| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(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 operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Morocco's annual International Agriculture Fair kicked off on Tuesday in the northern city of Mekness. Held under the theme "Agribusiness and sustainable agricultural value chains," the 6-day fair, which covers 172,000 sqare meters, opened in Medness with the participation of 1, 230 exhibitors from over 60 countries worldwide. Since its inception in 2006, the International Agriculture Fair has been an opportunity to showcase agricultural products, to promote transfer of latest technologies in the field of agriculture, and to boost cooperation between stakeholders in the Mediterranean and African countries.
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 03/29/17)
The director general of the Moroccan tourism office (ONMT) Abderrafie Zouiten said here on Tuesday that the office expects tourist arrivals to grow by 6 percent in 2017. "Despite the difficult international economic and security context, we seek to attract over 600,000 additional tourists compared with last year," Zouiten said during a press conference. While Morocco aims to secure the share in its traditional European markets, it hopes to attract more tourists from China and Russia, the official stressed. To...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Some 200 Chinese companies are looking to set up shop in Morocco, following an agreement between the Moroccan government and China’s Haite group to launch an industrial park near the city of Tangiers. Moulay Hafid Alami, the Moroccan Minister for Industry and New Technologies said: “As we all know, there are structural changes in China, where economic operators are now looking for competitive platforms. They have chosen Morocco as one of those competitive platforms.” With an initial investment of US$1 billion, the “Mohamed VI Tangier Tech City” aims to generate 100,000 jobs, including 90,000 for employees from the Tangiers area.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
Morocco said on Monday that a $10 billion project to build a new industrial and technology hub near the northern city of Tangiers will be financed by Chinese group Haite (002023.SZ), BMCE's Bank of Africa, and the Moroccan government. Morocco and the Chinese government signed an initial memorandum of understanding last year for the 2,000 hectare city, which will provide 100,000 jobs and house 300,000 inhabitants, Industry Minister Moulay Hafid El Alamy said in a presentation. The $10 billion investment will be made over a 10-year period, the minister said.
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has announced plans by the National Assembly to put a legal framework expected to actualize the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Morocco, in place. This he assured during a meeting with the President of the Morrocan House of Councillors, Abdelhakim Benchamach, and the President of Moroccan House of Representatives, Habib El-Malki, last weekend. Let’s recall that Nigeria signed several bilateral agreements with Morocco during the recent state visit by the King of Morocco to the country. These agreements were signed in the areas of agriculture, energy and gas as well as the trans-African gas pipeline project.
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(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...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh,...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/17)
The World Bank says it has approved $150 million in financing to support small enterprises in Morocco and improve social programmes in the North African country. The funds, approved on Friday, will help the government "modernise its national identification system and provide financing to promote innovative startups and job creation", a statement said. According to the World Bank, almost 5.3 million Moroccans "live under the threat of falling back into poverty due to their socio-economic conditions". Friday's statement said that $100 million will "aim to develop systems to ensure that social programmes are better targeted and reach the most vulnerable Moroccans".
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
About 23% of Morocco’s GDP in 2016 came from cannabis production. This was revealed by the US State department in a report on global drugs traffic released on March 3rd. “Over the 2015-2016 season, Morocco produced nearly 700 metric tons of cannabis, which represent 23% of its GDP valued at $100 billion,” the report states. The US State department also said Morocco which is the world’s leading producer and exporter of the crop, has become a major transit nation for...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Morocco's key tourism sector barely grew last year amid security challenges, but operators are hoping Chinese and Russian visitors will boost their fortunes in the coming years. While political turmoil and jihadist attacks have battered the sector in Egypt and Tunisia, Morocco registered 10 million visitors last year, according to the Moroccan Tourism Observatory. That was a barely perceptible rise of 1.5 percent from 2015, it said. But hoteliers in the narrow streets of the capital Rabat's old city were...
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Qatar and Morocco signed a partnership agreement to build the Fask hydropower dam on the Oued Sayad 40 km East of Guelmin. The agreement was initialed in Rabat by Abdallah Daoussari, Qatar’s ambassador to Morocco, Charafat Afilal, Morocco’s deputy minister of Water and Mohamed Hassad, the Moroccan minister of interior. Fully funded by Qatar ($150 million), the Fask hydropower dam project will be developed over the 2017-2025 period. The dam will have a retention capacity of 78 million cubic meters...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries...

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