Saturday 21 October 2017
(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 in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/29/17)
Ivory Coast has seized three tonnes of pangolin scales and arrested eight people for trading the valuable armor of the world's most trafficked animal, a police chief said. The small, armadillo-like mammal lives in forests in Ivory Coast and other West African countries. Global trade in pangolin scales is banned under a U.N. convention, but they are prized in some Asian countries for their use in traditional medicines. Ivory Coast authorities apprehended the traffickers as they were preparing to deliver the pangolin scales to a Chinese client, the head of the anti-trafficking unit, Thimotee Gnahore, told reporters late on Thursday. The haul was worth approximately 45 million CFA francs ($80,000) and was the largest ever seized in the West African...
(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.
(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) 07/21/17)
Fresh violence in Ivory Coast left one member of the security forces dead as gunmen attacked a police training school just hours before the start of an international sports tournament. It was just the latest in a series of clashes between government forces and disgruntled soldiers, some of them former rebels, and came just before the start on Friday of the Jeux de la Francophonie (French speakers' games). Gunmen attacked the National Police Academy in the central district of Cocody, in the economic capital Abidjan, said Hamed Bakayako the newly appointed defence minister. They were clearly trying to seize weapons at the base, added Bakayako, previously the country's interior minister. One member of the security forces was killed in a...
(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)
Gunfire erupted near several police installations across Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan late on Wednesday, witnesses and a police source said, in what appeared to be a renewed bout of insecurity following months of military mutinies. Shooting broke out at around 9.30 p.m. (2130 GMT) in the Cocody neighborhood near the national police and gendarmes academies and lasted for around an hour, according to one Reuters witness. A second Reuters reporter later heard sustained gunfire near the base of the police anti-riot brigade in the Yopougon neighborhood in northern Abidjan. A local resident also said shooting broke near a police station in another part of Yopougon. "On the radio in the station they were talking about an attack a bit...
(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)
Appeal judges Wednesday struck down a decision denying former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo interim release during his trial for crimes against humanity, and ordered the court to review his situation. Gbagbo, the first ex-head of state to be tried by the International Criminal Court, has appealed a March decision that he must stay behind bars in a UN detention centre until the end of his trial. Gbagbo and his former militia leader Charles Ble Goude, 45, have pleaded not guilty to four charges arising out of the post-election violence which wracked the Ivory Coast in 2010 to 2011. About 3,000 people died in the turmoil that swept Abidjan -- once one of Africa's most cosmopolitan cities -- in the aftermath...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/17)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara replaced ministers in charge of defense, budget and the interior on Wednesday in a reshuffle of key cabinet positions, a government official announced in a statement. The world's top cocoa producer has endured successive waves of army mutinies this year that have cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-outs to soldiers and tarnished Ivory Coast's image as a post-war success story. Hamed Bakayoko, who had been serving as Interior Minister, took over the defense post, according to the statement read to reporters by Patrick Achi, the secretary-general of the presidency, before the start to a cabinet meeting. Meanwhile Sidiki Diakite, the prefect of Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, was named Interior Minister. Prime...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/17)
"It's not my first time," fireman Patrick Obite said with an air of confidence as, kneeling, he straddled a meter-long crocodile in the carpark of a building site in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan. "There was a first session yesterday at the zoo when we got used to them," he added, smiling. Africa's fastest growing economy, Ivory Coast, is now in the midst of a construction boom that is changing the face of the lagoon-side city, bringing new hotels, offices and homes ever closer to the water's edge. But Abidjan's 5 million human residents are not the only ones experiencing an urban renaissance and rapid growth risks setting them on a collision course with the area's oldest inhabitants, said American...
(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...
(Agence Ecofin 07/18/17)
France has decided to provide Ivory Coast a financing of €2.125 billion (about FCFA1,394 billion) between this year and 2020. This was revealed by Ivoirian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, at the end of a visit by a French delegation, from July 12 to 13. According to the PM, the facility will be used to fund projects in “key sectors in line with the 2016-2020 National Development Plan (PND)”. In details, €725 million (FCFA475.5 billion) will be injected into power, road, health, security, education and training projects, while, €1.4 billion (about FCFA918.34 billion) will “complete funding for the first line of Abidjan’s subway”. With this, works for this line should finally commence after being postponed repeatedly due to issues between...
(Agence Ecofin 07/18/17)
Africa’s agricultural sector is mainly driven by Ethiopia and Ivory Coast according to report recently released by Consulting firm Havas Horizons. The survey which assessed the opinions of 55 major financial and banking institutions based on the continent, lists the top five leading African nations in terms of agriculture. While 90% of the population surveyed believe the African agriculture is very promising, 43% of them think Ivory Coast and Ethiopia are best prepared to face the various challenges opposing the sector. These include infrastructure, access to market, processing and industrialization as well. Looking at Ivory Coast, it is one of the major actors of the agricultural sector in Africa. It holds a key position in the commodity supply market. It...
(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...
(APA 07/17/17)
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is visiting Ouagadougou Monday for a summit meeting between the leaders of Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, the Presidency has announced. The two states have a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) under which the summit is being held. Ouattara is expected to land at around 4 pm at Ouagadougou International Airport, where he will be welcomed by his Burkina Faso counterpart, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. President Ouattara was preceded in the capital of Burkina Faso by the Ivorian Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly who landed in Ouagadougou on Sunday afternoon. The two Ivorian personalities will take part in the sixth TAC Summit from July 17 to 18. As a prelude to the bilateral meeting, the...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
A group of mutinous soldiers in the Ivory Coast clashed with security forces in the northern city of Korhogo, a day after after talks with military commanders over bonuses deadlocked. The conflict on Saturday was preceded by shots fired into the air by members of the army group called 2600 in barracks at the capital Abidjan and Korhogo to protest military leaders telling them they won’t be paid bonuses due to unavailability of funds. The situation is “under control and calm,” Minister of Defense Alain Donwahi said by phone. Three soldiers in the group died and two members of security forces were wounded, according to Abidjan-based news website Pole Afrique. Ivory Coast soldiers have mutinied several times this year as...
(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) 07/15/17)
Three soldiers died after shooting erupted overnight at a base in Ivory Coast, which has been gripped by tensions within the military, security sources said Saturday. Gunfire was heard coming from the barracks at Korhogo, a city in the north of the the West African country, at around 1:00 am (0100 GMT), Adama Coulibaly, a local carpenter reached by phone said. "There are three dead soldiers," an officer told AFP separately, without giving further details. A source at the local morgue said three bodies in military fatigues and with gunshot wounds had been taken to the facility. In a separate incident, shooting was heard from a former UN base near Abidjan, lasting from about 1.30 am to after 3:00 am,...

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