Sunday 28 May 2017
(Voice of America 05/27/17)
Three years of El Nino-induced drought and flooding left half of Malawi's population dependent on food aid, but this year, the country is reporting a good maize harvest. Malawi’s government banned the export of maize and maize products in 2015 amid food shortages. But now things are changing. Latest crop production estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture show that maize production will rise to 3.2 million tons, up from last year’s 2.3 million tons. The surplus has already sent local selling prices tumbling. The Farmers Union of Malawi said in a statement that “maize prices in the eastern region of Africa range from $300 to $700 per metric ton." Farmers say that is almost triple...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Malawi has started registering new cases of cholera in areas bordering Mozambique, one week after the government in Malawi warned of a cholera outbreak in the neighboring country. The disease — an acute diarrheal infection caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium — affects children and adults, and can kill within hours if left untreated. Malawi last registered cholera cases in 2015, but now health authorities in Malawi say they have found new cases at a health center in Nsanje district bordering Mozambique. "So far we have 11 suspected cases, all in Ndamera health center," said
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
Attacks on people with albinism are resurging in Malawi after a six-month lull last year, when the government and a local rights group campaigned to end the violence. Albinos are targeted because of the false belief that their body parts have powers to increase wealth Now an Albino welfare body is asking the government to institute a commission of inquiry to find where the body parts are sold. Recent attacks Malawians had a rude wakening in January when a 17-year-old albino boy was brutally killed in southern Malawi. The suspected attacker allegedly enticed the boy into his home with biscuits and juice.
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
Malawian Airlines made history Thursday with an all-female operated and supported flight from Blantyre, Malawi, to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. The two-hour flight by a Bombardier Q400 aircraft that took off from Chileka International Airport was the first of its kind in Malawi's aviation history. All flight-related operations such as security checks, customer service, check-in, air traffic control and cabin procedures were conducted by women. Even airport staff such as police, immigration and ground control officers were women. And the cockpit...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Voice of America 03/16/17)
Malawi's football governing body, the Football Association of Malawi, or FAM, says it is pulling out of the 2018 African Nations Championship, as well as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations because of lack of funds. The announcement this week came after the Malawi government turned down FAM's request to employ a foreign coach and provide funds for the national football team to prepare for the two international competitions. The Malawi government rejected the football governing body's proposals soon after parliament's midterm budget review cited a reduced allocation
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
Malawi have pulled out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) due to lack of money, in a move the government criticised as "hasty". The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) said in a statement on Sunday that "having considered all available options" it was withdrawing "due to lack of funding". The country, ranked 103rd in the world, also halted its search for a foreign coach. Alfred Gunda, the head of FAM, said...

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