Thursday 18 January 2018

Toute l'afrique

(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
More than 200 people were arrested and dozens hurt during clashes in several parts of Tunisia, the interior ministry said Wednesday, after a second night of unrest driven by anger over austerity measures. Ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani told local radio that 49 police officers were wounded during clashes across the country and that 206 "troublemakers" were arrested. Properties were damaged, he said, including a branch of the Carrefour supermarket chain in the suburbs of Tunis that was looted. Police and army forces were deployed in several cities during the night, including in Tebourba 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of the capital Tunis...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Floods and mudslides in the Democratic Republic of Congo's chaotic capital Kinshasa have caused cholera cases to rise over five-fold to more than 100 a week, medical charity MSF said Tuesday. "In past weeks we registered about 20 cases a week on average. At present, we have more than 100 each week," said Jean Liyolongo from Medecins sans Frontieres. He said the spurt began in the first week of January in Africa's third largest city which is home to about 10 million people. Floods and landslips last week claimed 48 lives in Kinshasa as flimsy homes were flattened. Liyolongo said a cholera outbreak threatened 23 of the sprawling country's 26 provinces, with 50,000 cases and around 1,000 deaths reported since...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Two teenage girls wearing explosive vests were shot dead by soldiers in a town in north eastern Nigeria just days after a blast killed 14 worshippers, militia sources told AFP on Tuesday. Soldiers patrolling the town of Gamboru opened fire after the two girls, strapped with explosives, refused to remove the vests in the early hours of the morning. A third girl was arrested. "Three teenage suicide bombers were found by soldiers and two of them were killed while the third was arrested with her explosive belt," said Umar Kachalla, a civilian militiaman in the town close to the Cameroon border. "Two of the girls who were walking together were asked to remove their vests but they refused and were...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Between 90 and 100 migrants were missing after their makeshift boat sank in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, the country's navy said late Tuesday. The inflatable boat was carrying more than 100 people when it went down, according to navy spokesman Ayoub Kacem, who said rescuers had saved just 17 people, including some women. Survivors clung to the vessel for hours before help arrived. The boat sank off the city of Khoms, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the Libyan capital, Kacem said. In another incident, the Libyan navy said it had also rescued 267 migrants of various African nationalities, off Zawiya to the west of Tripoli. Women and 17 children were among those rescued, said Kacem,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The new leader of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity on Monday as factions within the party become increasingly divided over the future of President Jacob Zuma. There is widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state within weeks. Ramaphosa, who is also the country’s deputy president, publicly supports Zuma. Markets have rallied since Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an ANC leadership contest last month as investors bet he will tackle rampant political corruption and implement economic reforms. Zuma’s term doesn’t officially...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Eighty people have been killed in Nigeria's central state of Benue since December 31 following clashes between cattle herders and farmers that have forced tens of thousands from their homes, an emergency official said on Tuesday. The violence between mostly Muslim herders and Christian farmers intensified over the New Year, fuelled by a new law banning the nomadic cattle rustlers from moving through the state. There have been similar tit-for-tat attacks elsewhere in central states, polarising Nigerians along religious and ethnic lines and putting the spotlight on the federal government for failing to curb the violence.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Lawyers for former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba Tuesday slammed his conviction for war crimes, accusing judges of "prejudice" and calling for the judgement to be scrapped. Bemba, 55, is appealing an 18-year jail term handed down by the International Criminal Court in June 2016 after judges found him guilty on five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in atrocities committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR). Once the powerful leader of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) and a wealthy businessman, the court said Bemba had failed to stop...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Four west African states have launched a major offensive against the Boko Haram jihadist group in Nigeria, the military said on Tuesday. Soldiers from Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger are targeting a Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau in the Sambisa Forest, and another led by Mamman Nur, on and around Lake Chad. Both locations are in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. According to the Nigerian military, scores of jihadists have been killed and hundreds of others have been forced to surrender in recent days. Top brass in Abuja have claimed that Nur had been injured and one of his wives killed in an aerial bombardment.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Egyptian lawmakers on Tuesday extended for three months a state of emergency first declared following deadly April church bombings, state TV reported. Egypt had extended the state of emergency for a second time in October. The latest extension is set to come into effect on Saturday, according to the official gazette. The emergency law expands police powers of arrest, surveillance and seizure, and can limit freedom of movement. Under Egypt's constitution, the three-month state of emergency can only be renewed once, but the president can subsequently reinstate it. Parliament approved the current state of emergency in April last year, after two suicide bombings at churches on Palm Sunday, claimed by the Islamic State group, killed at least 45 people in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will hold a presidential election in late March, authorities said on Monday, starting the countdown toward a likely second term in office for incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi has yet to announce his candidacy for the ballot, which was scheduled for March 26-28. But he is widely expected to run, having won a landslide victory in the previous election in 2014, the year after - as a military commander - he led the overthrow of elected president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The national election commission said candidates must register between Jan 20-29 and that, in the event of no single participant winning a majority first time around, a run-off would be held on April...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
