Sunday 24 September 2017

Gabon

(AFP (eng) 01/25/16)
Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admitted he was hurt by comments from Yaya Toure and Andre Ayew that he was undeserving of his African Player of the Year award. Ivory Coast star Toure and Ghana international Ayew both featured in the African Cup of Nations final last year while Gabon exited in the first round. Toure blasted Aubameyang's award as "indecent" and that it brought "shame" on the continent when it was made three weeks ago. Ayew too said he was stunned that he and Toure and been beaten by the Gabon star in the vote. "I spoke a little with Andre Ayew but I don't understand why they said what they did," Aubameyang told French broadcaster Canal+...
(Voice of America 01/25/16)
HARARE— Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo say Africa wants to see reforms enacted at the U.N. Security Council and they want the continent to be given at least one spot as a permanent member. The call came at the end of a visit to Zimbabwe by Nguema and ahead of an African Union General Assembly later this month. Mugabe — who is handing over the rotating AU chairmanship — said his Equatorial Guinea counterpart ,Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, was in Zimbabwe because of the upcoming African summit in Ethiopia. "On the event of the meeting of the African Union, he [Nguema] saw it meet to discuss what our position is regarding various matters...
(News Day 01/25/16)
African countries appear to have unwavering interests in climate change negotiations especially those international ones such as the recent UNCOP21 held in Paris in December 2015. The nature of excitement coupled with phony expectations have left a lot of neutrals wondering as to what exactly is in store for the African continent. It is common knowledge that in any given country, there is not much political will to tackle climate change head-on but when it comes to attending these international conferences, the hype involved is as if it would be the second coming of Jesus Christ. Africa has not benefitted from these climate change negotiations, as the African countries would be at pains to portray. These international climate change meetings...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/16)
(Xinhua) -- China's economic slowdown will not affect Africa's overall economic expansion in 2016, an economic expert said on Wednesday. Standard Chartered Bank Africa Global Research Chief Economist Razia Khan told a media briefing in Nairobi that international trade has not traditionally been a determinant of economic growth in Africa. According to the economist, China plans to maintain long term relations with Africa. "So, Chinese engagement with Africa will not change fundamentally even as its economy weakens," she said. The Asian giant's bilateral trade with Africa has grown tremendously in the past decade. In 2015, China-Africa trade is expected to approach 300 billion dollars. The direct investment in the first half of 2015 hit 1.19 billion dollars. The Standard Chartered...
(CNN 01/22/16)
(CNN)This week, the African Union is meeting to discuss human rights, and particularly how the continent can realize the full potential of its women. Naturally, the power of information and communication technologies are on the agenda for discussion. But haven't we been here before? We are more than half way through the "African Women's Decade" launched in 2010. What has happened in the intervening six years? Since 2010, much has been made about Africa's mobile and digital revolution and its ability to propel development. But are women advancing triumphantly into Africa's digital future too? In short, the answer is no. For our recent Women's Right Online study, we interviewed 7,500 women from poor urban areas in 10 cities across the...
(CNN 01/22/16)
(CNN)Fancy a drink of Sparletta Stoney Tangawizi? Or maybe a glass of Krest Bitter Lemon? Those are two of over 100 drinks that Coca-Cola produces in Africa, many tailored to local taste. The approach in each city may differ, but the company's strategy is the same everywhere: a Coke product should always be within reach. "It is very important that as a business we really ensure that we continue to be relevant to consumers and customers," Nathan Kalumbu, President Coca-Cola Eurasia & Africa Group, told CNN. Across the continent, Coke has about 3,000 small distribution centers. "These micro distribution centers are normally run by individuals who live in the community, they employ local people and they distribute to local retailers...
(Ips News 01/21/16)
Africa is clearly one of the most negatively impacted regions in the world, not helped by the increasing trend of the mainstream media to focus on tragic news, following a self-imposed rule: “if it bleeds it leads”. Famine; hunger; malnutrition; indebtedness; piracy; wars; massacres; tribal fights; terrorist attacks; Boko Haram; Al Qaeda Maghreb; IS; western military interventions; corruption; human rights abuses, and repeated operations of humanitarian assistance, among others, are pure adrenalin for most media outlets. Africa also jumps to the top of the headers when it comes to announcing massive oil purchases by China.
