Monday 25 September 2017
(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 Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private...
(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 is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(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 08/18/17)
Germany will train soldiers from Burkina Faso to help the West African nation combat a surge in terrorism, according to government officials. The announcement comes days after gunmen killed 18 people and injured 22 in an attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, the second assault in the city center in less than two years. A West African force is gearing up to fight militancy in the region, with Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania pledging soldiers...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
Islamist militant attacks in West Africa are increasing in intensity. High-profile strikes on resorts and restaurants that have shattered the area’s tourist industry get most of the attention. Yet barely a week goes by without a deadly incident in a remote rural zone where some of the world’s poorest people live. Instability in the region affects Europe because it benefits organized crime networks which are engaged in the smuggling and trafficking of migrants to the shores of Italy. 1. What’s...
(RFI(EN) 08/17/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the swift launch of a five-nation African anti-terror force following Sunday's murderous attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou. Macron spoke by phone to Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on Monday after 18 people were killed and about 10 injured in the attack on a Turkish restaurant frequented by foreigners. He expressed France's solidarity "in this new ordeal faced by Burkina Faso" and repeated his intention to deepen contacts...
(RFI(EN) 08/17/17)
Jihadi attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso overshadowed Tuesday's UN Security Council meeting, which discussed efforts to establish peace in Africa. Delegates were mulling plans to roll out an all-African force in the Sahel to tackle the armed Islamist threat, but the plan has been beset by challenges. The Security Council condemned Monday's attacks on two UN camps in Mali, which resulted in the deaths of one UN peacekeeper, a Malian soldier and a member of the Malian gendarmerie, along...
(BBC News Africa 08/14/17)
Gunmen have shot dead 18 people and injured others at a cafe in the centre of of the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, the government says. At least eight foreigners and seven locals were among those killed in Sunday's evening attack on the Aziz Istanbul cafe, the government added. The gunmen, thought to be jihadists, fired on customers on the terrace before making their way inside. Two attackers were killed in a siege which lasted into the morning. President Roch...
(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 08/11/17)
Burkina Faso’s prime minister urged truck drivers to end a strike that’s halted all goods transports between the country’s two main cities and threatens to cause a fuel shortage. Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba met with truck drivers’ unions and apologized on behalf of his government for remarks made by Security Minister Simon Compaore that triggered the strike, his office said Thursday in an emailed statement. Trucks are barred from entering or leaving the capital, Ouagadougou, and the second-biggest city,...
(Bloomberg 08/08/17)
Burkina Faso announced an infrastructure development plan that aims to create jobs and boost economic growth in the country’s impoverished northern region, where jobless youths have become prime recruitment targets for Islamist militants. The 455 billion CFA francs ($819 million) project will prioritize the building of schools, roads, medical facilities and water infrastructure, Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba told reporters Thursday in the northern city of Tongomayel. The funds will be disbursed to small and medium-sized businesses to boost employment and prevent the radicalization of young people, Thieba said. Burkina Faso is fighting an insurgency in its northern Sahel region where most of 33 militant attacks since 2015 took place
(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...

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