Zimbabwe launches gold-backed currency to replace battered local dollar

Nyasha Chingono

Image used for illustrative purpose. Getty Images

Zimbabwe is replacing its collapsing local currency with a new one backed by gold and foreign currencies that it hopes will be more stable and help bring down inflation, the central bank said on Friday, 5 April.

A man poses with a handful of Zimbabwean dollars at a bank in central Harare, 15 June 2015. Zimbabweans began exchanging old notes of local dollars for US dollars, as President Robert Mugabe’s government seeks to officially bury the worthless currency. Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

The Southern African country relaunched its own currency in 2019 after a decade of dollarisation, but it struggled to win public trust and more than 80% of domestic transactions are now conducted in foreign currency.

A more than 70% slide in the Zimbabwean dollar since the start of the year pushed price rises beyond 55% in annual terms in March, evoking bitter memories of hyperinflation under former leader Robert Mugabe.

The new currency – called Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) – will circulate alongside foreign currencies, central bank governor John Mushayavanhu told a press conference in the capital Harare.

The central bank also said it was “recalibrating” its main interest rate and setting it at 20%, without elaborating, a drastic cut from the previous rate of 130%.

In a monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the new currency’s starting exchange rate would be determined by the closing interbank exchange rate on 5 April and the London PM Fix price of gold on 4 April.

The bank referred to the new currency as “structured”, saying it would be “anchored by a composite basket of foreign currency and precious metals (mainly gold) held as reserves for this purpose by the Reserve Bank”.

“If we implement these measures, we expect them to have an impact on inflation,” Mushayavanhu told reporters.

Banks are to convert their current Zimbabwean dollar balances into ZiG with immediate effect, while people will have 21 days to exchange their old notes and coins for new ones, the monetary policy statement said.

Friday’s announcements are the culmination of months of deliberations between the central bank and finance ministry on currency reforms.

The central bank also said on Friday that it had $100m in cash and 2.52 tonnes of gold worth $185m in reserve assets.

Cape Town’s Urban Health Programme: A resilient response to global health challenges

Staff Writer

Image used for illustrative purpose. Getty Images

The Urban Health Programme and Monitoring Initiative, announced during the Partnership for Healthy Cities summit, aims to inform relevant policies, programmes and projects going forward, and so positively influence health outcomes for communities.
The integrated initiative is embedded in the City’s Integrated Development Plan, as part of its Resilient City Foundation.

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the links between health, equity and poverty – and signalled a need for the City to bolster its capacity to monitor and improve urban health over time. Inspiration also came from Cape Town’s involvement in the Partnership for Healthy Cities – supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies.

The partnership is a global network of 73 cities, including Cape Town, working together and sharing information to help protect their collective populations of more than 300 million people from preventable deaths and injuries, using proven interventions.

The City is a co-host for the partnership’s annual summit, with more than 150 delegates gathered in Cape Town this week.

With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings – cities and their leaders are well positioned to transform the fight against non-communicable diseases and injuries, and reduce preventable deaths by implementing policies that are proven to prevent exposure to risk factors.

Prioritising socio-economic determinants

The City’s Urban Health Programme aims to prioritise socio-economic determinants of health specific to Cape Town, and to provide crucial insights for all departments on how they can help address the determinants of health, whether through planning and design of infrastructure, provision of services and job creation.

“This is a marathon and not a sprint, and hopefully it will be the blueprint for the metropole into the future. Cape Town has a very high burden of non-communicable diseases, and other preventable deaths.

“And, while we have a good understanding of the various factors that contribute to that burden, this programme will provide crucial information that can help determine strategies going forward. Metropolitan areas are growing, and Cape Town is no different.

“So it is imperative that our future planning takes place through a public health lens,” said mayoral committee member for community services and health, councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

Empowering women entrepreneurs across Rwanda

Staff Writer

Wide high angle shot of businesswoman leading project meeting at conference table in office. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

MTN Rwanda has just wrapped up its 5th edition of its “Connect Women in Business” program, an initiative we have been running since 2019 through which we provide capacity building for, and award monetary prizes to, women led saving groups in partnership with African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) Rwanda, Alight Rwanda, National Women’s Council, National Union of Disabilities’ Organisations of Rwanda (Nudor), National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion.