(CNN 01/21/16)
Investors have been rushing to Africa since the end of the global financial crisis, lured by untapped opportunities and high economic growth rates. The push into Africa has been a perennial talking point at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, prompting an increase in Africa's participation at the prestigious gathering of world leaders. This year, however, the conversation may shift as investors reflect on the economic headwinds facing nearly all emerging economies. Davos 2016 looks set to be a tough one for African delegates as they try to maintain interest in the continent. In Davos, marketing can be just as important as high growth rates. South Africa was at the epicenter of excitement in 2010, when the country...
(Front Page Africa Online 01/21/16)
With Terrorism gradually consuming the African continent as Somalia, Kenya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria are all confronted with the problem, survey is pointing to indications that corruption in the military is responsible for the growing terror threats facing the continent. According to new report nearly 40% of the countries surveyed do not publish their defence budgets at all and those that do provide only highly aggregated figures. The survey states that the only countries that provide any useful defence spending information are Benin, South Africa, Tunisia, Ghana, Tanzania, Liberia, and Namibia. The survey indicates that in those countries, the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) budget provides information on spending for training, construction, personnel, acquisitions, salaries, and maintenance, though the level of...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/21/16)
Africa's small farmers, more than half of whom buy their seeds from local informal markets, need access to improved seeds that can yield more food and cope with climate change, according to research published on Wednesday. Innovations in food science, including seeds that produce vitamin-rich food and crops that can withstand the hotter, drier conditions due to global warming, are not reaching many of Africa's small farmers as they are not available in local markets, researchers said. The study, published in the journal "Food Security", examined 10,000 seed transactions across five African countries and Haiti, and researchers said it shed light on how food production can be expanded. "Science is making improvements to crops, but they are not getting to...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/16)
(Xinhua) -- The Bank of Central African States (BEAC) and the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC) on Tuesday signed a 400 billion CFA Francs (670 million U.S. dollars) agreement to fund infrastructure projects in their region. BEAC governor Lucas Abaga Nchama, who spoke after the signing of the agreement in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde, said the money would be released in batches to the tune of 80 billion CFA Francs annually. The money was aimed at helping improve the regional economy that was characterized by a weak 2.4 percent GDP growth in 2015. BEAC, which seeks to reinforce its own capital after re-establishing financial stability in 2010, confirmed its willingness to help its partner institution. "To enable the...
(The Wall Street Journal 01/20/16)
Dreams of Africa’s inexorable economic climb are being interrupted by new challenges like the cries of student protesters at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand. Students blocked streets and burned tires on the Johannesburg campus for weeks late last year to protest tuition increases they said the country’s mostly poor black majority couldn’t afford. The protests snowballed into a nationwide indictment of the government’s inability to create jobs and cut inequality. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma placated students with a promise not to raise tuition this year.
(Voice of America 01/20/16)
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell arrives in Africa this week to examine the issue of wildlife trafficking. She told journalists Tuesday that Washington had a role to play to end the illegal trading of wildlife and its products. Before her visit to Gabon, Kenya and South Africa, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said the Obama administration is concerned about the rise in cases of wildlife trafficking from Africa to Asia, Europe and the United States. She explains why the United States, last year, banned lion and elephant trophies from Zimbabwe. "The United States Wildlife and Fisheries Services does not believe that sufficient measures are in place in that country (Zimbabwe) to put conservation efforts into local communities...
(Ips News 01/20/16)
Economic exclusion; financial systems that perpetuate their discrimination; limited participation in political and public life; lack of access to education and poor retention of girls in schools; gender-based violence; harmful cultural practices, and exclusion of women from peace tables, are the major standing barriers to achieving gender equality in Africa. These challenges are now top on the agenda of the "8th African Union Gender Pre-Summit on 2016 African Year of Human Rights,with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women" taking place in Addis Ababa on 17 - 21 January. The event is preparatory to the 26th African Union Summit which will bring together the heads of states and governments of the 54 African countries in Addis Ababa on 21-31 January...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/16)
Gabon said it recalled its ambassador to Paris after France's prime minister appeared to question the legitimacy of President Ali Bongo's election in 2009. The latest sign of fraying relations between Gabon and its former colonial ruler follows a French investigation into the origins of the wealth of the Bongo family, which has ruled the oil-producing west African nation since 1967. Asked during a television interview on Saturday whether Bongo had been democratically elected, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: "No, not as I understand it."
