Friday 20 April 2018
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
Cameroon's National Communication Council, the government media regulator, has suspended 30 journalists or radio and TV programs for what it calls biased reporting. Among the more than 30 media organizations and journalists the NCC has suspended or warned are newspapers La Nouvelle Expression, La Meteo, L'Anecdote and the capital city radio station Amplitude FM. NCC president Peter Essoka said the media organizations and journalists were suspended from one to six months because of unprofessional conduct and refusal to respect norms and ethics of journalism. "When a journalist comes up with a newspaper article and says a certain minister is known to be running with the prime minister’s wife, how do you take that? It is indecent. It is indecent. And...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
By Dulue Mbachu 25 septembre 2017 à 00:01 UTC+1 From Almost half a century after a secessionist war in southeastern Nigeria ended, a renewed push for an independent state known as Biafra is stoking fresh conflict. Thousands of troops have been deployed in the region, which is mainly populated by ethnic Igbos. The forces have rounded up scores of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or Ipob, the main group behind the breakaway campaign, several people have died in clashes, and Ipob’s popular leader has gone missing after a military raid at his home. 1. What’s brought the Biafra cause alive again? In short, a new leader. Nnamdi Kanu, 45, has injected new life into the secessionist movement. Previously...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
Ghana’s cocoa regulator said the nation’s security forces will clamp down on the smuggling of beans as a disparity in producer prices are encouraging illegal trade with neighboring Ivory Coast. The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer is trying to stop smuggling from Ivory Coast, where the chocolate ingredient cost a quarter less than in Ghana. The influx of beans will weigh on Ghana’s ability to maintain the level of farmer payments even as an oversupply of cocoa is weighing on international prices. Because “there’s no border wall between us, it is likely that some cocoa will trickle in,” Ghana Cocoa Board
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine our efforts in reinforcing confidence and enhancing a climate for investments, both domestic and international,” he added. All government departments and their related entities were advised to review their work programmes with KPMG “to ensure that their audit processes have...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
South Africa’s Treasury is pressuring the continent’s biggest money manager to provide as much as 100 billion rand ($7.6 billion) to fund struggling state companies, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The Public Investment Corp., which manages state-employee pension funds and has about 1.86 trillion rand in assets, has been asked by the Treasury to buy its entire 12-billion-rand stake in Telkom SA SOC Ltd. to pay for a bailout of South African Airways, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. PIC Chief Executive Officer Daniel Matjila has rejected the request, saying a purchase of the 39 percent shareholding would leave the company overexposed to the landline provider, they said...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
Much of the focus around Indian mining tycoon Anil Agarwal’s pursuit of Anglo American Plc has been the company’s South African operations. But Botswana could be similarly important. Botswana is the source of about two-thirds of Anglo’s diamonds and the country is a major stakeholder in De Beers, the world’s biggest gem producer. There are few countries as dependent on a single commodity as Botswana is with diamonds and the nation is highly protective of the industry. So far Botswana appears to be pretty sanguine about Agarwal’s position in Anglo. But it’ll be worth watching if the billionaire continues raising his stake because there’s a provision in Botswana’s agreement with Anglo that allows the nation to renegotiate if De Beers’s...
(Voice of America 09/22/17)
Many African leaders used their speeches at the U.N. General Assembly this week to express concerns about the growing threat of violent extremism in Africa. Several leaders from the continent called upon the international community to help better equip regional anti-terror forces to combat terrorism, especially at a time when jihadists, defeated in Middle East as Islamic State loses strength and territory there, will return to their African home countries. "We want an Africa in peace and security; an Africa that does not serve as a sanctuary for terrorist groups fought and defeated elsewhere," President Macky Sall of Senegal told world leaders at the 72nd annual U.N. assembly Wednesday. But a study conducted by the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) this...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Nigeria’s decision to designate a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra as “terrorist” and ban it runs the risk of backfiring. A federal high court in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday granted an application by President Muhammadu Buhari’s attorney general to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, known as Ipob, designating it as a terrorist organization. The move came as tensions escalated in southeastern Nigeria, with the group’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, threatening to disrupt state elections unless there’s a vote on secession and his supporters clashing with the security forces. “We saw in videos young people willing to confront the military with their bare hands,” Freedom Onuoha
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission rescheduled the date for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote, as President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned his victory as a “judicial coup.” The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission said Thursday the vote will be held Oct. 26, nine days later than its initial suggestion, to ensure the body is “fully prepared” to deliver a credible election. Just before, Kenyatta said in a televised address that the East African country’s highest court has “subverted the will of the people” with its historic judgment. The Supreme Court nullified the Aug. 8 vote, the first time a presidential election result has been legally overturned in Africa, after finding the electoral commission committed “irregularities...
(Middle East Monitor 09/22/17)
Saiqa Special Forces in Libya have found a mass grave containing 80 bodies at a site of ancient ruins near the Sidi Khribesh lighthouse in Benghazi’s Sabri district. According to Mari Al-Houti, the head of investigations with Saiqa, the Red Crescent collected the bodies and took DNA samples so that they could be identified. The mass grave is believed to contain the bodies of those killed in recent fighting in the city between militants and the Libyan National Army. The Red Crescent urged the families who have members missing to come forward to help identify the bodies. Following an increase in kidnappings and discovery of bodies in Benghazi, Saiqa Brigadier Wanis Bukhamada warned residents that terrorist sleeper cells still exist...
