Thursday 18 January 2018
(Voice of America 09/21/17)
Cameroon has been using its 2014 anti-terror law to "silence critics and suppress dissent," according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Members of the media who report on the Boko Haram insurgency or controversial topics such as the ongoing strike in English-speaking zones have been arrested or threatened by the government, according to CPJ. Bruno Nkwemo of the Cameroon Union of Journalists says reporters fear practicing their profession. Cameroonian journalists are not criminals
(Bloomberg 09/21/17)
The top leadership of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress starts meeting on Friday in a bid to heal a bitter split in the key region of KwaZulu-Natal that could derail its plans to elect a successor to President Jacob Zuma as party leader in December. The three-day meeting comes after the High Court annulled the election of Zuma allies as the province’s party leadership because the conference that chose them wasn’t lawfully convened. While the officials who lost the case said they’ll challenge the judgment, the ANC’s National Executive Committee may overrule them to ensure its Dec. 16-20 national elective conference goes ahead. Rivalries run especially deep in KwaZulu-Natal, which has the largest number of party members and is...
(Voice of America 09/21/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump has told African leaders he will send his U.N. envoy Nikki Haley to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "We're closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo," Trump said in a lunch meeting Wednesday with African leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. "Millions of lives are at risk and we continue to provide humanitarian assistance, but real results in halting this catastrophe will require an African-led peace process, and a sincere — really sincere — commitment of all parties involved." The president said Haley would "discuss avenues of conflict and resolution and, most importantly, prevention." South Sudan is mired in the fourth...
(Le Monde 09/21/17)
Président de la Fondation Brazzaville, Jean-Yves Ollivier plaide pour le plan de paix de l’organisation panafricaine prônant la mise en place de nouveaux organes de transition. Sous le pays plongé dans le chaos, l’ex-Jamahiriya de Kadhafi, ces anciennes provinces ottomanes – la Tripolitaine, la Cyrénaïque et le Fezzan – que seule la tutelle étrangère unifiait, perce enfin une Libye nouvelle. Elle sera unie, démocratique et prospère à condition d’être la Libye des Libyens. Elle verra le jour dans les semaines à venir si la feuille de route proposée par l’Union africaine (UA) parvient à relayer des initiatives jusqu’ici éparpillées et parfois rivales et, surtout, si elle répond à la profonde aspiration à la paix d’une population qui a trop souffert...
(Voice of America 09/21/17)
More than 100 "Chibok girls" released by Boko Haram militants have begun a new phase of their lives, taking classes at the American University of Nigeria after months of rest and recovery under the care of the Nigerian government. The girls had been expected to start at the university in the city of Yola early next month, and the government threw them a send-off party last week at their rehabilitation center in the capital, Abuja; but, the chairman of the Chibok parents' association, Yakubu Nkeki, said the start date was moved up because the school year had already begun. "I went with them to the school until they were handed over to the school authority," Nkeki told VOA's Hausa service...
(The Guardian 09/21/17)
Officials hail landmark for child protection as youth vigilante group known as Civilian Joint Task Force pledges to draw a line under recruitment of minors. A landmark agreement between the UN and the Civilian Joint Task Force will end the use of children in the conflict against Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria. According to the UN, between October 2015 and August 2017, more than 360 children were used by the 23,000-strong armed taskforce, some as young as nine. The concord, reached after a year of negotiations led by the UN, will draw a line under the enlistment of children by the group. Minors have been recruited by Boko Haram since its inception in 2013, often for search operations, to guard...
(Financial Times 09/20/17)
Consumer price growth in South Africa picked up in August after striking its lowest level since 2015 in the previous month, underscoring the complex situation for the country’s central bank as it looks to bolster economic output but ease inflation. The consumer price index rose 4.8 per cent in August from the previous year, up from 4.6 per cent in July, according to official statistics. Economists had forecast a reading of 4.9 per cent. Africa’s most industrialised economy emerged from recession in the second quarter, and the central bank cut rates for the first time in five years in July in a bid to spur growth. Price growth has fallen from highs of more than 6 per cent earlier in...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
South African programs to add coal and gas power generation from independent providers should wait until policies are updated and the nation’s future needs are clearer, said Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi. The government is also seeking a “middle ground” with developers in a program to add renewable-energy projects, she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kubayi announced earlier this month that the long-delayed contracts must be signed by the end of October, but not before pricing was renegotiated to make the deals more attractive to state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. South Africa expanded the so-called independent power-producer
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari urged the international community to support the Lake Chad region in its fight against Islamist extremism even as other conflicts emerge. Nigeria and neighboring countries lack the resources and the capacity to effectively deal with the security threat from groups linked to al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations, he said Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts,” Buhari said. The Islamist group Boko Haram has waged an eight-year war from its base in northeastern Nigeria to impose its version of Islamic law in Africa’s most populous country, leaving tens of thousands of people dead and forcing millions to flee. The region, which...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
