Tuesday 22 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/12/17)
The World Bank will provide Gambia with $56 million in budget support to help the West African country's new government address a high deficit and provide basic public services. Despite an influx of foreign donor money after succeeding longtime strongman Yahya Jammeh in January, President Adama Barrow's government is struggling to balance its books, running a projected 1 billion dalasi ($21.75 million) deficit this year. "We are all aware that Gambia is a fragile country, and the current economic crisis...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/07/17)
Chinese and French companies are bidding to help Gambia build up its Atlantic port Banjul to be what industry sources say could be a rival to neighboring Senegal's Dakar. It would be one of the first major structural changes in Gambia following the end of President Yahya Jammeh's more than 20-year rule in January. State-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) (601800.SS) says one of its subsidiaries has made a bid for a 140 million euro ($159.91 million) contract Gambia has...
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Gambia has ended talks with African Petroleum to extend oil exploration in two of the West African country's most promising offshore blocks and is now in preliminary discussions with new investors, a senior oil official told Reuters. Oslo-listed African Petroleum's share price fell 57 percent after the story was published, prompting the bourse to temporarily suspend trading. The company, founded by Australian-Romanian billionaire Frank Timis, issued a statement denying that its licenses had been terminated. African Petroleum had been seeking to prolong its exploration period, which expired in September 2016, and to that end its chief executive met with new President Adama Barrow, who replaced long-ruling Yahya Jammeh in January.
(APA 06/29/17)
Gambia: IDB to spend $15m to improve rearing of livestockGambia’s finance and economic affairs, fisheries and security matters dominated the agenda when President Adama Barrow presided over the forth cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Speaking at the meeting, the minister of Finance and economic affairs, Amadou Sanneh briefed cabinet about the $15 million support to improve rearing of livestock, energy and the promotion of health care service from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which he said is part of a new strategy to help countries address their challenges. Sanneh said the African Development Bank is also using a similar strategy to support African countries, focusing on five critical areas which dovetails with...
(Agence Ecofin 06/28/17)
The new Gambian government is set to receive some $16.1 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as emergency financial support to help curb the country's current economic challenges, online news medium, Jollofnews disclosed. It said IMF's Executive Board Monday approved emergency fund deal under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), seeking to help the West African nation meet its urgent balance of payment needs. According to the report, IMF has approved a one-year staff-monitored program (SMP) to guide policy implementation, under the new democratic dispensation ushered through a first ever democratic transition in the country since independence in 1965.
(Agence Ecofin 06/17/17)
Senegal is considering helping Gambia face the power crisis which it currently experiences. SENELEC, Senegal’s power utility is currently looking at exporting its power surplus to Gambia, the country’s minister of power, Thierno Alassane Sall, said. “As we speak, we have an excess output of 200MW which is not being used. We even negotiated with a neighboring country (Mali, editor’s note) to which will be sold 20MW. And there is another neighbor which is landlocked and just comes out of...
(APA 06/16/17)
The sector regulator the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) of the Gambia government has announced the liberalization of licenses to allow private television stations to operate in the country. This was after a review of TV licensing to provide for migration from analogue to digital technology, as instructed by the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure. A press release from PURA, seen by APA on Friday, announced the new government is now accepting applications for license to operate private televisions in the country. This is in contrast to the former government of Yahya Jammeh which delayed granting license...
(APA 06/16/17)
The Management of the closed Daily Observer newspaper have resorted to negotiations with the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) over the company's tax payment default allegedly since 2004, amounting to D17 millions (about $377,777), a senior reporter of the newspaper told APA on Friday. According to the anonymous source, the negotiations have been going on since Thursday, and that the dialogue is expected to reach an agreement to allow the company resume operations and pay the tax areas by installments. The...

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