Wednesday 25 April 2018

Benin

(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
French transport giant Bollore said Tuesday it would seek compensation for work already carried out on a major rail infrastructure project after Benin asked it to withdraw "amicably" in favour of China. Patrice Talon, president of the small West African country, said both the French conglomerate and its local rival Petrolin would be "compensated fairly", without elaborating. Philippe Labonne, deputy CEO of Bollore Transport and Logistics, said the firm should be compensated notably for the some 140 kilometres (85 miles) of rail it has already laid down. "We are a little disappointed not to complete" the project, he said, speaking to AFP on the sidelines of a business forum in the Ivorian business hub Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
Benin's President Patrice Talon has asked local firm Petrolin and French giant Bollore to "withdraw" from a major rail infrastructure project to make way for China, in the latest development of the controversial scheme. In an interview published on Thursday in the French magazine Challenges, Talon asked the two companies to "withdraw amicably from the project", which links Benin to Niger to the north, promising they will be "compensated fairly". "A private investor cannot finance the railway we want alone," the head of state was quoted as saying, describing Bollore's offer as "lower-end".
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
The Benin government on Wednesday suspended the country's official pharmacy body for six months and banned a key drugs supplier in a bid to clear up the pharmaceutical sector and crack down on fake drugs. The decision follows a court ruling that jailed pharmaceutical executives on Tuesday on charges of selling illicit medicine in the West African country. "The council of ministers has decided to suspend for a period of six months the Benin National Pharmacists' Association, the time needed...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
A court in Benin on Tuesday jailed seven local pharmaceutical executives for four years on charges of selling illicit medicines after a trial that breaks new ground in West Africa's campaign against fake drugs. The seven were convicted of "the sale of falsified medicines, display, possession with a view to selling, commercialisation or sale of falsified medical substances." They work for wholesale pharmaceutical distribution companies, five of which -- GAPOB, Ubipharm, CAME, Ubephar and Promo Pharma -- dominate the sector...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
Police on Friday fired teargas to break up an anti-government demonstration by Benin's political opposition involving thousands of people, according to AFP reporters on the ground. Protesters had gathered in Cotonou, Benin's economic hub, to march against President Patrice Talon but officers moved in when they strayed off an agreed course. "The police hit honest citizens," said demonstrator Cyrille Medagbe as some protesters set light to barricades made of tyres in the city centre. People's Liberation Party founder Leonce Houngbadji...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
"Sir, we're going to handcuff you," a coast guard from Sao Tome tells a man accused of fishing illegally in the archipelago's waters. But the "fisherman" is really a French navy seaman disguised in a T-shirt, cap and sunglasses -- a member of an unusual multinational training exercise to combat crime in the Gulf of Guinea. Illegal fishing, piracy and hostage-taking haunt the vast bay lying off West Africa, whose coastline runs from Liberia in the west to Gabon in...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
The sleepy town of Bohicon in southern-central Benin roars into life during the cotton harvest between January and March. Enormous trucks piled high with "white gold" trundle down the roads to the town's cotton-processing plant. Yerima Fousseni, head of the cotton-growers cooperative in Wewe district farther north, says 2018 has been a bumper harvest -- more than 46 tonnes, triple last year's yield. "We now have 32 farmers in the village -- before, there were only 10 of us. Everyone...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Nine people appeared in a Benin court Wednesday on charges of selling fake drugs at the start of a landmark trial in a regional campaign against illicit medicines. The suspects, who include executives from major pharmaceutical companies operating in the West African nation, were remanded in custody until March 6 on technical grounds. They are accused of "the sale of falsified medicines, (and) display, possession with a view to selling, commercialisation or sale of falsified medical substances." A tenth defendant, the head of the Directorate for Pharmacies, Medications and Diagnostic Evaluation (DPMED) under the control of the ministry of health...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Benin's government is looking to bring court proceedings against the country's former finance minister as well as two opposition lawmakers who were close to former president Thomas Boni Yayi, a parliamentary source told AFP on Monday. "The request came direct to the office of the parliamentary president last Thursday," the source said. The trio are accused of "bad governance and acts of corruption", the sourced added. Benin's parliament is currently in recess and does not resume until mid-April. It will...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Benin's public sector unions on Wednesday claimed "a small step forward" following a meeting with President Patrice Talon over weeks of strike action that have paralysed the public sector. Union leaders met government officials and Talon on Tuesday night to discuss an end to the crisis, which has seen mass walk-outs at hospitals, schools and courts. "We brought up the question of freedoms and expressed our unhappiness... the head of state did not dismiss it," Anselme Amoussou, of the confederation...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Benin's vast Pendjari National Park, one of West Africa's last remaining wildlife refuges, will receive $23.5 million (18.9 million euros) to help protect it and fight poaching, donors announced in London on Wednesday. The Benin government will provide $6 million (4.8 million euros), with the National Geographic Society donating $7.5 million (6 million euros) and the US Wyss Foundation stumping up the rest through the African Parks NGO, the groups said at a press conference. The 4,800-square-kilometre Pendjari is one...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
Matthieu Yoa smiles at a job well done. The ranger and his colleagues have just put a satellite tracking collar on an elephant in the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin. "It was very strong," he says in halting French, visibly emotional about what he has just done to help protect the animal. Although Yoa was born just a few kilometres (miles) outside the huge 4,700-square-kilometre (1,814-square-mile) park, the 23-year-old had never seen the wild animals until two months ago...

