Friday 15 December 2017
(Business Daily 08/06/13)
The top-ranking US trade official Michael Froman said on Monday that issues of "reciprocity" will be raised at a US-Africa conference next week in Ethiopia that will consider renewal of the Agoa trade initiative. The African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is due to expire in 2015, gives duty-free treatment to Kenyan textiles and many other African exports to the United States. Agoa is said to be responsible for creating thousands of jobs in the Kenyan textile industry. But as a condition to Agoa's extension beyond 2015, American negotiators may press African countries to give the same preferential treatment to US exports to Africa. Ambassador Froman made clear in a talk at the Brookings Institution in Washington that the US...
(Reuters 08/06/13)
LAGOS/SYDNEY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Nigeria is gradually opening up to Islamic finance, a move that could bring non-interest banking to over 80 million Muslims and develop one of Africa's fastest-growing consumer and corporate banking sectors. Home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is trying to establish itself as the African hub for Islamic finance, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling. In recent months, a string of regulatory initiatives have set the groundwork for products such as Islamic bonds (sukuk), insurance (takaful) and interbank lending products, although there is still only a small number of local market participants. "The potential is there but the market is negligible in Nigeria because we have...
(Tanzania Daily News 08/05/13)
A few weeks ago, when Tanzania was hosting the Ministerial Committee Organ (MCO) responsible for Defence and Security Cooperation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Bernard Member, confirmed that Tanzania is one of the top five countries of the SADC whose harbours and airports are used as conduits for drug trafficking. Speaking at this 15th MCO, which is faced with an uphill task of tackling this illicit trade, Minister Membe singled out other countries being South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola. The announcement just came a fortnight after two female artists from Tanzania were nabbed at the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg with 150 kg of drugs, crystal methamphetamine locally known...
(Reuters 08/05/13)
WASHINGTON | Mon Aug 5, 2013 (Reuters) - The United States extended embassy closures by a week in the Middle East and Africa as a precaution on Sunday after an al Qaeda threat that U.S. lawmakers said was the most serious in years. The State Department said 19 U.S. embassies and consulates would be closed through Saturday "out of an abundance of caution" and that a number of them would have been closed anyway for most of the week due to the Eid celebration at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The United States initially closed 21 U.S. diplomatic posts for the day on Sunday. Some of those will reopen on Monday, including Kabul, Baghdad and Algiers...
(CNN 08/05/13)
African Voices is a weekly show that highlights Africa's most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. Follow the team on Twitter. Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- Inside a brightly painted Mogadishu clinic, Salim (not her real name) sits alongside her seven-year-old son, waiting for a check up. Opposite them, a health professional listens to their nightmarish ordeal. Salim recounts how she was raped and then watched, helpless, as her young son was molested. Too afraid to seek assistance, she did what she thought would help. She washed her son's wounds with hot water and salt for four excruciating days, until they were brought here, the Sister Somalia center. "There are...
(CNN 08/03/13)
(CNN) -- The African Union on Friday applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections, and made no mention of rigging accusations by the main opposition candidate. However, its observers added that they noted several shortcomings. Problems included voters getting turned away, late publication of polling stations and media taking sides, the African Union observers said in a statement released Friday. Even so, the continent-wide body said, "The Mission observes generally, that from a historical perspective and in comparison to the 2008 elections, Zimbabwe has made an important transition in the conduct of its elections." Wednesday's vote pitted President Robert Mugabe against his prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe's party declared victory a day later even though the electoral commission has not released...
(Bloomberg 08/02/13)
Lesotho’s Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses said it’s investigating an Israeli company, Nikuv International Projects Ltd., over allegations it paid bribes to win a 292 million loti ($30 million) contract to supply electronic passports. The directorate is probing allegations the company colluded with state officials to overcharge the government by about 34 million loti for the contract, Mathlokomelo Senoko, a spokesman for the directorate, said in an interview. Nikuv denies the allegations, Stephen Bekker, its Lesotho project manager, said. “No one has been arrested in relation to the matter, but a number of people have been questioned and investigations are still continuing,” Senoko said in an interview in the capital, Maseru this week. The investigation is politically motivated and...
