Sunday 24 September 2017
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine our efforts in reinforcing confidence and enhancing a climate for investments, both domestic and international,” he added. All government departments and their related entities were advised to review their work programmes with KPMG “to ensure...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Nigeria’s decision to designate a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra as “terrorist” and ban it runs the risk of backfiring. A federal high court in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday granted an application by President Muhammadu Buhari’s attorney general to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, known as Ipob, designating it as a terrorist organization. The move came as tensions escalated in southeastern Nigeria, with the group’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, threatening to disrupt state elections unless there’s a vote on secession and his supporters clashing with the security forces. “We saw in videos young people willing to confront the military with their bare hands,” Freedom Onuoha
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission rescheduled the date for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote, as President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned his victory as a “judicial coup.” The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission said Thursday the vote will be held Oct. 26, nine days later than its initial suggestion, to ensure the body is “fully prepared” to deliver a credible election. Just before, Kenyatta said in a televised address that the East African country’s highest...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Dangote Cement Plc, the Nigerian company controlled by Africa’s richest person, has written to PPC Ltd. offering South Africa’s biggest cement maker cash and shares as part of a takeover deal that is fueling a bidding war. PPC’s shares rose. “We are waiting for them to get back to us, hopefully early next week,” Aliko Dangote said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in New York. “They can be part and parcel of the Dangote Cement story, where we’re going...
(Bloomberg 09/21/17)
The United Nations said its road map for peace in Libya wasn’t working in its current form and unveiled plans to revamp the agreement to unify the North African country and pave the way for new elections. Ghassan Salame, the UN’s envoy for Libya, outlined an action plan at a high-level meeting Wednesday in New York. He said the initiative would be led by Libyans to find a way out of the crisis that’s split the nation among rival militias...
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
South African programs to add coal and gas power generation from independent providers should wait until policies are updated and the nation’s future needs are clearer, said Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi. The government is also seeking a “middle ground” with developers in a program to add renewable-energy projects, she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kubayi announced earlier this month that the long-delayed contracts must be signed by the end of October, but not before pricing was renegotiated to make the deals more attractive to state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. South Africa expanded the so-called independent power-producer
(Bloomberg 09/20/17)
President Muhammadu Buhari urged the international community to support the Lake Chad region in its fight against Islamist extremism even as other conflicts emerge. Nigeria and neighboring countries lack the resources and the capacity to effectively deal with the security threat from groups linked to al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations, he said Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts,” Buhari said. The Islamist group...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
A United Nations commission urged the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed in Burundi, saying it had compiled a list of alleged perpetrators of violence during the country’s two-year crisis. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has reasonable grounds to believe “serious human-rights violations and abuses” have been committed in the East African country since April 2015, its chairman, Fatsah Ouguergouz, said Tuesday in Geneva. The abuses included torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and rape, with most victims being opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government, he said. The commission has drawn
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki said lawmakers will investigate the crisis that erupted in the country’s southeast following clashes between troops and supporters of a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra. The legislature “intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the southeast,” Saraki said in a statement on Twitter on Monday. “We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Kenya may have to delay a rerun of its presidential election scheduled for next month if the Supreme Court requires the country to host the results-transmission system, the Daily Nation reported. OT-Morpho, a Paris-based company that provided systems used in last month’s annulled presidential vote, told the Kenya Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission in a letter that moving the system to Kenya from France by Oct. 31 would be technically impossible, the Nairobi-based newspaper said. Penina Nyawira, a Kenya-based spokeswoman...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egyptian Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer said inflation in the most populous Arab country has peaked after policy makers responded to the surge in prices by raising borrowing costs to the highest level in more than a decade. “We are in the right direction and we are moving very fast,” Amer said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Dubai on Monday. “We’ve been aggressive in our monetary policy, and this has been resisted a bit. But we thought it’s...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egypt’s cabinet is expected to approve a plan to sell 1.5 billion in euro-denominated bonds in two to three weeks, the finance minister said, as the government seeks cheaper finance abroad to plug its budget gap. The Finance Ministry has started initial discussions with some European investment banks, Amr El-Garhy said in an interview in Bahrain late on Saturday. The notes, which will be Egypt’s first in euros, will likely have tenors of five to 10 years, he said. The...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s deepening dispute with companies he accuses of being tax cheats is rattling investors and dimming the allure of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. Since taking office in late 2015, Magufuli has been on a drive to increase revenue from natural resources to help fund his industrialization plans. His administration has passed laws enabling it to renegotiate contracts and ordered foreign mining firms to sell stakes on the local stock exchange to increase transparency. The authorities have...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Death threats to top members of Kenya’s divided electoral body are endangering preparations for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election, a senior official at the authority said. The relatives of one administrator at the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission fled the country after their lives were threatened, while Chairman Wafula Chebukati made additional security arrangements for his family, said the official, who asked not to be identified citing personal-safety reasons. “The fact that there’s a split at the...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Pravin Gordhan, who was ousted from his post as South Africa’s finance minister in March, slammed KPMG LLP after it withdrew a report on the country’s tax agency that was used as evidence in a police probe against him and led to the removal of senior staff. The auditing firm said on Friday that its conclusions and recommendations in a report for the South African Revenue Service about a unit that allegedly spied on politicians should no longer be relied...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Egyptian policy makers are weighing plans to raise 1.5 billion euros from the country’s first sale of euro-denominated bonds, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said. The possible sale would happen before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg News in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday. He didn’t give more details. With local borrowing costs above 15 percent, Egypt is increasingly looking at international debt markets to capitalize on growing investor confidence after it floated its currency and cut costly energy subsidies. The steps helped seal a three-year $12 billion loan program from the International Monetary Fund in November.
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Gabon is weighing amnesty for about 400 prisoners who were jailed for their role in the violence that followed last year’s disputed presidential vote, according to Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet. President Ali Bongo asked the Gabonese government to “consider an amnesty law,” Issoze-Ngondet told reporters on Wednesday in the capital, Libreville. A commission will be set up to review the merits of every case, he said. Violence erupted a year ago in the central African nation after the announcement that Bongo narrowly won a second seven-year term against opposition leader Jean Ping in the closest election in the nation’s history. Protesters burned down shops and the parliament building.
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
On Monday, Kenya’s central bank may have little choice but to do what the rest of the country is stuck with: waiting for a rerun of its presidential election. With political limbo reigning since the Supreme Court’s annulment of the previous attempt at a national vote on Aug. 8, officials are left contemplating the effects of prolonged uncertainty on an economy that also faces slowing growth and persistent inflation. Economists say that quandary will force them to opt for no change in the benchmark interest rate at 10 percent, where it’s been for a year. The Central Bank of Kenya’s options are hamstrung by the “reemergence of political risk,”
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
South Sudan should delay elections until the almost four-year civil war ends, the United Nations mission head said, about two weeks after the government indicated it may go ahead with a vote in 2018. “It’s important that we work through the peace process so that we have good conditions on the ground to enable elections to go ahead that can be seen to be free and fair and people can have confidence in them,” David Shearer, who leads the UN...
(Voice of America 09/15/17)
Women's rights activists in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, braved hot weather Thursday to protest recent domestic violence in which seven women were slain or disfigured by their partners. The protesters, many of them women, wore black attire, and at one point they lay in the street to symbolize mourning. They carried banners and placards that read: "Violence against women is an offense, not a private issue," "Ending gender violence starts with me, I stand against it;" and "Don't be silent, speak...

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