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Kenya’s tea price slumps to $1.80 per kilogram

Kenya is the leading exporter of black tea in the world and the crop is also one of its top foreign exchange-earners

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Kenya's tea price slumps to $1.80 per kilogram | News Central TV
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Kenyan tea prices have slumped to their lowest level in at least five years. This has been attributed to excess supplies and weak demand in the main export markets, according to the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA).

Kenya is the leading exporter of black tea in the world and the crop is also one of its top foreign exchange-earners, along with tourism, flower exports and cash sent home by the diaspora.

The average price of Kenyan tea at the weekly auction in the port city of Mombasa has fallen to $1.80 per kilogram, said EATTA, which represents growers, buyers, brokers and tea packers in 10 countries in the region.

That, compared with last year’s average price of $2.58, and the industry’s cost of production of around $2, EATTA said. The last time average weekly prices dipped below $2 was in 2014, according to EATTA managing director Edward Mudibo.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan shilling sank to a near five year low earlier this week, partly due to concerns about export earnings in the wake of the slump in the price of tea.

Mudibo blamed the oversupply on stocks that were held over from last year when Kenya had a bumper tea crop.

Mudibo further explained that at the same time, global output from last year was 5.85 billion kilograms against consumption of 5.61 billion kilograms, leaving a surplus of 240 million kilograms.

Economic challenges in the top three importers of Kenyan tea – Pakistan, Egypt and Britain – had also led to a reduction in demand.

Mudibo adds while calling on action to be taken to stem the glut that;

“The farmers should face the reality that they will not get a good bonus this year, it will be lower than last year”.

“The focus should now be on the quality of the tea rather than volumes. We should not be proud of the quantities. We are calling for a go-slow in terms of increasing the acreage under tea.”

He also called on farmers to switch to speciality teas, like purple tea, which attracts higher prices from health-conscious consumers.

Officials in the government’s Tea Directorate, which regulates the industry, were not immediately available for comment.

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Rwanda’s Skol brewer cancels sexist jokes on beer bottles after backlash

Skol Brewery Limited also promised to immediately discontinue its “Live Laugh Lager” campaign

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Rwanda's Skol brewer cancels sexist jokes on beer bottles after backlash

A Rwandan brewery apologised Tuesday for printing sexist jokes on its beer labels after its attempt at humour drew a stinging rebuke from some of the country’s top female officials.

Skol Brewery Limited also promised to immediately discontinue its “Live Laugh Lager” campaign, which saw the offending gags grace the back of its lager bottles and encouraged drinkers to share jokes to win prizes.

“When can a woman make you a millionaire? When you are a billionaire” read one, alongside a cartoon of a woman surrounded by shopping bags dreaming of a red sports car.

Displeasure at the sexist tone of the campaign — it was promoted by an image of three men laughing over beers — started on social media but soon high-ranking public officials were joining the fray.

“Such language demeaning women is not acceptable in our country, Rwanda. It shouldn’t be tolerated… and should be punished by law,” said Soline Nyirahabimana, Minister of Gender and Family promotion, on Twitter.

Rose Rwabuhihi, who heads Rwanda’s Gender Monitoring Office, a public watchdog, said the campaign was “totally unacceptable”, comments echoed by one of the country’s top crime fighters.

“This is not acceptable at all! Skol Rwanda should apologize and remove the product from the market. Otherwise, no woman, no man who supports women should buy or drink such a beer,” said Isabelle Kalihangabo, deputy secretary-general of Rwanda Investigation Bureau, the federal crime agency, on Twitter.

Rwanda is proud of its record on gender, with women filling some of the country’s top positions. It was the first African nation to achieve gender parity in cabinet and more than 60 per cent of its MPs are women.

The brewer, in a mea culpa issued on Twitter on Tuesday, said it was “very aware” of the backlash and took the matter “very seriously and apologise for any offence caused”.

“We’ve stopped production of these jokes,” said the brewer.

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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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