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Three Southern African Governments in Growing Conflict With EU

Brussels officials have rejected calls from three southern African governments for a reassessment of a new trade accord with the European Union. In January, South Africa, Namibia and Angola made a joint appeal to the EU, urging that it delay the formal signature of a trade liberalisation deal, known as an economic partnership agreement (EPA), with...

Nigeria Overtakes South Africa in Telecoms Market

Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa's largest telecom market with the highest subscriber base, Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Deputy Chairman, National Communication Commission, has said. Ndukwe stated this on Tuesday at the "Investment in Africa Telecom Conference" in Johannesburg. He said South Africa had maintained that lead up till...

Volkswagen South Africa Retrenches 400 Workers

VOLKSWAGEN SA (VWSA) is laying off 400 workers in response to plunging vehicle sales and the global financial crisis. VWSA spokesman Bill Stephens said on Friday the employees in question had taken voluntary separation packages. While more job losses are expected for the industry at large, Stephens said it was difficult at this stage to predict...

Experts says African Economies to Grow Despite Global Crisis

Although the continent is not insulated from the global financial crisis, African countries will perform "relatively better" than other regions of the world this year. This was the consensus among discussants at the session on Africa at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting holding in Davos, Switzerland. Also, the Chairman and Editor-...

Govt, Pfizer Opt for Out-of-Court Settlement

Federal Government and Pfizer, which had sustained a legal battle over the death of some children in Kano State following alleged administration of vaccines on them, have agreed to settle the case instituted by the government against the company out-of-court. Pfizer is seeking to quash the report by a committee set up by the Federal Government to...

Petrol to Rise Again As Rand Weakens

THE retail price of petrol is set to be increased next week, bringing to an end several months of back-to-back decreases, according to economists. The minerals and energy department last increased the petrol price in July last year. The department earlier this month decreased petrol, diesel and paraffin by large margins because of relatively low...

East Africa: Railway Project - Multi-National Pact Signed

The three States involved in a multi-national railway project last Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at developing the project. The countries involved in the project expected to kick off soon are Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania and the MoU was signed by ministers in charge of Infrastructure of the three countries. The railway...

Govt, States to Settle Excess Fund Out of Court In Nigeria

The face-off between the federal government and eleven states over the withheld excess crude fund by the federal government which is now before the Supreme Court may eventually be settled out of court. The federal government our correspondent reliably gathered has taken steps to persuade the affected states to withdraw the case from court and meet...

Yar'Adua Set to Overhaul Oil Sector In Nigeria

President Umaru Yar'Adua has put all machinery in motion to implement recommendations of the Oil Sector Implementation Committee (OSIC) to restructure the oil and gas sector. The bill has been sent to the National Assembly as an executive bill. Presidency sources informed Sunday Independent that the president has been thoroughly embarrassed by the...

Kenya: Tourism Industry Picking Up Again After Election Violence

As the eagerly awaited recovery in tourism after the election violence in Kenya takes off, bad news has come in the form of corruption allegations. Before tourism minister Najib Balala left for the United States earlier this month to market his country to wary U.S. visitors, he had to act against alleged corruption within the Kenya Tourism Board....

Naira - Cost of Living Rises Nationwide In Nigeria

MANUFACTURERS, importers and traders in basic goods and services are reviewing their prices upwards by as much as 20 per cent in reaction to the devaluation of the naira. This draws the mark-off point of general increases in the prices of goods and services in the country which will cause many Nigerians to live below the poverty line in 2009. This...

Continent Braces for Global Shockwaves

When several US investment houses collapsed in September, unleashing a chain of crashes in major markets around the world, brokers at Kenya's Nairobi Stock Exchange anxiously watched the listings on their own boards. As feared, Nairobi share values did drop, and by late October were down 18 per cent from the start of the year. But that decline was...

Job Losses Loom as Naira Crashes Further

A thick cloud of uncertainty descended on the nation's foreign exchange market yesterday as the Naira fell further by N6 to N150 per dollar in the official market, with dire implications for the national economy. Reacting to the development, the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Manufacturers...

Corrupt Microfinance Institutions In Benin Makes Profit From Poorest

Local NGOs subcontracted by a multi-million-dollar microfinance programme are taking bribes from borrowers, according to the fund's directors. Aboubacar Aboudou, the first director of the government-run "microloans to the poorest" programme, told IRIN a lack of oversight and the programme's rapid growth since its creation in February...

SA's Economy Faces Tough Times

SA's economy faces a rough ride this year, with job losses set to keep consumer spending in check and a slowdown in private investment likely to gather momentum. Several top analysts are predicting growth will slow to less than 1% this year -- its lowest since 1998 -- with a technical recession in the first half of the year looking highly likely....