News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Cape Verde politics & regional

In Cape Verde on September 24, 2010 at 8:48 am

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Six west African nations, among which Cape Verde,  agreed to delineate their maritime boundaries in what are thought to be oil-and-gas rich Atlantic coastal waters. The accord, overseen by Norway, a major energy producer, seeks to allow Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal to share the huge ocean area. Norway will help the costly work of mapping the continental shelf (AFP).

Cape Verde has already nearly halved the proportion of people living in extreme poverty, as well as the proportion of people living below the minimum level of dietary consumption. It has managed to successfully overcome its “double insularity” – it is far from its African neighbors, and individual islands are far from each other -especially in regard to the cost of basic economic inputs, transportation and communications, through good governance, proper management of internal and external resources, and strong global partnerships (AllAfrica).

SANTO ANTAO

The first-ever voluntary tree-planting campaign on Santo Antão’s Eastern Plateau, which took place after heavy rainfall in the region, was a success (A Semana).

The rains that fell on the island of Santo Antão caused damage in various parts of the island. The most complicated situation is on the island’s Eastern Plateau (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

The São Vicente wind farm will be officially born on Tuesday, September 28 in the Monte Selada district of the island. The partners in the project – the Department of Energy, Electra and InfraCo – will also publicly present the project for the construction of four wind farms in Cape Verde (A Semana).

Cape Verde business & economy

In Cape Verde on September 24, 2010 at 8:48 am

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

Render of the Triangle Project for Calhau, Sao Vicente (Source).

AVIATION

The passengers on TACV Cabo Verde Airlines flight 6060 had a scare when the Praia-Lisbon flight, which left the Cape Verdean capital at 9:40 am, saw a sudden depressurization 40 minutes after takeoff (A Semana).

TACV Cabo Verde Airlines cancelled four flights to the islands of São Vicente and Fogo. Based on information gathered by A Semana Online, at least four of the company’s pilots are ill with the virus that has been assailing Cape Verde for more than a month (A Semana).

REAL ESTATE

Strong investor demand for one bedroom apartments in a luxury resort in Cape Verde has prompted the developer to revise plans and build more.
At a time when many development resorts are not selling well and financing can be difficult to secure, the Resort Group Plc said it has been stunned by demand in the five star Dunas Beach Resort and Spa on Ponta Preta Beach on the west coast of Sal Island in Cape Verde (PropertyWire).

TELECOMS

The telecoms regulator for the Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde recently announced a tender for 3G licenses. The National Agency of the Communications (ANAC) said that it plans to offer a total of three 3G licenses and one GSM license in the tender (CN).

Angola Business News

In Angola on September 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

ECONOMY

Angola is pretty sure the International Monetary Fund board will approve the second and third review of its $1.3 billion loan programme, a senior official at the economy ministry said (Reuters).

BANKING

The Banco Millennium Angola (BMA) bank was chosen this month as “the best bank with majority foreign capital in the country” by British finance magazine, EMEA Finance (Macauhub).

ENERGY

Angola currently only uses a fraction of its hydropower potential but the African nation is prepared to invest billions of dollars in coming years to rebuild dams destroyed by a civil war that ended in 2002 (Reuters).

OIL

FMC Technologies Inc has landed a much-anticipated subsea equipment contract with Total for a deepwater development off Angola worth $520 million in revenue for the U.S. company (Reuters).

STEEL

Angolan steel making company Siderurgia Nacional de Angola in 2009 produced a total of 40,000 tons of steel (Macauhub).

MINING

Exploration at iron and manganese mines in the Angolan provinces of Huíla and Kwanza Norte is due to be re-launched as of 2011, the National Director for Studies and Projects of the Ministry for Geology and Mines and the Ministry for Industry said (Macauhub).

Cape Verde Politics & Islands

In Cape Verde on September 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

POLITICS

The accelerating of the liberalisation process and the pace of modernisation of the infrastructure with the construction of roads, airports, ports and sanitation allowed Cape Verde to be more competitive, the Prime Minister said (Inforpress).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The Cape Verdean stand’s logotype at the 2010 Shanghai Expo earned sixth place in a contest promoted by the newspaper China Daily. The contest included the stands of 130 American, African and European countries. Cape Verde is the only African country to be classified in the top nine (A Semana).

Two Brazilian teachers, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul are supporting the University of Cape Verde on the programme of strengthening skills in Portuguese language and Mathematics of the students selected in the recent admission tests of Uni-CV (Inforpress).

The Cape Verdean businesswoman Loide Monteiro announced that the establishment of a Federation of Entrepreneur and Business women of ECOWAS, is being prepared in Cape Verde (Inforpress).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

The fight against drugs in West Africa has been welcomed as a milestone by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Decisive action was taken last month by Cape Verde authorities, which marked the latest move in a growing response by West African countries to the threat of drug traffickers seeking to exploit the region (PoliceProfessional).

