Govt Launches Economic Recovery Plan

[Premium Times] Nigeria has finally launched the long-awaited Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, a medium-term plan for 2017-2020, broadly targeting restoration of growth, human development and globally competitive economy, in efforts to combat current…

[Premium Times] Nigeria has finally launched the long-awaited Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, a medium-term plan for 2017-2020, broadly targeting restoration of growth, human development and globally competitive economy, in efforts to combat current economic crisis and achieve sustained diversification and inclusiveness.

source: AllAfrica News: Nigeria

Film Scoops Two Prestigious Awards At FESPACO

[New Times] A Place For Myself, a Rwandan short film, has scooped two prestigious awards, La Chance and Thomas Sankara, prize at the just-concluded Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso.

[New Times] A Place For Myself, a Rwandan short film, has scooped two prestigious awards, La Chance and Thomas Sankara, prize at the just-concluded Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso.

source: AllAfrica News: Rwanda

Opinion: Intermarket Bank Comeback;Will It Survive The Market?

Finance minister Felix Mutati recently announced that InterMarket Bank Corporation Zambia(IBCZ), will be back in business about three months after the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) had placed the institution under its care – virtually closing it. Its continued closure is … Continued

The post Opinion: Intermarket Bank Comeback;Will It Survive The Market? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Finance minister Felix Mutati recently announced that InterMarket Bank Corporation Zambia(IBCZ), will be back in business about three months after the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) had placed the institution under its care – virtually closing it. Its continued closure is haunting customers. The last thing you want to discover is that your hard-earned income, which you have safely secured in a reputable bank, is inaccessible. Since November 28, 2016 when the Bank of Zambia took possession of IBCZ, following a breach of the Zambian banking laws, the market has been uncertain. Rumours swelled that one or two more banks were heading the same direction. BOZ issued a statement stating that InterMarket Bank was insolvent and had failed to meet its obligations with the Central Bank. How then does a financial institution, which is trusted to secure funds for its customers, become insolvent? One would think the bank would stay on top of business when it comes to meeting statutory regulations. However, to date, the bank remains closed with the hope of re-opening soon as announced by Mutati. In general, insolvency occurs when the bank fails to pay its debts. It usually occurs for one of two reasons. Firstly, the bank may end up owing more than it has in its reserves or simply put, more than it owns. Secondly, insolvency may occur if the bank cannot pay its debts as they fall due, while its assets are worth more than its liabilities – known as lack of liquidity. Those specialised in the area of finance and accounting understand that the position IBCZ reached meant its assets were worth less than its liabilities, and therefore, the institution was suffocating. Further, IBCZ could have been failing to honour its debts, creating a serious imbalance in the market. So, BOZ intervened and carpeted the financial institution, which has over the years struggled to grow beyond a few branches. The closure of a commercial bank by the Central Bank is usually the last resort.This is because any closure comes with consequences, which may have long term effects on the overall performance of the economy. The banking industry plays a very critical role in economic growth, especially in Zambia, where over 10 commercial banks control the market chief among them include Barclays, Zanaco, Stanbic, Standard Chartered, Indo-Zambia and First National Bank. Others are Access Bank, Ecobank, CitiBank and Cavmont Bank to name a few. Beyond anyone, customers are the first victims of a bank closure. They fear losing all the money they have deposited overtime, resulting in the loss of confidence in all financial institutions. Furthermore, a bank closure sends wrong signals to investors because investment potential is threatened and institution stand to lose capital. Similarly, investors lose their confidence in the economy. In addition, emerging businesses that depend upon loans fail to raise the capital required to begin their operations, resulting in a decline in economic growth.A decline in economic growth drives unemployment levels up, which in turn drops tax revenues, making the government fail to meet its social obligations. Overall, a bank closure impacts bank customers, investors and the economy as a whole. Ultimately, that is the fear that is created by the closure of InterMarket Bank. After facing a liquidity crisis, it meant that the bank had no access to enough cash in the short term. While assets were available and worth more than liabilities, they were mostly tied up in long term loans. In this case, the bank could not merely ask its borrowers to suddenly pay back their long-term loans. The situation caused panic, as it appeared that the bank was unable to meet its commitments. Bank of Zambia then intervened and offered short term liquidity. By offering cash and short term injections of money, the Central Bank ensures people have faith in the banking system. The bank has since been restructured and declared solvent by BOZ. It will resume its normal operations on a date to be announced. Questions still linger. Will the institution retain a healthy clientale base? What happens to customer confidence? Will the bank survive the harsh realities it struggled to overcome? It can only be hoped Intermarket is back to stay. The post Opinion: Intermarket Bank Comeback;Will It Survive The Market? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

