Friday 15 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
A huge so-called "peace diamond" sold by the government of Sierra Leone to discourage crime-tainted "blood diamonds" fetched $6.5 million on Monday. The 709-carat stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Found by a company led by evangelical Pastor Momoh, the diamond was given to the government in the hopes it would handle the sale in a way that leaves more profits and development potential in Sierra Leone. British jewelers Laurence Graff purchased the stone, according to Martin Rapaport...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/05/17)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sierra Leone sold one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds for $6.5 million at a New York auction on Monday to raise funds for development projects in the West African country. The egg-sized gem -- known as the “Peace Diamond” -- was bought by British luxury jeweler Laurence Graff, said Martin Rapaport, chairman of Rapaport Group, a network of diamond companies that managed the auction. “One hundred percent of the value of this diamond, of the auction sale of this diamond, is going to go to the government and the people of Sierra Leone. Never before has this happened,” Rapaport told reporters. The gem was unearthed in March in Sierra Leone’s eastern Kono region by a...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
Ramat Gan, ISRAEL (Reuters) - Sierra Leone hopes to raise millions of dollars for development projects by auctioning a huge uncut diamond, believed to be one of the world’s largest, in New York in December. It will be the government’s second attempt to sell the 709-carat gem, known as the “Peace Diamond”, after it rejected the highest bid of $7.8 million at an initial auction in New York in May. Over half of the proceeds from the sale will be...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Sierra Leone said Tuesday it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the "blood diamonds" of its past. The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Sierra Leone authorities told reporters that the massive gem will go up for sale on December...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone) - The Sierra Leone government must consider increasing its budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector if the country is to meet its food self-sufficiency dream, a senior official has said. Mr Mohammed Tejan Kella, Project Coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, said Sunday an annual allocation of at least $300 million to the sector will be needed if the country should attain food security. This amount, according to him, will translate to 10 percent of the national budget. Agriculture is largely described as the mainstay of Sierra Leone’s economy, with about 70 percent...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
Stellar Diamonds, a London-listed small-cap, is seeking funding for a $45 million diamond project in Sierra Leone it says will be the first major mining project since the Ebola crisis rocked the country’s economy. Diamonds and other forms of mining are central to an economy hard hit by the 2015 Ebola epidemic. Trade in diamonds helped to fuel the decade-long conflict that ended in 2002, but since the lifting of a ban on exports in 2003 and strict international rules,...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 09/05/17)
Delegates from African countries are hoping to attract more Chinese investment at the ongoing 11th China-Northeast Asia Expo in Changchun, capital of northeastern Jilin Province. Representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique presented a variety of collaborative projects at the expo, ranging from grain and dairy processing, light manufacturing, to machinery and construction, in the hope of finding Chinese counterparts to invest in their countries. Ethiopia has set up a one-stop service system to simplify the approval process for business...

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