Thursday 25 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
East Africa's smallest country Djibouti took a step towards realising its dream of becoming a continental maritime cargo hub with the inauguration of its newest and largest port on Wednesday. The $590 million (527.5 million euro) facility is part of an infrastructure blitz by the country, sandwiched between Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, that includes three other ports and a railroad to the capital of landlocked Ethiopia. The Doraleh Multipurpose Port (DMP) can handle thousands of automobiles and millions of tonnes of bulk commodities every year, according to a statement from the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA).
(Bloomberg 05/24/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will increase dollar sales to support the economy and bolster the naira after leaving its key interest rate at a record high level. “Interventions will be more vigorous and intense,” Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters in the capital, Abuja, after announcing the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to keep the benchmark rate at 14 percent. “Loosening monetary policy would exacerbate inflationary pressure” and reverse the naira’s gains on the parallel market, he said. The central bank has kept borrowing costs at record high since July to prop up the naira that came under pressure after prices and output of oil, Nigeria’s biggest export, crashed in mid-2014, leading to dollar shortages and pushing the inflation rate to the highest...
(Bloomberg 05/24/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli asked Mines Minister Sospeter Muhongo to resign after an audit of containers of mineral sands showed exports were understated. “I really like Prof. Muhongo and he is a friend of mine, but on this he needs to rethink and reassess without delay,” Magufuli said on Wednesday after receiving an audit of 277 containers seized at the port of Dar es Salaam in March. “I’d like him to resign.” An investigation initiated by Magufuli in March found...
(Bloomberg 05/24/17)
Ghana is seeking better terms for its debt-support program with the International Monetary Fund as the parties discuss an extension of the agreement beyond an April 2018 deadline, according to a person familiar with the matter. The government will agree to extend the deal in return for a bigger credit facility, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. West Africa’s second-biggest economy will take longer than planned to meet the objective of the program, the Washington-based lender said May 19. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta didn’t answer calls seeking comment. A spokesman for the IMF didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by phone and email.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
Ex-Rio Tinto Speaking at a leadership forum in Brisbane, Walsh sought to address $10.5 million payments Rio Tinto made to a political advisor in Guinea, which he labeled the "elephant in the room", the Australian Financial Review reported on its website. "Some of you no doubt may be asking 'How can this chap lecture us about leadership when he has been caught up in some investigation around mining rights in Guinea, West Africa'," Walsh said. A transcript of the speech...
(Financial Times 05/24/17)
The South African rand was boosted on Tuesday following reports that the African National Congress is discussing options to remove the country’s president, Jacob Zuma, from office, although some gains were trimmed after an ANC spokesman denied the claims. The rand, which was down as much as 0.7 per cent earlier in the day to $0.075, rallied as much as 1.5 per cent to $0.076 after Bloomberg reported that the ruling ANC’s national executive committee would raise the possibility of...
(AFP (eng) 05/23/17)
Nigeria's economy contracted for a fifth straight quarter, official figures showed Tuesday, as low oil production dented overall output. Gross domestic product shrank by 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2017, an improvement from a 1.7 percent fall in the last quarter of 2016, said Nigeria's National Bureau of Statistics. Despite an encouraging pick-up of momentum in the non-oil sector, the latest reading disappointed expectations of a modest recovery and an exit out of a debilitating recession. "It's...
(APA 05/23/17)
Morocco is increasingly asserting itself as a leading investor in Africa, with some $8 billion in investments announced in 2015-2016, the 16th edition of the 2017 African Economic Outlook Report indicates on Tuesday. This performance, notes the document, is a sign of the capacity gained by Moroccan firms in financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing. The majority of Moroccan investment in Africa covers Ethiopia, following the signing of an agreement in November 2016 between the Moroccan Office of Phosphates (OCP) and the Ethiopian government for more than $3 billion for the construction of a fertilizer plant. Cote d'Ivoire is the second largest beneficiary of Morocco's Foreign Direct
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
Ghana’s new central bank governor cut the benchmark interest rate to the lowest level in almost two years to help spur economic growth as inflation pressures ease. The Bank of Ghana reduced its key rate to 22.5 percent from 23.5 percent, Governor Ernest Addison told reporters in Accra, the capital, after chairing his first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee since replacing Abdul Nashiru Issahaku early last month. That’s the lowest rate since July 2015. Five out of eight economists...
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
South African ministers met with S&P Global Ratings on Monday after discussions with Moody’s Investors Service last week as the nation seeks to avoid another downgrade. Africa’s most-industrialized economy was reduced to junk by both S&P and Fitch Ratings Ltd. last month due to concern over policy continuity and political instability. The moves came after President Jacob Zuma removed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, replacing him with a minister with little financial experience. The changes to the cabinet would “weaken...
