Saturday 21 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects for greater African integration. However, the agreement will still have to be ratified at a national level, and is only due to come into force in 180 days. The full list of countries which did...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Chad announced Wednesday it had struck a deal with Swiss mining giant Glencore to restructure debt of more than $1 billion from a cash-for-crude-oil loan. The poverty-stricken west African nation's state oil company loaned nearly $1.45 billion (1.18 billion euros) from Glencore in 2014, with the backing of four banks. The loan was to be repaid with crude oil assets, but Chad's economy has since been badly hit by a downturn in the price of oil exports. The two sides finally signed a renegotiated agreement on Wednesday, Chad's finance ministry said in a statement. The deal includes a "two-year grace period" for the country to repay its debt, a 12-year extension of debt maturity and a reduction of the interest...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
Chad's finance minister says the country will not impose further cuts on civil servants' pay this year, after strikes and protests erupted over one of the most unpopular measures in an austerity programme. "There won't be further cuts this year," the finance and budget minister, Abdoulaye Sabre Fadoul, told AFP in an interview on Thursday. The government last month reduced civil servants' bonus pay by 50 percent, adding to a previous 50-percent cut in 2016. Income tax was also hiked...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The cash-strapped central African nation of Chad risks bankruptcy unless it implements drastic austerity measures, its finance minister has warned after a backlash against government plans to lower the wages of civil servants. Civil service salaries in 2017 totalled 376 billion CFA francs (about 600 million euros/$720 million), roughly the equivalent of the combined revenue from income tax and customs duties, according to official figures given to AFP. "It's worth knowing that over a period of 10 years, the wage...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
US authorities have arrested Hong Kong's former home affairs secretary and the ex-foreign minister of Senegal for leading a multimillion dollar bribery scheme in Africa on behalf of a top Chinese energy company, with some deals arranged in the halls of the United Nations. US officials announced Monday that former Senegalese top diplomat Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong's Patrick Chi Ping Ho sent huge bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda to secure business advantages for the Chinese company...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading...
(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) 10/30/17)
N‘DJAMENA/LONDON (Reuters) - Chad is on a collision course with top creditor Glencore as it wants to divert oil from the Swiss trading house to U.S. energy company ExxonMobil from the new year amid a dispute over debt restructuring. A government document showed that Chad wants to hand over crude oil marketing rights currently held by Glencore under a $1.4 billion loan agreement to Exxon, the biggest oil producer in the Central African country. Three government and industry sources confirmed...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/17)
UNITED NATIONS/ABIDJAN (Reuters) - The United States has promised up to $60 million to support the Group of Five Sahel States (G5 Sahel) Joint Force’s counter-terrorism efforts, the State Department said on Monday. The force - which will eventually comprise nearly 5,000 troops units from Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania - is meant to counter a growing jihadist threat in West Africa’s arid Sahel region that includes groups linked to Al Qaeda and Islamic State. It is due...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
N‘DJAMENA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In a dusty alleyway in Chad’s capital, veiled women sell peanuts laid out on handkerchiefs and children bring home firewood on donkeys, as if from another era. But behind tall iron gates, a group of twenty-somethings, armed with laptops, business books and a red motor bike have established a digital start-up, aiming to help propel their country into the 21st century. MossoSouk (Chadian Arabic for “trade-market”), Chad’s first online store for merchants, shopkeepers and individuals...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/11/17)
DIBA 1, Chad (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When armed gunmen stormed Ashta Sahade’s hometown of Bocaranga in Central African Republic, the only possession she grabbed as she fled was her unwieldy rectangular knitting machine. During the two-day journey to safety in nearby Chad, on foot and on the back of a stranger’s bicycle, single mother Sahade, 27, carried the machine precariously on her head, convinced it was the key to her and her three-year-old’s survival. In the village of Diba...
(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...
(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) 10/03/17)
Mauritania on Monday called for more support to roll out an anti-jihadist force in Africa's Sahel region where the deployment of 5,000 troops has been delayed by a lack of financing. The new joint force being set up by five countries of the Sahel region -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- has an annual budget of about $496 million (422 million euros) a year, but only about $127 million has been pledged so far. Khadijetou Mbareck Fall,...
(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...

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