HARARE (Reuters) - If Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai were to stand down - as he has hinted - the party he founded would face immediate instability and could even split, handing a gift to new President Emmerson Mnangagwa in an election this year. The most visible opposition figure in the southern African nation since independence from Britain in 1980, Tsvangirai said on Monday it was time for the older generation to make way for younger leaders in the party. Mnangagwa, 75, rose to power last November after Robert Mugabe stood down following a de facto coup, ending a 37-year reign marked by economic mismanagement, corruption and vote rigging allegations. Investors and Western governments who cheered the end of Mugabe’s...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
The start of Zambia's school year has been postponed and all public gatherings banned to contain a cholera outbreak that has killed 61 people, officials said Tuesday. Church services were cancelled on Sunday and a night-time curfew has been imposed to limit movement in Lusaka's densely-populated slum district of Kanyama, one of the worst affected areas. Street vending has also been outlawed and nightclub hours reduced, while the army has been patrolling the streets for the last 10 days to ensure compliance with the tightening restrictions. "The country has recorded 114 new cases in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 2,672 since the disease broke out. The cumulative death toll is 61," Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya told journalists...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s main opposition party on Tuesday called for protests against the “unjust” 2018 budget including price and tax hikes to continue until the government scraps it, a day after one demonstrator was killed in clashes. Protests erupted in more than 10 towns across Tunisia on Monday against the price and tax increases imposed by the government to reduce its ballooning deficit and satisfy its international lenders. One protestor was killed in Tebourba, a town 40 km (25 miles) west of the capital Tunis. While Tunisia is widely seen as the only democratic success story among the “Arab Spring”...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Around 200 people were injured on Tuesday when two passenger trains collided in a suburb of South Africa’s main city Johannesburg, emergency services network ER24 said. “The exact details surrounding this incident are not yet known but local authorities are on the scene and will be launching an investigation into the matter,” ER24 said in a statement. No fatalities were reported in the accident, which took place days after more than a dozen people were killed and hundreds injured when a train struck a truck, derailed and burst into flames in central South Africa. South Africa has the continent’s largest railway network, but it has been plagued by mismanagement and under-investment that has seen train use dwindle...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption agency is investigating whether former first lady Grace Mugabe was wrongly awarded a university doctorate more than three years ago, an official said on Tuesday. Grace, whose efforts to take over the leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF party prompted a de facto military coup against her husband, then-president Robert Mugabe, in November, graduated in 2014, just months after she had registered to study at the University of Zimbabwe. Up to now, her dissertation for the doctorate has not been published and is not available in the university library, as such academic qualifications usually are. “We indeed received a report from the sociology department at the university...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Dozens of people have been arrested over violent protests in Tunisia as ire mounts at rising costs and government austerity, with officials saying Tuesday one man died in unclear circumstances. The authorities announced 44 people were detained nationwide overnight as several official buildings were damaged and 11 policemen wounded by stones and Molotov cocktails. Officials said an autopsy would help determine how a 43-year-old man died in the town of Tebourba, west of Tunis. The police insisted they did not kill him, and said he suffered from "respiratory problems". On Tuesday small peaceful rallies were held in the centre of the capital Tunis...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A South African charity said Tuesday it had received proof that a freelance photographer kidnapped in Syria was alive, as his family prepared to mark one year since his capture. Shiraaz Mahomed was kidnapped on January 10 last year travelling to the Turkish border from a hospital supported by the Gift of the Givers charity in the Syrian town of Darkouch, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Aleppo. Gift of the Givers said that no ransom demand had been made and the identity of the kidnappers was not known. The charity said in a statement that it had confirmed Mahomed was alive through replies to 10 questions that only he would be able to answer. Mahomed sent a message sending...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan has renewed a complaint at the United Nations demanding Egypt hand over control of the “Halayeb Triangle” border territory, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Relations between Egypt and Sudan have been soured in recent months by disputes over the ownership of the triangle, and over the broader issue of use of water from the River Nile that passes through their territories. The triangle lies between Egypt and its southern neighbor and the borders have been contested by Sudan since 1958. Cairo says it is Egyptian territory. The Foreign Ministry did not say what action it wanted the United Nations to take, if any. Egypt rejected in 2016 a request from Khartoum to enter negotiations to...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A United Nations special envoy has assured oil-rich Equatorial Guinea it will be supported in its "stabilisation efforts" following a "coup attempt" against President Teodoro Obiang, Africa's longest-serving leader. Francois Lounceny Fall, a former prime minister of Guinea, arrived in Equatorial Guinea over the weekend to meet Obiang and to "gather more information" on the putsch that Malabo said was mounted by foreign mercenaries on December 24. "We are leaving here comforted by the assurances we have received from the President of the Republic, and I can say that the United Nations will continue to support Equatorial Guinea in its stabilisation efforts...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Three hundred Boko Haram suspects who were due in court on Tuesday will now have to wait until at least next month to learn when they will be formally tried. The individuals were remanded in custody for 90 days on October 10 by a civilian court set up at a military base in central Nigeria. "The case was slated for resumption today (Tuesday) but it has been postponed to February. No date has been fixed yet," a justice ministry source told AFP. "The law allows for an extension of the remand order for another 90 days, so we are still within the limit provided by the law. "There are ongoing investigations into the individual cases of the suspects and these...

