Sunday 24 September 2017
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(Bloomberg 08/23/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo has promised to help Alphamin Resources Corp. to protect the world’s highest-grade untapped tin deposit. Construction of the mine has already started in a remote part of North Kivu, an eastern province, and Alphamin intends to have the $152 million project fully funded by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Boris Kamstra said Tuesday. A large part of the project’s success will depend on maintaining security in a region that hosts armed militia groups and eliminating illegal mining. “The DRC government has been hugely supportive in that we now have a very strong military presence in our area,” Kamstra told reporters at a Johannesburg briefing attended by North Kivu Minister of Mines Anselme...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(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 design, better use of existing...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
The death toll from a landslide that swept over a fishing village on the banks of a lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached 140, the government said Monday. "We estimate that there at least a hundred bodies buried underneath the rumble of large rocks that fell on the 48 destroyed homes," the deputy governor of Ituri Province, Pacifique Keta, told AFP. The landslide occurred last Wednesday in the northeast village of Tora on the banks of Lake Albert when part of a mountain engulfed a fishing camp after heavy rains. At the time, the government said 40 people had died. Keta said authorities have decided to suspend the search for bodies to "prioritise the disinfection of the...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/21/17)
DAKAR (Reuters) - A landslide in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo likely killed more than 200 people, based on estimates from the number of households submerged, the vice governor of affected Ituri province said on Friday. The landslide struck the village of Tora, on the shores of Lake Albert, a seismically active zone in the western Rift Valley, on Thursday. "There are many people submerged whom we were unable to save," Pacifique Keta, the vice governor of Ituri province, where Tora lies, told Reuters by telephone. "The rescue is very complicated because there are mountains everywhere, which makes it very difficult to have access." Many parts of west and central Africa are vulnerable to landslides, because land is heavily deforested...
(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 into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/19/17)
West and Central Africa is the most volatile region in the world for aid workers, accounting for more than half of attacks on humanitarians worldwide this year, aid agencies said on Friday. Worsening militant violence across the region has seen aid workers attacked on nearly 200 occasions in Central African Republic, more than 115 in Mali and about 75 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, U.N. agencies and humanitarian groups said. "The deteriorating trend in these countries ... is extremely worrying," said Noel Tsekouras, regional representative for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). "Our staff and volunteers too often risk their own lives when coming...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/18/17)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Several members of the U.N. Security Council called on U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday to establish an international investigation into the murders of two U.N. investigators in Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year. Michael Sharp, an American who was coordinator of a sanctions monitoring group that reports to the council, and Zaida Catalan, a Swede, were killed on March 12 while carrying out investigations in central Congo's insurrection-ravaged Kasai region. An internal board of inquiry said in a report this week that the assassins were likely militia members from the area. In a separate report this month, discussed by the Security Council on Thursday...
(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
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
The US ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called for a "full investigation" into the death of two UN experts killed in March in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Michael Sharp, a US citizen, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, were likely murdered by Congolese militia members while on a mission investigating violence and mass graves in the country's restive Kasai province, a UN inquiry out Wednesday found. "The murder of UN experts -– especially like Michael and Zaida, who risked their own lives in order to help others -– cannot end in a bureaucratic procedure," said US Ambassador Nikki Haley. "We still need a full investigation under the Secretary-General's authority into the events surrounding their deaths and...
(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 is under U.S. sanctions so any deal would have shut the door on IMF and pretty much all Western donor funds. It fell through, partly because of this concern and also because Congolese officials realized any investor willing to buy...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
A landslide has swept over a fishing village on the banks of a lake in the northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 40 people, a regional official said Thursday. Part of a mountain engulfed "a fisherman's camp after heavy rains caused a landslide" the deputy governor of Ituri province, Pacifique Keta, told AFP. He said 40 people were killed in the disaster in the village of Tora on the banks of Lake Albert on Wednesday. It follows devastating floods in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown on Monday that killed some 300 people. "Yesterday (Wednesday), we buried 28 bodies and today we will bury 12 more," said Keta. A doctor at the nearby Tshomia hospital, Herve Isamba, said they were...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/17)
Two UN investigators killed in March likely died at the hands of Congolese militia members, a UN inquiry found, adding that further investigation will be required to "fully ascertain the identity" of those involved. Michael Sharp, an American, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, were found murdered in March in the Democratic Republic of Congo while on a UN mission investigating violence and mass graves in the country's restive Kasai province. "A group of Congolese, likely militia members from the Kasai Central province, was responsible," read the board's executive summary, obtained Wednesday by AFP. "There was a reasonable likelihood that the killings were committed after consultation with other local tribal actors." But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized in a...
(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 for mining companies was decided by the minister (of finance) last Saturday," John Nkono, secretary general of the industry-led Chamber of Mines, told Reuters. "Although provisional, this needed to be taken. Otherwise, the situation would have been catastrophic," he said...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
A United Nations inquiry found that two U.N. investigators were murdered by a group of Congolese, likely militia members from central Democratic Republic of Congo, but an absence of evidence "does not preclude the possibility that others are involved." Michael Sharp, an American who was coordinator of an independent sanctions monitoring group, and Zaida Catalan, a Swede, were killed in central Congo on March 12 while carrying out investigations for a report to the U.N. Security Council. The bodies of Sharp and Catalan were found in a shallow grave two weeks later. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres set up an internal board of inquiry and gave an executive summary of the findings to the Security Council on Tuesday. "A group of...
(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 will be about 70 kilometres and "each government will take care of its portion. Uganda is expected to contribute $22m towards financing of the $150m project while the rest will be the responsibility of DR Congo government. The African Development...
(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 and rental income with focus now placed on growing its residential property portfolio as well as new acquisitions in the region. “Profit from operations increased by six percent to P31.4 million with rental income up five percent to P43.9 million...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
At least 10 people, but possibly as many as 40, have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo by suspected members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), local sources said Wednesday. "We condemn the kidnapping of 10 people from the village of Kunu (in the northeast) by gunmen identified as LRA rebels," a local official, Dungu Christophe Ikando, told AFP. But the UN radio station in DR Congo reported that "at least 40 people had been kidnapped", including two members of a commission charged with organising elections in the country. "Two of our agents who were on their way back from a voter registration centre were ambushed by armed men," said Etienne Akangiabe, an executive secretary with the Independent...

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