Toute l'afrique | Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017

Toute l'afrique

(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Eleven people have died and five are in hospital, Liberian officials said on Friday, after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to attendance at the funeral of a religious leader. "We are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola," said Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Francis Kateh, adding samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing. On Wednesday, the WHO said Liberian health authorities were taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a two-year Ebola virus outbreak. "It seems all of these people were attending the funeral of a religious leader,"...
(AFP (eng) 04/29/17)
Thousands of Egyptian Catholics waving the colours of the Vatican flag gathered amid tight security Saturday in a Cairo stadium where Pope Francis was to lead mass. Crowds of pilgrims poured out of buses into the stadium in the early hours of the morning, eager to see the Argentine pontiff in the flesh for the first time. "I'm so happy to be seeing the pope in real life," said Siham Ghali shortly after daybreak. "It's a great honour for me and all Egyptians." Nearby, Jihan John said she was delighted to be attending a mass led by a Catholic pope for the second time after seeing former pope John Paul II when he visited Egypt in 2000. Francis "came to...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Women are likely to be elected for the first time to some of Kenya's powerful governor positions after making historic gains in party primaries this week, experts said, heralding a political breakthrough for the patriarchal society. Kenya has East Africa's lowest female representation in parliament - at 19 percent - and women have struggled to make gains in the face of violence, intimidation and sexism. That looks set to change in August's elections. "This time, at least two women are...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The leader of a group calling for the secession of an area in southeast Nigeria, formerly known as Biafra, was released on bail on Friday after being detained for nearly two years, his lawyer said. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) campaign group, has been held at Kuje prison in the capital, Abuja, since his arrest in October 2015 on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society. A wave of IPOB demonstrations took...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed attempts to restart talks between Morocco and the Polisario independence movement over the Western Sahara conflict and has extended its peacekeeping mission for another year. The resolution late on Friday came after the U.N. mission confirmed the Polisario had withdrawn troops from disputed territory's Guerguerat area, where they faced off since last year with Moroccan forces. Rabat pulled back its forces earlier this year. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month called...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma has signed the anti-money laundering bill FICA, which allows increased scrutiny of the bank accounts of "prominent individuals", including himself, into law, his office said on Saturday. The country risked being kicked out of global fraud monitor, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), if the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) bill was not signed by June. The bill, intended to bolster the fight against global financial crime by making it easier to identify the ultimate...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Kenyan police have yet to take witness statements or gather ballistic evidence from the site of an ambush where gunmen wounded a world-famous conservationist, sources say, and are unable to give details about suspects they said they arrested. Kuki Gallmann, the 73-year-old Kenyan-Italian author of "I Dreamed of Africa," was shot twice in the stomach on Sunday after gunmen ambushed her vehicle when she went to inspect arson damage on her conservation park in northern Kenya. Leading politicians rapidly issued statements on the shooting, which could damage Kenya's tourism industry, and the interior ministry announced on Monday that suspects
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis denounced "demagogic populism" on Friday and insisted that violence profanes God's name, in a wide-ranging speech as he visited Egypt to push for tolerance. "Peace alone... is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the Catholic pontiff told a Muslim-Christian conference in Cairo. Francis is in Egypt on a 27-hour visit to push for dialogue with Muslims and support the country's embattled Christian minority that...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was dramatically fired by President Jacob Zuma, has warned that the ruling ANC party could lose power in the next election. Gordhan -- widely seen as a bulwark against government corruption in South Africa -- also appeared to back deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma. "I think there are many of us who are extremely worried that if we continue as we are in the African National Congress (ANC), we are...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Ghana's finance minister says investors were optimistic in meetings with senior government officials who accompanied Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to the World Bank spring meetings in Washington. In an interview with VOA, Ken Ofori-Atta said investors detected a new energy, and a sense of hope in a team that is focused on getting Ghana out of its current predicament. He also said that with a new government in place, the world is ready to see Ghana shine again in a much more stable West Africa. "We came in on a platform of change and real hope that we will revitalize the economy and create jobs
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
