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Sep 23, 2013

Smoke pours from Kenya mall as forces “close in”

NAIROBI, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Thick smoke poured from the
besieged Nairobi mall where Kenyan officials said their forces
were closing in on Islamists holding hostages on Monday, the
third day since Somalia’s al Shabaab launched a raid that has
killed at least 62 people.

It remained unclear how many gunmen and hostages were still
cornered in the Westgate shopping centre, after a series of loud
explosions and gunfire were followed by black smoke billowing
from one part of the complex.

Sep 23, 2013

Blast shakes Nairobi mall, smoke pours from building

NAIROBI, Sept 23 (Reuters) – A loud explosion sent thick
smoke billowing from the Nairobi mall where militants from
Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group threatened to kill
hostages on the third day of a raid in which at least 59 have
already died.

The blast was followed by other smaller detonations and
volleys of gunfire but there was no indication of the fate of
people whom the authorities say are being held by 10 to 15
Islamist gunmen who took the complex by storm on Saturday.

Aug 30, 2013

Analysis: Mall developers feel the pull of Africa’s consumer boom

ACCRA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – When Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s top retailer, bought control of major South African discount chain Massmart Holdings (MSMJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in 2011, American shopping mall developer Irwin Barkan had an epiphany.

An industry veteran of 30 years, Barkan’s U.S. home market was “graying”, while the youthful, underdeveloped African continent offered a sweet spot, with a rapidly expanding middle class and no competition from online retailers.

Aug 30, 2013

Mall developers feel the pull of Africa’s consumer boom

ACCRA/JOHANNESBURG, Aug 29 (Reuters) – When Wal-Mart Stores
, the world’s top retailer, bought control of major South
African discount chain Massmart Holdings in 2011,
American shopping mall developer Irwin Barkan had an epiphany.

An industry veteran of 30 years, Barkan’s U.S. home market
was “greying”, while the youthful, underdeveloped African
continent offered a sweet spot, with a rapidly expanding middle
class and no competition from online retailers.

Aug 19, 2013

Ghana must add value to raw products to extend boom-president

ACCRA, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Ghana must learn to process
commodities locally rather than depending on exports of raw
gold, cocoa and oil products to fuel its fast-growing economy,
President John Mahama said on Monday.

The country is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s brightest
prospects because of its political stability and economic
growth, which is forecast to hold steady at 8 percent for 2013.

Aug 7, 2013

Ghana court says to rule on election challenge by August 29

ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday it will rule by August 29 on an opposition challenge to the result of December’s presidential election that was won by incumbent John Mahama.

The outcome could have big implications for the West African state where investor excitement over its strong economy – GDP is expected to grow by 8 percent in 2013 for the second consecutive year – is tempered by concern over macroeconomic instability.

Jul 23, 2013

Ghana’s currency hits new low in sign of economic imbalances

ACCRA, July 23 (Reuters) – Ghana’s currency hit a new
all-time low against the dollar on Tuesday in a fresh sign of
structural imbalances in an economy seen as one of Africa’s
brightest growth prospects.

The cedi edged down to 2.0650/8000 at 1300 GMT as growing
demand from local firms and traders for dollars to pay for
imports outstripped supply.

May 29, 2013

Ghana transfixed as court case throws elections into doubt

ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s Supreme Court must decide in the coming months whether or not to overturn December elections that handed the presidency to John Mahama, in a rare case of African judicial vigour that has transfixed the country.

Proceedings in a packed courtroom, where opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo is challenging the outcome of the 2012 poll, are broadcast live on the radio and blare from cars and buses as the population of 25 million tunes in for the latest developments.

May 21, 2013

Ghana hopes to shield economy from African oil curse

ACCRA, May 21 (Reuters) – Oil brought riches to Nigeria but
also ravaged its economy and fuelled corruption and conflict.
Now nearby Ghana has begun production and wants to take the
wealth but dodge the oil curse.

Ghana is used to resource riches: it is already the world’s
number two cocoa producer and Africa’s second-largest gold
miner. But there are signs it is struggling to manage the new
oil money and some people are disappointed.

May 14, 2013

IMF sees sub-Saharan Africa growth at 5.7 percent in 2014

ACCRA (Reuters) – The IMF on Tuesday forecast economic growth of 5.4 percent in 2013 and 5.7 percent in 2014 for the economies of sub-Saharan Africa on the back of rising investment and booming extractive industries.

“Sub-Saharan Africa will be among the fastest growing places in the world … second only to developing Asia,” Antoinette Sayeh, director of the IMF’s Africa department, told journalists at the report’s release in Ghana’s capital Accra.