– L$118 – L$120 = US$1 The unprecedented rise in the buying rate of the United States dollar to the Liberian dollar varies between L$118 and L$120 to US$1 at street vendors and forex bureaus in central Monrovia and Paynesville.The Daily Observer has observed that up to yesterday in central Monrovia, the exchange rate of the US dollar to the Liberian dollar ranged from L$119 – L$120 per US$1, while in Paynesville, especially in the Red Light Market, the rate was L$118 – L$119 to US$1.The selling rate of the United States dollar to the Liberian dollar at stores ranged between L$125 to L$130.This contradicts the buying and selling rate of the Liberian dollar to the US dollar at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).Up to June 24, 2017, the CBL announced the buying rate as L$112.75 to US$1 and to be sold at L$113.46 to US$1.“These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of foreign exchange markets in Monrovia and selected cities,” the CBL explains in the daily exchange rate postings found on the front pages of a number of daily newspapers including the Daily Observer. “These rates are collected from the Central Bank, commercial banks, parallel markets and the licensed forex bureaus.” Tha CBL adds: “The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.”Financial experts say the Liberian dollar would likely keep dipping against the US dollar from L$135 to US$1 and the US may steadily rise up to the eve of the October elections.The hike of the US dollar to the Liberian dollar is obviously causing hardship for marketers and consumers because of the arbitrary increase in goods and services as well as high punishing interest repayments to commercial banks.Expert OpinionsTwo experts from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia confided in the Daily Observer that the exchange rate is one of the most important determinants of a country’s relative level of economic health, and it plays a vital role in a country’s level of trade.The experts said there are numerous factors which determine the hike in the exchange rate, and most especially when a country is perceived to have more political and economic risks. The pending elections amid threats from political parties, is causing a loss of confidence in the currency and the movement of capital.They also said the hike is also an engagement in large-scale deficit financing by the Liberian government to pay public sector projects that are funded by the government.“A large debt encourages inflation, and if inflation is high, the debt will be serviced and ultimately paid off with cheaper dollars in the future,” they said.They also pinned the hike to the decline in the prices of the country’s major commodity exports, rising import demands and deteriorating terms of trade, the departure of concession companies and widespread capital flights, citing them as contributing factors to the increase in the depreciation of the Liberian dollar.They also said a country with a consistently lower inflation rate exhibits a rising currency value, as its purchasing power increases relative to other currencies, and indicated that interest rates, inflation and exchange rates are all correlated and cause the exchange rate to rise.“By manipulating interest rates, central and commercial banks exert influence over both inflation and exchange rates, and changing interest rates impact inflation and currency values. Higher interest rates offer lenders in an economy a higher return relative to other countries. Therefore, higher interest rates attract foreign capital and cause the exchange rate to rise,” they said.They added: “The impact of higher interest rates is mitigated, however, if inflation in the country is much higher than others, or if additional factors serve to drive the currency down. The opposite exists for decreasing interest rates – that is, lower interest rates tend to decrease exchange rates.”The experts further argued that the exchange rate can hike if the country is spending more on foreign trade than it is earning, and if it is borrowing capital from foreign sources to make up the deficit. In other words, the country requires more foreign currency than it receives through sales of exports, and it supplies more of its own currency than foreign states demand for their products. The excess demand for foreign currency lowers the country’s exchange rate until domestic goods and services are cheap enough for foreign states to buy, and foreign assets are too expensive to generate sales for domestic interests.The opinions of the President and CBLIt may be recalled that the CBL has blamed the depreciation of the Liberian dollar to 7.1 percent against the US dollar mainly on account of declines in the prices of the country’s major commodity exports, rising import demand and deteriorating terms of trade.But President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in addition to the reasons provided by the CBL, the departure of concession companies and widespread capital flights are contributing factors to the increase in the depreciation of the Liberian dollar.