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The rot continues

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     15th February 2019 Just more than a year ago, African heads of State and government converged on the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to launch 2018 as the continent’s Anticorruption Year. No stone was going to be left unturned in the fight to rid Mother Africa of this pernicious scourge, which continued to deal... 

No time for a ‘wait and see’ approach in SA manufacturing 

31st January 2019 Foreign investors and South African industry players seem to be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to industrial and manufacturing growth, putting the country at risk of falling behind its neighbours. However, investment in automation now could help boost the manufacturing sector, with benefits for... 

Volkswagen signs agreement with Ethiopia to develop auto industry

By: Irma Venter     29th January 2019 Volkswagen has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Ethiopia to deliver a joint vision for the development of an automotive industry in the East African country. The MoU was signed by Volkswagen sub-Saharan Africa region head Thomas Schaefer and Ethiopian Investment... 

Nontariff barriers are holding African economic growth back – WEF panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2019 A panel of business leaders speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting, in Davos, Switzerland, this week, bemoaned the difficulty in obtaining work permits and visas for Africans across the continent and discussed the urgent need for Africa to focus on reducing nontariff barriers to... 

Ramaphosa's 'nine lost years' speech impresses Old Mutual CEO at Davos

By: News24Wire      24th January 2019 When President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke out about South Africa’s "nine lost years" at a dinner in Davos this week, Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo said the cost of the period crystallised for him.   "The President spoke about nine wasted years and it was the first time I heard that phrase. It made me... 

Cape Town’s WhereIsMyTransport expands to Latin America, India

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2019 Public transport data and technology company WhereIsMyTransport has raised $1.85-million in funding from Liil Ventures and Goodwell Investments, as part of its Series A funding round. The funding will support the company’s expansion into Latin America and India. 

Uganda deports French, Rwandan MTN execs citing national security – police

By: Reuters     22nd January 2019 Uganda has deported a French and a Rwandan executive from telecoms group MTN, accusing them of planning to compromise national security, police said on Tuesday. MTN Uganda, a unit of the South African telecoms firm, said its Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier Prentout, was detained at Entebbe... 

Uganda aims to pick bidder to build, operate highway by end-2019

By: Reuters     9th January 2019 Uganda expects to pick the winning bidder by the end of 2019 to build and operate a $1.5-billion road project under a public private partnership (PPP) model, a senior official said on Tuesday. The planned 95 km (60-mile) highway will connect the capital Kampala with Jinja, an industrial town in... 

Congolese mining company leaves ITSCI certification scheme over cost

By: Reuters     7th January 2019 Congo's biggest miner of coltan, an ore that is the source of metals used in mobile phones, says it is leaving the ITSCI certification scheme, relied on by major companies as a guarantee that minerals are free from human rights abuses. Societe Miniere de Bisunzu (SMB), has given 30 days notice to... 

South Africa moves to reboot digital migration after years of delay 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd November 2018 Following years since embarking on, and the subsequent stalling of, South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, the Department of Communications (DoC) hopes to revive its momentum after revising its digital migration delivery model. The revised model approved by Cabinet in... 

South Africa moves to reboot digital migration after years of delay

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd November 2018 Following years since embarking on, and the subsequent stalling of, South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, the Department of Communications (DoC) hopes to revive its momentum after revising its digital migration delivery model. The revised model approved by Cabinet in... 

Mining veteran wants to build a $1bn battery metals giant

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2018 South African mining veteran Brian Menell wants to build a battery material giant to help challenge China’s domination of the nascent industry. It’s still early days for his privately funded company, TechMet, which controls just a handful of assets from Canada to Rwanda. But he’s raising more... 

Global governments improve business climate through reforms  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st October 2018 The Word Bank Group’s ‘Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform’ report finds that governments around the world have set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year. This number of reforms this year has... 

Merkel looks to Africa to cement a legacy shaped by migration 

By: Reuters     30th October 2018 German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted African leaders on Tuesday, pledging a new development fund to tackle underdevelopment on the continent that has helped to spur mass migration, shaping the later years of her long premiership. Merkel announced on Monday she would retire from politics by... 

Shoprite to pay South African customers for reusing plastic bags

By: Reuters     23rd October 2018 Shoprite Holdings, South Africa's biggest supermarket chain, said on Tuesday it would pay customers for reusing its newly introduced recyclable bag as it joined domestic rivals in efforts to curb plastic pollution. Supermarkets have come under increased pressure to cut their use of plastic as... 

South Africa renews bid to accelerate digital migration process 

By: African News Agency      19th October 2018 The South African government on Friday announced steps to join fellow African nations which have migrated to broadcast digital terrestrial television, despite missing the June 2015 target. "The mere fact that 11 years since Cabinet has approved this project, and we are still this far behind... 

Rwandan President appoints new foreign, defence ministers in reshuffle

By: Reuters     19th October 2018 Rwanda's President Paul Kagame appointed new ministers of defence and foreign affairs in a cabinet reshuffle announced late on Thursday. Albert Murasira, an army general, replaced long-serving James Kabarebe as defence minister, the president’s office said, without giving a reason for the decision. 

Positives of migration

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     19th October 2018 Television footage of desperate Africans drowning in the Mediterranean Sea en route to Spain and other European destinations that hold out the promise of a better life has become all too frequent. The International Organisation for Migration puts the cumulative toll since 2000 at 33 000, with... 

