Thursday 18 January 2018
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
South Sudan should delay elections until the almost four-year civil war ends, the United Nations mission head said, about two weeks after the government indicated it may go ahead with a vote in 2018. “It’s important that we work through the peace process so that we have good conditions on the ground to enable elections to go ahead that can be seen to be free and fair and people can have confidence in them,” David Shearer, who leads the UN mission in the African country, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Juba. The conflict in the oil-producing nation has claimed tens of thousands of lives since December 2013, with fighters loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Ethiopia is considering finding a new partner to develop a potash mine abandoned last year by Israel Chemicals Ltd., which has sought compensation at an arbitration court after accusing the government of failing to support the project. Several companies are interested in developing potash deposits in the country’s northeastern Afar region, Mines Minister Motuma Mekassa said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Addis Ababa. The government is eager to begin work on the project as long as there are no legal hindrances from the arbitration process currently under way in The Hague, though no discussions with prospective investors have taken place yet, he said. “If the legal procedures allow us, we won’t wait for the decision of the arbitration...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers conceded in a court hearing that a decision by prosecutors to drop bribery and corruption charges against him in 2009 was irrational, opening up the possibility that they will be reinstated. Zuma’s lawyer gave the concession Thursday before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. It’s considering an appeal by the president’s legal team and the National Prosecuting Authority of a High Court ruling that the decision to drop 783 charges for fraud, corruption and racketeering, was irrational and they should be reinstated. The case was scrapped a month before Zuma became president after recorded phone calls indicated the lead investigator’s actions may have been politically motivated. Lawyers for the prosecutors told the court...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
An obscure company’s quest to rebuild a century-old business could lead to the British stock exchange. The equatorial sun pierces the forest canopy as two laborers manipulate a machete at the end of a long pole to cut hard red fruits from the top of a soaring palm. The heavy bunches are collected by hand and trucked to a mill, where palm oil is extracted before beginning its journey down the Congo River. The men work for the local unit of Feronia Inc., an obscure London-based company that’s taking on long odds: trying to build a business in one of the least commercially friendly countries in the world. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country recently torn by civil...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
The South African Reserve Bank’s fight against its detractors escalated this week, and now even has President Jacob Zuma in its sights. The central bank in court papers accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of bias and being part of a campaign to undermine its independence after documents showed the anti-graft ombudsman held a secret meeting with Zuma’s lawyers before proposing changes to its mandate. It’s another in a series of wrangles that could keep the institution in the public eye for something else than monetary policy this year. Its mandate isn’t the only front on which the central bank has come under fire in the past three months. After Mkhwebane instructed lawmakers in June to change the constitution to make...
(Voice of America 09/15/17)
Women's rights activists in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, braved hot weather Thursday to protest recent domestic violence in which seven women were slain or disfigured by their partners. The protesters, many of them women, wore black attire, and at one point they lay in the street to symbolize mourning. They carried banners and placards that read: "Violence against women is an offense, not a private issue," "Ending gender violence starts with me, I stand against it;" and "Don't be silent, speak up against intimate partners' violence." Emma Kaliya, national coordinator for an NGO called Gender Coordination Network, an umbrella body of women's rights organizations in Malawi, told VOA that domestic violence is not an isolated occurrence in Malawi, but what is...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Kenyan lenders risk needing to raise expensive debt on local markets next year to shore up their core capital levels, which may be eroded by new accounting standards the country is introducing that compel banks to classify losses differently. That’ll be a double whammy for an industry already reeling from the effects of interest-rate caps introduced a year ago, accelerating a decline in banks’ return on earnings to 24.7 percent by the end of last year, down from as much as 30 percent five years earlier, according to Jeremy Awori, chief executive officer at Barclays Bank Kenya Ltd. The International Financial Reporting Standard 9, or IFRS 9, that comes into effect on Jan. 1 requires banks to set aside more...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Interswitch Ltd., a Nigeria-based payments-processing company, expects to complete its delayed dual listing in London and Lagos before the end of 2019. The initial public offering to raise as much as $1 billion had been scheduled for 2016 and was delayed because equity markets were not as “favorable as we would have liked,” Interswitch’s divisional chief executive officer for switching and processing, Akeem Lawal, said in an interview. “We will come back to it because it is an important part of our strategy,” Lawal said on the sidelines of a conference in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. “It will happen before the end of 2019.” Lawal was in Nairobi to promote Interswitch’s use of quick-response, or QR, codes to drive merchant payments...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Voice of America 09/14/17)
