| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
Ghana’s central bank may have space to cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi started to recover from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than four years. Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku has enough room to cut the West African nation’s main rate by as much as 100 basis points, according to Courage Kingsley Martey, an Accra-based economist at Databank Group. Two of the four economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the central bank will reduce the policy rate from 25.5 percent on Monday. The central bank reduced its key rate in November for the first time since May 2011 even as inflation...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Royal Dutch Shell has sold its onshore oil and gas interests in the central African nation of Gabon for $587 million to private equity firm Carlyle Group, it said Friday. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant announced in a statement that it has sold the assets to Carlyle for the equivalent of 544 million euros in a deal expected to complete in mid-2017. Carlyle will also take on debt of $285 million as part of the deal. It will make extra payments up to a maximum of $150 million depending on production performance and commodity prices. Shell will however retain exploration licences for two offshore blocks west of Gabon, a company spokesman added.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
Gold miner Acacia Mining said it was incurring an average daily loss of more than $1 million in revenue at its two mines in Tanzania due to a local government directive banning exports of gold and copper concentrate. Shares in the company were down as much as 1.6 percent in early morning trade, compared with a marginally lower FTSE mid-cap index. Tanzania's energy and minerals ministry imposed a ban earlier this month on sending copper concentrate or mineral sand for...
(BBC News Africa 03/24/17)
Kenya has become the first country to exclusively sell government bonds to citizens via their mobile phones, as it seeks new ways of raising money. The country is already a pioneer in the use of mobile money. The government is looking to tap into that network by allowing mobile phone users to trade the government securities across their phones. Kenyans can buy one of the bonds for as little as 3,000 Kenyan shillings ($30; £23), the country's central bank said...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
In Cote d’Ivoire, each day, about 17 billion CFA francs pass through Mobile Money. This was revealed by René Tano, executive of BICICI, subsidiary of BNP Paribas, during the 5th edition of the currency and e-payment forum taking place in Casablanca, Morocco. Citing the regulatory organ of telecommunications in Cote d’Ivoire (ARTCI), Tano said the sum mentioned takes into account all transactions (transfers, deposits, bills payment) of Orange, MTN and Moov which are the three telecom companies operating in the...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh prayed for five years that he would discover the diamond he needed to pull his family out of poverty in eastern Sierra Leone. The 39-year-old pastor obtained his first mining licence in 2012 when the paltry income he received from the Deeper Life Church in Kono, the country's key mining district, was stretched too thin for his growing family. Momoh went on to build a small business of 18 employees, digging and sifting through gravel with...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
Namibian research firm IJG Securities said Friday that they expect further contractions in the construction sector in 2017 and beyond. The research firm said in a report that 2017 was off to a slow start with only 231 building plans having been approved in the first two months while 48 were completed, the lowest numbers in the last seven years. "As a leading indicator for economic activity in the country this implies that the whole economy could remain under pressure...
(Andalou Agency 03/24/17)
Capital gains windfall comes as ENI sells gas field stake to Exxon Mobil. Italian energy company ENI will pay Mozambique's government $350 million in capital gains tax after selling part of its stake in a gas field to Exxon Mobil, it was revealed late on Tuesday. The sale concerns Area 4 of the Rovuma basin gas field, the southern African country’s Tax Authority (AT) announced. Tuesday's agreement was sealed in Mozambique’s capital Maputo after four hours of talks between the...
(Financial Times 03/24/17)
China’s oil companies move downstream as bid for upstream assets stumbles. Chinese oil companies are turning their focus to overseas retail and services markets, as slowing growth in domestic fuel demand makes their traditional home market less attractive. Sinopec this week agreed to buy Chevron’s 75 per cent stake in a Cape Town refinery, affiliated service stations and convenience stores in South Africa and Botswana for $900m. It was the only remaining bidder after a year-long tender process. The purchase...
