officer said on Wednesday, contradicting an earlier Russian media report. A Russian frigate armed with the Zircon weapon system has been deployed to the joint exercise. Along with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle which entered combat duty in 2019, the Zircon forms the centrepiece of Russia's hypersonic arsenal. South Africa has defended its decision to host the Mosi II naval exercise despite the concerns of diplomats from European Union and NATO countries.
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