Thursday 21 September 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Disgruntled soldiers blocked access to Ivory Coast's second largest city Bouake and gunfire rang out in other towns on Saturday as protests over a pay dispute extended into a second day despite government warnings of harsh punishments. The revolt began in Bouake early on Friday before spreading quickly, following a pattern similar to a mutiny in January by the same group that paralyzed parts of the West African state and marred its image as a post-war success story. In the commercial capital Abidjan on Friday, mutineers seized control of the national military headquarters and defense ministry on Friday. They went a step further in Bouake on Saturday, blocking roads north and south out of the city. "We do not want...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Disgruntled Ivorian soldiers took to the streets of Abidjan and two other cities on Friday, firing angrily into the air a day after publicly apologising for a string of recent uprisings. Rebellious troops surrounded the military's headquarters in Abidjan after a spokesman for the protesters publicly apologised to the president for a January mutiny which triggered months of unrest. At the heart of the matter is an unresolved dispute over pay, with the soldiers demanding hefty pay rises in a protest which has found echoes across the country. Troops took up position in front of the sprawling Gallieni military camp in the Plateau
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Rebel soldiers surrounded the army headquarters in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan on Friday and fired shots into the air, an AFP journalist said. Sporadic gunfire had rung out overnight in the country's second city of Bouake, just hours after national television broadcast a ceremony in which a soldier presented as a spokesman for 8,400 former rebels said they wished to apologise to President Alassane Ouattara for a mutiny in January.
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Sporadic gunfire rang out overnight in a military barracks in Ivory Coast's second city of Bouake, where a mutiny erupted in January, an AFP journalist said Friday. The shots were heard just hours after national television broadcast a ceremony in which a soldier presented as a spokesman for 8,400 former rebels, many of them based in Bouake, said they wished to apologise to President Alassane Ouattara for the mutiny. In January, former rebels integrated into army ranks staged a mutiny that paralysed activity in several towns of the west African country while they pressed their demands for bonuses. In meeting the demands of the ex-rebels, who controlled the northern half of Africa's biggest cocoa producer between 2002 and 2011, the...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Some 8,400 Ivory Coast soldiers who mutinied in January apologised to President Alassane Ouattara in an orchestrated ceremony that was aired on national television late Thursday. Organised without the knowledge of the press, the event -- broadcast after it took place at the presidential palace -- signalled a dramatic end to the protest movement. As well as apologising the rebels said they were giving up all their financial demands. Ouattara said of the rebels that he "believed their words were sincere" and they would now be "exemplary soldiers". A spokesman for the rebels, named as Sergeant Fofana said: "We apologise for the various situations we know we have caused. We definitively renounce all our financial demands." He then, in a...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/12/17)
Thousands of soldiers who mutinied earlier this year in Ivory Coast, paralysing the country and dealing a blow to its post-war success story, have agreed to drop their demands for further bonus payments, a spokesman for the group said on Thursday. The pledge, if honored, would greatly ease pressure on government finances already squeezed by a steep decline in world cocoa prices and earlier payments to the mutineers. But some of the soldiers criticized the agreement and said they were not informed of it in advance. The representative for the group, whose name was given only as Sergeant Fofana, apologized on behalf of the soldiers during a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara in the commercial capital Abidjan. He thanked the...
(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 Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
Several hundred ex-rebels on Monday blocked access to Ivory Coast's second city Bouake, their former stronghold, seeking thousands of euros in bonuses in line with a deal following a deadly January mutiny. Security forces were deployed to monitor the upheaval, which caused a tailback of about 100 vehicles outside the main southern entrance to the city, but the former rebels started letting cars in in the afternoon as they began negotiations with local authorities. Most shops in the city, a commercial and transport hub in the centre of the west African country, however remained closed. Unlike the mutineers who caused trouble in several towns, Monday's protesters have not been integrated into the army and carried no weapons. They are known...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/06/17)
Ivory Coast and Ghana will work together to improve the organization and sale of their cocoa, Presidents Alassane Ouattara and Nana Akufo-Addo said on Friday at the end of a summit. The West African neighbors, the world's two biggest cocoa producers, will also improve coordination between their cocoa sector regulators, the presidents said in a statement after meeting in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan. Cocoa is vital to the economies of both countries and Ivory Coast has already slashed its 2017 budget due to plummeting global cocoa prices. The two countries are also seeking African Development Bank funding to develop industries to add value to their cocoa with products such as cocoa paste
(Agence Ecofin 05/05/17)
Congo’s minister of foreign affairs and public domain, Martin Parfait Aimé Coussoud Mavoungou, discussed on May 3, 2017 about terms of a land cooperation between Brazzaville ad Abidjan witj Cote d’Ivoire’s amabassador, Thèrèsse N’Dri Yoman. This was reported by the Central African Information Agency. “The minister will be heading to Cote d’Ivoire soo to discuss land issues with Ivorians. Since the independence, we lost half of our forest cover. I think these are questions that will be part of the talks with minister Coussoud Mavoungou and his colleagues in Abidjan,” said Mrs. N’Dri Yoman. As for minister Mavoungou, he said his trip to Ivory Coast will be an opportunity to share experience in the cadastral, land and domain areas. “We...
(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 the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Ivory Coast authorities deployed dozens of police Wednesday to break up a fake drugs market in Abidjan estimated to supply nearly a third of all treatments sold in the country. In an early morning raid, 150 officers descended on the Roxy neighbourhood in the country's economic capital, seizing boxes of fake medicine. "I applaud the action that took place in the largest street drugs market in west Africa," Dr Parfait Kouassi, who heads an association of pharmaceutical retailers, told AFP. Often improperly stored, the fake treatments are "toxic cocktails" whose low prices attract illiterate clients, Kouassi added. He estimates that such "street pharmacies" cost the country's legal pharmaceutical sector 40 to 50 billion
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
Hot weather and insufficient rainfall last week in top grower Ivory Coast's eastern cocoa regions are feeding concerns of a poor April-to-September mid-crop harvest there, farmers said on Tuesday. In the eastern region of Abengourou, known for the high quality of its beans, farmers were frustrated. "It's hot and it's not raining. When it rains it's not much," said Lambert Yao, who farms in the outskirts of Abengourou. "The mid-crop is lost for us, because there isn't much on the trees." Overall, however, the weather appeared to bolster predictions of a bumper crop that exporters say could reach a record 2 million tons and which has already contributed to a supply glut that has sent prices plummeting since last year...
(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 Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(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...

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