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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

Library of Articles


Africa Moving out of ‘Economic Stagnation’


Africa is on the cusp of breaking out of a long period of economic stagnation, according to the World Bank. Renewed growth and improved governance can be seen across a number of African states said the bank's Vice-President for Africa, Gobind Nankani, during the launch of a World Bank study 'Facing the challenges of African Growth' that highlights infrastructure, investment, innovation and institutional capacity as critical areas for sustainable development.

ACCION Partners with Ecobank to Expand Microfinance in Africa

Global microfinance pioneer ACCION International has announced a partnership agreement with the Ecobank Group, the leading independent regional bank in Africa, to expand microfinance in West and Central Africa. ACCION will work with Ecobank to develop a regional banking platform that will deliver financial service products to micro- and small entrepreneurs in African countries within the Ecobank network. Over the next three to five years, ACCION will work with Ecobank to develop a comprehensive mix of tailored financial products that will be distributed through its existing branch network, and introduce alternative delivery channels such as ATMs, point-of-sale terminals and cell phone banking. Ecobank currently operates in 13 West and Central African countries. Source: CSR Wire

CNBC Africa launches in South Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa's first international business news channel, CNBC Africa, will begin broadcasting from its new Johannesburg headquarters in May 2007. CNBC will be investing US$20 million in setting up its new operation in South Africa. The channel's entire workforce will be recruited locally, creating around 130 jobs for South Africans. CNBC's African entry is backed by South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which will own 30% of CNBC Africa. A listing on the JSE is also planned for the future. Source: Engineering News

South Africa invests R1 billion to benefit 26,000 in rural areas

Rural communities throughout the country are set to benefit from a R1 billion skills development programme by the South African Department of Labour. According to the Department of Labour, provinces will each receive a R100 million for skills development. The Labour Department’s National Skills Fund (NSF) funds the programme, which aims to help provide various critical and scarce skills to about 360,000 South African rural youths between 2007 and 2009.

International Agricultural Development Fund Provides Aid

The United Nations Fund for Food and Agriculture is coordinating a project estimated at US$40 million to benefit the agricultural and farming sector in Angola. The financing will come from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank and will be channelled in to the provinces of Huambo, Bié and Malanje. The Food and Agriculture Fund is already coordinating two projects; an irrigation project and an agro-farming and rural infrastructure rehabilitation project in the town of Caála, Huambo, financed by the African Development Bank.

South Africa launches R6Billion Literacy Campaign

The South African government is to roll out a R6.1-billion literacy campaign over the next five years, targeting 4.7-million South Africans who were previously denied access to education. The campaign will target 4.7-million South Africans who were denied access to education and training under apartheid. It will target young people, women and adults with special learning needs, kicking off in 2007 with 1.2-million learners. The campaign will be aligned with other government programmes, such as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the National Skills Development Plan.

EKA Brewer Invests US$30 Million in Modernisation

Angolan brewer, EKA, located in the Kwanza-Norte province, will invest US$30 million in increasing and modernizing the factory. According to the company, the money will be used to purchase of high-technology equipment from Germany, Belgium and France. After repairing old equipment and installing a new filling line, which includes the use of disposable bottles and computerisation of some production systems, the project will achieve a significant increase in production as well as the creation of 30 new work posts. The French Group Brassier International Holding (BIH), who own 46% of the shares, runs EKA. The Angolan State holds 4 % while 50 % belongs to national private investors.

South Africa receives ‘Low’ Rating for Political Risk

According to international Business risk consultancy Control Risk annual survey of 198 countries worldwide, the political risks of doing business in South Africa are low. South Africa's rating is relatively positive in light of the overall finding of the group's RiskMap 2007 report that almost half of the countries in the world fail to provide a stable environment for business. According to the report, South Africa's low political risk rating – meaning that businesses can operate with few problems - place it on a par with such countries as Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy and Japan.

Botswana Top of Anti-Corruption League for Africa

According to Transparency International (TI), a civil society organisation which aims to fight corruption globally, Botswana is again top of the list of African countries, scoring 37th place, followed by Mauritius (42), South Africa and Tunisia (both 51), followed by Namibia. The top position was shared by Finland, Iceland and New Zealand, each with a score of 9.6. Haiti was at the bottom of the list, coming in at 163rd place with a dismal 1.8. The 2006 index points to a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the ranking. The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption. In October 2006, TI launched its Bribe Payers Index ( which looks at supply side of corruption in terms of the propensity of companies from 30 leading exporting countries to pay bribes overseas and in December, TI launched its 2006 Global Corruption Barometer which looks at public perceptions of the level of corruption in major institutions such as the courts, parliament and the police.

Sonangol Concludes Signing of 32 Oil Contracts

Angolan state-owned fuel supply company, Sonangol, recently concluded the signing of 32 oil production contracts with exploration companies. The agreements will provide Sonangol with revenue estimated at US$ 3.1 billion. Among the companies that signed the contract are Sonangol Research and Production, Tullow Oil, Predol, Force Petroleum, Vaalco, Inter Oil, Petrobras and Gema Group.