More than 95,000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan so far this year, the UN said Thursday, as thousands continue to flee war and famine in the world's youngest nation. South Sudan, which split from the north in 2011, has declared famine in parts of the country, saying a million people are on the brink of starvation. The number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in Sudan has surpassed 95,000 since the start of 2017, the United Nations Office for the Coordination...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Nigerian officials on Thursday sought to allay fears about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari after his absence from the last two cabinet meetings. Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu said there was "no need for apprehension" that he had missed the meetings but he was only following medical advice. "As eager as he is to be up and about, the president's doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said Thursday he will be leaving office next year and "graciously hand over" to his succesor. In his last state-of-the-nation address, delivered on the country's 56th independence anniversary, Koroma said he was leaving a "legacy of peace and unity" that all Sierra Leoneans should be committed to defend. A presidential election has been scheduled for March 2018. Koroma commended the country for its resilience, noting that over the years, he has observed that...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
The government of China on Thursday provided life saving nutrition assistance worth 8 million U.S. dollars to support the United Nations World Food Program's (WFP) response in drought-hit Ethiopia. The contribution from China will enable WFP to provide specialized treatment for more than 277,000 moderately malnourished children and women due to the ongoing drought that affected parts of the east African country. La Yifan, the Chinese Ambassador in Ethiopia, said during the handing over ceremony that China is a friendly...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, will visit Khartoum on Sunday for talks on the conflict in the North African country, the Sudanese foreign ministry said. Kobler, on his first visit to Sudan, is expected to meet Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and other senior officials in Khartoum. "He will discuss efforts made by Arab League and African Union to solve the Libyan crisis," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Ghandour will also attend a...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
The UN Security Council on Thursday postponed voting on a draft resolution on the Western Sahara conflict amid signs the Polisario Front independence movement was preparing a pullback from a tense zone of the contested territory, a council diplomat said. The US-drafted text included a strong appeal to the Polisario Front to immediately withdraw from the Guerguerat strip, which has become a potential flashpoint between the independence fighters and Moroccan troops. "The council wants to see if there is any...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis flies to Egypt Friday for a visit aimed at fostering reconciliation with the Muslim world against the backdrop of recent jihadist attacks on the Middle East's biggest Christian community. The 80-year-old pontiff is due in Cairo around 1400 (1200 GMT) and his 27 hours on Egyptian soil will include a meeting with the grand imam of the Al-Azhar mosque, sealing a recent improvement in relations between Catholicism and the Sunni branch of Islam. Security will be extremely tight...
(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...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday. The approval means the loans are now legal, in spite of a previous ruling by the country’s administrative court

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(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Eleven people have died and five are in hospital, Liberian officials said on Friday, after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to attendance at the funeral of a religious leader. "We are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola," said Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Francis Kateh, adding samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing. On Wednesday, the WHO said Liberian health authorities were taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a two-year Ebola virus outbreak. "It seems all of these people were attending the funeral of a religious leader,"...
(AFP (eng) 04/29/17)
Thousands of Egyptian Catholics waving the colours of the Vatican flag gathered amid tight security Saturday in a Cairo stadium where Pope Francis was to lead mass. Crowds of pilgrims poured out of buses into the stadium in the early hours of the morning, eager to see the Argentine pontiff in the flesh for the first time. "I'm so happy to be seeing the pope in real life," said Siham Ghali shortly after daybreak. "It's a great honour for me and all Egyptians." Nearby, Jihan John said she was delighted to be attending a mass led by a Catholic pope for the second time after seeing former pope John Paul II when he visited Egypt in 2000. Francis "came to...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The leader of a group calling for the secession of an area in southeast Nigeria, formerly known as Biafra, was released on bail on Friday after being detained for nearly two years, his lawyer said. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) campaign group, has been held at Kuje prison in the capital, Abuja, since his arrest in October 2015 on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society. A wave of IPOB demonstrations took...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Kenyan police have yet to take witness statements or gather ballistic evidence from the site of an ambush where gunmen wounded a world-famous conservationist, sources say, and are unable to give details about suspects they said they arrested. Kuki Gallmann, the 73-year-old Kenyan-Italian author of "I Dreamed of Africa," was shot twice in the stomach on Sunday after gunmen ambushed her vehicle when she went to inspect arson damage on her conservation park in northern Kenya. Leading politicians rapidly issued statements on the shooting, which could damage Kenya's tourism industry, and the interior ministry announced on Monday that suspects
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis denounced "demagogic populism" on Friday and insisted that violence profanes God's name, in a wide-ranging speech as he visited Egypt to push for tolerance. "Peace alone... is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the Catholic pontiff told a Muslim-Christian conference in Cairo. Francis is in Egypt on a 27-hour visit to push for dialogue with Muslims and support the country's embattled Christian minority that...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
More than 95,000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan so far this year, the UN said Thursday, as thousands continue to flee war and famine in the world's youngest nation. South Sudan, which split from the north in 2011, has declared famine in parts of the country, saying a million people are on the brink of starvation. The number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in Sudan has surpassed 95,000 since the start of 2017, the United Nations Office for the Coordination...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
