Friday 28 July 2017

Toute l'afrique

(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - International aid agencies in Central African Republic have suspended operations in three towns amid escalating violence between armed factions and attacks on humanitarians, the United Nations said on Wednesday. A surge in fighting in several hotspots - from Kaga Bandoro in the north to Bangassou and Zemio in the east - has uprooted more than 100,000 people since April in the worst spell of upheaval since the peak of the conflict in 2014, aid groups say. The violence may plunge the country back into a humanitarian crisis four years after conflict first erupted...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
DOUALA, Cameroon (Reuters) - One person was killed in Cameroon when a freight train operated by state rail company Camrail derailed, less than one year after another Camrail train crash killed 79, an official said on Thursday. Nine cars left the tracks on Wednesday near the town of Makondo, about 140 km (87 miles) west of the capital Yaounde, said an official at Camrail, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak about the crash. "The train was carrying hydrocarbon products. Five cars completely overturned," he said.
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
President Robert Mugabe's wife Thursday urged her 93-year-old husband to name his chosen successor, fuelling renewed speculation about the race to take over from the world's oldest national leader. Mugabe has always refused to publicly reveal his favoured heir, but Grace Mugabe -- who is seen by some as a potential candidate -- called for an end to the uncertainty. "President, don't be afraid. Tell us who is your choice, which horse we should back," she told a meeting of...
(Xinhuanet 07/27/17)
The Zambian government on Wednesday expressed optimism that the country would attain the projected 4.3 economic growth for this year. Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said the government was confident of attaining the growth going by the positive economic trends recorded in the first half of the year. "This is mainly driven by observed growth in the major sectors of agriculture, mining, construction, transport and storage, and the wholesale, and retail trade," he said in a mid-year review performance statement...
(Xinhuanet 07/27/17)
South Sudan and Uganda have agreed on mechanisms to boost trade between the two countries through enhancing infrastructure development and cross-border trade electricity transmission. Speaking on state-owned radio Thursday, Dhieu Mathok, South Sudan's Minister of Energy and Dams said the government concluded a two-day discussion with their Ugandan counterparts and the two countries have to cooperate in cross-border electrification and road connectivity. He said Uganda has agreed to supply electricity to the South Sudan border towns of Nimule and Kaya,...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Moroccan police have arrested a British dealer in virtual currency Bitcoin wanted on fraud charges in the United States, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday. Police said only that a 49-year-old Briton had been detained in the northern city of Tangiers on Wednesday in response to a notice issued by Interpol on July 17 and that his extradition would be considered by the Court of Cassation. But the source identified him as British businessman Renwick Haddow,...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
Algerian police have broken up an Islamic State militant cell led by a former al-Qaida commander convicted in France more than a decade ago for planning an attempted bombing in Strasbourg, a security source said on Wednesday. Mohamed Yacine Aknouche, 43, was once a Europe-based affiliate of Algeria's Islamic Armed Group (GIA), and was sentenced in absentia by a French court in 2004 to eight years prison, said the source, who asked not to be named. The source told Reuters...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Civil society activists say a move to exclude South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar from a regional peace process will ensure that South Sudan remains engulfed in war. Ministers of the East African bloc IGAD said Monday that Machar will not be invited to the next meeting for the peace process, which is aimed at revitalizing a 2015 peace agreement between the rebels and South Sudanese government. “We already agreed that the process, all opposition groups including Riek Machar’s ideas,...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Egypt has created a "national council" to combat the rise of Islamist "terrorism" which has targeted its security forces and Coptic Christian minority, in a presidential decree issued on Wednesday. The decree, published in Egypt's official gazette, sets up a "national council to combat terrorism and extremism" by adopting a "global national strategy". The council is to be chaired by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and will comprise the sheikh of Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni religious authority in Egypt, and its...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Thirty-two people, most of them soldiers with Cameroon’s elite Rapid Intervention Battalion, remain unaccounted for after their ship capsized off the coast of the Bakassi Peninsula over a week ago. Relatives of the missing are demanding answers. Dozens come every evening to comfort the residents of a house in the Yaounde-Nkoabang neighborhood of the capital. It is the home of Alex Alega, one of the 32 soldiers still missing after a Cameroonian military vessel went down off the Atlantic coast July 16. His brother, Theophile, is anxious for news. He says it is unacceptable that, to date, the military has not explained
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Congolese rebel warlord Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, wanted for crimes against humanity including mass rape, surrendered to UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday. Sheka was arrested in Mutongo, in the country's North Kivu region by UN peacekeepers and was "transferred to Goma," the regional capital, his spokeswoman told AFP. The UN's peacekeeping mission in DR Congo MONUSCO said in a statement that Sheka handed himself in "in full awareness of the fact that he is wanted by...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday passed a bill designed to "end all violence against women", strengthening protection and help for victims in a move welcomed by rights groups. "It's a very moving moment and we are proud in Tunisia to have been able to gather around a historical project," said women's minister Naziha Laabidi. The new law, which is expected to enter into force next year, recognises "physical, moral and sexual" violence, lawmaker Bochra Belhaj Hmida told AFP after the vote...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Somalia is suffering from a renewed displacement crisis as people flee drought and conflict, particularly in the country’s southern region. Gerard Waite, chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration Somalia, told VOA that about 800,000 people have fled their homes in response to the drought over the past seven months. That is in addition to the 1.1 million people who were previously displaced in the country. “We have a displacement crisis on top of a drought crisis,” Waite...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, increased its forecast of this year’s record crop after farmers improved their yields. Growers will probably reap 15.97 million metric tons of corn in the 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Tuesday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Eight people were killed when a four-storey building collapsed after heavy rains in Nigeria's commercial hub of Lagos, the emergency services and witnesses said on Wednesday. Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the collapse happened at about 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) on Tuesday on Lagos Island in the city. "We have pulled out eight bodies from the debris of the building," he told AFP. "One corpse was recovered yesterday (Tuesday) while seven more were...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
The United Nations named three international experts on Wednesday to investigate atrocities in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, some of which have involved government troops. Experts from Senegal, Canada and Mauritania will be tasked with investigating the massacres in Kasai, according to a statement from the UN's human rights body, the OHCHR. President Joseph Kabila's administration rejected a proposal to send an independent mission there to investigate the violence. Under the compromise deal, Kinshasha will cooperate with the investigators who will in turn share their information with the authorities.