(Xinhuanet 01/19/16)
LIBREVILLE, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Gabon has recalled its ambassador to France for consultation following remarks made by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls that Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba was not validly elected in 2009. The move was announced late Sunday on Gabon's national television by Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet Boubeya. "Was Ali Bongo elected in 2009?" French comedian Jeremy Ferrari asked Valls on a French television station over the weekend. The prime minister responded: "No. Not as we were told!" Valls' remarks irritated the Gabonese authorities, Boubeya said in a live broadcast on the national television. Boubeya said he was "shocked and saddened" by the words yet the two countries were "enjoying excellent relations." It is not the first...
(The Wall Street Journal 01/19/16)
Barclays PLC was one the few western banks to blaze a trail into sub-Saharan Africa. Now it is preparing to stage a gradual retreat. Barclays executives have concluded that being the majority owner of a sprawling African business no longer fits with the bank’s strategy, according to people familiar with the matter. The bank is drawing up plans to sell some of its 62% stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd. , the publicly traded entity that houses most of its African business, these people said. The decision is part of a plan by Barclays’ new chief executive, Jes Staley, to refocus the bank on a narrower range of profitable activities. It comes as lenders world-wide dial back their ambitions, and...
(Xinhuanet 01/19/16)
(Xinhua) -- The number of international tourists declined by 3 percent in Africa, reaching a total of 53 million in 2015, the UN World Tourism Organization said Monday. Tourism arrivals decreased by 8 percent in North Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1 percent, though the latter returned to positive growth in the second half of the year, UNWTO said in the latest report received in Nairobi. Some African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Egypt's travel and tourism industry have been battered by security fears and crime. However, Kenya has improved security along the coastal region and offered massive incentives that are likely to revitalize tourism which it depends for the hard foreign currency. Globally, international tourist arrivals...
(Xinhuanet 01/19/16)
(Xinhua) -- China's mobile telecom giant Huawei Technologies renewed its support for the African Mobile and ICT Exhibitions (MOBEX) to be held in Ghana, it said Monday. The firm will therefore sponsor the 2016 edition of the Africa Mobile & ICT Expo MOBEX16 scheduled to come off here later in the year. This came to light during a media conference by Coasters Company Limited, organizers MOBEX, where they presented a report on the 2015 event, which highlighted the need for the injection of more investment in the local ICT sector to spur greater economic development. Huawei Technologies Ghana Limited, which is one of the biggest technology players in Africa, renewed its position a platinum sponsor for the event. The Chinese...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/16)
Gabon has recalled its ambassador to Paris after France's prime minister appeared to question the legitimacy of President Ali Bongo's election in 2009, the central African country said. The latest sign of fraying relations between Gabon and its former colonial ruler follows a French investigation into the origins of the wealth of the Bongo family, which has ruled the oil producing nation since 1967. Asked during a television interview on Saturday whether Bongo had been democratically elected, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: "No, not as I understand it." Gabon's Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet Boubeya told state television late on Sunday that the government was seeking clarification of Valls' remark. "We are surprised and shocked by the words of Manuel Valls...

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(BBC News Africa 08/13/14)
Africa's under-18 population will swell by two-thirds to reach almost a billion by 2050, a new UN report says. The findings show a "massive shift in the world's child population towards Africa", it says. Its projections indicate that by 2050, about 40% of all children will be in Africa, up from around 10% in 1950. This is despite the fact that child mortality rates in Africa will remain high, it says. The continent currently accounts for about half of child mortality globally and the proportion could rise to around 70% per cent by 2050, according to the Generation 2030/Africa Report released by Unicef, the UN's child agency. However, high fertility rates and rising numbers of women of reproductive age mean...
(Daily Maverick 08/13/14)
12 August is World Elephant Day. In Cape Town this year, conservationists gathered to mark the day by paying tribute to the Kenyan government’s burning of 12 tons of seized elephant tusks in 1989, a move which garnered attention worldwide and led to an international ivory trade ban. The “tusks” burnt by Cape Town conservationists were fake – but the message was very real. By REBECCA DAVIS. It’s a beautiful afternoon in the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, where the heat is rising. At the centre of the action is a pyre piled with what looks from a distance like an impressive collection of elephant tusks. Flames are leaping, but there’s a small group of firefighters on hand to make sure things...
