| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli warned media organizations against “inflammatory” reporting, a day after he fired a cabinet minister who defended press freedom. “Media owners, let me tell you: Be careful. Watch it,” Magufuli said Friday in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. “If you think you have that kind of freedom -- not to that extent.” Magufuli on Thursday dismissed Information Minister Nape Nnauye, who this week ordered an inquiry into a regional commissioner who tried to force a privately owned media company to broadcast footage about a paternity case involving a political rival. The commissioner, Paul Makonda, is an ally of Magufuli, according to Dubai-based research
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
Ghana’s central bank may have space to cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi started to recover from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than four years. Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku has enough room to cut the West African nation’s main rate by as much as 100 basis points, according to Courage Kingsley Martey, an Accra-based economist at Databank Group. Two of the four economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the central bank will reduce the policy rate from 25.5 percent on Monday. The central bank reduced its key rate in November for the first time since May 2011 even as inflation remained outside the central bank’s...
(BBC News Africa 03/24/17)
Kenya has become the first country to exclusively sell government bonds to citizens via their mobile phones, as it seeks new ways of raising money. The country is already a pioneer in the use of mobile money. The government is looking to tap into that network by allowing mobile phone users to trade the government securities across their phones. Kenyans can buy one of the bonds for as little as 3,000 Kenyan shillings ($30; £23), the country's central bank said...
(Financial Times 03/24/17)
China’s oil companies move downstream as bid for upstream assets stumbles. Chinese oil companies are turning their focus to overseas retail and services markets, as slowing growth in domestic fuel demand makes their traditional home market less attractive. Sinopec this week agreed to buy Chevron’s 75 per cent stake in a Cape Town refinery, affiliated service stations and convenience stores in South Africa and Botswana for $900m. It was the only remaining bidder after a year-long tender process. The purchase...
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
The Kenyan government says it will open the border with Somalia to boost trade and allow the flow of people between the two countries. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also pledged to help Somalia in the fight against al-Shabab militants and support and train government workers. His remarks followed a meeting he had in Nairobi with his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. After a closed door meeting that lasted more than three hours, the two heads of state addressed the media...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
After overseeing sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economy and six years of relative peace, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara is in the midst of a year from hell. First soldiers staged a mutiny, then public workers went on strike and now cocoa prices have fallen. All told, the West African nation is facing the worst social unrest since Ouattara, 75, assumed power in 2011. With cocoa prices in London dropping more than 30 percent from July, the government in the world’s top...
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
Pagan Amum, a well-known South Sudanese politician who lives in the United States, is suing a member of his country's diaspora for slander. Amum says a South Sudanese woman who goes by the name of Amiria Ali posted videos on Facebook where she accused him of committing rape and murder — charges that Amum emphatically denies. Amum recently got a restraining order against Ali, who lives in the same city he does: Denver, Colorado. At the heart of his lawsuit,...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
The rally that made South Africa’s rand the world’s best-performing currency this year might be nearing its end, according to Old Mutual Investment Group. The currency gained 10 percent against the dollar in 2017, supported by higher prices for metals mined in Africa’s most industrialized economy, and expectations that gross domestic product growth will rebound from the slowest expansion since the 2009 recession. Together with a 13 percent advance last year, the rand is close to almost wiping out its...
(Voice of America 03/24/17)
Authorities in the breakaway republic of Somaliland say at least 80 percent of the region's livestock have died due to the crippling drought that has also killed dozens of people and forced thousands into displaced persons camps. “The situation is very grave as most of the livestock were killed by drought,” said Mohamud Ali Saleban, governor of the Togdheer region, in the town of Buro. “We are waiting for the rain, but if it does not come in the next...
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Despite international sanctions, North Korea has found partners across Africa willing to buy arms and make defense deals, says the head of a U.N. panel of experts that investigated the transactions. According to a U.N. report released last month, North Korea has used a number of methods to avoid detection and has forged agreements with at least seven African nations to train soldiers, build infrastructure and sell a wide range of weapons and vehicles. The deals violate U.N. sanctions banning...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court Wednesday sentenced former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to an additional year in prison and fined him $324,000 for bribing witnesses during his earlier trial on war crimes. Four other members of Bemba's legal team also were sentenced by The Hague-based court. They were found guilty back in October of bribing and otherwise influencing 14 defense witnesses to try to tilt the outcome of the first trial, which led to a March 2016 conviction...
(Dw-World 03/23/17)
English-speaking Cameroon remains in upheaval as regional leaders are set to go on trial on Thursday accused of calling for secession. But why is President Paul Biya so afraid of granting more autonomy to Anglophones? Some activists in the northwest and southwest provinces, traditional bastions of opposition to the regime of long-time President Paul Biya, are calling for an independent state of Southern Cameroon. The region was once called that in British colonial times. But according to analysts, a vast majority of the Anglophone population prefers a federation, believing it to be the best
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Algeria’s state-run energy producer plans to boost crude oil output by 14 percent in the four years to 2019 and invest billions of dollars in exploration projects. Sonatrach Group expects to invest $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 in its search for new deposits of oil and natural gas, said Farid Djettou, head of the company’s associations division, which is responsible for foreign contracts. Sonatrach will drill an average of 100 wells annually over the same five years and plans...
(AL Jazeera 03/23/17)
Libyan prime minister asked for rescue and emergency equipment to curb illegal migration across its border into Europe. Ongoing consultations between the UN-backed government in Tripoli, representatives of the interior ministers of Italy and other eight European countries aim at bolstering an agreement signed in February, when Libya agreed to tackle the smuggling of migrants into Europe. EU Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and interior ministers from Algeria and Tunisia also attended the meeting. On Monday, during talks with European officials...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Mozambique said Exxon Mobil Corp.’s acquisition of a 25 percent stake in an offshore gas block from Eni SpA will generate capital gains revenue of $350 million. The government expects only to receive payment when the transaction is concluded, Anibal Balango, an official in Mozambique’s tax authority, told reporters in the capital, Maputo, on Tuesday. As a non-resident company, Eni was only eligible to pay tax on half the value of the $2.8 billion deal with Exxon. That value was...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Doctors at a Chicago-area hospital have successfully operated on a baby from Africa born with a parasitic twin and having four legs and two spines.The girl, known only as "Dominique" from Ivory Coast, is recovering well from the delicate and groundbreaking March 8 surgery and is expected to live a normal, fully-functional life. Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, Tuesday announced that the 10-month-old, being cared for by a local foster family, underwent six hours of surgery involving dozens...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Since Egypt devalued its currency, life in Cairo has gotten a lot easier if you sell stocks for a living -- and a lot harder if you sell fruit. Mostafa Nagaty at Arqaam Capital says he’d begun to fear that “this profession was dying.” Investors had fled Egypt after the uprising of 2011, and strict exchange-rate controls helped keep them away. Then, four months ago, the central bank let the pound float. “Now I’m getting approached by all types of...

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