“We have a problem with foreign exchange because many of our iron ore companies closed down due to the drop in the price of global commodity. So, the US dollar is not plenty like it used to be. Once you have small US dollars with plenty people chasing it, it puts strain on the Liberian dollar. Many people are transporting money through wires like Western Union and Money Gram to support their families abroad. Betting companies are also wiring the US dollar,” President Sirleaf said during her recent regular Simple Liberian English Chat with Torwon Sulonteh Brown of UNMIL Radio.She indicated that the government’s economic management team is working to improve the situation in the shortest possible time and added that due to the lack of enough US dollars in the country, the government has employed a new measure of paying some public servants’ salaries in Liberian dollars.As a consequence of the high exchange rate, Liberians who used to buy a 25kg bag of rice for L$1,600 at the rate of US$20 are now buying the same bag of rice for L$1,880 or US$20.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Asgar Ally of Bella Dam, West Bank Demerara (WBD), who allegedly beat his 61-year-old brother Nazir Khan to death over a box of food, was on Tuesday slapped with a murder charge and appeared at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court.Reports are Khan, called “Karie”, of Lot 37 Bella Dam, WBD, was beaten by Ally, who is his younger brother, after he failed to return with a box of food which he was sent to purchase.According to information received, at about 18:30h on July 5, 2018, the accused, who works with a garbage disposal company, had sent Khan to purchase a box of food for him from a nearby shop. However, after some time had elapsed and the man did not return with the food, the suspect went in search of him in the company of a friend.Khan was found at a neighbour’s house where he was confronted and admitted to his brother that he had eaten the food since he was hungry. The suspect allegedly became enraged and he along with his friend began to beat Khan.After the beating, the 61-year-old man who does handy work around the village, went to another neighbouring house, where he subsequently died.Meanwhile, Khan’s body was taken to the Ezekiel Funeral Home, where a post-mortem examination was conducted by State Pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh.The cause of death was given as brain haemorrhage due to blunt trauma to the head, compounded by compression injuries to the neck.The case will continue on August 13.
Residents along the roadway from Belfield, East Coast Demerara to Rosignol, West Coast Berbice (WCD) can now look forward to improved road access with Government’s announced plan to upgrade the roadway.“We have just recently received technical assistance from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to do the study of a continuation of the widening of the road on the East Coast from Belfield to Rosignol,” Finance Minister Winston Jordon disclosed on Friday, while making the remarks at an event.According to Minister Jordan, this and other infrastructural projects undertaken by Government will strengthen the infrastructure network, which is critical for reducing the cost as it relates to production and export.This new project will be a continuation of the East Coast Road Widening and Expansion Project currently ongoing.The US$50.2 million project has two components: a four-lane expansion from Better Hope to Annandale, and an upgrade to the existing two-lane road from Annandale to Belfield.The project is being funded by a US$45.3 million concessional loan from the China Export-Import Bank.Earlier this week, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson told <
A six-year-old girl is now dead after she was struck by a motorcar on the East Bank of Essequibo (EBE) on Saturday evening. Dead is Kellisa Richards of Lot 4 Farm Railway Embankment, EBE, Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara). The accident occurred sometime around 17:00h on the Farm Railway Embankment. According to Regional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Simon Mc Bean, Richards was attempting to cross the public road unattended when a car, bearing registration number PRR 7918, hit her. As a result of the impact, both the child and vehicle ended up on the opposite side of the road. Kellisa’s mother told the police that the former Greenwich Primary pupil had asked to go to the nearby shop but she refused to let her go. However, the sixyear- old, unknowing to her mother, went on the road by herself and it was then that she met her demise. After she was hit, the injured and unconscious child was picked up by the driver of the car and rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital. There, she was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA). Meanwhile, the 32-yearold driver of Tuschen, EBE, was taken into custody and is assisting with further investigations
