| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Mozambican rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama announced Tuesday a two-month ceasefire in the rumbling conflict between Renamo and the government, extending a week-long truce that was welcomed by the president. Worsening clashes between the Frelimo government and Renamo, an armed insurgent group and also an elected opposition party, have revived the spectre of Mozambique's civil war that ended more than 20 years ago. "There have been some minor incidents, but the seven-day truce went well, so I announce the extension of the truce for 60 days, until March 4," Dhlakama said in a telephone press conference. "The truce is intended to build an atmosphere conducive to advancing talks in Maputo in peace and tranquility for both sides." Dhlakama, who lives in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/03/17)
Mozambique's Renamo opposition party said on Tuesday it had extended a ceasefire by two months to allow talks with President Filipe Nyusi's government, raising hopes for a nascent peace process. Both sides have clashed sporadically since Renamo challenged the results of the southern African nation's 2014 elections. Analysts say competition over natural resources could also be exacerbating unrest - Mozambique is on the verge of developing huge offshore gas reserves which could transform one of the world's poorest countries into a middle-income state. Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama announced a seven-day truce a week ago after what he described as a long and constructive telephone conversation with Nyusi. The ceasefire extension followed another call between the two rivals. "It is reassuring...
(Macauhub 01/03/17)
The national currencies of Angola and Mozambique are among the ten most depreciated currencies over 2016, with the kwanza falling almost 20% and the metical losing more than 30%, according to financial news agency Bloomberg. The currencies of Angola and Mozambique, the two largest Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa are among the ten worst, only surpassed by the currencies of Nigeria, Venezuela, Suriname and Egypt, in the case of Mozambique, which experienced a devaluation of 33.2%. Angola, whose kwanza depreciated by 18.9% over the last twelve months, performed slightly better than Mozambique, ahead of the currencies of Mongolia, the Congo and Sierra Leone. Angola and Mozambique are facing a significant economic downturn due to the fall in commodity prices, particularly oil,...
(Macauhub 01/03/17)
The Mozambique Tax Authority (AT) raised 173 billion meticais (US$2.395 billion) in taxes in 2016, more than the 165 billion patacas it expected, said the president of the institution, cited by the Mozambican press. Amelia Nakhare stressed that tax revenues have exceeded the initially planned amount, “in another year marked by business closures and a deep economic and financial crisis.” The president of the AT acknowledged that the Tax Authority has weaknesses, given that only a minority of Mozambicans pay taxes, “which negatively affects the tax collection capacity of the state.” The challenges of the institution in 2017 are, according to Nakhare, reducing customs clearance time at the port of Maputo and the reduction of alcohol smuggling, which accounts for...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/16)
A US market regulator is probing the sale of $850 million in Mozambique government bonds used to purchase military equipment, which involved three major banks, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking information from investors on the 2013 bond issue which was arranged by Credit Suisse and the Russian bank VTB Group on behalf of a Mozambique state enterprise, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. France's multinational bank BNP Paribas also helped sell the debt, mainly to US investment funds, but did not arrange the loans, the source said.
(APA 12/30/16)
The US embassy in Maputo has expressed hope that the temporary cessation of hostilities that has been in force since Wednesday will become permanent and that it will serve as the first step to lasting peace in Mozambique. In a statement on Friday, the US embassy saluted the temporary cessation of hostilities in the country. "We welcome the leadership demonstrated by the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi and the Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, which resulted in this significant development," reads the statement. Leader of Mozambique's Renamo opposition, Afonso Dhakama said on Tuesday said his party would cease
(APA 12/30/16)
President Filipe Nyusi has appointed former Mozambique Ports and Railways Company (CFM) executive Victor Gomes as central bank deputy governor as parts of moves to restore the confidence of donors in the wake of a debt scandal that rocked one of the world's poorest countries this year. Before his latest appointment, Gomes was chief executive CFM. The International Monetary Fund is demanding an external forensic audit of Mozambique's public debt after a scandal involving over more than US$1 billion in secret loans. The Mozambican parliament and the Attorney-General's Office have launched investigations into the undisclosed borrowing in 2013 and 2014 but the government has baulked at opening up its books to outside auditors. However, the IMF, which suspended assistance when...
(Mail & Guardian 12/30/16)
The department of basic education in South Africa has reacted to pupils’ exceedingly low attainment rates in maths education in a controversial fashion. It has issued an urgent circular to its heads of departments, principals, managers, directors and exam and curriculum heads outlining a “special condonation dispensation”. This applies to pupils completing grades 7, 8 and 9 in the 2016 academic year which has just ended. Pupils who did not meet the 40% criteria in mathematics will now be able to progress to the next grade provided they met all other pass requirements and obtained more than 20% in mathematics. Only those who passed Grade 9 maths with 30% or more will be allowed to continue with the subject. Those...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
Sheltering from rain in a small tent, Titus Albaosui is trying to escape the fighting between government troops and rebel forces raging across central Mozambique and raising fears of civil war. This year has seen a sharp escalation in violence, and more than 15,000 people have been forced to flee to government-run camps, relatives' homes or across the border to Malawi and Zimbabwe. The clashes between longtime rivals, the Frelimo government and Renamo, an armed insurgent group and also an elected opposition party, have revived the spectre of Mozambique's civil war that ended more than 20 years ago. "There is a war there -- we could no longer live in our homes," said Albaosui, a 24-year-old farmer who left almost...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/28/16)
Mozambique's Renamo opposition party will cease all military operations against government forces for the next seven days to allow the public to enjoy New Year festivities, its leader Afonso Dhlakama said on Tuesday. Rights groups estimate that dozens of people have been killed this year in tit-for-tat attacks between Renamo fighters and the ruling Frelimo government. Renamo and Frelimo fought on opposing sides in a civil war from 1976 to 1992 in which a million people died. Mozambique is on the verge of developing huge offshore gas reserves which could transform one of the world's poorest countries into a middle-income state. Competition to control this newfound wealth could stir unrest, analysts say. “I announce the provisional cessation of military hostilities...
(APA 12/28/16)
Mozambique's National Institute of Meteorology has warned of the possibility of a powerful storm accompanied by high winds in the southern region of the country on Thursday, APA can report. An INAM media statement emailed to APA on Wednesday says the heavy downpour may reach more than 50 millimeters and the phenomenon will affect the districts of Matutuíne, Boane, Namaacha, Marracuene, Manhiça, Moamba, Magude, in the province of Maputo and the cities of Matola and Maputo. In the southern province of Gaza, the effects of this storm are exoected to be felt in the districts of Bilene, Chókwè, Massingir, Mabalane, Guijá, Chicualacuala, Mandlakazi, Chibuto and the provincial capital, Xai-Xai. The districts of Zavala, Panda, Jangamo and Inharrime will also be...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...

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