Friday 23 June 2017
(APA 06/23/17)
Sierra Leone's Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh has called on the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities created by the government. Inaugurating the Call To Business (ACTB) Savings and Loans Limited at the company's head office in the west end of Freetown on Thursday, Mr. Foh described it as a "success story." He attributed this success to the efforts of the government. "Being cognisance of this, since he assumed office in 2007, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government have made financial and economic growth a central theme in our nation's development agenda, the Agenda for Prosperity," Mr. Foh said. He cited the Financial Sector Development Plan and the recently launched National Financial...
(APA 06/23/17)
The parliament in Sierra Leone has ratified a revised power purchase deal reached with the Swiss energy producer Addax in 2011. Parliament in a statement on Wednesday said the amendment was warranted by changing circumstances. Addax Bio Energy is a Swiss owned company which engages in the production of palm oil and sugar cane, from which it produces bio energy. Its deal with the Sierra Leone government is aimed at providing alternative sources of energy to address the country’s huge power deficit. The company will produce an additional 10 megawatts to the national grid under the revised deal. Addax had been facing difficulties in its operation and there are reports that talks are already undeerway for a takeover by a...
(APA 06/21/17)
Sierra Leone has increased its Monetary Policy Rate by 1 percent from 12.00 percent to 13.00 percent, as it opts to maintain a tight monetary policy against the growing influence of inflation. The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), in its latest Monetary Policy Statement published on Wednesday, also increased the Standing Deposit Facility from 6.50 percent to 9.00 percent, and the Standing Lending Facility jumped from 13.00 percent to 16.00 percent. The bank said the decision was taken in the...
(APA 06/21/17)
Poverty is the leading factor fueling teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone, a new report has revealed. The findings by the National Commission for Children (NCC) are part of its annual report officially released on Tuesday under the theme: “Reintegration of teenage mothers into formal school system. According to the report, over 70 percent of teenage mothers lack education on sexual and reproductive health before they got pregnant. Only 10.5 percent reported having used any form of contraceptive up to three...
(APA 06/19/17)
The National Council for Technical Vocational and Other Academic Award (NCTVA) in Sierra Leone has announced new stringent measures designed to counter examinations malpractice. NCTVA is the country’s highest national examinations body and it conducts exams at the level of college, Polytechnic, Vocational and some secondary schools, as opposed to the regional West African Examination Council (WAEC), which conducts exams for Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. Amidst concern of the widespread existence of malpractice, the NCTVA is worried that this could compromise the quality of its certificate, Mohamed Jalloh, Director of NCTVA, said on Monday in an interview. His comments followed massive clamp down by government on a string of exams malpractice...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(APA 06/12/17)
The Sierra Leone government has signed a US$17m road construction project, the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) announced in a statement on Monday. The 46km road is the second and final phase of the Sierra Leone leg of the Trans-Africa road project. This road will run from Bo to Bandajuma in the south of the country, linking Sierra Leone to Liberia on its southern flank. The OPEC Fund for International Development, the African Development Bank and the government of Sierra...
(APA 06/12/17)
The World Bank has announced additional funding for Sierra Leone to the tune of US$10 million as budget support. World Bank country manager Parmindar Brar said Friday the money is meant specifically to improve on the country’s financial management system. Mr Brar also announced a separate US$4 million allocation for the fisheries sector, and said this gesture was geared toward enhancing performance of sectors with the potential to improve on the lives of ordinary Sierra Leoneans. “I think it is...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough 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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Sierra Leone's government said Thursday it would seek higher offers in Belgium for a massive 709-carat diamond found by an Evangelical preacher after underwhelming offers at auction at home. A Thursday auction in Freetown drew a top bid for the uncut gem -- which has a reddish stain that has so far resisted efforts to clean it -- of $7.77 million dollars, an AFP correspondent reported. The prospect of bids not passing muster with the authorities had already previously seen...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/12/17)
A much anticipated auction for one of the world's largest diamonds fizzled on Thursday when the government of Sierra Leone rejected a $7.8 million bid for the rough, egg-sized stone, saying it failed to meet its own valuation. The 709-carat gem is the second largest ever discovered in the West African country and was unearthed in March in the eastern Kono region by a Christian pastor who gave it to the government to handle the sale. Five bids were handed...
(APA 05/08/17)
The umbrella body of sorghum farmers in Sierra Leone has vowed to challenge the amended Finance Act, which reopened the door for competition between imported alcoholic brews and the local ones, APA can report. The Finance Act 2017, which was passed in parliament last month, amended the Finance Act 2016 which levied heavy taxes on imported brews. That law paved the way for the Sierra Leone Brewery to increase its production, thereby empowering many local farmers from whom it sources its raw materials. However, the Ministry of Finance has said the 2016 law turned out to adversely affect businesses which sell imported brews, and consequently the government’s revenue.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/06/17)
A dispute over a bridge in eastern Sierra Leone thought to span diamond deposits has divided a local community with a foreign mining company accused of illegally mining the area after volunteering to rebuild the overpass. The Congo Bridge in Koidu, the capital of Kono District, was deemed by local authorities to be in danger of collapsing after years of illegal small-scale mining around the base. With backing from the government, structural repairs started in mid-2016 by Israeli owned Pluto...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/04/17)
West African countries have detained seven Chinese ships for fishing illegally and the boats' owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, environmental group Greenpeace and government officials said. Inspectors from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau boarded the ships off their coasts that they found to be violating regulations on catching protected fish and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls. The arrests came after a two-month regional patrol on a Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, that...
(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...
(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...

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