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Egyptian police shot dead four militants and arrested two others accused of involvement in the mid-July killing of five policemen, the interior ministry said Wednesday. Egypt's security forces have been the target of repeated attacks by jihadist groups since the army overthrew former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Police had been tracking militants suspected of opening fire on a police car south of Cairo on July 14, leaving a non-commissioned officer, three conscripts and a police employee dead. On...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
A bill allowing President Robert Mugabe to appoint senior judges sparked outrage Wednesday from Zimbabwean opposition and activists who said it marked a new power-grab by the authoritarian government. The law, which was passed by the lower house on Tuesday, is the first amendment to the 2013 constitution, adopted four years ago by popular vote. "It's a frontal attack on the rule of law," opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator and constitutional law expert Jessie Majome told AFP. "You...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has appealed to Italy to send ships into Libyan territorial waters to help combat human trafficking, Rome said Wednesday. Sarraj "sent a letter requesting the Italian government provide the technical support of Italian naval units in the joint struggle in Libyan waters against human traffickers," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said. Gentiloni said the ministry of defence was considering the request and "the options will be discussed with the Libyan authorities and the Italian...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Hala Gamal looks at a pile of rubble on Cairo's Warraq island -- all that's left of her house after a police operation to evict residents accused of squatting on state land. Gamal, 31, said she had left the Nile island in the capital's north on July 16 to buy breakfast. She returned to find her home destroyed and her children on the street. As part of a government campaign to reclaim hundreds of thousands of hectares of state-owned land,...

Pages

(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
DOUALA, Cameroon (Reuters) - One person was killed in Cameroon when a freight train operated by state rail company Camrail derailed, less than one year after another Camrail train crash killed 79, an official said on Thursday. Nine cars left the tracks on Wednesday near the town of Makondo, about 140 km (87 miles) west of the capital Yaounde, said an official at Camrail, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak about the crash. "The train was carrying hydrocarbon products. Five cars completely overturned," he said.
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Moroccan police have arrested a British dealer in virtual currency Bitcoin wanted on fraud charges in the United States, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday. Police said only that a 49-year-old Briton had been detained in the northern city of Tangiers on Wednesday in response to a notice issued by Interpol on July 17 and that his extradition would be considered by the Court of Cassation. But the source identified him as British businessman Renwick Haddow, a former New York resident who was charged with securities fraud in the United states on June 30 for allegedly bilking investors in what turned out to be a fake Bitcoin trading platform. He appeared before the public prosecutor in...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
Algerian police have broken up an Islamic State militant cell led by a former al-Qaida commander convicted in France more than a decade ago for planning an attempted bombing in Strasbourg, a security source said on Wednesday. Mohamed Yacine Aknouche, 43, was once a Europe-based affiliate of Algeria's Islamic Armed Group (GIA), and was sentenced in absentia by a French court in 2004 to eight years prison, said the source, who asked not to be named. The source told Reuters...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Civil society activists say a move to exclude South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar from a regional peace process will ensure that South Sudan remains engulfed in war. Ministers of the East African bloc IGAD said Monday that Machar will not be invited to the next meeting for the peace process, which is aimed at revitalizing a 2015 peace agreement between the rebels and South Sudanese government. “We already agreed that the process, all opposition groups including Riek Machar’s ideas,...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Thirty-two people, most of them soldiers with Cameroon’s elite Rapid Intervention Battalion, remain unaccounted for after their ship capsized off the coast of the Bakassi Peninsula over a week ago. Relatives of the missing are demanding answers. Dozens come every evening to comfort the residents of a house in the Yaounde-Nkoabang neighborhood of the capital. It is the home of Alex Alega, one of the 32 soldiers still missing after a Cameroonian military vessel went down off the Atlantic coast July 16. His brother, Theophile, is anxious for news. He says it is unacceptable that, to date, the military has not explained
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Somalia is suffering from a renewed displacement crisis as people flee drought and conflict, particularly in the country’s southern region. Gerard Waite, chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration Somalia, told VOA that about 800,000 people have fled their homes in response to the drought over the past seven months. That is in addition to the 1.1 million people who were previously displaced in the country. “We have a displacement crisis on top of a drought crisis,” Waite...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Eight people were killed when a four-storey building collapsed after heavy rains in Nigeria's commercial hub of Lagos, the emergency services and witnesses said on Wednesday. Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the collapse happened at about 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) on Tuesday on Lagos Island in the city. "We have pulled out eight bodies from the debris of the building," he told AFP. "One corpse was recovered yesterday (Tuesday) while seven more were...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Egyptian police shot dead four militants and arrested two others accused of involvement in the mid-July killing of five policemen, the interior ministry said Wednesday. Egypt's security forces have been the target of repeated attacks by jihadist groups since the army overthrew former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Police had been tracking militants suspected of opening fire on a police car south of Cairo on July 14, leaving a non-commissioned officer, three conscripts and a police employee dead. On...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has appealed to Italy to send ships into Libyan territorial waters to help combat human trafficking, Rome said Wednesday. Sarraj "sent a letter requesting the Italian government provide the technical support of Italian naval units in the joint struggle in Libyan waters against human traffickers," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said. Gentiloni said the ministry of defence was considering the request and "the options will be discussed with the Libyan authorities and the Italian...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Two Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalists were briefly detained and maltreated in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa on Tuesday by three men who presented themselves as military intelligence officers. After arriving to conduct an interview with the head of Kinshasa's main hospital -- as part of coverage of a doctors' strike -- the two journalists were seized by three people who identified themselves as agents of the Military Detection of Anti-National Activities service (DEMIAP). "Three people in civilian clothes presented themselves as military intelligence officers and took away
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
