Monday 25 September 2017
(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 to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
Morocco has been added to a list of countries whose citizens no longer need visas to enter Qatar, official Moroccan media has said. Qatar, hit by a land and air embargo imposed by a group of its most powerful neighbours, in early August introduced a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism. Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani, who met a Moroccan delegation in Doha on Tuesday, announced that his country "had removed the obligation for Moroccan citizens to obtain a visa", Morocco's official MAP news agency said the same day. Morocco and Lebanon are so far the only two Arab countries to benefit from the policy, although fellow members of the six-nation...
(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 its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
A medical aid group on Monday called for an independent enquiry into the suspected deaths of seven African women in the waters between Morocco and Spain, a route increasingly used by migrants trying to reach Europe. Doctors of the World Spain said in a statement that The women were from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea, Doctors of the World Spain said in a statement citing information from the migrant aid association Walking Borders. "The exact circumstances of their deaths must be clarified," Doctors of the World said. According to witness accounts, the women may have been onboard a makeshift boat that arrived near the beaches of the Spanish enclave of Melilla in northern Morocco on August 31 carrying...
(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 thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor 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 sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Agence Ecofin 08/31/17)
Morocco is willing to use the planned single ECOWAS currency. This was announced yesterday by the president of ECOWAS Commission, Marcel De Souza , while visiting the capital city of the Cherifian kingdom. “Morocco is ready to adhere to the use of a single currency the day it will be adopted by the ECOWAS,” reads a letter from King Mohammed VI cited by M. De Souza. The announcement comes after De Souza, earlier this month, said the implementation of a single currency should take another decade. On June 4, in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, the council of Presidents of ECOWAS approved the memorandum of understanding for the integration of Morocco to the region. M. De Souza’s visit to Morocco, according to...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
Moroccan authorities have arrested a man suspected of supplying gas canisters to a jihadist cell that carried out a double attack in Catalonia earlier this month that killed 16 people, a source from the Spanish investigation said. The cell accumulated around 120 canisters of butane gas at a house in a town south of Barcelona with which, police say, it planned to carry out a larger bomb attack. Police believe the cell accidentally ignited the explosives on Aug. 16, the eve of the Barcelona attack, triggering a blast that destroyed the house in the town of Alcanar. The remaining attackers then decided to use hired vans to mow down crowds along Barcelona’s most famous avenue and later mount an assault...
(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 with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, visiting his Moroccan counterpart Tuesday, said Rabat had arrested two men linked to deadly twin attacks in Catalonia. "Thanks to permanent contact and collaboration between the two countries, Moroccan security services have carried out two arrests here in Morocco linked to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils," he said. He declined to give further details because the men were still under investigation. Zoido was in Rabat to meet Moroccan Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit for talks on the investigation into the attacks on August 17 and 18 which left 16 people dead. The main suspects in the attacks, claimed by the Islamic State group, were of Moroccan origin, but most had lived in Spain for...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
Two women porters died in a stampede Monday at a border post between Morocco and Spain's North African territory of Ceuta, a rights group and the MAP news agency said. The women, aged 34 and 45, were trampled at the Tarajal 2 border post and rushed to hospital where they died of their injuries, Mohammed Benaissa of the Northern Observatory of Human Rights told AFP. Four other women porters were injured in the crush and taken to hospital in the nearby town of Fnid'q, Benaissa said. Morocco's MAP confirmed the death toll and said that one of the injured was in a critical condition.
(Xinhuanet 08/28/17)
The Moroccan authorities have arrested three people over suspected links to Spain's terror attacks, local media reported on Monday. Citing Morocco's Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), Akhbar Al Yaoum said the suspects were captured in the Eastern city of Oujda, the northeastern city of Nador and Casablanca. The same source said that two of the suspects were freed, while the third is still detained. The detained is accused of preparing a terror attack against the Spanish embassy in Morocco, it added. He lived in Spain for nearly 10 years, it noted. Moroccan authorities have raised security vigilance in the Kingdom's northern region, especially near the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, in a bid to thwart any infiltration attempts...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/26/17)
In a winding early-morning queue, Jemaa Laalaoua hunches over with 50 kg (110 lb) of kitchenware on her back, waiting to cross back into Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Melilla. The 41-year-old mother of eight is one of thousands of Moroccans who eke out a living by walking loads of merchandise from Melilla into the northern Moroccan province of Nador. Goods including metal kettles that Laalaoua was carrying are counted as personal luggage and are not taxed, allowing for a small mark-up when they are shipped on and sold on across Morocco. “On average, I earn about 70 dirhams ($7.40) per trip, carrying anywhere between 40 to 70 kg,” says Laalaoua. “But most days, we never know how much...
(AFP (eng) 08/25/17)
Morocco's Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani vowed Thursday to adopt a strategy to tackle sexual harassment after attacks that have shocked the North African country. Footage of a woman being assaulted by six bare-chested teenagers on a bus last week sparked outrage less than two weeks after a video emerged online of men hounding a lone woman in the northern city of Tangier. The government is "considering how to deal with this kind of phenomenon so that such acts do not happen any more", Othmani said in a broadcast speech. "The strategy to be adopted will be announced at the appropriate time," he said, a day after hundreds of people protested in the economic capital Casablanca over the assault on...
(AFP (eng) 08/24/17)
Hundreds of people staged an angry protest Wednesday in the Moroccan city of Casablanca against sexual harassment after footage of a woman being assaulted on a bus caused outrage across the North African country. "We are not afraid! Liberate public space!" chanted the protesters, gathered in the centre of Morocco's economic capital, near where the assault took place. Six teenage suspects were arrested on Monday after footage emerged online showing bare-chested teenagers assaulting a weeping young woman in broad daylight, laughing as they touched her private parts. "Nobody can remain indifferent... It concerns us all," said actress and theatre director Fatym Layachi...
(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 dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...

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