FOGO, BRAVA

Minister of Infrastructures, Transportation and Telecommunications Manuel Inocêncio Sousa signed the contract for the expansion and modernization of the sea ports on the islands of Fogo and Brava, September 13. Also, Sousa signed a contract for the asphalting of the road connecting the town of Furna, where Brava’s port is located, to the city of Nova Sintra (A Semana).

SAL

The Santa Maria Tourist Information Center has reinitiated its activities after more than a year-long hiatus. With a new service philosophy, the center will encourage compatibility between the development of tourism and cultural promotion (A Semana).

SAO NICOLAU

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Colonel Fernando Pereira made a two-day visit to the island of São Nicolau, where he met with the military contingent currently stationed there to support local authorities during the rainy season and visit installations that, in the future, could host a permanent military detachment on the island (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on September 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

CV Fast Ferry’s first vessel Kriola nearing completion at the Singapore facilities of Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands (Source: FORCV)

AGRI

With the latest rains registered over the past two days, farmers on the islands of Fogo and Brava are even more hopeful regarding the prospects for a good harvest. In some of the higher-altitude regions of the two islands, agricultural workers have begun harvesting the first fruits of their labor (A Semana).

AVIATION

Tropical storm Julia, which has been lashing Cape Verde with rain and winds since Sunday afternoon, has already forced TACV Cabo Verde Airlines to cancel a number of domestic and international flights (A Semana).

Praia International Airport has a new parking lot with a total of 429 parking spaces (A Semana).

The tourism industry in Cape Verde and Boa Vista has received a further boost with the news that Cape Verde Experience plan to run flights from Stansted and Bristol.  The sister company of Gambia Experience will also add flights between Cape Verde and Banjul, Gambia, opening up possibilities for multi-centre holidays (Assetz)

REAL ESTATE

Commercial bank Caixa Económica de Cabo Verde acquired 89.8% of the future bonds issued by state real-estate company IFH, for the first time achieving a position of leadership in a Stock Exchange operation in Cape Verde. With the funds from the bond issue, IFH expects to be able to complete the infra-structuring of its Palmarejo Grande real estate project in Praia by March of 2011 (A Semana).

Cape Verde is rapidly attracting visitors and investors alike looking to capitalise on what promises to be the world’s next property hot spot. Nestled 400km off the coast of West Africa, the Cape Verde islands boast a year-round temperate climate, meaning there’s no low season, leading to exceptionally high occupancy rates and rental yields for investors (Assetz).

TELECOMS

Cabo Verde Telecom has suspended salary negotiations and unilaterally decided to grant a 2.5% wage increase, retroactive to January of this year (A Semana).

Angola Business News

In Angola on September 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

POLITICS

Angola’s powerful Economy Minister, Manuel Nunes Junior, will step down soon, two privately owned weekly newspapers cited unnamed sources as saying (Reuters).

The campaign for Angola’s 2012 elections is off to a ill-tempered start with the ruling MPLA party and the opposition UNITA party accusing each other of dirty tactics that threaten a return to violence in the oil producing nation (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Angola’s annual inflation quickened to 13.99 percent year-on-year in August from 13.7 percent the previous month, the National Statistics Institute said (Reuters).

Angola’s central bank has loosened the kwanza peg by allowing local banks to bid for U.S. dollars at its weekly auctions with fewer bidding restrictions (Reuters).

Higher exports and oil prices have helped Angola’s economy recover in 2010, while companies are spending more now that the government has started to pay off some of its debt, the deputy governor of the country’s central bank said (Reuters).

OIL

Angola’s daily crude oil exports are scheduled to drop in November, according to the preliminary loading plan which excludes shipments of the Palanca grade (Bloomberg).

AVIATION

Air France-KLM plans flights to new African destinations, among which Angola (Bloomberg).

BUSINESS

A shipyard with a 250 metre-long dock was opened in Porto Amboim, in Angola’s Kwanza Sul province, as part of an investment of US$150 million.
The investment is part of a partnership between Angolan company Cenbir and Dutch company Heerema Marine Contractors, and the shipyard has two 300-ton cranes, two transport rafts and a tug (Macauhub).

Portugal’s largest builder Mota-Engil plans to sell a 49 percent stake in its Angolan unit to local partners Sonangol and BFA in the next few weeks, Chief Financial Officer Luis Silva said (Reuters).

TRADE

The trade volume between India and Angola is estimated at over USD 5 billion (ANGOP).

Cape Verde Politics & Islands

In Cape Verde on September 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Pope Benedict XXVI expressed his hopes to Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves that Cape Verde would continue along the same path of peace and development in which humanity is at the center of all. The meeting between the two took place this morning and lasted some 15 minutes, longer than was initially planned (A Semana).

