Sunday 28 May 2017
(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...
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
Zimbabwe joins the world in marking International Workers' Day on Monday, but some workers agree that despite getting a holiday, there is nothing much to celebrate on the day. Low salaries, which in many cases are paid late as employers scrounge around to raise them, long queues at banks where no one is guaranteed of making a withdrawal because of the limited cash available, and the poor economy are militating against the workers' welfare. Security officer Wellington Kuziwa told Xinhua that life was becoming tougher by the day as workers faced demoralizing situations at the workplace. "I come to work early everyday because I want to fulfill the terms and conditions of my contract. But at the end of the...
(New Zimbabwe 05/02/17)
Government aligned labour unions staged separate Workers Day celebrations in Chinhoyi Monday after the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) rejected a proposal for joint commemorations. The ZCTU staged its own event in Harare which was addressed by opposition MDC-T leader and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Labour and Social Services Minister Prisca Mupfumira officiated at the Chinhoyi event where she urged unity among the country's unions. "Let us hold hands rather than build fences as May Day is a celebration for all workers whether blue collar, white collar and irrespective of your cultural, political or ethnic orientation," she said. "You must create open lines of communication with officials from the ministry so that they cogitate on issues to do...
(Voice of America 05/02/17)
Thousands of South African workers today celebrate the workers day in various gatherings across the country, The fate of close to 200,000 Zimbabwean workers hangs in the balance in South Africa as their special permits expire within the next few months. Some of the affected workers, whose Zimbabwe Special Permits expire at the end of December this year, say they may lose their jobs if the papers are not renewed. If the documents expire, the Zimbabweans are expected to go back home to reapply for new permits. Millions of Zimbabweans live in South Africa, some of them illegally, following the near-collapse of the country's economy. Some ruling party members are already jostling for the succession of President Mugabe with one...
(New Zimbabwe 05/02/17)
Opposition MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai says he will not accept any election outcome which is not a victory for party. The country's largest opposition to emerge since independence in 1980, the MDC-T has been troubling President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF since its formation in 1999. In the 2008 elections, Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the first round of the Presidential elections but failed to secure an outright majority to avoid a run-off vote, resulting in the MDC-T leader accepting to share power the his Zanu PF nemesis. The labour movement-born opposition party, however, suffered a thumping defeat at the hands of Zanu PF in the 2013 vote, an outcome it continues to dispute, saying that the polls were rigged. Addressing thousands...
(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...
(The Herald Online 04/28/17)
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has suspended Chitungwiza Mayor Phillip Mutoti and all 24 councillors for allegedly corruptly allocating themselves tracts of land worth over $7 million. Chitungwiza Municipality has 14 MDC-T councillors, including Mayor Mutoti and 11 Zanu-PF councillors. The minister will appoint a three-person caretaker council to clean up the rot in the municipality. An internal audit shows councillors and officials allocated themselves commercial and institutional stands. Human resources manager Mary Mukonyora got 8,41 hectares
(New Zimbabwe 04/28/17)
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has lambasted home affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo for threatening to dispossess beneficiaries of the land reform who are found supporting the opposition. Chombo recently told farmers at a field day that they were not free to join a party of their choice because they were given land by the Zanu PF-led government. PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the utterances are disturbing and unconstitutional as the liberation party has no legal standing to deny any citizen land as punishment for supporting different political parties. "Such words warrant a high-level sanction. Chombo must be punished for what he said, he must at least resign and apologise thereafter. "As a matter of fact, his utterances violate section 67(2)...
(The Financial Gazette 04/28/17)
Politicians and their cronies are taking advantage of an import ban on selected products meant to allow local manufacturers to recover to ship into the country the banned merchandise, which sources said were also evading duty payment. The move has meant that importers, who are bringing the products into the country under government-issued licences, are making huge profits from domestic sales. Some of the products include potato crisps, perfumes, powdered milk, cereals, cooking oil, soaps, as well as hardware products sold in quasi-formal outlets across major central business districts (CBDs). Downtown and at Mbare Musika, in Harare, trucks loaded with washing powder, dairy products, petroleum jelly and biscuits, among other banned products, are offloaded in the wee hours of the...
(The New York Times 04/28/17)
“Heh, you people, you used to laugh at us. Look at you now. You can’t even buy a bottle of Coke!” It was the early 2000s, during the economic free-fall that had followed Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform program, which began 20 years after the country had won its political independence from Ian Smith’s settler colonial regime. My parents were visiting Zambia from South Africa and in the town of Livingstone met a woman who, upon discovering that they were Zimbabwean, could not hide her schadenfreude. She recalled the period in the late 1980s when Zambians had flocked to Zimbabwe to buy basic goods with Zambian bank notes that had lost much of their former value, thanks to hyperinflation and...
(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...
(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...
(The Herald Online 04/26/17)
Power utility Zesa Holdings will invest nearly $200 million towards the installation of smart meters for medium and heavy consumers of electricity. This comes after Zesa said it had completed installation of 590 518 prepaid meters, Phase one of the prepaid meter project, which is 6 percent behind the target due to foreign currency payment challenges. "The total cost for the prepaid metering project was around $100 million and the total cost for smart metering project is estimated at around $190 million including cost of the Meter Data Management System," Zesa said. According to Zesa, points targeted for smart meters contribute around 60 percent of ZETDC's revenue. Smart meters are high precision intelligent prepaid metering systems with bidirectional communication capability...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/25/17)
Zimbabwe's "bond note" surrogate currency will not solve its economic problems, the International Monetary Fund said, adding that only comprehensive reforms would address a fiscal crisis. The southern African nation last year introduced bond notes, which officially trade at par with the U.S. dollar and are backed by a $200 million bond from the African Export and Import Bank. The director of the IMF's Africa department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, told reporters in Washington on Sunday that limited foreign exchange inflows and a lack of monetary policy tools since Zimbabwe's adoption of the U.S. dollar in 2009 had worsened cash shortages. "We think that, going down this one (bond) note route, in and of itself, will not address the challenges that...
(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...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru signed a memorandum of understanding on talks to form a coalition to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party in 2018 general elections in the southern African nation. Tsvangirai leads the Movement for Democratic Change, while Mujuru, a former deputy to 93-year-old Mugabe, heads the National People’s Party. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, in power since independence in 1980, has been accused of human rights abuses, electoral fraud and widespread corruption by groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch. “This is just the beginning of the building blocks towards establishing a broad
(Xinhuanet 04/20/17)
The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe on Thursday handed over 60,000 U.S. dollars worth of basic food to assist hundreds of local families affected by floods that hit the southern parts of the country in February. Of the donation, the Chinese Red Cross Society contributed 50,000 dollars while the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese community in Zimbabwe chipped in with 10,000 dollars. The donation of maize meal, cooking oil, sugar, biscuits and salt, among other basic food stuffs, came a month after the Chinese government donated 1 million dollars in cash transfer to Zimbabwe to help the flood victims. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe declared a state of flood disaster on March 2, leading to the launch of a domestic and international...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...

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