| Africatime
Saturday 25 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Pitting Nigeria and Kenya’s biggest banks by market value against each other shows just how much state intervention hurt Nairobi-based Equity Group Holdings Ltd., while Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in Lagos fended off a contracting economy by benefiting from a weaker local currency. Equity Group reported its first-ever drop in annual profit last week as non-performing loans more than doubled and lending in the final quarter shrank in the wake of interest-rate caps announced in August in East Africa’s biggest economy. By contrast, GTB’s net income climbed 33 percent as earnings from lending increased and the naira’s decline against the dollar boosted non-interest revenue. “GTB stands out in the Nigerian banking sector based on their...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
Faced with a contracting economy, surging inflation and a rigid exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank will have little choice but to keep its key interest rate unchanged on Tuesday. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Godwin Emefiele has held the policy rate at 14 percent since July and is unlikely to make a change, according to all 17 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Foreign-exchange policy has become a common agenda-item for the committee as the nation maintains a managed currency float and has stopped importers of goods it deems non-essential from buying dollars on the official market. While this has contributed to a rapid increase in consumer prices, Emefiele said on March 11 that allowing the naira to...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
GreenWish Partners, a Paris-based independent power producer, will invest $280 million to build solar-power plants in Nigeria that are expected to start producing electricity in the first quarter of next year. A plant in the southeastern state of Enugu will produce 100 megawatts, while the company will build two others of 50 megawatts each in the northern Kaduna and Jigawa states, Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian said in an interview in Lagos. The project will be funded 70 percent through...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(AL Jazeera 03/14/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to lift Nigeria’s economy from its worst slump in a quarter century may entail short-term pain for potential long-term gain. The blueprint released this month proposes ways to expand the economy by 7 percent by 2020 after a 1.5 percent contraction in 2016, the first full-year decline since 1991. It aims to create 15 million jobs by increasing oil output in the continent’s second-biggest exporter of the fuel, opening up farmland and boosting investment in power,...
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
Nigeria’s central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said he is committed to a currency regime that sent foreign investors fleeing from the nation’s markets and exacerbated a dollar shortage. The Central Bank of Nigeria won’t allow “faceless and criminally minded people to destroy the currency under the guise of a free float as is being canvassed,’’ Emefiele said in a speech on Saturday in Abuja, the capital, while accepting an award from a local newspaper. Independent estimates and “purchasing power parity...
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
For sale: stakes in oil fields. Bids from world class energy companies preferred. Pipelines and terminals associated with the deposits only blown up about a dozen times in the past year. Deal may depend on crude prices. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on March 7 proposed a plan to jump start the economy by, among other things, selling stakes in joint-venture oil projects within the next three years. Given a militancy escalation that blighted those very assets last year, and...
(Bloomberg 03/10/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in the capital, Abuja, after spending more than seven weeks on sick leave in the U.K. “I have rested as much as humanly possible,” Buhari told reporters on Friday at the presidency. “I have received, I think, the best treatment I could receive.” He said he will need follow-up tests “within some weeks.” The president, whose absence has fueled concern about government paralysis, landed at an Air Force base in Kaduna, before traveling to Abuja,...
(Financial Times 03/09/17)
Agriculture has been a beneficiary of steps to counter effects of dollar shortage. Young men, ageing widows and local chiefs — even civil servants — have taken to the fields to work in rice paddies that stretch for miles around Tarasa, a village in north-west Nigeria. Two years ago the land in one of the west African nation’s poorest and least developed regions lay fallow. But rice farming is now enjoying a boom — a rare bright spot in a...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress and immense challenges still facing women across the globe. To recognize this day, Voice of America hosted a discussion in which women from two of the countries impacted by extremism, Nigeria and Somalia, shared their stories. Nigeria is fighting the brutal insurgency of Boko Haram and next month marks the third anniversary of the kidnapping of the 276 Chibok school girls, most of whom are still held by their...
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
Lagos has long been known as Nigeria’s pop culture hub. It’s the home of Nigeria's film industry, Nollywood, as well as many of the country’s top musicians and artists. But a group of rappers and fashion designers is creating a scene of their own in Kaduna, in northern Nigeria, some 600 kilometers from Lagos. Kaduna's is the new center of Nigeria’s growing hip-hop culture. DJ Jakes Tudu is cranking out jams on his weekly radio show, playing the latest tunes...
(Bloomberg 03/08/17)
Nigeria plans to sell portions of its oil assets to help fund President Muhammadu Buhari’s four-year program to lift the economy from its worst slump in a quarter century and create 15 million jobs. Buhari proposes in a 2017-2020 economic blueprint to reduce the government’s stake in joint-venture oil assets and other holdings. Selling them will “optimize their efficiency and reduce fiscal burden on the government,” according to the proposal posted on the Ministry of Budget and National Planning’s website...
(Voice of America 03/08/17)
Nigerians and travelers to and from the country are getting ready for major problems as the country's main airport shuts down Tuesday. Authorities expect Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to be closed for at least six weeks to fix a runway pockmarked with cracks and holes. Officials say the work cannot be done unless the entire facility is closed. Travelers flying into or out of the country will have to use the much smaller domestic airport in Kaduna -...
(Bloomberg 03/07/17)
Islamist militant group Boko Haram has caused $9 billion of damage in Nigeria’s northeast since 2009, destroying homes, schools, bridges and roads, according to the United Nations. Borno state alone suffered losses worth $6.2 billion, Matthew Rycroft, the president of the UN Security Council, told reporters Sunday on a visit to its main city of Maiduguri. The global body is stepping up support to the region as many who fled Boko Haram violence are now facing a humanitarian crisis even...
(Voice of America 03/07/17)
Representatives of United Nations Security Council member countries visited a target of Boko Haram militants on Sunday. The diplomats traveled to Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno State. They met there with women at a camp for displaced persons. The diplomats have been on a four-day-long trip to the Lake Chad Basin. They went to Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria before going to Niger on Monday. On Sunday, the ambassadors arrived in Maiduguri under heavy security. Two days earlier, three bombers...
(Voice of America 03/06/17)
A senior Nigerian military official said the cause of the accidental bombing of a displaced persons camp in the country’s northeast in January was the result of incorrect coordinates. Nigerian Major General Leo Irabor told a visiting U.N. Security Council delegation Sunday that the January 17 bombing in the town of Rann, which killed 236 civilians, was a “grave mistake” that was the result of faulty information. “The coordinates that were received gave indications that there were presence of Boko...

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