Quick Facts – Zambia’s Debt Default

Quick Facts – Zambia’s Debt Default

The Economics Blog

On the 13th of November, Zambia became the first African country to default on its external debt payments since the pandemic started.

The Southern African country failed to pay its $42.5m (£32.3m) interest payment on $1bn worth of Eurobonds maturing in 2024. Many have alluded to the fact that the country’s failure to pay its debt is one of the inevitable costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is an outcome of the government’s negligence and poor fiscal management practices over the years.

According to the Central Bank Governor, Christopher Mvunga, the country deliberately chose not to pay because it wanted to treat all creditors fairly. “It is not that we could not pay. It’s just that if we pay one creditor, then we need to pay all the creditors”, he said

Zambia External Bondholder Committee has also blamed the government for a lack of transparency and concealing the…

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Jerry John Rawlings (22 June 1947 – 12 November 2020)

Jerry John Rawlings (22 June 1947 – 12 November 2020)

The Economics Blog

Ghana’s Ex President, Jerry John (JJ) Rawlings has died at 73.

Rawlings was born in Accra on the 22nd of June 1947, to a Ghanaian mother and a Scottish father. He was educated at the prestigious Achimota, a boarding school based on the British model in Accra. He then joined the Air Force, where he rose to the rank of flight lieutenant.⠀

Rawlings was a charismatic and controversial leader who played a pivotal role in Ghana’s political awakening and transition to a stable democracy. But, he left behind a complicated legacy as he was loved and loathed by many. ⠀

He first gained global prominence in May 1979 when he tried to overthrow the regime of Lieut. Gen. Frederick W.K. Akuffo and the Supreme Military Council. This attempt was thwarted by the General and landed Rawlings in jail. Shortly after, Rawlings was released by his fellow officers and…

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China Today: Geopolitics and International Relations

Rickypolitics

To watch the video analysis of this blog, please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=danXSkDkI7k

China was one of the wealthiest and most powerful Nations in human history for many centuries. The many dynasties that have ruled over China in its 4000-year history found themselves being a centre of culture, science, wealth and influence in Asia and indeed the world at large. The world has changed dramatically since those glory days of Empire, however, since the Opium Wars in the late 19th century China found itself being dominated by foreign powers and has been playing catch up for over a century. China today may find itself once again being centre stage in International Affairs due to its economic and political influence but unfortunately even more so due to Covid-19, human rights abuses in Xinjiang and indeed across China, and the untimely border skirmishes with India. The Middle Kingdom is now once more in…

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#EndSARS – More Than A Hashtag

#EndSARS – More Than A Hashtag

The Economics Blog

“End SARS, End SARS Now”.

These were the words loudly chanted by Nigerian youths across the country as they Marched peacefully on the streets of Lagos and other major cities including Abuja, the nation’s capital.  

The movement started on twitter with millions of tweets by young Nigerians narrating personal stories of their horrific encounters with SARS, and it gained traction in no time.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad notoriously know as SARS was created in 1992 with the core mandate of tackling the problem of violent crime, banditry and kidnapping across the country.

Unfortunately, since its inception they have done nothing but intimidate, abuse, extort, harass, and even murder innocent Nigerians.

To worsen matters, the anonymity of the unit has made it even harder for the perpetrators of these crimes to be identified and held accountable for their unjust actions.

SARS usually targets people between the ages of 17 and…

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#SARSMUSTEND Fuck Your Apathy

UT’s Ramblings and Incoherent Thoughts

For the older generation, your apathy is so telling. You got us here. As long as it doesn’t directly affect you, it’s not your business.

You’ll accuse us of being thieves, wayward, deserving of harassment because of the way you look. You, with your pius outfits and self-righteousness, it hasn’t stopped you from being oppressed by the government, has it ? What exactly has the government done for you, after “following the rules” ? You complain about things being harder now than before. At least you had a before. All we’ve known is suffering. Yet we get apathy from you. Dress how you want to be addressed. Police our outfits and appearances. What will people say ? Sha remember that Diezani and Ganduje dress just like you.

Well done. The youth are dying. But it’s not your kid. Not your niece, not your nephew. Constantly giving apathetic sympathy not empathy…

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#EndSARS… That is it

UT’s Ramblings and Incoherent Thoughts

I’m 25 and sitting in my bedroom typing this out on a laptop. That is a privilege I can afford, albeit a risky privilege. I have tattoos and I have piercings, I hope to get more. I am fortunate enough to have parents who have gifted me with a car to make my movement in this booming metropolis called Lagos significantly easier. My hair is dyed and I work in brand management which means I may not necessarily work the distinguished and respectable working hours of 9am – 5pm. I forgot to mention the fact that I have an iPhone. My life is significantly subsidized and this alone makes me a target. Even if my life wasn’t subsidized, I’m a walking target. I fit the age description. So begins the woes of the youth of Nigeria in the hands of the Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police, our…

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Quick Facts – Kenya Launches its First Diaspora Investment Fund

Quick Facts – Kenya Launches its First Diaspora Investment Fund

The Economics Blog

According to the World Bank, Remittances are “financial or in-kind transfers made by migrants to friends and relatives back in communities of origin”. 

The African diaspora is made up of over 30 million individuals who collectively contribute around US$40 billion in remittances to their families and communities annually. Due to its huge population, Nigeria has a massive diaspora community across the world and is one of the largest recipients of remittance flows in the continent ($23.8 billion) followed by Ghana ($3.5 billion) and Kenya ($2.8 billion) based on 2019 figures. 

Despite the growing significance of remittances, it is difficult to fully understand the relationship between African migration and remittance flows due to a plethora of factors. For instance, there is a dearth of official statistics on remittance flows to Africa due to the large scale of illegal migration within the continent and the ubiquity of informal remittance channels in the…

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Quick Facts – The US-Kenya Trade Deal

Quick Facts – The US-Kenya Trade Deal

The Economics Blog

Traditionally, the US has adopted a multilateral approach to trade with Africa via the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was passed by Congress in 2000. Now, Trump wants to start dealing with African countries bilaterally and Kenya is his first choice. ⠀

It would be America’s first free trade agreement (FTA) with a sub-Saharan African country and a model for future trade agreements in the continent.⠀

What would the deal mean for U.S.-Kenya trade?⠀

In 2018, US-Kenya trade was valued at $1.1 billion, placing Kenya as the 98th trading partner of the US. Likewise, the US was Kenya’s third-largest export destination at the time.⠀

This huge disparity in trade has triggered controversial views that the FTA is a strategic attempt by the US aimed at nullifying Chinese influence in Africa.⠀

The agreement could catalyse Kenya’s foreign industrial investment and export capacity. However, it could also…

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Bridging Africa’s Infrastructure Gap

Bridging Africa’s Infrastructure Gap

The Economics Blog

In the city of Lagos, Africa’s richest man has embarked on an ambitious task. He wants to build a $14bn oil refinery with thecapacityto produce 650,000 barrels per day. Expected to commence operations in 2021, Aliko Dangote’s refinery is one of the many major ongoing infrastructure projects in the continent and a potential solution to Nigeria’s oil import problem.

Across the region, there is a lack of adequate physical infrastructure in sectors such as energy, transportation and telecommunications. In terms of social infrastructure, like water supply, sanitation, education and healthcare, significant gaps still exist which directly impact the lives and livelihoods of citizens. In addition to the familiar factors which impede infrastructure development, the continent’s difficult geography further complicates the problem.

Let’s take the energy sector as an example. Access to reliable and affordable electricity is still a myth in many African countries. According toestimates, around…

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