Monday 21 August 2017
(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 executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
After selling two Eurobonds in 2014 ($750 million) and 2015 ($1 billion), the Ivoirian government plans to issue another $1 billion bond denominated in foreign currency, Bloomberg reported on April 26 citing sources close to the case. The new issuance on the international debt market, the first since 2015, will help the government finance various infrastructure projects. Though the government is yet to release an official communiqué in this regard, the Eurobond which matures over 10 years, should be issued between June and July 2017. Before that, there will be a roadshow in London and in the U.S. to meet investors and banks involved in the operation, Bloomberg indicates. In a phone interview, Bruno Koné, the government’s spokesperson, confirmed that...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is showing signs of recovery this year after a tumultuous period in 2016. The World Bank estimates that GDP growth will rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 compared to 1.3 percent last year and rise further to 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent a year later. “Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate rate of 2.6 percent in 2017, and somewhat improve towards three percent in 2018. This timid recovery is certainly better than the 1.6 percent we had in 2016, the lowest in a decade, but it is still below population growth in Africa,” said Albert Zeufack, Africa region chief economist at World Bank. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
Cote d’Ivoire secured a FCFA196 billion (more than $325 million) loan from World Bank’s arm, the International Development Association (IDA). The facility comes with an interest rate of 3% and a 25-year maturity period. Secured during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, the loan will be used to rehabilitate and extend the national transport and power distribution network. Part of it will also serve to rapidly connect to the grid homes across the 10 regional capitals and rural areas in the South-Western part of the country. Though the whole project is to be financed by the IDA, the country itself will finance the development of sites and compensate affected populations, World Bank said on its website. The financial support will therefore...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
Moroccan lender Attijariwafa Bank will help Cote d’Ivoire establish two investment funds which aim to finance its tourism sector. This was revealed by Ivoirian minister of tourism, Siandou Fofana, during a meeting of the Club Afrique Development held on April 20, 2017. The first of the two funds is a "private investment fund dedicated to tourism and hospitality". According to M. Fofana, the fund will focus on boosting financing in toursim industry while bringing together private actors who share a common interest in the funding of key tourism projects with high profitability rates. The second fund for its part is a sovereign fund also dedicated to tourism’s financing. It will, according to the minister of tourism, gather sovereign capitals from...
(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 there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African nation is yet to decide which banks will be hired as financial advisers and a roadshow will be held in London and the U.S., according to the people. Ivory Coast sold $1 billion of debt in 2015 and $750 million...
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
The West African bloc is seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector in health service delivery in the sub-region as financing sources become increasingly difficult, Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), disclosed here on Monday. He explained that, for the sub-region to be able to attain its health targets, both public and private sector support would be critical in financing the health delivery needs of the countries. Dr. Crespin emphasized this during the opening of a day’s sub-regional meeting for both public and private sectors organized by WAHO here to develop a strategic framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the health sector. “We cannot really continue to do ‘Business as Usual’. It...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(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 operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(AFP (eng) 04/17/17)
Ivorians Yaya Toure of Manchester City and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace starred in the English Premier League at the weekend. Retired international and four-time African Footballer of the Year Toure bossed midfield as fourth-place City triumphed 3-0 at mid-table Southampton. Winger Zaha tormented Leicester City with his pace and power to help Palace come from two goals behind and draw 2-2 in a clash of lower-half sides. ENGLAND YAYA TOURE (Manchester City) The midfielder was at his commanding best as Manchester City secured an important 3-0 win over Southampton. Needing a victory to cement their place in the top four
(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 all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/17)
An Ivory Coast court convicted six ex-soldiers for the kidnapping, torture and murder of four foreigners in 2011 during a civil war that following a disputed election, the prosecution said. Gunmen kidnapped the four victims - two Frenchmen, a Beninese and a Malaysian - from the Novotel hotel in Abidjan in April 2011 and took them to the presidential palace where they were tortured and killed, according to a court statement from the public prosecutor. The ex-soldiers, sentenced on Thursday evening, were loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who triggered the conflict by his refusal in 2010 to accept defeat in a run-off against current President Alassane Ouattara. The soldiers' victims included the Novotel's French manager and French citizen Yves...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Former Ivory Coast and Chelsea star Didier Drogba on Wednesday signed for US second tier team Phoenix Rising, vowing to help the club achieve its dream of entry to Major League Soccer. A Phoenix statement said Drogba, 39, would be a member of the club's playing staff before eventually switching to an executive role. "I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," Drogba said in a statement. "After seeing first hand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has agreed to join second-tier United States team the Phoenix Rising in an effort to help them join an expanded Major League Soccer (MLS) competition before he takes an executive role with the team when he retires. The Arizona team added on Wednesday the Ivorian would have a "vested interest" in the franchise. The Rising compete in the second tier United Soccer League (USL), but have applied for an expansion berth in MLS, who are planning to add four new teams over the next few years with two sides named later this year. "After seeing first hand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s top cocoa producers, will deepen collaboration in order to coordinate their production strategies to tackle price volatility, the heads of the two country’s marketing boards said on Wednesday. The two countries plan to hold regular meetings and are establishing a technical committee to discuss how best to manage production and ensure sustainability, they said following a meeting in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan. The two west African countries have been liaising on the front of cocoa smuggling across their respective borders. Farmers on both sides are known to try selling their produce where they are likely to get the best deal leading to cases of smuggling. Ghana recently announced plans to introduce hand pollination...

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