ECOWAS Calls Off Trade Relations With Mali Following Military Coup
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Wednesday announced it has called off all trade relations with Mali after the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita following a military coup.
On Tuesday, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was arrested alongside Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and taken to the Kati military camp about 15 kilometers northwest of the capital Bamako at around 4.30 p.m local time, stated Le Journal du Mali.
On Wednesday, Keita announced his resignation and immediately dissolved his entire cabinet.
He said, “If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” Mr. Keita stated from a military camp in Kati where he was being detained.
“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” he said. “I have decided to step down from office.”
While the soldiers that arrested and forced President Keita to resign and dissolve his entire cabinet have promised to conduct a fair and transparent election, ECOWAS and other international organisations have condemned the coup and called for sanctions against those behind the coup and their partners.
ECOWAS also said it has shut down all it’s land and air borders with Mali.
In a statement released by the 15-member nation on Wednesday, it said “ECOWAS has noted with great concern the seizure of power by Malian military putschists.”
It added that the coup would negatively impact on the peace and stability efforts in Mali and its region.
The soldiers, who described themselves as ‘the National Committee for the Salvation of the People,’ said they only acted to prevent the country from falling into further chaos and not interested in power.
“We are keen on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organise general elections to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions within the reasonable time limit,” said the group’s spokesman, Col Ismaël Wagué, the air force deputy chief of staff.
Another statement read on behalf of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People by Wagué on national television, said: “Civil society and political social movements are invited to join us to create together the best conditions for a civil political transition leading to credible general elections for the exercise of democracy through a roadmap that will lay the foundations for a new Mali.”
He added: “As of today, all air and land borders are closed until further notice. A curfew is in place from 09:00 to 17:00 until further notice.”
Flanked by soldiers, Col Wagué said: “Our country is sinking into chaos, anarchy and insecurity mostly due to the fault of the people who are in charge of its destiny.”
Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Begins Full Operations of Lagos-Ibadan Train, Releases Timetable
The newly completed Lagos – Ibadan standard gauge railway service from Lagos to Ibadan will commence full operations on Tuesday, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
The management of NRC disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Jerry Oche in Lagos on Sunday.
According to Oche, the Lagos Ibadan Train Services will henceforth be available in the morning.
He said “The updated timetable for Tuesday to Friday is as follows: Lagos to Ibadan: 8:00 a:m from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alogo megi Ebute – Meta Lagos. Also, the train will take off from Ibadan to Lagos: 8:00 am from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.
“The train will take off from Lagos to Ibadan: 4:00 pm from Mobolaji Johnson Station Alagomji, while from Ibadan to Lagos: 4:00 pm from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.
“The standard gauge train schedule on Saturday from Lagos to Ibadan: 8:30 am from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alagomeji while the train will leave from Ibadan to Lagos: 8:30 am from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.
“For Saturday evening from Lagos to Ibadan: 6:00 pm from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alagomji, while the train will take off from Ibadan to Lagos: 6:00 pm from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya,” Oche said.
He added that the Alagomeji, Abeokuta, and Moniya were still the stop stations of the Lagos Ibadan Train Services
MyOffice to Supply 220 Million Rubles Worth of Licenses to Republic of Burundi
MyOffice, a Russian developer of office software for document collaboration and communication, announced the expansion of cooperation with the Republic of Burundi. MyOffice distribution partner in Africa, Independence.digital, and INGO Tech s.a.r.l., a Burundian IT company and integrator, have signed a contract, under which Russian office software licenses worth about 220 million rubles ($3 million) will be supplied.
This news was reported by Dmitry Komissarov, General Director of MyOffice, at Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021.
In accordance with the contract, over the course of five years, the customer will receive MyOffice Standard and MyOffice Professional licenses, depending on their needs. The purchased office software will be installed on the national servers of the Republic of Burundi. The purchase of Russian software will help bolster the digital independence of the country and organize the secure storage of electronic documents and files. At the same time, full control over user data will be ensured.
MyOffice has been ramping up business relations with the Republic since 2019, when the company announced at the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum that it would supply 300 licenses of MyOffice Professional to the Government of Burundi. At the time, it was the first international contract for the Russian developer.
“The Republic of Burundi has been successfully using Russian software for two years now. Several top government officials have been trained at a certified training center in Russia and have mastered the office software. The decision to expand cooperation was made in the wake of the positive experience of using Russian office software and our high evaluation of its reliability,” said Rossalyn Kamariza, CEO of INGO Tech.
“The digitalization of the African countries is progressing by leaps and bounds and has a direct impact on their economic well-being. According to the estimates of independent analytical agencies, fast-paced implementation of modern technological products will cause the GDP of the region to grow by $148–318 billion by 2025,” stated Dmitry Komissarov, General Director of MyOffice.
“Our contract for the supply of MyOffice software shows that the government of the Republic of Burundi not only cares about the economic development of its country, but also pays great attention to the security of the digital solutions it uses. In turn, for MyOffice, this commercial delivery during the pandemic, with many international processes slowed down, is an important milestone in bolstering its position on the global market and a spectacular example of the high export potential of Russian IT solutions.”
Cuba’s Central Bank Suspends US Dollar Deposits Nationwide
Cuba, the island country located where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet, said this week U.S. dollars will be suspended in the country.
The mandate comes from the country’s central bank and foreign tourists have been told to leave U.S. dollars at home when visiting. The announcement was invoked at a roundtable discussion that was aired on state-sponsored Cuban television.
“In view of the obstacles that the U.S. embargo creates for the national bank system to deposit abroad the U.S. dollars that are collected in the country, a decision was made to temporarily suspend deposits in U.S. banknotes in Cuba’s bank and financial system,” the Central Bank of Cuba (Banco Central de Cuba, BCC) members said.
Yamilé Berra Cires, the vice president of the BCC, explained during the roundtable discussion that at the beginning of the Trump administration’s leadership, the U.S. tightened the embargo’s grip. The United States has had an embargo with Cuba since 1958 and the U.S. has had numerous issues with Cuba during the Eisenhower presidency and Kennedy presidency as well. After the 2008 crisis, the U.S. and Cuba seemed to gravitate toward friendlier terms during the Obama presidency.
However, BCC vice president Berra Cires claims issues have gotten worse since Trump and said 24 foreign banks stopped dealing with Cuba. Berra Cires also said during the roundtable discussion that 95 foreign financial institutions reported on the transgressions of Cuban national banks doing business with counterparties. “It is ever more difficult for Cuba to find international banking or financing institutions willing to receive, convert or process U.S. currency in cash,” Berra Cires further remarked.
“People who will be coming into the country during this time will have to arrive with a currency other than the dollar,” Francisco Mayobre Lence the BCC’s first vice president said.
Of course, after hearing about the USD ban in Cuba, members of the cryptocurrency community wanted Cuba to adopt digital currencies like El Salvador recently did with bitcoin. “It’s like [a] 50-year embargo. It’s really depressing,” one individual wrote about the Cuba situation with America on Reddit. “Will they take crypto now?” another Redditor asked in the r/cryptocurrency thread. Another crypto enthusiast responded to the question and said:
I doubt they want to be the last Latin American country to do so.
Minister-president of the Cuban central bank, Marta Sabina Wilson González explained during the roundtable discussion that Cuba had no choice but to make the decision. “We had no choice but to take this measure, which we are explaining at the Round Table, as we always do when it is a measure that affects the people, who will understand that there is no other option,” the minister detailed.
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