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Nigeria bets on Chinese-funded port to drive economic growth – The Zimbabwe Mail




ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has marked the opening of a $1.5 billion, Chinese-funded deep seaport in the commercial hub of Lagos that authorities hope will help grow the West African nation’s ailing economy.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port is one of the biggest in West Africa and will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in addition to easing cargo congestion that costs billions of dollars in annual revenue, Lagos Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said Monday.

The port — whose container terminal is able to handle at least 2.5 million 20-foot standard containers per year — will be operated as a joint venture between the Nigerian government, Lagos state, Singapore-based Tolaram Group and state-owned China Harbor Engineering Company. Both foreign companies own a majority stake of 75% in the project.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy but growth has been stalled for many years because of poor infrastructure and mismanagement. Although it has six major seaports, more than 80% of the country’s imports are handled by just two of the ports in Lagos, where congestion has led to a massive loss in revenue as cargoes are often diverted to other West African nations.

Authorities say the new deep seaport on the eastern edge of Lagos would divert traffic from congested ports and shore up earnings, with expected economic benefits of more than $360 billion.

Experts, however, argue it would make a “minimal difference” if existing pitfalls are not removed, including ensuring connections between ports and inland areas.


“There is poor and underinvested rail network connectivity, and the roads are not in top-notch condition,” said Ayotunde Abiodun, an economic analyst with the Lagos-based SBM Intelligence firm. “Also, the automation of processes at the port must be prioritized.”

As the port begins to operate with the first commercial vessel arriving Sunday, the Lagos governor said ships docking at the port “could be up to four times the size of vessels that currently berth at both Tin Can and Apapa ports,” the other two ports in Lagos.

The project would drive economic development not just for Lagos but for the entire country, according to Cui Jianchun, Chinese ambassador to Nigeria.

“This is (the) engine of the economy not only for (the) governor of Lagos but also for the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Jianchun said. “This is equity of investment. This is not a loan, this is not borrowing — this is investment.”

Agriculture and trade are key drivers of Nigeria’s economy, but widespread insecurity in the agricultural-rich north, dwindling foreign direct investments and endemic corruption have slowed economic growth amid reduced earnings from crude oil.

The government has turned to international lenders and funders to help grow the economy through critical projects, among them China, whose footprint are on some of Nigeria’s most important infrastructure such as rail networks and airport terminals.

The port has “immense potential” for the economy of Nigeria, which is battling a 33% unemployment rate and an ailing economy, said Abiodun, the analyst who added that industry players must work together for this to happen.

In the maritime sector, “there needs to be interagency engagement on important issues affecting industry operators,” Abiodun said. “A more troubling challenge has been the focus of these agencies on revenue generation rather than on value service delivery. This needs to change.”


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Too poor to migrate? Climate change weakens economic growth … – InfoMigrants

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Too poor to migrate? Climate change weakens economic growth, migration in Global South – InfoMigrants

From file: Afghans with their belongings cross into Pakistan on September 7, 2021 | Photo: Saeed Ali Achakzai/Reuters
From file: Afghans with their belongings cross into Pakistan on September 7, 2021 | Photo: Saeed Ali Achakzai/Reuters

Can climate change increase and hamper international migration at the same time? Yes, according to a new study from Germany. While climate change generally increases migration, this effect is greatly reduced as climate change also weakens economic growth, thereby limiting people’s means to migrate in countries of the Global South.

Given the increasing density of disasters like hurricanes, floods and droughts, it’s easy to imagine the rapidly worsening climate crisis leading to an apocalyptic mass exodus of affected people worldwide.

But while it’s true that extreme weather events, sea level rise and other consequences of man-made climate change lead to increased displacement, it doesn’t automatically lead to more international migration, a new study has found.

According to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, one reason for this is that many people in the Global South don’t have the means to migrate — because climate change itself considerably hurts their countries’ economic development.

The PIK scientists say that as a result of weakened economic growth, many people cannot afford to leave their countries in the first place.

“Overall, migration related to climate change has increased — but it has done so to a lesser extent than might have been expected,” said Jacob Schewe, head of the PIK FutureLab Security, Ethnic Conflict and Migration and one of the authors of the study, in a press release.

While climate change reduces economic growth in almost all countries of the world, “many people in need who live in poor countries lack the means to migrate. They have no choice but to stay where they are,” Schewe said.

Also read: Climate crisis increasingly driving migrants to Italy

Link between economic growth and migration

According to the findings of the study, economic growth affects migration by affecting national income levels. “Relatively few people migrate from both high- and very low-income countries. In the case of poor countries, this is partly because many people simply cannot afford to leave the country,” according to co-author Christian Otto. As a result, very poor people often stay in their home country despite being in need or wanting to emigrate for other reasons.

“Our study was not about flight caused by natural disasters,” adds Anders Levermann, another co-author and researcher at New York’s Columbia University. “Rather, it was about migration motivated by life circumstances,” Levermann is quoted as saying in the press release.

Other studies show that migration due to changed environmental conditions is also particularly pronounced in places with a dependency on agriculture. Among them are regions with many small-scale farmers like sub-Saharan Africa.

From file: Droughts and other weather-related disasters will presumably lead to a rise in the number of 'environmental migrants' | Photo: Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters
From file: Droughts and other weather-related disasters will presumably lead to a rise in the number of ‘environmental migrants’ | Photo: Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters

In their study, the PIK scientists examined how climate change affects international migration by analyzing several country’s income levels from 1990 to 2020. Income levels are considered an important factor influencing migration flows; a higher income can remove financial constraints, for instance, and a lower income can correlate with lower average education levels, among other reasons.

