Dana Sanchez, 12:48 pm
The U.S. president’s travel bans provided a rallying call today for African unity. Today’s African Union summit had divisive issues on the agenda, including Africa’s relationship to the International Criminal Court and Morocco’s readmission to the A.U., but outgoing A.U. head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma identified Trump’s refugee ban as one of the “greatest challenges to our unity.” A South African A.U. expert says the A.U. is more divided than ever, but it’s not over refugees. “You have all these calls for unity but actually… (it’s) over Morocco, the regional divisions and the ICC.”
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat replaces South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is expected to run for president of South Africa in a bid to replace her ex, Jacob Zuma. Mahamat, 56, previously served as the chairman of the A.U.’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council. His boss, President Idriss Deby, has ruled Chad for 26 years. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed was Mahamat’s main rival in the final round of voting. She is one of the most vocal critics of the International Criminal Court.
Dana Sanchez, 10:35 am
Ethiopia’s shoe-making industry is getting more attention in the U.S., where 87 percent of imported footwear is from China. A local group of 10 Ethiopian leather and footwear manufacturers have joined forces to supply footwear products destined mainly for the U.S. It’s part of a pioneering effort to persuade global buyers that Ethiopia is an alternative sourcing market to Bangladesh and Vietnam. Ten major brands visited Ethiopia recently. Most are are represented by the 1,000-member American Apparel and Footwear Association.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Rwanda has scheduled a string of aviation events this year that it hopes will help bolster its growing tourism sector. The country has a new convention center to host such events. In July it celebrated the opening of Kigali’s new $300-million five-star Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre. More than 2,700 aviation experts are expected to attend five major international aviation events that include Aviation Africa 2017 and Africa Airport Summit. Kigali International Airport was ranked third-fastest growing in Africa in 2016.
Dana Sanchez, 2:50 pm
About 90% of managed assets are concentrated in four countries including South Africa and Nigeria. SA leads, thanks to rules that allow them to invest 10% of assets through private equity. Nigeria is held back by trust issues. “The thought of using our pension fund for investment in public-sector infrastructure development is highly frightening given the well-known penchant for mismanagement inherent in public-sector institutions in Nigeria,” the Nigerian Labour Congress says. Pension funds are ideal for driving inclusive growth and social stability through long-term projects such as infrastructure, says consultancy firm RisCura.
‘This Is Huge’: Nigeria Seizes Africa’s Richest Oilfield From Shell, Eni In Corruption InvestigationBy Dana Sanchez, 12:54 pm
A Nigerian court has ordered petroleum giants Shell and Eni to temporarily forfeit assets and control of a massive, long-disputed oilfield to the government. The OPL 245 bloc is considered the richest in Africa — big enough to provide all Nigeria’s oil production needs for 11 years. Shell and Eni bought the bloc in 2011 for $1.2 billion knowing it was a fraudulent transaction, the petition said. The government is investigating conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering. “Generations of Nigerians have been robbed of life-saving services while oil men have grown rich at their expense,” an anti-corruption NGO said.
Dana Sanchez, 4:05 pm
The E.U. wants to pay for migrant holding camps in Libya or neighboring countries that will be run by the U.N. and aid groups. There, in a supposedly “safe place,” migrants who want to attempt the treacherous Mediterranean crossing will be processed and returned before they ever attempt it. A similar deal with Turkey worked. The E.U. approach fails to recognize that migration is a positive thing for African countries which receive remittances from workers abroad and get rid of people who could politically destabilize the country, an analyst said.
Dana Sanchez, 10:32 am
Faced with an escalating price war at home in India, Bharti Airtel is looking to its African operations to reduce debt. India is one of the most competitive telecom markets in the world. The company lost $91 million in Africa in Q3 of 2016. Airtel has 22.14 percent market share in Nigeria and 34.1 million customers. Market observers in Nigeria say lack of access to foreign exchange for operators, falling revenue per user and customers’ lack of disposable income are hurting telecom operators in the country.
Dana Sanchez, 3:21 pm AFKI Original
There are not a lot of hotels near Cape Town International Airport. Most business and leisure travelers are in a hurry to get to Cape Town, or reluctant to leave, and understandably so, given the city’s many attractions. That’s why the 145-room Hotel Verde, a three-minute drive to Cape Town International Airport, feels like such a game changer. I stayed there on a trip to Cape Town and it felt like a glimpse into the future of the hotel industry. General Manager Samantha Annandale told me the hotel got at least $2.6M in free publicity just for being green.
Global Law Firms Bypass South African Alliances And Set Up Independent Offices For African ExpansionBy Dana Sanchez, 2:20 pm
When apartheid ended, local law firms had unprecedented growth as SA re-entered the global economy. Leading law firms came calling and formed local alliances. “South African firms had to decide whether they wanted to be South African, African or global,” a stakeholder said. More recently, international firms have bypassed local ones, opening their own offices. SA is a jumping-off point for building networks of offices throughout the continent. Don’t expect the SA influx of international firms to end anytime soon, stakeholders say.