Monday, 13 January 2020

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted the task, saying that a solution was surely possible. Egyptian officials have occasionally threatened military action against the dam.   

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday said he has asked South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in an ongoing dispute with Egypt and Sudan over Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam.

The filling of the dam has been a source of tension between the Nile countries. Egypt and Sudan argue that Ethiopia has not provided sufficient guarantees to their water supply, which is highly dependent on the Nile River.

All three countries were expected to have finished negotiations ahead of signing a deal later this week. But negotiators say significant issues remain.

"As (Ramaphosa) is a good friend for both Ethiopia and Egypt and also as incoming AU chair, he can make a discussion between both parties to solve the issue peacefully," Abiy said at a press conference in the South African capital Pretoria.

Egyptian fishermen fish on the Nile River as the sun sets in Cairo, Egypt

Egypt fears its water supply could be threatened by the dam

'A solution can be found'

For his part, Ramaphosa said he had accepted the task and that he had already reached out to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

"The Nile River is important to both countries and there must be a way in which both their interests can be addressed," said Ramaphosa. "There must be a way in which a solution can be found."

Concerns over the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, one of the main sources of the Nile River, have dogged relations between the African nations for years. At times, Egyptian officials have threatened military action against the dam, including airstrikes, saying its existence poses an existential risk to Egypt.

For Ethiopia though, the dam is a much-needed source of power to energize what has become one of Africa's fastest growing economies.

Ethiopia and South Africa also signed several trade agreements spanning health, tourism and telecommunications industries during Abiy's visit.

 

Credit: DW

Published in Economy

A Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa has launched an online wanted advertisement for a girlfriend who will fly around the Moon with him on a SpaceX rocket.

Maezawa, who recently announced his break-up with a Japanese actress, is accepting applications from “single women aged 20 or over” who want to enjoy life to the fullest.

The matchmaking exercise is being turned into a TV show for a web streaming service.

The flamboyant entrepreneur said he agreed to the idea due to loneliness in middle age.

“I have lived exactly as I’ve wanted to until now,” said Maezawa, who has three children with two women.

“I’m 44 now. As feelings of loneliness and emptiness slowly begin to surge upon me, there’s one thing that I think about: Continuing to love one woman,” he said in the ad.

Maezawa has also made a pitch on his Twitter account, saying: “Why not be the ‘first woman’ to travel to the moon?”

The deadline to apply is January 17, 2020. He will make a final selection by the end of March after going on dates with the applicants.

Maezawa, formerly chief of online fashion company Zozo, which he sold to Yahoo! Japan last year, is known for buying pricey art.

He is scheduled to make a lunar trip in 2023 or later as the first private passenger on a voyage by entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Maezawa also plans to take about half a dozen artists with him on the trip, which will take them around the Moon without landing on it.

Published in Travel & Tourism

South Africa’s Massmart Holdings, majority owned by U.S. retail giant Walmart , said on Monday it was in consultations with unions and other stakeholders to close up to 34 stores, which could lead to up to 1,440 job losses.

The potential closures are the result of a “store optimisation project that highlighted a number of underperforming stores”, Massmart, which swung to its first half-year trading loss in two decades last year, said in a statement. 

 

Reuters

Published in Business

The Federal Government (FG) posted a deficit of N3.73 trillion in its crude oil revenue between January and December 2019, a report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.

Data gleaned from the CBN Economic Report for November 2019 suggests that the FG generated a gross sum of N5.040 trillion against its 11-month income target of N8.787 trillion. By implication, the oil revenue performance of government was 43% less its projection for the period under review.

Of the N5.040 total earnings, Petroleum Profit Tax and Royalties constituted N2.94 trillion while crude oil and gas exports accounted for N363.9 trillion.

The report puts the monthly income generation for January, February, March, April, May and June 2019 at N417.3 billion, N479.5 billion, N516.9 billion, N472.4 billion, N410.2 billion and N336.6 billion respectively. N387.7 billion was generated in July, N484.8 billion in August, N467.6 billion in September, N577.3 billion in October and N489.1 billion in November.

According to the apex bank, the shortfall in oil receipts stemmed from constraints posed by pipeline leakages and maintenance work, resulting in closure of NNPC terminals from time to time.

The document says “the average spot price of Nigeria’s reference crude oil, the Bonny Light (37° API) at end-November2019, wasUS$66.11/b, compared with US$61.10/b recorded in October2019. This represented an increase of 8.2per cent, relative to the level in the preceding month.”

