| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(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
(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...
(Voice of America 04/19/17)
Zimbabwe marked 37 years of independence Tuesday. However, the country's persistent economic problems cast a shadow over the celebration, despite President Robert Mugabe's promise of better times ahead. In a speech to the more than 50,000 people gathered at a stadium in the capital, the president was hopeful that Zimbabwe's moribund agriculture-based economy will pick up thanks to above-average rainfall in the 2016-'17 growing season. The U.N. says about four million people in Zimbabwe remain dependent on food aid after a drought during the previous two growing seasons. But Mugabe said Zimbabwe would have a "bumper harvest" this year. "Comrades and friends," he told the crowd, "as we today celebrate our hard-earned
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has...
(Voice of America 03/30/17)
The United Nations chief in Zimbabwe has rejected recent allegations the U.N. is seeking to interfere in the 2018 electoral process. A majority-government-owned newspaper, the Sunday Mail, stirred controversy this month when it published an article accusing the United Nations of plotting to rig upcoming elections to remove President Robert Mugabe from office. Mugabe, who has been in office since independence in 1980, says he will run for another term next year. The Sunday Mail story came just days after an opposition protest in which demonstrators said they had lost confidence in the electoral commission and wanted an international body to run the 2018 polls.
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(Voice of America 03/25/17)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has started rehabilitating some of the dilapidated Zimbabwe prisons, most built during the colonial era. The first one to be refurbished — Mlondolozi Prison, about 500 kilometers southwest of Harare — houses mentally ill inmates. Among the improvements, the prison now has better ventilation and natural lighting within patients' cells, as well as improved water and sanitation facilities, according to Thomas Merkelbach, the head the ICRC in Zimbabwe. In addition, there is more space for rehabilitation activities, and kitchens have been upgraded to improve
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country's electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission's request to President Robert Mugabe's government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe's 2018 elections.
(Voice of America 03/21/17)
The Zimbabwean government on Monday made an international appeal for $200 million to help its citizens who have been affected by widespread floods. Officials said since December, 271 people had died due to floods. The United Nations said it was important to quickly come into the country with medical aid and control infectious diseases that are spreading. Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko made a passionate plea to diplomats and United Nations agencies in the southern African country to help people who...
(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...
(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. "
(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...
(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 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...
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 03/01/17)
Forests engulf fields that used to produce some of the world’s best tobacco around the northern Zimbabwean town of Banket, while barns that once stored the leaf stand empty, their corrugated iron roofs ripped off and sold for scrap. Most of the farm workers have left. “We are 15 here now, from roughly 50,” said 25-year-old Bruce Mahenya, who lives in a mud-and-grass hut behind a defunct trading store on a farm about 95 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the...

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