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Angola Says To Request $4.5bn IMF Loan As Crisis Lingers

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Angola Says To Request $4.5bn IMF Loan As Crisis Lingers

Angola will ask the International Monetary Fund for a $4.5bn loan, highlighting the financial dire straits facing the major oil exporter even though global crude prices have recovered considerably.

Talks between Luanda and the IMF will begin in October, Finance Minister Archer Mangueira said at a media briefing on Monday.

“This extended programme… is primarily to consolidate the fiscal adjustment,” he said, to “reduce the budget deficit from 7% in 2017 to 3.4% in 2018”.

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Angola’s economic health has been dependent on its petroleum exports for decades and it is Africa’s second largest producer after Nigeria. Oil accounts for 70% of all revenue.

High oil prices in the 2000s helped Angola’s economic growth rate reach levels of almost 20%.

A slump in the global oil price from 2014 and the failure of authorities to diversify the economy plunged the country into a serious financial crisis that it has yet to escape.

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GDP shrunk by 0.7% in 2016.

While global oil prices have doubled since 2016, Angola’s economy is barely growing.

President Joao Lourenco came to office last year promising an “economic miracle”.

But his package of reforms to attract foreign investment, notably structural adjustment efforts, have been slow to bear fruit.

The IMF forecasts that the economy will grow by just 1.5 to 1.6% in 2018 which will likely be insufficient to remedy the country’s deep economic malaise and chronic unemployment.

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The Washington-based organisation said in a statement that it stands “ready to help” Angola and praised “important steps taken to improve governance and restore macro-economic stability”.

In 2016, the IMF gave the green light for a $4.5bn loan as Angola was engulfed by crisis but the offer was rejected by then-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

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African News

Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Conditions

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Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Condition

More than ten thousand Moroccan teachers have staged a new protest in the capital, Rabat, on Sunday to demand better working conditions.  This followed another demonstration that was broken up by police.

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These nationwide teacher strikes in Morocco have continued for three weeks and have drawn at least seventy-thousand public school teachers, marching across the country to protest against a new teacher employment contract they see as an attack on their rights and financial security.

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Their demands include legal due process for teachers facing dismissal, protection of the right to strike, periodic pay increases, increased teacher training, improved student transport and construction of more schools.

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African News

Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Storm-Hit Areas

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Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Hit Areas

Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe were hit last week by one of the biggest and most aggressive cyclones ever recorded in the Southern African region.  It took the storm a few hours to kill hundreds, topple homes, uproot trees and leave scores of residents submerged in water.

READ:  30 Killed In Angola Mine Collapse

Mozambique’s third largest city, Beira, received the largest share of the devastation.  The Port City was turned upside down.  The extent of the devastation is massive, and the city is still primarily without electricity, running water and mobile phone service.

READ:  Angola Ex-President's Son Remanded On Corruption Charge

Relief organizations, including the international federation of the red cross and red crescent societies, say some cases of cholera had already been reported.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe storm victims now face grief and hunger.  The country’s entertainment stars have organized a concert to raise funds to help victims.  There is growing fear of starvation in communities that have been cut off by smashed bridges or destroyed roads.

READ:  Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

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UN says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now Up To 134

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United Nations says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now 134

The United Nations says death toll from massacre in a village in Mali has risen to 134.

An ethnic Dogon militia, already blamed for scores of attacks in central Mali over the past year, is said to have attacked an ethnic village just before dawn on Saturday. The militia accused the ethnic community of having ties to jihadist groups.

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A visiting UN representative said in Bamako the killings are an “unspeakable attack.”  Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutterres condemned the attack and called on Malian authorities to swiftly investigate and bring perpetrators to justice.

READ:  Sudan Town Holds "Martyrs Rally" In Honour Of Killed Protesters

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