| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/16)
Dubai - Emirates airline could reduce the frequency of its flights to African cities or cut routes completely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue, President Tim Clark told reporters. Foreign airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies there have become more expensive and scarce as the country battles a hard currency shortage. Emirates has started a detour to Accra, Ghana to refuel its daily Abuja-bound flight, a spokesperson said last month; the airline had already cut its twice-daily flights to Lagos and Abuja to just one. “In certain African countries, the currencies have really gone down, so we're reflecting on a number of these to look at where it's just...
(APA 10/17/16)
The Bank of Botswana’s Monetary Policy Committee has announced in a statement that it was maintaining the bank’s rate at 5.5 percent. A meeting by officials of the committee on Monday concluded that the outlook for price stability remains positive, with the forecast pointing to inflation being close to the lower end of the 3 – 6 percent objective range in the medium term. The statement released shortly after the meeting, revealed the country’s real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 0.3 percent in the twelve months to June 2016, compared to a growth of 3.1 percent in June 2015, thus reflecting a 23 percent decline in mining production.
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(APA 10/14/16)
United States ambassador Earl Miller on Friday decried the escalating number of tuberculosis-related deaths in Botswana. Speaking at an event to commemorate the fight against the growing number of TB-related deaths, Miller said over 8,000 people develop TB every year in Botswana. It is responsible for over 40 percent of deaths in people living with HIV, he said. He added that it may be tempting for the US to shift our focus from tuberculosis as we throw our efforts toward halting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Botswana. But the two diseases are tightly linked. Two thirds of TB patients also have HIV. We must fight the two diseases together to make real progress on either one. Miller noted that even...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(APA 10/12/16)
The government of Botswana on Wednesday said a decline in copper/nickel prices in the market and the high costs of operations are to blame for the shutting down of BCL copper and nickel mine. A statement from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs states that as the sole shareholder of BCL LIMITED (BCL) the government decided to place BCL Limited and its subsidiaries under provisional liquidation. “The application on the same was granted on the 9th October 2016 and Mr. Nigel Dixon-Warren has been appointed as the provisional liquidator of BCL Limited, BCL Investments (Pty) Ltd and Tati Nickel Mining Company (Pty) Ltd,” reads the statement. As a result, statement says, the operations of the mine have been...
(APA 10/12/16)
Australian mining firm Mount Burgess announced Wednesday that drilling has begun at Kihabe Zinc Project in northern Botswana. In a statement, the company said the programme would primarily focus on Target 52, a geochemical soil anomaly. The geochemical soil results suggest a possible mineralised strike length of more than 5km, which is more than double that of the combined strike lengths of the Kihabe and Nxuu (also in northern Botswana) deposits, the firm said. It said it has identified six zinc geochemical soil anomalies and a copper/cobalt anomaly within the immediate vicinity of the Kihabe and Nxuu deposits. The Kihabe project, the statement said, could potentially be mined by means of open pit mining methods. Metallurgical test work has generated...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(Xinhuanet 10/11/16)
Nairobi - Kenya and Botswana will enhance their cooperation in the tourism sector, a Kenya government official said. Kenya's Ministry of Tourism Principal Secretary Fatuma Hirsi told a media briefing in Nairobi that Botswana has created a niche in the high end tourism sector while Kenya has excelled in attracting middle and low end tourists. “We, therefore, can collaborate and complement each other,” Hirsi said. A delegation from Botswana's ministry of tourism is currently on a benchmarking visit to Kenya. The team from the Botswana Tourism Industry Training Fund Management Committee is in Kenya to study how Kenya funds its tourism sector. Hirsi said the cooperation between Botswana and Kenya has accelerated since President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a state visit...
(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 of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Botswana Daily News 10/06/16)
Principal energy officer in the Department of Energy Mr Merapelo Tautona says fuel pricing in Botswana differs from other countries due to the industry being cushioned by the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). Addressing the media on Tuesday he stated that Botswana together with other SACU states used the same pricing methodology referred to as basic fuel pricing of which thereafter every country adds a domestic cost component. Mr Tautona said fuel prices in Botswana are reviewed monthly to look at unit rates, the NPF position and the trend of crude oil prices which then determines the pricing. He highlighted that the fund was used to cushion the retail prices as government doesn’t give out money to cushion prices. He said...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(APA 10/05/16)
The opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) on Wednesday said its members are prepared to pay with their lives to defend the full suffrage of the country's citizens if the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presses on with the use of electronic voting machines in general elections set for 2019. This follows President Ian Khama's decision to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2016, which seeks to introduce electronic voting machines that the opposition claim will be used to rig elections in favour of Khama's BDP. BCP spokesperson Dithapelo Keorapetse said the Act is an antithesis of democracy as it will disenfranchise
(APA 10/05/16)
Lucara diamond Corp. which operates Karowe diamond mine in Botswana, announced on Wednesday that the mine has continued to produce large high-value stones. In a statement, the company said as a result its second Exceptional Sale Tender will take place from November 7-16. The sale will include no less than 12 exceptional diamonds with a combined weight of approximately 1,100 carats. "The ongoing sale of these diamonds has solidified the company's market leadership position and brand recognition for the sale of exceptional high-quality, large diamonds, Lucara chief executive William Lamb said. He said his company's focus on advancing recovery techniques, marketing strategy and the routes to market for the sale of the large diamonds has resulted in the expansion of...

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