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    IMF warns of further deteriorating economy in South Sudan

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned of further deteriorating economic situation in South Sudan unless quick economic reform policies were adopted and political environment eased.

    The IMF staff team, led by Jan Mikkelsen, visited Juba from May 23 to June 1 during which they held discussions in the context of the nation’s 2016 Article IV Consultation.

    According to the IMF team, the current approach taken by government of South Sudan to its economic situation is wrong, stressing that the deficit in 2016/17 could top USD 1.1 billion or 25 percent of the GDP. It added that if deficit is financed through borrowing from the central bank or accumulation of arrears, as is the case now, the situation would continue to fuel inflation and put further downward pressure on the exchange rate.

    It recommended that restoring macroeconomic stability in the world’s youngest nation would require collaborative efforts from South Sudan and its development partners in changing the policies and restoring political and security stability in the war-ravaged country. (Sudan Tribune)

    Gunmen kill 10 in Mogadishu

    Gunmen have stormed a hotel in the center of the Somali capital Mogadishu, with reports of at least 10 dead and 50 wounded.

    The attackers entered the Ambassador Hotel on Maka al-Mukarama Street after setting off a car bomb at the gates outside, witnesses said.

    Somalia’s state news agency said two MPs were killed in the blast, with another four rescued.

    The Al-Shabaab militant group was quick to say it was behind the attack.

    The BBC’s Somali Service reporter Ibrahim Aden in Mogadishu says the explosion is one of the largest to hit the city and the scale of destruction is huge.

    Somalia’s state news agency Sonna said at least 50 people were hurt and that the death toll was likely to rise.

    It named the dead MPs as Abdullahi Jama Kabaweyne and Mohamoud Mohamed Gure.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the government announced it had killed Mohamed Kuno, the Al-Shabaab militant who led the attack on Garissa University in Kenya in April 2015 that killed 148 people. (BBC)

    Ethiopia set to electrify 2,000 villages until year end

    Some 2,000 Ethiopian villages will be electrified until the end of this fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

    Early this year, the country allocated some 4.75 billion birr for its rural electrification program, the ministry stated.

    During the past ten months, 320 villages have gained access to electricity, Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, said.

    According to the Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, more efforts are also underway to make the remaining villages that do not have access become beneficiaries of electricity until the end of the current fiscal year.

    In that regard, construction works which allows some 132 villages to get electricity service has fully been completed, while the construction of power supply facilities is underway for 962 villages.

    The ministry is currently preparing design for 493 villages and is on the process to receive site for the remaining villages, he said.

    As it stands, Ethiopia’s electricity coverage has now reached 56 percent. (FBC)

    First Lady lays cornerstone for cardiology and oncology center

    First lady Roman Tesfaye has laid the cornerstone for National Center of Excellence in Cardiology and Oncology in St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College on Thursday.

    In her remarks at the event, the first lady said the center is expected to provide quality and affordable service upon completion.

    St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College has been providing medical service and training to rank itself among the best medical centers in the country, according to Roman.

    She said the National Center of Excellence in Cardiology and Oncology would transform the efficiency and quality of the hospital to a higher level. 

    The role of the center in addressing non-communicable diseases such as heart diseases and cancer is significant as it is equipped with modern medical facilities.

    Minister of Health Kesteberhan Admasu (MD) on his part said upon completion, the center will be unique in Ethiopia having 1,800 medical staff and expected to provide services for about 2,200 outpatients daily. (ENA)

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