WASHINGTON — At least 32 people have been killed in clashes across Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions following clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo forces, a former Ethiopian lawmaker said. Speaking to VOA Somali Service, Boqor Ali Omar Allale said at least 32 ethnic Somalis, including his younger brother, were killed on Monday night in Awaday, a small town between Ethiopia's most holy Muslim town of Harar and its big eastern city of Dire Dawa. "They were innocent business people sleeping with their children and spouses. They were attacked in their homes and most of them beheaded. Based on the number of burial spaces arranged, we have at least 32 deaths, including my younger" brother, Allale told VOA Somali...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Kenya’s opposition presidential candidate said the electoral authority should consider delaying the rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote until the end of October to ensure it’s organized in a credible manner. The date for the election could be adjusted within the 60-day period stipulated by the law to give the electoral body enough time to prepare a fair vote, Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition National Super Alliance, said in an interview with Nairobi-based broadcaster KTN on Tuesday. The opposition will ensure the vote doesn’t take place if its concerns about how the vote is being handled aren’t addressed, he said. “It doesn’t have to be done on October 17,” Odinga said. “Time is not a constraint here. We...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Cameroon is taking steps to encourage farmers to grow better quality cocoa after a deterioration in last year’s crop resulted in lower prices for the country’s beans. About 90 percent of Cameroon’s cocoa exports in the season through July were classed as Grade 2, the second of three quality ratings for beans, according to Trade Minister Luc Magloire Atangana Mbarga. That compared with 97 percent previously and meant that Cameroonian cocoa was about 200 CFA Francs ($0.37) per kilogram cheaper than international prices for the chocolate ingredient, he said. Cameroon, the world’s fifth-largest cocoa producer, has distributed 1,800 new, modern dryers to farmers to help reduce the smoky smell and high moisture content that meant...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Strong supporters of South African President Jacob Zuma are on a provisional list of people who would run for the top positions at the African National Congress’s leadership conference in December on the ticket of his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, according to two people familiar with the matter. A proposed list drawn up at a meeting late Monday includes David Mabuza, the premier of Mpumalanga province, as the choice of ANC deputy president, and Ace Magashule, the head of Free State province, as the party secretary-general, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Olam International Ltd. invested $150 million in animal-feed mills and poultry farms in Nigeria as it seeks to boost its agribusiness venture in Africa’s biggest food market by population. These include bird- and fish-feed mills with the capacity for 360,000 metric tons each, located in the northern Kaduna and western Kwara states, and a hatchery to produce 1.6 million day-old chicks weekly, the global food trader said in a statement handed to reporters Tuesday in Kaduna. Feeds produced are estimated to support the production of 8 billion eggs and 100-million kilograms of poultry a year, the Singapore-based Olam said. “Our new facilities will invigorate the industry by closing the supply gap in animal feed,” Olam said in the statement. Nigerian...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Kenya is running out of time to ensure a credible rerun of presidential elections that were annulled by the nation’s top court after the main opposition party alleged that they were rigged. With the next vote due in just five weeks, the electoral commission is mired in infighting over who should take the fall for last month’s botched contest. Demands by ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 72, and his National Super Alliance that sweeping changes be made to the commission, including the removal of its chief executive officer, have also placed them at loggerheads with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee Party. “As things stand now, most of the people that ran the Aug. 8 elections are still in office and the...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Uganda should fairly compensate landowners affected by a pipeline that will transport oil to an Indian Ocean port after accusations that some people reimbursed for earlier public projects were left worse-off, Oxfam International said. The London-based charity said it’s concerned that “community participation, livelihoods and land rights could be overlooked in a quest to meet the schedule for land acquisition” for the 1,445-kilometer (898-mile) conduit that will link Uganda’s western oilfields with Tanga in Tanzania. Total SA, China’s Cnooc Ltd. and London-based Tullow Oil Plc are developing Uganda’s estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil resources, with the planned pipeline crossing eight districts and 296 kilometers in the country. “Oxfam is interested in seeing that extractives projects benefit host communities and...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
Walking through rows of macadamia trees on her farm in eastern Zimbabwe, Shalet Mutasa proudly displays a set of soil-quality results showing the fields’ conditions are improving. This will be her third harvest of the creamy white nuts after switching from less-profitable corn. Mutasa, who is in her mid-50s and was allocated the previously white-owned land by the government, is targeting 20 metric tons of production. That’s nearly double last year’s crop and a big jump from the half a ton she managed the first year. “It will be third-time lucky,’’ she said. “We initially grew maize but later realized the crop wasn’t rewarding financially,” she said, using another name for corn. The expansion of niche and export-oriented crops like...
(Voice of America 09/13/17)
Over the last six years, people persuaded by the militant group Boko Haram to sacrifice their lives have killed thousands of civilians in markets, schools and other public places across northeast Nigeria and neighboring countries. In response, the Nigerian government has acknowledged the need to encourage defections and deradicalize former Boko Haram members. The government says it is working with defectors at camps in the northeast, with the aim of reintegrating them into society. But human rights groups question the effectiveness of the efforts, which they say amount to little more than indefinite detention in squalid conditions. Programs questioned According to a report by the Combating Terrorism Center, Boko Haram deployed 434 suicide bombers between April 2011 and June 2017...
(Bloomberg 09/13/17)
The number of people who need food aid in northeastern Nigeria has risen by 11 percent to 5.2 million in June from three months earlier, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. “The ongoing lean season is contributing to a deterioration in food insecurity in northeastern Nigeria, in the three most affected states,” according to a report by the United Nations agency. The three worst-affected regions include Borno, where the Boko Haram militia group has waged a violent campaign since 2009 to impose its version of Islamic law. Others are Adamawa and Yobe. The Islamist militants have used ambushes and bombed the northeast regions of Africa’s most populous nation and killed tens of thousands of people. FAO’s 2017 humanitarian plan...
(BBC News Africa 09/13/17)
Ivory Coast and Benin were the last two teams to qualify for the group stage of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana. The Ivorians progressed in the West African regional championship with a penalty shoot-out win over Togo after the goalless draw on Tuesday. Benin were 2-0 winners over Cape Verde in the final qualifier. The two winners join Senegal and Niger in Group B of the tournament, while hosts Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea and Mali will contest the other pool. A total of 16 teams began the tournament as opposed to the four that took part in the 2015 edition in Senegal. As the event is not on the international match calendar teams are unable to insist on...

Pages