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IMF Lowers South Africa’s Economic Growth Forecasts

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IMF Lowers South Africa’s Economic Growth Forecasts

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday cut South Africa’s economic growth forecasts for this year and next, citing urgent reforms to shore up its growth.

The fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook report, said the country needed to implement reforms to improve policy certainty and the efficiency of state-owned companies.

“The IMF now expects South Africa’s economy to expand 0.8 per cent, down from a forecast of 1.5 per cent in July.

“It also expects the economy to grow 1.4 per cent in 2019, down from a previous estimate of 1.7 per cent.

“Recent reforms in South Africa, such as measures adopted to tackle corruption, to strengthen procurement, and in the intention to eliminate wasteful expenditure, are welcome.

“However, further reforms are needed to increase policy certainty, improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, enhance flexibility in the labor market, improve basic education, and align training with business needs,” the IMF said.

Having stagnated for a decade, South Africa’s economy slipped further in the second quarter by entering recession for the first time since 2009.

In response, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a plan to shift government expenditure and launch an infrastructure fund.

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African News

New Law To Criminalize Activities Of Opposition Political Parties in Tanzania

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New Law To Criminalize Activities Of Opposition Political Parties in Tanzania

At least ten opposition parties in Tanzania have said proposed amendments to a law governing political parties in the country would criminalise their activities.

Critics have accused President John Magufuli, of increasingly cracking down on dissent with restrictions on the political opposition, the media, bloggers and non-governmental organisations. His government denies the accusations.

Chairman of one of the 10 parties Hashim Rungwe, said at a news conference in the capital Dar es salaam, the proposed amendments would curtail constitutional freedoms.

He says the proposed bill is against the constitution and political parties were not involved from initial stages and their views were not considered.

Rungwe, says, the bill is full of criminal punishments for minor infringements which make political activities crimes.”

Among its provisions, the new law would ban parties from functioning as “activist” groups. It would give sweeping powers to a government official to suspend or fire a party member for a range of reasons, and also gives the official influence over internal party elections.

The government says the law, is needed to force parties to adhere to the country’s constitution.

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African News

Kenya Unveils New Currency Coins

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Kenya Unveils New Currency Coins

In Kenya, new currency coins that replace the images of presidents with animals has been unveiled.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said while presiding over the roll out in the capital Nairobi, the features on the new 1, 5,10 and 20 shillings coins embrace Kenya’s historical and cultural heritage.

Central Bank officials, say the new-look coins, featuring a lion, elephant, hippo and giraffe, will serve as a means of passing knowledge, conserving culture, and promoting Kenya’s global uniqueness. Authorities also say the coins have features that are more appealing to visually impaired people.

Kenyan constitution, that came into effect eight years ago, prohibits the use of a person’s portrait on the country’s currencies.

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African News

Somali Lawmakers Drop Impeachment Motion Against President Mohamed

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Somali Lawmakers Drop Impeachment Motion Against President Mohamed

Somali legislators have dropped an impeachment motion against President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. Close to a hundred members of parliament had submitted on Sunday a vote of no confidence on the president. They said he secretly signed agreements that touched on the use of Somali ports and economic and security cooperation with other countries including Ethiopia and Eritrea.

He was also accused of violating Somalia’s federalism law, and the rules and regulations of parliament. The impeachment process could not be initiated because of a lack of support and required number of signatures.

A parliamentary clerk issued a statement saying 14 legislators had withdrawn their names from the 92 who supported the move. They said their names were wrongly used, and they did not support the motion.

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