Most of the millennium development goals will be met by Cape Verde, the only African member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) to achieve the feat, according to the president of the Portuguese Development Support Institute (IPAD) (A Semana).

“Fo De Jiao” is Cape Verde in Mandarin Chinese, the words guides Nádia Silva and Jónatas Lopes most often use to point out the ten specks of land in the Atlantic to curious visitors to the Cape Verdean stand at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, which sees an estimated 40,000 visitors daily (A Semana).

TWITTER & LINKEDIN

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BOA VISTA

Water and power distribution on the island of Boa Vista, the third largest on the Cape Verde archipelago, has been privatised in favour of water and electricity company, Água e Energia da Boa Vista (AEB) (Macauhub).

NORTH

The tropical depression that formed south of the islands of Fogo and Brava has now brought rain to Cape Verde’s northern islands (A Semana).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

A 30-year-old Guyanese woman arrested on Monday, September 6 at Praia International Airport in possession of 795.6 grams of cocaine has been ordered held in preventative detention pending trial. The woman was arrested after disembarking from a flight originating in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza (A Semana).

CLOSED POLL

Cape Verde Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on September 10, 2010 at 9:41 am

ECONOMY

The Cape Verdean government plans to reduce customs taxes on products covered by the Civil Aviation Agreement to zero, and has already handed the country’s parliament a proposal for this purpose (Macauhub).

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

A new development for Baia das Gatas on Sao Vicente island (Source: escape-verde.com).

AGRI

On the islands of Fogo and Brava, perspectives for a good harvest appear to be favorable. Although rains began to fall slightly later than expected in several zones, farmers are hopeful (A Semana).

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BANKING

Commercial bank BCN unveiled its newest branch Monday, September 6 in Nova Sintra, on the island of Brava. The agency is the bank’s 22nd (A Semana).

The rate of bankarization (access to banking services) in Cape Verde totalled 89.1 percent at the end of 2009, according to a report from the Bank of Cape Verde (Macauhub).

PORTS

A mobile scanner and a vehicle to be used in the inspection of baggage at Praia sea port was handed out to the National Light and Small-Caliber Weapons Control Commission (COMNAC) by Minister of Internal Administration Lívio Lopes (A Semana).

TELECOMS

Cape Verdean telecommunications company, Cabo Verde Telecom is implementing an investment plan of 30 million euros to improve the quality of telecommunications, specifically Internet access (Macauhub).

Angola Business News

In Angola on September 10, 2010 at 9:35 am

POLITICS

Angola’s main opposition UNITA party is using last week’s riots in Mozambique along with false accusations of government corruption to incite civil unrest in the oil-producing nation, a ruling MPLA party spokesman said (Reuters).

Angola’s ruling MPLA party brushed aside reports of corruption involving senior government officials earlier this year as a smear campaign aimed at hurting the party ahead of general elections in 2012 (Reuters).

DEFENCE

Angola’s army said it will send a team to help reform the military of Guinea Bissau, a country with a long history of coups and instability (News24).

ECONOMY

Angola’s trade surplus reached $9.04 billion in the first quarter of the year, the head of the National Statistics Office said, without providing a figure for the same period last year (Reuters).

Angola’s government will launch a complete overhaul of its tax regime to improve collection and increase revenues, Minister of State Carlos Feijo said (Reuters).

The pension funds established in Angola in 1998, by 2008 had achieved turnover of some US$320 million (Macauhub).

The Angolan government has alrerady paid 60 percent of its debt to private companies within the terms it committed to pay (Macauhub).

AGRI

A project that aims to turn Huíla province into the biggest supplier of grain in Angola in four years has already made it possible to identify at least 80 large producers in the region, the vice president of the Industrial Association of Angola (AIA) said (Macauhub).

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POWER

Angola announced an $18 billion plan to overhaul its dams and power grids and end all power cuts by 2016 (Reuters).

TRANSPORT

Angolan taxis will raise fares in the coming weeks due to a sharp rise in fuel prices, a move that could trigger protests from impoverished Angolans who rely on thousands of 14-seater taxi vans to go to work each day (Reuters).

HOTELS

Construction of the first four-star hotel in the city of Ondjiva, the capital of Angola’s Cunene province, which began last April, is due to be concluded in August 2011 (Macauhub).

Cape Verde Politics & Islands

In Cape Verde on September 3, 2010 at 8:36 am

ELECTIONS

Carlos Veiga 2011” is the official site for the MpD leader’s 2011 legislative elections campaign, an interactive page featuring all of the candidate’s events. The site also reveals more about Carlos Veiga as a person, his campaign platform and highlights of what the MpD did in the 1990s when it controlled Cape Verde’s government (A Semana).