The government of China on Thursday provided life saving nutrition assistance worth 8 million U.S. dollars to support the United Nations World Food Program's (WFP) response in drought-hit Ethiopia. The contribution from China will enable WFP to provide specialized treatment for more than 277,000 moderately malnourished children and women due to the ongoing drought that affected parts of the east African country. La Yifan, the Chinese Ambassador in Ethiopia, said during the handing over ceremony that China is a friendly...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Pope Francis flies to Egypt Friday for a visit aimed at fostering reconciliation with the Muslim world against the backdrop of recent jihadist attacks on the Middle East's biggest Christian community. The 80-year-old pontiff is due in Cairo around 1400 (1200 GMT) and his 27 hours on Egyptian soil will include a meeting with the grand imam of the Al-Azhar mosque, sealing a recent improvement in relations between Catholicism and the Sunni branch of Islam. Security will be extremely tight...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Dimming the lights on their patrol boat, Tunisian coastguards stand in silence scanning the sea for speedboats on clandestine missions to and from Italy. Smuggling gangs are using high-performance vessels to ferry people, drugs and cigarettes across the Strait of Sicily, a distance of just 95 miles (150 kilometres). Commander Mohamed Naceur Saadani says their use of speedboats is a "new and dangerous" phenomenon. Standing on the bridge of a patrol boat capable of 40 knots (about 70 kilometres, 45 miles per hour), he monitors a bank of glowing radar screens.
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
Ten trucks carrying much-needed food for Burundi are back in Rwanda's capital after authorities denied entry at the border, citing security concerns. The World Food Program in Burundi says the trucks, carrying 300 tons of beans to feed Congolese refugees and other WFP recipients, were stopped at the border last Friday and returned Tuesday to the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye defended the decision to deny entry, saying Rwanda has been the source of crime and "insecurity" for Burundi since 2015. "If today, there are objects or people coming from the same area
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
The World Bank is distancing itself from reports that it has given a grant to the government of South Sudan worth tens of millions of dollars. A World Bank spokesperson in Ethiopia told VOA's South Sudan in Focus on Wednesday that the bank had proposed to donate $50 million to U.N. aid agencies combating famine and food insecurity, but that those funds were still pending approval from the board. Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters on Monday that the...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
The UN-backed Libyan government has asked the EU for a long list of equipment, including large patrol boats, to help stem the tide of African migrants fleeing to Europe, EU diplomatic sources said Wednesday. The European Union launched Operation Sophia in 2015 to crack down on people smugglers, but because it cannot operate in Libyan territorial waters it is also trying to boost the coast guard through training and supplying basic equipment. So far its efforts have made little headway, with the Libyan government beset by Islamic militias and warlords who have been fighting for control since the West ousted long-time dictator Moamer
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
The United States slammed South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Tuesday for the African state's "man-made" famine and ongoing conflict, urging him to fulfill a month-old pledge of a unilateral truce by ordering his troops back to their barracks. "We must see a sign that progress is possible," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told a United Nations Security Council briefing on South Sudan. "We must see that ceasefire implemented." South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 after Kiir fired his deputy, unleashing a conflict that has spawned armed factions often following ethnic lines.
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
Raj Panjabi, who fled to the United States to escape civil war in his native Liberia, eventually returned to his shattered homeland to find rural communities desperate for adequate health care. The trained physician co-founded Last Mile Health in Liberia, which aims to recruit, train, equip and manage people in communities to serve as local health care workers. He spoke about his organization Tuesday at the TED Conference famous for "ideas worth spreading," sharing his dream of revolutionizing health care...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
Three suicide bombings rocked the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Wednesday, killing one civilian militia member and injuring several others, security personnel told AFP. The bombings came two days after multiple suicide attacks near the strategic city that killed four members of the civilian joint taskforce (JTF) and injured two others. "There have been three suicide bombings in the city this morning in which one civilian JTF was killed and one other wounded," a senior military officer, who asked not to be identified, said. In the first blast, a female suicide bomber struck near a sprawling camp for displaced people in the Muna
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Sudan's pro-government journalists' union on Tuesday urged Khartoum to expel Egyptian reporters from the country after Cairo refused entry to two Sudanese journalists who had travelled to Egypt. The call comes with Khartoum and Cairo trying to improve their ties, which deteriorated after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition fighters. The Sudanese Journalists' Union said Cairo had denied entry to two Sudanese journalists and deported them back home, and in response it demanded the expulsion...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
The 22-year-old South African man on trial for murdering his wealthy family with an axe was taken on Tuesday to the home where his parents and brother were killed. Henri van Breda is accused of hacking his parents, Martin and Teresa, and his brother Rudi to death at the house on an exclusive golf estate in Stellenbosch outside Cape Town. When his trial opened on Monday, van Breda denied the murders and said he had fought off a masked intruder who broke into the four-bedroom family home.
