Wednesday 22 November 2017
(RFI(EN) 11/17/17)
On the ground floor of the Center for National Documents and Records Agency (CNDRA) in downtown Monrovia, a group of people huddle around a makeshift table made from pallets. They are looking over stacks of documents, with many more boxes informally labelled on shelves behind them, others haphazardly stacked in the corner. “We’re classifying the Tolbert documents according to ministries-- presidential affairs and ministries,” says Rita C. Shaw, who has been contracted to help archive presidential papers. The 20th president of Liberia, President William R. Tolbert served from 1971 to 1980 before he was killed in a coup d’état by Samuel Doe, who later became president until he was killed in 1990 in another coup...
(RFI 10/11/17)
Ce 10 octobre, les bureaux de vote ont ouvert à l'heure, à 8h pile, à Monrovia au Liberia pour ce jour d'élections générales : des législatives et une présidentielle pour élire le successeur d'Ellen Johnson Sirleaf qui ne peut pas se représenter. Vingt candidats sont sur les rangs pour un scrutin qui s'annonce serré. Ce 10 octobre au matin, à Monrovia, au Liberia, un électeur résumait le sentiment général : « Je suis très fier d’avoir voté pour notre numéro un, je suis un citoyen de ce pays et j’ai le droit de vote », explique-t-il. « Nous prions pour que nos meilleurs candidats l’emportent, poursuit-il, que tout se passe bien et qu’il n’y ait pas de violence » après...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Voice of America 09/22/17)
Democracy is strengthening not just in Liberia, but across West Africa, the president of Liberia says. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who made history by becoming the first elected female head of state in Africa, now is intent on making history again: by ensuring that Liberia's election next month succeeds and, for the first time in 73 years, one elected leader hands off power to another. Johnson Sirleaf spoke to VOA's Peter Clottey on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(AL Jazeera 08/31/17)
President Sirleaf's promise to campaign for women candidates in Liberia's upcoming elections comes too little, too late. In a public statement earlier this month, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - Africa's first woman elected head of state - vowed to campaign actively for female candidates running in presidential and legislative elections in October. While her pronouncement may appear praiseworthy, it is too little, too late. In this year's high-stakes elections - the country's third since the end of a devastating...
(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...
(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...
(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 08/21/17)
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 08/14/17)
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...
(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...
(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...
(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...

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