Rangers target Bruno Alves has arrived in Glasgow for signing talks.The Portugal defender is halfway through a two-year deal with Serie A side Cagliari but has flown in for discussions about a move to Glasgow.The 35-year-old former Porto, Zenit St Petersburg and Fenerbahce centre-back has won 89 caps and was in Portugal’s Euro 2016-winning squad. Bruno Alves 1
Swilly Seals 5K 2016 Results.Some great times recored by our club and local athletes at the Swilly seals 5k. Top scorers were Ciaran McGonigal, Noel Diver and Kevin McGee who showed great early season form. Well done to all the local athletes who competed. Please refer to our facebook page for full results and times.Sports hallGood luck to all the Gweedore and Rosses athletes who make up the Donegal team competing in the UK Sports hall finals in Manchester this weekend. Training Continues as follows:Seniors:Industrial Estate Tue/Thurs evenings and Sunday 11am at the blue bridge. Contact the email@example.com for further details.Juvenile:Training every Tues/Thur 6pm – 7pm at the Track in Carrickfinn for ages 7 upwards including u13-u19Sunday 10am u13 and older.Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgSWIMMING: SWILLY SEALS HOPING TO MAKE A SPLASH AT UK FINALS IN MANCHESTER was last modified: April 12th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SportSwilly SealsSWIMMING
LIVING THE DREAM 1 RANKED IN DEMAND The 25-year-old enjoyed a fine season for Spurs last term, finishing the campaign with 12 Premier League goals and six assists.After a slow start to English football back in 2015, the South Korean star has now found his feet and his form isn’t going unnoticed.Arsenal, Liverpool and Man United – according to German broadcaster Sport 1 – are all interested in former Hamburg and Bayern Leverkusen ace Son, and are ready to move for him this summer. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade moving on LATEST Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are interested in Tottenham forward Son Heung-min, according to reports. Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January targets Tottenham are unlikely to want to sell one of their star forwards, but their Premier League rivals are ready to test their resolve.Spurs shelled out around £22million to sign Son from Leverkusen in August 2015 and he still has two years to run on his current contract. Heung-Min Son is reportedly wanted by Spurs’ top Premier League rivals Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Latest transfer gossip on talkSPORT.com REVEALED Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father targets
CERAMICIST Maria Connolly has forged a new path in her work with her first solo exhibition which opens this Saturday.Inspired by her rural industrialised surroundings, the Manorcunningham-based designer has spent the last nine months crafting her striking pieces which will be shown at the Geraldine Harrigan Gallery, Port Road, Letterkenny for two weeks. Maria’s handmade work has previously been available for sale at the Kilkenny Design Centre but after taking time out to raise her two sons, she has now re-emerged, re-energised and inspired. Speaking about her exhibition “Pathways”, she said: “I’ve sourced my ideas from the natural environment. I wanted to incorporate the forms and attachments of everyday clearly identifiable functional items like kettles, bottles, vessels and tea-pots but not be constrained by them.“It’s been a joy for me and I’ve spent the last nine months rediscovering my path.”Living in the flight path of geese, the path of the Swilly, the landscape has played a huge part in Maria’s work.She told how she tried different techniques to create her pieces using mono-printing and sgraffito and is now really excited to see her new work on show. It is a new direction for the designer who used to be based at her ceramics shop at Church Lane in Letterkenny.“Some people might remember it. It was called Hidden Earth but it closed in 2001 after five years.”Maria also hopes to take her work to Potfest – a huge UK ceramics festival for potters to market their work.She said: “I want to take the exhibition to Potfest. I am also really excited about seeing the pieces in environment of the gallery. I hope people come along and enjoy it.”Pathways opens this Saturday, May 25th and runs until June 8 – gallery 4, 4 Port Road, Lettekenny Tel 074 9125312. MARIA FIRED UP FOR HER FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION was last modified: May 21st, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ceramics exhibitionletterkennymanorcunninghamMARIA FIRED UP FOR HER FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION
