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China reduce Cameroon’s debt by $78m.

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China says it has forgiven Cameroon for about $78 million debt. The move from part of Chinese support to help ease economic hardship in the central African country.

The announcement was made late last week after a meeting between President Paul Biya and Yang Jiechi, a special representative of the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Yaounde.

The said amount was due to be repaid in 2018 as part of the country’s estimated $5.7bn total debt burden. The figure is from the public body managing Cameroon’s external debt.



Analysts have, however, expressed reservations about Beijing’s motives with an economist averring that it may be linked to annexing greater access to natural resources.

“China wants to control the sub-regional market and Cameroon is the gateway,” economist Ariel Gnitedem told the reporters.

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“It is possible they also want a greater share in the enormous natural resources in Cameroon which are essential to feed its home industries,” he added.

President Biya joined his African counterparts at the Forum for China – Africa Cooperation, FOCAC summit held in September 2018 in Beijing. Biya met with Jinping and reportedly requested for the repayment waiver.

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Cameroon like most other African countries continue to turn to China for loans to largely finance infrastructure projects. Analysts have raised issues about the non-sustainability of these loans.

Governments have routinely rejected the concerns stating that the relationship was based on mutual respect for both parties. China has also provided wide ranging support to the continental bloc, African Union.

The United States got into a diplomatic spat with China over its financial dealings with Africa stating that Africa was been shackled with Chinese money.

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President Ramaphosa to Sign South African Competition Amendment Bill Into Law

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will sign into law today the Competition Amendment Bill, which will strengthen regulations against anti-competitive behaviour in industrial markets.



The bill, which was approved by the National Assembly in October 2018 and endorsed by the National Council of Provinces in December 2018, is a step in the right direction for SMEs, economic inclusion and it opens up the economy to fresh investment and innovation.

It also provides a clear mandate to the competition authorities to address economic concentration in a balanced manner and to promote economic transformation, the Presidency said on Monday.

Additionally, the amended legislation seeks to combat concentration and economic exclusion as core challenges that contribute to slower and less dynamic growth, lower employment and greater inequalities, as well as socio-political conflict.

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The Presidency said this will enable a more effective approach to concentration, with a focus on improving outcomes for small and black-owned business, and strengthen the institutions involved in managing competition policy and law.

The signing ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Tuynhuys Chambers in Parliament. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who campaigned fiercely for the bill’s codification, will join the ceremony along with a group of stakeholders.

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Manufacturing Output Growth Slows Again in South Africa

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The preliminary data from Statistics South Africa has showed the rate at which South Africa manufacturing output slowed twice again within the month of December.




Negative contributions came from petroleum, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery industries to make outputs edged up a non-adjusted 0.1% year-on-year in December following a 1.3% increase in November and a 3.0% gain in October

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As against a drastic output growth in the prior month; 0.7% following a 0.4% rise in November

Meanwhile motor vehicles, parts and other transport equipment, food and beverages, glass and non-metallic mineral products made the biggest positive contributions in December.

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