Liquid eyes further expansion as Cape to Cairo links up

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th October 2018 Pan-African telecommunications group Liquid Telecom is eyeing further expansion across the African continent after completing its Phase 1 decade-long project of connecting a 60 000 km network from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt. The group on Thursday reported that, following the... 

African countries can leapfrog technologies, if they understand the requirements

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th October 2018 The world, in trade and industrial terms, is being disrupted by both technological and political developments, providing opportunities but also posing risks to African countries. So highlighted University of Cape Town Mandela School of Public Governance Professor Carlos Lopes. On the... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th October 2018 The Rwandan government has signed a €229.20-million funding agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the country’s electricity supply improvement programme and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II). This builds on... 

Woolworths to trial plastic bag free store

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 South African department store chain Woolworths Holdings will remove single-use plastic bags from one of its stores during a six-month trial period in a bid to end plastic pollution, it said on Monday. From November, Woolworths, which also has operations in Australia and New Zealand, will not... 

SA to offer Swahili as a school subject

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     5th October 2018 Readers of this column who are not news junkies like yours truly may have missed the announcement, made last month: South African schools, both public and private, will be offering Swahili as an optional language from 2020, alongside such foreign languages as French, German and Mandarin, which... 

Company eyes expansion into Africa

By: Evert Wasserman     21st September 2018 Owing to its ability to adhere to State-owned power utility Eskom’s stringent electrification infrastructure requirements, electrical solutions and engineering provider Gridbow has expanded its services into other African countries. “Contrary to popular belief, Eskom has very stringent rules with... 

Culture imperative in facilitating safe workplaces

21st September 2018 Creating a safe working environment is a complex issue and requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders over a sustained period of time, posits cement, lime and related products supplier PPC technical and lime executive Hardie de Beer. “It is this understanding that is at the core of PPC’s... 

Greater demand for transparency needed in African real estate industry

By: Simone Liedtke     20th September 2018 There is a growing acknowledgement of the central role that a transparent real estate sector plays in providing healthy, productive and competitive environments for communities and businesses, investment management company JLL global research head Jeremy Kelly said on Thursday. Market... 

Engen operations in nine African countries transfer to Vivo Energy in March 2019

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th September 2018 Oil company Engen Holdings’ operations in nine sub-Saharan African countries will be transferred to JSE-listed downstream petroleum company Vivo Energy on March 1, 2019. The $203.9-million transaction will see Vivo’s retail service station network expand from 15 to 23 countries in Africa,... 

Volkswagen signs assembly, policy MoUs in Nigeria, Ghana

By: Irma Venter     3rd September 2018 Volkswagen has added Ghana and Nigeria to its list of future vehicle assembly operations in Africa. The German manufacturer is already active on assembly sites in Kenya, Algeria and Rwanda. 

South African farmers play chicken with Trump tariffs

By: Reuters     29th August 2018 Herman Pretorius is just the kind of white South African farmer US President Donald Trump expressed concern for when he barged into the country's delicate land reform debate by ordering an investigation into the "large-scale killing of farmers". But for the greying, bespectacled 58-year-old,... 

Rwanda and global airline body partner to improve air safety

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2018 The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Air Transport Association, to partner to improve aviation safety, it was announced on Tuesday. The MoU will allow the two sides to jointly establish a framework for the employment of... 

Industry provider to expand African footprint

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th August 2018 With many emerging and developing industries in Africa, as well as greater awareness of environmental issues and concerns, instrumentation manufacturer E Instruments regards the continent as an area of growth for its business. E Instruments product manager Bill Freed tells Engineering News that... 

South Africa falls to 37th on International Property Rights Index

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th August 2018 South Africa is now ranked thirty-seventh in the global property rights rankings of the International Property Rights Index, with its score having declined from seven in 2017, when the country ranked twenty-seventh, to 6.35 this year. This is the largest decline by any country measured, mostly... 

AECOM continues to secure major infrastructure contracts in East Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th August 2018 Integrated infrastructure delivery company AECOM continues to secure major contracts in East Africa through its Nairobi office. This forms part of a concerted strategy to target transportation, water, and power projects in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. A major advantage for AECOM... 

Success of Africawide free trade area will partly rest on world-class infrastructure

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd August 2018 The construction industry - a key partner in the economic integration of the continent envisaged by the African Continental Free Trade Area By Mokate Ramafoko, PPC Managing Director: International Operations 

African countries are rapidly expanding their use of UAVs, but South Africa lags

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2018 The number of applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs/unmanned aerial systems (UASes) in Africa was increasing rapidly, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) principal aeronautical engineer John Monk told the aviation session of the recent Southern African Transport... 

SASSDA boosts stainless steel trade with Kenya & Tanzania

25th July 2018 With the priority of fast industrialisation and a call for the development of stainless steel value-add within the agricultural and food and beverage industries, Tanzania and Kenya are primed for increased bilateral trade with South Africa, with confirmed sourcing enquiries already received at... 

Rwanda signs $300m in loan deals with China, India

By: Reuters     24th July 2018 Rwanda signed loan agreements worth more than $300-million with China and India to fund roads and irrigation, officials said, as leaders from the two Asian powers made their first visits to the East African nation. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Rwanda from Sunday to Monday and granted a... 

In Senegal, China's President Xi pledges stronger Africa ties

By: Reuters     23rd July 2018 China's President Xi Jinping pledged during a visit to Senegal on Saturday to strengthen economic ties with Africa, a continent already awash with cheap Chinese loans in exchange for minerals and huge construction projects. Xi arrived in Senegal on Saturday for a two-day visit to sign bilateral... 

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