| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(Financial Times 04/13/17)
Ghana intends to end its three-year $918m loan deal with the International Monetary Fund as scheduled in April of next year, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday. Ken Ofori-Atta told a news conference that ending the IMF programme it inherited from the previous government “means a lot more hard work” and “some very tough decisions…regarding our deficit” in the 2017 budget. His carefully worded comments come after two weeks of talks in the capital, Accra, with the IMF and...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Bloomberg 04/04/17)
The scores of giant potholes that scar the roads from commercial capital Abidjan to Daloa in the heart of Ivory Coast’s cocoa belt have become deep, muddy puddles, filled by heavy tropical showers. While drivers making the tortuous journey from the Atlantic coast into the hot interior have reason to curse the wet weather, for farmers in the world’s largest cocoa producer the rains mean the prospect of another record crop. "We’ve got beneficial rains this season," said Abdoulaye Baro,...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has...
(Bloomberg 03/31/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and made sweeping changes to his administration in a high-stakes power play that may threaten his own presidency and place the nation’s investment grade credit rating at risk. Zuma replaced Gordhan, with whom he feuded over state finances, with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, who has no financial or business experience. He also named lawmaker Sfiso Buthelezi to take over from Mcebisi Jonas as deputy finance minister. The cabinet overhaul...
(Bloomberg 03/31/17)
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has appointed Ernest Addison as the nation’s new central bank governor following the resignation of Abdul Nashiru Issahaku after only a year in the post. Addison, an economics graduate from the University of Ghana, was director of research at the central bank from 2003 until 2011, the Presidency said in an emailed statement on Thursday. Until his reappointment today, he was the lead regional economist of the African Development Bank at its Southern African Resources Centre,...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Ghana’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi recovered from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than three years. The Bank of Ghana reduced the rate to 23.5 percent from 25.5 percent, Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. That’s the biggest single cut in borrowing costs since February 2010. Four of the seven economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(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 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...
(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...
(BBC News Africa 03/21/17)
A footballer whose post-match interview went viral after he thanked his wife and girlfriend has denied being unfaithful. Ghanaian Mohammed Anas, of South Africa's Free State Stars, told the BBC he was referring to his daughter. "My family knows that I call my daughter my girlfriend. That's what I was talking about. I don't have a girlfriend," he said. Anas said he was not worried about his wife's reaction. He said he was surprised how many people had watched the...
(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...
(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 03/01/17)
Ghana’s new finance minister faces having to fulfill election pledges to spend more on education and job creation while trying to raise investor confidence eroded by fears about the nation’s finances. After promises of free high-school education and tax cuts in the run-up to a December vote, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, 57, will present the 2017 budget on Thursday following last month’s discovery of about 7 billion cedis ($1.5 billion) in unplanned spending by the previous administration. That startled markets,...

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