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    African Countries Face Ongoing Challenges: Sudan Violence, Rwanda Flooding, COVID-19 Impacts, and More as Kenya and Egypt Show Signs of Economic Improvement.

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    Sudan

    Air strikes were heard in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on Wednesday, a Reuters witness said, even as warring factions agreed to a new seven-day ceasefire from Thursday. This outbreak of violence undermines the fragile chances of achieving a lasting truce that could help ease the deepening humanitarian crisis in the country. The ongoing conflict has forced thousands of people to flee, and an estimated 18.7 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

    Rwanda

    Heavy rain that triggered flooding and landslides in western and northern Rwanda have killed at least 55 people, according to state-run broadcaster. Search and rescue operations are ongoing as authorities try to help people trapped in their homes. The country has recently experienced unprecedented levels of rain that have caused damage to homes, infrastructure, and crops. In recent years, Africa has been hit by a series of natural disasters that have led to a growing need for more effective disaster risk reduction strategies.

    Morocco

    Morocco’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 12.9% in the first quarter of 2023, according to the country’s planning agency. The increase is a reflection of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and labor market. Morocco has been hit hard by the pandemic, with a decline in tourism and other sectors that have left many people unemployed. The government has implemented several measures to support businesses and workers, but the economic recovery remains fragile.

    Kenya

    Two senior economic advisers to Kenya’s president are among a shortlist of six who will be interviewed for the job of central bank governor, which will become vacant in June. The move comes as the current governor’s term is set to expire, and the government seeks to fill the position with someone who can navigate the country’s economy through a period of uncertainty. The advisers are seen as experienced in macroeconomic management, which is a key skill required for the role, and their selection is seen as a positive development for the country’s economy.

    Meanwhile, Kenyan police fired tear gas as anti-government protests resumed in the country. Protesters are calling for an end to government corruption and an improvement in living conditions. The country has faced a series of protests in recent years, and tensions in the country have been exacerbated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Egypt

    Egypt’s current account moved into surplus for the first time since 2010, recording a surplus of $4.4 billion during the October-December 2022 period. The improvement was driven by a sharp rise in revenue from the Suez Canal, an increase in remittances from Egyptians working abroad and a decline in imports. The improvement is a welcome development for the country’s economy, which has been impacted by the pandemic.

    However, the country’s non-oil business activity contracted for the 29th consecutive month in April, according to a survey. The pandemic has hit the country hard, with the tourism industry, a major driver of the economy, suffering due to travel restrictions and other measures. The decline in business activity is a reflection of the challenges facing the country as it seeks to recover from the pandemic.

    South Africa

    The South African rand gained ground against the US dollar as jobs data dented the dollar ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting. The rand has been volatile in recent years, reflecting the challenges facing the country’s economy. South Africa has been hit hard by the pandemic, with high levels of unemployment and poverty, and the country is seeking to revive its economy through a series of reforms and measures to support businesses and workers.

    Global Markets

    Global stocks climbed out of the red as traders awaited the results of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting. Investors are bracing for more interest rate hikes and other measures that could impact markets. The pandemic has led to increased volatility in global markets, with investors seeking to navigate the uncertain economic environment.

    Oil prices extended losses on Monday amid concerns about the impact of expected interest rate hikes. The decline in oil prices reflects the challenges facing the global economy as it seeks to recover from the pandemic. The oil industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with a decline in demand and other challenges facing the sector. Investors are seeking to navigate the uncertain environment, and the decline in oil prices reflects the ongoing challenges that markets face.

    Sierra Leone

    The president of Sierra Leone has been approved to run for a second term in office. The president, who was first elected in 2018, has faced a series of challenges during his time in office, including a decline in the country’s economy, high levels of poverty and unemployment, and the impact of the pandemic. Sierra Leone is seeking to revive its economy and improve the quality of life for its citizens through a series of reforms and measures to support businesses and workers.

    Overall, African countries continue to face a series of challenges as they seek to navigate the uncertain economic environment created by the pandemic. The ongoing conflict in Sudan, natural disasters in Rwanda, and the impact of the pandemic on economies across the continent highlight the ongoing challenges that Africa faces. However, there are also signs of hope, with countries like Kenya and Egypt seeing improvements in their economic outlook, while South Africa is seeking to revive its economy through a series of measures and reforms.
    African Boulevard News – (2023-05-03)

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