Saturday 24 June 2017
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Zambia will conclude a deal with the International Monetary Fund for as much as $1.6 billion by the end of June, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said. “We will conclude by the end of the second quarter,” Mutati said in an interview Wednesday in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. “There is no question on whether the deal comes through or not. The deal is coming through.” The country has been talking about getting IMF aid since 2014 but an agreement has been delayed by two presidential elections, which made the required reforms politically unattractive. A team from the Washington-based lender visited Zambia last month and will return at the end of May to continue the discussions, according to Alfredo Baldini, the fund’s...
(Xinhuanet 05/10/17)
Zambian President Edgar Lungu reaffirmed his government's commitment to consolidating existing bilateral relations with Togo for mutual benefit Tuesday. Lungu made the remarks while visiting a steel manufacturing plant with Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe in Kafue district, about 44 km south of Lusaka, Zambia's capital. Lungu said his government was willing to work with the Togolese government at bilateral and multilateral levels to enhance cooperation in order to attain the goals set out in the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, along with national development.
(Xinhuanet 05/10/17)
Zambia has been elected the first African nation to head the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) since it was founded, said the Zambian government in a statement on Tuesday. Zambia's consumer watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), was elected chair of the ICPEN for 2018/2019 tenure during the body's annual conference held in Germany about two weeks ago, according to the statement released by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. Kayula Siame, the permanent secretary in the ministry, said the move will have a positive impact on the nation's business and consumer confidence. Kelvin Sampa, the executive director of the CCPC, said as the first African country to lead the global consumer body, Zambia would...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Bloomberg 04/28/17)
The International Monetary Fund will send a mission to Zambia in May to continue talks over as much as $1.6 billion in aid the government is seeking after they failed to reach a deal in Washington this month. “Progress was made but program discussions have not yet been concluded,” Alfredo Baldini, the fund’s representative in Zambia, said Friday in response to emailed questions. “The authorities and IMF staff have agreed that a mission will return to Zambia at the end of May to continue the discussions.” Finance Minister Felix Mutati had hoped to strike the loan deal to boost Zambia’s foreign exchange reserves while in Washington for the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. The government first signaled its intentions...
(Zambia Daily mail 04/28/17)
Zambia’s Ambassador to Sweden Anthony Mukwita says the country’s top five placement as a preferred destination of investment will increase interest from international investors seeking to develop investment opportunities. Last week, Zambia was ranked the fifth most attractive investment destination in Africa due to significant domestic investment and access to money supply, according to a report by a global equity and investment firm. In its latest Africa Investment Index report, Quantum’s Global Group, which is an international group of companies active in the areas of private equity and management investments, noted that Zambia follows Africa’s second largest economy, South Africa, which is fourth. Commenting on the development, Mr Mukwita said the placement coming from an independent international rating organisation largely...
(Lusaka Times 04/28/17)
Zambia is on Friday marking the 25th anniversary of the Gabon Air Disaster that killed the Senior National Soccer Team in 1993. The fallen heroes were on the way to Senegal for a 1994 World Cup qualifier match when their plane plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Libreville, Gabon. Family members and fans are expected to lay wreaths at the Heroes Acre located outside the old Independence Stadium. The Zambia Under-20 squad is also scheduled to join the ceremony by laying wreaths at the Gabon Disaster Memorial Park. FAZ announced on Thursday that this year’s commemoration would not be an official function. “As announced at last year’s event the commemoration will not be an official function but football and family...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema will remain in custody until next week when his treason trial will resume, the Union Party for National Development said. Magistrate David Simusamba on Thursday adjourned the case until May 4, the party, which Hichilema leads, said in a statement on its Twitter account in the capital, Lusaka. Political tensions in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, which have been high since presidential elections last year that Hichilema lost to Edgar Lungu, escalated when police detained the opposition leader at his house on April 11. They charged him with treason a day later for failing to move off a road when Lungu’s motorcade passed his convoy earlier this month. Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Matthew Hill
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
A Zambian court refused on Wednesday to throw out treason charges against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, a case that has stoked political tensions months after contested elections. The United Party for National Development (UPND) leader was arrested in a police raid on his home earlier this month and charged with trying to overthrow the government. Hichilema's lawyers appealed, saying the charges were too vague. But Magistrate Greenwell Malumani told the packed hearing his court did not have the authority to quash the charge and referred the case up to the High Court. Zambia was seen as one of southern Africa's most stable countries until relations soured between the government and opposition in August, when President Edgar Lungu's Patriotic Front (PF)...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, expects its production of the metal to jump about 10 percent this year to a record. The country, home to mines owned by companies including Glencore Plc, Barrick Gold Corp., First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Vedanta Resources Plc, will produce about 850,000 metric tons of copper this year, Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma said in an interview in London on Tuesday. “Improved and modernized mining through the same infrastructure” will enable output to expand, he said. Production from First Quantum’s Sentinel operation will account for much of the nation’s increase, which would top a previous record of about 790,000 tons in 2013, he said.
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, is close to selling a stake in ZCCM Investments Holdings, a state controlled mine holding company, for more than $100 million, according to three people familiar with the matter. Sapir Capital, an Israeli private equity company that’s invested in industries from nanotechnology to oil and gas, is waiting for final government approval for the acquisition of the 17.25 percent stake directly held by the government, said two of the people who asked not to be identified as the information has not been made public. A minority shareholder group welcomed Sapir’s investment, without giving further detail. ZCCM-IH, which has minority stakes in the local units of companies including Vedanta Resources Plc, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Xinhuanet 04/21/17)
Zambian President Edgar Lungu has threatened to declare a state of emergency if people do not stop setting ablaze public properties in the wake of the arrest of the country's leading opposition leader, local media reported on Friday. The Zambian leader said in the southern tourist capital of Livingstone on Thursday night that he will be forced to declare a state of emergency unless people stopped damaging pubic property. "Police, look out for these rabble rousers and trouble makers and bring them to book. You are forcing me to consider a state of emergency," Lungu is quoted by the News Diggers when he addressed supporters. The Zambian leader however said the state of emergency would only apply to areas where...

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