Tuesday 17 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Namibia's central bank cut its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent on Wednesday, citing the need to support economic growth and maintain the one-to-one link between the Namibian dollar and the South Africa rand. Namibia's economy slipped into recession in the first quarter of 2017, shrinking by 2.7 percent in the quarter following a 1.4 percent contraction in the last quarter of 2016.
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Namibia's President Hage Geingob has said Moody's should not have based its latest rating on the forthcoming ruling Swapo Party elective congress and the national elections scheduled for 2019. Geingob said this when he addressed a closed door Swapo central committee meeting Saturday in Windhoek. Swapo will hold its elective congress in December and already some members are jostling for positions. Moody's downgraded Namibia's credit rating from Baa3- to Ba1 but maintained the negative outlook on Friday. The rating agency said it downgraded Namibia credit ratings because the country's fiscal strength has been eroded and there is a limited institutional capacity to respond to shocks as well as renewed risk of liquidity pressures. The agency also noted that the public...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Voice of America 08/09/17)
Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti said here Wednesday that the team is upbeat and ready to go and do the nation proud in their 2018 CAF African Nations Championships qualifiers third round first leg match against the Comoros slated for Aug. 13. Mannetti told a press briefing that his team's advantage is their ball playing ability and he hopes it will work for them when they lock horns against the Islanders. "Comoros are not a ball playing team. They love to play on the second ball and play more on emotions and we need to control that and make sure we play the ball and use it well to get the goals we need in the first leg," he said. Despite...
(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 of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Standard Bank Namibia, one of the southern African country's oldest banking institutions, says its relationship with Chinese companies and business people has grown from strength to strength. The relationship started in earnest in Feb. 2015 when the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) acquired shares in Standard Bank's London-based Global Markets business. The acquisition allowed both ICBC and Standard Bank to create a platform to serve the growing demands of Chinese clients for global commodities, fixed income, currency and equities products while continuing as a distribution platform for African risk. This union also allows for the Chinese community to transact in renminbi
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Namibia's Statistics Agency (NSA) and the central bank, in collaboration with FinMark Trust of South Africa, will conduct the 4th Namibia Financial Inclusion Survey (NFIS), to collect information on financial needs, access to financial service preferences and financial behaviors of the Namibians. The agency's Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni on Thursday said the survey will be conducted to show how equal and accessible financial services and products are to all members of society including the vulnerable members such as women, youth and low income groups at an affordable cost. The survey, according to him will be divided into two phases. First Phase: Pilot Survey will be conducted from Aug. 14 to 19 only in the Kavango West and Khomas regions. Second...
(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, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(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 his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(The Namibian 08/01/17)
President Hage Geingob yesterday said the state of the economy is actually better than what is currently being portrayed in the public domain. Speaking at a press conference at State House yesterday, Geingob said the underpinning fundamentals of the economy are stronger today than they were a year ago. In December 2016, Namibia slipped into a 'technical' recession, as growth figures showed that the economy contracted by 1% between October and December. A recession is a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. “Opinions and perceptions on the state of the Namibian economy are in wide circulation. It is our view that the...
(New Era 08/01/17)
Windhoek-Constructors can breathe a sigh of relief as all unpaid government invoices, amounting to more than N$3 billion will be settled by the end of August. President Hage Geingob made the announcement at a media briefing at State House yesterday, where he said government deeply regrets the accumulation of unsettled invoices that came about because of weak revenue collection during the economic slowdown. “We have realised that one key factor fueling discontent and opinion is the occurrence of unsettled invoices. We deeply regret the accumulation of unsettled invoices that came about because of weak revenue collection due to the economic downturn,” Geingob said. Giving further assurance to the business sector, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said government has budgeted N$1.7 billion...
(The Namibian 08/01/17)
Government will welcome discussions on ancestral land at the second land conference scheduled for September this year, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced yesterday. The deputy premier said this during the diplomatic corps' bi-annual briefing, which was aimed at informing foreign diplomats in Namibia about the country's position on different global issues. At the event, diplomats discussed the country's developmental agenda, which is aligned to the African Union's Agenda 2063, and the United Nations' Agenda 2030. Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia could make use of the diplomatic representation in the country in order to benefit from different thematic clusters “that were recently agreed upon at the United Nations”.
(New Era 08/01/17)
Oshikango-Angolan business people have taken advantage of high poultry prices in Namibia by smuggling boxes of frozen chicken via Oshikango border post that they sell here cheaply. Some of the chickens are sold to Namibians at Okatwitwi informal market in Namibia, where business is booming. In addition to the chicken sales, there is also an ongoing sale of contraband products, including cheap alcohol and spirits. A box of 20 kg of chicken from Angola sells for N$250 compared to a 10 kg box that Namibian retailers sell for N$400. The chicken sales are done secretively at the border town, where sellers only present the boxes to their customers once they have agreed to buy and once money changes hands. When...
(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 in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Scores of people waving rainbow flags peacefully paraded through the streets of Namibia's capital Windhoek on Saturday, calling for better legal protection of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the largely conservative country. Around 150 people, decked out in the gay pride colours, danced and marched their way down Windhoek's main thoroughfare, Independence Avenue, chanting "we are one" in what was the first gay pride march in the Namibian capital. They were cheered on by most onlookers who applauded as the marchers made their way through the city centre. However some passersby yelled derogatory comments at the gay pride marchers.
(Xinhuanet 07/31/17)
Namibian President Hage Geingob on Sunday urged all Namibians to respect traditional authorities. Geingob made the remarks when he addressed a cultural festival in the Zambezi region, northeast of the country. The festival, organized by the Masubia Traditional Authority, is an annual event. This year's event was attended by several ministers and other chiefs from different traditional authorities. In his address, Geingob said Namibians should treat all traditional authorities with respect. He also said traditional authorities should also practice fair and inclusive leadership. "Let us all learn to co-exist and thereby shore up the boundaries of our Namibian House against any and all retrogressive forces," he said. The Namibian House, Geingob said, should be defined by cultural harmony and regional...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/17)
Namibia's president Hage Geingob Friday ordered Omusati regional governor Erkki Endjala to issue another apology for tribal remarks he made in a recorded telephone conversation. Endjala was recorded a few weeks ago by a woman known as Taimi Tekla Imbili during a private conversation saying that the people who belong to the Kwanyama tribe were stupid. The Kwanyama is a sub-tribe of the Owambo people who are dominant in the north of the country. Endjala also said that one of Swapo's prominent liberation war heroes Peter Nanyemba, who was a Kwanyama, was troublesome. The recording also captures Endjala alleging that the Kwanyama killed John Pandeni, who was local government minister in 2008.
(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 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...

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