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Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Sebastian Mikosz resigns

In the statement, Sebastian Mikosz said the decision was a personal one and he would leave at the end of the year.

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Kenya Airways's CEO Sebastian Mikosz reacts after speaking to media during a strike by the airline workers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 6, 2019.

The chief executive of Kenya Airways has resigned, an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday said, a potentially destabilising development for the national flag carrier that has been struggling to recover from years of financial losses.

In the statement, Sebastian Mikosz said the decision was a personal one and he would leave at the end of the year.

“I have made the decision to shorten my contract term and I have decided to resign on personal grounds effective December the 31st of this year,” said Mikosz, who was appointed in June 2017.

The carrier, which is 48.9 percent owned by the government and 7.8 percent by Air France-KLM, restructured $2 billion of debt last year. It is planning new routes as it tries to become profitable.

Kenya Airways reported revenues of 114.45 billion shillings ($1.13 billion) for the 12 months to Dec. 31, up from 106.17 billion a year earlier. Its pretax loss for the period narrowed to 7.59 billion shillings from 9.44 billion.

Mikosz said he believed it was the ideal time to begin the transition process to find a new leader who would continue the turnaround initiatives the airline began 3 years ago.

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Zimbabwe’s business community calls for economic reform

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had initiated a massive protest against worsening economic conditions

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Zimbabwe’s business community calls for economic reform
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

The Zimbabwe business community has called on its government to urgently address ordinary people’s concerns in order to avoid continuous loss of production time through protest shutdowns.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had initiated a massive protest in central Harare to express growing impatience with the government’s failure to remedy a deepening economic crisis that has pushed many to the edge.

The government, however, insists that the pain caused by its tough policy measures was necessary for an economy which is reeling from decades of mismanagement under former President, Robert Mugabe.

Police moved on Thursday to impose an unpopular ban on the demonstration, setting the stage for ugly clashes with MDC followers.

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Nigeria’s state oil firm awards crude oil swap deals to 15 firms

The awarded oil firms include Vitol, Trafigura, oil major, BP and local downstream companies

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Nigeria's state oil firm awards crude oil swap deals to 15 firms
NNPC Towers, headquarters of Nigeria's state oil firm in Abuja, Nigeria. (File photo)

Nigerian state oil company, NNPC, has announced that 15 companies have won the right to swap the country’s crude oil for fuels, following a tender for the deals.

About 132 companies made a bid for the deals. The tender for the one-year contracts effective from the 1st of October and dubbed direct sale, direct-purchase (DSDP), was issued in March.

Nigeria is almost entirely reliant on imported fuel due to years of neglect at its own refineries.

It has leaned heavily on the swap arrangements to get fuel, particularly gasoline, as other would-be importers struggle to make money due to price caps.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says the companies that won the bids are made up of a consortium of 15 companies including Vitol, Trafigura, oil major, BP and local downstream companies.

Since the scheme’s inception in 2016, replacing a program that paid subsidies to importers, the NNPC has said it had saved the country $2.2 billion and supplied some 90 per cent of its import requirements.

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Zambia rejects donor aid amid its worst drought

The government says it has enough corn, the country’s staple food, to last until the next season and won’t need to import

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Zambia declines donor aid amid its worst drought
(File photo)

Zambia is experiencing its worst drought since 1981, but its government insists that a state of national emergency will not be declared.

Neither will donor assistance be accepted. A Southern Africa Development Community report last month, forecast 2.3 million Zambians will be food-insecure by March after large parts of the southern and western areas of the country received the lowest rainfall since 1981.

Over the same period, the report forecast Zambia will experience an 888,000-ton cereal deficit.

The Zambian government says it has enough corn, the country’s staple food, to last until the next season and won’t need to import.

Retail prices for the cornflour that Zambians consume mostly are already the highest since at least, 2003, according to data from the national statistics agency.

In July, prices were 41 per cent higher than the same time last year, helping to push inflation to 8.8 per cent, the highest since November 2016.

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