| Africatime
Sunday 23 April 2017
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(Independent Online 12/23/16)
According to Zimbabwe’s vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, security services, including the army, are on alert along the eastern border after a man was abducted from his village and later killed in Mozambique. There have been other skirmishes along the border with armed bandits who Mnangagwa said were loyal to the Renamo party which has long had strength along this part of the border area, about 80kms south of provincial capital, Mutare. The dead man who was abducted has not yet been identified, but in a separate incident, about 50 cattle were taken from small farmers and pushed across the border.
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(APA 12/22/16)
Mozambique's former President Joaquim Chissano, has expressed his readiness to help in the process of dialogue for the restoration of effective peace in Mozambique between the government and the main opposition Renamo party, if requested, APA can report on Thursday. “I am available to help in the mediation process if requested, Renamo wants to come to power without observing democratic norms and it cannot impose its will to the detriment of other political actors,” Chissano is quoted by the local media on Thursday. Chissano, a former revolutionary who fought Portuguese colonial rule, served as president of the southern African country from 1986 until 2005, winning praise for his pragmatic policies in a nation once
(APA 12/22/16)
The United Kingdom and the Global Alliance for Nutrition Improvement (GAIN) have signed in Maputo an agreement to fund a £7.7 million program to empower private sector participation in the expansion of nutrition in Mozambique - Scaling Up Nutrition in Mozambique (SUN), APA learns here Thursday. A media statement from the British High Commission in Mozambique emailed to APA says the agreement will help GAIN Mozambique develop the SUN Business Network on a pioneering multi-sectoral platform to mobilize the private sector to invest in improving nutrition in Mozambique . “This initiative will support the Mozambican Government's ambitions described in the Multi-Sectoral Plan for the Reduction of Chronic Malnutrition (2011-2020) to reduce chronic malnutrition through the growth of a sustainable market...

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