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Africa Brief: New border post, Zimbabwe maize production, and more

Zimbabwe proposes new border post with SA

Due to the long queues at the Beitbridge, Zimbabwe Education Minister, David Coltart has suggested a new border post be considered between South Africa and Zimbabwe. SA Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, is aware of the problem and is working on a solution to improve the situation. The South African Chamber of Commerce has raised concern, but does not feel a new border will solve the current problem.

For the full story, read Zimbabwe proposes new border post with SA by Samuel Mungadze, published in Business Day on 08/01/2013.

Maize crops hit by armyworms

Due to the limited supply of pesticide available, Zimbabwe’s 5 provinces are infested with armyworms which threaten maize production.

For the full story, read Maize crops hit by armyworms by Bloomberg, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

Ghana: President aims to widen wealth

John Dramani Manama and Kwesi Amissah-Arthur were sworn in as President and vice-president respectively. The President, who won by 50.7% of the votes has promised to give more people economic opportunities in Ghana.

For the full story, read Ghana: President aims to widen wealth by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

Zambia: Sata fears riots over food costs

The price of maize meal, which is the Zambia’s staple food has almost doubled over the past two months. President Michael Sata, is looking at re-introducing price controls on maize meal as he fears riots may arise if the price remains unaffordable for the majority of the people in the country.

For the full story, read Zambia: Sata fears riots over food costs by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

Nigeria: Oil firm seeks to lend $1.5bn

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, a state owned oil firm is looking to lend $1.5bn from a group of international and local lenders, to pay fuel traders. The loan would run for 5 years with 15000 barrels of daily crude output as collateral.

For the full story, read Nigeria: Oil firm seeks to lend $1.5bn by Bloomberg, published in The Star, Business Report on 09/01/2013.

Kenya: Farming plants seeds of growth

Budgeted growth in agriculture is expected to increase the Kenyan government’s growth to 5.6% this year due to the favourable weather and infrastructure projects in transport and energy.

For the full story, read Kenya: Farming plants seeds of growth by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 09/01/2013.

NWK in Zambia deal

60% of Zambian cotton ginner Dunavant was acquired by NWK for an undisclosed amount, while the remaining shareholding was bought by commodities trader Louis Dreyfus.

For the full story, read NWK in Zambia deal by Bloomberg, published in Business Day on 09/01/2013.

Kenya expected to cut lending rate to boost growth

Kenya’s central bank will be cutting its lending rate in order to stimulate growth in the economy. The economy had not yet recovered from the high lending rates last year, inflation however seems to be on target.

The economy still has potential for growth, and the Monetary Policy Committee was criticised for keeping interest rate artificially low to boost growth. The persistently high current account deficit has slowed down the growth of the economy despite a reduction in lending rates.

For the full story, read Kenya expected to cut lending rate to boost growth by Kevin Mwanza, published in The New Age on 09/01/2013.

Leaders puzzle over links between African and UN Congo forces

A decision on the deployment and composition of a Netral International Force in eastern DRC is still to be finalised. South Africa’s Defence Minister Thabang Makwetla said that central to the meeting is the relationship between force and Monusco, the UNs peacekeeping mission in Congo.

Continued talks are ongoing between Gen Gaye and the chiefs of staff of members of the Great Lakes conference and SADC to iron out all technicalities. The UN had given 7 days to the AU for the suggested changes for the proposed force. The SADC has agreed to deploy its standby force to the area, which will help to speed up the process.

For the full story, read Leaders puzzle over links between African and UN Congo forces by Elissa Jobson, published in Business Day on 10/01/2013.

David Okwara

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