| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Xinhuanet 03/20/17)
The Zimbabwean government on Monday appealed for 200 million U.S. dollars to rebuild infrastructure and assist people affected by recent floods that wrecked havoc in southern parts of the country. Launching the appeal, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko said at least 271 people had died since December as a result of the floods, while thousands had their homes destroyed. "It is against this background that an appeal for humanitarian assistance is being made by the government of Zimbabwe to both the domestic and the international communities to come to the aid of Zimbabwe," he was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency New Ziana. He said the destruction caused by the floods was massive, with schools and roads having been...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
After plenty of rain, Isaac Siziba’s maize fields looked set for a bumper harvest this season, similar to the one he gathered in 2014, before Zimbabwe suffered a long and punishing drought. But last month army worms invaded Siziba’s 4-hectare farm in Gwanda District and munched through his maize. Now he expects just a fifth of the harvest he had counted on. “We were happy with the good rains this year, which means a bumper crop, but I am not sure anymore because of the worm,” said the 49-year old farmer, pointing to holes gnawed in the leaves of his tassled maize plants. “I am disappointed,” he admitted. “The pest is eating everything.” Struggling farmers in Zimbabwe had been hopeful...
(The Herald Online 03/20/17)
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board members are reportedly throwing spanners into the works on the implementation of major power projects identified under Zim-Asset ahead of next year's harmonised elections, it has emerged. Sustainable and adequate power supply has been identified as one of the key economic enablers. It, however, emerged that the ZPC board, appointed during the tenure of former Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, was refusing to authorise payments to contractors who would have done work on site. This has resulted in some contractors pulling out of projects with the latest case being Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Ltd, a company contracted by the State Procurement Board (SPB) to construct a 120 megawatt-plant in Mutare. After pulling off the...
(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, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(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 rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says foreign companies that comply with his indigenization law are guaranteed security. His comment is a deviation from his earlier promise that he would revise the policy, which analysts repeatedly have said scares away investors. At the official launch Thursday of an $82-million cement manufacturing plant by a South African company, PPC Zimbabwe, a frail looking 93-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said he was happy the company had not resisted the indigenization law, as other foreign companies have done. "By so doing, PPC Zimbabwe has demonstrated what so many companies are struggling to put in place," said Mugabe. "
(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 buyers was expected to generate export business worth about $1,5 million in the next six months and there is a huge potential for continued business. According to Trade Map, total trade between Tanzania and Zimbabwe grew by an average of...
(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 minister Samuel Undenge held talks company officials on Monday aimed at reaching agreement. The talks also focused on clearing Zimbabwe's debt which has accrued over a number of years. Undenge, during a press briefing after closed door meetings with South...
(The Herald Online 03/17/17)
President Mugabe leaves for Ezulwini, Swaziland, today to attend an Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government that opens at Lozitha Royal Palace tomorrow. He will join other Heads of State and Government for the special indaba on Industrialisation and Regional Integration. The meeting is in fulfilment of the decision made by regional leaders last year to hold annual special summits for the purpose of reviewing industrialisation and integration of SADC economies. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap was steered by President Mugabe during his tenure as Sadc Chair (August 2014-August 2015). Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba told The Herald last night that the special summit was a follow-up to President Mugabe's initiation...
(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 million in the prior financial year to US$760 million. CBZ reclassified US$471 million, previously listed as money market assets on its statement of financial position, to financial securities. This comes after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last year said government had...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(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 lowest since February at US$1 206, putting it on track for a fifth straight session in the red. For local producers, the current trend of dipping weekly prices would hurt operations as most companies are struggling to recover from the...
(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 of US$4.60 per kg.
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(The Herald Online 03/15/17)
Masvingo — The Civil Protection Unit has started moving anti-malaria drugs and food aid to thousands of flood victims in southern Chikombedzi, who were cut-off from the rest of the country after Runde and Mwenezi Rivers flooded, submerging major access bridges. Donor organisations are also providing assistance in the form of temporary shelter such as tents to areas ravaged by floods, particularly Matibi 2 and Malipati, where an outbreak of malaria reportedly claimed over 20 people at the peak of the floods. Movement of critical drugs to fight malaria and food relief to flood victims in southern Chikombedzi became almost impossible after flooded Runde River submerged the Chilonga Bridge that connects the district's commercial capital of Chiredzi with southern Chikombedzi...
(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 in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...

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