Sunday 21 January 2018
(Daily Trust 08/06/13)
Lagos — The changing global oil market is currently putting the nation's oil and gas sector on its toes as Nigeria struggles to maintain its hold as the sixth exporter of oil in the world. Besides, there are fears that the spate of oil discoveries in new oil fields in the world has intimidating implications for Nigeria's might among exporters of oil in the world. For instance, countries like Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have discovered large oil reserves and some have commenced production. According to reports, large natural gas resources have also been discovered in South Africa, Mozambique offshore, Namibia and Botswana, while discovery in an offshore oilfield in Angola has been marked to make the...
(Business Daily 08/06/13)
The top-ranking US trade official Michael Froman said on Monday that issues of "reciprocity" will be raised at a US-Africa conference next week in Ethiopia that will consider renewal of the Agoa trade initiative. The African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is due to expire in 2015, gives duty-free treatment to Kenyan textiles and many other African exports to the United States. Agoa is said to be responsible for creating thousands of jobs in the Kenyan textile industry. But as a condition to Agoa's extension beyond 2015, American negotiators may press African countries to give the same preferential treatment to US exports to Africa. Ambassador Froman made clear in a talk at the Brookings Institution in Washington that the US...
(Reuters 08/06/13)
LAGOS/SYDNEY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Nigeria is gradually opening up to Islamic finance, a move that could bring non-interest banking to over 80 million Muslims and develop one of Africa's fastest-growing consumer and corporate banking sectors. Home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is trying to establish itself as the African hub for Islamic finance, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling. In recent months, a string of regulatory initiatives have set the groundwork for products such as Islamic bonds (sukuk), insurance (takaful) and interbank lending products, although there is still only a small number of local market participants. "The potential is there but the market is negligible in Nigeria because we have...
(Reuters 08/05/13)
JOHANNESBURG | Mon Aug 5, 2013 (Reuters) - The City of Johannesburg apologized to Nelson Mandela and his family on Monday for mistakenly posting a non-payment notice on the former South African president's house warning him his electricity was about to be cut off. The city, which has faced a barrage of complaints from residents for bungled bills, said the notice demanding payment of 6,468.48 rand ($660) was supposed to have been delivered to a different house. "The city wants to convey an apology to the Mandela family for any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate incident," it said in a statement. Mandela, 95, has spent two months in a Pretoria hospital battling a lung infection that has left him in...
(Reuters 08/05/13)
JOHANNESBURG | Mon Aug 5, 2013 (Reuters) - African Bank Investments said on Monday it would sell its furniture unit and raise cash in a rights offer, as the South African mass-market lender aims to boost a balance sheet stretched by weak demand and rising bad loans. African Bank, known as Abil (ABLJ.J), has helped pioneer unsecured credit - loans not backed by collateral - in Africa's top economy by focusing on lower-income customers. But it is now showing signs of fatigue as borrowers struggle to make payments, their finances hit by a slowing economy, chronically high unemployment and waves of strike action and social unrest. Abil, which warned that earnings at its main banking unit were likely to worsen...
(AFP 08/05/13)
PRETORIA, August 5, 2013 (AFP) - A South African public inquiry into a suspect multi-billion dollar government arms deal was adjourned on Monday shortly before President Jacob Zuma was expected to testify. The commission's chairman announced a two-week postponement after a brief first hearing -- to allow the replacement of judges and the classification of secret military documents. The inquiry will resume on August 19. Zuma was expected to appear before the commission probing graft allegations against him and several top government officials. The commission is investigating kickbacks in a $3 billion weapons deal made in 1999 that has dogged Zuma and his ruling ANC for a decade. The commission, delayed for five months, has suffered a series of controversial...
