Angola: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 10:54 pm
Nigeria and Angola, the two African countries hit hardest by falling oil prices, have the highest number of hotels in the development pipeline this year. Zimbabwe-listed hospitality group African Sun laid off nearly 250 employees citing dwindling tourist numbers, lower room rates and the country’s deteriorating economic environment. About a third of the hotel deals signed between 2009 and 2013 haven’t materialized, mainly due to lack of financing. Carlson Rezidor is one that’s delivering.
Staff, 12:02 am
Lawyers and an Angolan human rights activist have challenged the appointment by presidential decree of Isabel do Santos, Africa’s richest woman, to head Sonangol, the state-run oil company. Angola’s main opposition party, UNITA, wants an investigation. President Dos Santos said he intends to step down in 2018. Isabel already owns 25% of Unitel, Angola’s first private mobile phone operator, and is a major shareholder in other big companies in Angola and Portugal.
Dana Sanchez, 3:02 pm
Some small and medium-sized Indian pharmaceutical companies must wait six-to-eight months to get paid as currency liquidity issues plague African oil-exporting countries. China worked out an agreement in April with Nigeria to use the yuan as the trading currency. In 2012-2013, in the wake of U.S. and U.K. sanctions, India worked out a barter deal with Iran using the rupee as trading currency. “We can work out something similar with countries like Nigeria … Importers now no longer need to buy the U.S. dollar,” an Indian stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:00 pm AFKI Original
Airlines are constantly struggling to generate revenue as competition forces them to drive down ticket prices. One way they do this is through inflight retail sales. The airline onboard retail industry has been growing an average of 12.9 percent a year since 2012, with $5 billion-plus in sales in 2014. Tourvest recently won a contract to operate the inflight duty free program for Ethiopian Airlines. Diversifying is part of the company’s strategy. That way, it’s less devastating when governments cut back on travel as part of austerity measures.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:10 am AFKI Original
The 2016 European Championships are underway in France, and many of the players who are representing European nations have African roots. Whether born in Africa or not, some could have decided to play for an African national team. We profile 20 players and the national teams that they could be representing if they had chosen Africa rather than Europe.
Julia Austin, 12:21 pm AFKI Original
Four of the world’s 20 largest diamonds have been found at Lesotho’s Letseng mine — at 10,000 feet, the world’s highest-elevation diamond mine. In 2008, miners of Lesotho Gem Diamonds found a white 500-carat diamond in Letseng. It had very few inclusions, a rare color and was valued at $12 million before being cut up. Africa has more top diamond-producing countries than any other continent, and it’s the site of some mind-blowingly huge gemstones.
Staff, 5:08 am
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) signed the operationalisation of phase one of the two parties’ Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Kasane town in north-eastern Botswana on June 10. There have been concerns that the conclusion of negotiations, which lasted for almost a decade, could result in EU’s advanced industries crowding out the infant industries in the region, especially those in the agricultural sector.
Dana Sanchez, 2:15 pm
Isabel’s appointment could make it more difficult for international banks to do business with Sonangol and still be in compliance, given the perception of nepotism, a senior Johannesburg-based banker said. The news that global consulting firms will be assisting with the Angola’s reform strategy of Sonangol “is at least a step in the right direction,” an analyst said.
Kevin Mwanza, 7:27 am
Increased currency restrictions by African central bankers are hurting airlines operating on the continent by making it difficult to move their funds in and out of a number of countries, including Nigeria and Angola. Already two international airlines, U.S.-based United Airlines and Spain-based Iberia, have halted operations in Nigeria or cut flights as they struggle to access revenue they’ve made in the West African nation
Julia Austin, 9:04 am AFKI Original
The Angolan diamond industry barely existed during the 1975-2002 civil war, but Angola caught up. The industry is on track to be worth $7.5 billion by 2018. Angola is trying to attract international investment. The CEO of the government-owned diamond company Endiama says 90 percent of Angola’s diamonds have yet to be discovered. Diamonds are a vital source of foreign exchange for cash-strapped African countries.
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