Africa Briefs

13 September 2019 | Ekonomie
Mozambique to continue debt talks

Mozambique will continue to negotiate debt restructuring with creditors, despite a court ruling that a government-guaranteed US$850 million Eurobond issued by the state fishing company Ematum SA in 2013 was illegal, the finance minister said on Wednesday.

Finance minister Adriano Maleiane told a business conference in Maputo that the debt restructuring talks were not in violation of the June ruling by Mozambique's top court.

The US$850 million Eurobond was dubbed the "tuna bond" as it was supposed to finance a tuna fishing fleet and had been presented to investors as funding for fishing infrastructure, although much of the cash was later designated for maritime security and reallocated to the defence budget.

In 2016, Mozambican officials agreed to swap the tuna bond's outstanding US$697 million for a sovereign Eurobond.

On Monday the government said creditors holding 99.5% of Mozambique's US$726.5 million Eurobond support its debt restructuring proposal, paving the way for an overhaul of part of its heavy debt burden. – Nampa/Reuters

Libya conference to stabilise oil producer

Germany aims to host a conference about Libya this year in conjunction with the United Nations to try to stabilise the oil producing country, where rival factions have been fighting over the capital, Germany's ambassador to Libya said on Wednesday.

The plans, which are still in the early stages according to diplomats, are the first major diplomatic push since eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar launched in April an offensive to take the capital Tripoli, held by the internationally recognised government of premier Fayez al-Serraj.

UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame last month unveiled plans for an international Libya conference to bring together foreign powers backing rival groups on the ground, without naming a venue.

"Germany therefore initiated a consultation process with key international partners. With sufficient preparatory work these efforts could lead towards a meaningful international event this fall," Oliver Owcza, Germany's ambassador to Libya, said on Twitter.

He gave no details on the event announced just after German chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament the situation in the north African country risked destabilising the whole of Africa. Diplomatic sources said the event would be held in Berlin in October or November. – Nampa/Reuters

Egypt to start first phase of new capital city

Egypt's communications ministry will begin work on a 40 billion Egyptian pound (US$2.44 billion) telecommunications network in the first phase of a new capital city being built east of Cairo, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday.

The communications ministry signed a cooperation agreement with the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD,) the new capital's owner and developer, to begin working on the network over a period of six months.

The new city, known for now as the New Administrative Capital, is eventually expected to cover about 700 square km.

The first phase, covering about 168 square km, will have ministries, residential neighbourhoods, a diplomatic quarter and a financial district. A large mosque and cathedral, as well a hotel and conference centre, have already been built.

Egypt's government wants to start running the nation from the new capital in the desert from mid-2020. – Nampa/Reuters

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