(Ips News 08/12/14)
Washington — Though West Africa's massive Ebola outbreak may be dominating the spotlight within the global health community, HIV/AIDS remains an enormous issue for Africa as a whole - a sentiment that Washington officials made clear this week in their discussions of legislative and technological setbacks plaguing progress in fighting the epidemic. Despite the World Health Organisation's announcement Friday that Ebola is now an "international public health emergency," doctors, academics and policymakers met Thursday at the Washington office of Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a health-policy non-profit, to discuss the similarly urgent threat posed by HIV/AIDS, the subject of last month's 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Uganda's anti-LGBT environment may explain the nation's distinct increase in the number of...
( 08/12/14)
United States President Barack Obama has been urged to stem the flow of the $55.6 billion that has left Africa illegally each year over the last decade, and to address America’s role as a major facilitator of such outflows. The call came from Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI), as African leaders arrived in the US capital for the historic US-Africa Leaders Summit. GFI said that the Obama administration and African leaders should prioritise efforts to curb the illicit capital flight from Africa that has totalled $555.8 billion in the last 10 years. “Illicit financial outflows are by far the most damaging economic problem facing Africa,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, who sits on the UN High Level Panel on Illicit...
(Modern Ghana 08/12/14)
As the youth in Ghana celebrates World Youth day we wish all youth in Ghana Happy youth day. The youth wing of R.P.D would like to caution the NDC government not to mismanage the newly created youth found since the youth of this country has not benefited from any government policy for the past 20 years. A typical example of the waste in tax payers’ money in the name of helping the youth by providing job is SADA, GYEEDA etc. We propose that the Ghc10 million ($2.6m) youth Fund set up to help Ghana’s young start up entrepreneurs should be disbursed on merit. We hope that the Fund will help the youth put their ideas into reality, so they become...
(Xinhuanet 08/12/14)
BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday delivered a second batch of emergency humanitarian aid to three African countries as part of its continued efforts to help them combat the latest round of outbreak of Ebola epidemic, which has claimed nearly 1,000 lives in West Africa. SUPPLIES REPLENISHED A chartered plane carrying supplies from Shanghai in eastern China arrived in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia successively on Monday. The supplies, worth 30 million yuan (4.9 million U.S. dollars), include medical protective clothes, disinfectants, thermo-detectors and medicines. China delivered its first batch of Ebola relief in May, mostly for disease prevention, control and treatment, to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. The largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded began in Guinea...
(CNN 08/11/14)
(CNN) -- West African nations are turning to drastic measures in a desperate effort to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Guinea has closed its border with Sierra Leone, a border police official told CNN. Meanwhile, the Zambian government banned arrivals of people from countries where there has been an Ebola outbreak, as a preventive measure to stop the virus from entering the country. "All delegates from any of the countries affected by Ebola Virus disease are restricted from entering Zambia until further notice," Dr. Joseph Kasonde, Zambia's minister of health, said in a statement Saturday. The virulent virus continues to advance from its epicenter in Sierra Leone to nearby Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. Other West African governments...
(Xinhuanet 08/11/14)
BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent messages to presidents of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia respectively to show sympathy to the three African countries over the deaths in an outbreak of Ebola disease. In the messages sent to his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde, Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Sunday, Xi expressed sympathy and solicitude for massive human and economic losses caused by the Ebola outbreak in the three countries, and appreciated the governments' efforts to fight against the epidemic. The Chinese president said that China is willing to support the three countries in containing the spread of Ebola. Xi said that, at this difficult time, the Chinese government...
(Pana 08/11/14)
Washington DC, US - US First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama on Wednesday in Washington DC, stressed the need for African first ladies and women groups to embrace the youth in their countries in order to share and partake in their hopes and aspirations. In her remarks at the 'Investing in Our Future', a symposium for spouses of African leaders and other women groups on advancement for women and girls in Africa, at the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Mrs. Obama recalled that six weeks ago, 500 young leaders from across Africa arrived in the US to take part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Mrs Obama said: 'These young men and women are truly extraordinary, and they have already...