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Tunisia's parliament voted on Tuesday to ease the country's harsh law on drugs, in a move that could see offenders like youths caught smoking marijuana escape jail terms. The North African country has faced mounting calls from rights groups and civil society to reform the law. Tuesday's vote comes after the National Security Council headed by President Beji Caid Essebsi announced in March measures to limit the number of drug-users sent to prison. Law 52, dating back to the rule...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Key dates in the history of Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which the United States and Uganda have decided to stop hunting down, saying the rebels have been neutralised. One of Africa's longest-surviving rebel groups, the LRA has terrorised parts of central Africa for 30 years, becoming notorious for mutilations, massacres, kidnappings, and the forced enrolment of children. - January 1987: a year after the takeover of Uganda by rebel leader Yoweri Museveni, voodoo priestess Alice Auma Lakwena takes up arms to topple the new regime. Her Holy Spirit Movement is defeated at the end of 1987. - 1988: Joseph Kony, presented as Lakwena's cousin...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
At least 26 people were killed and many others injured in a head-on crash between a bus and a truck on the highway between Nairobi and Kenya's second city Mombasa, police said Tuesday. "It was a very bad head-on collision. We lost 26 people in the accident," Leonard Kimaiyo, police chief for the southern town of Kibwezi said. Another senior officer said the bus, heading to Mombasa, was overtaking several vehicles when it collided with an oil tanker. Kenya has...

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(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma has signed the anti-money laundering bill FICA, which allows increased scrutiny of the bank accounts of "prominent individuals", including himself, into law, his office said on Saturday. The country risked being kicked out of global fraud monitor, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), if the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) bill was not signed by June. The bill, intended to bolster the fight against global financial crime by making it easier to identify the ultimate owners of companies and accounts - including those of "domestic prominent influential persons" - was passed by parliament in May. But Zuma sent in it back to the legislature saying he was concerned about the...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Ghana's finance minister says investors were optimistic in meetings with senior government officials who accompanied Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to the World Bank spring meetings in Washington. In an interview with VOA, Ken Ofori-Atta said investors detected a new energy, and a sense of hope in a team that is focused on getting Ghana out of its current predicament. He also said that with a new government in place, the world is ready to see Ghana shine again in a much more stable West Africa. "We came in on a platform of change and real hope that we will revitalize the economy and create jobs
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Morocco's Islamist-led cabinet won a vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday after the country went more than six months without a government, causing delays to public spending and reforms. Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) addressed the lower chamber of parliament late Wednesday, after which the 395-seat chamber voted in favor of the new cabinet and government program. Othmani's government will hold its first meeting on Thursday to examine the 2017 budget, which should have been approved by parliament in 2016. The PJD won elections in October, but the formation of the government was delayed during wrangling with parties who critics
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Zuma failed to secure parliamentary approval for reactor agreement with Putin. Plans to build nuclear power plants in South Africa have stalled after a court ruled that president Jacob Zuma should have sought parliamentary approval for a deal with Russia. The Western Cape high court in Cape Town ruled on Wednesday that the agreement struck between Mr Zuma and president Vladimir Putin in 2014 to co-operate on the reactors was unlawful. The decision could exacerbate tensions in the ruling African National Congress after speculation that Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan, his respected finance
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Government looks to revive economy via spending on big infrastructure projects. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, is seeking approval from lawmakers to borrow nearly $6bn from the Export-Import Bank of China for railway projects, as his government seeks to revive a recession-hit economy through spending on big infrastructure projects. Nigeria’s economy suffered its first contraction in 25 years last year, a sign of its near total dependence on revenues from oil exports. Mr Buhari’s administration hopes capital projects will create jobs...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking parliament's approval for a proposal to borrow $5.85 billion from China to modernize its rail network and another $1.075 billion from the World Bank to help rebuild the insurgency-torn northeast. Buhari urged parliament in a letter to approve the railway borrowing because China has a limit on funds available from its China Africa Fund. The president wants to sign loan agreements as soon as China approves the project. "These loans form part of the...