South Africa and Canada Co-operate on Governance

South Africa and Canada have signed a cooperation agreement, setting the stage for strengthening service delivery on governance, HIV and AIDS amongst others. The General Agreement on Development Cooperation provides a legal framework for development cooperation and the implementation of the Country Development Programming Framework.

Brazil's Petrobras Wins Operating Rights in Angola

Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras has signed four production-sharing deals with Angola's national oil company, Sonangol, winning operating rights for the first time in the southwest African country. Under the agreements, Petrobras will acquire 3D seismic data and drill exploration wells at the shallow-water 6/06 block in the Kwanza basin, the deep-water 18/06 block in the Lower Congo basin and Block 26 at the deep-water frontier Benguela basin. Petrobras got a 40-percent stake in the 6/06 area, 30 percent in 18/06 and 80 percent in Block 26, all with operating rights. The operator will drill seven exploration wells in the 18/06 area and two wells in each of the other two blocks. Source: Reuters

Delta Air Lines Opens Ghana Office

Delta has become the only major U.S. carrier to operate scheduled non-stop services from Accra to New York JFK and has opened a sales office in Accra. Between Ghana and New York JFK, Delta will operate service using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft seating up to 214 passengers with 35 seats in Business Elite, Delta's award-winning business class. With more than 50 new international routes added in the last year, Delta is America's fastest growing international airline and is a leader across the Atlantic with flights to 28 trans-Atlantic destinations

Angola to Host First International I.T. Forum

The first International Forum on Information Technologies ended in December in Luanda, Angola, under the Government’s concerned National Commission (CNTI) and Arena Direct business group. The event was the first of its kind with international scope and had the theme "The challenges of Information technologies in Angola." The conference tackled such topics as the importance of information technologies in Angola and development of the information society and brought together about 100 local and international firms in the IT sector. Source: ANIP

New Report Reveals Potential for the World's Poor to Bank Through Mobile Phones

The Vodafone Group has published a report that reveals the economic and social benefits being created by mobile banking (m-banking) amongst the world’s poorest communities. The report, titled Economic Empowerment through Mobile, is the third in a series of Corporate Responsibility Dialogues produced by Vodafone and includes the results from three independent research projects. Vodafone collaborated with The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and World Resource Institute (WRI) to research the impact of mobile phones in enabling economic transactions. It also worked with Forum for the Future (FFF) to understand the social and economic impact of its Airtime Transfer product in Egypt. www.vodafone.com/responsibility/dialogues

Peer Review Report Submitted on Kenya

There is a need for the African Union to create a high-level team to help Kenya write a new Constitution and put new laws in place. This was the finding of the Country Review Report presented to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) by the Executive Director of the Secretariat of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Dr Bernard Kouassi. The report highlights endemic corruption, ethnic political parties, high cost of business, poverty, and imbalances in regional wealth as some of the challenges facing the Government. Of the 57 African Union members, Kenya, Ghana, and Rwanda are the only ones who have undergone full assessment under the African Peer Review Mechanism, where countries are voluntarily audited for their performance in democracy, human rights and delivery of basic human needs. The Kenya review was conducted by an 18-member team led Dr. Graca Machel and also highlights areas where the Government has performed well, including its peacekeeping roles in the region, the sacking of 29 judges over corruption allegations, a free primary education programme, and expanded freedoms of speech and association. The Government also earned praise for establishing a centre for corporate governance, and for its efforts against HIV/Aids. Source: Nepad

Angolan Government to Create 217,000 New Jobs by 2008

According to Angola’s Fisheries Minister, the Government plans to create at least 217,000 new jobs by late 2008, taking into account the investments that have been carried out in the state-related and private sectors. Various research projects will contribute to the sustainable development of the country’s fishing resources. Other activities include the reinforcement of the biological sampling program of commercial fishery, the improvement of equipment in the laboratories of quality control, as well as the development of the action lines for the research of continental waters’ resources.

Ghana “shining example” of Peer Review process

Ghana has been a shining example of the APRM process, says APRM Executive Director Dr. Bernard Kouassi in a report to the Pan-African Parliament. The APRM Country Review Mission to Ghana noted that democracy and political governance allowed interaction between the President of Ghana and the people. According to the review findings, Ghana is a peacekeeper and a peacemaker on the continent. In the area of corporate governance, the findings showed a hospitable business environment in Ghana and that the Government has initiated specific policies for funding small scale and medium enterprises. Economic development was also targeting rural women. The report noted that although Ghana is a country with highly educated citizens, it faces a shortage of human resources because of the emigration of its nationals to other countries. Source: Nepad

Luanda Opens First Shopping Mall

The first shopping mall in Luanda, known as Belas Shopping, opened in December, with a total investment of US$ 35 million, financed by Brazilian and Angolan investors. The first phase of the project has 100 stores, eight cinemas, a restaurant area, and 900 parking spots. Belas Shopping, located in Talatona in the south of Luanda, has a construction area of 28,300 square meters and was financed by a consortium in which Angola’s Hogi has a 70% stake and Brazil’s Odebrecht with the remaining 30% and it will be managed by the Brazilian company Enashoppe. Initial forecasts point to Belas Shopping having, on average, between 5,000 and 10,000 visitors per day

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