Monday 25 September 2017
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Angolan ruler Jose Eduardo dos Santos will keep his grip on power if his party wins elections this month, even as he steps down as president after 38 years in office, according to the country’s main opposition leader. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has picked 63-year-old Defense Minister Joao Lourenco as its presidential candidate for the Aug. 23 vote. Dos Santos will remain the party’s chairman and has appointees in the security services that will probably stay in their posts under a new law passed by parliament last month. After decades as president, Dos Santos is now set to direct the government from behind the scenes, according to Isaias Samakuva, head of the opposition National Union...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Angola Press(En) 08/08/17)
The Angolan mining and geology sector is as from now more competitive than other African countries with the inauguration of the Laúca Dam in northern Malanje province. This was said Sunday in Cacuso, Malanje, by the minister of Geology and Mining, Francisco Queiroz. According to the minister, the construction of the Laúca Dam has an extraordinary value as the power it will generated will favor the emergence of great projects in the mining sector. The increase in the production of electricity through the creation of new projects is crucial to the rise in new business since the transformation of mining products requires a lot of power. "We have been observing the diversification of the mining sector, but this suffers a...
(Angola Press(En) 08/08/17)
The opposition UNITA presidential candidate Isaias Samakuva Monday in eastern Lunda Sul province conveyed his political strategy guidelines to ensure the victory in the general elections of 23 August. The politician, who arrived in Lunda Sul on Sunday to stage his party's election campaign, toured the "Candembe" and "14" Markets in the province's capital, Saurimo city. In his direct contact with the vendors, the president of the main opposition party spoke of his strategy to promote entrepreneurship. Samakuva learnt of the main plights the vendors face and encouraged them to consult their names on the electoral rolls posted at polling stations. He also visited the Maternal and Child Center of Txizainga's Provincial Hospital. The politician, who is expected to end...
(Macauhub 08/08/17)
The Angolan company Aenergia, established in 2012 and a partner of the American General Electric group, has been contracted by the Angolan government to supply solar power equipment for use in remote areas of the country, per the terms of a presidential authorisation. The US$114.2 million deal covers the supply and installation of industrial generators, home generators and photovoltaic generation kits, as well as technical assistance. The contract with the Energy and Water Ministry includes the supply of equipment to set up distribution networks involving power systems isolated from national coverage. Lusa news agency has reported that the May 2014 population census concluded that only 1.7 million dwellings (31.9 percent of the total) had guaranteed access to the electric power...
(Angola Press(En) 08/08/17)
National and foreign election observers that will monitor the general election on August 23 this year will benefit from a capacity building seminar in the coming days. The information was released on Sunday in Luanda by the CNE spokeswoman, Júlia Ferreira, during the start-up of the accreditation process ceremony of the electoral observers, having estimated that the event will take place August 21. She stressed that during the seminar, the electoral observers will be trained on judicial and legal issues, in order to know better the Angolan legislation. According to her, this action aims at equipping the electoral observers with sufficient content on Angolan legislation and the rules of the electoral process so that on the voting day they can...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/05/17)
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who steps down from office at the end of this month, on Friday officially opened the country's largest hydro-electric dam. Being built by Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht at an estimated cost of $4.3 billion, it is designed to produce 2,070 megawatts and aims to reduce power outages in Angola, a major oil producer. It will be one of the most powerful plants on the African continent and the first two of six turbines on the Lauca hydroelectric dam, built on the Kwanza River, were switched on Friday. It is the third dam built on the Kwanza and should be fully operational by next year. Dos Santos appeared in good health but did not speak, according...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/17)
Odebrecht SA, the Brazilian conglomerate selling assets in the wake of a corruption scandal, has agreed to sell a 16.4 percent stake in the world's No. 4 diamond mine to a partner, a person with direct knowledge of the transaction said on Tuesday. According to the person, Odebrecht decided to exit Sociedade Mineira de Catoca Lda to raise cash to meet a 12 billion-real ($3.84 billion) asset sale goal for year-end 2018. State-controlled Empresa Nacional de Prospecção, Exploração, Lapidação & Comercialização de Diamantes de Angola EP, a partner in Catoca, bought the Odebrecht stake, the person added. The deal was confirmed by another person, who declined to elaborate on terms. Bankers and lawyers had estimated the value of Odebrecht stake...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(AFP (eng) 08/01/17)
Angola has agreed to allow just four experts from the European Union to monitor its elections later this month, officials said Monday, after a dispute over access to polling stations and other conditions. Two weeks ago, the Angolan government rejected any EU observer mission, but it agreed to the small number of monitors after extended talks. "The EU will only send a small mission of experts to mark its presence in Angola during the electoral process," a European diplomatic source told AFP. "We cannot really speak of observers, only experts. A real mission of observers is 200 people." Joaquim do Espirito Santo, a senior foreign ministry official, confirmed the new agreement for a team of four. "We want the EU...
(Financial Times 08/01/17)
Profits at BP fell by 5 per cent in the second quarter, compared with last year, as the UK oil and gas group paid the price for a cancelled project in Angola. However, the earnings comfortably exceeded analysts’ consensus expectations, adding to the forecast-beating results from BP’s European peers Royal Dutch Shell and Total last week. Profits on a replacement cost basis — the main measure tracked by analysts — was $684m, down from $1.5bn in the first quarter and $720m in the same period last year. Analysts had, on average, expected profits of $500m. The results were dented by a $750m write-off related to BP’s decision in June to relinquish its 50 per cent stake in a gas-rich exploration...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
This is after Luanda failed to agree to a package of conditions, including access to all parts of the country during the poll, an EU spokesperson said. The European Union has scrapped plans to observe elections in Angola next month, after Luanda failed to agree to a package of conditions, including access to all parts of the country during the poll, an EU spokesperson said on Friday. The EU expects instead to send a smaller team of experts to assess the elections on 23 August, but the team will consist of no more than five people and will not provide an in-depth account of the electoral process. “Notwithstanding positive discussions with the Angolan side, the conditions for deployment in accordance...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(Angola Press(En) 07/31/17)
The presidential candidate of the ruling MPLA, João Lourenço, last Sunday afternoon pledged to build a country with less inequalities and reduce poverty. Speaking at the party's radio campaign spot, in the ambit of the upcoming 23 August polls, João Lourenço explained that a more just country will be achieved through the good use of the resources of each district, municipality and province, as well as through investments that guarantee employment. He went on to say that the reconstruction process is in progress already, with highlight on demining, construction of roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and the re-launch of Angola's economy.
(Bloomberg 07/28/17)
Jose Eduardo dos Santos is set to maintain control from behind the scenes when he steps down as Angola’s president next month after almost four decades in office. Dos Santos will until at least 2018 still be leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, the party that has ruled the southern African nation since its independence from Portugal in 1975. And, this month the government pushed a law through parliament that may enable his appointees to remain in charge of the security services. “Dos Santos has no intention of giving up power,” Gary van Staden, an analyst at NKC African Economics in Paarl, outside Cape Town, said by phone. “He intends to keep the levers that...

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