Kevin Mwanza, 9:31 am
US-based United Airline will make its last flight from Houston to Lagos Nigeria at the end of June, effectively ending the carrier’s only route to Africa. The airline has blamed difficulties in collecting money from ticket fares due to foreign exchange restriction by the West African nation’s central bank, and weakness in the energy sector, as the main reason it has decided to pull the route.
Kevin Mwanza, 6:33 am
Atlas Mara, an investment vehicle partly owned by former Barclays Chief executive Bob Diamond, recorded a $2 million loss in the first three months of this year dragged lower by poor performance in its Southern Africa business. The company, which made a $11.3 million profit in 2015, said it still expected to sparse last year’s performance. While its West Africa and East Africa businesses pulled in profits in the first quarter of this year, the Southern Africa business lost $6.3 million.
Kevin Mwanza, 8:48 am
Ethiopia has been facing one of the worst drought in more than half a decade in the northern part of the country, but in Tigray province farmers have managed to turn the former semi-desert region to a lush green forest by learning to capture rain water. Tigray is found in the highlands of East African nation and was one of the regions that was badly affect by a sever drought in the late 1980s. The steep gradient of the slopes in Northern Ethiopia means that farmers would lose over 130 tons of soil per hectare in a year
Kevin Mwanza, 6:36 am
Uber Technologies Inc. drivers in Kenya will now be able to access loans from a local lender, Sidian Bank, based on how clients rate their service. About 1,000 drivers signed up to the global taxi-hailing app service will access between $10,000 and $15,000 in loans, from the $10 million set aside by the mid-tier bank, without paying any initial deposit. Nate Anderson, Uber country manager, said this would help its drivers afford “reliable, high quality vehicles” that will enable them to grow their business.
Kevin Mwanza, 10:42 am
The Chinese government has signed a deal with Sudan, an African country with questionable human rights history, to help it build a nuclear power plant for “peaceful use”, Xinhua reported on Tuesday. This will be the first nuclear energy station for Sudan that could help the North-Eastern African nation meet its growing energy need, while China steps towards increasing its technological footprint on the continent.
Kevin Mwanza, 8:02 am
Nigeria’s economy, Africa’s largest, shrunk for the first time in over 12 years as low global oil prices hurt revenue for the the West African nation and affected other key sectors including manufacturing, financials and real estate. The 0.36 percent growth contraction in the first three months of this year, compared to a 2.11 percent rise in the same period last year, has pushed the Nigerian economy closer to recession. The last time the country’s economy shrunk was in 2004.
Kevin Mwanza, 9:29 am
WHO data further showed that eight out of 10 most dangerous countries in the world for road deaths in 2013 were in Africa, while 40 of the 50 countries with the highest road-death rates across all ages were also from the continent. These include Libya, Kenya, Ethiopia South Africa and Sudan . Overall, Seychelles boasts one of the safest records on the continent. In comparison, traffic accidents killed more people than malaria in many African countries in the same year.
Kevin Mwanza, 9:16 am
Uber, a global taxi-hailing app service company, will start testing a cash payment option in South African cities from May 26. If successful, it says this will make the service available to those without debit or credit cards. Alon Lits, Uber’s sub-Saharan Africa general manager, told Bloomberg on Friday that the company had partnered with FirstRand Ltd.’s retail bank, FNB, to allow its 4,000 drivers in four cities to regularly deposit cash fares and avoid carrying large sums.
Kevin Mwanza, 7:07 am
Angola’s sovereign wealth fund increased its investment in private equity firms operating in the country and across sub-Saharan Africa to more than half of its $5 billion, the fund said in a 2015 update. A sovereign wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund investing in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity fund or hedge funds.
Kevin Mwanza, 7:34 am
An EgyptAir passenger plane travelling from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board that went missing from the radar at 0030 GMT, crashed off the Greek Mediterranean Island of Karpathos, French President Francois Hollande has confirmed. Flight MS804 was flying at an altitude of nearly 37,000 when it disappeared from radar 10 miles inside Egyptian airspace, above the Mediterranean some 175 miles from the Egyptian coastline.