Thursday 27 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Young, fashion-conscious and eager for change, thousands of Zimbabweans spent this week partying at music concerts and open-air bars during a six-day festival hosted in the capital against all the odds. The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), founded in 1999, was abandoned last year as Zimbabwe's economy crumbled and left desperate locals unable to withdraw money from banks. Despite many sponsors pulling out, festival organisers have revived an event widely seen as an expression of defiance against the country's woes under 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. "Cash is everyone's major problem," Chidochemoyo Nemhara, 29, a festival-goer who works for a women's business group, told AFP.
(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...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe insisted on Thursday that his country is not a failed state and accused the US of being fragile because of its economic dependence on China. Mugabe pointed to Zimbabwe's 90-percent literacy rate to support his claim that the southern African country, which has battled economic chaos in recent years, is one of the best resourced on the continent. "We are not a poor country and we can't be a fragile country, I can call America fragile, they went on their knees to China," he said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban. "Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa after South Africa." Long-time leader Mugabe has ruled through...
(The Associated Press 05/04/17)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is denying his country is in a fragile state and insists it is one of Africa’s most developed despite its plunging economy. The 93-year-old was speaking Thursday at the Africa leg of the World Economic Forum. Mugabe, whose health has been weakening, declared that the country he has ruled since 1980 is the most developed on the continent after South Africa. The once-prosperous Zimbabwe now has a cash crunch so severe that livestock in some cases is being accepted instead of currency. “Yes, we have problems. But we have resources,” Mugabe said. Zimbabwe’s economy grew just 0.7 percent last year, and the government has struggled to pay salaries for civil servants. Mugabe is running again in...
(Independent Online 05/04/17)
Zimbabwe has secured a massive loan to repay the World Bank and African Development Bank. The loan to pay off the debts was co-ordinated by Cairo-based Afreximbank. Last week Zimbabwe weekly, The Zimbabwe Independent said the loan was secured by Geneva-based fuel and commodity trader, Trafigura. Trafigura has denied this as has Zimbabwe's central bank governor, John Mangudya. He said he can't supply names of the lenders, but said they were "co ordinated" by Afreximbank. Harare business site, The Source speculated several international banks were involved in the R22 bn loan, Lazard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. The repayment of loans to World Bank and AFdB will the allow Zimbabwe to fully utilise the International Monetary Fund. Zimbabwe paid off...
(Independent Online 05/04/17)
Zimbabwe's former chief justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, 70, died in a South African hospital on Wednesday. Mr Chidyausiku retired from his post two months ago. He was appointed chief justice after his predecessor was physically threatened while on the bench because he, Anthony Gubbay, opposed the 2000 land invasion saga. Chidyausiky was seen by a wide range of legal seniors in Zimbabwe as pliant when faced with decisions which might be unpopular with Zanu PF, but some also say he tried, after the 2013 constitution was approved, to imbue the bench with more independence. Mr Chidyausiku ecame ill in Harare and went to the local main private hospital and was then transferred to South Africa where he died suddenly after organ failure.
(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...

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