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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zimbabwe and China sign US one billion dollar steel plant MoU

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe and China on Monday signed a 1-billion-U.S.-dollar Memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing a steel plant that can produce up to 2 million tonnes of steel per annum.

The MoU is among several deals signed at the start of a four-day Zimbabwe-China Business Forum that is being attended by a high-powered Chinese delegation from Zhejiang Province.

The delegation is being led by Che Jun, secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Che said the delegation was in Zimbabwe to scout for business and investment opportunities to help Zimbabwe industrialize its economy.

The Zhejiang delegation’s trip to Zimbabwe follows President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to China in April, during which several other investment and cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries, which elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.

Che said Zhejiang was keen to inject investment in Zimbabwe to enable it to meaningfully participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.

A wealthy coastal province of China, Zhejiang’s trade with Zimbabwe stood at 160 million U.S. dollars in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of China’s total trade with Zimbabwe.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Munesu Munodawafa told Xinhua that the deal includes establishment of a 600-megawatt thermal power station to supply power to the steel plant that will be based in the Midland Province of Zimbabwe.

He said feasibility studies for the project will start on July 1 followed by a roll-out plan.

The project is being spearheaded by a subsidiary of Chinese firm Tsingshan in Zimbabwe, Afrochine, which is already into ferrochrome production.

“We anticipate that when it’s fully operational, this project will create up to 3,000 permanent jobs and produce up to 2 million tonnes of steel per year over the life of the project which we have put at about 25 years,” said Munodawafa.

“Tsingshan is one of the top five producers of stainless steel in the world. We believe we have chosen the best and we believe we will get the best out of them,” he said.

Opening the forum, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged investors from the two countries to take advantage of the elevation of ties between the two countries.

He also invited more Chinese firms to exploit Zimbabwe’s vast investment opportunities.

“We look forward to massive investment by Chinese companies that will see Zimbabwe fulfilling its vision of becoming a middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.

He also invited Chinese financial institutions to establish in Zimbabwe and offer affordable financial solutions to the country as it pushes with its economic revival agenda after years of international isolation.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Zimbabwe elections: Electoral body to allow roving agents between polling stations

HARARE, (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) on Monday said it will allow “roving” elections agents for political parties who will move from one polling station to another observing the conduct of the elections on July 30.

In the past, election agents were stuck to only one polling station.

In a statement, ZEC said it had complied with the provisions of the electoral law and will permit political parties to provide lists of national and provincial designated office bearers to appoint one person for each ward in which they are fielding candidates to be roving agents.

“To be eligible to appoint roving agents a political party must have supplied the stated lists of office bearers in the period starting from the fourth day after the publication after the publication of the proclamation and ending two days before the sitting of the nomination courts, that is, the period from June 3-12, 2018,” ZEC said.

The nomination court for the forthcoming elections will sit on July 14.

The Constitution provides for political parties to provide lists of candidates to be elected under proportional representation in the Senate, for women in the National Assembly and in the 10 provincial councils.

While 210 constituency seats will be contested in the National Assembly, there will be 60 seats for the Senate with six seats provided for each of the country’s 10 provinces.

The allocation will be divided equally between men and women, with party lists starting with names of female candidates.

There will also be 60 seats reserved for women in the National Assembly and another 80 for provincial councils outside the metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo.

The party-list system is province-based and the number of seats which each party gets will depend on the total number of constituency votes that party gets in that province.

Apart from the political parties, the Constitution provides for the election of 18 senator chiefs elected by chiefs’ councils and two other senators representing people with disabilities.

 

Adopting Chinese yuan as reserve currency
makes sense for Africa: Rwandan analyst

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- It “completely makes sense” for Rwanda and other African countries to use the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency, especially for those transacting with China, a Rwanda economic analyst said.

A forum in May attended by financial officials from 14 Southern and Eastern African countries had agreed on the need to use the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency as China was playing an active role in their economies.

As Rwanda is transacting with many other countries, having more than one reserve currencies will benefit the country, said Teddy Kaberuka in an interview with Xinhua recently.

The yuan will be very useful as the reserve currency helps to finance Rwanda’s imports mostly from China, said Kaberuka.

An agreement between the two countries to facilitate transactions with each other and collaboration in the usage of the yuan will benefit the two countries, he said.

He also suggested China investing in the financial sector of Rwanda and Africa through Chinese banks, saying this will help the Rwandan economy access the Chinese economy, thus facilitating transactions between the two sides and help the central bank of Rwanda get the yuan.

According to Doreen Makumi, Corporate Communications Manager at National Bank of Rwanda, Rwanda has the yuan in its foreign reserves since 2016, as the yuan is becoming a global reserve currency and is part of special drawing rights basket of International Monetary Fund.

Including the yuan as part of the country’s foreign reserves are also motivated by the growing trade relationship between China and Rwanda, and for diversifying Rwanda’s foreign reserves, Makumi told Xinhua.

             

 

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