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(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
"Here you're in the heart of precarious living," one of Gabon's first medical responders says in Kolo Ngoum, a grubby shanty suburb of Libreville that has seen no doctors in ages. Residents initially express surprise at the arrival of an ambulance belonging to the SAMU-Social (Service for Urgent Medical Aid), but once they see stethoscopes and other common instruments, they smile with reassurance. "This is a good initiative," says Natanael, in his 30s and sporting dreadlocks. "We thought all this was reserved for other people." Launched five months ago, the Gabonese SAMU-Social is starting to take roots in the capital. It offers free medicines and healthcare along with lodging and psychological aid for the "poorest of the poorest", according to...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
The United States carried out an air strike on Christmas Eve against the Shabaab Islamist group that left 13 dead, according to a statement released Wednesday. "In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants on the morning of Dec. 24, 2017, in southern Somalia, killing 13 terrorists," read the statement from the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The United States has stepped up its operations in Somalia in recent weeks, with frequent strikes against Shabaab and a separate self-proclaimed branch of the Islamic State in the Horn of Africa nation. Three weeks ago the US said it had killed eight Shabaab militants, while an air strike in November reportedly left more than 100...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
The trial of 31 people accused of terrorism offences in Senegal was postponed Wednesday, setting back a case that has forced the country to confront a security problem plaguing its neighbours. The suspects, among them an imam and three women, are accused of criminal conspiracy related to financing a terror group, money laundering, acts of terrorism and funding terrorism. On the first day of proceedings Malick Lamotte, the presiding judge, delayed the next hearing to February 14 to allow the defence more time to prepare its case. The heavily-guarded Dakar court trial is believed to be the first collective prosecution of suspects accused of terror-related activities in the majority-Muslim country, which is seen as a pillar of democracy and stability...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
Russia on Tuesday launched a rocket carrying Angosat-1, the first national telecoms satellite for Angola, from its Baikonur space pad, with rare use of a rocket from Ukraine despite collapsed ties between the two nations. Live footage aired by Roscosmos space corporation showed the spacecraft take off into the night from the freezing launch pad in Kazakhstan. It reached initial orbit shortly after. The Zenit-2SB rocket carrying Angosat to orbit was supplied by Ukrainian maker Yuzhmash, making the launch a rare joint project between the two countries since 2014, when Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. The Angosat project was agreed by Russia and Angola in 2009 and includes the satellite...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
They call them "the mines of death". In the neglected northern Moroccan mining city of Jerada, hundreds of people risk their lives every day to scrape a meagre living from perilous abandoned coal pits. Last week, two brothers died in a tunnel accident, 85 metres (90 yards) below ground, sparking days of mass protests in the impoverished city. Abderrazak Daioui, who was with the brothers, narrowly escaped the same fate. "Houcine and Jedouane were just below me," the 22-year-old said. "One of them dug horizontally and hit a water well. We were flooded. I hung on my rope and managed to get back up. They weren't so lucky." Living in a modest, unfinished house, Abderrazak works to support his wife...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
Joseph Awuah-Darko sits on a stool at one of the world's largest electronic waste dumps, watching polystyrene and insulation cables burn on the blackened ground. "It's survival and dystopia," says the 21-year-old British-born Ghanaian, surveying the stretch of wasteland around him as dense plumes of acrid smoke rise into the air. Awuah-Darko and his university friends have ambitious plans for the sprawling Agbogbloshie dumping ground in Ghana's capital, Accra. In January this year, he co-founded the non-profit Agbogblo.Shine Initiative, which encourages people working at the dump to turn waste into high-end furniture. The dump workers typically risk exposure to harmful fumes by burning obsolete and unwanted appliances such as mobile phones, computers, televisions and plastics that are brought to Ghana...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Fighting between rival gold miners left at least 15 people dead in northern Chad on Monday, a security source said. The violence erupted in Iri Bourgouri near the border with Libya, in the lawless Tibesti region which draws gold-hunters from all around. "A first fight between a local man and an outsider caused one death," the source, who asked not to be named, told AFP. "Then there was a broader clash which left about 15 other people dead and several injured." Local media reported that the clash broke out between members of rival tribes. The Chadian army came to patrol the area to prevent further violence, the reports said. It was the latest in a series of deadly clashes in...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Gunmen have killed 10 people in attacks on two Christian-dominated villages in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, a hotbed of ethnic and religous strife, officials said Tuesday. On Christmas Eve, six people were killed when gunmen suspected to be ethnic Fulani Muslims stormed Ungwan Mailafiya, they said. The killings followed an attack in nearby Nindem late Friday where gunmen opened fire on a congregation, killing four and injuring 10, said a local lawmaker. "While we were mourning the deaths at Nindem ... the security personnel received distress calls of another attack at Ungwan Mailafiya"...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
A key Congolese rebel group signed a ceasefire deal with the central government in Brazzaville on Saturday, after months of renewed armed conflict in the oil-rich nation. Fighters loyal to ex-rebel chief Frederic Bintsamou -- seen as having disbanded after a 2003 peace deal -- rose up again April last year in protest at the re-election of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The fighting in the southern Pool region affected at least 138,000 people and halted district elections in July. It also cut off crucial transport routes between the capital Brazzaville and the main oil port -- worsening an already dire economic situation for the country affected by plunging crude prices. The new ceasefire deal was signed in Pool's regional capital...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Mauritania's fast-growing Islamist party Tewassoul has elected a new leader expected to consolidate the direction of a party whose message of pious adherence to Sharia law has attracted more than 100,000 members. Tewassoul is Mauritania's largest opposition party with 16 members in the national assembly, earning support across the conservative West African republic, where Islamist parties were banned for many years. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Seyidi, a theologist in his 60s, was selected late Sunday by 80 percent of delegates at a party conference to replace the charismatic Jemil Ould Mansour, who has driven the party's popularity since its creation in 2009. Tewassoul describe themselves as "moderate Islamists"...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Egyptian authorities on Tuesday executed 15 prisoners convicted of attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula, police officials said. The men were hanged in two jails where they had been held since military courts sentenced them for the attacks in the Sinai, where jihadists are waging an insurgency, the officials said. It was the largest mass execution carried out in the North African country since six convicted jihadists were hanged in 2015. The hangings come a week after the Islamic State group attacked a helicopter with an anti-tank missile at a North Sinai airport as the country's defence and interior ministers were visiting. The ministers were unhurt in the attack but an aide to the defence minister was...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
The death toll from a boating accident in the Tanzanian waters of Lake Tanganyika rose to 19 on Sunday, after divers recovered six more bodies from the water, a local official told AFP. The accident took place on Friday morning when a boat carrying 135 passengers collided with another carrying 63 people, with an initial toll of 13 dead and nine missing. "Until now, rescue workers have retrieved 19 bodies from the water," regional maritime official Amaniel Sekulu told AFP, adding that three people were still missing. Lake Tanganyika is the world's second largest freshwater lake by volume, and borders four countries, Tanzania...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Nine people suspected of belonging to a cell behind attacks in the Sinai Peninsula were killed during a police raid in northeastern Egypt, the interior ministry said Sunday. The cell based in Sharqiya province was implicated in attacks on "security posts and military apparatus in North Sinai, which killed many members of the armed forces and police force," the ministry said in a statement. Members were also accused of plotting other attacks on vital infrastructure in the region, it added. Police found automatic rifles and ammunition during the raid on a site that had been used as a weapons and explosives training centre. Security forces in Cairo also detained nine people and seized weapons and explosive devices, the ministry said...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Boko Haram jihadists made a failed Christmas Day attempt to attack Nigeria's major northeast city of Maiduguri as they were pushed out by Nigerian soldiers after a prolonged gun battle, military and militia sources told AFP. The jihadists in "several" pickup trucks opened fire on a military checkpoint on the Molai outskirts of the city at around 5:30 pm (1630 GMT) on Monday, triggering a gun fight that lasted for more than an hour. "The terrorists came in several pickups and engaged troops at Molai who fought and repelled the attack with aerial support," said a senior military officer in Maiduguri. "It was clear they wanted to overrun the checkpoint and enter the city to cause mayhem," said the military...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Masked gunmen opened fire on a cafe south of the Egyptian capital, killing three people, security officials said Sunday. The attack, which took place overnight in the village of Al-Ayat about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Cairo, left at least five others wounded, they said. While the motivation was unclear officials suspect it was a criminal incident rather than terrorism. State-run newspaper Akhbar al-Youm, citing witnesses, said two attackers arrived on a motorcycle and opened fire on people in the cafe before fleeing. Security officials arrived at the scene and also interviewed injured people in hospital to try to identify and arrest the attackers, the newspaper reported.
