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Tagged with "Business News"
Forbes Hails Changes in Africa’s Business Environment Tags: Business News African News News
The vice president of Forbes media says the launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine is a sign of better business possibilities in Africa. Christopher Forbes said his organization is celebrating free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit following the official launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine.
 
“We are at a unique moment in time [and] there [are] a lot of exciting things happening in Africa. And also things aren’t going so well in the rest of the world that we can’t keep pointing fingers saying we know best,” Forbes said in Brazzaville.
 
“The moment is right for a magazine like Forbes to be launched here, where we celebrate free enterprise and the entrepreneur spirit because we are seeing that emerge in francophone Africa and in fact throughout Africa.”
 
He said some African countries are becoming less volatile, which he said is a better environment for business development.
 
“There is greater stability here, the rest of the world have realized that we didn’t always get it right doing some of the other things that we’ve done. There are natural resources here, but there is also a change in mindset here,” said Forbes.  
 
 Some analysts say Forbes Afrique could face stiff competition from other French language magazines with deeper roots in the francophone countries of Africa.
 
Forbes magazine has an African English version published in South Africa. But, Mr. Forbes said it was appropriate that French-speaking African countries to have a magazine that addresses business aspects in francophone Africa.
 
 
“French speaking Africa needs the capitalist tool as well,” Forbes said.
 
Officials of the magazine say Forbes Afrique’s readership will include policy makers and business people and everyone whose ambition drives them to reach positions of responsibility in the business world.
 
But Forbes also warned potential investors to make sure they work with reputable businesses in Africa.
 
“Choose your partners carefully,” he said. “We are very lucky in our partner Mr. [Lucien] Ebata.  I think that’s a key thing. Get the best advice and get to know people on the ground.”
 
 “It isn’t [only] that these resources can be useful for the rest of the world, they’ve got to be useful for the people living here [in Africa] as well and being enjoyed by a much broader spectrum of the population.”
 
He said Forbes Afrique magazine is in Africa to stay.
 
“When my grandfather started the [Forbes] magazine in 1917, his very first editorial was that business isn’t about pilling up millions, it’s about creating happiness,” said Forbes. 
 
“As long as this generation of entrepreneurs will increasingly … realize that it’s not just about realizing their visions, but their visions enriching the lives of others;  that is a very important part of real capitalism.”
 
Forbes said the business climate is getting better in African countries, which he said is encouraging to local and international partners looking to invest on the continent.
 
Source: voanews
China strengthens Africa ties with $20 billion in loans Tags: African News China In Africa Politics Business News Investments
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years, boosting a relationship that has been criticized by the West and given Beijing growing access to the resource-rich continent.

The loans offered were double the amount China pledged for the previous three-year period in 2009 and is the latest in a string of aid and credit provided to Africa's many poverty-stricken nations.
 
The pledge is likely to boost China's good relations with Africa, a supplier of oil and raw materials like copper and uranium to the world's most populous country and second-largest economy.
 
But the loans could add to discomfort in the West, which criticizes China for overlooking human rights abuses in its business dealings with Africa, especially in Beijing's desire to feed its booming resource-hungry economy.
 
Hu brushed off such concerns in his speech at the Great Hall of the People, attended by leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma and Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a man widely condemned by rights groups as one of the world's most corrupt leaders.
 
"China wholeheartedly and sincerely supports African countries to choose their own development path, and will wholeheartedly and sincerely support them to raise their development ability," Hu said.
 
China will "continue to steadfastly stand together with the African people, and will forever be a good friend, a good partner and a good brother", he added at the summit held every three years since 2000.
 
Hu also pledged to "continue to expand aid to Africa, so that the benefits of development can be realized by the African people". He did not provide an amount.
 
Hu said the new loans would support infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and development of small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.
 
"CHEQUE BOOK" APPROACH
 
Critics say China supports African governments with dubious human rights records as a means to get access to resources.
 
The EU has rejected what they call China's "cheque book" approach to doing business with Africa, saying it would continue to demand good governance and the transparent use of funds from its trading partners.
 
Such criticism draws rebukes from China that the West still views Africa as though it were a colony. Many African countries say they appreciate China's no-strings approach to aid.
 
"Africa's past economic experience with Europe dictates a need to be cautious when entering into partnerships with other countries," Zuma told the forum.
 
"We are particularly pleased that in our relationship with China we are equals and that agreements entered into are for mutual gain," Zuma added.
 
"We certainly are convinced that China's intention is different to that of Europe, which to date continues to intend to influence African countries for their sole benefit."
 
China's friendship with Africa dates back to the 1950s, when Beijing backed liberation movements in the continent fighting to throw off Western colonial rule.
 
GROWING TRADE LINKS
 
Chinese state-owned firms in Africa also face criticism for using imported labor to build government-financed projects like roads and hospitals, while pumping out raw resources and processing them in China, leaving little for local economies.
 
"Certainly quite a number of us are thinking we need to move into more value addition," South African's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told Reuters.
 
"We need to export mineral products in a more processed form ... We need to bite this bullet very seriously."
 
Trade has jumped in the past decade, driven by Chinese hunger for resources to power its economic boom and African demand for cheap Chinese products.
 