In doing so, we are privileged to witness the work that is being done by these entities in empowering women across Rwanda to be self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. We have seen firsthand how providing business skills development for the women participants and providing financial support removes some of the long-existing barriers for women to start and grow their own businesses.

Recognizing the immense potential and resilience of women entrepreneurs, initiatives such as “Connect Women in Business” aimed at empowering businesswomen have become imperative for fostering inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. Investing in women is not just a moral imperative; it is also a smart economic strategy.

It has been shown that when women are economically empowered, they reinvest a significant portion of their income into their families and communities, leading to broader societal benefits. Empowering women entrepreneurs yields significant returns on investment, leading to increased productivity, improved livelihoods, and poverty reduction.

According to the UN Women report published in March 2023, titled Women’s Economic Empowerment by Advancing Gender Responsive Law, Frameworks, Policies, and Partnerships, businesses owned by women have demonstrated remarkable resilience and sustainability globally, playing a crucial role in strengthening economic stability on a national scale.

In realizing the large-scale impact of empowering women entrepreneurs, the question then becomes what role the private sector plays and what more can be done in ensuring opportunities are provided for more women entrepreneurs across Rwanda.

Many corporates are engaging in social impact initiatives that align with their core values, business objectives, and areas of expertise. These initiatives often focus on issues such as education, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and poverty eradication.

Within those categories lies support for women. Several Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives are geared towards empowering women, educating them on becoming independent, and paving their own way to development.

What becomes key, is ensuring that the CSI initiatives aimed at empowering women are sustainable and can be easily assessed to ensure the support provided does not only yield short term benefits.

What was key for MTN Rwanda was partnering with entities such as AEE, Alight and Nudor who are able to stay close to the women who participate in the program and ensure the financial support the winners receive is reinvested into their businesses so sustainable growth can be realized for these women entrepreneurs.

MTN conducts an annual assessment of the previous participants in the “Connect Women in Business” to get a view of the changes they have been able to implement in their business using the newly acquired business skills and prize money won during the Connect Women in Business Awards event that occurs every March.

In this way, “Connect Women in Business” aims to transcend traditional charity models, representing a deep commitment to fostering sustainable socio-economic development by harnessing the untapped potential of women entrepreneurs.

To date, as we conclude the fifth season of “Connect Women in Business”, this initiative has successfully supported over 150 women savings, benefiting more than 2,000 individuals.

Through “Connecting Women in Business”, MTN Rwanda identifies and supports women savings groups that have defied the odds to establish and grow their businesses. These women represent the backbone of their communities, demonstrating remarkable resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

By providing financial assistance and resources, MTN Rwanda empowers these women to scale up their businesses, create employment opportunities, and contribute significantly to economic development in their respective communities. MTN Rwanda prioritizes a diverse range of women across multiple sectors, including agriculture, arts, entrepreneurship, digital, and individuals with disabilities.

As we celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and recognize the vital role they play in driving economic growth, we believe it is essential to create platforms for connecting and supporting women in business. By fostering networks, providing mentorship, and facilitating access to markets and resources, we can empower women entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed in their ventures.

MTN Rwanda’s “Connect Women in Business” is just one of the many examples of how private sector entities can contribute to women’s empowerment and inclusive economic development.

By partnering with stakeholders across sectors, we can build a more equitable and prosperous future where every woman can unleash her full potential and contribute to the prosperity of her community and nation.

In conclusion, empowering women in business is not just the right thing to do; it is also the smart thing to do. By investing in women entrepreneurs, we can unlock a powerful engine of economic growth, drive innovation, and build more resilient and inclusive societies. Let us continue to support and champion women in business, recognizing them as catalysts for positive change and progress.

