Wednesday 20 September 2017
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Ghana’s cocoa board pays $27 more for a bag of beans than it’s worth in Ivory Coast. Illicit traders are profiting from the difference. Much of Jamilatu Mohammed’s harvest of cocoa beans is sitting in a storage shed near her dilapidated mud house along Ghana’s western border when it should be on its way to factories of chocolatiers like Nestle SA. The mother of two and other small growers in the world’s no. 2 producer represent the casualties in a global price slump triggered by traders in London and Singapore and aggravated by bureaucrats in distant African capitals. Cheaper beans from neighboring Ivory Coast, the biggest supplier, are flooding the local market and luring the...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(BBC News Africa 09/13/17)
Ivory Coast and Benin were the last two teams to qualify for the group stage of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana. The Ivorians progressed in the West African regional championship with a penalty shoot-out win over Togo after the goalless draw on Tuesday. Benin were 2-0 winners over Cape Verde in the final qualifier. The two winners join Senegal and Niger in Group B of the tournament, while hosts Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea and Mali will contest the...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for...
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey scored a hat-trick as Ghana hammered Congo 5-1 in Brazzaville Tuesday to keep alive their slim 2018 World Cup qualification hopes. Serbia-based Richmond Boakye bagged a brace as the Black Stars achieved their biggest away winning margin in an eliminator since a 4-0 triumph over Cape Verde 12 years ago. Vladis-Emmerson Illoy-Ayyet scored for Congo, who entered the Group E match at Stade Kintele confident of success after holding Ghana 1-1 in Kumasi last Friday.
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of...
(Bloomberg 08/31/17)
The International Monetary Fund has approved a one-year extension of Ghana’s $918 million credit-facility program after a review of the nation’s progress on monetary and fiscal reforms. The extension will give the West African nation more time to achieve targets such as narrowing the budget shortfall. The IMF approved a payment of $94.2 million to Ghana, bringing total disbursements to $565.2 million, according to an emailed statement from Washington on Wednesday. The rest of the installments from the loan program...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement...
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo is banking on good news from the International Monetary Fund after his predecessor nearly derailed an economic recovery plan through overspending. As the nation awaits the outcome of a review from the Washington-based lender, which may come as soon as Wednesday, on reforms since Ghana entered a $918 million credit program with the lender in 2015, gross domestic product is growing at the fastest pace in more than two years, the central bank is cutting borrowing...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
Ghana is considering scaling down plans for a 10 billion cedis ($2.3 billion) local-currency bond sale as the West African nation struggles to identify revenue sources for interest and capital repayments, according to two people familiar with the matter. The debt, which will be issued through a special-purpose vehicle and backed by a tax on the sale of petroleum products, may be staggered in smaller tranches as the projected income from the levies are only sufficient for a bond sale...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
Ghana plans to cut spending this year as weak revenue collections are the “Achilles’ heel” in getting its accounts to balance, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said. “We are trying to contain expenditures as much as we can,” Ofori-Atta said at a conference Monday in the capital, Accra. In July, the West African nation trimmed the budget-deficit forecast to this year 6.3 percent of gross domestic product from 6.5 percent. Constant overspending prompted the country to turn to the International Monetary...
(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...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Ghana’s central bank approved a deal that will see Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd. take over the deposits and selected assets of UT Bank Ltd. and Capital Bank Ltd. after the two lenders failed to meet capital requirements. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP will sell the rest of the assets to settle liabilities, Raymond Amanfu, head of banking supervision at Bank of Ghana, said by phone on Monday. UT Bank and Capital Bank’s licenses were revoked “due to severe impairment of their capital,” the...
(BBC News Africa 08/16/17)
Former Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng is once again without a club after ending his contract with Spanish club Las Palmas by mutual consent. Las Palmas cited "irreversible personal reasons" for the decision. The 30-year-old had a contract with the La Liga side until 2020 after signing for them a year ago following a six-month absence from the sport after leaving Italy's AC Milan. He scored 10 goals in 28 appearances at Las Palmas including one on his debut. Boateng has...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(Los Angeles Times 08/08/17)
When the machines arrived last winter, the villagers were mesmerized. In Zamashegu, a farming community of 1,000 people in northern Ghana, they may as well have come from outer space — four electric slot machines installed in two roadside shacks, chirping and clattering, bathing the packed-dirt walls in a pale, kaleidoscopic glow. Their lure was magnetic. Soon, villagers stopped farming, leaving their yam and cassava fields fallow. Children stayed home from school. Instead, they’d queue up at the slots and...

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