Friday 15 December 2017
(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...
(APA 09/06/17)
APA-Nouakchott (Mauritania) - Ten people were killed on Monday night in a violent storm with rain in the vicinity of Boghe village (320 kilometers south from Nouakchott) on the Mauritanian shore of the Senegal River, local sources reported. Some 26 people were injured in the storm, due in part to the collapse of mud and wattle structures. About ten people were evacuated to the Aleg hospital (the capital of the region) for intensive care, while the others were treated on the spot. Administrative authorities and ambulance vehicles rushed to the scene, while the medical personnel in the region were mobilized to rescue the wounded. The storm has also caused material damage, which have not yet been quantified. This storm is...
(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)
Presently, 3,740 hectares are used in Mauritania for vegetable production, against 2,500ha previously, thus nearly 50% more. This was disclosed by the general secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ahmedou Bouh. 3 740 hectares. The official who was expressing himself during a workshop to validate the national strategy for the development of vegetable farms held jointly by the ministry of agriculture and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the increase aligns with the government’s plans to boost the contribution of this agricultural sector to the economy. “Despite challenges, there is a lot of potential for vegetable production both in River’s valley and in the oases. Drawing a national strategy to boost this sector will help implement general...
(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...
(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...
(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,”...
(APA 08/28/17)
APA-Nouakchott (Mauritania) - Heavy rains on Saturday evening have disrupted traffic in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, making it difficult for pedestrians and motorists to find their way around the city. Most of the city’s roundabouts are inundated as a result of unrelenting rainfall ranging from 15 to 37 mm depending on the area. There were traffic jams and even breakdowns of vehicles in the middle of the water. Pedestrians did their best to negotiate their way around the city, avoiding getting caught up in the mud or emerging with soaked garments by caused by careless drivers. Inundation is a regular experience for Nouakchott residents every rainy season, given that the city does not have a complete drainage system to drain...
(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...
(The Guardian 08/25/17)
US labour unions cite Mauritania’s unwillingness to act on slavery as Trump administration is urged to deny country duty-free exports. The routine abuse of thousands of enslaved Mauritanians, including rape, beatings and unpaid labour, should prevent the African republic from receiving US trade benefits, American labour unions have said. Mauritania, which has one of the highest rates of modern-day slavery in the world and has been roundly criticised for its poor human rights record, is currently on a list of countries that benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The act, designed to promote the economic development of countries that can show they uphold human rights and meet labour standards
(APA 08/25/17)
Mauritania has more than 900 varieties of mineral, including iron, gold, copper, quartz, uranium, phosphate, manganese and chromium, the Secretary General of the Mauritanian Ministry of Oil, Energy and Mines, Mohamed Ould Chrif Ahmed said. Speaking at a mining seminar on Thursday in Nouakchott, Mohamed Ould Chrif Ahmed said in order to create the conditions for optimal investment, the government of Mauritania has adopted a strategy to modernize and develop mineral resources via an incentive mining code, a favorable competitiveness and the construction of basic infrastructures. Emphasis was also placed on good governance, the Mauritanian official said; commending the results obtained which enabled the country to occupy the top ranks on the transparency and good governance index. Mauritania produces iron,...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
Kenya are to play friendlies against Togo and Mauritania in Morocco as part of their build-up for the African Nations Championships (CHAN) which they are hosting in January 2018. The warm-ups featuring local-based players will be played in Rabat on August 31 and September 4. "Whereas AFCON 2019 qualifiers and the FIFA Rankings remain crucial for us going forward, CHAN 2018, which will be hosted in Kenya is equally important, and we are happy to have secured the two friendlies," Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chief executive officer Robert Githiomi said. The CHAN 2018 championship scheduled to be held between January 11 and February
(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...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has approved a newly drafted law abolishing the senate, the most controversial measure in a package of reforms passed by referendum this month. Government spokesman Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikh confirmed that the president had given final approval to the law, in comments to reporters on Tuesday evening. The law was passed the same day the constitutional council cleared the results of the August 5 referendum in which 85 percent of those who voted approved the measure. But the official turnout figure for the vote was 53.73 percent...
(APA 08/16/17)
APA-Nouakchott (Mauritania) - The Constitutional Council in Mauritania has announced the final results of the August 5 referendum, confirming victory for the Yes vote. Speaking in Nouakchott on Tuesday, the president of the council, Sghair Ould M'Bareck said the Yes vote won with 85.70 percent, endorsing the proposed amendment to the constitution, which include scrapping the Senate and modifying the national flag and anthem. Ould M'Bareck added that all the appeals they received challenging the validity of the exercise were baseless given that “no convincing evidence was provided to the judges of the council." On 6 August, the Independent Electoral Commission had indicated that the provisional results of the referendum were 85.67 percent in favor of constitutional change with a turnout of 53 percent.
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...

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