(African arguments 08/02/13)
UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has stated that the government will not intervene directly in Barclays Bank's decision to withdraw banking services to Money Service Businesses (MSBs) including those that provide remittance services to Somalia, but said he hoped that a 'market-based solution' could be found. Simmonds stated in a letter dated 18th July to SOAS academic Laura Hammond (and shared with African Arguments) that "the government would not be able to intervene on behalf of a particular company or 'remittance corridor'". He was responding to a letter submitted by Hammond on behalf of 105 academics, researchers and practitioners calling on the UK government to intervene to prevent the collapse of remittance flows into poor and fragile states, particularly...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/13)
LONDON | Fri Aug 2, 2013 (Reuters) - The winning investment strategy of 2013 has been simple but extreme: return home to the safety of the biggest, most-traded markets, or venture to the riskiest frontiers from Ivory Coast to Pakistan. Those in the middle of the risk curve - the biggest emerging markets that now account for almost half of the top 20 world economies - have been the big losers. The contrasting fortunes may herald the start of a broader repricing of big emerging economies where a flood of cheap money from developed economies has distorted prices the most. Risk - which dominated global financial markets in the past few years - has played a smaller role in defining...
(This Day Live 08/02/13)
Against the backdrop of the three-day investment roundtable in Cape Town, South Africa, John Iwori, who attended the event, writes that African countries are forging a common front in the shipping and energy sectors of the continent's economy. Working against One Another That most African countries are working at cross purposes is an understatement. In spite of their proximity, they prefer to work against their common interests. They hardly see each other as partners in progress. In fact, they see themselves as enemies. They work against one another for the benefit of the people on other continents, especially those who ruled over them during the colonial era. The undue rivalry among African countries has often robbed the people on the...
(This Day Live 08/01/13)
The World Bank Group committed a record $14.7 billion in fiscal year 2013 (July 2012 to June 2013) to support economic growth and better development prospects in Africa, despite uncertain economic conditions in the rest of the global economy. “The region has shown remarkable resilience in the face of a global recession and continues to grow strongly,” said World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Makhtar Diop. “Africa is at the centre of the World Bank Group 2030 goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, in an environmentally, socially, and fiscally sustainable manner.” The World Bank Group, according to a release from its Nigeria office in Abuja, continued its strong commitment to Africa approving $8.25 billion in...
(Voice of America 07/31/13)
JOHANNESBURG — The United Nations’ AIDS agency is hailing what officials describe as significant progress in the fight against the epidemic in eastern and southern Africa. The report says AIDS-related deaths have declined dramatically and that the number of new infections has decreased - a direct result of more available treatment. But, they warned, challenges remain. Top health and aid officials praised the gains in the fight against AIDS in southern and eastern Africa - among them, a nearly 40 percent drop in AIDS-related deaths since 2005, and a 50 percent drop in new infections among children since 2001. The cause, they said was simple: The number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment has increased tenfold, from 625,000 in 2005 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/13)
LAGOS, July 31 | Wed Jul 31, 2013 (Reuters) - The chairman of African lender Ecobank Transnational (ETI) has repaid a set of loans he took from the bank and no company rules were broken by the transactions, Chief Executive Thierry Tanoh said on Wednesday. South African sovereign fund manager PIC, a 20 percent shareholder in the African bank, has said they would wait for the board of directors to investigate and draw conclusions over the allegations around debt taken out by chairman Kolapo Lawson on August 5. The lender itself has said previously that the loans, which the Financial Times reported were the subject of a boardroom battle, were performing. Tanoh said on Wednesday they were contracted two years...