China's trade with Africa reached $166.3 billion in 2011, according to Chinese statistics. In the past decade, African exports to China rose to $93.2 billion from $5.6 billion.
 
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China 601398.SS, for example, the world's most valuable lender, has invested more than $7 billion in various projects across the continent.
 
Source: Reuters
Sierra Loene Illegal Timber Business Exposes Reports Sorious Samura Tags: Sierra Loene News Business News African News Stealing Africa's Resources Newsletters2011 Western Africa News Timber Sorious Samura Africa Journalists
In this edition of Africa Investigates, reporter Sorious Samura exposes the high level corruption that is stripping his Sierra Leone bare. On November 23, 2011, Al Jazeera ran a detailed report produced by the noted Sierra Leonean journalist Sorious Samura, directly implicating Vice President Sumana and business associates Alex Mansaray and Momoh Konte in the illicit sale of timber export licences.

The report contained undercover video footage of Sumana speaking with licence applicants in his office, his associates openly discussing the payment of bribes to Sumana to facilitate rapid processing of licences, and then receiving cash from the Al Jazeera team for the purpose.

The report highlighted the fact that the illicit arrangements were being concluded on the very day when a ban on hardwood timber exports from Sierra Leone was to take effect, and Vice President Sumana is seen, in the video footage, assuring the journalists that implementation of the ban was being "delayed". Sumana later reportedly admitted to Al Jazeera that Mansaray and Konte were well known to him, but that he knew nothing about their collection of cash on his behalf. Sierra Leone's cabinet was reported to be meeting in special session about the Al Jazeera sting operation.
 
Africa Investigates - Sierra Leone: Timber! via AlJazeera
 
Samuel Sam-Sumana' Bribery Scandal, Sierra Leone Vice President
 
The attention of the Government of Sierra Leone has been drawn to a documentary programme aired by Al Jazeera English in its current series entitled “Africa Investigates”. Government has critically reviewed the said documentary with a view to instituting a detailed investigation of the several issues raised that suggest a serious breach of the ongoing moratorium on the logging industry in Sierra Leone.
 
Sierra Leone Government Press Release:
Government acknowledges and appreciates the good efforts of Al Jazeera in bringing these issues to the fore.
Government reiterates that the moratorium on the felling processing and export of timber remains in full force. Thus, Government emphatically rejects statements which are contrary to Government policy made in the programme by certain persons who are non-government functionaries.
In the meantime, the public is assured that Government will fully address the matters aired in the programme. In line with its accountability policy, Government will undertake additional stringent measures to forestall any future breaches of its environmental and conservation policies to protect and sustain the country’s biodiversity.
At a special meeting at State House on 24th November 2011, the President reiterated government’s national and international environmental obligations while emphasizing the need for maintaining the ban on uncontrolled logging.
Once more, Government wishes the public to know that any breach of the Law by any person, irrespective of status, will meet with the full force of the law.
The investigations by the Police and the Anti Corruption Commission on the issues highlighted are well underway. The public will be kept fully informed of progress.
Source: cocorioko
Cassava beer debuts as commercial brew in African bars Tags: south Africa News African News Business News Southern Africa News Cassava
Cassava has been used by generations of home brewers in Africa. Now the drought-resistant, starch-rich, root vegetable is to be processed, bottled and labelled for sale in bars and supermarkets.
 
The brewing firm SABMiller launched the world's first commercially produced cassava beer on Tuesday, formalising an age-old technique practised in villages across the continent.
 
The brand, a lager named Impala after the widespread African antelope, uses 70% cassava and 30% barley, and will first be brewed and offered in Mozambique.
 
It will be sold at 75% of the price of other lagers and the makers hope to attract people who traditionally have drunk home brews, sometimes at risk to their health.
 
Graham Mackay, SABMiller's chief executive, said: "Very often illicit alcohol is positively dangerous. What we're doing is offering a legal alternative to that large percentage of alcohol that is homemade and from which governments get no taxes."
 
Bananas are a popular ingredient for home brews in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while sorghum and cassava are used in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Commercial beer remains an aspirational product that many cannot afford.
 
Gerry van den Houten, SABMiller's technical director, said of the drink: "It's a lager with a slightly sour note. It has a much lower gluten content than normal beer."
 
The company said it was buying cassava from more than 1,500 smallholders.
 
But there are challenges with cassava versus a barley-based brew. Cassava is 75% water and starts to degrade almost immediately following harvest so cannot be transported long distances.
 
Van den Houten said: "Cassava is the biggest crop in Africa but the least commercialised. It can lie in the ground for a long time but when you harvest it you've got to use it in 24 hours."
 
The company is using a mobile processing unit to combat the problem. The cassava tubers are chopped into slurry and turned into a cake that can be stored for at least six months.
 
SABMiller said it would use about 40,000 tonnes of raw cassava each year in the beer's production, and it expected the brand to contribute about 10% of the firm's annual sales in Mozambique over the next two to three years. A test batch of 150,000 litres had already been sold.
 
Cassava grows widely across Africa and SABMiller aims to expand the beer next year to South Sudan, where it commissioned a large-scale brewery in 2009.
 
Source: guardian
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