Monday 23 October 2017
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Al-Shabab militants have launched what appears to be a forced recruitment campaign in Somalia's southwestern regions of Bay and Bakool, according to Somali officials. The group, which controls large parts of both regions, is pressuring leaders of local villages to make sure teenagers join its ranks, according to the governor of Bay region, Ali Wardhere Doyow. "They have been holding meetings for clan elders and told them to meet specific numbers of recruits they want collected from clans," Doyow told VOA's Somali Service. Doyow said many families and their children have fled their villages to larger towns in the Bay region
(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 franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(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...
(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...
(Voice of America 09/14/17)
WASHINGTON — At least 32 people have been killed in clashes across Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions following clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo forces, a former Ethiopian lawmaker said. Speaking to VOA Somali Service, Boqor Ali Omar Allale said at least 32 ethnic Somalis, including his younger brother, were killed on Monday night in Awaday, a small town between Ethiopia's most holy Muslim town of Harar and its big eastern city of Dire Dawa. "They were innocent business...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(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...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to...
(AL Jazeera 09/04/17)
Fighters from the armed group carry out raid on army base in Bula Gudud near the southern port town of Kismayu. Al-Shabab fighters attacked a military base near Somalia's southern port city of Kismayu early on Sunday, a Somali army officer said, adding that he did not immediately have details of any casualties. The armed group claimed responsibility for the attack and said 26 Somali soldiers had been killed in the incident, but that could not be confirmed by other...
(Voice of America 09/04/17)
The Somali government has asked the United States to provide "immediate military assistance" because it says al-Shabab militants are plotting to supply uranium to Iran. In a letter to U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz, Somali Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad Omar says the militant group has captured "critical surface exposed uranium deposits" in the central Somali region of Galmudug and intend to transport the uranium to Iran. The letter says the issue presents a problem for the larger global community...
(Voice of America 09/04/17)
Al-Shabab militants carried out a suicide car bombing on a Somali military base killing at least seven soldiers north of the main city of Kismayo, regional officials tell VOA. Officials said militants detonated two suicide car bombs at a military checkpoint before heavily armed militants attacked the base early Sunday at Bulogudud town. A spokesman for the Jubbland regional administration, Abdinasir Serar, told VOA Somali more than 10 other soldiers were wounded in the dawn attack. The al-Shabab militant group...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of...
(Voice of America 08/30/17)
Last June, al-Shabab militants attacked an Ethiopian base in the Somali town of Halgan, one of several raids on African Union military camps. The Ethiopian troops repelled the attack, causing massive casualties. One of the al-Shabab fighters, Mohamed Daud Mohamed, known as Mohamed Dhere, said his unit lost 45 men. "It was a difficult fight; we left behind the wounded as we didn't have a chance to evacuate them. ... Everyone ran for their lives," he told VOA's Somali service. For Dhere, 20, it was a lesson. He decided to desert al-Shabab, but said his commanders were suspicious.
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement...
(Quartz 08/25/17)
If you visit any major city or town in Somalia, chances are that you will come across the colorful artworks that dot the walls of both private and public establishments. These painted signs are the work of skillful artists, who in broad brushstrokes, advertise the goods and services offered at different business outlets. These include the availability of electronic appliances, vehicle spare parts, beauty products, foodstuff and beverages, and the sometimes graphically-drawn dental, medical, or circumcision services. Other illustrations warn...
(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...
(Voice of America 08/21/17)
African Union and Somali government forces have captured the town of Bariire, a strategic militant base in the south of the country, officials and witnesses said Saturday. Commanders said the Islamist al-Shabab group fled following heavy fighting outside the town in which the joint troops approached from three directions. Bariire was one of al-Shabab's strongholds in the south and only 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Mogadishu, the country's capital. "The joint troops attacked the town from three directions, forced the...
(Voice of America 08/21/17)
Despite being seven months pregnant, Mesno Taha left her home in Harerge, Ethiopia to find peace and a better future. She trekked to the Somali zone of Ethiopia, crossed the border into Somalia and paid to board a boat bound for Yemen. After traveling 18 hours at sea, she ended up near the shore of the war-torn country. Taha said that she and over 100 other migrants aboard were told that they had arrived at their destination, despite still being...
(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...

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