Wednesday 23 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(The Associated Press 08/01/17)
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is urging peaceful elections as candidates begin campaigning to replace the Nobel Peace Prize winner who has led the West African country through the Ebola crisis and recovery from civil war. Among those running in the Oct. 10 election are her vice president and two of the men she faced during Liberia's last vote in 2011. In a radio broadcast late Monday, the 78-year-old Sirleaf urged political leaders to put Liberia first and control the emotions of their supporters. "We hold them as political leaders who seek the highest office of our land to act with dignity and responsibility that befits that office — to live up to their commitments to ensure violence-free elections," she...
(Front Page Africa Online 08/01/17)
The Defense Attaché to the Chinese Embassy in Liberia, Senior Colonel Zhang Gan, says the China-Liberia military relations has been growing in recent years and his country will continue to strengthen the friendship in taking the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to a higher level. Col. Zhang recalls that the National Defense of China has been providing AFL with some necessary assistance such as training, personnel engineering technique training and logistic support. The Chinese Defense Attaché spoke Friday, July 28, 2017, during a reception in observance of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) 90th Anniversary, held at the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia. "In the future, we wish to further strengthen this good relationship." "We will try to help AFL with...
(Vanguard 08/01/17)
Liberia’s 20 presidential candidates, including a former warlord, footballer George Weah and a former fashion model, started campaigning Monday to succeed Africa’s first female head of state in October’s election. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is stepping down and there is no obvious frontrunner to lead the fragile west African state. The Nobel Prize-winning Sirleaf was elected to run in 2005 following a long civil war which left deep scars on Liberia’s economy and social fabric. Elections for the presidency and House of Representatives take place on October 10 — the first time since the end of the conflict in 2003 that the country will hold a vote without UN peacekeepers providing security. Ahead of candidates opening their campaigns, the UN appealed...
(Front Page Africa Online 08/01/17)
The standard bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) says the decision of the Supreme Court of Liberia to open the political field for everyone to contest has made the democracy of the country stronger than ever before. Dr. Jones: "The decision of the Supreme Court has made our democracy stronger, the court has said 'no' to marginalization and has open the process so that the Liberian people can chose from among the full range of candidates including individuals who have talents and who have made contributions and are prepared to make contributions as compared to those who have sat in government endlessly and are still struggling to explain to the Liberian people what they have accomplished all that...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Twenty candidates will contest presidential elections in Liberia in October, among them a former warlord, a footballer and a fashion model, as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf steps down after two terms, the electoral commission said Monday. There is no obvious frontrunner to replace the Nobel Prize-winning Sirleaf as head of the fragile west African state she was elected to lead in 2005 following a long civil war, one that has left deep scars on its economy and social fabric. Elections for the presidency and House of Representatives take place on October 10 -- the first time since the end of the conflict in 2003 that Liberia will be holding a vote without the presence of UN peacekeepers. Ahead of the opening...
(Daily Observer 07/31/17)
The National Elections Commission (NEC) has declared campaign open for the ensuing elections as of today, Monday, July 31, at 12:01 a.m. until Sunday, October 8 at 11:59 p.m. "During the campaign period," NEC chairman Jerome G. Korkoya said, "candidates are allowed to publish or display campaign literature, posters, flyers, banners, t-shirts, caps or other promotional items designed to support their election. "Both political parties and independent candidates are allowed to hold marches, parades, rallies or other assemblies for the purpose of soliciting voters and promoting their candidature by way of speeches, pictures, banners, placards, or any other printed materials. They can organize campaign committees, associations and movements to support their elections." Chairman Korkoya also warned political parties against the...
(Bloomberg 07/31/17)
Liberia’s National Elections Commission said 20 candidates will contest to succeed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in polls that are scheduled for October. Vice-President Joseph Boakai will run on the ticket of the ruling Unity Party in a vote that will also be contested by former soccer World Player of the Year George Weah, the candidate for the main opposition Coalition for Democratic Change, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya told reporters on Sunday in the capital, Monrovia. The elections body also certified 986 candidates standing for the West African nation of 4.6 million’s House of Representatives, which has 73 seats. The country will vote to replace Nobel laureate Johnson-Sirleaf, who won Liberia’s first democratic elections after a protracted civil war ended in 2003...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Senior politicians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday called for measures to cut the birth rate in the region in order to bring the population explosion there under control. Deputies of ECOWAS, Mauritania and Chad should be aiming to cut back the birth rate to three children per woman, said Salifou Diallo, Burkina Faso's speaker of parliament. The idea, he said, was to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that has the highest fertility rates in the world. He called for countries to adopt measures including universal access to family planning, improved education for women and better health care of children, to bring about "a rapid, voluntary decline" in the...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(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 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(APA 07/17/17)
At least 783 candidates have been declared qualified by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Liberia to contest the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for Tuesday October 10. NEC has issued the provisional list of candidates for the 73 electoral districts throughout the 15 counties, as well as the two top positions – President and Vice President – bringing to 75 the number of seats. According to the NEC, out of the 783 candidates, 637 (71.4%) are male candidates, and 146 (28.6%) are female candidates. The provisional listing will remain progressive (subject to addition) up to the period of “Objections and Appeals on Nominations,” while the final list of candidates will be published on July 31. Going by the...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...

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