(Ghana Web 03/24/17)
Net debt owed banks and fuel suppliers alone under the energy sector debt hit 1.2 billion cedis at the end of 2016. According to documents cited by Citi Business News as at 31st December, 2016 Government’s net debt in the Energy sector was 2.3 billion dollars. A breakdown of the debt shows that the banks are owed 782 million dollars, while fuel suppliers are owed 440 million dollars. The 782 million is debt owed the banks by state owned power...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
After overseeing sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economy and six years of relative peace, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara is in the midst of a year from hell. First soldiers staged a mutiny, then public workers went on strike and now cocoa prices have fallen. All told, the West African nation is facing the worst social unrest since Ouattara, 75, assumed power in 2011. With cocoa prices in London dropping more than 30 percent from July, the government in the world’s top...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N80 billion ($256.5million) for the rehabilitation of 12 federal roads across the country. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, who disclosed this on Wednesday said road projects approved across the states include the construction of access roads 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to the Second Niger Bridge project, the Numan, Jalingo roads connecting Adamawa‎ and Taraba states as well as the replacement of bridges at Mayanchi along Gusau-Sokoto road in Zamfara state. Other roads to be rehabilitated in the same framework are situated in Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
The Nigerian House of Senate has granted President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to raise additional $500 million Eurobond from the international capital market to finance the $7 billion deficits in the 2017 budget. The approval was given after a closed-door session by the senate on Wednesday. The Eurobond follows the oversubscription of a similar bond worth $1 bn approved earlier this year by the Senate, also to finance budget. Last month, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, also wrote to the parliament...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
The rally that made South Africa’s rand the world’s best-performing currency this year might be nearing its end, according to Old Mutual Investment Group. The currency gained 10 percent against the dollar in 2017, supported by higher prices for metals mined in Africa’s most industrialized economy, and expectations that gross domestic product growth will rebound from the slowest expansion since the 2009 recession. Together with a 13 percent advance last year, the rand is close to almost wiping out its...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
On March 17th, 2017, the South African government has revealed in the Government Gazette a bill to prevent foreigners from owning agricultural lands in the country. Entitled “Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill”, the bill should, according to Bloomberg, be submitted to the parliament for approval in April. Though it appears as a mean to tackle the growing issue of land grabs in Africa, the measure seems to bear a political message to those who are against the Zuma government...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
Youtube watch-time in Nigeria increased by 150% in 2016, according to Youtube Partnership Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Teju Ajani. “In 2016, YouTube mobile watch time in Nigeria increased by 150 percent, a proof that Nigerians are spending more time on the platform, and are finding content relevant to them,” she said. Ajani who disclosed this at the YouTube Brand Partner summit in Lagos, said the video-sharing website continues to be a top video destination for Nigerians who want to share...
(Citifmonline 03/24/17)
Ghana’s unemployment rate stood at 11.9 percent in 2015. This is according to the latest Ghana Labour Force Survey Report by the Ghana Statistical Service. This is about twice the figure recorded in 2012/2013 (5.8%) based on the Statistical services strict definition of unemployment – where “one was not working, actively looking for a job and available for work.” However, the definition has changed for the 2015 studies, was based on a relaxed definition where “one was available for work...
(Ghana Web 03/24/17)
The Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Security Systems International Limited (3SiL) the parent company of Strategic Power Solutions (SPS), the only solar panel manufacturing plant in West Africa, Mr. Ofori Boateng has lauded plans outlined by government in the 2017 budget statement towards the development of renewable energy. Government has initiated plans to increase access to lighting in deprived off-grid homes by increasing solar lanterns in rural non-electrified households to two million. It has also promised to scale up the...
(This Day Live 03/24/17)
The House of Representatives thursday passed a resolution urging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently withdraw and arrange for the destruction of mutilated currency notes in circulation as well as replace same with new ones. It expressed concern over the alarming rate of mutilated currency notes in circulation which has become a national embarrassment. The House further mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to conduct an investigation into the activities of an existing cartel in both the...
(Myjoyonline 03/24/17)
The Ghana Water Company says chiefs hold the key to ending the destruction of critical water sources through illegal mining activities. As the world marked World Water Day on Wednesday, the destruction of Ghana’s water bodies due to pollution through illegal mining activities fell under the spotlight. The Ghana Water Company revealed that almost every major source of water has either dropped low or is heavily polluted to the point where the company currently uses high quantities of chemicals to...

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