The United Nations accused "elements" of the Congolese army on Tuesday of digging most of the mass graves it has identified in the insurrection-ravaged Kasai region of central Democratic Republic of Congo. The report by the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo (UNJHRO) is the first time the United Nations has directly suggested that government forces dug the graves. Congo's human rights minister was not immediately available for comment but the government has repeatedly denied its troops were responsible...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
Suspected Christian militiamen killed two Moroccan peacekeepers from the United Nations mission in Central African Republic on Tuesday, the mission said, in the second deadly attack on Moroccan forces this week. The peacekeepers were ambushed by suspected anti-balaka fighters in the town of Banagassou, 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of the capital Bangui, as they stocked up on water to deliver to the population, the mission said in a statement. Thousands have died in an ethnic and religious conflict that...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have kidnapped 10 members of a geological research team from the University of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, the state oil company, which contracted the work, said on Wednesday. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has been surveying for more than a year for what it says could be vast oil reserves in the Lake Chad Basin, a region wracked by Boko Haram's eight-year insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000 people and forced millions to flee...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/17)
Suspected jihadists killed five people in a series of attacks overnight in northern Burkina Faso, local officials and security sources said Tuesday. Gunmen carried out three separate attacks in Soum province, a local official in Djibo, the main town there, told AFP. The province sits on Burkina Faso's northern border with Mali. A security source who asked not to be named confirmed details of the attacks to AFP. "Those who carried out the attack, probably terrorists, were travelling by motorbike...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/17)
A Moroccan court on Tuesday sentenced to three months in jail a journalist accused of having "invited" people to take part in banned protests in the restive north, his website said. Hamid El Mahdaoui was arrested on Thursday at the start of a banned demonstration in the northern city of Al-Hoceima, during which protesters clashed with police. El Mahdaoui, who heads the Badil online news site, was found guilty of helping to organise "a non-authorised march" as well as having...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/17)
The two big maps show the districts of the northern Cameroonian town of Guider along with its brothels, nightclubs and other seedy spots to identify places from where AIDS could spread among adolescents. Cameroon, a country of 23 million that hugs Africa's Gulf of Guinea, has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. "The maps highlight the high-risk zones for transmission," said Boris Mbaho Tchaptchet, 21, speaking at a local youth club. "We located the love hotels,...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world's highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults. PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Four people were killed in suicide bomb attacks at a camp for those displaced by the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria, the emergency services said on Monday. Abdulkadir Ibrahim, from the National Emergency Management Agency, said the blasts happened at about 11:20 pm (2220 GMT) on Sunday, just outside the Borno state capital of Maiduguri. "Two suicide bombers (a male and a female) detonated their improvised explosive devices at Dalori 1 IDP (internally displaced persons) camp, leading to the...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/17)
An Algerian-Irish man extradited from Spain appeared before a US magistrate Friday, the first foreigner sent to the United States to answer terror charges since President Donald Trump took office. Ali Charaf Damache, 52, has been wanted in the United States for years on charges that he conspired with an American woman known as "Jihad Jane" to recruit people online to carry out attacks in Europe and South Asia. The suspect -- who was also known by the online username...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/17)
Mangoes and watermelons, prayer mats and Chinese-made utensils are again filling the stalls of Maiduguri's markets, as they recover after years of Boko Haram violence. Traders sweating behind wheelbarrows overloaded with goods fight their way through the crowded alleyways in northeast Nigeria's biggest city. But in the birthplace of Boko Haram, appearances are often deceptive. The eight-year insurgency has brought the Borno state capital to its knees, after centuries as a commercial crossroads between the Sahel and central Africa. The historic trading hub has been transformed into a centre of humanitarian aid.

Pages

(Xinhuanet 07/27/17)
The Zambian government on Wednesday expressed optimism that the country would attain the projected 4.3 economic growth for this year. Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said the government was confident of attaining the growth going by the positive economic trends recorded in the first half of the year. "This is mainly driven by observed growth in the major sectors of agriculture, mining, construction, transport and storage, and the wholesale, and retail trade," he said in a mid-year review performance statement. Increased electricity generation will also contribute to the positive perspective and support growth in other sectors, he added. He further expressed optimism that the 2017 budget deficit will be maintained at budgeted levels of around...
(Xinhuanet 07/27/17)
South Sudan and Uganda have agreed on mechanisms to boost trade between the two countries through enhancing infrastructure development and cross-border trade electricity transmission. Speaking on state-owned radio Thursday, Dhieu Mathok, South Sudan's Minister of Energy and Dams said the government concluded a two-day discussion with their Ugandan counterparts and the two countries have to cooperate in cross-border electrification and road connectivity. He said Uganda has agreed to supply electricity to the South Sudan border towns of Nimule and Kaya, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been developed and it will be signed after consultations with leaders of both countries. "In our sides as ministers of energy, we have discussed the MOU and we have finalized and it...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, increased its forecast of this year’s record crop after farmers improved their yields. Growers will probably reap 15.97 million metric tons of corn in the 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Tuesday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Nigeria’s central bank left its main lending rate unchanged for a sixth consecutive meeting as it seeks to hold on to gains it’s made in inflation and exchange-rate stability. The Monetary Policy Committee held the key policy rate at 14 percent, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters on Tuesday in the capital, Abuja. That was in line with the forecast of all but two of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey. While inflation in Africa’s most-populous nation...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
