Monday 24 July 2017
(Agence Ecofin 05/11/17)
In Mozambique, the clergy denounced the excessive exploitation of rural land by foreign investors. This was revealed in a recently published pastoral letter. “The exploitation of African lands by industrialized countries favors the marginalization and impoverishment of local communities. From 2000 to 2013, 56 million hectares of lands in Africa have been sold or awarded to foreigners. This in a context where, in Mozambique for example, 70% of the population is situated in rural areas and lives on agriculture,” declared the Mozambique Episcopal Conference (MEC). Bishop João Carlos Hatoa Nunes, MEC’s interim secretary general went further, saying: “in all of Mozambique’s provinces, there are conflicts and these are fueled by the fact that too many foreign companies use the land...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(Xinhuanet 05/05/17)
The leader of Renamo, the main opposition party in Mozambique, announced a truce with no limited date on Thursday, clarifying that final peace deal is to be reached between him and the government of Mozambique. The announcement made through a conference call at the party headquarters in Maputo is the 4th renewal of the truce since the first one-week truce announced in December 27 last year. "The truce with no limited date is different from all those I announced before. It is good news for Mozambican people. This truce reveals that I have changed my strategy, I have listened to people particularly businessmen," said Afonso Dlhakama, leader of Renamo. He also said that effective peace is taking shape in the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Mozambique's opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama on Thursday extended indefinitely a unilateral truce he first announced in December, calling it the "beginning of the end" of the war between his rebels and the government. "Today I announce an indefinite truce. It is not the end of the war, but it is the beginning of the end," Dhlakama, whose Renamo party is the main opposition in the country, told journalists. "This is great news for the people of Mozambique," he said, speaking from his hideout in central Mozambique at a news briefing transmitted to the media assembled at Renamo headquarters in the capital Maputo. Dhlakama had retreated in October 2015 to the central Gorongosa mountain range with 800 former fighters demanding a...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Macauhub 04/28/17)
A magnetite transport train that has been tested on the Ressano Garcia railway since 1 April has made it possible to reduce the number of trucks that arrive daily at the port of Maputo, said Mozambique’s Minister of Transport and Communications. The train, consisting of 75 wagons of 60 tonnes each, carrying 4,500 tonnes of magnetite per trip “is not only contributing to reducing congestion of National Road Number Four (EN4), but also improves the logistics chain,” said minister Carlos Mesquita. The introduction of this train, which links South Africa to the port of Maputo, along the Ressano Garcia line, has, so far, reduced the number of trucks on the EN4 by at least 140 per day and 700 per...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday. The approval means the loans are now legal, in spite of a previous ruling by the country’s administrative court
(Macauhub 04/27/17)
The Civil Aviation Authority of Mozambique launched a public tender for the allocation of domestic, regional and international air routes to private carriers, according to a notice published in the Mozambican press. The routes up for tender are split between eight international airports in Mozambique (Maputo, Beira, Inhambane, Vilanculos, Tete, Nampula and Nacala) and 13 countries, as well as domestic routes between 11 airports in the country. From Maputo airport, for example, there are possibilities for operators to fly to different cities in South Africa, Tanzania, Brazil, Singapore, Turkey, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, Malawi, Kenya, Mauritius, Botswana, Vietnam and Qatar, on a total of 30 routes. Under the tender, which stems from the fact that the Mozambican airspace was...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
A squad of Mozambican forest rangers made their first arrest just minutes after arriving at a checkpoint near the northern port city of Pemba. Nicolau Moises, the forestry department chief in Cabo Delgado province, one of Mozambique's top timber-producing regions, quickly seized a truck piled high with freshly-cut bamboo stalks. The driver of the vehicle was accused of breaking an annual 90-day ban on logging -- just one tactic in Mozambique's battle against deforestation. That moratorium has been extended a further three months. Tropical forests cover more than half of the southern African country's landmass but China's insatiable appetite for rare types of wood to feed its furniture industry
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Xinhuanet 04/21/17)
President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi referred on Thursday to the China-funded bridge across the river Incomati in Maputo Province as a clear indicator of development and the government's commitment toward better living conditions. "Viva the Macaneta Bridge," said the president, saluting hundreds of people from Marracuene district as part of his 3-day visit there. Built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) at a cost of around 15 million U.S. dollars, the bridge is a part of the Maputo ring road project, which is speeding up access between the capital Maputo and its neighboring regions. The bridge was officially inaugurated in November last year, linking the tourism region of Macaneta and Marracuene, one of the seven districts in Maputo...
(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 accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...

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