Tuesday 19 September 2017
(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 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(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 Jean David Mihamle.
(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 the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived 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 has the highest fertility rates in the world. He called for countries to adopt measures including universal access to family planning, improved education for women and better health care of children, to bring about "a rapid, voluntary decline" in the...
(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 tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(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 government and U.N. statement. The army campaign aims to curb what the state says is a resurgent rebellion led by Pastor Ntumi, an enemy of President Denis Sassou Nguesso from the oil-rich country's 1997 civil war. The Congolese government and...
(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 next six months. The Pool region is located in an area south of the capital, Brazzaville, according to the U.N. ‘fighting and insecurity has displaced one out of every three people,’ there. They also reported that up to 20% of...
(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 and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/17)
Congo and several UN agencies have launched a joint appeal for $23.7 million (20.6 million euros) to help 138,000 people hit by fighting and insecurity in the southern region of Pool. "The most pressing humanitarian needs are related to food security, nutrition, living conditions and access to basic health services,” said OCHA, the UN agency that coordinates humanitarian work. They were vulnerable to attacks, threats, sexual violence, loss or family separation, said the statement, issued Tuesday. Deadly violence broke out in the Pool region, which adjoins the capital Brazzaville...
(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 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(AfricaNews 07/18/17)
The first round of legislative and local area elections held in the Republic of Congo ‘went well’ according to the head of the country’s electoral body. ‘‘On the whole, Congolese exercised their civic duty in the polls,’‘ Henri Bouka, head of the Independent National Elections Commission is quoted to have said. He did not give any further details of voter turn out or preliminary results. He was also silent on when the second and final round will be held. The polls were largely peaceful countrywide amid a social shutdown with restricted vehicular movement and with all shops closed. Eight out of fourteen constituencies in the restive Pool region could not vote due to security reasons. The region, located in the...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
Voters went to the polls in legislative elections in the oil-rich Republic of Congo on Sunday, the first since a violence-marred presidential poll last year which returned Denis Sassou Nguesso to power. The first round of polling to elect National Assembly members as well as local councils went ahead despite the opposition calling foul, accusing the ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of giving its candidates an unfair advantage. Electoral officials said voting passed off calmly although some polling stations opened more than a hour late because of a delay in receiving voting materials. Polls closed at 6:00 pm (1700 GMT). However, an incident was reported in the northern town of Kelle where opposition protesters briefly took away the ballot boxes,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - French oil and gas company Total said on Monday that crude exports from its Djeno terminal in Congo Republic was ongoing and unaffected following a strike last week and the sinking of a loading buoy in an unrelated accident. Traders said on Friday that the company had declared a force majeure on exports of Djeno crude following the incident. A spokeswoman for Total said: "exports from Djeno remain unaffected and safely continue with the second available loading buoy," adding that the tanker that was loading at the time of the buoy incident was safely disconnected. She added that the strike at the terminal ended on Friday, while an investigation into the buoy accident was ongoing.
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
French judges probing the ruling elite in three African countries over suspected misuse of public funds have charged Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso's nephew and former sister-in-law, sources close to the case said Thursday. Edgar Nguesso and his mother Catherine Ignanga appeared before an investigating judge on Tuesday and were charged with money laundering and misusing public funds, according to the sources. It is the latest development in a wide-ranging probe into the ruling elite in three oil-rich African countries: Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Since 2010, French investigators have been trying to establish if the lavish properties and luxury cars owned in France by members of these families were bought with plundered public funds. To date, five members of...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(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 ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(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, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...

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