South Africa’s credit sector shows signs of improvement

Staff Writer

Johannesburg cityscape, taken at sunset, showing Hillbrow residential centre with the prominent Ponte flats and the communications tower.

Eighty20 has released its 2023 Q4 Credit Stress Report (CSR) in collaboration with Xpert Decision Systems (XDS) outlining developments in the credit sector as well as its impact on the economic landscape:
The 2023 Q3 analysis brought a glimmer of hope to South Africa’s credit sector for the first time in years. This optimism was short-lived as Q4 highlighted a blend of both positive and negative indicators with the unemployment rate increasing slightly, inflation creeping up, and consumer confidence dipping down again.

Despite this, there was a significant improvement within the credit sector as the percentage of loans in arrears decreased by a full percentage point.Our economy bounced back to its pre-Covid level in mid-2023, and Q4 saw a 0.1% growth in the economy (following a 0.25% decline in GDP during Q3 of 2023), meaning we avoided a technical recession.

The UK has already slipped into a technical recession, and globally, the outlook remains bleak.

Below are a few Q4 developments:

– This was the first quarter since Q1 2020 where the average outstanding balances have seen a QoQ decrease. The decrease was 0.7% since the last quarter.

– Over the past two years, total loan balances for vehicle asset finance (VAF) among the middle class have been declining, resulting in 100,000 fewer middle-class individuals holding VAF loans during that timeframe.

– The total value of home-loan balances experienced its first decrease since the onset of the Covid lockdown.

– In December, retail sales delivered a surprise by increasing 2.7% year-on-year (YoY) before inflation. However, overall, 2023 saw a 1% decline compared to 2022 in real terms. During this quarter, there were 1.25 million new retail loans.

– The average ratio of monthly instalments to net income for all South Africans is currently at 47%, indicating that nearly half of the income of the average credit-active individual is allocated to debt servicing. Among the middle class, this ratio is nearing 80%, marking a 14.5% increase over the year.

Constrained credit market

All major listed banks acknowledged the impact of credit impairments on their 2023 financial results. African Bank revealed it had to double its provisions to account for bad debt, whereas Standard Bank noted that while its credit impairment charges had decelerated, they remained at elevated levels.

Consequently, banks and retailers are adopting stricter measures in extending credit to new customers, alongside writing off overdue debts. Interestingly, this trend could account for the second consecutive QoQ decline in the proportion of loans in arrears, currently standing at 36.4%, as banks eliminate bad debts from their records.

These observations mirror trends evident in the credit data. It is the first QoQ decrease in average outstanding balances since Q1 2020. Moreover, both the total open loans and the count of credit-active individuals experienced a marginal 1% QoQ increase.

Concurrently, overdue balances exhibited a reduction of 0.5% QoQ, amounting to R188.6bn.

Unsecured loans growing; larger secured loans are not

There were more than 600,000 net new loans in the quarter, which reflected the trend of large loan products (home and car loan) typically reserved for the middle class, Heavy Hitters and Comfortable Retirees are shrinking significantly.

Conversely, there was also robust growth across the retail and unsecured loan sectors.The percentage of new loans as a proportion of credit-active individuals, home loans and VAF are down but there is a significant increase in both retail and unsecured loans.

Vehicle finance under pressure

Currently, there’s a noticeable decline in the number of people opting for Vehicle and Asset Finance (VAF) compared to 2019.

Year-on-Year, VAF loan numbers have dipped by almost 1%. Total VAF loan balances have seen less than 1% growth each quarter over the last three quarters, culminating in a YoY growth rate of 3.8%.

Concurrently, overdue VAF balances have decreased by 4% year-on-year.This trend has particularly impacted the middle class, constituting approximately 30% of all VAF loans. Their loan balances have steadily decreased over the past two years, with a notable decrease of 100,000 individuals with VAF loans in this segment during that period.

Passenger vehicle sales have also experienced a decline, with year-to-date figures in December 2023 showing a decrease of 4.4% compared to 2019. January hasn’t shown any improvement either, with new sales down by 6.7% compared to January 2023.

