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Trump: “I respect African Leaders” in New Letter.

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Trump sends letter to African leaders in wake of reportedly comparing nations to a ‘dirty toilet’
  • President Donald Trump sent a letter to African leaders stating that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will made an “extended visit” to the continent in March.
  • Many in Africa were taken aback by vulgar comments reportedly made by Trump after nearly a year of little attention to Africa by the Trump administration.
  • Trump’s letter says the U.S. “profoundly respects” the partnerships and values shared by the U.S. and Africans and that the president’s commitment to strong relationships with African nations is “firm.”
President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives for the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.
President Donald Trump in a new letter to African leaders says he “deeply respects” the people of Africa and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make an “extended visit” to the continent in March, his first in that role.
The letter dated Thursday is addressed to African leaders as they gather for an African Union summit this weekend in Ethiopia’s capital.
U.S. diplomats have scrambled for days to address shock and condemnation after Trump’s reported comparison of African nations to a dirty toilet. Trump has said he didn’t use such language, while others present say he did.
Many in Africa were taken aback by the comments after nearly a year of little attention to Africa by the Trump administration.
On Friday, Trump met with Rwanda’s president and new African Union chair Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum, calling Kagame a “friend.”
The 55-nation continental body’s summit is expected to respond to Trump’s vulgar remark. An AU spokeswoman has said the organization was “frankly alarmed” by the comments, and a number of African nations have spoken out or summoned U.S. diplomats to explain.
Trump’s letter, seen by The Associated Press and confirmed by two U.S. officials, says the U.S. “profoundly respects” the partnerships and values shared by the U.S. and Africans and that the president’s commitment to strong relationships with African nations is “firm.”
The letter offers Trump’s “deepest compliments” to the African leaders as they gather. It notes that U.S. soldiers are “fighting side by side” against extremism on the continent and that the U.S. is working to increase “free, fair and reciprocal trade” with African countries and partnering to “safeguard legal immigration.”
The letter gives no details on Tillerson’s upcoming visit.

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Nigeria: CBN monetary policy rate remains at 14%.

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The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday left the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged at 14 per cent.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the committee at the end of a two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.



He explained that all the eleven members of the committee that attended the meeting agreed to maintain the current monetary policy stance.

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He said apart from the MPR which was retained at 14 per cent, the committee also retained the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.

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Also retained are the Liquidity Ratio which was left at 30 per cent; and the Asymmetric Window which was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

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China’s Economic downslide threat results to Oil price fall.

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Oil prices fell on Tuesday over signs that an economic slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy and oil consumer, was spreading, stoking concerns over future fuel demand.

The gloomy economic news has pulled down financial markets across Asia, including crude oil futures.

International Brent oil futures were at 62.26 dollars per barrel at 0736 GMT, down 48 cents, or 0.8 per cent from their previous close.



US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at 53.43 dollars per barrel, down 0.7 per cent, or 37 cents.

China’s state planner on Tuesday warned that the downward pressure on the economy will affect China’s job market as falling factory orders point to a further drop in activity in coming months and more job shedding.

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On Monday, China reported its lowest annual economic growth since 1990.

China’s oil imports have so far defied the economic slowdown, hitting a record above 10 million barrels per day in late 2018, but many analysts believe the country to be at peak energy growth, with its thirst set to wane as the slowdown bites.

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In a sign of spreading economic weakness, South Korea’s export-oriented economy slowed to a six-year low growth rate of 2.7 per cent in 2018, official data showed on Tuesday.

This came after the International Monetary Fund on Monday trimmed its 2019 global growth forecast to 3.5 per cent, down from 3.7 per cent in last October’s outlook.

There is a high correlation between economic growth and oil demand growth.

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