(Reuters 08/10/14)
The world's worst outbreak of Ebola that has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa represents an international health emergency and could continue spreading for months, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Nigeria became the third African nation, after Sierra Leone and Liberia, to declare a national emergency on Friday as the region's healthcare systems struggle to cope with the advance of one of the deadliest diseases known to man. "The outbreak is moving faster than we can control it," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters on a telephone briefing from her Geneva headquarters. The U.N. agency said all states where Ebola had passed from one person to another should declare a national emergency. It called the outbreak "particularly...
(Pana 08/09/14)
Washington DC, US - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that partnership the US was fostering with African governments is vital to the growth and development of Africans and will help the governments to overcome challenges. Speaking at the Leaders Session of the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the State Department in Washington DC, Obama said: 'Africa’s rise means opportunity for all of us, including the opportunity to transform the relationship between the United States and Africa.' 'As I said in Cape Town last year, it is time for a new model of partnership between America and Africa, a partnership of equals that focuses on African capacity to solve problems, and on Africa’s capacity to grow and that is why...
(Pana 08/09/14)
Washington DC, US - More than US$200 million in investments will be committed to programmes to empower more than one million people in Africa, especially women and children, US First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama, said on Wednesday at the US-Africa Leaders Summit. Mrs. Obama made this known at the Symposium for African Spouses, she hosted with former first lady, Mrs. Laura Bush, the George Bush Institute, and the US Department of State, entitled: 'Investing in Our Future'. The day-long symposium brought together African first ladies from nearly 30 countries, women leaders from non-governmental and non-profit organisations, private sector partners, and other leading experts. Former US President George Bush,who spoke at the event, announced the expansion of the Pink Ribbon, Red...
(Pana 08/09/14)
Brussels, Belgium - The European Union (EU) on Wednesday launched the first phase of a programme for Africa’s integration, with an initial budget of 415 million Euros for the period 2014 to 2017, official sources said in Brussels. In a press statement, the European Commission said that the programme, which targets integration in North Africa, Southern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, will ensure better coherence in the management of development programmes, by creating synergies between the EU development cooperation and other programmes. Planned for 2014-2020, the overall cost of the Pan-African integration programme is estimated at 845 million euros. According to the statement, the new programme aims particularly at improving the free movement of people and goods on the African continent,...
(CNN 08/08/14)
(CNN) -- One of the many questions surrounding the revelation that Americans Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol received a little-known, experimental serum for their Ebola infection is: "Why did we hear nothing about it earlier, and how did they gain access to it?" Ebola has no cure, although potential medications and vaccines are in various states of development. The serum ZMapp, an experimental product of Mapp Biopharmaceutical, hasn't been tested in humans, which means it doesn't meet a primary requirement for FDA approval -- so its obscurity is no surprise.
(Pana 08/08/14)
Washington DC, US - The US says it is investing in the health of Africa’s people, while helping train its health and science professionals, and partnering with African governments to meet shared challenges. 'As the world’s largest donor to global health, we are committed to working with African governments to improve the health of their citizens, and to reaching our goals of achieving an AIDS-free generation,' said a document on 'Investing in Health: Investing in Africa's Future', obtained by PANA at the ongoing US-Africa Leaders Summit, in Washington DC. It said that part of the US-African Cooperation in Global Health aims at ending preventable child and maternal deaths, enhancing global health security by preventing, detecting and responding to infectious disease...
(Pana 08/08/14)
Washington DC, US - African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on Tuesday in Washington DC, called for more US investments that would help in transforming Africa's growth and development, and enhance the living conditions of its people. Speaking at the US-Africa Business Forum, as part of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Ms. Dlamini-Zuma, said that 'the Summit offers great opportunity to further foster cooperation in various sectors that will propel Africa's development and bring about viable investments to transform Africa in the coming decades'. She expressed the hope that the discussions at summit's various sessions and other side engagements would further strengthen the cooperation between Africa and the US, as well as, build upon the existing strong bilateral and...
(Pana 08/08/14)
Washington DC, US - The African Union Commission (AUC) and some Africa governments have made commitments to increase investment in the next generation, as well as supporting opportunities for the youth. A document highlighting the commitments, obtained by PANA at the ongoing US-Africa Leaders' Summit Tuesday, showed that while some made commitments to new activities, others have ongoing initiatives in place. A list of the commitments made in connection with the summit included the AUC plans to redouble its efforts to advance educational opportunities through the Pan-African University, and its commitment to carry forward the African Youth Charter by urging AU member states to consider the African Youth Decade Plan of Action as a road map for implementation. Others are...
