Monday 22 January 2018
(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) 09/14/17)
Angola's constitutional court on Wednesday upheld the ruling party's landslide win in last month's election which will usher in the MPLA's fourth decade in power and rejected opposition claims the poll was flawed. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola won 61.7 percent of the vote, and 150 of the 220 seats in parliament, the country's electoral commission said in its final results. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, 75, who has ruled since 1979 and is reportedly in poor health, will hand over to former...
(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)
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...
(AFP (eng) 09/09/17)
Three Angolan opposition parties on Friday filed a complaint against the outcome of nationwide elections on August 23 that asserted the 42-year grip of the ruling MPLA party. Representatives from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and two smaller parties, the FNLA and PNS, lodged a request at the Constitutional Court in Luanda for the results to be overturned, AFP reporters saw. A fourth party, Casa-CE, will follow suit on Saturday, party officials said. UNITA campaign manager Ruben Sikato said electoral laws had been breached in 15 out of the country's 18 provinces. "We will recount votes, polling station by polling station, to establish the truth of the ballot box," he told reporters. On Wednesday, the...
(Xinhuanet 09/08/17)
Communication ministers from the Southern Development Community (SADC) countries vowed on Thursday to turn the region into an information and knowledge-based economy. This emerged from a ICT (information and communication technology) meeting taking place in Durban, a coastal city in southeastern South Africa. Communication ministers from 15 SADC countries have been meeting in Durban since Monday to discuss the region's ICT infrastructure. The meeting, also attended by policy regulators, implementing agencies and ICT industry players, was designed to help create a more integrated region and help move its communication systems forward. "An accessible, affordable and reliable telecommunications is essential for us to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution which has the potential to leapfrog SADC region economically and socially as...
(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...
(Voice of America 09/07/17)
Angola's first new president in decades has a big job ahead of him: He inherits a nation mired in recession, plagued with corruption, and home to some of the worst income inequality seen anywhere in the world. Worse still, the falling price of oil — the nation's main cash cow — means that president-elect Joao Lourenco has limited means to dig his nation out of this difficult situation. He also starts this historic epoch in Angolan history with a credibility issue, after four of the five opposition parties challenged the official results, saying they performed better than official results indicate. However, no one disputes that Lourenco's party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, won the largest share of...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/07/17)
Angola’s ruling MPLA party has won a general election by taking 61.07 percent of the vote, the electoral commission said on Wednesday, making João Lourenço the next president of sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest economy. He will replace Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who steps down after 38 years at the helm but will continue as head of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). The main opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) took 26.67 percent, with the smaller opposition party CASA-CE winning 9.44 percent. “Mission accomplished,” Lourenço told supporters at his party’s headquarters in Luanda. “We’ll produce a better future for the country and the people of Angola,” he said in his first comments as president-elect...
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
Angola's Electoral Commission declared Wednesday that the ruling MPLA party had won last month's election, in a victory that allows outgoing President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to install a party loyalist in his place after 38 years in power. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) garnered 61.7 percent of the vote, and a majority of 150 of the 220 seats in parliament, the head of the electoral commission, Andre da Silva Neto, said in announcing the final results. Dos Santos, 75, who has ruled since 1979 and is reportedly in poor health, will hand over to former defence minister Joao Lourenco at the presidential inauguration on September 25. The opposition National Union for the Total Independence of...
(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...
( 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.

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