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African Development Bank approves $11.7 million to facilitate … – African Development Bank

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on 16 May 2023 approved a $11.7 million budgetary allocation to the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) for its 2023 operations.

Tuesday’s approval adds up to $16.4 million extended to the Facility to support its 2023 budget. It includes $4.7 million, which was carried over from the previous year.

The Board of Directors also validated AFFM’s 2023 program of activities: strengthening the fertilizer sector through access to finance, supporting the development of sustainable policy reforms to improve fertilizer production, trade and use, and facilitating access to inputs and technical assistance for smallholder farmers.

AFFM plans to continue implementing three commercial credit guarantee projects amounting to $8.3 million. The recipient countries are Zimbabwe ($4.3 million), Côte d’Ivoire ($2 million), and Ghana ($2 million). For 2023, it plans to implement trade credit guarantee schemes totaling $9.7 million in Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Kenya. Three more new projects could be launched in Senegal, Zambia and Ghana if the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) follows through on its $15 million commitment to the AFFM.

The 2023 projects will be implemented to support the second pillar of the Bank’s African  Emergency Food Production Facility, which was launched to avert a looming food crisis in Africa following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In addition, AFFM will actively work with African countries and other key stakeholders to develop the national food and agriculture pacts that the continent’s leaders presented at the Feed Africa Summit in Dakar in January 2023.

The AFFM will facilitate smallholder farmers’ access to inputs and extension services through credit guarantee projects and capacity building for farmers and input distributors. Objectives: to ensure proper use of fertilizers, increase agricultural productivity and improve soil conditions.

AFFM will continue to work with the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) on initiatives to improve fertilizer production, trade and use launched in 2021. It will also conduct an in-depth analysis of fertilizer policy in at least ten African countries, which will map the current situation, identify gaps and prepare an action plan. The aim is to support policy orientations that will address the identified shortcomings.

Established by the African Union in Abuja in 2006, the African Fertiliser Financing Mechanism is a special fund that aims to improve agricultural productivity by providing the necessary financing to boost fertilizer use in Africa and achieve the 50 kilograms of nutrients per hectare target. It is hosted and managed by the African Development Bank. AFFM has a  strategic plan for the 2022 – 2028 period.

In Africa, AFFM’s work is crucial in addressing food crises and various threats to food security caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change (drought, floods, soil depletion, etc.), conflict, locust infestation and disease.

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Southern Africa

CCC rubbishes MPs and councillors recalls, says it’s Zanu PF’s “pathetic attempt” to respond to SONA boycott – New

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By Reason Razao | Senior Reporter

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has dismissed reports of recalls by one Sengezo Tshabangu saying he is an impostor and has never been a member of the opposition party.

This follows the recall of 15 CCC MPs and 17 councillors by Tshabangu, a former member of MDC-T and PDP.

According to the letter that was addressed to the Speaker Of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, Tshabangu had recalled Nicola Watson, Pashor Sibanda and Ereck Gono among others saying they were no longer members of the CCC.

Tshabangu is also believed to have signed letters that resulted in CCC double candidates in Bulawayo during the Nomination Court.

“It has come to the attention of the Citizens Coalition for Change that there are letters purportedly written by a person designating himself as interim secretary General circulating on social media claiming that the Citizens’ Movement has recalled named councillors and members of Parliament,” said party spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi in a statement posted on X.

“Members of the public are advised to disregard these with the contempt they deserve. The CCC party has neither recalled nor does it intend to recall any of its recently elected deployees.

“The purported author of the two letters, Sengezo Tshabangu is not and has never been a

member or official of the CCC party since its inception. His last known parties are MDCT and PDP. He is renowned for being the proxy of fielding fake CCC double candidates in Bulawayo and Matebeleland North. The Citizens’ Movement is taking action against this impostor and all his contacts.”

CCC accused Zanu PF of trying to infiltrate their ranks.

“This deplorable behavior by Zanu PF is a response to their defeat in 2023 and rejection Zimbabwe and a pathetic attempt to respond to the exercise of our freedom of association in not attending the official opening of parliament yesterday (03 October 2023).

“Meanwhile, our deployees in local authorities and Parliament should continue to discharge their responsibilities as mandated by the electorate in the just ended elections,” Mkwananzi added.

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Southern Africa

‘Controversial’ economist Gift Mugano fired from ZimTrade Board; hints at contesting his removal – New

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By Staff Reporter

ECONOMIST Gift Mugano has been fired from the ZimTrade Board for allegedly making disparaging remarks against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration over the faltering economy.

He is also accused of siding with Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa amid claims by presidential spokesperson George Charamba that he drafted the CCC’s 2023 elections manifesto, allegations that he swiftly rejected.

In a letter addressed to Mugano, Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, James Manzou said the termination of Mugano’s membership from the ZimTrade Board was with immediate effect.

“I wish to inform you that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has terminated your membership from the ZimTrade Board in terms of Article 10 of the Constitution of ZimTrade as read with Section 16 of the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act (Chapter 10:31). The termination is with immediate effect.

“I wish to thank you for the services rendered to the Board and the Ministry and to wish you well in your future endeavours,” wrote Manzou.

ZimTrade is a joint venture between the Government of Zimbabwe and the private sector to promote local exports.

Section 16 of the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act (Chapter 10:31) provides for the appointment and removal of board members of public entities.

The section outlines the grounds for the removal of board members, which include misconduct or incompetence, failure to attend board meetings without reasonable cause, conflict of interest, and conviction of a criminal offence, among others.

In his brief response on X, Mugano hinted he won’t go down without a fight.

“Fired from the ZimTrade Board by the appointing authority before the end of my term. This is part of the strategies of Government of Zimbabwe aimed at silencing alternative voices. It will not work on me. Zimbabwe is for us all and our views matter,” he said.

In recent weeks, Mugano has been critical of the government’s economic policies.

His last post on X prior to his axing, Mugano wrote a long thread criticising Zanu PF for failing to fix the economy and mocking Mnangagwa for the snub by opposition legislators during the official opening of the 10th Parliament Tuesday.

“I am trying to frame how the economy will look like going forward – all I see is darkness. Let me break this down for the layman: How possible is it for the GoZ to pursue international engagement which is key to driving economic development when at home the same govt is harassing the opposition?

“Yesterday, @CCCZimbabwe MPs didn’t attend the official opening of Parliament by @edmnangagwa rendering the whole process to a Zanu PF caucus.

“Of significance is the fact that millions of Zimbabweans, that is, both those who voted @CCCZimbabwe and those who couldn’t vote for various reasons but have a CCC DNA are in support of this move and will continue to have these kind of protests in the future.

“It is given that going forward national consensus on national developmental issues will be elusive.”

Over the years, Mugano represented the country at various forums on trade negotiations and investment missions abroad (Heads of State & Government Summits, Council of Ministers, Senior Officials of Trade & Technical Committees) at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

He has done consultancy for DFID, British Council, the Parliament of Zimbabwe, NIR Sweden, GIZ and UNFPA.

At one time he served as interim board chairman of struggling ZiscoSteel before resigning in June 2020 citing interference by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, and was registrar at Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU).

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Bayhorse Mine accident: 6 still trapped, 7 missing as rescue … – New

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