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday hailed China's commitment to supporting Africa's independent growth, expressing hope for closer cooperation with China in international and regional affairs. Zuma made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong here. During the talks, President Zuma asked the Chinese vice premier to extend his warm greetings to President Xi Jinping, saying he was pleased to see quick implementation of his consensus with the Chinese president on setting up the...
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
The World Bank is distancing itself from reports that it has given a grant to the government of South Sudan worth tens of millions of dollars. A World Bank spokesperson in Ethiopia told VOA's South Sudan in Focus on Wednesday that the bank had proposed to donate $50 million to U.N. aid agencies combating famine and food insecurity, but that those funds were still pending approval from the board. Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters on Monday that the...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Ghana’s cocoa regulator ruled out cutting the price it pays farmers for the new harvest that starts in October, at a time when nations are working together to stem a rout in prices. The amount paid to farmers in the world’s second-biggest grower will be unchanged and may even rise in the new season, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, said in Abidjan, the commercial capital of neighboring Ivory Coast. Aidoo was attending an emergency...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
Riots have paralyzed a major bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa's top producer, as residents erected barricades and burned tires to protest against high pollution levels and power cuts, government and company officials said on Tuesday. The unrest broke out on Monday night in the city of Boke, home to mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG) which each export around 15 million tonnes of the aluminum ore annually. "It's a problem with electricity...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
A squad of Mozambican forest rangers made their first arrest just minutes after arriving at a checkpoint near the northern port city of Pemba. Nicolau Moises, the forestry department chief in Cabo Delgado province, one of Mozambique's top timber-producing regions, quickly seized a truck piled high with freshly-cut bamboo stalks. The driver of the vehicle was accused of breaking an annual 90-day ban on logging -- just one tactic in Mozambique's battle against deforestation. That moratorium has been extended a further three months. Tropical forests cover more than half of the southern African country's landmass but China's insatiable appetite for rare types of wood to feed its furniture industry
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Pizza Hut is set to open three outlets in Ethiopia this year, becoming one of the first international restaurant chains to enter Africa’s second-most populous country. The restaurants are scheduled to begin serving in the capital, Addis Ababa, by November, franchisee Aschalew Belay said in an interview Monday. Aschalew’s company, Belayab Foods and Franchise, will run the local outlets of the Yum! Brands Inc. pizzeria and will have invested $5.5 million in the operations by next year, according to his...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, is close to selling a stake in ZCCM Investments Holdings, a state controlled mine holding company, for more than $100 million, according to three people familiar with the matter. Sapir Capital, an Israeli private equity company that’s invested in industries from nanotechnology to oil and gas, is waiting for final government approval for the acquisition of the 17.25 percent stake directly held by the government, said two of the people who asked not to be...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will let the market determine the naira’s rate in a new foreign-exchange window for portfolio investors as the nation struggles to revive its economy amid a dollar shortage. Naira forward contracts and banking stocks rose. Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate the naira weakening in the window, which started today, according to a person who attended meetings with the policy maker over the past two weeks. While that may cause the currency to depreciate to its black-market level, the central bank probably won’t devalue the interbank exchange rate, the person said, declining to be identified because
(Reuters (Eng) 04/25/17)
Zimbabwe's "bond note" surrogate currency will not solve its economic problems, the International Monetary Fund said, adding that only comprehensive reforms would address a fiscal crisis. The southern African nation last year introduced bond notes, which officially trade at par with the U.S. dollar and are backed by a $200 million bond from the African Export and Import Bank. The director of the IMF's Africa department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, told reporters in Washington on Sunday that limited foreign exchange inflows...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/25/17)
GE Power, a division of General Electric Co (GE.N), has signed a services deal with Algerian utility Sonelgaz SPE valued at more than $3 billion, the largest services agreement ever for GE Power and one that creates hundreds of jobs in Algeria, GE said on Monday. Under the 20-year contract with the subsidiary of Sonelgaz, GE will train more than 1,000 workers in Algeria and create about 300 jobs through its Algerian suppliers and its own operations there, Steve Bolze,...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Egypt plans to promote religious, medical and luxury trips, and develop new markets in India and Eastern Europe, as it pushes to revive its vital tourism industry to pre-2011 revolution levels within two years. In addition to more diverse tourism offerings, the home of the pyramids will ease travel for residents of the Gulf Arab nations through an e-visa program as part of a broader plan to boost visitors and encourage longer stays and more spending, Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Nigerian commander Remi Fadairo points to the roiling plume of black smoke blotting the morning horizon in the Niger Delta -— the unmistakable sign of an illicit oil refinery. "Let's see if we can go eat them for breakfast," he says with an ominous chuckle. The 44-year-old colonel, a man with broad shoulders wearing his fatigues tucked into gumboots, is standing in the middle of a destroyed illicit refinery in Kana Rugbana, an area in the swamplands some 20 nautical...