First Samurai could be a champion in the making. Taking the lead from rival Henny Hughes in the stretch, First Samurai pulled off to a 2-length victory in Saturday’s $500,000 Champagne Stakes at rain-drenched Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The 2-year-old colt’s win improved his perfect mark to 4 for 4 and firmly established First Samurai as the favorite for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Belmont on Oct. 29. “He’s about as good as it gets for 2-year-olds,” winning trainer Frank Brothers said. Long shot wins Lane’s End: After losing standouts Roses in May and Kitten’s Joy to retirement earlier this year, trainer Dale Romans was searching for another star in his barn. He might have found one. Dawn of War, who went off at 36-1, led almost all the way and captured the Grade I Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Dawn of War fought jockey John Jacinto during the stretch run, never getting on the right lead. But the Kentucky-bred 2-year-old son of Catienus steadily pulled away and beat another long shot, Catcominatcha, by 3 lengths, running 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.77. Romans had hoped to have a prominent presence in the Breeders’ Cup. But Roses in May, last year’s second-place Classic finisher, was retired in August, while turf standout Kitten’s Joy was retired last month, both due to injury. Like those two horses, Dawn of War is owned by Ken Ramsey, who wasn’t at Keeneland on Saturday because of a family engagement. But Romans said he had no doubt Ramsey would enter Dawn of War in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. “Those horses are impossible to replace,” Romans said of Roses in May and Kitten’s Joy. “You’ve just got to find (another) that you can do good with.” Singletary triumphs: Singletary won the $249,000 Oak Tree Breeders’ Cup Mile by 1 lengths over Designed For Luck at Santa Anita. Singletary, who was ridden by David Flores, covered the mile on the turf in 1:34.54. The 5-year old will defend his title at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Singletary paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.60. Designed For Luck returned $6.80 and $3.80, while Buckland Manor paid $3 to show. In the $236,000 Ancient Title Breeders’ Cup Stakes, Captain Squire defeated Zanzibar by a half-length. Captain Squire, who was ridden by Alex Solis, covered the 6 furlongs in 1:08.85 and paid $6.20, $4 and $3.40. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Earlier, Adieu lived up to her billing as the top 2-year-old filly with a two-length victory over Along the Sea in the $500,000 Frizette and will likely be the favorite for the BC Juvenile Fillies on Breeders’ Cup day. In the Champagne, Too Much Bling and Henny Hughes got caught up in a speed duel, with First Samurai racing well back in the six-horse field. When the leaders turned for home, First Samurai, with a little urging from jockey Jerry Bailey, made his move on the outside and ran straight to the finish. “He struggled a bit with the track, but it didn’t surprise me,” Bailey said. “He is a big, heavy horse. He came home a little slow, but they went pretty fast in the earlier part.” In front of a small crowd of 4,201, First Samurai covered the mile in 1:36.29 over a sloppy track and the odds-on favorite returned $3.50 for a $2 win ticket.
25 May 2011When the world’s biggest retail company, the US-based Walmart, announced in September 2010 a plan to buy South African retailer Massmart for a staggering US$4.2-billion, eyebrows were raised. Foreign investors in Africa have tended to put their money in the riches that lie beneath its soil, where the profits are higher.In fact, the steady growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the continent during most of the past decade has mostly been concentrated in extractive sectors, especially oil (see Africa Renewal, January 2005).Yet, much like Walmart, a growing number of major investors are now betting on the continent’s ultimate wealth, Africans themselves, according to the World Investment Report 2010 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).And for all the shock that Walmart’s foray into Africa initially prompted, when it announced in December that it was seeking to acquire only 51 percent of Massmart’s shares for $2.5-billion, the transaction was still second to the continent’s biggest business deal unrelated to natural resources. Late in March 2010, a record $10.7-billion transaction took place as Kuwait’s telecommunication company Zain sold its African assets to Bharti, an Indian competitor.Investors eye new sectorsOverall, the Unctad report notes, amidst a recent slump in FDI flows to Africa (see graph): “The services sector, led by the telecommunications industry, became the dominant FDI recipient.”Across the continent, new deals involving major foreign corporations are becoming a common occurrence in sectors previously considered unattractive to investment heavyweights. Nestle, a Swiss food company, announced plans to spend $1-billion by 2013 for acquisitions in various African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Angola. Less than two years ago, Nestle’s main competitor, France’s Danone, bought the yoghurt and desserts division of Clover, South Africa’s leader in fresh cultured dairy products.Such developments call “for reassessment of FDI in Africa, as a different picture emerges,” the Unctad report argues. Potentially, development experts note, an increase in FDI flows to infrastructure, services and retail sales could have a far more positive impact on African economies. Unlike investments in the