The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva has announced that the Fund would provide $500 million in grant-based debt service relief to 25 countries.
The 25 beneficiaries include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.
“Today, I am pleased to say that our executive board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IMF’s Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva.
According to Georgieva, the relief was provided to the poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months. She noted that the fund would help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.
Countries granted immediate debt service relief over an initial 6-month period on their IMF obligations can now channel more financial resources towards vital #COVID19 emergency medical and other relief efforts. https://t.co/CHMbs5qCCs
— IMF (@IMFNews) April 13, 2020
She went on to urge donors to help the Fund replenish the Trust’s resources and boost its ability to provide additional debt service relief for full two years to IMF’s poorest member countries.
Recall that the IMF had disclosed the United Kingdom’s recent pledge of US$185 million as well as the US$100 million provided by Japan as part of the CCRT.
Nigeria’s exclusion from the list has become a topic of discussion in the media space, as many are already worried about the country’s debt portfolio and the unwillingness of international organisation to provide relief at this time of the Coronavirus pandemic.
What you should know: Nigeria was never part of the countries indebted to IMF. Contrary to the news going viral, Nigeria’s exclusion from the list should have never been debated as the West African country is not owing the Fund.
It is pertinent to note that the novel Coronavirus is shutting down economies on a global scale, thereby sending different countries into emergency distress. It is in this light this that the IMF is relieving them of their debts in order to help sustain and complement their efforts at reviving their economies.
The debt relief will help countries move towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, which aim at halving poverty by 2015. Debt in developing countries is singled out as a principal cause of poverty, causing human suffering and misery as well as hampering economic development.
TikTok’s 38 year-old founder is worth $35.5 billion – Here’s what we know
At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world.
TikTok a video sharing app was named the most downloaded app of the first quarter of 2021 but not much is known about its founder. The app now has over 689 million active users worldwide according to statistics from oberlo.com. It has also been downloaded over 2 billion times on App Store and Google Playstore. It is arguably the most popular video-sharing app out there and the numbers keep growing.
TikTok was able to grow at a faster rate than Facebook and Instagram since its startup. The man behind this massive success is currently worth $35.5 billion and he is our person of interest today.
Meet Zhang Yiming, the founder of Bytedance
38-year-old Zhang Yiming is the CEO and Founder of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. Zhang Yiming majored in microelectronics and software engineering at Nankai University. He worked for various tech startups including Microsoft before settling to start his own company.
The billionaire leads a very secretive lifestyle. He founded ByteDance back in 2012 and steered it all the way to financial success. He is currently worth $35.5 billion but his net worth is well on its way to doubling based on recent valuations.
ByteDance has two main flagship products – Toutiao, an AI-backed news aggregator and TikTok which he founded later after the success of Toutiao.
Revisiting the success of TikTok
Last year Zhang Yiming’s ByteDance was regarded as the most valuable startup in the world. TikTok became the most downloaded iOS app worldwide in the first quarter of 2019, according to the US research app Sensor Tower.
TikTok is available in 155 countries and in 75 languages.
Bytedance’s first major valuation was in 2018 where it was valued at $75bn according to Forbes. This was followed by another valuation which put it at $140bn according to CB Insights.
The latest 2021 valuation places ByteDance at over $250bn according to the South China morning post.
Zhang Yiming owns a quarter of ByteDance and with this recent valuation, his net worth is set to grow to $60bn according to experts in the field.
Donald Trump scare
The former president of the United States was on the verge of banning TikTok in the country. He claimed the App has ties to the Chinese government. This would have been a setback giving that the application is quite popular among US millennials and Gen Z. Donald Trump lost his re-election bid and very little has been said by the Biden administration on the issue.
What you should know
- At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world. His parents were civil servants.
- The popularity of TikTok in the United States has raised concerns from US regulators.
FG explains why the loan amount for youth investment fund is limited to N300,000
At N300,000 per beneficiary, only 41,000 beneficiaries would be covered in the first tranche of N12.5bn.
The Federal Government has explained why it limited the loan amount for the current beneficiaries of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to N300,000.
The government said that it had to place a limit of N300,000 for individuals and eligible businesses who meet the conditions and guideline in order to ensure that it gets to as many beneficiaries as possible.
This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, who noted that the disbursement of the fund is being done in phases.
What the statement from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is saying
The statement explained that the ministry had received more than 3 million applications for the initial N12.5bn made available adding that at the current cap of N300,000 per beneficiary, only about 41,000 beneficiaries could be covered.
The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been following with interest the reaction of some beneficiaries of the NYIF, particularly those expressing disappointment at the N300,000 cap on disbursement under the first tranche of N12.5bn.
Firstly, the framework specified N250,000 as the maximum for individuals and eligible businesses that are critical can access up toN3m subject to meeting key criteria set in the guideline and conditions.
Considering the number of applications received, there was the need to ensure spread and enable more beneficiaries enjoy the facility.”
The ministry assured beneficiaries that higher loan thresholds would be possible once additional funds were available in subsequent phases.
The ministry in the statement also noted that it is ideal to start and gradually increase, considering that there are lots of first-time borrowers as well.
The ministry reaffirmed that NYIF was not a grant, but a loan, targeted at supporting the youth to start small businesses or to inject funds into existing small businesses.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government had on October 15, 2020, launched the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, which was set up for investment in the innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth.
- It is to also institutionally provide the Nigerian youth with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
- The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.
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