Tuesday 17 October 2017
( The Southern Times 09/05/17)
On 23 August, millions of voters in oil-rich Angola went to the polls in historic general elections in which they decided to extend the MPLA’s 42-year rule with five more years. In a definite fashion, 61.1 percent of the electorate voted for the ruling party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). The leading opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) came second with 26, 71 percent, followed by the CASA-CE coalition with 9.46 percent. Despite the clean sweep for the former liberation movement with 150 seats in the 220 parliament, last week’s elections have exposed the MPLA’s continuous waning of its stranglehold on Angolan politics. Since the 2012 elections the MPLA has...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/04/17)
Angola's election commission on Monday rejected accusations of irregularities in last month's vote which saw the MPLA party, which has ruled since 1975, retain power. Four defeated opposition parties complained that the August 23 election was conducted incorrectly, with ballot boxes and voter forms allegedly disappearing. Election commission chief Andre da Silva Neto told reporters that the body "categorically rejected the criticism", which he said was a deliberate "attempt to discredit the Angolan electoral process". "All the electronic tools used in the electoral process were checked," he said, adding that the conduct of the election was entirely "legal". The MPLA of outgoing President Jose Eduardo dos Santos won just over 61 percent of the vote, according to a provisional count...
(Angola Press 09/04/17)
The National Electoral Commission (CNE) started on Saturday the national count of votes to determine the definitive results of the last August 23 general elections. Last Saturday, after holding its 30th extraordinary plenary session the National Electoral Commission (CNE), through its spokeswoman, Júlia Ferreira, informed that the latest complaints filed by the opposition UNITA party and CASA-CE coalition were dismissed by the CNE as out of date, inept, illegitimate and without competence. "Once we sort out this situation (electoral complaints) today, which were conditioning the start of the next stage of the electoral process, if we find no impediments, the CNE will then start the national count of the votes"
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/31/17)
Angola’s Petroleum Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said it’s essential for the southern African nation’s economy that oil prices rebound to $60 a barrel this year. “That would be extremely important,” Botelho de Vasconcelos said Monday in an interview in the country’s capital Luanda. “We’ve been getting signs from the market that prices could reach $60 by the end of the year.” Angola, which depends on crude shipments for 97 percent of its exports, joined fellow OPEC members nine months ago in curbing output in a bid to bolster prices. President-elect Joao Lourenco, who takes over next month as the 38-year rule of Jose Eduardo dos Santos comes to an end, must revive the economy of Africa’s second-largest oil...
(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...
(Business Day 08/30/17)
President-elect Lourenço has endorsed an ambitious plan to build on stability achieved since the civil war. Angola’s fourth democratic elections resulted in the governing party, the MPLA, emerging victorious with 61% of the vote and the historic transfer of power to 63-year-old João Lourenço, the former defence minister, who will become the third president of Angola. Opposition parties Unita and Casa-SE won 26.7% and 9.5%, respectively, thus increasing their representation in the soon-to-be reconstituted National Assembly. The 2017 elections marked the end of an era and set a precedent in Angola — a sterling example that many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa can learn from, particularly considering Angola’s own painful past.
(Eye Witness News 08/30/17)
SAA is owed about a billion rand in revenue earned in other African countries, with Angola the single largest debtor. South Africa will press the newly-elected Angolan government to pay R850 million it owes struggling South African Airways (SAA), the finance minister said on Tuesday. The airline runs one of Africa’s biggest fleets but is loss-making. SAA is owed a total of some R1 billion in revenue earned in other African countries, with Angola the single largest debtor, a treasury document showed. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said the Treasury was talking to Angola and other African governments that owe the airline to get the funds repatriated. “We understand that Angola is facing its own difficulties economically, but so are we...
(Macauhub 08/30/17)
The process of consulting major international financial institutions before choosing the lead bank for the operation to issue sovereign debt securities in international markets is currently under way, the Angolan Finance Ministry announced on Monday in Luanda. The official statement adds that there are no grounds for recent reports that the Russian bank VTB had supposedly been selected to assemble and lead the banking syndicate that would place Angola’s second Eurobond issue. The Eurobond issue was authorised by Presidential Order no. 228/17 of 4 August, authorising the Finance Ministry to take the necessary steps to raise financing of nearly US$2 billion. The inaugural Eurobond issue in October 2015 enabled Angola to begin a process of building an external yield curve...