It links the increase in the price of crude to the potential cut in production by the OPEC+ as well as well as strict measures adopted by Nigeria and Iran in controlling export.

Published in Business
The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose N2.22 trillion or 17.10 percent in seven trading sessions with the market maintaining an upward trend since the beginning of 2020.

Data obtained on Sunday showed that the market capitalisation, which opened on Jan. 2 at N12.958 trillion rose by N2.22 trillion to close at N15.174 trillion on Jan. 10.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 2,573.32 points or 9.59 percent during the period to close at 29,415.39, compared with the opening year index of 26,842.07.

The nation’s bourse posted 9.1 percent gain last week, the largest weekly return for two-years, to emerge the world’s best-performing stock market for the week, News reports.

Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd, attributed the growth to activities of investors who anticipate higher dividend yields.

“Local institutional investors and funds managers are taking advantage of the two consecutive years of decline to reposition their portfolios for the New Year expectations,” Omordion said.

He stated that investors were optimistic that the current economic recovery would likely to continue, thereby resulting in enhanced dividend yields higher than the prevailing money market rates.

Omordion added that the listing of BUA Cement of 33.86 billion ordinary shares at N35 per share contributed to the growth of the stock market.

He noted that rise in oil price in the global market due to the conflict between the United States of America and Iran contributed to the stock market trend.

Omordion, however, said investors should not be carried away but set investment goal or target before jumping in any position whether for long or short term.

Mr Moses Igbrude, President, Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative, attributed the steady upward movement in the equities market to stability in political arena.

Igbrude said the instability in the Middle East as a result of conflict between Iran and American increased foreign investors’ interest in the NSE.

However, analysts at Cordros Researcher, expect profit taking to dominate activities in the market this week.

“Looking ahead, while we expect profit-takers to dominate activities in the coming week, we still see significant legroom for a further rally as the elevated maturities from fixed income instruments hunt for investment vehicles.

“Nonetheless, we advise investors to cherry-pick fundamentally sound stocks,” they said.

Published in Business

The Government of Liberia will no longer pursue criminal charges against Crane Currency and has, in fact, said the company was honest in its dealings with the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and acted within the laws governing the CBL.

FrontPageAfrica has been able to obtain a letter written by the Justice Minister/Attorney General, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, acknowledging that the company did no wrong in the execution of the two printing contracts awarded by the CBL.

“Having reviewed information additional to that contained in the Kroll and Presidential Investigation Term (PIT) reports, including the detail of packing lists, air cargo manifests and airway bills, the Government of Liberia accepts Crane Currency entered into contracts with the Central Bank of Liberia in good faith, in reasonable reliance on the Bank’s lawful authority. The Government of Liberia further accepts that Crane Currency acted in good faith throughout the execution of two (2) banknote printing orders of the Central Bank of Liberia in 2016 and 2017,” Cllr. Dean stated in the letter.

The letter which is dated January 10, 2020 was addressed to Mr. Peter Brown, Crane Currency’s Acting Commercial Director for Africa and the Middle East.

‘Honest In Its Deals’

Crane was drawn in the L$16 billion fray when the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) in their investigative report stated that CRANE which was contracted by the CBL in two separate contracts to print banknotes totaling L$15 billion at the cost of US$15,331,689.20 conspired with officials of the CBL to defraud the Government of Liberia by ignoring the terms and conditions of the contract and went ahead to print L$18,151,000,000 in breach of the contract. The Government of Liberia incurred an extra printing cost of US$835,367.78.

The company was then indicted by the government for criminal conspiracy, money laundering and economic sabotage.

But, in a somersaulting move, the Justice Minister said after a careful review of both the PIT and Kroll Reports, it has been able to establish that Crane Currency honestly accounted for amounts printed as per its contract.

 

Credit: Front Page Africa

Published in Bank & Finance
Monday, 13 January 2020 07:18

Brazil could begin rolling out 5G in 2022

Brazil could begin using the fifth generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks, or 5G, in two years' time, Marcos Pontes, Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications said in an interview published on Sunday.

"I imagine that by the start of 2022 we will begin to implement some pilot programs for this technology," Pontes told regional daily Folha de Sao Paulo.

The Brazilian government aims to hold an auction for 5G frequencies by the end of this year or possibly the next to lay the groundwork for the advanced network, said Pontes.

But before that, legal, logistical and infrastructure adjustments need to be made, such as installing antennas and establishing industry regulations, he said.

"We need to have the infrastructure ready and that calls for the installation of antennas, because 5G requires a great quantity," said Pontes

Published in World
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