The scientists also compared migration flows with a scenario without the effects of climate change. Moreover, they acknowledged that the data and model of migration they used for the study “cannot predict actual migration flows at a given point in time.”

Experts have pointed out before that prognoses on global migration related to climate change should be taken with a grain of salt: Many factors are at play, and the link between climate change and migration is complex and not always clear, partly as there is little reliable data available.

‘Climate migration’ mostly internal

While climate-related displacement is a growing global phenomenon, it’s worth noting that people who migrate mostly stay within their countries or region and do not have the goal or the possibilities to go to Europe. As a matter of fact, internally displaced people (IDPs) make up more than half of all estimated 89.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR.

In 2021, some 23.7 million people were newly displaced due to extreme weather events and natural disasters and their consequences in their country, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC). By comparison, only 14.4 million people were internally displaced by conflict or violence. In the same year, moreover, disasters accounted for more than half of all internal displacements.

Still, migration induced by the climate crisis doesn’t stop at the border, especially when it’s exacerbated by conflict: 1.1 million Somalis, for instance, fled to Kenya and Ethiopia from the impending civil war after the 1991 collapse of the government. The political instability was compounded by drought-related famine, itself linked to armed conflict and violence.

Such cross-border movements in situations where conflict or violence has interacted with disaster or adverse effects of climate change is an area known as ‘nexus dynamics.’ In the words of a 2018 UNHCR report on the subject, Somalia can be characterized as a “situation in which preexisting conflict, and responses related to it, exacerbated the impacts of disaster and adverse effects of climate change.”

Importantly, nexus dynamics is an example of a “situation where the refugee criteria of the 1951 Refugee Convention or broader refugee criteria of regional refugee law frameworks may apply,” according to UNHCR. This matters because ‘climate migrants’ — or ‘environmental migrants’ as they are sometimes called — are not legally considered refugees according to international law. To date, there is no globally accepted or legally binding definition of a ‘climate migrant,’ and the term ‘climate refugee’ meanwhile is being discouraged from being used and somewhat regarded as a misnomer, for not everybody leaves their homes involuntarily.

Read more: Climate migrants can’t be returned home, UN committee

Climate change likely to keep increasing migration long-term

While climate-related displacement also affects industrialized countries in the Global North, which are responsible for a large share of global greenhouse gas emissions, a recent Oxfam study, among others, shows how poorer countries in the Global South are disproportionately affected.

In the ten climate crisis hotspots most affected by extreme weather events, all of them in the Global South, more than twice as many people are struggling with acute hunger than six years ago, according to Oxfam. This trend potentially results in displacement and irregular migration patterns.

The climate crisis hotspots Oxfam cites in its study are the African nations of Somalia, Kenya, Niger, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Madagascar and Zimbabwe alongside Afghanistan, Guatemala and Haiti. According to the study, they have most frequently been affected by extreme weather events in the past two decades. More than twice as many people in these ten countries suffer from the acute threat of facing hunger, Oxfam said.

While climate change has been reducing migration as it keeps many in the Global South in the low-income bracket, according to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research study, it may keep increasing global migration long-term: The PIK scientists say the climate crisis could slow down countries’ transition beyond the middle-income range.

This means that more people will stay within this bracket instead of moving upward into high-income brackets. Since those in the middle-income range are generally especially likely to leave their countries, according to the study, climate change could thus have the long-term effect of also increasing migration flows, while hampering economic development at the same time.

Read more: Climate migration: No longer a distant nightmare

 

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Zimbabwe Hopes to Boost Agriculture Sector With Help From Belarus – Voice of America – VOA News

Zimbabwe is attempting to boost its agricultural sector with support from controversial partner Belarus, which is under sanctions for supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko visited Zimbabwe this week on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. Columbus Mavhunga reports from Harare, Zimbabwe. Camera: Blessing Chigwenhembe.

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Former Cottco boss ‘fanning Zanu PF factionalism’ – Bulawayo24 News

Former Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) boss Maxmore Njanji, who is currently facing graft allegations before the courts, is under fire after he was reported to First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa that he is funding candidates in every internal election thereby fanning factionalism.

Mnangagwa is also ZANU PF Politiburo member. Sources familiar with the incident told Bulawayo24.com that disgruntled officials told Mnangagwa recently when she was at her rural home in Chiweshe.

“A number of disgruntled senior party officials who attended one of First Lady’s events in Chiweshe reported Njanji that he was fanning factionalism in the province as he was sponsoring candidates in a desperate move to gain political power,” the source said.

“In the just ended Central Committee elections, Njanji caused a lot of chaos by sponsoring half of the candidates and the other half in the province felt bullied.”

It is further alleged that Njanji is eying Mazowe Central seat and hoping to become the Minister of Agriculture if ZANU PF wins.



His allies claim that he is the favourite candidate since he is financially stable.

Njanji is in court to answer to allegations that he used money from Cottco for his own personal gains.

“Our candidate is financially stable, and nothing will stop his curriculum vitae from sailing through ZEC knows him he can simply pour money and win,” one party supporter said in confidentiality.

Njanji did not pick up calls and did not respond to messages sent to him.

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