| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives that are in default aren’t allowed to take part in auctions for the season that will start in October unless they make payment arrangements, said the person. The government will discuss the losses on cocoa...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Doctors at a Chicago-area hospital have successfully operated on a baby from Africa born with a parasitic twin and having four legs and two spines.The girl, known only as "Dominique" from Ivory Coast, is recovering well from the delicate and groundbreaking March 8 surgery and is expected to live a normal, fully-functional life. Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, Tuesday announced that the 10-month-old, being cared for by a local foster family, underwent six hours of surgery involving dozens of healthcare providers and five surgeons, including pediatric specialist Dr. John Ruge. "This is a situation where identical twins failed to separate. And, they can be connected in a variety of different manners," said Dr. Ruge. Baby Dominique was born...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Slumping cocoa prices are testing to the limit top producer Ivory Coast’s efforts to ensure stability for farmers, heightening risks for the domestic economy and world markets. Authorities have warned they’ll have to cut payments to growers. That follows a wave of defaults by local exporters who’d bet on higher prices, costing the government more than $300 million and pushing cocoa futures even lower. The more than 30 percent drop in London benchmark prices from a six-year high in July...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
Tumbling cocoa prices and unscheduled payments to civil servants and mutinous soldiers in the past two months could widen Ivory Coast’s budget deficit and curb growth this year. Cocoa prices have fallen by more than a third after reaching a six-year high in July, denting revenue for the world’s biggest producer of the chocolate ingredient. This year the West African country’s government has tried to defuse military and social unrest by agreeing to pay bonuses to soldiers and making some...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(Bloomberg 02/13/17)
Local cocoa shippers in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer, said more than 80 percent of the contracts they bought cannot be fulfilled after wrongly speculating that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Local exporters have told industry regulator Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao that they can’t honor commercial agreements for about 350,000 metric tons of beans, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. After prices plunged, exporters can...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route,...
(Bloomberg 02/07/17)
Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, is asking for compensation for losses from exporters that defaulted on contracts this season. Shippers that couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements will have to reimburse industry regulator Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao if defaults resulted in losses, according to a copy of a letter obtained by Bloomberg and sent by the CCC to a company in default in recent weeks. The companies will lose access to Ivory Coast cocoa auctions until the compensation is...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign...
(Bloomberg 01/24/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator said late rains and inadequate port equipment are responsible for the piling up of cocoa at the West African nation’s harbors. Authorities have approved administrative and fiscal measures to accelerate the boarding of bags while large vessels are currently loading cocoa at the country’s second-biggest port in San Pedro, the industry regulator known as Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, or CCC, said in a statement on its website on Monday. The world’s biggest cocoa producer has experienced shipment backlogs since December after some smaller exporters stopped purchasing and their larger peers started to run out of space, leaving an estimated 125,000 tons of beans without a buyer, people familiar
(Bloomberg 01/20/17)
Political risk seems to be hounding bond investors wherever they go. In Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, a mutiny in the army has destabilized the government, sending its debt to the world’s worst performance. President Alassane Ouattara’s grip on the 40,000-member armed forces appeared to be slipping, with many soldiers who helped to bring him to power in 2011 saying he has failed to deliver the promised pay bonuses or improve their living conditions. Moses Mozart Dzawu
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared...

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