Thursday 17 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all,...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
Zambian President Edgar Lungu and jailed opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema have agreed to hold talks to resolve their political differences, a Commonwealth official said. The discussions will be facilitated by the office of the Commonwealth, the intergovernmental organization’s secretary-general, Patricia Scotland, told reporters Wednesday in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. The country’s main opposition leader has been in prison for more than 100 days awaiting trial on treason charges and refuses to accept Lungu as the winner of last year’s presidential elections. Lungu invoked emergency measures last month in response to a fire at a market the government has blamed on opposition supporters.
(Bloomberg 08/10/17)
Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate for a third time this year as inflation remained below the government’s target. The Bank of Zambia lowered the rate to 11 percent from 12.5 percent, Governor Denny Kalyalya told reporters Thursday in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the lowest level since February 2014. The southern African nation’s consumer inflation rate is near the lowest since 2013, with this year’s record harvest of corn, which is used to make a local porridge, leading...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Investors are overlooking Zambia’s political risk and buying the nation’s assets as the price of copper, its biggest export, rises. The yield on Zambia’s $1 billion Eurobonds due April 2024 have fallen 135 basis points this year to 7.55 percent on Wednesday. The southern African nation’s currency has appreciated 12 percent against the dollar in 2017, making the kwacha the continent’s best performer after Mozambique’s metical. Copper prices are at their highest in more than two years. The metal used...
(Financial Times 07/25/17)
President accused of opposition crackdown invoked emergency powers after suspect fires. The mysterious blaze that destroyed Zambia’s biggest market this month was still smouldering when President Edgar Lungu invoked emergency powers to prevent further “sabotage” he blamed on the opposition. But standing beside the burnt-out shell of the market in the capital Lusaka, those who lost livelihoods in the fire say that Mr Lungu, far from helping them, is presiding over the rapid decay of what was until recently one...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Voice of America 07/13/17)
Zambia's parliament has imposed a 90-day state of emergency, after the president last week declared the need for one. The situation is likely to deepen the political crisis in the country, and analysts say it also could scare away much needed investors to the copper-dependent, landlocked nation. The president called for the state of emergency after a fire destroyed the capital’s main market earlier this month. He described the fire as an arson attack by "a few unpatriotic citizens" and said, in a speech to the nation, that this and other fires were "premeditated acts, which if left unchecked could have serious socio-economic consequences
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(RFI(EN) 06/20/17)
Church leaders in Zambia are worried that the country is turning into a dictatorship with challenges relating to governance, restrictions on people’s freedoms and human rights violations. The strongly-worded statement by three church bodies published on Friday calls for the release of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema who is currently in jail facing treason charges. “We find it hard to find other ways of describing rather than to say, here are signs of a kind of regime which has the tendency...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Zambia’s copper output will climb by about 4 percent to a record this year as operators near a resolution with government over power prices, according to the Chamber of Mines in Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal. Production will increase to about 800,000 metric tons, said Nathan Chishimba, president of the lobby group. That would be higher than the 770,600 tons mined last year, and exceed a previous record of about 790,000 tons in 2013. The forecast is less optimistic...
(Bloomberg 06/02/17)
Billionaire Lev Leviev, who made his fortune undercutting De Beers’ former diamond monopoly, has bought half of one of Africa’s biggest emerald mines. Leviev bought into the Grizzly emerald mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt province, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kombadayedu Kapwanga, managing director Leviev’s Namibian unit, said by phone. The operation has been renamed Gemcanton Investments Holdings. A spokesperson for Africa Israel Investments Ltd., a listed company controlled in which Leviev is the biggest shareholder, didn’t return phone...
(BBC News Africa 05/31/17)
African champions Zambia came from behind to beat Germany 4-3 after extra-time and advance to the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea. Zambia looked like they had the match won at 3-1 in the 89th minute but late goals from Suat Serdar and Jonas Arweiler ensured the game went to extra time. Shemmy Mayembe was the Zambian hero with a goal early in the second period of the added 30 minutes. Philipp Ochs had opened the scoring...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...

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