Tribute: Errol Hickey – A Symbol Of Zambia’s Young Democracy

Like many Zambians, the death of comrade Errol Hickey (Errol) MHSRIP – hit me with a sense of sadness. Because he was a giant of a man, I concur with those who have been advocating that he should have been … Continued

The post Tribute: Errol Hickey – A Symbol Of Zambia’s Young Democracy appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Like many Zambians, the death of comrade Errol Hickey (Errol) MHSRIP – hit me with a sense of sadness. Because he was a giant of a man, I concur with those who have been advocating that he should have been given a National Mourning. Here is why:- I met Error in late 60s in Lusaka when he returned from United Kingdom where he had gone to train as a photographer. At the time I had just registered a Modeling Agency company. Since we needed an experienced photographer, we engaged him in helping us to coach and publicize our models. Because of his professionalism, very soon we started attracting the most beautiful and sophisticated women in town. On our roaster we had names like – charming Mea Lishomwa, Paxina Kalulu, Joyce Makulu, Monde Lishomwa, Elizabeth Fundafunda, Claire Mutepuka, Rebecca Moyo and many others. On the handsome men side, you had people like – Clement Ntema, Larry Old, Wilbrod Mulesu, Moses Chimbelu, Daniel Kasonde, Malio Malio, John Nkhoma etc. May the souls of ALL those who’ve left us rest in peace! As you can imagine – under UNIP government, it was not an easy matter to have women parade on a ‘Cat Walk’ wearing modern dresses and latest fashions. Mini skirts and wigs were forbidden. Neither could men wear tight pants and bell bottoms. But with insistence and great counseling from people like Errol, we were encouraged to forge ahead. With the help of Error Hickey, we organized fashion shows, and these were done in collaboration with local musicians, culminating sometimes into large concerts. When Soul King – James Brown (JB) visited Zambia, Hickey was very much involved. Since JB was very popular at the time, even people like Dr Vernon J Mwaanga (VJ) were one of the organizers. Myself, though not directly involved in organizing J Brown’s trip – a Youth Organization I belonged to: True Sons of Africa, donated elephant tasks presented to Mr. Brown at ZNBC TV studios. It was Mr. Hickey who facilitated our contact with JB. By offering tasks to Brown we were trying to attract attention of other Black Americans about Africa and its resources. From these activities developed local musicians and Zambian fashion industry. Though political parties’ cadres kept on harassing women wearing minis, wigs or boots – the revolution never stopped. Today Zambian women can wear pretty much what they want. Thanks to people like Errol Hickey. Further, everybody agrees that Errol is the Father of Private Radio. Hickey became a pioneer by establishing Radio Phoenix, which started to compete with the State Radio – ZNBC. Very soon Radio Phoenix became the most popular “peoples’ voiceâ€. Programs like ‘Let the People Talk†hosted by household names like Frank Mutubila, became popular. People in the community felt that – at long last they had a channel through which they could express or communicate their views. Emulating Radio Phoenix, many other community radio stations mushroomed up. Such that today you’ve a radio station for every niche – type of music or interest etc. For example, Radio Hassan, Komboni, Chengelo, all serve the needs of their listeners. Mr. Hickey’s Radio Phoenix is not only known for free speech, but is also a source of fair, impartial and balanced information. This is unlike The Post, which at times tended to be over carried. Some of Post’s Editorials were very biased, thereby inhibiting Zambians from making well-informed decisions. Director Hickey refrained from abusing his power as owner of Radio Phoenix. Over the years we saw Post Editor Fred M’membe locking horns with Presidents. But while remaining humble EH was still resolute in fighting vices like corruption. He was not afraid to allow programs critical of government to air on R. Phoenix. Women issues like equality were also given prominence. Gender, human rights, and even feminism have been promoted through the radio. Organizations like NGOCC and women activists like Emily Nakazwe have turned to Phoenix for support. All in all Hickey through his Radio Phoenix, he has been a huge cultural influence on the Zambian society as a whole. One of the big contributions Errol Hickey made but not easily recognized is in the creation of multipartism. Many of those who claim to have been founders of Movement for Party Democracy (MMD) tend to forget that late Arthur Wina was one of the pioneers. He was in fact the first Chairman and could have been our 1st post-Kaunda president. The idea of replacing UNIP’s one-party state and socialistic model was already muted long before 1990/91 by people like Valentine Shula Musakanya, Edward Shamwana, Elias Chipimo Snr. and many others. Sentiments against one-party were circulating freely at Lusaka flying club. But UNIP under Pres Kenneth Kaunda (KK) wouldn’t let them. In fact in 1980, Musakanya is one of those convicted for coup attempt against government. However, in spite of threats from government, the idea never died. It was Arthur Wina after leaving government who formally revived the idea of finding a lawful means for which to change government. At the time Mr. Wina had established a number of companies one of them being a public relations one. Thus, he was in contact with Errol Hickey. Dealing with models, I happened to have been in their loop too. Though Hickey was not into politics, but he was very much keen to see a free market enterprise in Zambia. It was during one of those informal meetings – probably at Lusaka Hotel where we frequently met for lunch when I heard Errol Hickey present passionately the idea of multipartism to Wina. He based his admiration of this system on a two-party model from UK and USA. He urged Mr. Wina to explore the multiparty idea with other concerned Zambians. Indeed, Arthur Wina got interested and did just that. Before long, I heard that Wina sold the idea to other people more notably Humphrey Mulemba, who was notoriously known as ‘capitalist’ by his UNIP colleagues. As they say, the rest is history. For those who have been following Zambian politics will recall that it was Wina who organized the coalition of several political parties way before Fredrick T Chiluba came to join them. Though I wasn’t there when the full fletched MMD became established thereafter, I do know however, that Errol Hickey and Mr. Wina remained close associates. This was confirmed later by my late friend – Dean Mungomba, who himself became one of the key founders of MMD. Finally but not least – way after FTJ Chiluba had become president, he incarcerated Pres Kaunda on dubious citizenship and trumped up charges. Leaders from all over the world were trying to find ways of getting KK released from prison. Again I am told that – through his Ndola Coloreds Community contacts, Errol sent appeal feelers to Pres Chiluba, who was a Ndola man, so that he could free Pres Kaunda. These efforts, in combination with those coming from others like President Mwalimu Nyerere, KK got eventually released. Narrated above are just parts of what Errol Hickey did for Zambia. I am sure that there are many other things he did which I am not aware of. But there is no doubt Hickey made that country of ours a better place to live in. It would therefore be not asking too much to have a man like Errol Hickey deserve some “honorâ€. After all Her Honor the Vice President Inonge Wina, would also be indirectly honoring her late husband – Mr. Arthur Wina (MHSRIP). Thank you! Dr Kaela B Mulenga /Social Commentator Toronto, March 7, 2017zbia@hotmail.com The post Tribute: Errol Hickey – A Symbol Of Zambia’s Young Democracy appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

