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Zimbabwe launches gold coins to boost economy

Zimbabwe has launched gold coins to be sold to the public, in a bid to curb an inflation spike that has eroded the country’s unstable currency.

The move was announced on Monday by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which disbursed 2,000 coins to commercial banks.

Called Mosi-oa-Tunya, which in the local Tonga language refers to Victoria Falls, the coins “will have liquid asset status”, meaning they “will be capable of being easily converted to cash and will be tradable locally and internationally”, the central bank said in its announcement, adding the coins “may also be used for transactional purposes”.

Holders will only be able to trade them for cash after 180 days from the date of buying.

Individuals or companies will be able to buy them from authorized outlets such as banks and keep them at a bank or take them home, according to the announcement. Foreigners can only buy the coins in foreign currency.

The first batch was minted outside the country but eventually, they will be produced locally, said John Mangudya, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

He added the 22-carat coins can be used for purchases in shops, depending on whether the shop has enough change, as well as security for loans and credit facilities.

Their price will be determined by the international market rate for an ounce of gold, plus five percent of the cost of producing the coin. At the time of the launch on Monday, the cost of one Mosi oa Tunya was $1,824.

Trust in Zimbabwe’s currency is low after people saw their savings wiped out by hyperinflation in 2008. In June, inflation jumped to 191.6 percent, from 132 percent in May.

Authorities are struggling to pull Zimbabwe from the grips of an economic crisis characterized by a rapidly devaluing local currency, 90 percent unemployment, and declining manufacturing output.

Harare-based independent economist Victor Bhoroma told Al Jazeera that “gold coins are a good idea in terms of storing value … but they will likely be indexed in US dollar which means it’s a fundraising scheme to get US dollars from the market by the central bank. The success will thus depend on confidence in the central bank as the seller of the coins and guarantees that back them.”

Internationally, gold coins are used in countries such as China, South Africa, and Australia to hedge against inflation and as an investment opportunity, although they are not as widely used as currency as envisaged by Zimbabwe’s central bank.

Harare has substantial gold deposits and exports of the precious metal are one of the southern African country’s major foreign currency earners.

However, gold smuggling has been rampant. Smuggling is costing the country about 33 tonnes of gold annually, according to a report issued last month by the Centre for Natural Resource Governance.

All gold mined in Zimbabwe is supposed to be sold to the central bank, but many producers prefer to smuggle it out of the country in order to get payment in US dollars.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
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AgrictechAgricultureBanking & FinanceBusinessEconomy

Young people are the future, they will build a better world- Amb Abdullahi Bindawa

Young people are the future. But all too often in today’s world young women and men are marginalized and excluded – from decent employment and from crucial decisions about how to address the big challenges that face us all. Their voices are rarely heard in democratic debate and their needs and views are rarely reflected in policies and programme.

Yet more than ever the world needs young people’s ideas, their talents and their energy. In rural areas, we particularly need their drive and innovative skills to sustainably produce the food required by an increasingly populous and urbanized world.

Young people aged 15 to 24 make up 17 per cent of the developing world’s population. In the least developed countries alone, 15.7 million young women and men will join the working-age population every year between 2010 and 2050.

 

Many of them will live in rural areas and work outside the formal sector. Today in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, 62 per cent of young people work on family farms, where they are often unpaid and unprotected. Given the sheer numbers of young people reaching working age, the potential of a so-called “demographic dividend” is great, but so is the risk.

Integrating young people into productive society boosts their countries’ economic growth while also contributing to political stability and social harmony. If we fail to bring young women and men into the economic mainstream, we will lose the contributions of this generation while raising the likelihood of social unrest.

These facts have shaped IFAD’s agenda more and more in recent years. They are reflected in our current strategic framework, which calls for “creating viable opportunities for rural youth”. And they are seen in the programmes and projects we support, which increasingly work directly with young rural people and prioritize their needs.

I am pleased to see that youth issues are also increasingly on the global agenda. For example, the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan on Youth (Youth SWAP) represents a real opportunity for UN agencies, including International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to create partnerships that serve young people better.

The international community is now formulating the post-2015 development agenda. All parties clearly recognize that inclusivity and equity are crucial for broad and sustainable poverty reduction. This is a golden opportunity to reverse the marginalization of young people, and especially of young women and men outside the cities. Modernizing food production systems, providing green energy, addressing environmental degradation and climate change, and driving growth in rural areas all require their dynamism and creativity.

We know what we need to do to support young rural people. We must provide high-quality education and relevant training. We must create an environment that generates decent jobs with opportunities for all young people.

We must enable them to gain access to the resources, inputs and services they need to be productive. We must also recognize that migration will be the right choice for some young rural people, and we must help make it a good choice that is safe and rewarding. And we must support young people’s genuine participation in their communities and nations.

Working in partnership with young rural people and their organizations to make all of this possible is central to IFAD’s programme of work. It is also indispensable to creating a more equitable, just and sustainable world.

Amb Abdullahi Bindawa DSC, UN Security Expert. Nigerian educator, Humanitarian worker and was the most widely recognized young leader in the Africa continent

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Banking & FinanceEconomy

WEMA Bank expands long-term business agreement with Network International

WEMA Bank Plc., one of Nigeria’s oldest financial institutions, has renewed and expanded its long-term business agreement with Network International (https://www.Network.ae/en), the leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East.

Building on their long-term relationship, Network International will be helping WEMA Bank increase its card-issuing capacity as well as support its ATM processing capabilities in Africa.