(Xinhuanet 05/23/17)
Kenya has concluded preparations to host a business delegation from Shenzhen in early June, a government official said on Monday. Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) CEO Moses Ikiara told Xinhua in Nairobi that the delegation comprising of government and business officials will be led by the Mayor of Shenzhen. "The delegation will be in Kenya to seek investment opportunities in the construction and manufacturing sectors," Ikiara said on the sidelines of the Health and Tourism Forum. According to KenInvest, China's role in Kenya's economy has been increasing in the recent past few years. "If you look at the average Foreign Direct Investments for the period between
(APA 05/23/17)
The world bank has lifted a suspension on lending to Uganda imposed 10 months back, reports said on Tuesday. The bank imposed the suspension in 2016 citing failure to kick start projects in time, poor absorptive capacity, corruption, mismanagement of projects, inability to do feasibility, social and environmental studies as well as human rights abuses in project areas among other reasons. However in a press conference with Uganda’s ministry of Finance officials in Kampala World Bank Country Manager, Christina Malmberg Calvo, said, two new projects will be presented to to the Bank's board for approval starting June. One of the project is aimed at supporting government and civil society effort in combating violence against
(Xinhuanet 05/23/17)
The real economic growth rates of Togo decreased from 5.3 percent in 2015 to 5.0 percent in 2016, official website on Monday reported. The information is contained in "African economy outlook," a review of the African development bank (AfDB) on development indicators in Africa as part of its 52nd General meeting that opened on Monday at Ahmedabad, in India. The review explained this 0.3 point decrease of economic growth rates in Togo by the fall in public investment and the switching of port traffic in the country to others ports in the sub-region. The diversion of the port traffic followed the strict application by Togo
(Bloomberg 05/22/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will keep monetary policy tight as dollar shortages persist, Deputy Governor Joseph Nnanna said before an interest-rate announcement next week. Now is not the time to ease policy, he said in an interview Thursday in the capital, Abuja. Inflation slowed for a third month in April, but at 17.2 percent remains almost double the upper limit of the bank’s 6 percent to 9 percent target. “We are battling with liquidity as it were, so tight monetary policy...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Egypt's central bank raised its key interest rates by 200 basis points on Sunday, citing stronger economic growth and falling unemployment, confounding the expectations of economists who forecast rates were unlikely to change. At a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee, the bank hiked its overnight deposit rate to 16.75 percent from 14.75 percent and its overnight lending rate to 17.75 from 15.75 percent, it announced in a statement. This was the bank's first increase in rates since an aggressive...
(The Guardian 05/20/17)
Report questions why taxpayers should finance the project, which would have an export edge over Australia’s coal ports. An Australian government agency is considering a multi-million dollar loan to a South African coal mine that would be in direct competition with the Adani Carmichael coal mine. The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) is considering the loan to develop the Boikarabelo coal project in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The Boikarabelo mine has approval to extract 32m tonnes a year of raw coal, making it of similar size to some proposals in Australia’s Galilee Basin. With Efic’s help, the project could lead to the development of one
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
Following a string of mutinies, plummeting cocoa prices, depressed growth and social unrest, Ivory Coast's economic "miracle" has taken a battering and runs the risk of turning into a mirage. Crippled by a decade-long conflict that began in 2002, the world's top cocoa producer has made a spectacular comeback since President Alassane Ouattara took office in 2011. Despite being reelected two years ago, Ouattara faces mounting woes that are threatening his authority, his credibility -- and his efforts to lockdown...
(Bloomberg 05/19/17)
Ghana’s new central bank governor, Ernest Addison, is likely to cut interest rates to an almost two-year low in his debut decision. The former African Development Bank economist, in office since the end of March, has room to act on Monday after the inflation rate fell from a record and the currency stabilized. That would extend an easing cycle started by former Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, who cut borrowing costs at two of the six monetary policy committee meetings that...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Panama authorities have detained a Moroccan phosphate shipment from the disputed territory of Western Sahara after the Polisario independence movement claimed the cargo had been transported illegally, Polisario and officials said on Thursday. The detention of the vessel carrying phosphate rock cargo from Morocco's OCP for Canada's Agrium is the second tanker stopped this month by a Polisario legal challenge, a new tactic the independence movement has been using in its conflict with Morocco. Western Sahara has been disputed since 1975, when Morocco claimed it as part of the kingdom and the Polisario fought a guerrilla war for the Sahrawi people's independence.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's government plans to re-introduce legislation in parliament next week to revise the mining code a year after withdrawing it amid fierce opposition from mining companies, the mines minister told Reuters on Friday. The government of Africa's largest copper producer suspended consideration of the revised code in March 2016 due to low commodity prices. Companies said its increased royalties and shortened stability clauses would make their projects unprofitable. Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu did not say whether the legislation, aimed at boosting government revenues, would be identical to the earlier proposal. Representatives from the industry-led Chamber of Mines could not be