A vast mechanical monster rises from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Namibia, leaving a huge swell in its wake as seawater pours off its surface. The 285-tonne giant, dubbed "the butcher" by its operators, is diamond miner De Beers' hi-tech tool to collect the precious stones. After several hours of maintenance, the deep-sea vacuum is lowered again into the water on steel cables from the Mafuta vessel. It dredges the ocean bed, sucking thousands of tonnes of silt...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Tullow Oil Plc plans to drill more wells off Ghana once a ruling on a border dispute is out of the way. Ghana and Ivory Coast disagree over their maritime boundary, frustrating projects to pump oil and gas offshore. In September, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, or Itlos, will rule on the matter, likely clearing the way for an expansion of Tullow’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme project, the company said. “We were aware of the dispute before we initiated...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Ghana’s industry body for cocoa purchasers said its members are struggling to pay farmers for their crops because the regulator isn’t reimbursing buyers for the delivery of beans. Purchasers are buying beans on credit from farmers in some instances, while others have stopped taking delivery from growers, which is causing stocks to accumulate on farms, Ayisi Botwe, executive secretary of the Licenced Cocoa Buyers Association, said by phone on Tuesday. The body’s members usually account for about 95 percent of...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
Tanzania sent Acacia Mining Plc a tax bill equal to almost two centuries worth of the gold producer’s revenue. The government issued the company, which mines all of its gold in the African country, with a $40 billion tax bill and another $150 billion in interest and penalties, Acacia said in a statement Monday. The charge covers alleged under-declared export revenues from the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines over periods between 2000 and 2017. Acacia reiterated that it has fully declared...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
A record number of Ghanaians are saving money using mobile phones as lenders push products to lure deposits using technology that is cheaper than building branches. Deposits with mobile-money providers jumped 25 percent to 1.57 billion cedis ($360 million) this year through April, the Accra-based central bank said in a response to questions this month. That compares with 19.6 million cedis in 2012, when the Bank of Ghana began compiling the data. Lenders including Fidelity Bank Ltd. and AFB Ghana Plc this year began offering savings products to mobile-phone users, while Ecobank Ghana Ltd. in 2016 allowed customers to buy government
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
A weak naira and stubborn inflation may prevent Nigeria’s central bank from following South Africa and Ghana in cutting interest rates. Only two of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the Monetary Policy Committee will reduce borrowing costs on Tuesday. The rest said the key rate will stay at a record high of 14 percent, where it’s been for a year. Governor Godwin Emefiele, who is scheduled to announce the MPC’s decision at about 2.30 p.m. in the capital,...
(Agence Ecofin 07/25/17)
The Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Barkindo, has said that Nigeria does not intend to go beyond its oil production target of 1.8 million barrels per day, until the end of March 2018. The Secretary-General disclosed this at the opening of the fourth Joint OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia. OPEC and some non-OPEC states including Russia, in 2016 agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). Libya...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
Ghana’s central bank may cut its key interest rate for a third straight meeting with inflation at its slowest in four years and a strengthening currency. Consumer-price growth has tumbled 7.1 percentage points since reaching an all-time high of 19.2 percent in March last year. While the cedi weakened to a record low against the dollar on March 2, it has strengthened 8.2 percent since then. The median of seven economists’ estimates is for a 100 basis-point cut in the...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s first interest rate cut in five years, and a surprise one at that, probably won’t be enough to break the rand’s resilience. The currency fell as much as 1.2 percent after the South African Reserve Bank reduced its key rate on Thursday to 6.75 percent from 7 percent to boost an economy in recession, defying predictions of 20 out of 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey. But it soon recovered some of its losses to trade 0.9 percent...
(Xinhuanet 07/21/17)
Moody's Investors Service maintains "stable outlook" on Egypt due to economic reforms with B3 rating. The B3 rating is at number 16 out of the 21 ratings-tier followed by global rating agencies. In its ranking report published on Thursday, Moody's said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) review of Egypt's economic reform program is "credit positive indicating the current account deficit to shrink gradually to 3 percent of GDP by the end of 2020." Last week, IMF's Executive Board completed the first review of Egypt's economic reform program and approved the second tranche worth 1.25 billion U.S. dollars
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
Zimbabwe's economy will grow by 3.7 percent in 2017, the finance minister said on Thursday, despite a public sector wage bill devouring much of the government's expenditure. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said that growth would be boosted by the farming sector, which is forecast to grow by 21.3 percent this year, along with mining which will grow by 5.1 percent. He said tax revenues are expected to total $3.7 billion (3.2 billion euros) for the year -- but warned that...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
An EU court on Thursday upheld the bloc's freeze on the funds of two companies charged with trafficking in conflict diamonds and supporting armed groups in the Central African Republic. In 2015, the European Union decided to block the European assets of Badica, a large diamond trading firm in the Central African Republic, and its Belgian unit Kardiam. The companies argued that the freeze was not warranted saying it was not sufficiently proven that they had supported armed groups by trading natural resources. The court rejected this view. "By continuing to purchase diamonds from collectors, Badica and Kardiam necessarily provided support to armed groups," the EU's General Court said in a statement.
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
The Agbada 2 flow station should have been buzzing with activity, pumping crude to one of Nigeria’s largest export terminals. Instead it was idle in the muggy, mid-morning heat as Wilcox Emmanuel, the facility’s manager, shrugged in resignation about the thieves who’d shut him down. As much as 30 percent of the oil sent by pipelines through the swampy Niger River delta is stolen, consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. estimates. That’s depriving the country of income amid a crippling recession and...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
When the head of Libya's state energy company visited Sharara oil field in early July, community leaders and workers crowded into a conference room to ask about jobs, training and services for local people. When, they asked, would their villages start to see the benefit of the country's rising oil production? "You've been very patient," Mustafa Sanalla reassured them, before adding: "You need to be patient a little longer." Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) raised output to more than one...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Zimbabwe’s capital city plans to raise a $100 million bond this year to finance the building of new homes and end a decades-long housing shortage, its mayor said. The capital, Harare, has “outgrown itself and the population has grown beyond the city’s initial designs,” mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said Tuesday in an interview. An original plan to obtain $150 million through the central government became “entangled in politics,” he said, without elaborating. “Now we’re looking at raising $100 million through a...
(Xinhuanet 07/19/17)
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj earlier this week announced forming a new board of trustees for the country's Investment Authority. The board includes Serraj, the ministers of finance, economy, and planning, as well as the governor of the central bank of Libya, the government's media office said. The Libyan Investment Authority is a sovereign wealth fund investing in diverse areas to create wealth for the country. However, it has nearly 66 billion U.S. dollars of frozen assets. The Libyan...

