Monday 24 July 2017
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
A member of a banned Rwandan opposition party has been assassinated, party officials alleged Thursday, less than three months before national elections are due to be held. The body of Jean Damascene Habarugira, a member of the United Democratic Forces party (known by its French acronym, FDU), was found on Monday, police spokesman Theos Badege said, 60 kilometres (40 miles) from where he had disappeared three days earlier. FDU vice president Boniface Twagirimana, claimed 52-year-old Habarugira had been murdered because of his opposition to the government's agricultural planning policy in his home area of Ngoma, in the east of the country. "We denounce this as an assassination," Twagirimana said on Thursday. He said the party member disappeared after meeting a...
(The East African 05/11/17)
A deal between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed in December 2015 whereby the three countries agreed to end tensions over River Nile water faces an unclear future due to ongoing tensions between Egypt and Sudan. The two downstream countries at the end of April agreed to de-escalate tensions and end counter-accusations as well as import bans and deportations had brought relations between the two countries to tipping point. As the two neighbours bicker, Ethiopia continued its quest to bring Nile Basin countries on its side as its Grand Renaissance Dam nearing completion. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was in Rwanda last week and during the two-day state visit signed a co-operation deal with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame on the...
(Agence Ecofin 05/11/17)
The Rwandan government wishes to generate $400 million from its mining industry, by 2018. This was reported by New Times, citing Francis Gatare, chief executive of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMPGB), who said the State would partner with mining firms to double the country’s mineral productivity in the next two years. According to Gatare, entities involved in mining activities in Rwanda will take advantage of rising global prices to diversify their products, in order to “maximize gains”. Since the beginning of the year, cassiterite which was sold at $13,000 a ton between 2015 and 2016, has been fluctuating between $19,000 and $20,000 per ton. As for wolfram, its price rose by about 40% while coltan’s increased by 28%-30%...
(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 Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(APA 05/08/17)
The reforms aim to make the African Union, AU, more efficient politically, operationally and financially, so that the African multilateral organisation is better positioned to meet its mandate to member states and African citizens. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, his AU reform advisory team and close to 40 African Ministers of Foreign Affairs met Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss the implementation of the African Union (AU) reforms adopted in January 2017. This is according to a press release distributed by APO on behalf of the consultative meeting on African Union reforms. In July 2016, at the 27th African Union Summit, member States of the AU entrusted President Paul Kagame of Rwanda with the mandate to lead the African Union...
(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 the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/04/17)
An independent woman candidate announced on Wednesday she would challenge President Paul Kagame, joining two other candidates hoping to defeat him in August elections after 17 years in office. Diane Rwigara, a 35-year-old accountant, said she would work to eradicate poverty, injustice and promote freedom if elected. She does not belong to any political party. Kagame is widely admired for restoring stability to the East African nation after its 1994 genocide, presiding over rapid economic growth and a relatively corruption-free government. But rights activists say that came at the expense of civil liberties. Some of Kagame's political opponents have been killed after they fled abroad, in cases that remain unsolved. Rwigara said she understood how victims of rights abuses felt...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
A decade after poachers wiped out its native population of rhinos, Rwanda has reintroduced the animals to its national parks after flying up a group of 10 from South Africa on Tuesday. The group will live at Rwanda's Akagera National Park, protected by rangers trained in anti-poaching and an electric fence, authorities said. Rhino horn, used as daggers and in traditional Asian medicine, is more expensive than gold or cocaine. It can sell for more than $50,000 per kilo. "The (original) rhinos disappeared because there were cases of poaching," Belise Kariza, the chief tourism officer at Rwanda's development board, told Reuters.
(Xinhuanet 05/03/17)
China Road and Bridge Cooperation(CRBC) has started an urban road upgrading project in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, which is expected to improve the overall traffic situation in Kigali and the landlocked country. The 54.56 kilometers road upgrading project, invested by China Export-Import Bank in form of preferential loan, will effectively enhance the road traffic capacity in the urban areas of Kigali, facilitate the local residents to travel, promote the development of tourism, so as to promote the development of the local economy. Kigali is growing fast with many people coming into the city, the road upgrading project is being built for the perspective of making Rwanda's roads wider to meet the needs of growing population, Mayor of Kigali Nyamulinda Pascal...
(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 Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(AFP (eng) 05/02/17)
Around 20 of Africa's endangered Eastern black rhinos are returning in an "extraordinary homecoming" to Rwanda after the species disappeared there 10 years ago, the African Parks organisation said Tuesday. The rhinos are being moved from South Africa to the Akagera national park in eastern Rwanda, according to the non-profit group that manages protected areas for African governments. "This extraordinary homecoming will take place over the first two weeks of May," it said in a statement. The Eastern black rhino, one of the sub-species of the rhinoceros, is in critical danger of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Back in the 1970s, more than 50 black rhinos thrived
(The New Times 05/02/17)
Delivering better service at all levels is the only way to improve labour productivity in the country and help citizens graduate from poverty and become self-reliant, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has said. The premier was yesterday speaking during celebrations to mark International Labour Day at Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District. The May Day celebration attracted several government officials, trade union as well as hundreds of employees and employers, among others. Premier Murekezi said May Day is celebrated to help employers and employees reflect on their performance in the past year and discuss how they can improve on their work. He said that while the country had registered tremendous progress in promoting service and labour, there was a lot...
(The New Times 05/02/17)
Rwanda officially has the big five game animals following the arrival of 10 rhinos from South Africa Tuesday morning. The rhinos arrived at Kigali International Airport at around 3:30am aboard an Etihad Airways Cargo plane. Other 10 are expected in the country in the next one week. The Eastern black rhinos weigh over on average about 2 tonnes each. The 'beasts' were offloaded under the supervision of a team of veterinary doctors and loaded onto trucks for the last leg of their journey to Akagera National Park. At hand to receive the rhinos were Belise Kariza, the chief tourism officer at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), George Twala South Africa's Ambassador to Rwanda and the manager of Akagera Park Jes Gruner...
(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 executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is showing signs of recovery this year after a tumultuous period in 2016. The World Bank estimates that GDP growth will rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 compared to 1.3 percent last year and rise further to 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent a year later. “Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate rate of 2.6 percent in 2017, and somewhat improve towards three percent in 2018. This timid recovery is certainly better than the 1.6 percent we had in 2016, the lowest in a decade, but it is still below population growth in Africa,” said Albert Zeufack, Africa region chief economist at World Bank. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate...

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