(Voice of America 09/22/17)
Democracy is strengthening not just in Liberia, but across West Africa, the president of Liberia says. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who made history by becoming the first elected female head of state in Africa, now is intent on making history again: by ensuring that Liberia's election next month succeeds and, for the first time in 73 years, one elected leader hands off power to another. Johnson Sirleaf spoke to VOA's Peter Clottey on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week. She said she is confident the election will be free and credible. "Our elections commission have already established their credibility in three by-elections that have taken place, which the citizens accepted," she said. "There were no major complaints...
(Washington Post 09/22/17)
As President Trump spoke to African leaders at the United Nations on Wednesday, he made not one but two references to a country called Nambia. “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” Trump said approvingly at one point. Unfortunately, there's a problem — good health care or not, Nambia doesn't exist. And so the U.S. president's laudatory comments about a nonexistent country swiftly invited ridicule online, with many suggesting that Trump had created an entirely new nation by combining two existing ones — Zambia and Namibia. A White House transcript of Trump's comments corrected his error, making clear that the president had not intended to invent a new nation and had, in fact, been referring to the very real country of...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Karuturi Global Ltd., an Indian flower grower, demanded compensation from the Ethiopian government for a series of failed land deals as it prepares to exit the Horn of Africa nation. The company wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accusing the state of nationalizing its farming investments and said it should be given “adequate and appropriate” redress. The Sept. 20 letter was emailed to Bloomberg by Karuturi Managing Director Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi. “We stand tired and defeated and wish to exit Ethiopia,” Karuturi said in the letter, citing a government decision to “unilaterally and illegally cancel our investment and trade license.” The company also asked Hailemariam to allow the company to re-export all its equipment. Karuturi, based in Bengaluru,...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has instructed Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. to begin legal action against companies including McKinsey & Co. over their involvement in disputed contracts at the country’s state-owned electricity company. Brown ordered Eskom to start taking legal steps against consultancy firms McKinsey and Trillian Capital Partners Ltd., as well as suspended acting Chief Executive Officer Matshela Koko and Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh, who is on special leave, her spokesman, Colin Cruywagen, said by phone Thursday. Three other senior managers may also face misconduct charges, Business Day reported Friday, without citing its sources. McKinsey in July said it’s reviewing documents related to work done for Eskom. An interim report by Eskom and G9 Forensic found...
(Gulfnews 09/22/17)
The group measures led to an 80 per cent fall in the arrival of rescued migrants in Italy last month A powerful armed group, known for smuggling people from Libya, is seeking legitimacy and state security jobs from the Tripoli government in exchange for stopping migrant boats from leaving the coast of Sabratha for Italy, a senior group member said. The group, the Anas Al Dabbashi brigade, struck a deal with Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) this summer to clamp down on trafficking, the senior brigade member, who gave his name as Mohammad, told Reuters. The need for the GNA to strike such a deal would illustrate the power of armed groups in western Libya, which continue...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Africa’s biggest fund manager may be dumped by a labor federation representing 230,000 South African state workers because it’s concerned that the funds of its members may be used to bail out mismanaged state-owned companies. The Federation of Unions of South Africa, the country’s second-largest labor union grouping, is considering replacing the state-owned Public Investment Corp. with privately owned fund managers to oversee the pension funds of the state workers, including nurses and teachers, that it represents. “There is nothing in the law that requires the Government Employee Pension Fund to use only the PIC as an asset manager,” Fedusa General Secretary Dennis George said by phone Thursday, referring to the GEPF, the central account for state workers’ retirement savings...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Companies controlled by the Guptas lost a court bid to prevent Bank of Baroda from shutting their accounts, which would leave the politically connected family without banking services in South Africa from the end of this month. Judge Hans Fabricius dismissed the application of 20 companies linked to the Gupta family and awarded costs against them at the Pretoria High Court on Thursday. The Bank of Baroda was the family’s last hope after a series of lenders, including South Africa’s four biggest banks and Bank of China Ltd., canceled their accounts amid concerns the companies risked falling foul of regulators and the law. The family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and in business with one of his sons,...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Dangote Cement Plc, the Nigerian company controlled by Africa’s richest person, has written to PPC Ltd. offering South Africa’s biggest cement maker cash and shares as part of a takeover deal that is fueling a bidding war. PPC’s shares rose. “We are waiting for them to get back to us, hopefully early next week,” Aliko Dangote said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in New York. “They can be part and parcel of the Dangote Cement story, where we’re going to be in 18 African countries.” The approach by Lagos-based Dangote follows a joint offer from Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and PPC’s domestic rival AfriSam Group Pty Ltd. While PPC has said it will consider all bids, the Public...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
With its surprise decision to leave rates on hold on Thursday, South Africa’s central bank may have shut its policy-easing window. Forward-rate agreements, which had been pricing in a 25 basis-point reduction in the benchmark rate this year, now suggest the South African Reserve Bank will be forced to stay put as central banks around the world move toward tighter policy. The rate on contracts starting in three months jumped 19 basis points, moving to within 10 points from the benchmark Johannesburg Interbank Agreed Rate to predict a less-than-50-percent probability of such a move. The central bank left its key rate unchanged at 6.75 percent, with a 50/50 split among voting members, as it assessed risks to the rand and...

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