The decrease in VAF financing and new car sales has opened up opportunities for companies like WeBuyCars. They report receiving approximately 14,000 credit applications per month and aim to transition cash sales into formal credit channels.

Some of these cash sales currently involve loans from family, friends, and informal lenders, suggesting a potential benefit in formalising this process. With inflation exacerbating the already high costs of new cars (as highlighted in a recent TopAuto article revealing that nearly three-quarters of all new cars in SA now exceed half a million rand), there is significant potential for growth in this market.

Home loan market is also struggling

While there has been a 6.4% growth in home loans by value YoY, the total value of home loans decreased this quarter for the first time since the Covid lockdown. The number of home-loan holders has grown 1% YoY, with the number of home loans growing 1.7%.

Average Instalments on home loans are up 13%, and overdue balances up 56% YoY. There are roughly 200,000 new home loans issued per year in South Africa. The rate at which new loans are being issued has been dropping, with new home loans as a percentage of credit active individuals showing a decreasing nearly 6% over the last two years.

This is unlikely to change until interest rates come down, presumably in mid-2024.Nalen Naidoo, general manager of Property24 explains: “The increases in the repo rate in 2022 and 2023 have had a cooling effect on property transfers.

Based on an analysis of Deeds Office data, we estimate that the year-on-year erf and sectional scheme transfers are down 15% in terms of value and 20% in terms of counts This includes all property types (including commercial) and comprise transfers, not loans.

Retail loan performance proving to be resilient

The overall number of retail loans grew by 441,000 this quarter to nearly 25 million retail accounts held by roughly 14 million individuals. The YoY growth in the number of retail loans is at 4%, and by value 9% over that same period.In December, retail sales experienced an unexpected surge, rising by 2.7% YoY in real terms. This upturn helped offset a lacklustre performance during the Black Friday period.

The primary contributors to this growth were retailers specialising in textiles, clothing, footwear, and leather goods. However, despite this positive development, retail sales for 2023 overall were down by 1% compared to 2022 in real terms.

Instalment to income ratios continue to surge

What strategies are South Africans employing to prevent defaulting on their debt? According to the data, the average instalment-to-net monthly income ratio has been on the rise since the third quarter of 2021. These increments are significant.These trends are fuelled by stagnant income growth and individuals responding to inflationary pressures and rising interest rates by seeking larger unsecured loans.

It’s important to exercise caution when drawing conclusions, as the debt-to-income ratio relies on predicted income, which may be less precise for both high-income earners and those with lower incomes, often reliant on cash transactions.

According to a recent BusinessTech article, over the past seven years, average take-home pay has increased by just 1%, while inflation has surged by 40%. To cope with this financial strain, people have increasingly turned to retail loans for clothing and homeware purchases, relying on unsecured loans and credit cards for other expenses.

Notably, credit-card balances have demonstrated double-digit year-on-year growth for eight out of the last 10 quarters, peaking at 15% in mid-2022.

“As we step into 2024, the outlook is still fragile, but it may not be as bleak as some might think. Echoing the sentiments of Adrian Gore, chief executive officer of the Discovery Group, often the narrative about South Africa is significantly worse than the reality. “There are signs of improvement, and with cautious optimism, we can navigate towards a brighter economic future,” adds Andrew Fulton, director at Eighty20.

Rate of TB diagnosis, treatment in Africa increasing

World Health Organization

Rate of TB diagnosis, treatment in Africa increasing

Brazzaville – About 70% of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the African region are now being diagnosed and treated, marking the highest case-detection rate in the region ever, thanks to concerted efforts by countries to address the threat of the disease.

Although the case detection rate has been on the rise since 2018, the region saw a significant increase between 2020 and 2022, rising from 60% to 70% of cases being detected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Report 2023. There has also been a notable reduction in the region in the number of people with TB who miss diagnosis. An estimated 700 000 people missed diagnosis in 2022, a 10% reduction compared with 2021. To further rally efforts to end the disease through concerted global efforts to advance detection, diagnosis and treatment, World TB Day is being marked this year under the theme “Yes! We can end TB”. 