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(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
The Benin government on Wednesday suspended the country's official pharmacy body for six months and banned a key drugs supplier in a bid to clear up the pharmaceutical sector and crack down on fake drugs. The decision follows a court ruling that jailed pharmaceutical executives on Tuesday on charges of selling illicit medicine in the West African country. "The council of ministers has decided to suspend for a period of six months the Benin National Pharmacists' Association, the time needed to make necessary reforms in the sector," Minister of Justice Joseph Djogbenou told reporters. "The Association was unable to fulfil its duties and the State decided to take over its responsibilities. There is evidence of...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have entered Europe illegally, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference in Brussels. "We will introduce stricter conditions for processing visas when a partner country does not cooperate sufficiently on the readmission of irregular migrants," Avramopoulos added. Under international...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
A court in Benin on Tuesday jailed seven local pharmaceutical executives for four years on charges of selling illicit medicines after a trial that breaks new ground in West Africa's campaign against fake drugs. The seven were convicted of "the sale of falsified medicines, display, possession with a view to selling, commercialisation or sale of falsified medical substances." They work for wholesale pharmaceutical distribution companies, five of which -- GAPOB, Ubipharm, CAME, Ubephar and Promo Pharma -- dominate the sector...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Nine people appeared in a Benin court Wednesday on charges of selling fake drugs at the start of a landmark trial in a regional campaign against illicit medicines. The suspects, who include executives from major pharmaceutical companies operating in the West African nation, were remanded in custody until March 6 on technical grounds. They are accused of "the sale of falsified medicines, (and) display, possession with a view to selling, commercialisation or sale of falsified medical substances." A tenth defendant, the head of the Directorate for Pharmacies, Medications and Diagnostic Evaluation (DPMED) under the control of the ministry of health...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Benin's public sector unions on Wednesday claimed "a small step forward" following a meeting with President Patrice Talon over weeks of strike action that have paralysed the public sector. Union leaders met government officials and Talon on Tuesday night to discuss an end to the crisis, which has seen mass walk-outs at hospitals, schools and courts. "We brought up the question of freedoms and expressed our unhappiness... the head of state did not dismiss it," Anselme Amoussou, of the confederation...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Benin's vast Pendjari National Park, one of West Africa's last remaining wildlife refuges, will receive $23.5 million (18.9 million euros) to help protect it and fight poaching, donors announced in London on Wednesday. The Benin government will provide $6 million (4.8 million euros), with the National Geographic Society donating $7.5 million (6 million euros) and the US Wyss Foundation stumping up the rest through the African Parks NGO, the groups said at a press conference. The 4,800-square-kilometre Pendjari is one...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
Matthieu Yoa smiles at a job well done. The ranger and his colleagues have just put a satellite tracking collar on an elephant in the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin. "It was very strong," he says in halting French, visibly emotional about what he has just done to help protect the animal. Although Yoa was born just a few kilometres (miles) outside the huge 4,700-square-kilometre (1,814-square-mile) park, the 23-year-old had never seen the wild animals until two months ago...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Jean-Marc Froment leant against a railing at the lodge in Pendjari National Park in Benin's far north, and spotted about 40 elephants drinking at a large water hole. Almost in slow motion, a group of adults -- their trunks and ears pointing forward -- chased away two female lions watching nearby and stood in the way of other predators so their young could quench their thirst in safety. "See how they're arriving calmly? That was unthinkable a couple of months...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
