Friday 20 April 2018
(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...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
As global companies implicated in a graft scandal in South Africa scramble to contain the damage to their reputations, politicians and law enforcement agencies are prevaricating and stalling official investigations. The scandal has revolved around members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and have been accused of looting billions of rand in taxpayer funds and exerting undue influence over the state. Accountants KPMG LLP, public relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP, consultancy McKinsey & Co. and software company SAP SE are among the companies that have been implicated in facilitating, being party to or turning a blind eye to their deals. Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing. Eight top executives at KPMG’s South African office...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Sasfin Holdings Ltd., a South African financial-services company, said it’s firing KPMG LLP as its independent sponsor and searching for a new auditor, becoming the second company to announce it has dumped the firm because of work it did for the politically connected Gupta family. The decisions were based on “the well-publicized concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG,” Johannesburg-based Sasfin said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Deloitte & Touche LLP has been chosen as a sponsor, which provides advice and services related to a company’s listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The role as Sasfin’s auditor, which KPMG held for the past 18 years, has also been put out to tender, it said. Eight top executives at KPMG’s...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Ethiopian authorities should exercise restraint at a festival held by the country’s largest ethnic group in October, after security forces at last year’s event triggered a fatal stampede by using teargas and discharging firearms on protesters, Human Rights Watch said. Scores of people -- possibly hundreds -- died at the Irreecha festival on Oct. 2, 2016, from falling into a deep trench, being trampled or shot after the government responded to unrest with force, the New York-based advocacy group said Tuesday in a report, citing witnesses and video footage. Ethiopian authorities at the time said that at least 55 died, either crushed or drowned in ditches and shallow waters, and that no one was shot. Irreecha, a major event for...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
An outbreak of cholera in the troubled northeast of Nigeria has killed 44 people from 2,300 suspected cases since the waterborne disease appeared in mid-August, the United Nations said. Some 3.7 million people could be affected by the outbreak in Borno state, an area already hit by one of the world’s most severe relief crises, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an emailed statement Monday. Borno is the birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamist group that is waging a violent campaign to impose its version of Islamic law. As many as 1.8 million people have fled their homes due to the violence, according to the UN. “The camps for displaced persons are congested, there is...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Kadi Bah saw people starving in the Sahara desert and drowning in the Mediterranean during her failed six-month odyssey to reach Europe. But as soon as the United Nations plane bringing her back home from Libya to Ivory Coast touched down, she was hatching plans to try again. “I’ll be so proud of myself if I can make it to Europe; I’ll tell everybody I managed to leave,” the 23-year-old hairdresser said. “That’s why I keep trying.” At first glance, Bah’s determination to emigrate is puzzling. She has a four-year-old daughter. She had a job. Ivory Coast is a regional economic powerhouse, with an average annual growth of 9 percent. Ivorians don’t fit the profile of migrants fleeing war and...
(BBC 09/18/17)
France's top constitutional authority says presidential archives on Rwanda should remain secret, thwarting a genocide researcher. In 1994 France backed Rwanda's ethnic Hutu leaders at the time of the genocide by Hutu militias. Some 800,000 people - mostly Tutsis - were killed. The Constitutional Council says a 25-year block on ex-president François Mitterrand's documents is legitimate. A researcher, François Graner, had sought permission to study them. He argued that the rule keeping many government documents under wraps violated the public right of access to official archives - a right dating back to the 1789...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egyptian Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer said inflation in the most populous Arab country has peaked after policy makers responded to the surge in prices by raising borrowing costs to the highest level in more than a decade. “We are in the right direction and we are moving very fast,” Amer said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Dubai on Monday. “We’ve been aggressive in our monetary policy, and this has been resisted a bit. But we thought it’s important so we can get our shop fixed very quickly.” Egypt in November became the first Arab country to liberalize the exchange rate as part of a sweeping program to restore investor confidence in an economy battered by years of...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egypt’s cabinet is expected to approve a plan to sell 1.5 billion in euro-denominated bonds in two to three weeks, the finance minister said, as the government seeks cheaper finance abroad to plug its budget gap. The Finance Ministry has started initial discussions with some European investment banks, Amr El-Garhy said in an interview in Bahrain late on Saturday. The notes, which will be Egypt’s first in euros, will likely have tenors of five to 10 years, he said. The plan is to sell the bonds before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg earlier. There are some “pockets of money” in Europe that are interested in Egyptian assets, El-Garhy said. “We’re taking good advantage of the current market conditions...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s deepening dispute with companies he accuses of being tax cheats is rattling investors and dimming the allure of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. Since taking office in late 2015, Magufuli has been on a drive to increase revenue from natural resources to help fund his industrialization plans. His administration has passed laws enabling it to renegotiate contracts and ordered foreign mining firms to sell stakes on the local stock exchange to increase transparency. The authorities have hit Acacia Mining Plc with a $190 billion tax bill, curbed its exports and detained a senior employee, and seized gems and questioned staff from Petra Diamonds Ltd., alleging it hadn’t paid its dues. “In his bid to do some...