(Voice of America 08/06/14)
WHITE HOUSE — One goal of the African leaders' summit in Washington is to build on a strategic relationship that the United States has established in Africa as the continent faces a range of security threats. From establishing drone bases to training African troops, the U.S. has expanded its security relationship with Africa in recent years. The aim is to help African governments combat extremist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in East Africa and militants in the Sahel. This summit's focus is trade and investment to forge what President Barack Obama sees as a new relationship with Africa. In announcing pledges by U.S. companies to invest $14 billion in Africa, Obama said security is essential to prosperity. “We're...
(Voice of America 08/04/14)
An outspoken member of the African Diaspora has called on African leaders taking part in a Washington summit to meet with them. Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the African Sun Times newspaper and chairman of the Celebrate Africa Foundation, acknowledged he’s not speaking for the whole African Diaspora. But, he said it remits an estimated $70 to $80 billion each year to Africa. Onyeani said African leaders should give the Diaspora the same respect they give to other groups. In July, he wrote to African leaders calling for an African Diaspora Town Hall meeting in Washington during the summit, but received no reply. At the same time, he said, the African leaders attending the summit have made themselves readily...
(Pana 08/02/14)
Washington DC, US - US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ms. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Thursday said that the inaugural US-Africa Leaders Summit will build a new model of partnership between America and Africa. Speaking with reporters in Washington DC, US, to preview the summit, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield said: 'The new model will be based on a partnership of equals that focuses on the capacity to expand opportunity and strengthen democracy, promote trade and investments, as well as security and peace.' She said that the summit, the first of its kind and the largest gathering any American president has ever held with African leaders, builds on President Barack Obama's trip to Africa last year, and is aimed at strengthening ties...

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(Voice of America 08/13/13)
NAIROBI — The United States is keeping a close watch on potential European trade deals with African nations as Washington reviews its own preferential trade initiative with the continent. African ministers and U.S. officials discussed trade relations at a forum Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The U.S. is considering an extension to the popular African Growth and Opportunity Act, known as AGOA, an American law that allows sub-Saharan African countries to export certain products to the United States duty free. First signed into law in 2000, the act has already been renewed once, and is set to expire in 2015. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has been meeting with African ministers at an AGOA forum in Addis Ababa...
(Reuters 08/09/13)
LONDON | Fri Aug 9, 2013 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs (GS.N) has appointed Alasdair Warren as head of its financial sponsors group for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), according to a memo seen by Reuters. Financial sponsors, the term investment banks use to describe private equity firms, are regular users of equity capital markets for selling shares in their portfolio companies. London-based Warren, who joined Goldman in 2005 and was named a partner in 2008, was previously head of equity capital markets (ECM), convertibles and equity derivatives for EMEA. Richard Cormack and Christoph Stanger will jointly take on that role, becoming co-heads of ECM and convertibles in EMEA, the memo said. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the contents...
( FOROYAA Newspaper 08/07/13)
With its abundance of natural resources and large and growing population , Africa is the next frontier for many global companies. However, while investors are keen to get, there's often a wariness on the part of Africans. The BBC's Vineet Khare travelled to Ethiopia to find out about what can be a tricky relationship and how things are not always so rosy. Watch the video...
(Business Daily 08/06/13)
The top-ranking US trade official Michael Froman said on Monday that issues of "reciprocity" will be raised at a US-Africa conference next week in Ethiopia that will consider renewal of the Agoa trade initiative. The African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is due to expire in 2015, gives duty-free treatment to Kenyan textiles and many other African exports to the United States. Agoa is said to be responsible for creating thousands of jobs in the Kenyan textile industry. But as a condition to Agoa's extension beyond 2015, American negotiators may press African countries to give the same preferential treatment to US exports to Africa. Ambassador Froman made clear in a talk at the Brookings Institution in Washington that the US...
