| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
A new schedule of higher traffic fines in Zimbabwe announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa at the end of 2016 has come into effect following the signing into law of the Finance Act by President Robert Mugabe last week. Fines for offences in Levels 1 to 3 have been increased by between 5 and 10 U.S. dollars, much to the chagrin of motorists who argue that the new schedule does not only fuel corruption but is also not affordable to many cash-strapped Zimbabweans. Offences which used to attract a 5 dollar fine are now pegged at 10 dollars; those which were at 10 dollars are now at 15 dollars; while those which...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/28/17)
When President Robert Mugabe scrapped the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, most of his people thought this meant the end of runaway money-printing and hyperinflation that had rendered the currency worthless. They may have been wrong. Adoption of the U.S. dollar and South African rand eight years ago brought financial discipline and currency stability to the country; today the old 100,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwe dollar note holds nothing but curiosity value. Yet behind the scenes the authorities are once again busy creating their own money from nothing, economists and opposition politicians say. This has allowed the government to borrow heavily via treasury bills to pay a huge civil service, on whose loyalty Mugabe has relied during his 37 years in charge. Last year...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(News Day 03/17/17)
The recent mission by Tanzanian buyers in Zimbabwe is expected to generate export business worth $1,5 million in the next six months and there is a huge potential for more business, an official has said. Trade promotion body ZimTrade recently hosted an eight-member Tanzanian business delegation, which sought to make orders from local companies. The buyers were drawn from pharmaceuticals, agricultural implements and inputs sector companies. ZimTrade’s public relations officer, Dillon Kamutenga, told NewsDay that the recent mission by Tanzanian...
(New Zimbabwe 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe owes South Africa's power utility ESKOM more than $12 million and is struggling to clear the debt, it has emerged. Harare does not generate enough electricity to meet its needs and relies on imports from the region to plug the supply gap. However, with its economy in the tank and government struggling with its finances, supplies from the region often come under threat due to unpaid bills. The country's supply deal with Eskom is nearing its end and energy...
(Zimbabwe Independent 03/17/17)
The country's largest financial services group by deposits and assets, CBZ Bank, is exposed to the cash-strapped government through Treasury Bills (TBs) to the tune of US$760 million. CBZ Although TBs are one of the safest investment instruments and government always pays on maturity of its short-term securities, the risk of defaulting is growing due to its deepening fiscal crisis. According to CBZ's full-year financial results to December 31 2015 (FY15), the bank's exposure to government paper rose from US$471...
(Voice of America 03/16/17)
Zimbabwe has opened its 2017 tobacco-selling season with hopes the “golden leaf” will change the economic fortunes of the southern African nation. Officials say the tobacco yield has been increasing after a downward turn in 2000 when the government chased white commercial farmers off their land. Zimbabwean farmers applauded after the 2017 tobacco selling season began Wednesday in Harare at the country’s biggest auction floor. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya saluted the farmers. “Producers of tobacco are indeed our heroes. You are important to this economy.
(The Financial Gazette 03/16/17)
Gold prices are expected to hit a two-year low, trading at under US$1 000 an ounce this year owing to projected low demand from jewelleries, industries and retailers at the back of a stronger United States dollar, a World Bank (WB) commodities forecast has revealed. The development is likely to affect Zimbabwe's mining sector, which had recovered after a hyperinflationary-era slump that ruined operations. By last week, gold was down 0,5 percent at US$1 209 an ounce after touching its...
(APA 03/16/17)
Zimbabwe’s tobacco marketing season kicked off on Wednesday amid revelations that the total output of the golden leaf is more than 200 million kilogrammes this year. Figures released on Wednesday showed that a total of 202 million kg of tobacco was produced during the just ended 2016/17 farming season. However, only 16 million or about eight percent of the total, would be traded via the auction system, with the remainder being sold to contract buyers. Trading opened at an average...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh,...
(News Day 03/08/17)
Government has dug a deep financial hole after it agreed to pay an unbudgeted for $180 million in bonuses to the restive civil service, with analysts warning the move signalled the country’s unwillingness to undertake fiscal reforms. On Monday, government buckled under pressure and resolved to pay 2016 bonuses to the civil servants and avert a brewing industrial action. Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said Treasury would look for the funds. The move comes at a time when government has been...
(Bloomberg 03/08/17)
Zimbabwe has set aside $62 million to buy corn from farmers after plantings of the grain increased 55 percent from a year earlier, and will seek funds for additional purchases, according to Agriculture Minister Joseph Made. The state-run Agricultural Marketing Authority has been told to raise $80 million to fund further purchases of Zimbabwe’s staple food, Made told a parliamentary committee on Friday. He didn’t provide details of how the money would be raised. Zimbabwe, which is usually a net...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
The Zimbabwean government is amending at least 16 laws to boost exports which have been on a decline over the years. The laws are being amended under the Ease of Doing Export Business Rapid Results Initiative to address issues such as high cost of production, complex and burdensome procedures as well as limited access to affordable long-term trade finance. The initiative is also expected to reduce the cost and time of exporting so as to boost national exports which have...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
The Zimbabwean government is amending at least 16 laws to boost exports which have been on a decline over the years. The laws are being amended under the Ease of Doing Export Business Rapid Results Initiative to address issues such as high cost of production, complex and burdensome procedures as well as limited access to affordable long-term trade finance. The initiative is also expected to reduce the cost and time of exporting so as to boost national exports which have...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
Tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe's prime holiday destination, the Victoria Falls, have increased steadily since the re-launch of the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) uni-visa in December last year, an official said Tuesday. The uni-visa allows visitors to stay in Zambia or Zimbabwe (or both) for up to 30 days for a single payment of 50 U.S. dollars. It also covers people who want to enter Botswana for day-trips through the Kazungula border post. Zimbabwe Council for Tourism representative for Matabeleland North, Barbara Murasiranwa...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/02/17)
Zimbabwe requires $100 million for emergency road repairs following above normal rains that have severely damaged the urban road network and highways, a government minister said on Wednesday. Unable to get balance of payment support from foreign lenders due to unpaid arrears, and with more than 90 percent of its national budget going to salaries, Zimbabwe's public infrastructure has been crumbling for more than a decade. In the capital Harare, motorists often dodge potholes that constantly damage vehicles, angering residents,...

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