Africa Brief: Border dispute, South Africa and Nigeria, Mozambique’s transport, Angola and more

Hague court’s ruling in border dispute pleases Burkina Faso and Niger

The West African nations of Burkina Faso and Niger expressed satisfaction yesterday after the International Court of Justice set-tied a border dispute that dated back to French colonial times. In a highly technical ruling, the International Court of Justice in The Hague demarcated the territory of the two countries in an area that stretched for about 380km, more than half the length of their border.

For the full story, read Hague court’s ruling in border dispute pleases Burkina Faso and Niger by SAPA-AFP, published by Business Day on 17 April 2013.

Zuma says SA, Nigeria need to work together on African issues

President Jacob Zuma paid a low-key visit to Nigeria yesterday for talks with his counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, with no sign betrayed of the rivalry between Africa’s economic giants. Mr Jonathan will be in SA early next month for a state visit before he attends the May 8-10 World Economic Forum in Cape Town. In bland comments after the meeting in Abuja, Mr Zuma said the two countries had to harmonise their positions on key African issues, including security ones.

For the full story, read Zuma says SA, Nigeria need to work together on African issues by Nicholas Kotch, published by Business Day on 17 April 2013.

Mozambique’s shaky transport set to shrink coal bonanza

The transport system in Mozambique offers a cautionary tale to African mining ventures, as investors play poker with the government over fixing links that remain in a mess two decades after the country’s civil war. Foreign mining firms are betting in Mozambique on one of the world’s largest untapped reserves of premium hard coking coal relatively close to Africa’s east coast, a prime location for feeding hungry markets in Asia.

For the full story, read Zuma says Mozambique’s shaky transport set to shrink coal bonanza by Agnieszka Flak and Marina Lopes, published by Business Day on 17 April 2013.

Angola misses sovereign fund deadline

Angola said yesterday it had missed its own deadline to publish an investment policy for a planned $5bn sovereign wealth fund because of a legal challenge, slowing efforts to diversify its oil-dependent economy. Africa’s second-largest oil producer announced plans for the fund in October. It planned to invest in everything from water projects to sub-Saharan hotels. It has made little progress since, frustrating investors who had hoped for clearer signals on potential spending.

For the full story, Angola misses sovereign fund deadline by Shrikesh Laxmidas, published by Business Day on 17 April 2013.

Liberty aims to launch African property fund

One of insurer Liberty’s main objectives this year is to broaden its presence in Africa, including launching an Africa property development fund. Liberty’s asset manager, Stanlib, believes that there is an opportunity to meet the needs of African and international investors who want more exposure and diversity to real estate on the continent.

For the full story, read Liberty aims to launch African property fund by Phakamisa Ndzamela, published by Business Day on 17 April 2013.

David Okwara

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