Thursday 25 May 2017
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
A revised mining code that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will present to parliament is the same draft proposal introduced to legislators in 2015 and opposed by industry, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said. The proposed changes should be presented to parliament this week, but a date has yet to be set, Kabwelulu said Monday by mobile-phone text message from the capital, Kinshasa. “It is the same draft,” he said. A proposed revision of the 2002 mining code was approved by the government in March 2015 and introduced to parliament, but never debated. Planned changes include: Increasing profit taxes to 35 percent from 30 percent Raising the government’s free share of new mining projects to...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Bloomberg 05/10/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced the appointment of a new government under Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala that left many key ministerial posts unchanged. The ministers of finance, mines, oil, justice, interior and foreign affairs all retained their posts in the new administration, according to a statement read on national television Tuesday in the capital, Kinshasa. Congolese President Joseph Kabila last month named Tshibala, who was expelled in March from the largest opposition party, to head a new power-sharing government...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
Rawbank Sarl, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest lender, plans to extend its branch network into all 26 provinces from 12 over the next three years before expanding regionally and eventually listing its shares. "Our first priority is to cover the Congo and then look to expand into the neighboring countries with a listing on a stock market," Chief Executive Officer Thiery Taeymans said in an interview in the capital, Kinshasa. It is considering bordering Republic of Congo as its...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo hired an Israeli security firm to lobby the U.S. government after criticism of President Joseph Kabila’s failure to hold elections and hand over power. Congo agreed to pay MER Security and Communication Systems Ltd. $5.58 million between Dec. 8, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017 for policy advice and support in lobbying senior government officials and members of Congress, according to documents published on the U.S. Department of Justice’s www.fara.gov website April 28. MER, based in...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
A dispute between state-owned Gecamines and its joint-venture partner at a Congolese cobalt mine that supplies Glencore Plc threatens to halt the supply of as much as 4 percent of the metal within two months. Jersey-registered GTL, a joint venture between Gecamines and closely held Groupe Forrest International, has processed the hill of mine waste that looms over the southern Congolese mining town of Lubumbashi since 2001, producing as much as 5,000 metric tons of cobalt a year. The state-owned...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has...
(Dw-World 04/03/17)
The UN is considering reducing the number of peacekeeping troops (MONUSCO) in the DR Congo at a time when the nation is engulfed in crisis. The opposition is calling for 'ghost town' protests amid political uncertainty. Congolese President Joseph Kabila has not yet confirmed or denied whether he will run for a third term. There is also uncertainty over whether the elections which are scheduled for December will actually talk place. The main opposition alliance Rassemblement has called for people to stay home on Monday so as to put
(Bloomberg 03/29/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa and a major producer of natural resources including copper, cobalt, gold and tin, has never had a peaceful transfer of power. The country has had just three leaders since 1965, and if President Joseph Kabila has his way, it won’t have a fourth any time soon. Kabila’s second term -- his last, according to the constitution -- ended Dec. 19, but he’s still in office. Under a Dec. 31...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court Wednesday sentenced former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to an additional year in prison and fined him $324,000 for bribing witnesses during his earlier trial on war crimes. Four other members of Bemba's legal team also were sentenced by The Hague-based court. They were found guilty back in October of bribing and otherwise influencing 14 defense witnesses to try to tilt the outcome of the first trial, which led to a March 2016 conviction...

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