A proposed law to ban public-sector workers in Benin from going on strike has been declared unconstitutional, after three days of protests. The constitutional court said the proposed law was "non-compliant with the constitution", a source at the institution told AFP late Thursday. "(The court) wants lawmakers to legislate to protect the right to strike rather than ban it," the source added on condition of anonymity. The court has to officially inform President Patrice Talon of the decision. That is...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Civil servants in Benin walked out on Wednesday, calling for the repeal of a new law banning them from taking industrial action. The three-day strike, called for by seven trade unions representing public sector workers in areas such as health and the justice system, began on Tuesday. Many courts, schools and medical clinics in the country's commercial capital, Cotonou, were deserted as a result, according to AFP reporters in the city. In response, the government attempted to get workers back...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Magistrates in Benin on Thursday announced a five-day strike in protest against a parliamentary decision to ban strikes by workers in essential services. The National Union of Benin Magistrates (UNAMAB), said its members would hold a five-day strike starting on January 8. "We cannot tolerate such a democratic retreat.. it is urgent to respond vigorously to the beginning of the liquidation of Benin's democracy," UNAMAB said in a statement. The controversial law voted in by parliament on December 28, bans...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/15/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Giving poor families just $6 a month has significantly reduced child trafficking in parts of the West African country of Benin where there is a longstanding practice of exploiting children for labor in fields and mines, the World Bank said. At least 40,000 children a year are estimated to be victims of trafficking in Benin, according to the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, although the latest data is a decade old. The phenomenon is widespread and growing, with many parents selling their children into labor because they cannot support them...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
The African Union has upped its goal to repatriate stranded migrants from Libya, saying in a statement that it aims to bring 20,000 Africans home in the next six weeks. Pressure has grown on the continental body and individual African states to get their citizens out of Libya after CNN broadcast a report showing black Africans being sold as slaves in the north African country. The African Union had earlier said it wanted to repatriate 15,000 migrants by the year's end, but increased its goal after a task force - including AU, European Union and United Nations officials -- met earlier this week.

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(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
French transport giant Bollore said Tuesday it would seek compensation for work already carried out on a major rail infrastructure project after Benin asked it to withdraw "amicably" in favour of China. Patrice Talon, president of the small West African country, said both the French conglomerate and its local rival Petrolin would be "compensated fairly", without elaborating. Philippe Labonne, deputy CEO of Bollore Transport and Logistics, said the firm should be compensated notably for the some 140 kilometres (85 miles) of rail it has already laid down. "We are a little disappointed not to complete" the project, he said, speaking to AFP on the sidelines of a business forum in the Ivorian business hub Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
Benin's President Patrice Talon has asked local firm Petrolin and French giant Bollore to "withdraw" from a major rail infrastructure project to make way for China, in the latest development of the controversial scheme. In an interview published on Thursday in the French magazine Challenges, Talon asked the two companies to "withdraw amicably from the project", which links Benin to Niger to the north, promising they will be "compensated fairly". "A private investor cannot finance the railway we want alone," the head of state was quoted as saying, describing Bollore's offer as "lower-end".
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
The sleepy town of Bohicon in southern-central Benin roars into life during the cotton harvest between January and March. Enormous trucks piled high with "white gold" trundle down the roads to the town's cotton-processing plant. Yerima Fousseni, head of the cotton-growers cooperative in Wewe district farther north, says 2018 has been a bumper harvest -- more than 46 tonnes, triple last year's yield. "We now have 32 farmers in the village -- before, there were only 10 of us. Everyone...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(Jeune Afrique 11/27/17)
À Cotonou, les discussions se poursuivent autour de la facture de 200 millions d'euros que l'État réclame au principal opérateur téléphonique du pays au titre des redevances impayées de 2016 et 2017. Signe que la situation pourrait se débloquer, le ministère de l'Intérieur a décidé de surseoir à l'expulsion du directeur général de MTN. Alors que selon un arrêté émanant du ministère béninois de l’Intérieur, il devait quitter le pays au plus tard le 24 novembre, le directeur général de...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
Benin’s government will build in the Sèmè-Kpodji municipality, South West of Cotonou, a commercial deep-water oil and ore port. To this end, it has signed with Pic Network Limited of the Petrolin Group a public-private partnership agreement. “The project will be fully funded by Pic Network Limited and Pic International SA,” reads the report of the latest ministers’ council. The project which is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of CFA francs, will be developed over an area of more...
