Tuesday 22 August 2017
(African Review 08/21/17)
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Amadou Sy visited Port Louis and Ebène during 31 July – 15 August 2017 to conduct the discussions for the 2017 Article IV consultation with Mauritius. At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Sy issued the following statement in Port Louis: “The Mauritian economy continues to be robust and staff project economic activity for 2017 to remain in line with recent trends. However, Mauritius is facing a challenging environment and vulnerabilities are rising. Options to improve resilience include: (a) rebuilding the credibility of the fiscal anchor and creating fiscal space for infrastructure and human capital investment; (b) tackling inflationary pressures by tightening monetary policy, while modernizing the...
(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 into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Agence Ecofin 08/18/17)
Port-Louis, Mauritius’ capital, plans to start exploiting 20,000 ha of agricultural lands it took since 1999 from Mozambique, local website Le Défi média group reported. The lands could not be put to use since due to accessibility issues. An obstacle that has been removed according to Mauritian High Commissioner in Mozambique. “Until recently, one had to cross the Incomati River by boat to access the site. However, about fourth months ago, the bridge promised by Mozambique’s authorities was finally built,...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(Agence Ecofin 08/02/17)
Last Monday, the Mauritian government unveiled an ambitious railway project named "Metro Express" valued at more than $537 million. The project should help connect the nation’s five main cities. Works for the first phase of the project which will be carried out by Indian firm Larsen & Toubro, are set to begin next September. During this phase, Port-Louis, the capital, will be linked to Rose-Hill. During the second phase which will be completed in 2021, Rose-Hill will be linked to...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced...
(Face of Malawi 07/12/17)
One of the country’s leading Banks, First Merchants Bank (FMB) will move its headquarters from Malawi’s commercial city-Blantyre to Mauritius and will be called FMB capital holdings. Speaking in an interview Head of Marketing and Communications, Sylvia Nankhwenya –Makata said the Bank headquarters will move to Mauritius and shareholders will benefit more. “We want to assure all our shareholders that they will benefit more when we move our headquarters to Mauritius,” she said. Nankhwenya-Makata was speaking during this’s years FMB Annua21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Blantyre.
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Agence Ecofin 05/31/17)
Last Saturday, India has granted a credit line of $500 million to Mauritius so that it supports the public sector, in a bid to develop infrastructure projects. The related agreement was signed in the presence of Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius, and several other Indian and Mauritian authorities. According to the Jugnauth, “the money will be paid through the Export-Import Bank of India to SBM Mauritius Infrastructure Development Company Ltd. This entity created by the SBM will disburse the...
(Bloomberg 05/31/17)
Mauritian banks are becoming beacons of growth and stability in sub-Saharan Africa. Unscathed by the vagaries of the oil price and unhindered by the political battles that have roiled some of their continental peers, the Indian Ocean island’s lenders have been bolstered by an economy growing faster than many of the mainland countries. The central bank expects the Mauritian economy to expand as much as 4 percent this year, compared with International Monetary Fund projections for an average 2.6 percent...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
Entrepreneurs from East Africa on Tuesday called for increased investments in the power generation so as to develop a strong value-added manufacturing base in the region. Delegates participating in the second high-level East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition (EAMBS) held in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, said that heavy investments by both private and the public in the energy sector will enhance the production capacity of manufacturing industries in the region. Rwanda hosts the forum from May 23 to 25...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored...

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