(AFP (eng) 12/24/17)
A white Zimbabwean farmer forced from his land as part of controversial mass evictions became this week the first to return to his property under a new government bid to reverse illegal land seizures. Robert Smart, 71, was thrown off his tobacco and corn farm in eastern Zimbabwe in June as part of chaotic and often violent land grabs led by ex-president Robert Mugabe's government. Smart told AFP he and his family were evicted at gunpoint "with whatever we had on our backs at the moment" to make way for a cleric close to Mugabe. But last month the 93-year-old ruler was ousted following a military takeover after more than three decades in power The government of his successor Emmerson...
(AFP (eng) 12/23/17)
Two accidents on Egypt's roads have killed at least 26 people in three days, authorities said. A collision Saturday involving a minibus on a desert road 145 kilometres (90 miles) south of Cairo left 13 dead, the health ministry said. That came just days after a crash on the same road also claimed 13 lives. Accidents on Egypt's roads killed more than 5,000 people in 2016, according to official figures, and authorities have moved to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws.
(AFP (eng) 12/23/17)
A group of 162 "vulnerable" refugees were flown directly from Libya to Italy on Friday for the first time, a day hailed as "historic" by Interior Minister Marco Minniti. "For the first time a humanitarian corridor has been opened from Libya to Europe. It's a start," Minniti said, adding: "Today is a historic day." Those evacuated came from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. They comprised families, single mothers, unaccompanied children and handicapped people, who were flown on a military jet. Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR's special envoy for the central Mediterranean, said: "For the first time, we have been able to evacuate extremely vulnerable refugees from Libya directly to Italy. "Many of those evacuated spoke of great suffering and were kept...
(AFP (eng) 12/23/17)
A Cameroonian reporter with Radio France International, Ahmed Abba, was Friday released from jail after 29 months in detention, his lawyer said. "Ahmed Abba left Yaounde prison around 9:15 pm (Friday). He has been with me since his release, he is doing well," Charles Tchoungang told AFP. RFI editorial staff confirmed his release. A military tribunal in April sentenced Abba to 10 years in prison and fined him the equivalent of about 85,000 euros ($100,000) for "laundering the proceeds of terrorist acts" and "failure to denounce acts of terrorism". On appeal, the military court in Yaounde on Thursday aquitted him on the first charge and upheld the second, handing him a 24-month sentence. He was released Friday having already been...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Russia has signed an agreement to build a nuclear power plant in Sudan, Russia's Rosatom nuclear agency announced on Friday, a month after a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir. Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide and war crimes, has been pushing for closer energy and military ties with Russia. The nuclear power plant deal was signed in Khartoum on Thursday by Rusatom Overseas, a branch of Rosatom, and Sudan's electricity ministry, the Russian nuclear company said in a statement.

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(Xinhuanet 09/06/17)
Ethiopia has established five gold trading centers as it seeks to boost its export income from the mining sector. Speaking to Xinhua on Tuesday, Kiros Alemayehu, Public Relations Senior Expert at the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (EMPNG), said the establishment of the centers will help cut inefficient bureaucracy in gold trading. The ministry also hopes the establishment of gold trading centers will cut contraband gold trading which Ethiopia says has contributed to decline in exports in recent years. The gold trading centers were established in Oromia, Southern, Tigray, Benishangul Gumuz and Gambella regional states. "With the establishment of the five gold trading centers, we hope Ethiopia's minerals export revenue target of 450 million U.S. dollars will...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/05/17)
Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped by 170 percent in the first seven months of 2017, reaching $3.5 billion, a government official told Reuters, in welcome news for an economy heavily reliant on the sector for foreign currency and jobs. The number of tourists visiting Egypt rose by 54 percent in the same seven-month period on an annual basis to reach 4.3 million, he said, attributing the increase to visitors from Germany and Ukraine. That number is still well below the 14.7 million who visited Egypt in 2010, ahead of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak and ushered in a prolonged period of political and social upheaval. Europeans made up 75 percent of visitors while Arabs made up 20...
(Xinhuanet 09/04/17)
China's Belt and Road Initiative will help Tunisian economy to revive after six years of slowdown, former Tunisian Ambassador to China Mohamed Sahbi Basly told Xinhua in a recent interview. Basly, now the president of China-Tunisia Cooperation Council, hailed the initiative as "a perfect supportive approach for economic development." He said China has been "a significant investment partner" for Tunisia that "has the potential to contribute to the development of the Tunisian economy." "China has become a global economic locomotive in various fields, such as space, automobile, technology, real estate and agri-food," Basly said. "Tunisia could play a role in the relocation of Chinese manufacturing industries, because the production cost in China is more expensive than that in Tunisia." "It...
