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Oct 8, 2014

U.N. Liberia medic catches Ebola; Sierra Leone burial teams end strike

ACCRA/FREETOWN (Reuters) – A medical official with the U.N. Mission in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus and is receiving treatment, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Separately, burial teams in neighboring Sierra Leone said they had ended a strike over unpaid bonuses that had left highly infectious bodies piling up, increasing the threat that the virus would spread further.

Oct 8, 2014

West Africa cocoa farmers see favourable weather for new season

ABIDJAN/ACCRA, Oct 8 (Reuters) – West Africa appears set for
another strong cocoa crop in the 2013/14 season due to
favourable weather, farmers said on Wednesday, though fears of a
spread of the region’s Ebola epidemic have raised concerns over
Ivory Coast’s harvest.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, harvested a
record 1,740,842 tonnes of beans in the 2013/14 season, which
ended last week. Number two producer Ghana also recorded a
strong crop of around 900,000 tonnes of beans.

Oct 5, 2014

Ecobank to focus on existing businesses: CEO

ACCRA (Reuters) – Pan-African lender Ecobank (ETI.LG: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to wind down its strategy of rapid expansion across Africa and focus on existing businesses, especially in Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and Kenya, its chief executive said on Sunday.

CEO Albert Essien said he aimed to expand existing businesses and make them more efficient, and thus more profitable.

Sep 30, 2014

UN Ebola mission head wants significant progress in 60 days

ACCRA, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The U.N. mission to combat Ebola
wants to see significant progress in fighting the deadly disease
within 60 days, including ensuring that 70 percent of cases
receive treatment, its new head said on Tuesday.

At least 3,091 people have died from Ebola since the West
African outbreak was first reported in the remote southeast
forest region of Guinea in March. The other two most affected
countries are Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Sep 16, 2014

Ghana starts talks with IMF with public sector reform on agenda

ACCRA, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Ghana opened talks with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday, hoping to secure
financial assistance to restore its fiscal balance but knowing
the road to success runs through painful public sector reform.

The government is in a stronger position than when it
announced the talks in August because it launched a $1 billion
Eurobond at a rate that surprised the market last week. It has
also secured a record $1.7 billion loan to fund cocoa purchases.

Sep 11, 2014

Ghana sells $1 bln Eurobond at less-than-expected rate of 8.125 pct

ACCRA, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Ghana sold a $1 billion Eurobond
on Thursday at a coupon rate of 8.125 percent, lower than
analysts had expected given the fiscal difficulties faced by the
West African producer of cocoa, gold and oil.

The country is a rarity in West Africa due to its record of
political stability and sustained strong economic growth, but it
is wrestling with escalating inflation, a falling currency and a
stubbornly high budget deficit.

Jul 4, 2014

In Africa, a Cube and a Parachute test consumer demand

LONDON/ACCRA, July 4 (Reuters) – Tucked in a corner of a
Guinness brewery in a run-down part of Ghana’s capital, flanked
by industrial silos and crates of bottles, stands the Cube, a
gleaming mini-factory that may point the way forward for global
consumer goods companies in Africa.

The tiny blending and bottling plant for Gilbey’s gin,
housed inside five connected shipping containers, gives Diageo
, the world’s largest spirits maker, a way to test demand
for new drinks while minimising capital deployment.

Jun 23, 2014

West African Ebola epidemic “out of control” – aid group

ACCRA/DAKAR, June 23 (Reuters) – An Ebola epidemic in
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is out of control and requires
massive resources from governments and aid agencies to prevent
it spreading further, medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières
said on Monday.

In its latest report on the crisis, the U.N. World Health
Organisation said the regional death toll had reached 350 since
February. The crisis is already the deadliest outbreak since
Ebola first emerged in central Africa in 1976.

Jun 13, 2014

Once a model for Africa, Ghana’s economy loses its shine

ACCRA (Reuters) – Rising bond yields, mounting inflation and a weakening currency have taken the shine off Ghana, a country until recently hailed as a model for African growth.

An oil boom helped fuel five years of GDP growth above 8 percent making Ghana an emerging market star, a stable democracy whose population of 25 million was moving steadily into middle income status.

May 16, 2014

Abductions seen as just one factor in coming Nigeria election

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s last-minute decision to cancel his first visit to the village where Islamist rebels abducted more than 200 schoolgirls has sharpened criticism of his handling of the crisis.

Yet the government’s performance since last month’s kidnappings is unlikely to prove decisive for Nigeria’s polarized electorate if Jonathan decides to stand for re-election next February, analysts and voters said on Friday.