(Reuters 08/06/13)
LAGOS/SYDNEY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Nigeria is gradually opening up to Islamic finance, a move that could bring non-interest banking to over 80 million Muslims and develop one of Africa's fastest-growing consumer and corporate banking sectors. Home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is trying to establish itself as the African hub for Islamic finance, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling. In recent months, a string of regulatory initiatives have set the groundwork for products such as Islamic bonds (sukuk), insurance (takaful) and interbank lending products, although there is still only a small number of local market participants. "The potential is there but the market is negligible in Nigeria because we have...
(African arguments 08/02/13)
UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has stated that the government will not intervene directly in Barclays Bank's decision to withdraw banking services to Money Service Businesses (MSBs) including those that provide remittance services to Somalia, but said he hoped that a 'market-based solution' could be found. Simmonds stated in a letter dated 18th July to SOAS academic Laura Hammond (and shared with African Arguments) that "the government would not be able to intervene on behalf of a particular company or 'remittance corridor'". He was responding to a letter submitted by Hammond on behalf of 105 academics, researchers and practitioners calling on the UK government to intervene to prevent the collapse of remittance flows into poor and fragile states, particularly...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/13)
LONDON | Fri Aug 2, 2013 (Reuters) - The winning investment strategy of 2013 has been simple but extreme: return home to the safety of the biggest, most-traded markets, or venture to the riskiest frontiers from Ivory Coast to Pakistan. Those in the middle of the risk curve - the biggest emerging markets that now account for almost half of the top 20 world economies - have been the big losers. The contrasting fortunes may herald the start of a broader repricing of big emerging economies where a flood of cheap money from developed economies has distorted prices the most. Risk - which dominated global financial markets in the past few years - has played a smaller role in defining...
(This Day Live 08/02/13)
Against the backdrop of the three-day investment roundtable in Cape Town, South Africa, John Iwori, who attended the event, writes that African countries are forging a common front in the shipping and energy sectors of the continent's economy. Working against One Another That most African countries are working at cross purposes is an understatement. In spite of their proximity, they prefer to work against their common interests. They hardly see each other as partners in progress. In fact, they see themselves as enemies. They work against one another for the benefit of the people on other continents, especially those who ruled over them during the colonial era. The undue rivalry among African countries has often robbed the people on the...
(This Day Live 08/01/13)
The World Bank Group committed a record $14.7 billion in fiscal year 2013 (July 2012 to June 2013) to support economic growth and better development prospects in Africa, despite uncertain economic conditions in the rest of the global economy. “The region has shown remarkable resilience in the face of a global recession and continues to grow strongly,” said World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Makhtar Diop. “Africa is at the centre of the World Bank Group 2030 goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, in an environmentally, socially, and fiscally sustainable manner.” The World Bank Group, according to a release from its Nigeria office in Abuja, continued its strong commitment to Africa approving $8.25 billion in...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/13)
GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) - Gabon has told the World Trade Organization (WTO)that it will hold a licensing round for offshore oil blocks later this year, and that it will bring in new transparency requirements for its natural resources sector. In a confidential document circulated during a two-day trade policy review that ended on Wednesday, Gabon said it was adopting a new hydrocarbon code which would provide a basis for the new bid round. Gabon, a former OPEC member, has the seventh biggest oil reserves in Africa and produces about 240,000 barrels per day, providing about 80 percent of its oil export earnings. "This code will provide a real framework for activities related to petroleum in our sedimentary basin, as...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/13)
LAGOS, July 31 | Wed Jul 31, 2013 (Reuters) - The chairman of African lender Ecobank Transnational (ETI) has repaid a set of loans he took from the bank and no company rules were broken by the transactions, Chief Executive Thierry Tanoh said on Wednesday. South African sovereign fund manager PIC, a 20 percent shareholder in the African bank, has said they would wait for the board of directors to investigate and draw conclusions over the allegations around debt taken out by chairman Kolapo Lawson on August 5. The lender itself has said previously that the loans, which the Financial Times reported were the subject of a boardroom battle, were performing. Tanoh said on Wednesday they were contracted two years...
(CNN 07/31/13)
(CNN) -- A decade after Angola emerged from devastating civil war, the sea front road that winds around the bay of its capital, Luanda, is now dotted with multi-million dollar condominiums, exclusive clubs, and boutique stores catering for the country's elite. Most of Luanda's population, however, live in the nearby slums, where health facilities are non-existent and children must work, not study, to survive. Africa's natural resource wealth has certainly fueled a decade of rapid growth, but most Africans have still not seen the benefits. More urgently, rapid population growth combined with deepening inequality could one day prove explosive. It does not have to be this way, of course. Botswana successfully used its diamond wealth to develop quickly, growing from...
