Friday 24 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Morocco's currency regulator has announced a ban on transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies, in a country where foreign exchange flows are tightly controlled. "Transactions via virtual currencies constitute a breach of regulations, punishable by penalties and fines," the Offices des Changes said in a statement on its website. The announcement came a week after Moroccan digital services company MTDS said it would accept payment in bitcoin. MTDS said it was the first time the regulator had taken a clear position on bitcoin payments. MTDS head Karl Stanzik said the company had dropped its proposal in order to "comply with Moroccan law" but that it would be "very difficult to control" bitcoin transactions due...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Morocco has allocated 720 million U.S. dollars to a program meant to curb disparities between cities and rural areas in 2018, local media reported on Monday. The financial daily L'Economiste said that 74 percent of this budget will be dedicated to road infrastructures to open up hard-to-reach areas. Educational infrastructure will receive 11 percent of the budget, the same source added. The program will be funded by the fund of rural and mountainous zones development with the aim of opening up hard-to-reach areas, developing educational and health infrastructures and improving access to drinking water and electricity. A total amount of 9.7 million U.S. dollars has been geared to fund development partnership projects in oases and Argan trees areas, the same...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
The British company SDX Energy has announced new gas discovery in the onshore drilling operation conducted near the northern Moroccan city of Kenitra, local media reported on Monday. Citing a statement from the company, Hespress.com news site said the well was drilled to a depth of 1,774 meters and encountered total net conventional gas pay of some 17.2 meters. The well, named KSR-15, will be in production by early December, with operations to connect the well to nearby infrastructure expected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(APA 11/13/17)
APA-Rabat (Maroc) - Une trentaine d’entreprises marocaines se rendront à Lagos du 14 au 16 novembre pour une mission de prospection, indique Maroc Export, initiatrice de ce voyage d’affaires. Cette mission, qui concernera les secteurs des BTP et matériaux de construction, de l’électrique, des énergies renouvelables, des TIC et du pharmaceutique, aura pour objectif le renforcement des échanges commerciaux avec ce pays d’une part et le développement d’un partenariat gagnant-gagnant basé sur les complémentarités entre les entreprises marocaines et leurs...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Transforming skins waste into luxury leather to make handbags, pairs of shoes or smartphone hulls is the challenge successfully tackled by the Moroccan company SeaSkin. Founded by Nawal Allaoui, a student at the Higher School of Textile and Clothing Industries (Esith), SeaSkin produces and markets luxury leather goods based on fish leather. This young woman, who often frequented the coastal zone of Casablanca, knows perfectly the species of fish, from which she recovers waste which is worth of gold. Considered...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the National Company of Transports and Logistics (SNTL) based in Morocco have launched a study to bridge the gap between Morocco and Africa. A press release issued Thursday October 12, 2017 by the ITFC from Casablanca, Morocco, said “this is under the umbrella of the AfTIAS, but is also at the core mandate of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Programme, which is created for bridging the trade gaps...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Russia and Morocco hope to cooperate more closely in the energy sector, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said Wednesday during a visit to Rabat. He spoke of a "very promising project to supply liquefied natural gas to meet the needs of the Moroccan economy". "The potential for cooperation is huge," he said during a brief press conference. During his visit the two countries signed deals in the energy, agriculture and hi-tech sectors. "We are discussing further cooperation in the field...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
The Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Alain Pilloux discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation on Wednesday. The two sides vowed their satisfaction with the current level of cooperation, exploring prospects for cooperation and partnership between Morocco and the Bank, the PM office said in a statement. They examined ways to join forces to develop local currency lending to small businesses and provide affordable loans to Moroccan banks and microfinance organisations. During a visit to Morocco EBRD Vice President Pilloux, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with Morocco's Ministry of Economy
(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...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
Moroccan yesterday hosted a two-day workshop to discuss the establishment of a joint electricity network for North African countries including representatives from the Maghreb region and Egypt. Economic Affairs Officer at the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Reda El Merini said: “The meeting aims to determine the current status of the electricity grid in North Africa, to get a clear vision ahead of implementing any regional networks to transfer power.” The size of trade in the field of electric power is...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(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...
(Morocco World News 09/22/17)
Between 28 April and 7 July, Moroccan banks foreign currency assets increased by $1.6 billion ahead of the previously expected announcement of Dirham Liberalization, according to Fitch. On the eve of the liberalization of the dirham, the Moroccan market witnessed a severe rush on currency stocks, led by fears of an unprecedented depreciation. Trading rooms entered into a frenzy as commercial bank’s “speculations” against the dirham went wild. These worries drained Morocco’s net international reserves by 14.3 percent in US dollar terms at July 7 from their end-April level, reaching $20.9 billion, their lowest level in nearly two years.

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