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(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 help from mental health professionals four years ago to resolve the issues arising from the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997. Indeed the Heads Together campaign -- which is led by Harry, Prince...
(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 came off the bench to snatch a late winner against Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon last month. He was one of two changes for the Tunisia match from the team that started the final, replacing...
(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.
(AFP (eng) 02/04/17)
Alain Traore scored with one minute left to give Burkina Faso a 1-0 win over Ghana Saturday and third place in the Africa Cup of Nations. The Turkey-based attacker thumped an angled free-kick over goalkeeper Richard Ofori and into the net in Gabonese coastal city Port-Gentil. It was the second highest finish in the biennial African football showcase for the Burkinabe Stallions, who finished runners-up four years ago. The Black Stars of Ghana have played in five third-place play-offs, losing four. Ghana could have been several goals ahead by half-time as they dominated possession only to be let down by poor finishing and bad luck.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
Michael Ngadeu and Christian Bassogog both netted in the second half as Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 in Franceville on Thursday to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final. A finely-poised tie remained goalless until the 72nd minute, when Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah failed to deal with a free-kick into his area and John Boye's weak defensive header merely served as an assist for Ngadeu to control and fire home. Bassogog then broke away to clinch the win and spark wild...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
Built in rainforest outside Gabon's fourth largest town as one of the venues for the Africa Cup of Nations, the Oyem stadium risks becoming a white elephant now the tournament has moved on. Ghana beat DR Congo at the venue in the quarter-finals on Sunday, the last of seven matches to be played at the stadium during the competition. It is anyone's guess when the next game will be held. Not least because construction work has not actually finished, and...
(AFP (eng) 01/14/17)
The Africa Cup of Nations gets underway in Gabon on Saturday afternoon as the hosts, spearheaded by the brilliant Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang, face minnows Guinea-Bissau in the tournament's opening game in Libreville. The Panthers, coached by veteran Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, are looking to the French-born Borussia Dortmund striker to lead their bid to win the continental title for the first time, 60 years on from the inaugural Cup of Nations. "Pierre is one of the best players in the world. Gabon are lucky to have him," Camacho admitted at a press conference on Friday in the Gabonese
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
CAF executive committee member Ahmad Ahmad said Friday he will challenge long-serving Issa Hayatou in March for the presidency of the African football body. Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, has run CAF since succeeding Sudanese Abdel Halim Muhammad in 1988 and is seeking an eighth four-year term. The CAF confirmed in Libreville meanwhile that Hayatou was standing for a new term through to 2021. Ahmad, the Madagascar Football Association president, told reporters in Libreville that his candidacy had been accepted. "My candidacy for the position of Confederation of African Football president has been approved," he said. Ahmad is in the Gabonese capital ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
Kenya is to put 109 elite athletes under the watch of a team of selected doctors in a bid to stop doping, a practice that has tarnished the image of its famed sportsmen and women. Athletics Kenya chief Jackson Tuwei said that in conjunction with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), five trusted doctors had been selected to work with the country's top athletes. This is an effort to limit bad medical practices by some Kenyan doctors who have...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Egypt's competition watchdog has referred Confederation of African Football chief Issa Hayatou to prosecutors accusing him of breaching monopoly rules with an exclusive billion-dollar television deal. The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) announced the measure just days before the Africa Cup of Nations starts in Gabon. The authority, under Egypt's industry ministry, said an exclusive deal with French company Lagardere Sports for Nations Cup tournaments breaches anti-trust laws. The ECA issued an order on Thursday that television rights in Egypt be widened. CAF denies any wrongdoing, saying in a statement the ECA did not even mention "any prosecution against the president of CAF" in a letter to the confederation.

