Wednesday 23 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/21/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo balanced its budget in all but two months between January and July without reverting to old habits of printing money to pay bills, its finance minister said on Saturday. "We decided in January to tighten the budget and fix as an objective a zero deficit, or where this is not possible, a deficit reduced and easily paid off with receipts from coming months," the minister, Henri Yav Mulang, said at a news conference in Kinshasa. He added that this was part of several reforms "to the fiscal system, considered today as complex, asphyxiating ... and ultimately discouraging for private enterprise." He said that this has been achieved without printing money, a stance...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended value-added tax on imports by mining companies after briefly reinstating the duty, the country’s main business chamber said. Customs authorities had resumed collecting VAT on imports including machinery soon after a July 2016 decree halting remittances expired last month, Federation des Entreprises du Congo Managing Director Kimona Bononge said in a letter to Finance Minister Henri Yav Mulang. The minister has subsequently “resolved the problem,” Bononge said by phone from Kinshasa, the capital. “The finance minister has given an instruction to the DGDA to not collect VAT on imports by mining companies,” Bononge said by phone
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - As Congo's government was soliciting urgent help from Western donors and the IMF last month to contain an economic crisis, the chairman of the state mining company brought an unusual guest to the prime minister's office. It was Raymond O'Leary, a vice president from Russia's second largest bank, state-owned VTB, to discuss a Eurobond aiming to raise funds for the cash-strapped government, Congolese and VTB officials confirmed. The choice of lead manager was striking, given that VTB...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Congo's finance ministry has provisionally reinstated mining companies' exemption from a value added tax on imports, the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday, days after miners complained customs authorities were planning to impose VAT on them. Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's top copper producer, agreed to suspend the tax in July 2016 to help companies during a commodity price downturn and to pay down hundreds of millions of dollars in VAT reimbursements owed to the companies. "The suspension of TVA...
(APA 08/17/17)
Uganda is to supply power to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the next three years following an agreement signed on Thursday between the two countries. According to a memorandum of Understanding signed in Kampala, a power transmission line connecting both countries from Kasese District in Western Uganda to Beni city in northeastern DR Congo, Butembo in North Kivu and finally to Bunia town in Ituri Province. According to Uganda’s energy minister Irene Muloni the Ugandan stretch of the line...
(MmegiOnline 08/17/17)
With the local commercial property market coming under pressure, RDC Properties says it is aggressively pursuing regional diversification with Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique soon to be added to their portfolio. Announcing results for the half-year ended June 30, 2017 in Gaborone yesterday, RDC executive chairman Guido Giachetti said the local property market is going through challenging times but the downturn was plugged by good performance in the properties in the tourism industry. This resulted in an increase in profit...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda has signed a preliminary agreement with neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to build a power transmission line connecting both countries so that Kampala can sell electricity to the eastern Congo, a senior official said on Wednesday. Uganda generates about 800 megawatts of electricity but that should double in about one and a half years when two hydropower dams are completed, giving the east African nation surplus energy. By contrast, less than 15 percent of Congo has...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Bloomberg 07/28/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s insurance regulator is preparing to open up an industry for the first time that could be worth as much as $500 million a year to investors. The newly created Insurance Regulatory Authority, known by the French acronym ARCA, received interest from at least 16 companies after requesting letters of intent in June, Managing Director Eric Mboma said, declining to identify individual firms. It will seek formal applications from those firms in August and award licenses...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Zoe Kabila, the brother of Congolese President Joseph Kabila, owns a business empire that encompasses everything from tourism to mining. His companies have sold diamonds, owned a luxury hotel on Congo’s Atlantic coast, built roads, invested in farming, set up a fast-food franchise and printed driver’s licenses, according to a review of corporate filings obtained by Bloomberg. That’s in addition to contracts and partnerships with Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. and Nzuri Copper Ltd. Zoe’s businesses, along with those of his siblings,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
In the two decades since billionaire mining investor Robert Friedland founded Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., his small team has made some of the biggest mineral discoveries in the world. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has done so while trading and contracting with companies controlled by one of President Joseph Kabila’s brothers, searches of thousands of pages of Congolese corporate records obtained by Bloomberg show. Ivanhoe’s unearthing of Africa’s largest copper deposit in Congo last year after more than a decade of exploration work has helped quintuple the company’s stock price. The discovery adds to other successes by Friedland, which include building the Oyu Tolgoi copper-and-gold mine in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert

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