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Germany Commits €42.9M To Support EAC

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The EAC Secretariat and Germany successfully concluded their negotiations on development cooperation at the EAC Secretariat’s headquarter in Arusha, Tanzania.

In total, Germany committed up to €42.9 million for the next two years.

The negotiations were led by the Secretary General of the East African Community Secretariat, Libérat Mfumukeko, and Marcus von Essen, Head of the East Africa Division at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

While BMZ participated virtually, due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, Regine Hess, Ambassador of Germany to Tanzania and the EAC, joined the negotiations in Arusha.

Mfumukeko welcomed the German delegation and expressed his appreciation of the cooperation: “We are cooperating in critical sectors. Our joint programmes really touch the lives of the ordinary East African citizen.”

For the German side, Marcus von Essen commended the EAC for its strong role in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa.

Referring to the EAC-German cooperation in the health sector, he emphasized its preparedness to swiftly react to the pandemic, “We could build on the foundations that had been laid long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck – testing capacities could be made available quickly and cross-border cooperation created leverage in containing its further spread. Investments in human capital and laboratory equipment will continue in order to keep the regional level of preparedness high.”

Mr. von Essen also complimented the EAC and its Partner States for the economic integration steps already achieved, including the customs union and the common market protocol.

Looking forward, he stressed that Germany wanted to continue to stay at the EAC’s side and support the Community in harvesting the fruits of these integration steps by further deepening cooperation in the long-standing programmes on regional and social

Both sides agreed to continue and extend their ongoing cooperation. Out of a total of up to  €42.9 Million, Germany pledged €30.9 Million for cooperation on trade and  economic infrastructure.

It was stipulated that the ongoing programmes on economic integration and trade will be continued. 

Additionally, Germany’s assistance to the Lake  Victoria Basin Commission will be extended beyond the current support to integrated water resources management, to promote further development of the region around the Lake  Victoria and possibly Lake Tanganyika and other water basins. 

Germany pledged additional €12 Million to further improve pandemic preparedness. 

Both sides agreed to expand the ongoing support to pandemic prevention and strengthening  of disease monitoring by complementing the current mobile laboratories programme. 

With  the establishment of a regional network of supranational and specialised reference  laboratories, the EAC pandemic preparedness capacities will be taken to the next level and  the EAC resilience towards future health challenges will be strengthened.

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Mozambique Scandal: Credit Suisse & U.S. Conclude Deal

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Credit Suisse Group AG is nearing an agreement with the U.S. government that would resolve a criminal probe regarding its role in a U$2 billion Mozambique bond scandal, according to people familiar with the matter.

The discussions with the U.S. Justice Department involve a deferred prosecution agreement that would include a fine, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential. An agreement is expected to be announced Tuesday.

Any deal with U.S. prosecutors would be the latest action in a multi-year, international legal saga arising out of the 2013-14 deals that were supposed to fund a new coastal patrol force and tuna fishing fleet in Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries.

In a 2018 indictment, the U.S. Justice Department alleged the contracts were a front for government officials and bankers to enrich themselves.

Three former Credit Suisse bankers have pleaded guilty to U.S. charges stemming from the scheme.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on any agreement, as did the U.S. Justice Department.

A deal could help put to bed one scandal, even as the bank has been punished this year by investors for its stumbles with Archegos Capital Management and Greensill Capital, which have spurred broad management shakeups.

Mozambique has filed suit against Credit Suisse and shipbuilder Privinvest, one of several cases in U.K. courts that involve the bond deal.

Unlawful Conduct’

In defending its London lawsuit, Credit Suisse has insisted that it was deceived by rogue bankers and couldn’t be held responsible for their “unlawful conduct” when it arranged the loans in early 2013.

The Swiss bank has said it carried out its usual due diligence before the transactions and was aware of the risk of bribery and corruption.

Andrew Pearse, who led the global financing group in the bank’s London office, testified at a federal trial in Brooklyn, New York that he’d pocketed at least U$45 million in illicit payments for his role in the arrangement of the loans.

The Credit Suisse loans were for three separate maritime projects including a tuna fishing fleet, the building of a shipyard and surveillance operation to protect Mozambique’s coastline and protect against pirates, according to Pearse.

Mozambican government officials, corporate executives and investment bankers stole about U$200 million, prosecutors said.

Both Pearse and his successor at the bank, Surjan Singh, who also pleaded guilty, testified at the 2019 trial of Jean Boustani, a Privinvest Group executive accused by the U.S. of being behind the plan to get Mozambique to borrow billions of dollars and overpay for dubious maritime projects.

A third banker, Datelina Subeva, Pearse’s subordinate, also pleaded guilty but didn’t testify.

All three bankers await sentencing. After a six-week trial in late 2019, a federal jury cleared Boustani of all charges.

Bloomberg

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DRC Opposition Protests Against Phone Tax

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Martin Fayulu, DRCs leader of opposition coalition LAMUKA has called upon all citizens to take to the streets and demand for the abolition of a controversial mobile phone tax.

In June 2020, the DRC government set up – through the ICT, Post and Telecoms Ministry – a CEIR system (Central Equipment Identification Register), with the aim to fight fake devices and the theft of mobile devices.

However, Telephony mobile users claim the Mobile Device Registry (RAM), a controversial new tax is robbing them of their units and making them poorer.

In terms of RAM, mobile operators are cutting a big chunk of units monthly from their customers’ mobile devices, which many users believe is too high and unnecessary.

“We are calling for the immediate withdrawal of RAM. Because it’s theft, a scam. That no one is demobilized. Let’s march and denounce it because it is outright  theft. Once withdrawn, all money collected must be returned, ”said Martin Fayulu.

During a meeting this Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Kinshasa, Martin Fayulu called for the outright abolition of this fee.

During the rally, the leader of Lamuka pinpointed other topical issues, including the issue of appointing the leaders of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

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Tanzania’s Economy Records 4.3% Expansion in 2nd Quarter

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Tanzania’s economic outlook seems very impressive as the country registered a 4.3% expansion between April and June according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Compared to the country’s economic performance in the same period last year, there has been a 0.3% upward expansion.

Briefing the media on Friday, Daniel Masolwa NBS Director of Economics Statistics, said, “Real GDP increased to Shs 33.4trillion from Shs 32trillion in the corresponding period in 2020, an equivalent to a 4.3% growth,” he said.

During the second Quarter of 2020, Tanzania’s economy registered the lowest growth rate of 4.0% since 2017 mainly due to the devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic following the introduction of lockdowns and many countries to mitigate spread of this pandemic.

However, Masolwa tried to cool down any skepticism saying, the annual economic growth in 2021 is projected at a 5.0% rate. In terms of economic activities, he  said, during the period under review, information and communication attained the highest growth of 12.3%, followed by electricity generation at 12.1%.

Meanwhile, other services include arts and entertainment and households as employers (10.8%), accommodation and food services (10.1%), water (8.4%), and mining and quarrying (7.3%).

According to Masolwa, the expansion of economy by 4.3% during the second Quarter of 2021 was spearheaded by key drivers of growth which include Agriculture (13%), transport and storage (8.4%), trade and maintenance (8.1%), manufacturing (7.6%) and construction (7.1%).

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