Daily Archives: August 17, 2016

XCMG Begins Water Cellar Project to Help Severe Drought Situation in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — XCMG officially began the 2016 water cellar project in Ethiopia on August 4, building the first water cellar in Oda Nebe primary school in the capital city Addis Ababa.

As part the company’s “For Better Life” global public welfare campaign featuring 14 precisely positioned projects, XCMG is partnering with China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) and the Ethiopian first lady’s office to bring much needed help to a country that’s currently experiencing its most severe drought in 30 years.

Wang Min, chairman and president of XCMG, decided that the company would provide immediate assistance when he learned of the severe drought affecting the Ethiopian people, donating RMB1.85 million (approx. USD280,000) to CFPA to establish the BlueDream foundation, which is investing RMB750,000 to build 50 water cellar cellars to help more than 4,000 villagers and students in Ethiopia.

“We chose this school near Akaki in Oromia state to build the first water cellar because more than 300 students are squashed into three poorly maintained classrooms every day without any drinking water facilities,” said Abiy, XCMG’s dealer in Ethiopia. “The new water cellar will solve this problem for the students and teachers.”

As a solution to the drought problems, the economical and practical water cellars take advantage of the abundant rainfall in Africa’s wet season and preserve the water for the dry season. Ethiopian hydraulic engineer Hune Nega said that upon learning the water cellar project was the first one donated by leading Chinese construction machinery company XCMG, he was very honored to be part of the project and share his experience in hydraulic engineering to help the children.

The first water cellar increased the water storage capacity and one small cement pit or three buffer pools will be added to keep the water clean and facilitate routine inspections.

“XCMG is using its 30 years of history in China to bring mature water cellar technologies to Ethiopia for the first time,” said Ding Yadong, deputy secretary general of CFPA. “We are fully committed to the global public welfare programs with the goal of making the world a better place.”

About XCMG:

XCMG is a multinational heavy machinery manufacturing company with a history of 73 years. It currently ranks ninth in the world’s construction machinery industry. The company exports to more than 176 countries and regions around the world. Now the company has launched “XCMG Cup” Green Creative Design Contest to welcome environmental cleaning equipment design work worldwide at www.en.xcmg-cloud.com until September 7, 2016.

For more information, please visit: www.xcmg.com, or follow XCMG Group on Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

MoneyGram Recognized as Trusted Money Transfer Provider in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) announced the continuity of its operations in Nigeria. The commitment follows recent market developments as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) changed its policy on how remittance companies (including MoneyGram) can continue to provide money transfer services in Nigeria.

MomeyGram can be found everywhere – in physical location or in mobile trucks.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160817/398804
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150730/251082LOGO

MoneyGram offers its customers in Nigeria the ability to send and receive money from family and friends throughout the world within minutes. Customers can either send or collect the funds from a MoneyGram agent location or receive them directly to their personal account.

“Remittances play an important role in the Nigerian economy. Nigerians living abroad sent more than $21 billion back to their country in 2015 alone,” explained Grant Lines, chief revenue officer, AMEAP, Russia and CIS. “MoneyGram recognizes and supports the Central Bank of Nigeria in its efforts to ensure these inflows are brought into Nigeria for the benefit of consumers as well as the economy at large. Being recognized by the CBN as a legitimate money transmitter is a testimony to our commitment to compliance and willingness to continue working with the CBN in the best interests of the economy.”

MoneyGram Logo.

“MoneyGram’s relationship with Nigeria is strong,” said Kemi Okusanya, head, MoneyGram Anglophone Africa. “Lagos has been chosen to serve as MoneyGram’s hub for Anglophone Africa operations. In addition, we have invested millions of dollars to improve product delivery for remittances to Nigeria. We know the needs of our customers vary and we are always striving to provide them with a solution that is most convenient for them. For example, our cash-to-account service allows Nigerians to receive funds directly to the customer’s personal bank account.”

Remittances are the second largest source of foreign exchange in Nigeria after the oil sector. According to the World Bank data, Nigeria accounts for nearly two-thirds of total remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, an estimated $21 billion flowed into the country, including $5.7 billion sent from the United States and about $3.7 billion from the United Kingdom.

#moneygramnews

About MoneyGram International, Inc.
MoneyGram is a global provider of innovative money transfer and payment services and is recognized worldwide as a financial connection to friends and family. Whether online, or through a mobile device, at a kiosk or in a local store, we connect consumers any way that is convenient for them. We also provide bill payment services, issue money orders and process official checks in select markets. More information about MoneyGram International, Inc. is available at moneygram.com.

Media Contact:
Maria Bankiet-Kamińska
MoneyGram
Tel: + 48 22 377 2185
Mob: + 48 885 889 696
Mail: MBankietKaminska@moneygram.com

Currency and Power

We have a global economy, but we don’t have a global currency. Or do we?

In this podcast interview with Benjamin Cohen, professor of International Political Economy at the University of California, Cohen explains why currencies become internationalized, and examines the relationship between world currencies and State power.

Power is influence, and it is also the ability to do what you want without having to worry about what others want, according to Cohen.

The United States dollar has been a dominant currency because the U.S. economy has dominated since World War II. What makes the dollar attractive, according to Cohen, is the U.S. financial market. The dollar offers liquidity advantages that no other does.