If South Africa’s central bank cuts interest rates again this week, just don’t accuse it of doing so for the sake of “socioeconomic well-being.” The institution has been fighting off a bid by the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman to change its mandate away from targeting inflation to focusing on the financial health and quality of life of its citizens. But officials might be about to deliver their second rate reduction this year, a move that could inadvertently conform to that alternative agenda. Reserve Bank policy makers in Pretoria will emphasize that a cut, anticipated by almost all economists surveyed by Bloomberg, is intended to revive economic growth at a time when inflation is well within its target range. That would chime...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Kenya’s top court delivered a stinging rebuke of the nation’s electoral commission, identifying a litany of failures in its handling of last month’s botched presidential elections and describing its explanations for the failure of its systems as unacceptable. The Supreme Court ruled the Aug. 8 election unlawful on Sept. 1, and ordered a rerun. A five-judge bench on Wednesday delivered the court’s detailed judgment, which upheld the main opposition’s complaints that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection was rigged. The court criticized the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission’s refusal to comply with its order to grant the opposition access to its servers to verify the results. The commission’s reluctance to comply forced the court to accept the opposition’s claim that the IEBC’s...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission is considering a proposal to postpone the rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election because of technical constraints, the authority’s spokesman said. OT-Morpho, a Paris-based company that provided two electronic systems for the ballot, wrote to the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission on Monday to say it’s unable to provide a new results-transmission system by Oct. 17, when the vote is scheduled to take place. The company may also be constrained by the Kenyan Supreme Court’s detailed ruling on the annulment, which will be announced on Wednesday and may comment on technical issues, it said by email. “They asked for more time beyond the 17th,” IEBC spokesman Andrew Limo said in an emailed response to questions. “Discussions...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Ghana’s cocoa board pays $27 more for a bag of beans than it’s worth in Ivory Coast. Illicit traders are profiting from the difference. Much of Jamilatu Mohammed’s harvest of cocoa beans is sitting in a storage shed near her dilapidated mud house along Ghana’s western border when it should be on its way to factories of chocolatiers like Nestle SA. The mother of two and other small growers in the world’s no. 2 producer represent the casualties in a global price slump triggered by traders in London and Singapore and aggravated by bureaucrats in distant African capitals. Cheaper beans from neighboring Ivory Coast, the biggest supplier, are flooding the local market and luring the Ghanaian state-licensed agents who were...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
Amidst a clamor for yield which recently saw investors lapping up bonds from a country some couldn’t even place on an Asian map, South Africa’s latest debt sale had a lukewarm reception. The nation had to pay more to sell 10-year Eurobonds Tuesday than it did on 12-year debt last year, and managed to attract only $2.1 billion in bids for the $1 billion offered. By comparison, Ukraine received bids for three times the $3 billion it offered in its first foray into the market since Russia invaded the Crimea in 2014, while Tajikistan got $3.1 billion of orders in a debut sale of $500 million of securities. South Africa’s $1 billion of 10-year debt was sold to yield 4.85...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
A United Nations commission urged the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed in Burundi, saying it had compiled a list of alleged perpetrators of violence during the country’s two-year crisis. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has reasonable grounds to believe “serious human-rights violations and abuses” have been committed in the East African country since April 2015, its chairman, Fatsah Ouguergouz, said Tuesday in Geneva. The abuses included torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and rape, with most victims being opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government, he said. The commission has drawn
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki said lawmakers will investigate the crisis that erupted in the country’s southeast following clashes between troops and supporters of a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra. The legislature “intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the southeast,” Saraki said in a statement on Twitter on Monday. “We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what.” The unrest last week in the cities of Umuahia and Aba, strongholds of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or Ipob, left several people dead and injured, after troops began a military exercise to rein in the...
(Financial Times 09/19/17)
Firm loses 2 contracts as other companies review ties in wake of political scandal. KPMG has lost at least two audit contracts in South Africa and faces widespread client reviews after the accounting firm became embroiled in a high-profile political scandal involving South Africa’s billionaire Gupta family. Sasfin, the South African financial services company that has been audited by KPMG for 18 years, said on Tuesday it would search for a new auditor “in view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG”. KPMG has already lost South African-listed asset manager Sygnia as a client
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Zambia borrowed $134 million from Standard Chartered Plc to help fund the road sector, according to a finance ministry official. The borrowing plan was included in the 2017 budget, Mukuli Chikuba, permanent secretary at the finance ministry, said in a text message on Tuesday. The loan is the second that Standard Chartered has arranged for the government since a $450 million syndicated deal in the first half of 2016. Five new loans worth $296 million were contracted in the first half of the year, according to the ministry’s mid-year economic review. The country’s external debt grew to $7.4 billion by the end of June, the report shows. Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, is in talks to secure a $1.3 billion...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Zambia is seeking bidders for a fourth mobile-network license to take on operators including market leader MTN Group Ltd. in the southern African country, Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba said. The ministry last week gave the go-ahead to the telecommunications regulator to start the process, he said in a recorded response to questions on Monday. The new carrier could be in place over the next six to 12 months and the country may even have capacity for a fifth operator, he said. The local unit of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd. and state-owned Zamtel make up the current trio. Communication costs in Zambia have been “rather on the high side,” Mushimba said from Lusaka, the capital. “The market analysis that...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Kenya may have to delay a rerun of its presidential election scheduled for next month if the Supreme Court requires the country to host the results-transmission system, the Daily Nation reported. OT-Morpho, a Paris-based company that provided systems used in last month’s annulled presidential vote, told the Kenya Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission in a letter that moving the system to Kenya from France by Oct. 31 would be technically impossible, the Nairobi-based newspaper said. Penina Nyawira, a Kenya-based spokeswoman for OT-Morpho, said she’s awaiting comment from the company after media inquiries about the letter. Kenya’s Supreme Court on Sept. 1 annulled last month’s vote after finding the commission failed to conduct the ballot in accordance with the constitution and...

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