extractive industries, investments in consumer-oriented sectors often lead to the creation of many more jobs and stimulate consumer spending.Rise of the African middle classAfrica’s booming middle class, with its recently acquired purchasing power, is the main reason behind the new FDI trend on the continent. Various researches suggest that the number of Africans who can afford to buy more than the necessities of daily life is rising rapidly.A much-talked-about report by McKinsey, a US-headquartered multinational consulting firm, estimates that the continent is home to around 50-million middle-class households (defined as those with incomes of at least $20 000), as many as in India. (The report, entitled “Lions on the Move: The Progress and Potential of African Economies”, was published in June 2010.)One in every 10 Africans, says a different study by a French aid agency, is already a “solvent consumer” – one who can afford the latest smartphones, the newest computers and dinners at trendy restaurants.The rise of this middle class is linked to the strong economic performances recorded in many African countries since the end of the 1990s. Average economic growth has been around 5 percent a year, while the average inflation rate fell to 8 percent from an earlier high of 22 percent.From 2000 to 2010, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, reports The Economist, an authoritative London weekly. In fact, the publication argues that Africa is the site of “the surprising success story of the past decade,” high praise from a magazine that is generally not very enthusiastic about the continent.Strong and sustained growth rates – and not only in the oil-rich countries that benefited from booming demand from emerging economies – provided a platform from which numerous households moved upwards in income.And while growth in oil-producing countries usually did not result in massive job creation, growth in other countries did create some employment, in turn boosting domestic consumption. In South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, Africa’s four most advanced and diversified economies, domestic consumption became the largest contributor to growth in recent years, says the McKinsey report.Policies, peace and governanceAfrica’s improved economic performances are also a result of good economic policies and improved political contexts, maintained the World Bank in its report Africa Development Indicators 2007. In Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, for example, business-friendly policies opened new markets to investors. Angola and Rwanda became fast-growing economies after long civil wars.Some also argue that a continental development plan has helped as well. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), adopted by African leaders in 2001, “did help shape a new, more positive perception of Africa,” argues Patrick Osakwe, an economist with the UN Economic Commission for Africa and co-author of a study on FDI to Africa.By emphasising the importance of good governance, Osakwe told Africa Renewal, the plan illustrated a momentous shift in the way Africans seek to interact with the rest of the world.Expanding prosperityFor a continent so long regarded by outside observers as “hopeless,” the coming years will bring more good news, various analysts say. Africa weathered the global recession better than most regions of the world, and its recent economic performance is second only to that of Asia, according to several international institutions. Over the next five years, The Economist recently projected, “The average African economy will outpace its Asian counterpart.”Such promising prospects are central to Walmart’s expansion plans in Africa. Other major Western investors are likely to follow the US giant, analysts say. One reason is that the continent’s combined consumer spending is forecast to reach $1.4-trillion by 2020, up from $860-billion in 2008. Companies from emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil are already strengthening their positions in the region.As foreign investors rush to benefit from the rise of the new categories of African consumers, prosperity still remains elusive for too many other Africans. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 250-million people in Africa are undernourished.“To expand prosperity, African leaders need to invest in infrastructure and education, to diversify their economies, so that many more people can benefit from growth,” argues Osakwe.Others note that improving the standard of living of the poor not only makes business sense, but is also a political necessity, as suggested by the recent waves of protests across North Africa. Not addressing people’s economic rights, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay pointedly remarked this January, causes grievances “to fester and eventually erupt on a large scale.”This article was first published in Africa Renewal – produced by the Africa Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Africa Renewal provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today.