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A chat with Zimbabwe’s new president

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“THE land resettlement was a huge success in terms of our people, 367,000 of our people, back in possession of the land,” says President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the expropriation of most of Zimbabwe’s white-owned farmland since 2000—a move that wrecked the economy and pushed millions into poverty. Was it fair that bigwigs of his ruling Zanu-PF party took several farms each? “No, no, it is one farm, one person,” he says. “I have 404 hectares and I paid for the equipment myself.” Mr Mnangagwa admits, however, that Zimbabwe “became almost a country without friends” under Robert Mugabe, who was ejected in a coup last year. Now “Zimbabwe is open for business,” says Mr Mnangagwa, speaking in his home in Borrowdale, the poshest suburb of Harare, the capital. Stockily built, with watchful hooded ey

As Morocco’s economy slows, the jobless are getting restive

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FOR over a year, fishermen, miners and jobless graduates in northern Morocco have demanded more help from the government. To be fair, the government is acutely aware of the need to create more jobs. Even as the protests rage, workers are putting the finishing touches on Marchica, the first of seven eco-resorts planned for the northern coast under the king’s ten-year plan to increase tourism. “We can’t just build hospitals and schools,” says Sami Bouhmidi, one of Marchica’s managers. “We need to lay the foundations for investment and regeneration.” Morocco’s development has been impressive. A growing manufacturing sector, investment by European and Chinese firms, and stronger links with sub-Saharan Africa have boosted the economy. Since 2000 GDP per person has increased by 70% in real te

Increasing debt in many African countries is a cause for worry

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“A FOOL’S bargain.” That is how Idriss Déby, Chad’s president, now describes the state oil company’s decision to borrow $1.4bn from Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss commodities trader, in 2014. The loan was to be repaid with future sales of crude, then trading above $100 a barrel. But two years later, as the price dived, debt payments were swallowing 85% of Chad’s dwindling oil revenue. For weeks schools have been closed and hospitals paralysed, as workers strike against austerity. On February 21st, after fractious talks, Chad and Glencore agreed to restructure the deal. Chad’s woes recall an earlier era, when African economies groaned beneath unpayable debts. By the mid-1990s much of the continent was frozen out of the global financial system. The solution, reached in 2005, was for rich countr

How a small African nation is beating AIDS

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AS A middle-class Senegalese man, Salou (not his real name) was rather proud of his roundness in 2002. But by 2003 his clothes were falling off. He got tested and found he had AIDS. His pregnant wife was also infected with HIV. They went to Dakar, Senegal’s capital, and she was put on antiretroviral drugs to prevent the infection of her unborn child. “When my son was born he tested negative, thank God,” exclaimed Salou. The hopeful tale of Salou’s baby is far from universal. Although west and central Africa have long had a lower prevalence of HIV than the south and east (see map), the region still has a stubbornly high rate of new infections. In south and east Africa close on 20m people have the virus, almost four times more than in west and central Africa. From this high base, the numb

Buhari vows Dapchi schoolgirl still in Boko Haram captivity because she refused to reounce Christianity ‘will not be abandoned’

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to free the only Dapchi schoolgirl believed to still be in Boko Haram captivity. In a tweet Thursday, the President said the government will not relent in its efforts to have Leah Sharibu reunited with ...Powered by WPeMatico

Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Apc National Women Leader Applauds The Return Of Dapchi Girls To Families.

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On behalf of Nigerian mothers and All Progressive Congress (APC) women, I wholeheartedly felicitate with the entire families of the recently released Dapchi girls . Our joy know no boundaries because as parents and mothers we understand the abject ag ...Powered by WPeMatico

Liah Sharibu: the Dapchi schoolgirl still held captive by Boko Haram for refusing to forsake her Christian faith

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A month after Boko Haram kidnapped 110 girls from their secondary school in the northeastern Nigeria town of Daphi, the terrorists have returned 104 of their victims to the same area where they were seized. According to witnesses who spoke to The ...Powered by WPeMatico

Why tariffs on steel and aluminium are easier said than done

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HISTORY will rhyme on March 23rd, when Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium imports are due to come into force. Several previous presidents, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, also used tariffs in an attempt to protect America’s steel producers from foreign competition. (There are historical echoes, too, in Mr Trump’s plans to slap tariffs on a range of Chinese imports; in the 1980s Japan was the target.) A rhyme is not a repeat. But past experience is not encouraging.The central problem for America’s policymakers is that trade is like water. Block its flow in one place and pressure builds elsewhere. When many countries are covered by tariffs, trade may simply be diverted through those countries that are let off the hook. Importers will howl for exemptions. As a result, whatever