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/17)
Au Bénin, le gouvernement envisage de construire, en partenariat public-privé avec la compagnie Pic Network Limited du Groupe Petrolin, un port pétrolier-minéralier et commercial en eau profonde dans la commune de Sèmè-Kpodji, au Sud-Est de Cotonou. « Le projet sera entièrement financé par la société Pic Network Limited et sa filiale Pic International SA.», peut-on lire dans le relevé du dernier conseil des ministres. D’un coût global de plusieurs centaines de milliards de Francs CFA, la réalisation des infrastructures de...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
South African mobile phone giant MTN is in talks with Benin's telecoms regulator after its subsidiary was slapped with a bill of more than $200 million. The regulator (Arcep) wants MTN Benin to pay 134.4 billion CFA francs -- the equivalent of $213 million (205 million euros) -- in frequency fees for 2016 and 2017. But the company has called the fees "excessive". MTN Group spokeswoman Karen Byamugisha told AFP on Tuesday that talks were "on-going" to try to find...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading...
(APA 11/14/17)
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said that the country recovered over $64.63 million debts from electricity supply to Benin Republic and Niger Republic. Img : Nigeria recovers over $64m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics – Minister Nigeria supplies electricity to the two countries in line with the agreement that they won’t dam the River Niger that sustains the hydro-power plant at the Kainji Dam in northern Nigeria. Fashola, told the 21st monthly power...
(APA 11/14/17)
Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde dominate the West African hotel pipeline with 77 percent of the total planned hotel rooms. W Hospitality Group’s 2017 Hotel Chains Pipeline report shows that hotel groups need tackle lengthy development periods in West Africa, according to a press release issued by API Events and seen by APA Tuesday. West Africa has been at the heart of the continent’s growth and economic transformation in recent years. Notwithstanding the sharp slowdown experienced in 2016 and 2017,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(AfricaNews 11/10/17)
South African telecoms giant MTN Group said on Thursday Benin’s regulator was reviewing its local unit’s reasons for not paying $213 million in frequency fees for 2016 and 2017. MTN Benin had contested the size of the fees, saying they were excessive, the company said. MTN’s fine headache in next door Nigeria has made news headlines for better part of last year into this year. They were initially hit with a $5.2 bn fine in October 2015 by the Nigerian...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
The 15-nation West African bloc ECOWAS told regional leaders Tuesday that the goal of establishing a single currency among their economies in 2020 had failed. "The roadmap has not been implemented vigorously," Marcel de Souza, president of the ECOWAS Commission, told a summit in Niamey, the capital of Niger. "We cannot move to the single currency in 2020," he said.
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Thousands of people took to the streets of Benin's commercial capital Cotonou on Friday to protest against President Patrice Talon's economic reforms and the high cost of living. One of the organisers said "more than 10,000" people turned out for the march to the trades union congress building. No official figure was immediately available. The head of the main workers' union in Benin, Nagnini Kassa Mampo, told the crowd: "Public hospitals will soon be privatised, repeated strikes in the education...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
From his chair in the middle of a pile of pineapples, Jean-Xavier Satola supervises cutting and packaging, as Benin -- Africa's fourth-biggest exporter of the fruit -- starts trading again after an eight-month self-imposed absence. The fields of Allada in southern Benin are a hive of activity as about 20 men, in trousers to protect them from the spiky leaves, pick the pineapples while women load them in baskets and carry them away on their heads. The smooth, fat, yellow...

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(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...
(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) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the...
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
Odile Ahouanwanou landed Benin's first-ever gold medal in an Islamic Solidarity Games with victory in the women's 100-metre hurdles final on Thursday evening in Baku. The 26-year-old got off to a slow start but powered clear in the final 30 metres to record a personal best time of 13.55 seconds and secure Benin's second athletics medal after Noelie Yarigo's bronze in the women's 800-metre final on Wednesday. Benin had never previously won a medal at an Islamic Solidarity Games prior...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/16)
African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won for the first time in the South African Premiership this season Wednesday and climbed off the bottom of the table. The Pretoria club triumphed 2-0 at Polokwane City thanks to goals from Percy Tau and Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, two stars of the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph. Sundowns became African champions for the first time 11 days ago by defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final. But a domestic fixture backlog meant...
