| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field was said to stop producing, leading to a 20 percent decline in crude output from the country with Africa’s largest reserves. The OPEC nation’s output dropped to 560,000 barrels a day, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be identified. The North African country was pumping 700,000 barrels a day, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., said on March 22. Oil prices rose as much as 1.4 percent. The pipeline carrying crude from Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, to the Zawiya
(The New York Times 03/28/17)
Somalia, which has been hit by a series of crises that sound like a page from the Book of Job, is starting a major effort to vaccinate 450,000 people against its latest plague: cholera. The country, in the Horn of Africa, has long suffered from weak central government, fighting among clan warlords and terrorist acts committed by Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with some factions aligned with Al Qaeda. In 1993, the capital, Mogadishu, was the scene of the “Black Hawk Down” battle between United States Army Rangers and clan militias. American troops sent to protect food aid shipments ended up fighting the warlords who were seizing them. The world’s largest refugee camp complex in Dadaab, Kenya, contains 260,000...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
As the breakaway republic of Somaliland grapples with a severe drought, medical workers are struggling to aid people left weakened by malnourishment and hunger. A 70-year-old hospital in Erigavo, the capital of the Sanaag region, is operating beyond full capacity to treat people affected by the drought. And it's the only hospital in the region. The drought has left tens of thousands of children acutely malnourished. In desperate need of treatment, they are checked as they lie on the beds...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Morocco’s new prime minister-designate formed a governing coalition, ending a five-month impasse that has paralyzed decision-making and strained the economy. After barely a week in office, Saaddine El-Otmani of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party told reporters late Saturday that he will lead a coalition of six parties including partners his predecessor, Abdelilah Benkirane, had refused to include. High on the new government’s agenda will be “improving the quality of government services, education, health care, creating job opportunities, and fighting corruption,” El-Otmani said. Benkirane’s inability to form a coalition after October elections produced no clear-cut winner forced
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Ivory Coast’s government said it is seeking more assistance from the International Monetary Fund to support the nation’s 2017 budget after cocoa prices slumped, hurting the finances of the world’s biggest grower. “With cocoa prices falling, we have some new budget constraints,” government spokesman Bruno Kone said by phone from the commercial capital, Abidjan, on Sunday. Ivory Coast will issue the request as representatives of the IMF visits the West African nation until the first week of April for a...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Ghana’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi recovered from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than three years. The Bank of Ghana reduced the rate to 23.5 percent from 25.5 percent, Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. That’s the biggest single cut in borrowing costs since February 2010. Four of the seven economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum International Ltd. plans to bet half a billion dollars that Africa’s newest nation can end a three-year civil war and create the conditions to revive its oil industry. Oranto, a closely held company part-owned by the Eze family that also has assets in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, plans to invest $500 million to develop the oil block awarded by South Sudan earlier this month. “We have faith that the differences in South Sudan will be brought to an end and that our exploration campaign
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
Unidentified assailants took the lives of six aid workers in South Sudan on Saturday, the highest number killed in a single incident since South Sudan's conflict began in December 2013, according to the United Nations. Working for a local NGO called GREDO, they were killed in the Magri area of Central Equatoria State, as they traveled from South Sudan's capital, Juba, to the town of Pibor. GREDO program director Jaffar Mbugua told VOA's South Sudan in Focus that a seventh...
(Financial Times 03/27/17)
The rand dropped sharply on Monday morning after South African President Jacob Zuma recalled his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, from investor trips to London and New York at the last minute, amid speculation that he is about to reshuffle his cabinet including the Treasury post. In a statement, the president’s office said that he had instructed Mr Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, “to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return...
(Voice of America 03/25/17)
Sudan has been elected to the deputy chairmanship of the executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The move concerns some analysts, who point to a September report released by Amnesty International that accuses Sudan's government of using chemical weapons against people in Darfur's Jebel Marra region from January to August 2016. The report alleged that as many as 250 people, including children, might have died as a result of chemical attacks, and hundreds more were injured. In September, the OPCW released a statement that it was aware of the report and would "certainly examine the reports and all other available relevant information."
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
Ghana’s central bank may have space to cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi started to recover from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than four years. Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku has enough room to cut the West African nation’s main rate by as much as 100 basis points, according to Courage Kingsley Martey, an Accra-based economist at Databank Group. Two of the four economists in a...
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the...
(Dw-World 03/23/17)
English-speaking Cameroon remains in upheaval as regional leaders are set to go on trial on Thursday accused of calling for secession. But why is President Paul Biya so afraid of granting more autonomy to Anglophones? Some activists in the northwest and southwest provinces, traditional bastions of opposition to the regime of long-time President Paul Biya, are calling for an independent state of Southern Cameroon. The region was once called that in British colonial times. But according to analysts, a vast majority of the Anglophone population prefers a federation, believing it to be the best
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Algeria’s state-run energy producer plans to boost crude oil output by 14 percent in the four years to 2019 and invest billions of dollars in exploration projects. Sonatrach Group expects to invest $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 in its search for new deposits of oil and natural gas, said Farid Djettou, head of the company’s associations division, which is responsible for foreign contracts. Sonatrach will drill an average of 100 wells annually over the same five years and plans...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Mozambique said Exxon Mobil Corp.’s acquisition of a 25 percent stake in an offshore gas block from Eni SpA will generate capital gains revenue of $350 million. The government expects only to receive payment when the transaction is concluded, Anibal Balango, an official in Mozambique’s tax authority, told reporters in the capital, Maputo, on Tuesday. As a non-resident company, Eni was only eligible to pay tax on half the value of the $2.8 billion deal with Exxon. That value was...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
Faced with a contracting economy, surging inflation and a rigid exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank will have little choice but to keep its key interest rate unchanged on Tuesday. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Godwin Emefiele has held the policy rate at 14 percent since July and is unlikely to make a change, according to all 17 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Foreign-exchange policy has become a common agenda-item for the committee as the nation maintains a...
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
Tanzania has announced a plan to send 500 doctors to Kenya after a doctors' strike paralyzed health services in the neighboring country for months. Kenyan doctors, however, say the government should not hire any foreign doctors but instead employ the more than 1,000 trained physicians who are unemployed. Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced the plan to dispatch the doctors after a recent meeting in Dar es Salaam with a visiting Kenyan delegation that included Kenya's health cabinet secretary, Cleopa Mailu...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
Ethiopian regional officials are demanding that foreign cement producers including Dangote Cement Plc hand control of some parts of their businesses to groups of unemployed youths. The Nigerian company, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and others such as Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi’s Derba MIDROC Cement Plc, should allow the youth to run their pumice mines, according to a draft contract drawn up by Oromia state’s East Shewa Zone administration this month. Pumice is an additive used in cement...

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