Pages

(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Authorities in Tunisia on Wednesday announced they have frozen the assets of football club magnate and former presidential hopeful Slim Riahi on suspicions of money laundering. An investigating judge imposed the restriction on all of Riahi's shares on the stock market, bank accounts and property, said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti. The announcement comes after the government launched what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has called a "war" on graft from which he said nobody involved in corruption would emerge unscathed. Corruption was widespread in Tunisia under longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in the 2011 uprising that spawned the Arab Spring, but it remains endemic. Riahi was quick to respond to Wednesday's...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, whose sudden death in China at just 30 years old shocked his country, was laid to rest Sunday as he was hailed a "worthy son" of the African nation. Tiote, a 52-time capped player who featured at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, was honoured with a military funeral at the Williamsville cemetery in Abidjan where hundreds of people gathered to mourn. "Ivory Coast has lost a worthy son who served so bravely, who fought to win and who gave everything on the pitch," said sports minister Francois Amichia. Tiote died from a heart attack on June 5 during a training session with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises. Full military honours were bestowed on Tiote...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
The agent of the late Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote on Wednesday called for the media to cease making unsubstantiated claims about the reasons for his death. The 52-time capped star -- a member of the Ivory Coast squad that ended a 23-year drought in winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations -- died after fainting during training with second division side Beijing Enterprises on June 5. He was 30 years of age. His death shocked the football world, reverberating...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Ivory Coast international midfielder Cheick Tiote has died aged 30 while training with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises, his spokesman announced in a statement on Monday. Tiote, who was part of the Ivory Coast squad that delivered the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after a 23 year drought although he was injured for the final, had only moved to China in February after ending a seven year stay with English outfit Newcastle United. "It is with deep sadness that I...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
South Africa's Akani Simbine surprised a world-class sprint field, including Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Andre De Grasse to claim a season-opening 100m Diamond League victory on Friday. The 23-year-old powered home in a time of 9.99sec to become the first South African man to win a Diamond League 100m, and serve notice that the Blue Riband event could be more competitive than for some time with the impending international retirement of Usain Bolt. "I'm happy with my shape now,...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya narrowly failed in his attempt to complete the distance under the previously insurmountable two-hour mark, finishing in a time of 2hr 00min 24sec on Saturday. The time, which smashed the world record of 2hr 02min 57sec set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, will not enter the record books largely because of the non-compliant system of pacemaking used in the attempt, made on the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit. For the entire attempt, Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pacesetting team which trailed a time-keeping vehicle by less than 10 metres. Despite narrowly missing the mark, Kipchoge said he believed it was possible and that he could make
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Sports Minister Bidoung Mkpatt has called on Cameroon's athletes to come away with as many medals as possible at the Islamic Solidarity Games which take place in Baku from May 12-22. Mkpatt made the comments at a farewell ceremony for the team in Yaounde. The west African country is sending 62 athletes to the Azerbaijan capital and they will compete in six sports -- athletics, football, weightlifting, handball, wrestling and judo. Four years ago, Cameroon took part in the third edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia in 2013, but could only come away with one bronze medal
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele believes he is in the sort of form to break Eliud Kipchoge's fastest ever time in the London Marathon on Sunday. Should the 34-year-old -- who still holds the 5,000 and 10,000 metres world records -- manage that it would be a fitting end to a week that has seen the great race receive even more advance publicity than usual. That has been thanks to Britain's Prince Harry revealing earlier this week he had sought...
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Cameroon began their reign as African champions with a 1-0 friendly victory over Tunisia in Monastir Friday thanks to a Vincent Aboubakar goal. The Turkey-based striker took advantage of his first scoring opportunity to beat Aymen Mathlouthi after 14 minutes in the Mediterranean resort. Aboubakar had several other chances, including a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but could not add to his tally. Tunisians Taha Yassine Khenissi and Syam Ben Youssef were foiled by the woodwork during the first half. Aboubakar...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Frank Fredericks will stay on the IAAF Council while an ethics board reviews allegations that he accepted payments before the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio, Sebastian Coe, the organization's head, said on Tuesday. Fredericks, an International Olympic Committee member, stepped down two weeks ago as head of the team evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics and has also removed himself from the IAAF task force looking into doping in Russia. Despite the allegations, however, he will remain a member of the IAAF council while the ethics board determines if an investigation is necessary.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/18/17)
Kenya's national Olympic committee has escaped the threat of suspension after failing to adopt a new constitution but funding will continue to be withheld until further notice, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday. The IOC froze financial support to Kenya nine days ago, after the country's troubled national committee (NOCK) failed to adopt a revised constitution, and said it would discuss the matter at its executive board (EB) meeting in Pyeongchang this week, leading to speculation that it...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Madagascar's football chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football Thursday, ousting veteran leader Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office. Ahmad won the election in the Ethiopian capital by 34 votes to Hayatou's 20, official results showed. Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the result was announced. Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a discreet playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks quit as head of the IOC commission monitoring candidates for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday amid a probe into money he accepted from a sports marketing chief accused of corruption. Fredericks, 49, strongly denied any wrongdoing in accepting nearly $300,000 (283,000 euros) on the day that Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Olympics. But he said he had "personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks said on Monday he had stepped down from an IAAF taskforce investigating Russian doping amid a corruption probe. "I have decided to step aside from the taskforce so that the integrity of its work is not questioned due to the allegations made against me in Le Monde," the 49-year-old Namibian was quoted as saying in an IAAF statement. "It is important that the taskforce's mission is seen as free and fair with no outside influence." Le...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