(Mining Weekly 08/05/13)
KALGOORLIE (miningweekly.com) – Gold major Anglogold Ashanti on Monday reported that it would implement a number of initiatives to cut costs. Speaking to Mining Weekly Online on the sidelines of the Diggers and Dealers conference, in Kalgoorlie, executive VP Graham Ehm said that the South Africa-headquartered company would aim to save some $500-million in capital costs over the next 18 months, with capital expenditure directed towards the group’s highest quality assets. AngloGold Ashanti, which has 21 operations in ten countries, would also look to suspend some of its projects that were yielding lower returns. The operations on the chopping block would only be revealed during the company’s quarterly results presentation on Wednesday, but Ehm noted mines operating above the $1...
(CNN 08/05/13)
Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe on his re-election, urging opposition groups Sunday to accept the results of "the successful harmonised elections." Zuma's stance appears to be at odds with the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, all of whom have called into question Wednesday's presidential and primary polls. Zimbabwe's election commission said 89-year-old Mugabe won 61% of the vote, besting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's 34%, to lead the nation for another five years. Mugabe has been the only leader an independent Zimbabwe has ever known. Tsvangirai, 61, called the balloting "a fraudulent and a stolen election" -- and said he plans to mount a court challenge. Will of the people? In...
(Bloomberg 08/05/13)
South African President Jacob Zuma accepted the result of Zimbabwe’s disputed election, dashing opposition optimism that regional powers might force a rerun of the ballot, which was criticized by Western states. President Robert Mugabe, 89, extended his 33-year rule with 61 percent of the vote and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front secured a two-thirds parliamentary majority. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who won 34 percent, called on the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to back his demand for a rerun. The July 31 vote ended a power-sharing government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai after a violent 2008 election produced a disputed outcome. South Africa has mediated between the two ever since on behalf of the 15-nation SADC. Tsvangirai...
(Bloomberg 08/05/13)
A South African panel investigating allegations of corruption linked to about $5 billion worth of weapons purchased in the late 1990s begins public hearings today with the credibility of its work in doubt. A four-month delay in the inquest and the resignations of two of the three judges leading the investigation threatens to stymie progress. The commission of inquiry will question officials in Pretoria, the capital, until January, with former President Thabo Mbeki and five members of his cabinet among those due to testify. The purchase of jets, warships, helicopters and submarines from companies including ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA) and BAE Systems Plc (BA/) has been dogged by graft claims since it was agreed in 1999, with allegations of wrongdoing going...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/13)
Aug 5 (Reuters) - South African massmarket lender African Bank Investments said it would sell its retail furniture business and raise up to $406 million through a rights offering, to bolster a balance sheet hit by sliding demand and rising bad loans. African Bank, known as Abil, is under pressure as low-income South Africans struggle to pay off high-interest loans. It said in a trading statement on Monday it expected further declines in second-half profit, following a 26 percent earnings drop in the first half. It also said it planned to dispose of its Ellerines business, where it sells furniture on credit, saying the unit no longer fit into its strategy. Loans in the April-June quarter grew by 19 percent...
(News24 08/05/13)
In recent months economists, academics and international observers have rejuvenated the debate around South Africa pursuing nuclear power expansion. The government seems serious to follow its nuclear ambitions and to achieve the goal of adding 9.6 GW’s of electricity through nuclear energy to the grid by 2030. The Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP 2010) which is currently being disputed stipulates the country’s nuclear energy needs. President Zuma’s new role as chair of the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordination Committee (NNEECC) confirms the appetite that South Africa has for nuclear power. The fact that the contract is estimated to be worth R1 trillion demands a closer look at what this all means. Three reasons behind nuclear power expansion during Zuma’s first...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/05/13)
QUNU, South Africa—On a recent July afternoon, three young initiates sat in a hut on a hillside here wrapped in blankets and covered in white clay, recovering from a ritual passage of manhood that has killed more than 60 people in South Africa this year. The men had just been circumcised; the white clay symbolized purity and the blankets covered their naked bodies. In the weeks ahead, they would undergo secret instruction on what it means to be a man in their Xhosa culture. "If you don't do the initiation, you will remain a boy until you go gray," says Jonginyomiso Mtirara, the 69-year-old chief of Tyhalara, a village down the road. Nearly 80 years ago, when Nelson Mandela was...