(Macauhub 08/30/17)
The Angolan government plans to spend US$97.9 million on maintenance of the Luanda and Benguela railway lines, per the terms of presidential orders awarding the respective contracts to the companies that rebuilt them. The US$42.9 million maintenance contract for the Luanda railway line was awarded to the China Railway International Group (CRIG), reports Lusa news agency. That same document justifies the contracting of CRIG due to the “technical inability” of the company Caminho-de-Ferro de Luanda to “carry out line maintenance work that ensures the safety of its operation.” The same argument is used in the other presidential order authorising the Transportation Ministry to contract for US$55 million the China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20) to take charge of maintenance...
(Voice of America 08/30/17)
Angolans have elected their first new president in nearly four decades and they say he must address the glaring gap between rich and poor. Despite being Africa’s second largest oil producer, most of Angola's citizens live in poverty, amid runaway inflation and high unemployment. On a good day, Kialopo Feliciana brings in about $18 selling food at a market in an impoverished Luanda neighborhood. "The business is very expensive," she told VOA one recent morning, as she churned a large pot of maize porridge, stopping to wipe sweat off her brow. "That is why I have got little money for home expenses." Crippling inflation Angola’s economy is so crippled by inflation that her daily take home is worth about $9...
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Angola is in talks with banks to raise $2 billion via a Eurobond in what would be the OPEC member’s biggest debt sale on global capital markets. The government has yet to choose banks to lead the deal and media reports that Russia’s VTB Bank PJSC has the mandate are false, the Finance Ministry said in an emailed statement. The Eurobond issuance was approved by a presidential order on Aug. 4 and will help Angola lengthen its maturities, as well as make it easier for other borrowers from the country tap the market, according to the statement. “This process has several strategic objectives, namely the extension of the debt profile and the creation of a reference price for national agents,”...
(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,”...
(Bloomberg 08/28/17)
Angola’s two biggest opposition parties rejected provisional results from an Aug. 23 election that gave the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola a majority of votes. The southern African nation’s second-biggest opposition party, the Broad Consensus for Angola Salvation - Electoral Coalition, known as Casa-Ce, said in an emailed statement that the vote count lacked transparency and wasn’t based on reliable information. Its refusal to accept the outcome came after the biggest opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or Unita, said Aug. 26 that it didn’t consider the provisional results valid. The ruling MPLA won 61 percent of the ballots counted last week
(Bloomberg 08/28/17)
Angola’s main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or Unita, said on Saturday that provisional results that gave the ruling party a majority of the votes in an election earlier this week weren’t valid. "The country doesn’t yet have valid electoral results," Isaias Samakuva, the leader of Unita, said at a press conference in Viana, on the outskirts of the capital Luanda. "The country still doesn’t have a president elect." The ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, which has ruled Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975, led a provisional vote count with 61 percent with 98 percent of ballots cast counted, the National Electoral Commission said on Aug. 25. Unita...
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/25/17)
As Joao Lourenco stands on the brink of realizing his 16-year ambition to become Angola’s president, many of his fellow citizens wonder whether he can bring about change in one of the world’s most unequal countries. Lourenco, who’s commonly known as “J-Lo,” first signaled his desire to hold the southern African nation’s top office in 2001 when Jose Eduardo dos Santos hinted he was ready to step down, and then changed his mind. Now with the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola leading the latest count in Wednesday’s election, its candidate, Lourenco, appears set to move into the presidential palace overlooking the bay of Luanda, the capital. A former deputy parliamentary speaker and an army general, Lourenco, 63,...
(AFP (eng) 08/25/17)
Angola's ruling MPLA won this week's election, a poll official announced Thursday, with party candidate Joao Lourenco now set to succeed President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos who has ruled for 38 years. An election commission official in Luanda said the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) had won just over 64 percent of the ballot. The partial results from Wednesday's vote account for two-thirds of all polling stations, with the MPLA building an unassailable lead over its rivals. The party, which has ruled since Angola's hard-fought independence from Portugal in 1975, had predicted an easy victory, but the outcome indicated a fall in its support since the previous election in 2012. Dos Santos, a secretive and much criticised...

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