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(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 northeastern village home to the Lokele fisher people, who live along the banks of the giant Congo river and speak Kilokele. Now retired, Tongohala worked for Congo's river transport company. Daniel Mukebayi, another Kinshasa resident,...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/01/16)
An Angolan activist rapper who spent nearly a year behind bars has vowed to step up his vocal campaign against President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, despite the risk of returning to jail. "There's a lot to be done in Angola and I'm trying to do my part," Luaty Beirao told AFP two months after his release from prison where he was held on charges of plotting a rebellion against dos Santos. Beirao, a well-known rapper, was arrested during a book club meeting in June last year where one of the titles up for discussion was about non-violent resistance to repressive regimes.
(AFP (eng) 08/23/16)
A satirical cartoon depicting a celebrity in Ghana schooling a British diplomat on how to speak pidgin English won laughter and praise from the crowd at a street festival in Accra. The cartoon lampoons British High Commissioner to Ghana Jon Benjamin who back in April sent a tweet criticising television star Nana Anamoah's grammar, sparking a heated debate on the West African country's colonial past. Contemporary artist Bright Ackwerh immortalised the inane moment with his signature style that recalls Mad...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/16)
The trial of a Malian jihadist charged with war crimes for orchestrating the 2012 destruction of nine Timbuktu mausoleums and a section of a famous mosque opens Monday at the International Criminal Court (ICC). How did the monuments come to be considered important and why were they destroyed? Who built the mausoleums? The mausoleums of Muslim saints located in Timbuktu's cemeteries and mosques date back to the ancient caravan city's golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries as an...

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(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Ghana's finance minister says investors were optimistic in meetings with senior government officials who accompanied Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to the World Bank spring meetings in Washington. In an interview with VOA, Ken Ofori-Atta said investors detected a new energy, and a sense of hope in a team that is focused on getting Ghana out of its current predicament. He also said that with a new government in place, the world is ready to see Ghana shine again in a much more stable West Africa. "We came in on a platform of change and real hope that we will revitalize the economy and create jobs
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African nation is yet to decide which banks will be hired as financial advisers and a roadshow will be held in London and the U.S., according to the people. Ivory Coast sold $1 billion of debt in 2015 and $750 million...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday. The approval means the loans are now legal, in spite of a previous ruling by the country’s administrative court
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
An alliance of Kenyan opposition parties chose former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its candidate to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta in elections scheduled for August. Odinga’s running mate on the National Super Alliance ticket will be former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said Thursday at a rally in the capital, Nairobi. The two were recommended by a technical committee that also considered former Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang’ula as potential candidates. “The one who will fly the NASA flag is engineer, the right Honorable Raila Odinga,” Mudavadi said to the cheers of thousands of supporters at a rally in Uhuru Park in the city center.
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
Ten trucks carrying much-needed food for Burundi are back in Rwanda's capital after authorities denied entry at the border, citing security concerns. The World Food Program in Burundi says the trucks, carrying 300 tons of beans to feed Congolese refugees and other WFP recipients, were stopped at the border last Friday and returned Tuesday to the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye defended the decision to deny entry, saying Rwanda has been the source of crime and "insecurity" for Burundi since 2015. "If today, there are objects or people coming from the same area
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Zuma failed to secure parliamentary approval for reactor agreement with Putin. Plans to build nuclear power plants in South Africa have stalled after a court ruled that president Jacob Zuma should have sought parliamentary approval for a deal with Russia. The Western Cape high court in Cape Town ruled on Wednesday that the agreement struck between Mr Zuma and president Vladimir Putin in 2014 to co-operate on the reactors was unlawful. The decision could exacerbate tensions in the ruling African National Congress after speculation that Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan, his respected finance
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Government looks to revive economy via spending on big infrastructure projects. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, is seeking approval from lawmakers to borrow nearly $6bn from the Export-Import Bank of China for railway projects, as his government seeks to revive a recession-hit economy through spending on big infrastructure projects. Nigeria’s economy suffered its first contraction in 25 years last year, a sign of its near total dependence on revenues from oil exports. Mr Buhari’s administration hopes capital projects will create jobs...
