Taliban plans to turn former foreign bases into special economic zones:
[1/2] Parked vehicles are seen in Bagram U.S. air base, after American troops vacated it, in Parwan province, Afghanistan July 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
On Sunday, the Taliban’s acting deputy prime minister for economic affairs announced that the administration will move ahead with plans to turn former foreign military bases into special economic zones. The acting commerce minister announced his intention in December to bring it before the Prime Minister and Cabinet for approval and they have now begun a pilot program in Kabul. This is part of the Taliban’s stated aim of focusing on boosting economic self-sufficiency through trade and investment. However, foreign investors remain worried over the administration’s ability to address human rights concerns and ward off terrorist attacks by Islamic State.
Armenia offers peace treaty project to Azerbaijan:
A service member of the Russian peacekeeping troops stands next to a military vehicle at the Dadivank, an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery, November 15, 2020 [File: Reuters]
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the state has presented Azerbaijan with a project for a full peace treaty. If this goes through, it will end the decades-long dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The two former Soviet republics have been locked in a state of conflict over the mountainous area, which lies in Azerbaijan but whose population is largely Armenian. While Azerbaijan has yet to accept the treaty, copies being sent to Russia, the US, and France is a good sign of Armenia’s sincerity. This is reinforced by the agreement providing for monitoring mechanisms by both sides to prevent breaches of trust.
Nigeria's naira shortage: Anger and chaos outside banks:
Queues have been seen across the country including in Zamfara state in the north. Reuters
Nigeria is experiencing a growing sense of anxiety over the ongoing cash shortage. This is due to a lack of newly designed naira notes, made worse by 40% of the population not having bank accounts. The Central Bank of Nigeria says the purpose of the redesign was to replace the dirty cash in circulation, to tackle inflation, curb counterfeiting and promote a cashless society. Last October, Nigerians were told that the old notes were being replaced with new notes and were encouraged to deposit savings in the bank. Now, much of the population is unable to access said money, with many sleeping outside banks in hopes of being among the first in line to get freshly printed notes. The Supreme Court has even become involved and has ordered that the deadline to hand in old notes be extended but this has made little difference.