(AfricaNews 09/19/16)
The agreement on African games signed in Cairo over the weekend between the African Union and the Association of National Olympic committees of Africa will be implemented after validation by the Africa Union commission. The two parties are expected to mobilise renowned African athletes and the best teams to help raise their level of performance. Sources say the African Union will continue to manage the African games while the Union of African Sports Confederations will take care of its technical...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/16)
French petroleum giant Total signed an eight-year deal to become the new sponsor of African football and its showpiece event, the Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday. The sponsorship of the tournament will start at its next edition in Gabon from Jan 14 to Feb 5, 2017. "This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development, bring its governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally,"...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/16)
Demarte Pena was too young to fight in Angola's civil war, where his family played a major role, but he has fought his way to a mixed martial arts championship. Instead of an AK47, "The Wolf" as he is known in the ring, uses fists, feet and pure muscle to subdue his opponents in what is seen as one of the fastest growing sports in Africa. Pena is bantamweight champion among the new crop of mixed martial arts fighters in...
(BBC News Africa 05/11/16)
Fifa has suspended the Benin Football Federation (FBF) from global football after a court ruling in the country blocked upcoming elections. A statement from football's world governing body said: "the Benin Football Association (FBF) was suspended with immediate effect due to a recent injunction by a local judicial court which impeded the holding of the due election." The move means Benin are set to miss June's 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Equatorial Guinea. The decision was made at...
(BBC News Africa 03/24/16)
Benin came away from South Sudan with a 2-1 win on Wednesday as the third round of group qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations began. West Brom forward Stephane Sessegnon struck the opener on 16 minutes and Benin added a second on 75 minutes. South Sudan pulled one back late on. The victory lifts Benin to the top of Group C above Mail who play on Friday. New Fifa president Gianni Infantino was in attendance after he had inaugurated the South Sudan FA's office. In Group G Chad hosted Tanzania with both sides looking for their first win.
(Voice of America 03/15/16)
George Wyndham of Sierra Leone is a force to be reckoned with. He’s been playing table tennis for 14 years, despite being paralyzed by polio as a child. Now, at age 26, he is among the best physically challenged players in Africa. "Whenever I play table tennis, it always makes me happy and forget about my disability," Wyndham said. Having polio has pushed him even harder to make something of his life, he says, especially in a country where there...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/16)
FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has asked soccer's world governing body to investigate Friday's agreement signed between the African and Asian confederations in case it breaches the electoral code. Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Confederation of African Football (CAF) counterpart Issa Hayatou signed the 'co-operation agreement' in Rwanda, just over a month before the FIFA presidential election in Zurich on Feb. 26. Sheikh Salman, South African politician and...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/16)
Yaya Toure sparked a late comeback as Manchester City reinvigorated their title challenge while West Brom's Stephane Sessegnon scored his first goal of the season in the Premier League at the weekend. YAYA TOURE (Manchester City) Toure sparked a late comeback as City came from behind to win 2-1 at Watford and reinvigorate their title challenge. With the visitors trailing at Vicarage Road, the Ivory Coast midfielder converted Aleksandar Kolarov's left-wing corner with a neat left-foot volley at the near...
(Dw-World 12/22/15)
Joseph Blatter has pledged to fight the eight-year ban handed down to him by FIFA's Ethics Committee with all means at his disposal. He also reiterated earlier assertions that he had done nothing wrong. The FIFA president told reporters at a press conference in Zurich on Monday that he would go to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport and to a Swiss human rights court in a bid to get his ban on all football-related activities overturned. "I will...
(Xinhuanet 11/25/15)
(Xinhua) -- Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) believes its officials are targeted negatively in the fight against doping that is bedeviling track and field discipline at the moment. CAA believes embattled International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) former president Lamine Diack is being condemned without trial for abetting doping.