In the African region a range of factors have helped boost TB diagnosis rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries-maintained TB notification services, ensuring that cases were detected and treated. In Nigeria, which has a huge TB burden, case notification nearly tripled over the past five years to 285 000 cases in 2022 from 106 000 cases in 2018. Improvement in the management of HIV infection, a significant driver of TB, has also bolstered TB detection rates in the region.

“More efforts are still needed to reduce the devastating impacts of this disease on families and communities. As WHO we continue working closely with governments to address the barriers to effective response and speed up the momentum to make TB history,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The region, which accounts of 23% of TB cases and 33% of deaths globally, is making steady progress towards ending the disease.  For example, Cabo Verde, Eswatini and South Africa have achieved at least a 50% reduction in TB cases. The WHO End TB Strategy calls for countries to reduce TB deaths by 75% and cases by 50% by 2025 compared with the 2015 levels.

Across the region TB deaths fell by 38% and new cases declined by 23% in 2022 compared with 2015. High-burden TB countries have surpassed the 2025 milestone to lower TB deaths.

Despite the progress, further efforts are needed to meet the 2030 global End TB Strategy targets to cut TB deaths by 90% and cases by 80%. These include increased investments in TB control programmes. In 2022, in the African Region, the Global Plan to End TB 2018-2022 estimated that US$ 3.9 billion were required annually to achieve the targets, but only around US$ 890 million were mobilized for TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Domestic funding represented about 46% of total funding for TB (54% from international funding) in 2022. 

Limited access to health services, inadequate health infrastructure, insufficient quality of care, inadequate human resources for health and inadequate social protection are also impeding progress to ending TB. 

Globally TB continues to claim millions of lives annually. In the African region Africa, TB was the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, with nearly 2.5 million people falling ill and 424 000 lives lost in 2022.

GRAPHIC-Congo overtakes Peru on copper output, still behind on exports

Marco Aquino and Felix Njini

LIMA/JOHANNESBURG, March 22 (Reuters) – The Democratic Republic of the Congo overtook Peru as the world’s second largest copper producer in 2023, though it still lags the South American country in exports, official data from both nations show.

Congo produced about 2.84 million tons of copper last year, the country’s central bank reported. Peru’soutput was 2.76 million tons, the Andean country’s mining and energy ministry said

Congo has been reeling in Peru’s No. 2 copper spot over recent years, with flagging mining investment in Peru linked to red tape and recent political turmoil and protests. Chile remains the distant top producer of the red metal.

Peru, however, is hanging onto its lead over Congo on copper exports. Peru exported some 2.95 million tons of the metal last year, more than its annual production due to sales of stocks held over from previous years.

Rómulo Mucho, Peru’s minister of energy and mines, said in early March he expected copper production to increase to 3 million tons in 2024. The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Peru’s Andes are home to major mining firms including Freeport-McMoRan FCX.N, MMG Ltd 1208.HK, BHP BHP.AX, Glencore GLEN.L, Teck Resources TECKb.TO, Japan’s Mitsubishi 8058.T, and Southern Copper of Grupo México GMEXICOB.MX.

Congo out coppers Peru https://tmsnrt.rs/3RhwFlS

Congo out coppers Peru (Interactive) https://tmsnrt.rs/44LABOV

Copper exports: Congo reels in Peru https://tmsnrt.rs/3MNpEFN

Copper exports: Congo reels in Peru (Interactive) https://tmsnrt.rs/3Cbka2s

(Reporting by Marco Aquino in Lima and Felix Njini; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Richard Chang)

China committed to deepening cultural, economic collaboration with Nigeria — Envoy

Ifedayo Ogunyemi

Nigeria and China flags. Getty Images Image used for illustrative purpose.

The People’s Republic of China has assured the Federal Government of Nigeria of its commitment towards deepening cultural and economic collaboration between the two countries.