When Pundits Recycle Rumours As Facts – Rejoinder from Former President Joyce Banda

[allAfrica] Blantyre -In an article published on 8 February 2017 on allafrica.com , Dr. Gerhard Anders raises much curiosity when he passionately writes that Malawi’s “Cashgate” suspects are “close associates” of former President Dr. Joyce Banda.

[allAfrica] Blantyre -In an article published on 8 February 2017 on allafrica.com , Dr. Gerhard Anders raises much curiosity when he passionately writes that Malawi's "Cashgate" suspects are "close associates" of former President Dr. Joyce Banda.

source: AllAfrica News: Malawi

‘EU Is a Truly Dependable Partner’ – President Koroma

[Sierra Leone Government] President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has described the European Union as a truly dependable partner – steadfast and strategically aligned to Sierra Leone’s development agenda.

[Sierra Leone Government] President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has described the European Union as a truly dependable partner - steadfast and strategically aligned to Sierra Leone's development agenda.

source: AllAfrica News: Sierra Leone

Scorpions Play Morocco, CAR in March Friendlies

[The Point] As part of preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, the Gambia National Men’s Football Team has lined up two friendly matches this month with Morocco and the Central African Republic.

[The Point] As part of preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, the Gambia National Men's Football Team has lined up two friendly matches this month with Morocco and the Central African Republic.

source: AllAfrica News: Morocco