Cohen describes what he calls a currency pyramid, which includes the U.S. dollar at the very peak. It has universal scope and domain. Potentially the renminbi, China’s currency (also known as the yuan), which is still just a minnow, according to Cohen, but it’s international use is growing quite rapidly. It reflects that China has achieved a degree of autonomy that’s almost unprecedented.

Some people would like one world currency, which would come with a great deal of power. Cohen does not believe a world currency is possible in today’s world.

The best we can hope for is for institutions like the IMF to help governments to manage their currencies more efficiently.

According to Cohen, as long as we have a political system that relies on state sovereignty, we’re going to live with an imperfect monetary system. and the best we can hope for is international institutions that can help smooth some of the rough edges.

Source: International Monetary Fund

Officials Scramble to Contain Cholera at Refugee Center in Uganda

Officials in northern Uganda say dozens of cholera cases have been reported at a reception center for South Sudanese refugees. Cholera is an infectious disease usually spread through contaminated water that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Left untreated it can lead to death. Health officials are using cholera kits and increasing screenings to try to stop the spread of the disease. But between overcrowding and ongoing heavy rains, this could prove challenging.

Over the weekend, officials confirmed that 45 cases of cholera were discovered in the Pagirinya refugee reception center in northern Uganda. Although officials say most have been quarantined and treated, it comes at a time when resources are already strained and overcrowding in refugee settlements is a massive concern.

Over 80,000 South Sudanese refugees have come to Uganda since fighting erupted in Juba last month. Pagirinya holds nearly 28,000 refugees, well above its capacity.

Irene Nakasiita with the Ugandan Red Cross says the outbreak did not take them by surprise.

We expected it actually, we have always expressed fear,” Nakasiita said. “Especially when the weather changed. We already anticipated it and put up measures in place. So as much as it has broken out at least it’s being managed. And if we weren’t prepared probably the numbers would have been higher and maybe some people would have even have died already.

The Ugandan National Meteorological Authority has predicted above average rainfall in northern areas of the country until the end of August. This has stoked fears of water-borne illnesses continuing to spread.

The Ugandan Red Cross says incoming arrivals are all being screened for cholera before being sent to Bidi Bidi, a new refugee settlement able to house around 100,000 new arrivals. In addition, increased testing of water sites, door-to-door cholera education campaigns and monitoring of symptoms has been stepped up.

However, budget shortfalls continue to be a problem. According to relief group the Norwegian Refugee Council, aid groups have only received 20 percent of the funds needed to adequately care for new arrivals.

Tuesday, the Ugandan prime minister’s office, the U.N. World Food Program and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR announced that due to a lack of funds, food rations would be cut.

We’re now starting to see already the reality of that impact with the report yesterday from ourselves, OPM and WFP that refugees who came before July 15 will have their food rations revised by 50 percent,” said Charlie Yaxley of the UNHCR. “We hope it’s a temporary measure and the international community will speed up their contributions to the humanitarian response so we can restore these food rations as soon as possible.

And there are indications fighting in South Sudan will continue.

The refugees arriving from Central Equatoria are telling us that there’s intense fighting taking place in a number of towns across Central Equatoria and that armed militias have been distributing letters across towns and villages warning people to leave the area and heavy fighting is to be expected in the days and weeks ahead, Yaxley said.

UNHCR is deploying more staff in the area in case the influx from South Sudan continues. However, without increased assistance, they say it will be difficult to provide even the bare essentials to incoming refugees.

Source: Voice of America

Zimbabwean Police Clash With Anti-government Protesters

Riot police in Zimbabwe have violently dispersed demonstrators who marched to the country’s central bank to protest the proposed introduction of bond notes to ease a persistent cash shortage. This is the latest in a string of anti-government protests as the country’s economic crisis worsens.

Those are protesters, mainly young people, who marched Wednesday toward the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

They sang, “We are tired.” That was before anti-riot police started firing tear gas in an effort to disperse them. Those who tried to resist were assaulted and injured.

One of those who survived the assaults, Tendai Mudehwe, says she will continue taking part in protests.

Zimbabweans are tired. Zimbabweans are peace loving people, but this regime, the government of Zimbabwe, has given Zimbabweans no other option of expressing themselves except protesting,” said Mudehwe . “Life is now difficult in Zimbabwe. And Zimbabweans are finding their voice to say enough is enough… The government does not care for its citizens and the citizens have had enough and the only thing they can do is to protest. And I can assure you that the protests are going to increase as the year goes by.

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an unprecedented wave of opposition to President Robert Mugabe, who has held power since 1980, when the country gained its independence from Britain.

The latest demonstration was organized by the #thisflag movement, ceremonially led by Pastor Evan Mawarire, who fled to neighboring South Africa last month after he was acquitted of charges of trying to topple the Mugabe government. He has since settled in the United States.

The protesters oppose the introduction of bond notes – equivalent to the U.S. dollar – that are set to go into circulation in October. Some worry the bond notes are a back door attempt to reintroduce a Zimbabwean currency. Zimbabwe uses only foreign currency, like dollars, euros and the South African rand. Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 amid unprecedented hyperinflation.

Source: Voice of America