Friday 18 August 2017
(APA 08/12/17)
It has taken Swazi MTN’s new competitor, Swazi Mobile three weeks to cover a 60-percent clientele base of the country’s population, APA reports on Friday. The new company is Swazi-owned and introduced its first call mid July 2017, which was about six months after it was granted a licence to operate as Swaziland’s second mobile telecommunications company, putting to an end MTN’s monopoly of over 20 years. Swazi Mobile Brand and Communications Manager Macford Sibandze said they were close to reaching their target of 80 percent coverage by December 2017. Swazi MTN has clientele coverage of over 75 percent as it has over 900 000 customers out of Swaziland’s total population of 1.2 million people.
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(APA 08/03/17)
A new Swazi airline is expected to offer daily flights between Mbabane and the Mozambican capital Maputo from December this year, according to media reports monitored here on Thursday. The reports said Ligwalagwala Airways plans to offer 20-minute daily flights to Maputo at budget prices before the end of 2017. They said the Swazi-owned company had secured a lease agreement with an unnamed international operator that would see it renting a 50-seater plane for use on the Mbabane-Maputo route. “The company which set aside $923 000 investment capital has set an ambitious target to provide the flight to Maputo from
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Swazi Media Commentary 08/01/17)
The national airline in Swaziland that was created with fanfares and claims it would serve routes across Africa has closed down and all 23 employees have been retrenched. Confirmation of the closure and staff redundancies came through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security First Quarter (April to June 2017) Performance report, which was tabled in the House of Assembly. The airline closed for business in April 2017 when it became clear the tiny kingdom could not afford a single aircraft. Even so, E20 million had been spent on leasing a 29-year-old Boeing 737-300 that never once flew commercially.
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(APA 07/24/17)
Workers at Nedbank Swaziland embarked on a strike on Monday over a salary dispute, crippling operations at the financial institution and leaving scores of customers stranded. The strike followed a salary impasse between the management and the Swaziland Union for Financial and Allied Workers (SUFIAW). “The workers are demanding a 10-percent cost of living adjustment, which the bank has failed to put forward,” SUFIAW secretary general Jabu Shiba said in a statement. The employees said they would not accept the...
(Zambia Daily mail 07/21/17)
KING Mswati III has commended Zambia’s development efforts based on a people-centred approach and the commitment by President Lungu to lead the people of Zambia to prosperity. King Mswati particularly noted the impressive infrastructure development programmes taking place in most parts of the country. This is according to a joint communiqué issued yesterday after President Lungu’s three-day state visit to Swaziland at the invitation of King Mswati. “The King observed that there is need for the two countries to explore areas of cooperation and potential for trade, as well as share information, exchange experiences, best practices and visits.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced...
(APA 07/11/17)
Robust energy and water infrastructure is crucial to the success of efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to achieve rapid industrial development, Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said on Tuesday. Officially opening a joint meeting of ministers responsible for energy and water in SADC, Dlamini said there is need for substantial investment in energy and water infrastructure to ensure rapid and inclusive industrialisation in the region. “We know that faster industrialisation is the key to more rapid economic...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(APA 07/05/17)
The United States has asked Swaziland to redefine ‘Terrorism Act’ before it could be reconsidered for the African Growth Opportunity Agreement (AGOA). This was stated by Prime Minister Banarbas Dlamini when giving feedback to Senate Portfolio Committee in Parliament during the debate of the Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2010 on Wednesday. The premier said during the discussion of the bill with the Americans and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) it transpired that the initial definition needed to be reviewed.
(APA 06/21/17)
Swazi MTN, which has run a monopoly in the country for 19 years, has reduced prices, which experts say is the largest margin ever, APA learned on Wednesday. The rates cut were prompted by the introduction of a second mobile communications company, Swazi Mobile, which will go on air for the first time on July 1, 2017. Swazi MTN has reduced local text message charges from $0.06 to $0.02 per SMS, while calling has been reduced from $0.09 to $0.05...
(APA 06/15/17)
Swaziland will on Friday host the heads of state who will be attending the 5thSouthern African Customs Union (SACU) meeting to be held at Lozitha in Swaziland on Friday 23 June 2017. Participalting countries in the summit that will start at 8am are Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Botswana. Heads of state or their representatives are expected to arrive today and they will be lodged at the Royal Villas in Ezulwini for the duration of the meeting. This meeting...
(APA 06/14/17)
Swaziland’s inflation rate has declined from 6.8 percent in March 2017 to six percent due to a notable decrease in food prices, APA reports here on Wednesday. The Central Bank of Swaziland revealed on Wednesday that, with a better harvest anticipated this year due to improved weather conditions, food prices would gradually go down. “Notable moderations were observed in the prices of rice and cereals, oil and fats, milk and milk products and fruits,” read the report. Transport inflation increased...

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