Sunday 24 September 2017
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Massive aid is needed to help more than 1 million people caught up in a vicious conflict in central Congo, the head of Oxfam said on Tuesday, describing it as a “Cinderella crisis” that had been overlooked by the rest of the world. Mark Goldring, who has just returned from the region, said the one-year-old conflict in Kasai was the world’s most neglected emergency given the scale of suffering. “I saw houses that had been razed, I saw people who had been attacked, children who had been shot,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “(We saw) absolutely indiscriminate violence that either targeted children or was indifferent to the impact on children,” he said, adding he...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
The largest opposition coalition in the Democratic Republic of Congo has criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission, or CENI, for its handling of voter registration. The Rassemblement, a large platform of opposition political parties, “firmly denounces what appears as the preparation by the CENI of a large-scale fraud in the process of building the new electoral register,” the group said in a statement released Sept. 1. No further information was provided to support the claim. On Aug. 31, in a joint statement with the government, CENI said the registration process, which started in August 2016, was almost complete and that more than 40.6 million potential voters, or 98.9% of the initial forecast, had been enrolled. The electoral commission also promised...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/04/17)
At least eight people have died after a bolt of lightning struck a small-scale goldmine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an official said Monday. "Thirty people were struck, including seven who were killed instantly and an eighth who died of their injuries in hospital," local official Christophe Ikando told AFP. The lightning strike occurred in the northeastern town of Dungu in the Haut-Uele province, near the border with South Sudan, under heavy rains that battered the area where the victims were mining for gold. According to human rights groups, such strikes are common in the gold-rich eastern region. In 2016, a primary school was struck by lighting, killing three pupils and severely injuring a teacher.
(AFP (eng) 09/04/17)
The leader of the opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, returned to Kinshasa on Sunday just as police arrested some of his supporters during a demonstration. Tshisekedi landed at the Ndjili airport around midday after a trip to Europe, a member of his team said. He was to travel on to his residence in Kinshasa's Limete neighbourhood, where earlier Sunday four opposition activists were arrested by police using teargas to break up an unauthorised demonstration. "We picked up three or four people who did not obey police orders.
(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)
The UN said Tuesday that soldiers "forced entry" into its base in the volatile Kasai region of DR Congo aiming to arrest a journalist critical of President Joseph Kabila. Journalist Edouard Diye Tshitenge had been planning to present a manifesto on Monday demanding the removal of Kabila, who has refused to step down despite constitutional limits. But the general who heads operations in the region, where some 3,000 people have been killed in a conflict since last year, banned the presentation for alleged security reasons. The troops pursued Tshitenge to the facility in Kananga operated by MONUSCO...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
Authorities have banned imports of several popular consumer products in the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo for six months to fight smuggling, Trade Minister Jean-Lucien Busa said Monday. "We have decided on the temporary restriction of imports in the western part of the country for six months of grey cement, sugar, beer and fizzy drinks in order to put an end to fraud and contraband," Busa told AFP. The measure was also aimed at "protecting local industry in a crucial period of growth that risks being undermined by those who practice prices below production costs", the minister said, stressing that he had not "turned to protectionism". In the southwest of the huge nation in the heart of Africa,...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
The number of people displaced by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly in the volatile Kasai region, has nearly doubled in the past six months to 3.8 million, a United Nations official said Saturday. George Okoth-Obbo, the number two official at the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR), said food and clothing was needed for the 1.4 million in Kasai who have fled their homes in violence that has killed more than 3,000 people. "Immediate protection" was required, he told AFP on the last day of a three-day visit to the country, in particular for children "who are sleeping in conditions that are difficult to imagine". In the southeastern province of Tanganyika, clashes between Bantus and Pygmies have also forced...
(Bloomberg 08/28/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s chances of holding credible elections are waning due to the government’s repression of the media and civil society, a United Nations official said. “The space required for a credible electoral process is rapidly shrinking,” Georgette Gagnon, field operations director with the UN Human Rights Office, told reporters Friday in the eastern city of Goma at the conclusion of a week-long visit to the central African country. The UN rights-monitoring body has documented violations against 225 members of civil-society organizations and 31 journalists this year, she said. Communications Minister Lambert Mende said by phone he didn’t know what Gagnon was talking about and it seemed “everyone wants to dramatize the situation” in Congo. Gagnon also referred...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 08/26/17)
The family of the Democratic Republic of Congo's late independence hero, Patrice Lumumba, said their Kinshasa home was burgled by soldiers on Friday and his daughter Juliana attacked and injured. "Five soldiers managed to get through the barrier" at the Lumumba family residence at 1:00 am (2300 GMT Thursday), said Francois Lumumba, eldest son of the first Congolese prime minister. During the robbery Juliana, his younger sister, tried to resist the intruders and was "hit on the head and sides with a rifle butt," he said in a statement, adding that the attackers fled with "personal effects and a sum of money." Robberies and kidnappings have become increasingly common in DR Congo in the upmarket Kinshasa district of Gombe, which...
(AFP (eng) 08/25/17)
As many as 250 people are feared dead after a massive mudslide swept over a fishing village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as the government came under fire for its slow response. The search for survivors has been called off after last week's disaster, which devastated Tara, a fishing village on the shores of Lake Albert on the country's northeastern border with Uganda. Pacifique Keta, deputy head of Ituri province where Tara is located, said the death toll was now between 150 and 250, with many still buried under the rubble of an estimated 48 destroyed homes.
(News24 08/25/17)
Former President Thabo Mbeki has reportedly said that the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is "worrying", adding that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) must act to avoid the killing of more people. Mbeki said this just before the start of the African Leadership Forum meeting which he would be co-hosting with Tanzania's former president Benjamin Mkapa in Boksburg. The meeting was set to run from August 24-25. Mbeki's remarks came as the security situation in the DRC has become increasingly fraught after a December deadline for elections was missed and a peace agreement brokered by the Catholic Church in December fell apart. The opposition demanded that elections be held before the end of this year, but this...
(Others 08/25/17)
he Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) central Kasai provinces have suffered from repeated, violent uprisings by a local militia, known as Kamwina Nsapu, against the central government, as well as violent clashes with national security forces, since August 2016. This has led to an increase in intercommunal ethnic conflicts and attacks against civilian populations. All five provinces are now affected by fighting in Grand Kasai, with Lomami being among the worst hit. Across all affected areas, nearly 1.4 million people have been displaced, and thousands are reported to have been killed or injured. Both displaced populations and host communities lack adequate access to food, water and sanitation. Dr. Rodrigue Alitanou, the medical coordinator for ALIMA in DRC, was part of...
(Agence Ecofin 08/25/17)
(Ecofin Agency) - Land Policy Initiative (LPI), in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Union (EU), have launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a pilot project to mainstream land governance challenges in agriculture. This took place at a workshop co-organized by LPI and the DRC’s government. “The pilot project will help the country mainstream land governance in agricultural strategies and plans, and ensure land reform programs secure land rights, provide equal access to land, and promote responsible agriculture investments to advance agriculture and rural transformation. It will generate evidence, raise awareness and build the DRC’s capacity to better address concerns such as unequal access to land by women, insecurity of land tenure,...

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