(CNN 07/31/13)
(CNN) -- A decade after Angola emerged from devastating civil war, the sea front road that winds around the bay of its capital, Luanda, is now dotted with multi-million dollar condominiums, exclusive clubs, and boutique stores catering for the country's elite. Most of Luanda's population, however, live in the nearby slums, where health facilities are non-existent and children must work, not study, to survive. Africa's natural resource wealth has certainly fueled a decade of rapid growth, but most Africans have still not seen the benefits. More urgently, rapid population growth combined with deepening inequality could one day prove explosive. It does not have to be this way, of course. Botswana successfully used its diamond wealth to develop quickly, growing from...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/30/13)
(Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, hurt by lower oil prices in the Middle East and North Africa, where the fourth-largest U.S. oil company is considering an exit. Chief Executive Steve Chazen indicated in April that Occidental's Middle East operations might be put up for sale, and analysts also expect the California division to be spun off. Chazen said on Tuesday that various options for reshaping the company were being evaluated by the board of directors. "The board has really just been exposed to this in detail at one meeting, and so it will take a little while," he said on a conference call with analysts, adding that more information would be available...
(Public Eye 07/29/13)
MASERU-Prime Minister Dr Motsoahae Thabane has urged the public to blow the whistle on corrupt individuals abusing the country’s resources. Thabane made the call on Tuesday this week at the opening of a three- day National Dialogue on Corruption organised by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences. The dialogue, which involved 250 stakeholders from different sectors of society sought to explore and formulate ways of tackling corrupt practices. “We may pass all sorts laws to support the fight against corruption, but the best solution is to get rid of corrupt individuals among us, because they do not belong among us. They suck our blood and leave us lifeless. “Corruption is the biggest enemy of our country; more so than...
(Public Eye 07/29/13)
MASERU- Local banks on Monday this week introduced a new faster and cheaper electronic system that would now be used to settle and receive payments for cross-border business transactions. The system, which replaces the use of paper-based instruments of payment such as cheques and bank drafts, is known as the SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS). The system which came into effect on July 22, is used in all four countries within the Common Monetary Area (CMA) which comprises South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Namibia. With the new system, people will simply go to the bank and request to transfer money to their desired account number in the said country, and for incoming payments, the sender will do the...
(The Informativenews 07/29/13)
MASERU- A Member of Parliament Tšepo Monethi has expressed his dissatisfaction about the ‘ill-treatment’ imposed by the committee of state functions subsequent to the King’s birth day held on Wednesday last week. Monethi said the MPs who had attended the event, had been subjected to torture and humiliation as some of them had been sprinkled with water at the main gate. He said his heart was broken beyond words when he witnessed the former Minister of Local government and Chieftainship Affairs Dr Pontšo Sekatle who is the MP for Qacha’sneck Constituency together with her husband Semano Sekatle from Lebakeng Constituency being showered with water as they battled to enter the stadium. Monethi said despite being sprinkled with water, they were...
(Public Eye 07/29/13)
MASERU-The Bureau of Statistics is set to conduct a National Economic Census that would act as a framework for subsequent business surveys. In an interview, the Bureau’s Director, Mrs Liengoane Lefosa, said the assessment, scheduled for later this year, would provide a comprehensive register of all companies operating in the country. “This is going to help us know how many businesses we have countrywide, determine their scale, employment numbers and nature of activities,” Lefosa said. She further explained the census would also improve the Bureau’s database on issues that include the full extent of the Gross Domestic Product and nature of investments in the country. “The economic census would be updated after every 10 years although other separate surveys in...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/13)
PARIS, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - Disappointment over the lack of democratic progress in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya is understandable, but the so-called Arab Spring of 2011 will take time to mature, analysts say, warning that the process will be chaotic. "We have to stop using seasonal metaphors. We are in a revolutionary process that will take at least a decade," says Karim Emile Bitar, an expert on Arab affairs at the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations. "And 'revolutionary process' means revolution, counter-revolution, efforts to fix the revolution, and that's exactly what is happening," he added. In Egypt, the army ousted democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood; Tunisia has seen sometimes violent demonstrations against the...

Pages