(AFP (eng) 09/01/17)
The cattle traders in the Ashmun market, north of the capital Cairo, jostled to lure customers into buying a buffalo or a sheep for Eid al-Adha, the annual Muslim holiday when custom requires a sacrifice. But this year, with inflation in Egypt hitting record highs, customers seemed more interested in gawking at the cattle than buying any ahead of Friday, the first day of Eid al-Adha. "Last year there was more business. This year, no one wants to buy cattle because of the increased prices," said one trader, Mohammed Masoud. The cost of everything has gone up in Egypt since the country floated the pound late last year
(Bloomberg 08/31/17)
A special South African police unit told former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and his one-time deputy, Jabu Moleketi, to provide affidavits on the creation of a special investigative unit in the revenue service that allegedly spied on politicians. The police unit, known as the Hawks, wants the affidavits by Friday so “we can finalize this investigation,” spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said by phone late on Wednesday. The affidavits were ordered by a judge. Before President Jacob Zuma fired him as finance minister in March, Pravin Gordhan said the tax agency unit, set up a decade ago when he was head of the revenue authority, acted within its mandate. The National Prosecuting Authority has been probing the unit in an investigation that...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/31/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved an extension of an aid package for Ghana initially worth $918 million that will see the program continue for an extra year beyond its original April 2018 end date, it said on Wednesday. The decision was made during a meeting of the Fund’s executive board that also approved a tranche of $94.2 million in balance of payment support following the fourth review of the West African nation’s program. Ghana, which exports cocoa, gold and oil, signed onto the program in April 2015 hoping to restore fiscal balance to an economy dogged by budget deficits, rising public debt and inflation. Wednesday’s successful review had been delayed after the new government of President Nana Akufo-Addo opened...
(Financial Times 08/31/17)
Libya’s crude production has fallen by more than 30 per cent after armed militants blockaded pipelines and closed oilfields, costing the conflict-ridden African producer $160m in lost revenues, the national oil company said on Wednesday. The largest Libyan oil field, Sharara, has been closed for more than ten days while another, El Feel, shut this week, after militias seized pipelines linking them to export terminals. Hamada has also been closed because of a pipeline blockade. This has taken production down by 360,000 barrels a day and forced the country to declare force majeure on the three fields. “These gangsters are not only harming the country but their own people,” said Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation. “I call...
(AFP (eng) 08/31/17)
Britain will give Nigeria aid worth £200 million over five years to help it cope with the brutal insurgency being waged by Boko Haram jihadists, the foreign ministry in London said Wednesday. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson visited Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's northeast Borno State and epicentre of the Boko Haram organisation, to meet some of those involved in the fight. The Islamist militant group has increasingly used child suicide bombers and targeted civilians in its eight-year insurgency which has left at least 20,000 dead and displaced more than 2.6 million.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
South Sudan’s parliament has passed its 2017/2018 budget but, after four years of war, acknowledged it does not know where much of the funding will come from. Lawmakers voted to boost spending by more than 30 percent, to 46.5 billion South Sudanese pounds ($300 million) from the 2016/2017 budget of 29.6 billion. Wani Buyu Dyori, undersecretary for planning at the Finance Ministry, told reporters after the approval of the budget on Monday that funding would be “difficult”. As an example, of why he noted that the main road from Uganda, where most of the country’s food is imported from, is currently flooded and impassable. Supplies of fuel and food to the capital, Juba, have halted, he said, risking further food...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
At a state-of-the-art plant in northern Nigeria, shiny machines stand next to a conveyor belt ready to crush tomatoes to satisfy the country’s insatiable demand for tomato paste. But a lonely cleaner mopping the floor is the only sign of activity in Nigeria’s biggest tomato factory, equipped with the latest Italian and German technology. There aren’t enough tomatoes to run it. It’s a powerful symbol of Nigeria’s uphill challenge to build up agricultural production and end costly food imports to feed its 190 million people. The West African nation imports staples from milk to wheat to tomato paste, with funds it mainly earns from exporting oil. The conglomerate of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, launched the plant in March 2016,...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
South Sudan's partialement has passed a $300 million (250 million euro) budget despite the war-torn country's government conceding it lacked the funds to pay for it. Nearly four years of civil war, as well as inadequate and decrepit infrastructure, have left the country with few sources of revenue, with oil fields that used to account for 90 percent of government income producing at very low levels and other businesses struggling. Wani Buyu Dyori, undersecretary for economic planning at the finance ministry, said the government can raise around two-thirds of the 46 billion South Sudanese pounds needed for the budget, which was passed on Monday. "The funding comes from oil revenues and non-oil revenues and the development partners -- they always...
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo is banking on good news from the International Monetary Fund after his predecessor nearly derailed an economic recovery plan through overspending. As the nation awaits the outcome of a review from the Washington-based lender, which may come as soon as Wednesday, on reforms since Ghana entered a $918 million credit program with the lender in 2015, gross domestic product is growing at the fastest pace in more than two years, the central bank is cutting borrowing costs as inflation slows and bond yields are falling. Ghana’s economy had a soft landing under Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party, with Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announcing tax cuts in March and pledging to reduce the budget deficit by more than...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping on Monday urged Zimbabwe to increase agricultural production for exports into the huge Chinese market. Huang said the two country's economies were highly complementary, especially in the agriculture sector where Zimbabwe has huge production potential while China has a huge market. The two countries therefore need to strengthen their cooperation in the sector where there are vast opportunities for value addition, he said. Ambassador Huang was speaking at a joint press conference with World Food Program (WFP) Zimbabwe country director Eddie Rowe ahead of the launch of a Chinese-funded resilience building project in Zvishavane
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Duduzane Zuma, a son of South African President Jacob Zuma, said all of his bank accounts have been closed because of pressure on financial institutions from former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Duduzane Zuma’s business relationship with the Gupta family, who have been accused of wielding influence over Zuma and some state-owned companies, has been criticized by opposition parties. South Africa’s four biggest banks shut Gupta-controlled company accounts last year, citing reputational risk and regulatory concerns. India’s Bank of Baroda, the last lender to continue doing business with them, is in the process of following suit. “You have used various state bodies such as the Financial Intelligence Centre
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
Equatorial Guinea said Monday it has demanded 73 million euros from French oil giant Total over "fraud" in fuel sales made between 2010 and 2012. "Following an investigation, we found a suspicious and fraudulent situation," said Finance Minister Miguel Egonga Obiang as he announced the claim for 48 billion CFA francs. No further details were immediately available on the alleged fraud, though Equatorial Guinea has also referred the case to its justice system. The government of the oil-rich, sub-Saharan nation has demanded that Total come up with a proposal for a settlement, state TV reported. Total's management in Equatorial Guinea did not reply to repeated requests for comment. The country, Africa's only Spanish-speaking nation, has become the continent's number three...