(Tanzania Daily News 08/05/13)
A few weeks ago, when Tanzania was hosting the Ministerial Committee Organ (MCO) responsible for Defence and Security Cooperation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Bernard Member, confirmed that Tanzania is one of the top five countries of the SADC whose harbours and airports are used as conduits for drug trafficking. Speaking at this 15th MCO, which is faced with an uphill task of tackling this illicit trade, Minister Membe singled out other countries being South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola. The announcement just came a fortnight after two female artists from Tanzania were nabbed at the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg with 150 kg of drugs, crystal methamphetamine locally known...
(BBC News Africa 08/05/13)
A South African commission of inquiry into a multi-billion dollar arms deal surrounded by corruption allegations has started after a five-month delay. Allegations of bribery have dogged the governments of both President Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki. Mr Zuma announced the investigation in 2011. His former financial advisor Schabir Shaik was convicted of corruption over the 1999 deal. Mr Zuma was also charged but the case was dropped before he took office. His supporters have always maintained that he had been the victim of a political smear campaign. Mr Mbeki is among those expected to be called as a witness.The huge deal - post-apartheid South Africa's largest such transaction - was intended to modernise its national defences. It involved companies...
(Reuters 08/05/13)
WASHINGTON | Mon Aug 5, 2013 (Reuters) - The United States extended embassy closures by a week in the Middle East and Africa as a precaution on Sunday after an al Qaeda threat that U.S. lawmakers said was the most serious in years. The State Department said 19 U.S. embassies and consulates would be closed through Saturday "out of an abundance of caution" and that a number of them would have been closed anyway for most of the week due to the Eid celebration at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The United States initially closed 21 U.S. diplomatic posts for the day on Sunday. Some of those will reopen on Monday, including Kabul, Baghdad and Algiers...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/13)
Aug 5 (Reuters) - South African massmarket lender African Bank Investments said it would sell its retail furniture business and raise up to $406 million through a rights offering, to bolster a balance sheet hit by sliding demand and rising bad loans. African Bank, known as Abil, is under pressure as low-income South Africans struggle to pay off high-interest loans. It said in a trading statement on Monday it expected further declines in second-half profit, following a 26 percent earnings drop in the first half. It also said it planned to dispose of its Ellerines business, where it sells furniture on credit, saying the unit no longer fit into its strategy. Loans in the April-June quarter grew by 19 percent...
(CNN 08/05/13)
African Voices is a weekly show that highlights Africa's most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. Follow the team on Twitter. Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- Inside a brightly painted Mogadishu clinic, Salim (not her real name) sits alongside her seven-year-old son, waiting for a check up. Opposite them, a health professional listens to their nightmarish ordeal. Salim recounts how she was raped and then watched, helpless, as her young son was molested. Too afraid to seek assistance, she did what she thought would help. She washed her son's wounds with hot water and salt for four excruciating days, until they were brought here, the Sister Somalia center. "There are...
(AFP 08/04/13)
JOHANNESBURG, August 4, 2013 (AFP) - South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday congratulated Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe for his re-election in a "successful" vote, calling for all parties to accept the result which the opposition has rejected. Zuma extended his "profound congratulations" to his Zimbabwean counterpart, a statement from South Africa's foreign ministry said. "President Zuma urges all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people," it said.
(Washington Post 08/03/13)
The celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and the realization that he nearly did not reach it have occasioned a torrent of tributes, all deserved but some misdirected. Mandela spent 27 years in prison, much of it in a 7-by-8-foot cell with a bedroll and a bucket, embodying the wall-less captivity of a majority of his compatriots. But his historical place was secured during the four troubled years between his release in February 1990 and his inauguration as president in May 1994.In this period, South Africa stared into an abyss. Violence among various white and black factions threatened to overwhelm constitutional negotiations. Mandela accused security forces of ignoring or inciting the bloody feud between the African National Congress (ANC) and...

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