The Consul-General of the Chinese Consulate in Lagos, Ms Yan Yuqing, disclosed this when she launched the free Chinese Online Classroom Project at the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ) in Igbesa, Ogun State.

While explaining that the project was in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Education, Yuqing said the Free Trade Zone Online Chinese Classroom was a significant milestone in the cultural and economic collaboration between Nigeria and China.

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The initiative, she said, aligns with President Xi Jinping’s African development support, which “seeks to cultivate Chinese-speaking talents, bolster local economies and foster mutual understanding.”

She said: “The online class aims to foster cultural exchange and strengthen Nigeria-China relations by offering Mandarin Chinese learning opportunities to tertiary students and interested individuals. With a focus on technology transfer, career enhancement, and global preparedness, the project signifies OGFTZ’s commitment to facilitating a positive environment for Nigerian and Chinese businesses.”

The hybrid event was attended by chairman of Chinese Plus, Madame Wang Jinhong; Ogun State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu; President of Yunnan Agricultural University, Prof Li Yonghe, who was represented by Prof Wei Hongjiang; CEO of Guangdong New South Overseas Investment Holdings Co., Ltd, Mr Deng Yu; Vice President of China Glass Holdings Co. Ltd, Mr Cai Guo and General Manager of Senda Group Nigeria Branch, Mr Song Bin.

Chairman of Chinese Plus, Madame Jinhong, who emphasised the initiative’s goal of making Chinese learning accessible worldwide through online courses and live broadcasts, said the collaboration with Yunnan Agricultural University promises to cultivate proficient language speakers that will be equipped with vocational skills while bridging cultures and creating opportunities for cooperation.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy General Manager of China-Africa Investment FZC, Kevin Liu, stressed that the key component of the programme is to equip university undergraduates as well as widen their chances in skill acquisition and economic empowerment.

He added that apart from the involvement of the academy environment, the locals who are interested in learning the Chinese language will also benefit from the programme.

He said: “We are very confident that the project will be successful and what we want is that the whole of Africa and Nigeria will benefit from it all.”

One of the project coordinators, Madame Wang, explained that the project will bridge the gap that existed between the workers and the experts, adding that the aim is to transfer knowledge to the workers through learning the language.

She said, “We want to improve the technical skills of the workers, we want to be more localised. There is a gap between the knowledge and vocational skills, our target is to bridge the gap.”

She disclosed that the organisers of the class are also looking for avenues to develop a curriculum with the higher institutions in the state, revealing that over 600 persons have registered for both physical and online classes.

In his remarks, Arigbabu, the Ogun commissioner assured the Chinese of the state government support, saying the government is ready to accommodate the teaching of Chinese in its curriculum to improve knowledge as well as better opportunities and empowerment.

One of the students, Tongnyan David, appreciated the Chinese government for organising the free Chinese online class.

“I am happy to be part of this project. It will help me to speak and learn the language which will enhance my skills and technical know-how of the machines as well as earn big pay,” he said.

Tinubu endorses sustainability reporting initiative for investment promotion in Nigeria

Leon Usigbe

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu speaks after his swearing-in ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria May 29, 2023. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to diligently implement world-leading sustainability reporting standards aimed at unlocking capital investments, transforming business models, and safeguarding the environment in the country.

According to a statement issued by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), the President gave the assurance during a meeting with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Chair, Mr. Emmanuel Faber at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The statement informed Tinubu’s endorsement coincided with the launch of Nigeria’s Adoption Readiness Roadmap by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) in collaboration with ISSB.

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It explained that the roadmap aims to guide businesses towards comprehensive sustainability reporting standards.

Highlighting the importance of compliance within the sustainability agenda, President Tinubu pledged that Nigeria would continue to adhere to international standards and expressed readiness to collaborate with ISSB to effectively harness national resources through reformed and reinforced financial management systems.