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Angola is in talks with banks to raise $2 billion via a Eurobond in what would be the OPEC member’s biggest debt sale on global capital markets. The government has yet to choose banks to lead the deal and media reports that Russia’s VTB Bank PJSC has the mandate are false, the Finance Ministry said in an emailed statement. The Eurobond issuance was approved by a presidential order on Aug. 4 and will help Angola lengthen its maturities, as well as make it easier for other borrowers from the country tap the market, according to the statement. “This process has several strategic objectives, namely the extension of the debt profile and the creation of a reference price for national agents,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Libya’s 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) Zawiya oil refinery, the largest operating plant in the country, was working at only half its capacity due to the shutdown at the Sharara oilfield, a source at the refinery told Reuters on Monday. Zawiya, located to the west of the capital Tripoli, is fed crude from Sharara but the oilfield is shut due to a pipeline blockade. The refinery underwent a maintenance shutdown on one of its two 60,000 barrels per day crude distillation towers that lasted from Aug. 10 to Aug. 25, the source said, declining to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Sharara, which at 280,000 bpd is the OPEC member’s largest, has been shut...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
Authorities have banned imports of several popular consumer products in the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo for six months to fight smuggling, Trade Minister Jean-Lucien Busa said Monday. "We have decided on the temporary restriction of imports in the western part of the country for six months of grey cement, sugar, beer and fizzy drinks in order to put an end to fraud and contraband," Busa told AFP. The measure was also aimed at "protecting local industry in a crucial period of growth that risks being undermined by those who practice prices below production costs", the minister said, stressing that he had not "turned to protectionism". In the southwest of the huge nation in the heart of Africa,...
(Xinhuanet 08/28/17)
The Zambian finance minister said Sunday that Standard and Poor's revision of the country's sovereign rating from negative to positive with a stable outlook represents an affirmation of the soundness of policies implemented by the government. "This development rises on the basis of the critical reforms which we have adopted on as a country under the economic stabilization and growth program to implement fiscal implementation, remove subsidies, reform the energy sector, and embark on diversification of the economy through agriculture development and industrialization," Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said. The result from the assessment by the rating agency was a welcome incentive for investors as they should remain assured that the country was on track with economic stabilization and growth,...
(Xinhuanet 08/28/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi held talks on Sunday with the chairman of Russia's state-owned nuclear energy company, over the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Egypt's coastal Matrouh province. "The president asserted Egypt's keenness to start carrying out the project and finalizing its relevant contracts soon," said Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef in a statement. Sisi told Alexey Likhachev, the chief executive officer of Roseatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, that the project of building a nuclear power station in Dabaa "represents a new symbol for friendship and cooperation between Egypt and Russia." For his part, Likhachev said that his corporation attaches importance to the project in Egypt and looks forward to starting working on it as soon as possible. Egypt...

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(BBC News Africa 06/08/15)
Germany began their bid to regain the Women's World Cup by putting 10 past Ivory Coast in Ottawa. Celia Sasic scored a hat-trick and Anja Mittag netted twice as Germany were 5-0 up inside 35 minutes. Mittag completed her treble after the break, with Simone Laudehr, Sara Dabritz, Melanie Behringer and Alexandra Popp all finding the net. "We had judged them to be better than they were today," said Germany coach Silvia Neid. Germany fell short of matching the record they set with an 11-0 win over Argentina in 2007. They went on to defend the trophy they won four years earlier, but failed to reach the semi-finals on home soil in 2011. Now, the team at the top of...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/15)
Football's world governing body faced fresh pressure Saturday, after media reports the highest levels of South Africa's government approved a $10-million payment that US investigators suspect was a bribe to get the 2010 World Cup. Then president Thabo Mbeki and foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma approved the payment, the reports said, which the authorities again insisted Friday was for a legitimate development project in the Caribbean. The new revelations came as FIFA remained in the eye of a corruption storm that has seen seven executives arrested, its president Sepp Blatter announce his resignation and former executive committee member Chuck Blazer admit to paying bribes.
(Bloomberg 06/05/15)
South Africa’s Sports Minister made light of his country’s role at the heart of soccer’s corruption storm by asking his 211,000 Twitter followers for tips to avoid being accused of bribery. “I promise honorable tweeps am carrying no briefcase,” Fikile Mbalula tweeted on Wednesday evening before boarding a flight to London to attend the start of South Africa’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. “Please send more tips to avoid being accused of a bribe.” Suggestions from his followers, many of which were re-tweeted by the former youth leader of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, included the use of duffel bags instead of briefcases and avoiding having a photo taken with “anyone or anything” -- lest they...
(BBC News Africa 06/03/15)
Fifa says it paid $10m (£6.5m) to a Caribbean football body led by Jack Warner, who is charged by the US with corruption, at South Africa's request. South Africa's instruction was that the money was for a Diaspora Legacy Programme which should be "implemented directly" by Mr Warner, Fifa said. The US says the $10m was a bribe in exchange for Mr Warner supporting South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid. Mr Warner and South African officials have denied any wrong doing. South Africa won the bid ahead of Morocco to become the first African country to host the World Cup. Africa news updates Mr Warner hails from Trinidad and Tobago and was the president of the Confederation of North, Central...
(KBC 06/01/15)
President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to forge a united front against problems facing the country. The President told leaders to rise above the politics of division and instead promote peace and harmony in the country. He said it was a betrayal of the ideals of freedom fighters and “a sin against nationhood” for politicians to engage in negative ethnicity and inter-communal conflict. The Head of State spoke Monday when he led the nation in marking the 52nd Madaraka Day at Nyayo National Stadium. “Our freedom heroes and heroines saw that Kenya was indivisible: it could not be seen through the eyes of tribalism and other sectarian or parochial interests,” he added. President Kenyatta said competition in politics should never...
