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Ivory Coast: Ivanka Trump promotes cocoa businesswomen after farm visit

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ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Ivanka Trump vowed support for initiatives to promote women in business on Wednesday, after visiting an Ivorian cocoa farm on the second leg of her African tour.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter, who works as his adviser, was speaking at a forum on women’s economic empowerment in Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan.

She arrived in Ivory Coast on Tuesday, after visiting Ethiopia. Ivanka is championing the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative, which officials have said aims to economically empower 50 million women by 2025.

“It’s a social justice issue, it’s an economic issue, it’s a defense issue, and it just plain makes sense,” she said of women’s economic empowerment in Africa.

But she added that “there are substantial barriers,” such as lack of access to capital for 70 percent of female business owners, and that women made up just 15 percent of land owners on the continent.

Earlier she visited a cocoa farm in Adzope, in southeastern Ivory Coast, where she announced a US AID and World Cocoa Foundation initiative to give $2 million to female cocoa farmers.

Ivory Coast produces more than a third of the world’s cocoa.

Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Toby Chopra

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Egypt Ranks 2nd Amidst World Emerging Economies.

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Amidst the 21 most flexible emerging economies worldwide, Renowned Bloomberg has listed Egypt’s economy behind Philippines in the face of the global trade war.

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In its analysis, the Bloomberg agency relied on a set of criteria, most important of which being the GDP growth rate, local currency performance against international currencies, foreign exchange reserves, credit rating, and finally current account performance.

The Egyptian cabinet’s Media Center said in a statement on Monday that indicators of the Egyptian economy improved significantly during the recent period, most notably the choice of the Egyptian pound as the second-best performing currency in the world against the US dollar this year so far, according to Bloomberg.

Of these indicators, GDP growth in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019 reached 5.6 percent, alongside a rise in net foreign exchange reserves by the end of May 2019 to US$44.3 billion, with the current account deficit as a percentage of the GDP declined from 6.1 percent in 2016/2017 to 2.4 percent in 2017/2018.

The statement added that the Egyptian credit rating achieved its best level since 2011 after the agencies of Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s upgraded Egypt’s credit rating.

-Egyptian Independent


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CBN signals end to official rate regime for naira

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may soon allow the naira to freely find its value, with a possible depreciation on the official rate, usually pegged at about N305/$, an update on its website has indicated.

The development is signaling an end to the most criticised foreign exchange rate window, which has been used mostly for government’s critical businesses that affect the public, particularly the importation of petroleum products.

If the move sees light of day, it will mean that the value of the naira at the official window is depreciated with its concomitant closure of the peg.

Yesterday, the apex bank, as opposed to the usual publication of the fixed exchange rate, opted to publish that “the rate will be market-determined.”

According to a report, the President of Shippers Association of Lagos State, Jonathan Nicol, said the Nigeria Customs Service had allegedly directed importers to pay for duties at the rate of N326 per dollar against the official rate of N306, citing an order from the CBN.

Also yesterday, the interbank rate depreciated by 0.2 per cent to N360.43 per dollar at the close of trading, while the parallel market remained steady at N360 per dollar.

A move toward a market-determined exchange rate would be welcomed by investors, who have long accused government of some level of capital controls and bemoaned multiple exchange rates.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Yewande Sadiku, was quoted as saying the apex bank was in talks with other agencies to move to a single rate for the nation’s currency.

For an economic analyst at Ecobank, Kunle Ezun, “putting that on the website means the central bank is gradually moving towards a single exchange-rate window. It is making the exchange rate more liquid to attract more inflows.”

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