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Death threats to top members of Kenya’s divided electoral body are endangering preparations for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election, a senior official at the authority said. The relatives of one administrator at the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission fled the country after their lives were threatened, while Chairman Wafula Chebukati made additional security arrangements for his family, said the official, who asked not to be identified citing personal-safety reasons. “The fact that there’s a split at the IEBC and the fact that threats are being made to specific commissioners means we have external influences controlling the IEBC,” said Dismas Mokua, an analyst at Nairobi-based risk-advisory firm Trintari. “There’s a very high risk that the wrangling between the...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Pravin Gordhan, who was ousted from his post as South Africa’s finance minister in March, slammed KPMG LLP after it withdrew a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff. The auditing firm said on Friday that its conclusions and recommendations in a report for the South African Revenue Service about a unit that allegedly spied on politicians should no longer be relied on. It said the evidence provided to KPMG doesn’t support the interpretation that Gordhan knew, or ought to have known, that the unit was established and operating unlawfully. “Very good people were severely intimidated due to the KPMG report,” Gordhan...
(Dw-World 09/18/17)
President Zuma has faced numerous corruption allegations in court. As the ANC is due to elect a new party leader, could Zuma's support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma be a move to save himself? President Jacob Zuma is due to step down as African National Congress (ANC) leader at a key national party conference in mid-December. The new party leader usually succeeds the country's president at the subsequent national poll. Current front runners for the post of ANC leader are Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former head of the African Union (AU) who was married to Zuma from 1982 to 1998, and Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma's deputy in the presidency and the ANC. While Dlamini-Zuma is thought to be largely sympathetic to her ex-husband, Ramaphosa, is...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will pass through London, where he has spent several months this year treating an undisclosed illness, when he travels back from the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The 74-year-old leader of Africa’s most populous country will head to the U.S. on Sunday to participate in the U.N. gathering and deliver a national statement, the presidency said in an emailed statement. It did not specify the reason nor the planned length of the London stop. While in New York, Buhari will also have a lunch meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders, the presidency said. Buhari traveled in May to London where he spent more than three months on medical leave. It was...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Human rights lawyer Tarek Hussein tells of his experiences after being snatched and unlawfully incarcerated for five weeks. Monday 18 September 2017 05.00 BST Last modified on Monday 18 September 2017 05.39 BST Egypt’s security apparatus is responsible for torturing prisoners and denying detainees basic legal rights, according to new testimony obtained by the Guardian. Tarek “Tito” Hussein, a 24-year-old human rights lawyer recently kidnapped and unlawfully incarcerated by police for five weeks, has spoken about his experiences at the hands of the country’s interior ministry. He accuses state officials of attempting to extract false confessions, denying prisoners access to legal counsel and practising violent interrogation methods including beatings and the use of electric shocks, all of which violate the...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Teaching staff in KwaZulu-Natal province under investigation as mobile phone footage implicating them in savage attacks on students circulates online. Seven teachers face suspension in South Africa after a series of videos emerged showing staff abusing students. Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the films, which are taken in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province. A video shared online on Monday, which appears to have been filmed discreetly by a pupil, shows a teacher attacking two female students with a stick. The girls are heard screaming while their classmates laugh in the background. Police are also investigating reports of an alleged gang rape of a pupil by staff. The clips,...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Egyptian policy makers are weighing plans to raise 1.5 billion euros from the country’s first sale of euro-denominated bonds, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said. The possible sale would happen before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg News in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday. He didn’t give more details. With local borrowing costs above 15 percent, Egypt is increasingly looking at international debt markets to capitalize on growing investor confidence after it floated its currency and cut costly energy subsidies. The steps helped seal a three-year $12 billion loan program from the International Monetary Fund in November.
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Gabon is weighing amnesty for about 400 prisoners who were jailed for their role in the violence that followed last year’s disputed presidential vote, according to Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet. President Ali Bongo asked the Gabonese government to “consider an amnesty law,” Issoze-Ngondet told reporters on Wednesday in the capital, Libreville. A commission will be set up to review the merits of every case, he said. Violence erupted a year ago in the central African nation after the announcement that Bongo narrowly won a second seven-year term against opposition leader Jean Ping in the closest election in the nation’s history. Protesters burned down shops and the parliament building.

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