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(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and five other cities, the organisers said. Artists include Ivorian jazz fusion drummer Paco Sery, traditionalist Malian singers P-Pentatonique and Cape Verde's Maria de Barros. MASA was launched in 1993 by the International Organisation of La...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron made a surprise announcement during his recent African tour, saying in Burkina Faso's capital that one of his priorities was to restore African cultural treasures. African cultural heritage "should be highlighted in Paris, but also in Dakar, Lagos, Cotonou", Macron told a crowd of students at a university in Ouagadougou. "This will be one of my priorities. In five years, I want the conditions to be met to return African heritage to Africa." Delivered at the end of his speech, this sentence resonated especially in Benin, which in July last year called for France to return treasures taken during French...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Three senators from Haiti pause in reflection in front of a statue of their country's independence hero Toussaint Louverture in Allada, southern Benin, where he had his roots. The West African and Caribbean countries, separated by thousands of kilometres (miles) and ocean, share the same history but also the same religion -- voodoo. Jean Renel Senatus, Jean-Marie Junior Salomon and Ronald Lareche came to Benin late last month on a research trip as part of Haiti's reforms of its 19th-century...
(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...
(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...
(Agence Ecofin 07/13/17)
UNESCO has added to its World Heritage list the W-Arly-Pendjari (Wap) Complex, according to a statement released by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee last Friday. This natural reserve spans across three nations, namely: Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso. It is the largest protected reserve of West Africa. For the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the Wap complex “includes the largest and most important continuum of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic ecosystems in the West...
(Xinhua 07/07/17)
Benin students at the Confucius Institute of the Abomey-Calavi University learned how to make traditional Chinese kites at a workshop here on Saturday. At least 60 Benin students participated in the workshop. Guo Hongli, a kite specialist from China's kite city of Weifang in east China's Shandong Province, came to Benin to join the workshop and teach Benin children how to make a traditional Chinese kite which has been registered as a world intangible heritage since 2000. Guo said he...
(Xinhuanet 06/27/17)
Benin students at the Confucius Institute of the Abomey-Calavi University learned how to make traditional Chinese kites at a workshop here on Saturday. At least 60 Benin students participated in the workshop. Guo Hongli, a kite specialist from China's kite city of Weifang in east China's Shandong Province, came to Benin to join the workshop and teach Benin children how to make a traditional Chinese kite which has been registered as a world intangible heritage since 2000. Guo said he...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
Every January, thousands of voodoo worshippers joined by crowds of tourists and descendants of slaves trudge down the long sand track leading to the beach at Ouidah in Benin. The cars, motorbikes and women in wrap skirts with tribal scars on their cheeks head to the Gate of No Return monument overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean beach. Erected in 1992 in memory of those packed on ships bound for the New World, it is a living reminder...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/16)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday condemned the swift shutdown of four Benin broadcasters close to the opposition, saying it raised fears of an "authoritarian" shift in the west African country. The four broadcasters -- Radio Soleil and TV stations Sikka, Eden and E-tele -- were all cut off on Tuesday and Wednesday, the press freedom group said in a statement. All were shut down on the grounds that they were transmitting from places away from their original locations, RSF...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/16)
A thick layer of dust covered the boxes containing photographer Cosme Dossa's life's work at his family home in Benin's capital Porto-Novo. Found in no particular order on the floor and on tables, termites had also eaten their way in. But despite such unpromising conditions, 15,000 negatives were discovered inside, well-preserved in their protective sleeves. To his family's delight, the boxes contained a pictorial treasure trove of marriages, burials, graduations and everyday scenes from the dying days of colonial rule and early days of independence. More than 600 black and white prints had to be delicately cleaned with cotton
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas...

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(Jeune Afrique 11/27/17)
À Cotonou, les discussions se poursuivent autour de la facture de 200 millions d'euros que l'État réclame au principal opérateur téléphonique du pays au titre des redevances impayées de 2016 et 2017. Signe que la situation pourrait se débloquer, le ministère de l'Intérieur a décidé de surseoir à l'expulsion du directeur général de MTN. Alors que selon un arrêté émanant du ministère béninois de l’Intérieur, il devait quitter le pays au plus tard le 24 novembre, le directeur général de MTN a reçu le jour même notification d’une décision lui accordant un délai supplémentaire de quatorze jours. « La décision d’expulsion n’a pas été annulée. Nous l’avons juste différée », explique le ministre de l’Intérieur,...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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 07/11/17)
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,...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
President Patrice Talon of Benin has returned from a medical checkup in Paris following two operations in France, according to a member of his entourage. The 59-year-old head of state, who left for the French capital last week, returned to the country's economic hub of Cotonou on Tuesday evening. The post-operative checkup was "reassuring", the source said on condition of anonymity, as an official announcement about the return had yet to be made. Benin's presidency announced on June 19 that...

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