Friday 20 April 2018
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/13/17)
Central African Republic president Faustin-Archange Touadera sacked his defense minister on Tuesday evening, according to a state radio broadcast, amid growing violence that threatens to spin the country out of control. The dismissal of Levy Yakete, who was blacklisted by a United Nations Security Council committee in 2014 for his role in a bloody 2013 civil war, was part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle. The statement did not say if his dismissal was related directly to growing violence. Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias. Although unrest has since subsided, fighting has spiked...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
At least 25 people in the Central African Republic have been killed in recent sectarian clashes between armed groups, while a new wave of thousands have been made homeless by the violence, the UN said Tuesday. In the central city of Bria, preliminary estimates indicate "at least 10 bodies and about 50 wounded" after fighting between two rival factions of an armed group on September 7 and 8, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its weekly report, received by AFP. In the east of the poor landlocked country, around 15 people were killed and some 80 houses torched in a violent confrontation between two communities in the village of Yakapi, OCHA added. OCHA's death...
(APA 09/13/17)
APA - Bangui (Central African Republic) - Central African Republic’s (CAR) Prime Minister, Simplice Mathieu Sarandji, has on Tuesday formed a new cabinet comprising of 34 members, adding 11 new ministers. The new government includes some members of the armed groups and five women. The Minister of Defense, Joseph Yakité; Minister of Waters and Forests, Arlette Sombo Dibellet; Minister of Health, Fernande Djengbot; Minister of Communication, Charles Lemasset Mandja and Minister of Public Service and Labor, Moussa Haroun were left out of the new cabinet. Sovereignty ministries but also several departments maintain their posts.
(APA 09/13/17)
APA-Douala (Cameroon) - A new contingent of 1030 Cameroonian soldiers have recently joined the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), APA learned on Tuesday from the ministry of Defence (MINDEF). The new contingent is the fourth battalion of its kind deployed in CAR in a bid to beef up the ranks of their peacekeeping colleagues already in the country. Handing the national flag to the contingent, Cameroon’s minister of Defence (MINDEF) Joseph Beti Assomo urged the peacekeepers to be show professionalism and defend the honour of their country. "In your behaviour you must honour the flag and standards of Cameroon. This flag, sacred in essence for every citizen with a civic sense, must always...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(Voice of America 09/11/17)
GENEVA — The head of United Nations peacekeeping says rising ethnic tensions in Central African Republic are likely to spur greater conflict between the Muslim and Christian communities unless action is taken to defuse the situation. U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix says ethnic hate speech is running in parallel with an increase in violence in the Central African Republic. And, he says, he finds this very worrisome. “We are seeing a surge in very negative messages, very negative antagonistic rhetoric to the effect that ‘foreigners should be eliminated.’ Sort of putting one ethnic component or religious component...
(The Associated Press 09/11/17)
DAKAR, SENEGAL — Rebels in a volatile region of Central African Republic are raping women and killing their male relatives in a “horrific surge” of violence that is now clearly along sectarian lines, Amnesty International warned Friday. The human rights organization interviewed dozens of survivors in Basse-Kotto prefecture in the country's east, where a rebel group known as the UPC has carried out waves of attacks. The rebels are considered an offshoot of the mostly Muslim rebel coalition known as Seleka that overthrew the longtime president in 2013. While a period of relative stability allowed for Pope Francis to visit and for elections to be held, international observers now warn that Central African Republic is approaching the levels of violence...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
Deadly ethnic fighting in Central African Republic could descend into a much larger-scale conflict if nothing is done to disarm combatants and defuse tensions, a U.N. report said on Friday. With a fifth of the population displaced since the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the president in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias, U.N. peacekeepers are struggling to contain simmering violence. The U.N. human rights working group on mercenaries and foreign fighters said it “strongly senses that the possibility of another armed conflict is likely, if foreign armed actors, along with local armed groups
(AFP (eng) 09/08/17)
Civilians in a central province of the strife-torn Central African Republic are enduring "a horrifying surge in torture, pillage and forced displacement", Amnesty International reported Friday. "Women have been raped, men murdered, villages destroyed, and the region's UN peacekeeping force has proved ineffective in stemming these abuses," Joanne Mariner, the rights group's senior crisis response adviser, said in a statement. Amnesty blamed "a wave of brutal attacks" in Basse-Kotto province on the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), an armed offshoot of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance that seized power in 2013 and installed a regime that lasted 10 months. The UPC is led by local warlord Ali Darassa, who is close to Fula nomads based...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
At least eight people, including civilians, were killed and 29 injured in the latest bout of growing sectarian unrest in the Central African Republic which has prompted warnings of genocide, the UN said Wednesday. "Over the past week, there were several reports of clashes" around the central town of Bria, some 450 kilometres (280 miles) north east of the capital Bangui, the UN's humanitarian affairs coordination office (OCHA) said. "There are reports of at least eight deaths, including civilians, and 29 injured on recent fighting" on the Bria to Yalinga highway, it added.. It was not immediately clear who was behind the latest violence but Bria was the scene earlier this month of clashes between a majority Muslim rebel group...
(APA 08/30/17)
APA - Douala (Cameroon) - Public spending within Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) countries declined by 4000 billion CFA over the past triennium (2014-2017), the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) said Wednesday. Clearly, these expenditures have gone from 7,000 billion CFA in 2014 to stabilize at 3,000 billion CFA in 2017, a staggering decreased of 4,000 billion CFA in three years. This drastic reduction in public spending is the consequence of the fiscal adjustment measures implemented within the states or enacted by the BEAC since the decline in global commodity prices. These include the drop in oil price on the international market, which is detrimental to the economies of the subregion, especially as five of the six...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...

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