Thursday 17 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) - Congo Republic's Prime Minister Clement Mouamba and his cabinet have resigned amid a growing economic crisis, the president's office said in a statement on Thursday. The announcement comes days after President Denis Sassou Nguesso said he wanted to form a new government to help alleviate the country's economic problems which have been exacerbated by a steep drop in oil prices since 2014. Export revenues have dropped and public debt has shot higher, raising questions about the country's ability to meet coupon payments for its $363 million Eurobond. "Prime Minister Clement Mouamba presented on Wednesday...the resignation of the government to the President of the Republic who accepted it," the statement said. It was...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso admitted Monday that his oil-rich country was facing a serious economic crisis, though he said it was not an "irreparable disaster". He notably called on former rebel chief Frederic Bitsamou, leader of the so-called Ninja rebel group and accused of violence against communities in the south of the country, to turn himself in to the authorities. The public debt of Congo, a small central African country of 4.5 million people, represents 117 percent of its GDP, according to the International Monetary Fund, which recently said that Brazzaville had hidden part of its debt from the IMF. "Our country has real difficulties, nobody should hide them," Sassou Nguesso said in a speech broadcast on the 57th...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
Radio France Internationale (RFI) has resumed services in Democratic Republic of Congo after a 10-month shutdown over what the government said was the station's sympathy for opposition rallies, RFI and the Congolese government said on Friday. RFI, funded by the French government, was jammed on Nov. 5, hours before a banned opposition rally protesting against President Joseph Kabila's plan to stay in power beyond the end of his mandate in December. RFI denounced the move as an infringement of press freedom. "I can confirm that the RFI signal was restored in Kinshasa on Thursday night. We have reached an agreement with the French authorities," said Congolese
(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...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(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...
(APA 08/03/17)
Chinese Company Clets Industry Ltd will invest 53 billion CFA francs in the production of cashew nuts in Loudima in Niari district in southern Congo, APA learned on Thursday from the Congolese Ministry of Agriculture. According to the same source, the 60-year lease contract for the exploitation of more than 22 thousand hectares for the production of cashew nuts, was signed on Wednesday in Brazzaville between the Congolese Minister of Agriculture, Henri Djombo, and Guo Li of the Chinese company CELTS Industry Ltd. Through the signing of this agreement, Guo Li said his company “intends to make the Congo...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(AfricaNews 07/25/17)
Angola has deported 300 Congolese illegal immigrants living in the northern province of Cabinda over the past week. According to the Angolan news agency Angop, the deportees were repatriated through three borders shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville. Also, 54 nationals of the DR Congo and 8 from Congo Brazzaville are in detention for violation of the Angolan border, the report added. On Friday, the director of the Migration and Foreigners Service (SME) in Cabinda, Firmino de Jesus Samavie ordered illegal immigrants to leave Cabinda immediately or face the penalty. He also warned Angolans against harbouring illegal immigrants and appealed to employers to either desist from offering jobs to illegal...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Senior politicians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday called for measures to cut the birth rate in the region in order to bring the population explosion there under control. Deputies of ECOWAS, Mauritania and Chad should be aiming to cut back the birth rate to three children per woman, said Salifou Diallo, Burkina Faso's speaker of parliament. The idea, he said, was to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Violence in Congo Republic's Pool region has uprooted tens of thousands of people and left many struggling to eat, yet their needs risk being overlooked due to humanitarian crises in neighboring nations, the United Nations said on Wednesday. At least 165,000 people need aid and about 50,000 have been forced to flee their homes in the southeastern province of Pool, where the government began a military operation in April last year, according to a joint...
(AfricaNews 07/20/17)
The United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has appealed for emergency aid to support people in the Republic of Congo’s restive Pool Region. A U.N. statement said, OCHA along with the Congolese government and other humanitarian partners needed $23.7 million to aid persons caught in the insecure region. The requested funding – which was made by national authorities, the U.N. along with 16 aid partners – would provide emergency humanitarian aid to 138,000 people for the...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread...

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