(BBC News Africa 05/19/15)
The Court of Arbitration Sport (CAS) has upheld a football ban for Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah following his transfer from Udinese. Udinese claimed Mensah's transfer to French side Evian in 2011 was illegal as he was still under contract with the Italian club. The four-month ban started on 30 April 2015 but football's world governing body Fifa has clarified how it will work in a statement to the BBC.
(BBC News Africa 05/07/15)
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has publicly laid bare some of the personal issues that have disrupted his career. The 31-year-old Togo international was granted personal leave by his club last December and has struggled this season. On Tuesday he posted a lengthy message on his Facebook page, giving an insight into the cause of what he described in March as his "dark moments". In the post Adebayor revealed the financial burden of supporting his family as well as ongoing conflicts. However, he urged his readers to "keep in mind that none of this is about money" and said the "main purpose is not to expose my family members. I just want other African families to learn from this". He wrote:...
(AFP 04/23/15)
China flexed its economic muscle again on Thursday when it was announced it would finance the construction of a 60,000-seat stadium in Abidjan in time for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. "A gift from China, the Olympic stadium of Ebimpe with 60,000 seats will allow the hosting of high-level football, athletics and rugby tournaments," a spokesman said before a sports ministry meeting in the Ivory Coast capital. The project will also see the construction of a sports city around the stadium in the suburb of Anyama, in the north of the capital. The work, which will take around two years, will start in January 2016. "The stadium is a gift from China; the Ivory Coast has just the space...
(Xinhuanet 04/16/15)
KAMPALA, April (Xinhua) -- Uganda will send a team to participate in the 2015 World University Games to be held in South Korea July 3-14. Patrick Ssebuliba, the National University Sports Federation Secretary said on Wednesday that they will send athletes to participate in tennis, badminton, basketball, swimming and track- and-field. "Preparations are already in high gear and we hope to perform well compared to the 2013 Games in Russia," Ssebuliba said. Uganda's women's basketball team has already been grouped alongside Brazil, Australia and Chinese Taipei for the Games in South Korea.
(AFP (eng) 04/08/15)
Gabon won a three-country contest against Algeria and Ghana on Wednesday to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. The result of a vote among 14 Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee members was announced mid-afternoon in a Cairo hotel after the three candidates made short presentations. The Gabonese were co-hosts with neighbours Equatorial Guinea of the 2012 Cup of Nations. A Gabonese Football Federation official said maches would be staged in capital city Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem. Stadiums in Libreville and Franceville were used for the 2012 tournament and the other two venues are expected to be ready by mid-2016...
(Bloomberg 04/03/15)
The Moroccan soccer governing body had its fine for pulling out as host of the African Cup of Nations reduced to $50,000 from $1 million by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The CAS also said in an e-mailed statement it reversed the Confederation of African Football’s decision to bar Morocco from participating in the 2017 and 2019 tournaments. Morocco was stripped of the African soccer championship in November because it sought to postpone the event because of concerns over the spread of Ebola. Ivory Coast won the title in February after Equatorial Guinea stepped in as host.
(BBC News Africa 04/03/15)
When Moses Kipsiro rounded the final bend in the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games eight months ago, he was third behind Canada's Cameron Levins and Kenyan Josphat Bett, and looking a little boxed in. The Ugandan had won a 5,000/10,000m double at Delhi 2010, beating Kenya's A team, but had flopped in the shorter distance in Glasgow five nights before. If a gap did not open up soon, Kipsiro was heading towards another consolation prize in a career that has had too many bad breaks for a man so talented, none more so than when he was an early faller in the final of the Olympic 10,000m at London 2012. Occasional training partner Mo Farah - they also share an...
(BBC News Africa 03/31/15)
Manchester City's Yaya Toure says he will decide about his international future with the Ivory Coast this week. Toure captained his country to a first Africa Cup of Nations triumph since 1992 in Equatorial Guinea this year. And the 31-year-old midfielder suggested he may now follow brother Kolo into international retirement . "I think now my target is done," Toure told BBC's Sportsworld programme. "I want to wait a couple of days for what I will decide for my future." Toure was speaking in Ivory Coast's largest port city Abidjan, where the African champions have just played two celebratory friendly matches - a 2-0 win over Uganda and a 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea. The games were designed to honour...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/15)
KAMPALA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic on Friday named a 25-man team that will prepare to face Nigeria on March 25 in an international friendly. "I have named the squad and hopefully all of them will make the trip because we need to try out a number of things," Sredojevic told Xinhua in an interview here. He said he picked the players basing on their current form in their respective teams. Defender Andrew Mwesigwa and midfielder Godfrey Kizito who were part of the team in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers were not invited because they are yet to settle with their teams. Mike Azira who features for MLS side Seattle Sounders...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/15)
A bucket of human excrement thrown on a statue of British coloniser Cecil Rhodes at a South African university has escalated protests over racial transformation since the end of apartheid 21 years ago. Student activists at the University of Cape Town (UCT) who staged the "poo protest" want the statue torn down, calling it a symbol of white oppression. They are planning a protest march on Friday after 10 days of mounting controversy over the faecal attack. The university campus was built on land donated by Rhodes, a mining magnate and champion of British imperialism in the late 1800s, who gave his name to the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. UCT vice-chancellor Max Price has agreed that the statue should be...
(Xinhuanet 03/19/15)
GABORONE, Mar. (Xinhua) -- Botswana is doing final preparations to host the 2015 All Africa under-19 junior squash championships that are schedule to start at the end of March. Botswana Squash Racquets Association (BSRA) president Tiego Rabashwa said preparations are on track to host the championships that are billed from March 30 to April 3 in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. He said the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has been running around to ensure that the event is a success. At least 10 countries are expected to battle it out at the championships.
