Author: Editorial Staff

A multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Nigeria’s transport network is gaining pace as the country looks to plug infrastructure gaps and stimulate economic growth. As with many hydrocarbons producers, lower energy receipts have put downward pressure on government spending, prompting Nigeria to look to private sector and foreign financing, to help fund its rail and aviation projects. In statement released in January, Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, said the government would work to create a more business-friendly environment, enabling public-private partnerships “to thrive in the country”. To this end, the government announced plans in November to set up a $25bn infrastructure fund…

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BARCLAYS Africa’s trade and export finance future will be in the hands of the bank’s next majority shareholder after Barclays reduces its 62.3 percent stake to around 20 percent over the next two to three years. Following the announcement made this week by Barclays’ chief executive, a spokesperson for the bank says there will be no immediate changes to the Barclays Africa trade and export finance teams or activities, as the share sale will take up to three years and there is no certainty as to how it will be structured. According to a report by Global Trade Review (GTR),…

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SOUTH African organisations reported a considerably higher frequency in the incidence of economic crime in comparison to their African and global peers, with more than two in three organisations (69 percent) indicating that they had been victim to economic crime in the last 24 months, according to PwC’s biennial Global Economic Crime Survey issued earlier this month. Louis Strydom, forensic services leader for PwC Africa, says, ‘Economic crime remains a serious challenge to business leaders, government officials and private individuals in South Africa. In this survey, we have found that the trend has remained unchanged from 2014, with 69 percent…

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TO meet the government’s 2020 deadline for reaching emerging economy status, Côte d’Ivoire is rolling out a raft of ambitious infrastructure builds to support development in key revenue-generating sectors. The large capital projects are to be completed within the next five years under the country’s wide-ranging 2016-20 National Development Plan (Plan National de Développement, PND), valued at approximately CFA29trn (€44.2bn). The developments, many of which are being financed with private funds, will help reduce operating costs and delays for the country’s priority industries. Agro-industry and manufacturing are among the areas of the economy earmarked for growth, which means the focus…

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THE International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM’s) offices in Ghana and Iraq have helped a trafficked young Ghanaian migrant to return safely from Iraq to her home in Ghana’s Ashanti Region. Linda (not her name), 22, was a teacher in a private school in Ghana, but was convinced by a middleman that she would earn more in Europe working as a waitress or as a supermarket assistant. He told her that he could arrange her passage to Europe and get her a job that would pay her $300 a month. Linda agreed and paid him $250 for her passport and an…

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ZIMBABWE’S President Robert Mugabe says his successor must be chosen democratically and that his wife will not automatically inherit the role, a warning to feuding members of his Zanu (PF) party that he is still in charge after 36 years in power. The comments from Africa’s oldest leader, now aged 92, are his clearest indication that he wants to be president for life. In a two-hour interview with state broadcaster ZBC TV late on March 3 he said: ‘Why successor? I am still there. Why do you want a successor? I did not say I was a candidate to retire.’…

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IN a push to stimulate an increase in voice revenues for local operators, in early January Morocco moved to limit access to select voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services such as Viber, Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook. The new ban, which the authorities hope will prompt a resurgence in average revenue per user rates for industry players, is part of a broader collaborative effort between the regulator and private sector to improve growth prospects, and sees Morocco follow in the footsteps of other countries in the region, including Egypt, Oman and the UAE, where such over-the-top (OTT) platforms have already been curtailed. Over the…

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A planned easing of visa restrictions has been welcomed by South Africa’s tourism industry, which is looking to boost lower arrival numbers and offset slowing domestic holiday travel. An increasingly stringent visa regime has been cited by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) as an underlying cause of the decline in inbound tourism last year, the Oxford Business Group (OBG) reports. According to data issued in February, international arrivals fell by 6.8 percent over the course 2015. However, a surge in visitors was recorded late in the year, with foreign arrivals up 5.4 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) in December, the height of…

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AFRICAN Development Bank (AfDB) president, Akinwumi Adesina, has outlined the Bank’s new development priorities and underscored the importance of partnerships during his first annual luncheon with ambassadors and the diplomatic corps in Côte d’Ivoire. During the luncheon on February 11 in Abidjan, Adesina presented the Bank’s new agenda, including the High 5s, which aim to light up and power Africa, to feed Africa, to industrialise Africa, to integrate Africa and to improve the living conditions of Africans. He also urged those in attendance to work together to support Africa, especially fragile and conflict-affected states, and to fight climate change. ‘At…

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A late January announcement from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) that benchmark interest rates would remain unchanged signalled positive news for Ghana’s banks and borrowers. According to BoG officials, signs that inflation was beginning to ease had informed the decision. Analysts had expressed concerns that the BoG’s previous hike, which increased the policy rate by 100 basis points to 26 percent in November, would trigger an increase in non-performing loans (NPLs), due to the higher potential for borrower default. While inflation reached 17.7 percent in 2015, due in large part to the slide of the Ghanaian cedi, prices began to…

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