Wednesday 18 October 2017
(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 its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/17)
China agreed on Wednesday to loan Guinea $20 billion over almost 20 years in exchange for concessions on bauxite, an ore of aluminum which the West African country has in abundance, the mines minister said. The projects guaranteed by the loan included China Power Investment Corp’s (CPI) planned alumina refinery and Aluminium Corp of China’s (601600.SS) (Chalco) bauxite mine and another bauxite project by China Henan International Cooperation Group, all of them in the northwestern town of Boffa. “Those are the three projects targeted as priorities for the first phase,” Mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba told Reuters. “The revenues these projects generate will serve as reimbursement for the loans.” The minister said the money would be spent on badly needed infrastructure...
(Xinhuanet 09/05/17)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday hailed momentum in China-Guinea ties, saying the two countries should continue to understand and support each other in core interests and major concerns. Xi made the remarks when meeting Guinean President Alpha Conde, who came to the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen to attend the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries. Xi said China and Guinea set up a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership one year ago, and China attaches great importance to bilateral relations. "Both countries should consolidate political mutual trust and carry forward their traditional friendship. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Guinea
(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 thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor 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 sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Authorities in Guinea said Tuesday that they had found at least 19 bodies believed to have washed up from neighbouring Sierra Leone following catastrophic flooding and mudslides there. Some 500 people died and more than 800 were reported missing after the disaster that struck Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on August 13-14, when heavy rains swept away everything in their path. Two weeks later, officials in Guinea said bodies had washed up as far away as the capital Conakry, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) from Freetown, as well as further down the coast at the ports of Koba and Kakossa and off the island of Kabak. "Since the catastrophe in Freetown we have recovered a total of 19 bodies off our...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - The bodies of 19 people thought to have perished in a mudslide in Sierra Leone more than a fortnight ago have washed up on Guinea’s shores, the government in Conakry said on Wednesday. The Aug. 14 mudslide at Freetown’s crowded Mount Sugar Loaf killed an estimated 500 people, but hundreds of others are still missing. Sporadic downpours have continued since, flooding parts of the coastal city and washing away more mud containing unrecovered human remains. “The bodies in all likelihood come from Sierra Leone since there have been no alerts about boats that have capsized,” said Guinea government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara. Most of them were in an advanced state of decomposition and were found by fisherman...
(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 with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 08/26/17)
A former Guinean cabinet minister was sentenced to seven years in a US prison Friday and ordered to pay back $8.5 million for laundering bribes from a Chinese conglomerate in exchange for mining rights. Mahmoud Thiam, 50, learned his fate in a Manhattan federal courtroom from Judge Denise Cote, more than three months after he was convicted on May 3 of money laundering. Thiam, who was minister of mines and geology in Guinea from 2009-10 and is a US citizen, had faced a maximum sentence of 15 years. Arrested in December 2016, prosecutors say he took millions of dollars in bribes from senior representatives of the Chinese conglomerate to facilitate mining rights while serving as a cabinet minister. Thiam was...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/26/17)
A former Guinea government minister was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday following his conviction of laundering $8.5 million in bribes that U.S. prosecutors say he took in exchange for helping a Chinese conglomerate secure mining rights. The sentence, as imposed by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan federal court, was less severe than the more than ten years suggested by federal guidelines. Cote said she had considered the good that Thiam, a U.S. citizen, had done for his native country when he returned there to take the government job in 2009. “I find he went to Guinea to help, not to rob it,” the judge said. “I find he did help in many ways.” “He saw...
(Voice of America 08/25/17)
Patients who survive infection with the Ebola virus often continue to face numerous health problems. New research finds 80 percent of Ebola survivors suffer disabilities one year after being discharged from the hospital. Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016; tens of thousands more who were infected survived. Of those survivors, many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months. Researchers at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are studying what's called post-Ebola syndrome. One of the senior authors of the study, Dr. Janet Scott, says researchers are unsure why survivors experience such disabilities. "I'm not sure we've quite gotten to the bottom of it...
(AFP (eng) 08/24/17)
Amadou Sekou Camara scored a hat-trick as Guinea crushed Senegal 5-0 Wednesday to complete the line-up for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Kenya. Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia qualified earlier. Guinea shrugged off a 3-1 first-leg loss eight days ago to lead 3-0 at half-time and romp to a 6-3 aggregate win despite missing a penalty in a Conakry match delayed 24 hours by rain. Camara scored once in the first half and twice after half-time and the other Guinean goals came during the opening half from Mohamed N'Diaye and Ibrahima Sory Sankhon at the Stade du 28 Septembre. It was the...
(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 dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(AFP (eng) 08/23/17)
Eight people died and dozens were injured in the West African state of Guinea on Tuesday when a rubbish dump on the outskirts of the capital collapsed after heavy rain. Five bodies, including those of two children, were taken to a morgue in Conakry, senior police official Boubacar Kasse said. An AFP reporter on the scene later saw three other bodies that were recovered from the landside. Dozens of injured were taken to hospital, police said. The incident happened in Hamdallai, located in the district of Ratoma, after week-long heavy rains. "The rubbish fell onto three homes," said Kasse, the police commissioner for Conakry. "There are still many people buried, and we have to do everything possible to save them...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/23/17)
At least eight people died and others were injured in Guinea when a portion of a rubbish landfill site collapsed on houses on the outskirts of the capital, Conakry, in torrential rain, police and government officials said on Tuesday. The disaster followed landslides in Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo in which hundreds of people have been killed since early last week. Authorities have said that heavy rain in the region could cause more deaths. Monday's incident in Guinea occurred in the morning in the Dar Es Salam neighborhood after an overnight deluge. The area is filled with wood and tin-roof houses, some of which are situated at the base of a towering mass of refuse. "I saw the...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(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 design, better use of existing...

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