(Xinhuanet 03/10/15)
KAMPALA, Mar. (Xinhua) -- The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) on Monday announced that national coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic is still in-charge of the team. FUFA in a statement issued here said earlier reports that Micho had left his job of coaching the national team were not true. "Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic is still under contract which FUFA is honoring. Sredojevic has not submitted any documents seeking termination of his contract with FUFA," said the statement. The FA said in the event that there is any development on this matter, FUFA will communicate to the football fraternity and other stakeholders. Sudan giant side Al Hilal on Saturday announced the appointment of Sredojevic as their new Head Coach. Sredojevic denied talk...
(BBC News Africa 03/09/15)
A sprinter from Sierra Leone who has been sleeping rough on the streets of London is facing deportation after being arrested. Jimmy Thoronka, 20, was his country's top 100m runner but did not return home to Africa after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year amid Ebola fears. Homeless Thoronka says Ebola had killed his immediate family in Sierra Leone. The Met Police said he was arrested on Friday for immigration offences and is now with the UK Border Force.
(Xinhuanet 02/27/15)
GABORONE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Botswana men's senior basketball team are pumped up for the return leg of the 2015 Afro Basket and All Africa Games (AAG) qualifiers billed for Gaborone on Saturday night. Botswana faces a mammoth task of overcoming a 61-40 loss to Mozambique in the first leg match played in Maputo on Feb. 14. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) Technical Director Mothusi Thipe told Xinhua on Thursday that the mood in the camp was very high as the team was determined to reverse the score and proceed to the next stage. "We are in high spirits and have been working very hard, and we do not have any injuries," he said. Botswana needs to win the game by...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/15)
KAMPALA, Feb. (Xinhua) -- Officials from the Interpol head office in France are set to arrive here to investigate claims that some 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier games were fixed. Asan Kasingye, an Assistant Inspector General of Police who is also the Director of Interpol and International Relations in Uganda said Thursday that they have taken the matter seriously. In November last year the Uganda FA President, Moses Magogo said because of public outcry and allegations involving Uganda Cranes 2-0 loss to Guinea in the last 2015 Afcon qualifier, they decided to hand the matter to the police to investigate. Magogo said considering that match fixing is one of the cardinal offenses in football, they decided to engage...

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(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 said. “The 800,000 new IDPs [internally displaced persons] that have resulted from the drought have put incredible pressure on the existing camps. The formation of new camps has developed, [and] these camps are, by and large, not very well managed...
(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 nine-year low. The committee increased its estimate by 2.2 percent from the 15.63 million tons it projected in June. The forecast is higher than the 15.8 million tons in a Bloomberg survey of analysts and traders last week. The committee...
(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 slowed to 16.1 percent in June, it remained well outside the government’s 6 percent to 9 percent target range. That, and the need for a stable exchange rate, limited room for loosening policy even as Nigeria contracted for the fifth...
(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 the overall TEN project,” Paul McDade, chief executive officer of the London-based producer, said Wednesday. “Ourselves and our partners and the Ghana government took some legal advice from various experts globally around the likely outcome,” he said. “We don’t expect...
(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 cocoa purchases from farmers in the world’s second-biggest grower of the crop, Botwe said. “The licensed buying companies are cash-strapped because there is no funding from Cocobod,” Botwe said, referring to the regulator which is also known as Ghana Cocoa...
(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 all revenues. The stock sank as much as 17 percent on Tuesday to the lowest since December 2013. In just three days, the company has lost 42 percent of its value. The giant tax bill is the latest twist in...
(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, Abuja, said last month that tight monetary policy will continue. The central banks of South Africa and Ghana cut their key rates in the last week as the inflation outlook in the two economies improved. While price growth in Nigeria,...
(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 time this year. Mugabe did not mention his health in his speech. Instead, he attacked the opposition, accusing it of having nothing to offer Zimbabweans, and vowed he would win next year’s election. He then turned to his own Zanu...
(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 key rate to 21.5 percent on Monday. “Persistent inflation is unlikely to halt Ghana’s monetary easing,” Mark Bohlund, an economist at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in a report. “The stronger cedi should moderate price increases in coming months.” The lender sees...
(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 weaker at 13.0343 per dollar by the New York close. It gained 0.2 percent to 13.0083 per dollar as of 8:53 a.m. in Johannesburg Friday. The rand has been one of the main beneficiaries of an emerging-market rally this year,...
(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 compounding the pain of a global price slump for Africa’s largest producer. At Agbada, the wells dotting the surrounding forests had been closed for three weeks following a pipeline leak that was probably deliberate. “Who knows when we’ll be back...
(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 bond, which will definitely happen this year.” Harare is home to about 1.6 million people within its city limits, and some 2.8 million in the greater metropolitan area -- a figure that’s slightly less than a quarter of the southern...
(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 aspirants could use violence as an electoral strategy,” the agency said. President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second term in the Aug. 8 race against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who has warned of possible violence if the election is...
(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.
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
PBC Ltd., the biggest buyer of cocoa beans from farmers in Ghana, is seeking to cut borrowing costs by arranging its first government loan guarantee in seven years. PBC is asking for a guarantee of as much as 400 million cedis ($91 million) from the government, acting Chief Executive Officer Nana Agyenim Boateng said in an interview. It’s also hired Accra-based Fidelity Bank Ltd. and the local unit of Standard Chartered Plc to market a 400 million-cedi one-year bond, mainly to pension funds, with the aim of lowering borrowing costs. PBC, which buys cocoa from farmers in the world’s second-biggest producer and sells it to the regulator, needs to borrow money each season to fund the purchases. While the Ghana...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The last time Rwanda held presidential elections, opposition leader Frank Habineza’s deputy was killed and he fled into European exile. Seven years on, he sees his candidacy in next month’s vote as a cautious step toward greater political freedoms in the tiny East African country. The Aug. 4 election will be the first time Habineza, who leads the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and says he still faces intimidation, has been allowed on the ballot papers. That, according to the 40-year-old, is enough of a victory as he competes against President Paul Kagame, who’s running for a third term after the constitution was changed and is all but certain to win. “This is an election where people will hear an...

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