Nigeria looks likely to back Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou for re-election, despite the personal preferences of the head of the country's football association. Sports minister Solomon Dalung told a meeting of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) executive committee they would vote in "Nigerian interest" at next month's vote. Long-time CAF boss Hayatou is seeking another term of office but NFF president Amaju Pinnick has said his preferred candidate was Madagascar's Ahmad Ahmad. Dalung indicated that by "Nigerian...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Kenya's Wilson Kipsang stormed to victory in the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday in the fastest race ever run in Japan. The former world record holder clocked 2hr 3min 58sec over a flatter course than in previous years as he added the Tokyo title to victories in London, New York and Berlin. Sarah Chepchirchir won the women's race in a personal best 2:19:47 -- the first sub-2:20 in Japan -- to complete a perfect day for Kenya. The top six men's...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
Madagascar's football boss Ahmad who is challenging the long-serving Issa Hayatou for the CAF presidency in March, wants less political interference in the African game. First elected in 1988, Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, is seeking an eighth consecutive term as head of the body that governs African football. "If people want change there is no other choice. Only I can dare (to challenge Hayatou)," Ahmad told AFP during an interview at the Madagascar Football Federation offices in Antananarivo. The mononymous Ahmad, whose single name means "the glorious" in Arabic, wants to break with Hayatou long reign, which critics
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
An Egyptian court upheld Monday death sentences against 10 people convicted over rioting that claimed 74 lives at a stadium in Port Said in 2012, judicial and security officials said. The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court. The court also upheld sentences of life imprisonment for 10 people and five years for 12 others, including Port...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/18/17)
Seven suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages. The bombing took place outside Maiduguri, the population center at the heart of a government campaign to eradicate the Islamist group, whose more than seven-year insurgency has killed 15,000 people and forced some two million from their homes. The Borno State Emergency Management Agency said eight members of a local militia, the civilian Joint Task Force, were wounded in the attack, which underscored Boko Haram's ability to continue to operate despite the government's insistence
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench to score a stunning winner with two minutes left as Cameroon fought back from behind to beat Egypt 2-1 in a thrilling Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday. Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny had given Egypt the lead midway through the first half and Egypt looked to be on course to win an unrivalled eighth Cup of Nations crown in their first appearance at the tournament since 2010. But Nicolas Nkoulou, who had come off the bench in the first half, headed in the equaliser just before the hour mark and fellow substitute Aboubakar slammed in the winner in the 88th minute.

Pages

(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
A documentary about the back-breaking work of a young Congolese coal seller to feed his family has won the top prize at the Cannes film festival's Critics' Week. "Makala" by French director Emmanuel Gras follows Kabwita, who goes door-to-door selling coal on his bicycle in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. "Makala" means coal in Swahili. "There is something beautiful and dignified in his work," the director told AFP, "earning his living by the sweat of his brow. "I wanted to show a man of action, not someone in (the misery) of poverty but someone who lives their life," he added.
(AFP (eng) 05/03/17)
Tunisian and international non-governmental organisations warned Tuesday of deteriorating freedom of the press in a country considered to be a rare success story of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. "The Tunisian government these past weeks has not stopped tightening its grip on the press," they said in a joint statement published on World Press Freedom Day. Twenty-five associations, including the Tunisian Press Syndicate, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Amnesty International, said they were "deeply concerned" about the creation of a regulatory body for audiovisual communication. Six years after a popular uprising toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the rights groups expressed concern about the recent banning of a small daily
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
Ethiopia’s state of emergency has seen thousands of people detained, allegedly in connection with the unrest last year in the Oromia region. Those arrested have included journalists and bloggers. VOA sat down with three of them in Addis Ababa ahead of World Press Freedom Day (May 3). University lecturer and commentator Seyoum Teshome was arrested in October and detained for two months after he gave a radio interview to Deutsche Welle in which he criticized the government. Since his release,...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
"I haven't once spoken my mother tongue Kilokele in the 62 years I've lived in Kinshasa. None of my nine children speak it," says Charles Tongohala. Tongohala's native tongue is one of 450 spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a sprawling nation of 71 million people whose lingos -- almost all of them spoken, not written -- account for nine percent of the world's 5,000 languages. He was a boy when he moved to DR Congo's capital from a...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
A painting by a South African artist showing President Jacob Zuma raping the late Nelson Mandela has caused outrage in the country, with the ruling party Friday describing it as "grotesque". The piece by controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu shows Zuma seated on a red chair, penetrating a crying Mandela. Both men have their legs wide apart, exposing their genitals. The African National Congress and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have condemned the colourful artwork titled: "The economy of rape". "Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste,"
(AFP (eng) 03/05/17)
"Felicite," a tale about a nightclub singer who has to scrape together funds to pay for her son's treatment after a road accident, scooped the top prize on Saturday at Africa's top cinema festival. The film won the Golden Stallion award at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, held in the capital of Burkina Faso. The prize adds to the Silver Bear jury prize awarded to the film two weeks earlier at the Berlin Film Festival. The film...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
A solar-powered cinema was unveiled in Burkina Faso Friday ahead of the city's hosting of Africa's top film festival, even as movie theatres on the continent continue to disappear. The theatre, with its 300-seat capacity, will run on solar energy. Named Canal Olympia Yennenga, it is now the third-largest movie hall in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou. Located in the city's posh Ouaga2000 neighbourhood, the theatre cost about 3 million euros ($3.2 million) to build. It is the brainchild of French businessman Vincent Bollore, whose company owns French premium TV and cinema group Canal Plus. "In the city of Ouagadougou, we lack movie theatres of this calibre," said Burkina Faso
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Nollywood film "The Wedding Party" has shown Nigerian cinema at the top of its game, with its success at the box office taking it to new audiences across Africa and the world. The country may well be in recession but Nollywood, which churns out some 2,000 films a year and is the world's second-biggest film industry outside India, has never been healthier. "The Wedding Party" is a madcap, glamorous comedy telling the story of the marriage of Dunny and Dozie, despite the misgivings of their families' rivalries. One family is Igbo and the other Yoruba -- two of the main ethnic groups in Nigeria.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
