Friday 20 April 2018
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
An Algerian court on Wednesday found the head of the country's tiny Ahmadi community guilty of "offending Islam" and handed him a six-month suspended sentence, his lawyer said. "Mohamed Fali was handed a six-month suspended sentence. He was found guilty of unauthorised fundraising and offending the Prophet and Islam," Salah Dabouz said. While Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslims, Islamic extremists have accused them of heresy and since last year Algerian authorities have cracked down on them. The trial in the western coastal town of Mostaganem came after Fali objected to a suspended sentence of three months on the same charges in February at a trial he did not attend. Algerian law allows defendants to attend a retrial if they...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced Algeria's arrest since June of a freelance journalist and fixer as "100 days too many" and demanded his release. Said Chitour, who has worked for the BBC and the Washington Post among others, has been held without trial since intelligence services arrested him at Algiers airport on June 5, RSF said. "The request for his release that his lawyer filed at the end of July has been rejected. No trial date has so far been set," the watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday. "One hundred days of provisional detention are 100 days too many, 100 days of incomprehension and injustice, because there are no grounds for keeping Said Chitour in...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Algeria’s new government will introduce Islamic finance and develop its stock market to draw more investment into the economy as it struggles to cope with a sharp fall in energy earnings, according to an official document. The measures are part of wider reforms by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s government, which also said it plans to start fracking for shale hydrocarbons to boost oil and gas revenue, the main source of state income. The North African OPEC member’s finances have been hit by a more than 50 percent drop in crude oil prices since mid-2014, prompting authorities to announce changes to the largely state-controlled economy. “The situation remains extremely tense for the budget,” the government said in its economic action plan,...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Monday held energy talks with Algerian officials saying there had been a “good atmosphere” between the two OPEC nations and advances on how to restore global crude prices, but gave no details. Maduro was in Algiers to discuss bilateral cooperation, including talks on the 15-month production pact between OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia. The deal aims to curb a glut that has weighed on crude prices for more than three years. “We are progressing in agreements on recovering the governance of the oil markets and...restoring oil prices,” Maduro said in comments to journalists in Algiers carried on Venezuela’s ABN state agency. Algeria’s state-run APS news agency quoted Maduro saying there had been a “good...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Middle East Monitor 09/07/17)
A draft organic law amending the organisation and functioning of Algeria’s Council of State was adopted yesterday by the Council of Ministers in a meeting with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The new law will complement the new provisions of the Constitution, which was last amended in 2016. New images of Bouteflika, 80, were broadcast earlier this week. This was the first time that he was seen by the public since the previous Council of Ministers meeting in June. There have been concerns about his ability to fulfil his presidential role and increasing numbers of calls to apply Article 102, which sets out how the incapacity of the President of the Republic can be established due “to serious and lasting illness”. When...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(Xinhuanet 09/06/17)
Zambia soccer team on Tuesday revived their hope to qualify to the World Cup 2018, as they secured second win over Algeria 1-0, in Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine province, 420km east of Algiers, in the Group B qualifiers. Patso Daka scored the sole goal of this game as Zambia reinforces its second place in Group B with 7 points, only 3 points away from top spot Nigeria (10 pts). On Monday, Nigeria held Cameroon 1-1. Algeria and Cameroon are virtually out of the race, as they collected 1 points, and 3 points, respectively. For now, Zambia and Nigeria will fight hard to secure the sole ticket of the group to Russia 2018, although experts believe the Eagles are more likely...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(AFP (eng) 08/31/17)
A suicide bomber killed two Algerian policemen on Thursday, including one who threw himself on the attacker whose explosives belt then detonated, state media said, citing the security services. The officers had intervened when the attacker tried to enter the police headquarters in the region of Tiaret, about 350 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers, the official APS news agency reported. The agency said the "terrorist" had been carrying a weapon as well as wearing an explosives belt.
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...

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