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
The World Bank is distancing itself from reports that it has given a grant to the government of South Sudan worth tens of millions of dollars. A World Bank spokesperson in Ethiopia told VOA's South Sudan in Focus on Wednesday that the bank had proposed to donate $50 million to U.N. aid agencies combating famine and food insecurity, but that those funds were still pending approval from the board. Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters on Monday that the...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Ghana’s cocoa regulator ruled out cutting the price it pays farmers for the new harvest that starts in October, at a time when nations are working together to stem a rout in prices. The amount paid to farmers in the world’s second-biggest grower will be unchanged and may even rise in the new season, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, said in Abidjan, the commercial capital of neighboring Ivory Coast. Aidoo was attending an emergency...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Pizza Hut is set to open three outlets in Ethiopia this year, becoming one of the first international restaurant chains to enter Africa’s second-most populous country. The restaurants are scheduled to begin serving in the capital, Addis Ababa, by November, franchisee Aschalew Belay said in an interview Monday. Aschalew’s company, Belayab Foods and Franchise, will run the local outlets of the Yum! Brands Inc. pizzeria and will have invested $5.5 million in the operations by next year, according to his...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, is close to selling a stake in ZCCM Investments Holdings, a state controlled mine holding company, for more than $100 million, according to three people familiar with the matter. Sapir Capital, an Israeli private equity company that’s invested in industries from nanotechnology to oil and gas, is waiting for final government approval for the acquisition of the 17.25 percent stake directly held by the government, said two of the people who asked not to be...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will let the market determine the naira’s rate in a new foreign-exchange window for portfolio investors as the nation struggles to revive its economy amid a dollar shortage. Naira forward contracts and banking stocks rose. Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate the naira weakening in the window, which started today, according to a person who attended meetings with the policy maker over the past two weeks. While that may cause the currency to depreciate to its black-market level, the central bank probably won’t devalue the interbank exchange rate, the person said, declining to be identified because
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the gloves off in the contest to become the nation’s next leader, delivering a scathing speech criticizing “the rot” and widespread patronage plaguing the ruling African National Congress. Ramaphosa stopped short of openly declaring his candidacy to succeed President Jacob Zuma, 75, in a speech on Sunday, but his address left no doubt that his campaign is now firmly under way. He made several thinly veiled attacks on Zuma, who’s indicated that he’s backing his ex-wife and mother of four of his children, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the top post. Dlamini-Zuma, who’s spent the past few weeks traversing the country drumming up support while guarded
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party will try again to select candidates for August elections after abandoning a chaotic process last week that analysts said may be a harbinger of upheaval during the national vote. The process that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party began on April 21 will restart Monday after being marred by inadequate ballot papers, violent stand-offs and allegations of rigging, Kenyan newspapers including the Nairobi-based Daily Nation reported. Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement also last week rescheduled its...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Egypt plans to promote religious, medical and luxury trips, and develop new markets in India and Eastern Europe, as it pushes to revive its vital tourism industry to pre-2011 revolution levels within two years. In addition to more diverse tourism offerings, the home of the pyramids will ease travel for residents of the Gulf Arab nations through an e-visa program as part of a broader plan to boost visitors and encourage longer stays and more spending, Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(Bloomberg 04/22/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he had “constructive” talks with Moody’s Investors Service in an attempt to tackle the credit rating agency’s concerns about fiscal policy after a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of his predecessor. Moody’s placed South Africa on review for a downgrade after the firing of Pravin Gordhan last month raised questions about the country’s political stability and whether the government was committed to fiscal discipline. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
Kenya’s economy, East Africa’s largest, expanded at the fastest pace in five years in 2016, boosted by more construction and tourism. Gross domestic product increased 5.8 percent last year, the most since 2011, from a revised 5.7 percent in 2015, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Zachary Mwangi told reporters Wednesday in Nairobi, the capital. Expansion could have been more robust had it not been for a sluggish final quarter, when drought hurt farming output. Tourism grew 13.3 percent...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru signed a memorandum of understanding on talks to form a coalition to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party in 2018 general elections in the southern African nation. Tsvangirai leads the Movement for Democratic Change, while Mujuru, a former deputy to 93-year-old Mugabe, heads the National People’s Party. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, in power since independence in 1980, has been accused of human rights abuses, electoral fraud and widespread corruption by groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch. “This is just the beginning of the building blocks towards establishing a broad
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast for Egypt, reflecting the economic toll from the government’s decision last year to float the pound and introduce a reform program. Egypt’s real gross domestic product will expand 3.5 percent this year, less than the IMF’s 4 percent projection in October, the lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook on Tuesday. Growth will rebound to 4.5 percent in 2018, the report said -- close to the government’s target in its...

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