A public television station in Morocco was given an official reprimand on Tuesday for broadcasting a sequence on how to use make-up to conceal the bruises of battered women. It was transmitted last November -- marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women -- by 2M on its morning magazine programme "Sabahiyate". The sequence depicted a woman with a swollen face, with the presenter telling viewers that she was not really injured, and that these were just "cinematic effects". On Tuesday, the country's High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) said the sequence
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
Every January, thousands of voodoo worshippers joined by crowds of tourists and descendants of slaves trudge down the long sand track leading to the beach at Ouidah in Benin. The cars, motorbikes and women in wrap skirts with tribal scars on their cheeks head to the Gate of No Return monument overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean beach. Erected in 1992 in memory of those packed on ships bound for the New World, it is a living reminder...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
As many African women spend much of their spare time in hair salons, Ivory Coast's chief librarian, also a woman, came up with a brainwave scheme to help them read and learn to read. Crammed on shelves between hair extensions, untangling creams and straightening lotions, a total 23 hair salons now offer customers a range of books on loan from the National Library. "Libraries are practically non-existent in our suburbs and the ones that do exist get very few visitors,...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/16)
Surrounded by untidy stacks of paper and abandoned half-empty coffee cups, photographer Aida Muluneh chain smokes cigarettes in her Addis Ababa office and rails against the negative portrayals of Africa by foreigners. The 42-year-old came returned to Ethiopia nine years ago after living in Yemen and Canada and set herself the task of changing perceptions of the continent, replacing the outsiders' dominant eye with an African one. The Addis Foto Fest, which she founded and which opens its fourth edition...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/16)
Journalists from Cameroon and Ivory Coast on Thursday won Africa's top fact-checking awards for investigating government claims that turned out to be false. Manfei Anderson Diedri, of the website Eburnietoday.com, scooped the francophone award for an eight-month investigation into a land dispute in central Ivory Coast. Diedri uncovered that while Abidjan claimed it had ownership of 11,000 hectares of land granted to a Belgian company for industrial rubber plantations -- which villagers claimed was their property -- there was no...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/16)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday condemned the swift shutdown of four Benin broadcasters close to the opposition, saying it raised fears of an "authoritarian" shift in the west African country. The four broadcasters -- Radio Soleil and TV stations Sikka, Eden and E-tele -- were all cut off on Tuesday and Wednesday, the press freedom group said in a statement. All were shut down on the grounds that they were transmitting from places away from their original locations, RSF...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/16)
Sudan on Sunday ordered a private television channel to stop broadcasting after accusing it of operating without a licence, the network's owner told AFP. Hussein Khojali, owner of 24-hour entertainment network Omdurman Channel, said he received a letter from the Sudanese Authority of Radio and Television Broadcasting asking him to stop broadcasting. "Today at 8:30 pm (1700 GMT) we received a letter from the authorities saying the channel has been stopped from broadcasting because it didn't have a licence," Khojali...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/16)
Spanish archaeologists have discovered a millennia-old mummy in "very good condition" near the southern Egyptian town of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Sunday. The find was in a tomb probably dating from between 1075-664 BC, on the west bank of the Nile river 700 kilometres (435 miles) south of Cairo, a statement said. The mummy had been bound with linen stuck together with plaster. It was in a brightly coloured wooden sarcophagus and had been buried near a temple from the era of fourth-millennium warrior king Thutmose III.
(AFP (eng) 10/22/16)
In many parts of Africa albinos are stigmatised or hunted for their body parts, but for one night in Kenya those with the condition took to the catwalk to show off their unique beauty. Billed by organisers as the first pageant of its kind, young albino men and women on Friday competed for the title of Miss and Mr Albinism Kenya. "People with albinism are not seen as beautiful and handsome so it is very rare to find those two...
(Dw-World 09/22/16)
Hundreds of journalists took to the streets of Mombasa to protests persistent attacks against journalists and free expression. This is the second such protest in Kenya this month. In Kenya, the freedom of the press is guaranteed by the country's constitution which was signed in 2010. But in response to what they called continuous harassment, threats and assaults directed towards the media, hundreds of journalists in Mombasa downed their tools and demanded that their rights to perform their jobs be...
(AFP (eng) 09/11/16)
Hollywood plague movies are usually about a fictional viral outbreak, unleashing chaos and anarchy that can only be stopped by heroes who transcend the panic. That's not true for "93 Days", a Nollywood film premiering on Tuesday, which dramatises the story of Nigeria's response to the very real Ebola epidemic in 2014 that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa. Hundreds had already died from the disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone when Ebola surfaced in Nigeria as...

Pages

(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Civil society activists say a move to exclude South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar from a regional peace process will ensure that South Sudan remains engulfed in war. Ministers of the East African bloc IGAD said Monday that Machar will not be invited to the next meeting for the peace process, which is aimed at revitalizing a 2015 peace agreement between the rebels and South Sudanese government. “We already agreed that the process, all opposition groups including Riek Machar’s ideas, the representatives of Riek Machar, can be involved in this process. For the time being, physically we are not inviting Riek Machar,” Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu said at the end of the ministers' meeting...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Thirty-two people, most of them soldiers with Cameroon’s elite Rapid Intervention Battalion, remain unaccounted for after their ship capsized off the coast of the Bakassi Peninsula over a week ago. Relatives of the missing are demanding answers. Dozens come every evening to comfort the residents of a house in the Yaounde-Nkoabang neighborhood of the capital. It is the home of Alex Alega, one of the 32 soldiers still missing after a Cameroonian military vessel went down off the Atlantic coast July 16. His brother, Theophile, is anxious for news. He says it is unacceptable that, to date, the military has not explained