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”As an administration, we are committed to adopting cutting-edge models for financial reporting and process standardization. This applies to environmental regulation, where we are on the verge of significantly reducing the volume of gas flaring in the country. We are more transparent than ever before, and we are doing everything possible to represent the continent in a way that will be beneficial to humanity as a whole,” the president stated.

ISSB Chair, Mr. Emmanuel Faber, while recounting Nigeria’s commitment to sustainability reporting, noted that at COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022, Africa’s largest economy had expressed its intent to be among the earliest adopters of rigorous new standards, which is now a reality.

”I am extremely happy to be in Nigeria as the country announces its Adoption Readiness Roadmap. Nigeria is leading the pack in Africa and around the world, and these standards, which Nigeria is willingly adopting, will unlock sustainable capital inflows through foreign direct investments, promote inclusivity in value chains, and facilitate the decarbonization of the national economy,” Mr. Faber said.

Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), explained that Nigeria’s decision to join the global baseline for sustainability reporting marks the country as one of the earliest proponents committed to enhancing the transparency of financial information and business performance through sustainable reporting practices.

”The adoption readiness working group is set to pilot our affairs and roadmap to help us succeed on this journey. We are happy to inform the President that the work of the adoption readiness roadmap is ready, and we have the roadmap for businesses to follow. We have five sets of early adopters, and we have a period for voluntary adoption leading up to 2028 for mandatory adoption of the standards,” he added.

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Ghana’s economy grew 3.8% in fourth quarter of 2023 – statistics office

Christian Akorlie and Maxwell Akalaare Adombila

A man trades U.S. dollars for Ghanaian cedis at a currency exchange office in Accra, Ghana, June 15, 2015. Picture taken June 15. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

Ghana’s economy grew 3.8% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, the country’s statistics agency said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Christian Akorlie and Maxwell Akalaare Adombila; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Bate Felix)

Malta emerges as a premier investment and relocation destination for South Africans

Staff Writer

Johannesburg City Skyline. Aerial View Of Illuminated Buildings In City At Night. – stock photo Photo taken in Johannesburg, South Africa. Image Courtesy

Malta Invest and Frank Salt are excited to announce that they will be hosting free presentations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban during April 2024.

As the global investment landscape continues to evolve, Malta has emerged as a premier destination for South Africans seeking lucrative investment opportunities. With its stable economy, favourable tax laws and high quality of life, Malta offers a compelling proposition for those looking to diversify their portfolios or secure a residency or retirement option whilst enjoying the benefit of both EU membership as well as being in the heart of the sunny Mediterranean.

South Africans are increasingly turning to Malta for its attractive property market, which presents a range of investment options from residential properties to commercial real estate. The island nation’s strategic location, coupled with its robust legal framework and business-friendly environment, make it an ideal choice for investors looking to expand their international holdings.

Moreover, Malta’s residency and citizenship programmes provide South Africans with a viable “plan B” option, offering a secure and stable environment for individuals and families looking to safeguard their future. The ease of doing business in Malta, combined with its Mediterranean charm and rich cultural heritage, further solidifies its appeal as a top destination for investment and relocation.

Malta, as an EU Member state and part of the Schengen area, offers top-notch healthcare and education systems. With English as an official language and driving on the same side of the road, South Africans find it easy to adapt. Malta’s economy is robust and stable, showing 6.1% GDP growth in 2023. Additionally, the country is known for being a safe and secure place to live.

To learn more about the investment opportunities in Malta and how South Africans can benefit from them, interested parties are invited to attend the one-on-one meetings hosted by Malta Invest and Frank Salt. The meeting will cover a range of topics, including real estate, residency and citizenship options and more, providing attendees with valuable insights.

Frank Salt Real Estate has been operating in Malta since 1969. They offer a one-stop shop assisting with purchasing, renting out and managing you property for you. Malta Invest has been operating since 2015 and has assisted many South Africans with property investment and relocation to Malta.

Dates: Johannesburg, 11 and 12 April; Cape Town, 15 and 16 April; and Durban 17 and 18 April 2024.