Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
Pascal's Feed
Apr 10, 2014

Africa still rising but must cut poverty, create jobs

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – African presidents and policy makers are pushing back against pessimism to tell the world their continent’s economic boom is real and sustained, but they say it must work harder to roll back poverty and create jobs for its restless youth.

From Senegal to Nigeria and Rwanda, officials play down the impact on investment and capital inflows from the U.S. Fed’s unwinding of its economic stimulus programme, or from signs of slowdown in China and its appetite for African commodities.

Apr 8, 2014

Retailers chase reward in booming but volatile Africa

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) – Opening a modern supermarket in a city under threat from an Islamist insurgency, with the added uncertainty of wobbly public power supplies, may sound like a retailer’s nightmare.

But what if that city stands on one of the oldest trade crossroads in Africa, offering a major chunk of one of the largest and fastest-growing retail markets on the continent?

Mar 31, 2014

Nigeria is on the rise, don’t talk it down, minister says

ABUJA, March 31 (Reuters) – Nigeria has a strong, buoyant
economy receiving billions of dollars of foreign and domestic
direct investment in power, petrochemicals, agriculture and
consumer goods, but it needs to grow faster to reduce poverty,
its finance minister said,

In a spirited response to what she called a trend of
“talking down on Nigeria”, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said she was not
concerned about short-term outflows of portfolio investment
which did not reflect the macro-economic fundamentals and
long-term prospects of Africa’s No. 1 crude producer.

Mar 25, 2014

Africa still rising, but needs economic discipline: AfDB

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy will grow more than 6 percent this year, the African Development Bank said on Tuesday, but its president urged governments to build resilience to capital outflows and commodity price shocks.

In an interview with Reuters, Donald Kaberuka rejected as “premature” suggestions the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative might have lost momentum as a slowing China economy depresses prices for commodities such as copper, and the run-down of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bond-buying programme squeezes the flow of cheap capital into emerging markets.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. philanthropist Howard Buffett takes aim at rhino poaching

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – American philanthropist Howard G. Buffett donated $24 million to South Africa’s national parks service on Friday to fund a high-tech campaign against rhino poaching which he compared to the United States’ war on drugs on its southern border.

Buffett, son of billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway Inc chairman Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men, presented the 255 million rand cheque to South African authorities at Standard Bank offices in Johannesburg.

Mar 10, 2014

Insight – Equatorial Guinea seeks to shake off ‘oil curse’ image

MALABO (Reuters) – On land cleared of tropical forest, gleaming new office towers, apartment blocks, homes and highways dazzle the eye in Equatorial Guinea, Sub-Saharan Africa’s No. 3 energy producer where oil and gas revenues have fed a frenzy of construction.

But cutting away the jungle is proving easier for President Teodoro Obiang Nguema than shedding his central African nation’s dark image as a reclusive, repressive and graft-ridden poster child of the “resource curse”.

Mar 10, 2014

Equatorial Guinea seeks to shake off “oil curse” image

MALABO, March 10 (Reuters) – On land cleared of tropical
forest, gleaming new office towers, apartment blocks, homes and
highways dazzle the eye in Equatorial Guinea, Sub-Saharan
Africa’s No. 3 energy producer where oil and gas revenues have
fed a frenzy of construction.

But cutting away the jungle is proving easier for President
Teodoro Obiang Nguema than shedding his central African nation’s
dark image as a reclusive, repressive and graft-ridden poster
child of the “resource curse”.

Mar 7, 2014

South Africa, Rwanda expel diplomats in row over Rwandan exiles

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa expelled three Rwandan diplomats it linked to a raid on an exiled Rwandan general’s Johannesburg home, and Rwanda has retaliated by ordering out six South African envoys, officials said on Friday.

The row strained ties between two African states involved in efforts to bring peace to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where South Africa has troops in a U.N. brigade that fought last year against rebels whom U.N. experts said received support from Rwanda. Kigali denied backing the Congolese rebels.

Mar 7, 2014

South Africa, Rwanda expel diplomats over attack on dissident Rwandan general

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa expelled three Rwandan diplomats it linked to a raid by gunmen on a dissident exiled Rwandan general’s home and Rwanda ordered out six South African envoys in retaliation, a diplomatic source said on Friday.

Late on Monday, armed men broke into the Johannesburg home of former Rwandan army chief General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, an exiled critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Feb 21, 2014

Sanusi suspension: oil-polluted politics cloud Africa anti-graft efforts

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Oil and politics make a
turbid mix, and the suspension of Nigeria’s central bank chief
and anti-graft whistleblower Lamido Sanusi is a cautionary tale
for newer African oil producers trying to avoid the “resource
curse”.

President Goodluck Jonathan suspended Sanusi on Thursday,
citing “acts of financial recklessness”, only weeks after the
internationally respected bank governor had publicly upbraided
state oil company Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
with allegations that it had failed to remit $20 billion owed to
federal government coffers.

    • 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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