(Huffingtonpost 07/27/13)
South Africa's failure to successfully engage some of Africa's most troublesome conflict zones has undermined the country's credibility and cast doubt about whether South Africa should be perceived as the continent's regional military and political leader. Ineffectual leadership is at the heart of the matter. President Zuma has made some dubious decisions regarding South Africa's regional foreign policy, and his inability to meaningfully address the plethora of domestic problems facing the country raises question about its suitability as Africa's de facto leader. Attempts to promote human rights -- a trademark of South Africa's foreign policy for the past 20 years -- have resulted in the adoption of some erratic policy decisions. For example, the South African government has numerous times...
(Business Daily 07/26/13)
Global food prices fell by 2 per cent in the latest four-month period, marking the third straight period of declines, as declining imports in the Middle East and North Africa, and lower demand pushed prices down 12 per cent from their August 2012 peak, the World Bank said on Thursday. The World Bank's Food Price Index showed international prices of wheat fell by 2 per cent, sugar by 6 per cent, soybean oil by 11 per cent, and maize, or corn, by 1 per cent during the four-month period between February and June. The index, which weighs export prices of food, fats and oils, grains, and other foods in nominal U.S. dollars, fell by 2 per cent. Improved weather conditions...
(This Day Live 07/25/13)
African countries and their communities have been told they can effectively end ‘land grabs,’ grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernise the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. This was revealed in a new World Bank report titled Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity released on Monday in Washington, US, which also noted that Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 per cent of the population living below $1.25 a day. The detailed report noted that sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop...
(Agence Gabonaise de Presse 07/24/13)
LIBREVILLE (AGP) - Gabon Oil Company (Goc) a signé, en fin de semaine dernière, un nouveau contrat d’enlèvement de brut avec la compagnie Shell Gabon à Gamba dans l’Ogooué Maritime, après celui signé en décembre 2012 avec Total Gabon. Le patron de Shell Gabon, Godson Njoku a déclaré, à l’issue de la cérémonie, que ‘’nous avons fait de la sécurité des opérations d’enlèvement du brut ici à Gamba, par Gabon Oil Company, une pierre angulaire de cet accord. Ici à Shell Gabon, nous sommes aussi conscients de notre rôle d’opérateur. Nous avons d’onc l’obligation de protéger cet actif stratégique’’. Avant l’arrivée de Gabon Oil company et ses contrats d’enlèvement, les compagnies pétrolières recueillaient et commercialisaient la part du Gabon, avant...
(Ghana Business News 07/24/13)
It will cost Africa $4.5 billion over the next ten years in order to bring proper reforms into managing the continent’s ‘rich’ land, says a new World Bank report published July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” African countries could effectively end ‘land grabs,’ if the complex land ownership and management is mordernized through governance procedures. The World Bank therefore suggests a number of steps and policies that can bring major changes in the continent’s land governance. “It would cost African countries and their development partners, including the private sector, $4.5 billion spread over ten years to scale up these policy reforms and investments,” said the Bank. The report suggests that Africa could finally...
(BBC News Africa 07/22/13)
Tree loss in one of the world's largest rainforests has slowed, a study suggests. Satellite images of Africa's Congo Basin reveal that deforestation has fallen by about a third since 2000. Researchers believe this is partly because of a focus on mining and oil rather than commercial agriculture, where swathes of forest are cleared. The work is published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. It is part of a series that is examining the state of Africa's forests. Dr Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds and University College London, said: "Most of the focus has been on the Amazon and on South East Asian tropical rainforests, and a big bit of the missing picture is what...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...
( 07/17/13)
Africa’s oil and gas industry is poised for momentous growth despite its grappling with severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the continent, fuelled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills, according to a review issued by PwC. PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ of developments in the African oil and gas industry is the third in a series of reviews of the sector by the tax, assurance and advisory solutions firm. Uyi Akpata, PwC Africa oil and gas industry leader/deputy country senior partner, Nigeria, says: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies...

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