Saturday 22 July 2017
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
Ghana’s central bank may cut its key interest rate for a third straight meeting with inflation at its slowest in four years and a strengthening currency. Consumer-price growth has tumbled 7.1 percentage points since reaching an all-time high of 19.2 percent in March last year. While the cedi weakened to a record low against the dollar on March 2, it has strengthened 8.2 percent since then. The median of seven economists’ estimates is for a 100 basis-point cut in the key rate to 21.5 percent on Monday. “Persistent inflation is unlikely to halt Ghana’s monetary easing,” Mark Bohlund, an economist at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in a report. “The stronger cedi should moderate price increases in...
(The Economic Times 07/20/17)
The Indian government is partnering with a Ghanaian company to build capacity of the country's professionals in providing homeopathic education and treatment and recently sent two experts from the Ministry of Ayush to train doctors and staff at the company's chain of C4C Hospitals. "We would be ready to assist through capacity-building -- be it in the form of visiting experts or through extra-curricular or sub-technical advice," Indian High Commissioner Birender Singh Yadav said of the initiative, which could also see the hospital chain expand into other West African nations. During their stay in Ghana, the two Indian homeopathic experts visited the Presidency where they met Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu
(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...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
PBC Ltd., the biggest buyer of cocoa beans from farmers in Ghana, is seeking to cut borrowing costs by arranging its first government loan guarantee in seven years. PBC is asking for a guarantee of as much as 400 million cedis ($91 million) from the government, acting Chief Executive Officer Nana Agyenim Boateng said in an interview. It’s also hired Accra-based Fidelity Bank Ltd. and the local unit of Standard Chartered Plc to market a 400 million-cedi one-year bond, mainly...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
Ghana’s cocoa regulator is warning farmers that the smuggling of beans from neighboring Ivory Coast may jeopardize efforts to keep producer payments unchanged despite a slump in prices. The regulator in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, expects that as much as 70,000 metric tons of the country’s crop will be smuggled across its borders by the time the season ends in September, a person familiar with the matter said July 5. Ivory Coast cut farmers’ pay by 36 percent...
(Bloomberg 07/13/17)
A surge in Ghana’s oil output this year may do little to ease the West African nation’s fiscal strains as crude prices are lower than what it budgeted, eroding the gains from extra production. This year’s average Brent crude price of $52 a barrel is below the $56 forecast in the budget, which could complicate the state’s plans to narrow the fiscal deficit. Output is set to climb by more than a third in 2017 from a year earlier after...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(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,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
If you thought Ivory Coast’s record cocoa crop was enough to keep the bear run going, you may need to rethink. Cocoa futures almost halved from July to April on expectations that a bumper crop in top producer Ivory Coast would add to a global glut. But prices have since rebounded 15 percent, with the July contract surging by a record on Tuesday. And there are other signs the recovery may continue. With processing margins at the highest in more...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/29/17)
Ghana has recorded its biggest cocoa harvest in three years, according to two people familiar with the matter, after better weather conditions boosted output in the world’s second-biggest grower. Graded and sealed deliveries from the so-called main crop, the larger of two annual harvests, reached 812,153 metric tons by May 25, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. That compares with a combined 778,043 tons for the whole of the 2015-16 season, when...
(Bloomberg 05/24/17)
Ghana is seeking better terms for its debt-support program with the International Monetary Fund as the parties discuss an extension of the agreement beyond an April 2018 deadline, according to a person familiar with the matter. The government will agree to extend the deal in return for a bigger credit facility, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. West Africa’s second-biggest economy will take longer than planned to meet the objective of the program, the Washington-based lender said May 19. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta didn’t answer calls seeking comment. A spokesman for the IMF didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by phone and email.
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
Ghana’s new central bank governor cut the benchmark interest rate to the lowest level in almost two years to help spur economic growth as inflation pressures ease. The Bank of Ghana reduced its key rate to 22.5 percent from 23.5 percent, Governor Ernest Addison told reporters in Accra, the capital, after chairing his first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee since replacing Abdul Nashiru Issahaku early last month. That’s the lowest rate since July 2015. Five out of eight economists...
(Bloomberg 05/19/17)
Ghana’s new central bank governor, Ernest Addison, is likely to cut interest rates to an almost two-year low in his debut decision. The former African Development Bank economist, in office since the end of March, has room to act on Monday after the inflation rate fell from a record and the currency stabilized. That would extend an easing cycle started by former Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, who cut borrowing costs at two of the six monetary policy committee meetings that...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(AL Jazeera 05/16/17)
When John Mahama stepped down as president of Ghana in January 2017, he became the first in his country's history to fail to secure a second term in office. Critics argued that Mahama, who was nicknamed Mr Power Cut because of a series of debilitating power cuts during his term, was unable to meet the expectations of ordinary Ghanaians. But Mahama has also been praised for the role he played during the Ebola crisis, and most recently for helping convince...
(AL Jazeera 05/12/17)
Former Ghanaian president says political problems in South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt will affect the entire continent. When John Mahama stepped down as president of Ghana in January 2017, he became the first in his country's history to fail to secure a second term in office. Critics argued that Mahama, who was nicknamed Mr Power Cut because of a series of debilitating power cuts during his term, was unable to meet the expectations of ordinary Ghanaians. But Mahama has also...

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