Tuesday 25 July 2017
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017,...
(Voice of America 07/22/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lashed out Friday against factions in his party angling to take over from him, saying they have no backing. The 93-year-old spoke at a rally in Lupane, about 600 kilometers southwest of Harare - as part of his effort to recruit young people to support him in next year's elections. It was the first time Mugabe spoke in public since returning from Singapore, where he went earlier this month to seek medical treatment for the third time this year. Mugabe did not mention his health in his speech. Instead, he attacked the opposition, accusing it of having nothing to offer Zimbabweans, and vowed he would win next year’s election. He then turned to his own Zanu...
(BBC News Africa 07/20/17)
Two years after Cecil the lion was killed by a trophy-hunter in Zimbabwe, prompting global outrage, his son has met a similar sad end. Xanda, a six-year-old lion with several young cubs, was reportedly shot on a trophy hunt. He died just outside the Hwange National Park in north-west Zimbabwe. News of the lion's death emerged because he had been fitted with an electronic tracking collar by researchers.
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Zimbabwe’s capital city plans to raise a $100 million bond this year to finance the building of new homes and end a decades-long housing shortage, its mayor said. The capital, Harare, has “outgrown itself and the population has grown beyond the city’s initial designs,” mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said Tuesday in an interview. An original plan to obtain $150 million through the central government became “entangled in politics,” he said, without elaborating. “Now we’re looking at raising $100 million through a...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Voice of America 07/15/17)
Zimbabwe’s Environment Management Agency has ordered the food industry to stop using containers made of expanded polystyrene and replace them with recyclable or biodegradable ones. The agency recommends restaurants use paper packaging or encourage patrons to partake of their food on site. The ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) went into effect immediately, upsetting business owners left with unused stocks. “I think this is quite unfair,” said Denford Mutashu, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers.
(Voice of America 07/13/17)
Zimbabwean police Wednesday clashed with hundreds of opposition protesters calling for electoral reforms before next year's polls. Zimbabwe’s capital city came to a standstill for about four hours Wednesday as opposition protesters conducted running battles with police. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators, who were lobbing stones and even pieces of fruit they grabbed from street vendors. VOA saw police kick or beat at least 20 protesters with batons before arresting them. Police said the protest had not been sanctioned, as required by law.
(Bloomberg 07/12/17)
Air Zimbabwe is firing more than a third of its workforce to prevent the state-owned airline from going bankrupt. The airline has debts of about $330 million, Transport Minister Joram Gumbo said in June. The carrier was also banned from operating in the European Union in May on safety concerns even though it doesn’t currently fly there. As many as 2OO jobs, or more than a third of its workforce, will be cut, a person familiar with the situation said,...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Hwange Colliery Company Ltd. plans to reduce its workforce by as much as half and will restart underground operations in the third quarter as the Zimbabwean miner seeks to reduce costs and return to profitability. HCCL began a voluntary severance program in March and about 200 staff have already taken the option, Managing Director Thomas Makore said in an interview Tuesday. The company, which employs 2,400 people, probably needs to slim down to about 1,200 to 1,400 to produce competitively,...
(Bloomberg 06/02/17)
A coalition formed by Zimbabwe’s main opposition parties to contest next year’s elections against President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is at risk of unraveling as its leaders scrap over who will lead it. Cracks in an accord signed on April 20 by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru, head of the National People’s Party, emerged when Mujuru told a conference in Ghana that she was preparing a bid for the presidency. Tsvangirai supporters then threatened to exit the coalition, which includes a breakaway arm of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube. The opposition pact didn’t address the alliance’s leadership structure. Mujuru, 62, claims her experience as
(Bloomberg 05/31/17)
Nigeria, Angola and Zimbabwe are being left in leadership limbo as their ailing rulers spend weeks abroad seeking medical attention. The presidents of the three African nations all wield considerable power, and their absence has stoked investor uncertainty and stirred talk about succession. The situation hasn’t been helped by their governments’ failure to disclose what’s wrong with them. “Despite an average population age of around 17 to 19, many sub-Saharan African countries have elderly leaders in their 70s or above,”...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Delta Corp Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market value, said full-year revenue fell 10 percent as consumers struggling for cash turned to cheaper brands of beer and sparkling wine. Sales declined to $483 million in the year through March, while net income slumped 13 percent to $69.9 million, the Harare-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Volumes of lager and sparkling wine fell 7 percent and 11 percent respectively, while sorghum beer declined 3 percent after heavy rains limited...

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