Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
Pascal's Feed
Aug 21, 2014

Surviving Ebola: Africa cries out for healthcare boost

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Surviving sickness can make you stronger.

So while a western corner of Africa writhes in the deadly grip of the Ebola virus, there are signs this emergency may serve as a wake-up call to strengthen spending and investment on public healthcare in the world’s least developed continent.

“If anything, I think it is teaching us something,” Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the African Union’s Commissioner for Social Affairs, told reporters in Addis Ababa this month.

Aug 14, 2014

Ebola fear factor threatens to dampen African business buzz

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – From Accra to Windhoek, fear of the Ebola epidemic is provoking a wave of cancellations of business and investment events across Africa, and threatening to taint the continent’s hard-won image as a rising economic star.

A canceled visit by Brazilian executives to Namibia typifies the problems of perception raised for African countries which are remote geographically, economically and culturally from those suffering the outbreak in a corner of the continent.

Aug 4, 2014

Angola puts local unit of Portuguese bank BES into administration

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Angola appointed
administrators to manage the indebted local unit of Portugal’s
troubled lender Banco Espirito Santo on Monday and said
a sovereign guarantee for most of its loans would be revoked.

Announcing “extraordinary overhaul measures”, the central
bank of Africa’s second biggest oil producer, stopped short of
nationalising Banco Espirito Santo Angola (BESA), one of the
country’s biggest lenders.

Aug 3, 2014

Late to the party, Obama seeks bigger U.S. Africa role

CAMP LEMONNIER Djibouti/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Ask Major-General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., the top U.S. military officer in Africa, how he thinks U.S. and European-backed African troops are faring in their war on Islamist militants in Somalia, and his answer comes back smartly: “Pretty darn good!”.

But when “son of Africa” U.S. President Barack Obama hosts 50 African leaders in Washington this week, the admiration may be less than mutual. Many Africans feel America is lagging behind China and others in its engagement with their continent.

Jul 28, 2014

Mozambique still counting on coal, despite price doldrums

MAPUTO, July 28 (Reuters) – Mozambique is still counting on
increasing coal exports to expand its infrastructure and drive
economic growth, despite depressed global prices which might
delay the timing of some major railway and port projects, the
transport minister said.

Gabriel Muthisse told Reuters the government was also keen
to attract investors to help build the infrastructure needed to
exploit huge offshore natural gas reserves in the north.

Jul 28, 2014

Mozambique still counting on coal, despite price doldrums

MAPUTO, July 28 (Reuters) – Mozambique is still counting on
increasing coal exports to expand its infrastructure and drive
economic growth, despite depressed global prices which might
delay the timing of some major railway and port projects, the
transport minister said.

Gabriel Muthisse told Reuters the government was also keen
to attract investors to help build the infrastructure needed to
exploit huge offshore natural gas reserves in the north.

Jul 22, 2014

Timing “tough” for $4.5 bln Thai-Mozambique coal rail-port project

MAPUTO, July 22 (Reuters) – A Thai-Mozambican consortium has
set a 2018 target to commission a $4.5 billion coal export
railway and port terminal project in central Mozambique, but the
depressed global coal prices outlook made the timing “tough”,
the company’s president said.

Late last year, Mozambique’s government picked Bangkok-based
contractor Italian-Thai Development Pcl to construct
the 537 km rail line from the Moatize coal mines in Tete
province to Macuse on the coast in Zambezia province.

Jul 18, 2014

In BES saga, the Angolan connection emerges from silence

LISBON/JOHANNESBURG, July 18 (Reuters) – Angola has broken
its silence over its connection to Portugal’s troubled Banco
Espirito Santo, but its admission of bad loans in the
local subsidiary focuses attention on a generous state guarantee
covering most of this flawed loan portfolio.

The crisis affecting one of Portugal’s best-known banking
institutions had highlighted its exposure in
former colony Angola, where subsidiary BES Angola (BESA) is a
major financial player with links to the ruling elite and family
of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

May 29, 2014

Africa must tackle poverty to share benefits of strong growth-IMF’s Lagarde

MAPUTO, May 29 (Reuters) – Africa is “taking off” with
strong, steady growth but poverty is unacceptably high so that
governments need to build infrastructure and institutions and
educate people to share the benefits more widely, the IMF’s head
said on Thursday.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow by around 5.5 percent
this year – well above the global average – with some of its
poorest countries expanding by closer to 7 percent, Christine
Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director,
told an IMF conference in the Mozambican capital Maputo.

May 20, 2014

Africa investors looking beyond negative headlines: World Bank

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Investors in Africa are increasingly able to see beyond negative headlines of violence in nations like South Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya, but they also seek more protection against risk for their business ventures, a senior World Bank official said.

“There was a time when Africa for many investors was just like a big, big country,” Michel Wormser, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), said.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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