Deputy Bureau Chief, Southern Africa
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Mar 24, 2015

Battle for African Internet users stirs freedom fears

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Google and Facebook are at the forefront of a scramble to win over new African Internet users, offering freebies they say give a leg-up to the poor but which critics argue is a plan to lock in customers on a continent of 1 billion people.

Africa’s Internet penetration will reach 50 percent by 2025 and there are expected to be 360 million smartphones on the continent by then, roughly double the number in the United States currently, Mckinsey Consultants data shows.

Mar 16, 2015

With iCow and M-Farm, smartphones reboot African agriculture

JOHANNESBURG, March 16 (Reuters) – Wider smartphone and
Internet access has allowed technology firms to reach remote
African farmers with apps providing veterinary diagnoses, crop
planting guidance and virtual marketplaces.

Human food production will need to increase 70 percent by
2050 to meet rising demand and Africa is home to more than half
of the world’s unused arable land, according to United Nations
research.

Mar 6, 2015

Mixed fortunes blur idea of Africa’s collective ‘rising’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Falling commodity prices, political upheaval and simmering conflict are exposing the differing fortunes of Africa’s economies, undermining the idea that the continent of a billion people is on one collective ascent.

Sub-Saharan Africa has achieved annual growth of more than 5 percent over the last decade, and foreign investment has more than quadrupled over the same period, feeding the popular catch phrase that Africa is ‘rising’.

Mar 2, 2015

Angola likely to devalue kwanza this year -money manager

JOHANNESBURG, March 2 (Reuters) – Angola’s central bank will
probably have to devalue the kwanza and raise interest rates
this year as a sharp drop in oil prices saps foreign exchange
supply, the Angolan unit of Africa-focused investment bank Imara
Securities said on Monday.

Oil-dependent Angola slashed $17 billion off its budget this
year due to the drop in the price of oil, which accounts for
around half of the southern African country’s gross domestic
product and 90 percent of its export revenues.

Feb 16, 2015

S.Africa opposition wants inquiry into parliament “censorship”

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 16 (Reuters) – South Africa’s main
opposition party has called for an investigation into why mobile
telephone reception was cut in parliament ahead of President
Jacob Zuma’s chaotic State Of The Nation address last week.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) branded the apparent jamming as
“censorship” and denounced the speaker of parliament, Baleka
Mbete, saying she was unfit to continue in office.

Feb 13, 2015

South Africa questions its democracy after parliament brawl

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 13 (Reuters) – “State of Chaos”, was how
one South African newspaper described the images of police and
politicians trading blows at the opening of parliament, a
damning assessment of the country’s democracy twenty years after
apartheid.

President Jacob Zuma walked down the red carpet outside
parliament in Cape Town on Thursday evening as a brass band
blasted out South Africa’s national freedom anthem, Nkosi
Sikelel’ iAfrika, and cannons fired off a 21-gun salute.

Feb 6, 2015

With African fashion in vogue, home talent shines

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 6 (Reuters) – When Michelle Obama and
Beyonce Knowles attended high-profile events in clothes made by
African designers, it was a sure sign that the continent’s
vibrant style has arrived on the world stage.

The showcasing of clothes from home-grown African designers
in stores in New York, London and Tokyo is a sign of a broader
change of attitude towards a continent which is earning a
brighter reputation beyond stories of war and disease.

Feb 6, 2015

Special Report – Anatomy of Nigeria’s $20 billion ‘leak’

ABUJA, Nigeria (Reuters) – In late 2013, Nigeria’s then central bank governor Lamido Sanusi wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that the state oil company had failed to remit tens of billions of oil revenues it owed the state.

After the letter was leaked to Reuters and a local news site, Jonathan publicly dismissed the claim and replaced Sanusi, saying the banker had mismanaged the central bank’s budget. A Senate committee later found Sanusi’s account lacked substance.

Feb 6, 2015

Anatomy of Nigeria’s $20 billion “leak”

ABUJA, Nigeria Feb 6 (Reuters) – In late 2013,
Nigeria’s then central bank governor Lamido Sanusi wrote to
President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that the state oil company
had failed to remit tens of billions of oil revenues it owed the
state.

After the letter was leaked to Reuters and a local news
site, Jonathan publicly dismissed the claim and replaced
Sanusi, saying the banker had mismanaged the central bank’s
budget. A Senate committee later found Sanusi’s account lacked
substance.

Jan 29, 2015

Angola’s economy set to slow as oil prices collapse

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Angola’s oil-dependent
economy is set to slow this year, key infrastructure projects
will be shelved and swathes of social spending are facing the
chop as a global crude price slump takes its toll on Africa’s
second-biggest producer.

Angola’s cabinet last week sent a revised 2015 budget to
parliament, cutting the assumed oil price to $40 a barrel, from
$81 previously projected, and slashing $14 billion off planned
spending, the finance ministry said.

    • About Joe

      "Joe is Reuters deputy bureau chief for southern Africa, covering ten countries in the region out of Johannesburg. Joe has previously been based in Abuja, Nigeria and London."
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