Saturday 19 August 2017
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Dw-World 07/26/17)
Campaigns for the August presidential election in Angola have begun. The poll will mark the end of the 38-year rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who is not running for reelection. Jose Eduardo dos Santos is, after Equatorial Guinea's longtime leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest serving president. He came to power almost four decades ago in 1979 when Angola had been independent for just four years. A civil war was raging between the ruling People's Movement for the...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Voice of America 07/12/17)
Angola is preparing for a historic election that will see its longtime leader, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, step down after 38 years in power; but, as the southern African nation prepares to vote, analysts inside and outside the country say they are keeping a close watch not on the ballot — but on the balance sheet of the state-run oil company, Sonangol. The August election is a fairly straightforward two-way race between the long-time ruling party and established opposition...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(Bloomberg 05/31/17)
Nigeria, Angola and Zimbabwe are being left in leadership limbo as their ailing rulers spend weeks abroad seeking medical attention. The presidents of the three African nations all wield considerable power, and their absence has stoked investor uncertainty and stirred talk about succession. The situation hasn’t been helped by their governments’ failure to disclose what’s wrong with them. “Despite an average population age of around 17 to 19, many sub-Saharan African countries have elderly leaders in their 70s or above,”...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Angola’s main opposition party asked the government for official information about President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s health after he left in a private trip to Spain more than two weeks ago. “There are many rumors about the health of the president and there is a need to officially provide clarification about what is happening,” Alcides Sakala, a spokesman for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, said by phone from Luanda, the capital. “While this is a society...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...

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