Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Nov 16, 2012

Close Sierra Leone vote carries high hopes for growth

FREETOWN, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Sierra Leoneans vote on
Saturday in elections they hope can propel the small West
African state into an era of prosperity based on mining and oil
after a decade of difficult recovery from civil war.

The presidential and parliamentary polls, the third held
since the end of the 1991-2002 conflict, pit President Ernest
Bai Koroma and his ruling All People’s Congress (APC) against
challenger Julius Maada Bio, a former junta leader who
represents the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

Nov 7, 2012

Angola sees iron ore production from 2014 or 2015

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Angola aims to start up iron
ore production in the next two to three years through a state
company partnership with private operators including leading
international trading house Trafigura, an Angolan industry
official said on Wednesday.

Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, president of state-owned
Ferrangol-EP, told Reuters the integrated iron ore/manganese and
steel project would extract ore from two mining areas –
Kassala-Kitungo in Kwanza Norte province and Cassinga in
southern Huila province.

Oct 24, 2012

South Africa labor hero urged crackdown on “criminal” strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African millionaire businessman and one-time anti-apartheid hero Cyril Ramaphosa urged ministers to crack down on a violent platinum miners’ strike the day before 34 miners were killed by police, according to emails revealed this week.

The emails cited on Tuesday by a lawyer for miners arrested over the August 16 “Marikana Massacre” are the latest evidence of a reversal of historical roles for the 59-year-old, who himself led a historic miners’ pay strike under apartheid in 1987.

Sep 13, 2012

South African miner threats pressure ANC

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – Striking South African platinum miners delivered much higher pay demands on Thursday and threatened to spread industrial action further, deepening a crisis that is becoming the biggest threat to the ruling ANC since the end of apartheid.

In the face of the spiralling labour unrest in Africa’s biggest economy, President Jacob Zuma said the government would crack down on anybody stirring up trouble.

Sep 13, 2012

South African miners pressure ANC with new strike call

BLESBOK, South Africa, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The leader of a
major protest by South African platinum miners called on
Thursday for a national strike in the sector, deepening an
industrial crisis that is evolving into the biggest threat to
the ruling ANC since it came to power in 1994.

“On Sunday, we are starting with a general strike here in
Rustenburg,” demonstration leader Mametlwe Sebei told several
thousand workers at a soccer stadium in the heart of the
platinum belt near Rustenburg, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of

Sep 10, 2012

Analysis: Pressure from below strains Angola MPLA monolith

LUANDA (Reuters) – Angola’s showcase Kilamba Kiaxi housing development rises up from an ochre-red African plain, clustered pods of neat apartment blocks in eye-catching pastel shades of light blue, yellow and grey stretching from horizon to horizon.

The impressive Chinese-built project, inaugurated last year by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is one of the biggest in Africa, touted by Angola’s leadership as an example of how it is using oil wealth to better the lives of its people.

Aug 2, 2012

Turkcell says MTN case may not get fair trial in S.Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Turkish mobile operator
Turkcell said its $4.2 billion lawsuit against rival
MTN Group may not get a fair hearing in a South African
court, given its opponent’s longstanding ties to the ruling
African National Congress.

Turkcell also claimed in U.S. court documents filed on
Thursday that its witnesses could face intimidation from MTN if
the case were heard in South Africa.

Jul 31, 2012

Food cost, trade “double whammy” could hit Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Rising food prices could hit commodity producers in Africa with a dangerous “double whammy” when combined with an economic slowdown in Europe and China reducing African exports of oil and raw materials, a leading African economist said on Tuesday.

Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), saw the threat of a food price spike casting a shadow over an otherwise positive growth outlook for Africa that will outpace much of the rest of the world.

Jul 16, 2012

AU urges Mali Ansar Dine rebels to break with Qaeda

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Malian Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine can be part of a negotiated political solution to reunite the divided West African country if it breaks with al Qaeda and its allies, a senior African Union official said on Monday.

African leaders at an AU summit in Addis Ababa are backing negotiations to try to form an inclusive national unity government in Mali, where a March 22 military coup in the southern capital Bamako triggered the seizure of the north of the nation by a mix of Tuareg separatists and Islamist rebels.

Jul 16, 2012

Malawi says aid flowing back with IMF backing

ADDIS ABABA, July 16 (Reuters) – Aid from major donors is
flowing back to Malawi after the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) backed the southern African country’s economic policies
and efforts to seek financing, Malawian ministers said on

The IMF issued a so-called “letter of comfort” for the
impoverished nation last month, giving a thumbs-up to its
efforts to seek financial aid and loans.

    • 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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