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Somalia is suffering from a renewed displacement crisis as people flee drought and conflict, particularly in the country’s southern region. Gerard Waite, chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration Somalia, told VOA that about 800,000 people have fled their homes in response to the drought over the past seven months. That is in addition to the 1.1 million people who were previously displaced in the country. “We have a displacement crisis on top of a drought crisis,” Waite...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, increased its forecast of this year’s record crop after farmers improved their yields. Growers will probably reap 15.97 million metric tons of corn in the 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Tuesday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Nigeria’s central bank left its main lending rate unchanged for a sixth consecutive meeting as it seeks to hold on to gains it’s made in inflation and exchange-rate stability. The Monetary Policy Committee held the key policy rate at 14 percent, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters on Tuesday in the capital, Abuja. That was in line with the forecast of all but two of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey. While inflation in Africa’s most-populous nation...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Tullow Oil Plc plans to drill more wells off Ghana once a ruling on a border dispute is out of the way. Ghana and Ivory Coast disagree over their maritime boundary, frustrating projects to pump oil and gas offshore. In September, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, or Itlos, will rule on the matter, likely clearing the way for an expansion of Tullow’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme project, the company said. “We were aware of the dispute before we initiated...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Ghana’s industry body for cocoa purchasers said its members are struggling to pay farmers for their crops because the regulator isn’t reimbursing buyers for the delivery of beans. Purchasers are buying beans on credit from farmers in some instances, while others have stopped taking delivery from growers, which is causing stocks to accumulate on farms, Ayisi Botwe, executive secretary of the Licenced Cocoa Buyers Association, said by phone on Tuesday. The body’s members usually account for about 95 percent of...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
Tanzania sent Acacia Mining Plc a tax bill equal to almost two centuries worth of the gold producer’s revenue. The government issued the company, which mines all of its gold in the African country, with a $40 billion tax bill and another $150 billion in interest and penalties, Acacia said in a statement Monday. The charge covers alleged under-declared export revenues from the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines over periods between 2000 and 2017. Acacia reiterated that it has fully declared...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
A record number of Ghanaians are saving money using mobile phones as lenders push products to lure deposits using technology that is cheaper than building branches. Deposits with mobile-money providers jumped 25 percent to 1.57 billion cedis ($360 million) this year through April, the Accra-based central bank said in a response to questions this month. That compares with 19.6 million cedis in 2012, when the Bank of Ghana began compiling the data. Lenders including Fidelity Bank Ltd. and AFB Ghana Plc this year began offering savings products to mobile-phone users, while Ecobank Ghana Ltd. in 2016 allowed customers to buy government
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world's highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults. PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
A weak naira and stubborn inflation may prevent Nigeria’s central bank from following South Africa and Ghana in cutting interest rates. Only two of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the Monetary Policy Committee will reduce borrowing costs on Tuesday. The rest said the key rate will stay at a record high of 14 percent, where it’s been for a year. Governor Godwin Emefiele, who is scheduled to announce the MPC’s decision at about 2.30 p.m. in the capital,...
(Voice of America 07/22/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lashed out Friday against factions in his party angling to take over from him, saying they have no backing. The 93-year-old spoke at a rally in Lupane, about 600 kilometers southwest of Harare - as part of his effort to recruit young people to support him in next year's elections. It was the first time Mugabe spoke in public since returning from Singapore, where he went earlier this month to seek medical treatment for the third...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
Ghana’s central bank may cut its key interest rate for a third straight meeting with inflation at its slowest in four years and a strengthening currency. Consumer-price growth has tumbled 7.1 percentage points since reaching an all-time high of 19.2 percent in March last year. While the cedi weakened to a record low against the dollar on March 2, it has strengthened 8.2 percent since then. The median of seven economists’ estimates is for a 100 basis-point cut in the...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s first interest rate cut in five years, and a surprise one at that, probably won’t be enough to break the rand’s resilience. The currency fell as much as 1.2 percent after the South African Reserve Bank reduced its key rate on Thursday to 6.75 percent from 7 percent to boost an economy in recession, defying predictions of 20 out of 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey. But it soon recovered some of its losses to trade 0.9 percent...
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
A provincial structure of South Africa’s ruling party is instituting disciplinary measures against a member who has called for President Jacob Zuma to step down and has been receiving death threats from the African National Congress’s Youth League. The public pronouncements by Makhosi Khoza, who is a member of parliament, “represented the worse form of arrogance,” the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal province, where she is from, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “Her public stunt and participation in platforms intended to replace the societal leadership role of the ANC constitutes a blatant betrayal of the core values of the ANC.”
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
The Agbada 2 flow station should have been buzzing with activity, pumping crude to one of Nigeria’s largest export terminals. Instead it was idle in the muggy, mid-morning heat as Wilcox Emmanuel, the facility’s manager, shrugged in resignation about the thieves who’d shut him down. As much as 30 percent of the oil sent by pipelines through the swampy Niger River delta is stolen, consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. estimates. That’s depriving the country of income amid a crippling recession and...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Zimbabwe’s capital city plans to raise a $100 million bond this year to finance the building of new homes and end a decades-long housing shortage, its mayor said. The capital, Harare, has “outgrown itself and the population has grown beyond the city’s initial designs,” mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said Tuesday in an interview. An original plan to obtain $150 million through the central government became “entangled in politics,” he said, without elaborating. “Now we’re looking at raising $100 million through a...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Questions about the integrity of Kenya’s electoral authority along with perceptions of impunity are among factors that have raised the risk of violence erupting after elections in the country next month, the Washington-based Africa Center said. The vote will be one of the most competitive in the country’s history, with unrest already having been reported during political-party primaries in April, the U.S. Department of Defense agency said in a report on its website. “Combined, these factors heighten the risk that...
(Voice of America 07/18/17)
Somalia has internet service again, after a 23-day outage that cost the country's fledgling economy tens of millions of dollars. Abdi Anshur, Somalia's minister for posts and telecommunications, told reporters in Mogadishu Monday that the internet link which went down on June 24 has been fixed. “Following efforts by Somali government and the company that provided the service, we have succeeded to restore the connection,” said the minister. The connection was cut when a ship severed an undersea fiber optic cable connecting Somalia to global data networks.
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
Kenya vowed tough security measures after suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants stepped up attacks around the East African nation’s coast and northeast. President Uhuru Kenyatta said security forces had intensified their hunt for al-Shabaab militants in Lamu’s Boni forest, according to an emailed statement from his office. “Fire must be met with fire,” Kenyatta said. “We shall bury them.” The militants have increased raids in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties during the past weeks. In the latest incident, the Ministry of Public Works Principal Secretary Maryam El Maawy was wounded in a July 13 attack. “We have to deal with these terror-mongers,” Kenyatta said.

Pages