Wednesday 24 May 2017
(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 as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
Cameroon is fast becoming a battleground for international cement makers drawn by an abundance of major infrastructure projects and the end of a monopoly long held by LafargeHolcim Ltd. Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s largest producer of the building material, and Morocco’s Douja Promotion Groupe Addoha SA have both announced an expansion of production capacity in the central African country this year, challenging Cimenteries du Cameroun, a unit of the world’s biggest cement maker, LafargeHolcim. Demand for cement is estimated to grow 8 percent a year by 2020 from 3 percent now, according to Trade Minister Luc-Magloire Mbarga Atangana. “Not only is the essential building material now sufficiently available even in the remotest
(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...
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
Cameroon’s plans to more than double the nation’s production of cocoa beans by 2020 will not be achieved as falling prices are dissuading farmers from planting new crops, according to the state’s support company for growers. Producers in the world’s fifth-biggest cocoa producer have seen farmgate prices slump by more than a third in the past year as London future contracts declined on forecasts of an oversupply. Cameroon, which produced 269,495 metric tons in the year through July, is in the third year of a strategy to increase annual output to more than 600,000 tons by 2020. “The falling prices are seriously discouraging farmers,” Jerome Mvondo, director-general of the Cameroon Cocoa Development Corporation
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/17)
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos has insisted he wants to stay in the job, just a week after saying he was seriously considering his future. The Belgian had threatened to quit over management and funding problems but after a meeting with sport authorities has changed his stance. Broos also rejected speculation he had applied to be coach of Ghana, who have now appointed Kwesi Appiah. "I don't want to leave Cameroon," the 64-year-old Broos said. "If I was going to leave...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Voice of America 04/04/17)
Cameroon’s government says secessionist groups in the English-speaking regions have been behind arson attacks on public buildings, most recently a large market in the town of Limbe. The destruction is prompting renewed calls for dialogue to end the five-month strike in the English-speaking areas. The fire at Limbe market burned for four hours Saturday. Fifty shops were destroyed. The governor of the southwest region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, said police arrested a suspect believed to belong to a secessionist group. "The...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has...
(Voice of America 03/29/17)
There is more turmoil in the education field in Cameroon. Teachers in the country’s eight French-speaking regions have joined their colleagues on strike in its two English-speaking regions. Francophone teachers say they are owed salaries from as far back as seven years. “No pay, no school” were among the signs some of the hundreds of teachers from Cameroon's secondary and high schools were holding Tuesday at their rally outside the Ministry of Finance in Yaounde. Among them was 27-year-old Rogers...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(Dw-World 03/23/17)
English-speaking Cameroon remains in upheaval as regional leaders are set to go on trial on Thursday accused of calling for secession. But why is President Paul Biya so afraid of granting more autonomy to Anglophones? Some activists in the northwest and southwest provinces, traditional bastions of opposition to the regime of long-time President Paul Biya, are calling for an independent state of Southern Cameroon. The region was once called that in British colonial times. But according to analysts, a vast majority of the Anglophone population prefers a federation, believing it to be the best
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Cameroon's economic capital is cracking down on gang violence that has changed the lives of residents in many of Douala's neighborhoods. Forty-five-year-old Ndjasso Pierre, who lives in New Bell, a popular neighborhood in Douala, says armed gangs started regular attacks when one of their members was accused of harassing citizens and killed by a crowd. He said the assailants, who were previously attacking in groups of seven and eight, are now coming in larger numbers and targeting people inside their homes. He said the groups are signaling that they will continue attacks.
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
World Water Day will be observed on March 22 but by far not every country enjoys easy access to the commodity. Among them is Cameroon where residents of major cities suffer frequent water cuts, with schools impacted in particular. During a noisy morning at the Grace nursery and primary school in the Damas neighborhood in Cameroon's capital city, Yaounde, children all carry water bottles in their bags. Jannette Nanyongo, the school’s head teacher says at times the neighborhood in which...

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