We are delighted to strengthen our alliance with WEMA Bank

The agreement underlines the two companies’ shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments and support emerging markets’ transition to a cashless economy.

WEMA Bank prides itself on the deep connection it shares with its customers, to understand their needs and meet them consistently. This collaboration will provide the bank access to Network International’s advanced digital infrastructure, allowing it to better meet its customers’ payment and card needs in Africa. The network has been at the forefront of driving digital payments acceptance across Africa and the Middle East, offering end-to-end payment solutions to a growing client base in over 50 countries.

Damola Bolodeoku, Head, e-Business & Payments, WEMA Bank, said: “Network International has been a partner of Wema Bank for some time for processing, card portfolio management, and acquirer processing, and we have enjoyed the professionalism of the organization as well as its adherence to international standards and specifications. Network-processed Mastercard cards are issued and delivered at no cost through Alat (by Wema), Africa’s first digital bank, and that partnership has blossomed over the last 48 months with well over 500,000 cards issued through Network’s support.”

Hany Fekry, Regional President – Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, said “Network International already enjoys a long-term, successful relationship with WEMA Bank, having helped the bank deliver many innovative products to their customers over the years. The expansion of our agreement is also a testament to the confidence the bank has in our best-in-class solutions and technical expertise. We are delighted to strengthen our alliance with WEMA Bank, with the common goal of achieving increased digital adoption and the improved customer experience in the African market.”

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Banking & FinanceBusinessEconomyReport

EBID Launches West Africa Development Outlook

The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has officially launched the maiden editions of its West African Development Outlook (WADO) and RENDEZ-VOUS quarterly newsletter under the auspices of Dr. George Agyekum Donkor, President, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EBID.

In a press statement made available to journalists, it was noted that in attendance at the virtual launching ceremony were members of EBID’s Board of Governors, Board of Directors, ECOWAS institutions and agencies, bilateral and multilateral partners, and the press corps.

The launch of the Bank’s knowledge products is aimed at enhancing the socio-economic discourse of the sub-region, inform and bring value to the ECOWAS Member States, and brand the Bank not only as a Development Finance Institution (DFI) but also as a Knowledge Institution, abreast with the socio-economic challenges of the sub-region and therefore better positioned to partner Member States in the post-COVID-19 transformation agenda.

During his address at the virtual ceremony, Dr. Donkor explained that “the WADO is an annual publication of socio-economic indicators in the sub-region, which reports on the performance and outlook at the country level as well as the sub-regional level, with recommendations on how to navigate some of the development challenges of the sub-region in the short -to -medium-term. The publication is made up of four sections, namely, performance and prospects, policy options, country briefs, and a statistical appendix.”

The RENDEZ-VOUS, on the other hand, is a quarterly Newsletter (print and online), which provides relevant and valuable information about the Bank’s activities and a platform for sharing development content to engage stakeholders. It is structured into news and events, quarterly focus, an opinion segment, and diverse content relating to EBID’s partners.

Dr. Donkor urged all stakeholders of EBID to delve into the publications to better understand and partner with EBID to transform ECOWAS communities.

 

 

 

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Banking & FinanceEconomyEducationInternational

IsDB, ISFD NGOs Empowerment for Poverty Reduction Program

Following the program introductory mapping workshops organized in 2020 and launching the crowdfunding academy in Kazakhstan. Today, the Resilience and Social Development Department (RSD), Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) and Program strategic partner (UNDP) had celebrated its closing ceremony in Kazakhstan, an important journey of finalizing the crowdfunding academy training, partnership with the ultimate objective to improve the socio-economic well-being of the most vulnerable and hard to reach communities in Kazakhstan and IsDB Member Countries.

27 CSOs participated in the Academy, developed a crowdfunding campaign using e-learning tools and offline training by following a tested program that offers learning materials and presentations, work assignments and guidance from leading crowdfunding experts.

In his opening remark, Abdi Abdullahi, the Principal, Social Development Resilience & Social Development, said, “I am delighted to see that the international aggregated platform is known as TADAMON” “Solidarity in Arabic” is indeed an effective vehicle for equipping winners of the crowdfunding academy with tools to benefit from crowdsourcing and crowdfunding”. Khemais El Gazzah Senior Adviser to the ISFD DG said “I’m excited that today you have presented us the outcome of the first batch of CSOs graduating from this capacity building crowdfunding training academy. This means they will campaign on TADAMON and ensure delivering their projects at their local community grass root level.  In addition, the IsDB Civil Society Lead (Ahmed Berthe) said, “The successful conclusion of this training is an important milestone on the road to the rest of the CSOs in our 57 MCs.

The successful conclusion of this training is an important milestone on the road to the rest of the CSOs in our 57 MCs

The TADAMON (TADAMON.community) Crowdfunding Academy, is an online training program that enables civil society organizations (CSOs) to raise funds using crowdfunding, aims to empower CSOs with know-how on how to finance their projects and ideas in alternative ways, build and grow their community, give their projects more visibility, and engage more partners and donors.

The program’s mission comes on the back of a US $10 million seed contribution of the ISFD. It seeks to empower CSOs in IsDB Member Countries to improve the socio-economic well-being of the hard-to-reach communities through refugees’ education, job creation, building resilience, and training, among which the crowdfunding academy and community livelihoods development.

The TADAMON Crowdfunding Academy is a part of the IsDB – ISFD NGO Empowerment for Poverty Reduction Program, which is sponsored by the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), managed by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other strategic partners.

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