The updating of the list of registered voters in the country is proceeding, in general, at a relatively slow pace. As of August 20, only some 3,000 of the 7,285 citizens who will turn 18 by December 31 had registered to vote in the country’s main urban centers – Praia, Mindelo, São Filipe, Assomada and Sal (A Semana).

Atlantico Weekly readers overwhelmingly think the incumbent PAICV government will win the Cape Verde national elections of 2011 with up to 65% of votes cast in the last two weeks. The oppostion MpD trails with 29%, with rightwing UCID receiving just 6%.

POLITICS

Law nº 77/VII/2010, which officially makes cities out of all municipal seats in Cape Verde, went into effect September 2. As a result, the country gets 18 new cities, in addition to Porto Novo, Mindelo, Praia, Ribeira Grande de Santiago, Assomada and São Filipe, which already enjoyed city status (A Semana).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

A 23-year-old Guinea Bissauan woman was arrested as she tried to embark on a flight to Cape Verde transporting some five kilograms of cocaine. Federal police agents at Pinto Martins International Airport in Fortaleza, the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceará, made the arrest on Monday, August 30 (A Semana).

In the early hours of 27 August HMS Gloucester of the British Royal Navy, with an embarked Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDet) from Cape Verde, boarded a suspect yacht believed to be carrying cocaine in the mid-Atlantic. The vessel ‘TORTUGA’, registered in Florida, was taken to Cape Verde where authorities discovered cocaine, with a UK street value of at least four million pounds sterling, hidden within the rudder (MOD).

BOA VISTA & SAL

Captivated by Cape Verde. All adrift in the tiny archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic. Thus reads the titel of a nice article in the Daily Mail.

SANTIAGO

A power outage again has affected most of the city of Praia. Executive administrator of water and electricity utility Electra, Rui Spencer Lopes dos Santos, says that scheduled energy cuts intended to facilitate maintenance and a short-circuit in Palmarejo are the reasons behind the extended blackout (A Semana).

SANTO ANTAO

The second edition of the Tour de Santo Antão bicycle race started in the city of Porto Novo. The race, sponsored by the Santo Antão Cycling Association (ACSA) and the Melo Driving School, will feature six legs (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

Garlic and onions are practically nowhere to be found – or bought – on the island of São Vicente, with local residents forced to trek all over the city of Mindelo to make a purchase (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on September 3, 2010 at 8:35 am

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

The Vista Oceano residential complex, under development in the town of Ponta do Sol on Santo Antao (Source).

PORTS

Portuguese construction consortium Somague/MSF/Etermar is to carry out the second phase of work to expand and modernise the port of Praia, worth 72 million euros (Macauhub).

HOTELS

Hilton appears to be developing at least one hotel in Cape Verde, among other countries (Reuters).

TWITTER & LINKEDIN

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AGRI

Brazil’s Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) will set up a pole of its rural development studies center in Cape Verde. The initiative was announced during a visit by Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Guilherme Cassel to the University (A Semana).

TELECOMS

Labor union SITTHUR claims that more than 90% of the employees of Cabo Verde Telecom have joined the two-day strike called at the company. The walk-out began this morning throughout nearly all of Cape Verde’s territory – Brava was the exception – and is scheduled to last until midnight Friday (A Semana).

AVIATION

The strongest growth, in terms of absolute numbers, in Portugal’s charter flight market is for destinations in Cape Verde. Charter flights departing from Lisbon and Porto took transported nearly 8,000 passengers to the archipelago in July of this year, 3,800 more than in the same month last year (A Semana).

POWER

Acts of sabotage perpetrated by employees of water and electricity utility Electra or by unknown individuals may be behind a serious technical problem that took place in one of the main generators at the Palmarejo power station in Praia. The problem has since been resolved (A Semana).

Angola Business News

In Angola on September 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

POLITICAL RISK

Angola’s ruling MPLA party emerged victorious from a 27-year civil war in 2002 promising a better life for Angolans but this dream is fading as corruption is rife and the government is seen failing to help the poor. Read the political risk analysis at Reuters.

ECONOMY

Angola’s foreign exchange reserves dropped slightly for the second straight month to $15.29 billion in July from $15.52 billion in June, the central bank said (Reuters).

Investment in Angola’s private sector in the first half totalled US$1.255 billion, almost three times the US$450 million invested in the same period of 2009 (Macauhub).

Public works, education and transport projects have benefited most from credit concession agreement between the China Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and Angola, which now total US$4.547 billion (Macauhub).

OIL

Angolan authorities cut gasoline and diesel subsidies as a prelude to liberalising the country’s downstream oil sector, triggering a steep rise in pump prices and the threat of protests from irate motorists (Reuters).

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CONSTRUCTION

Portugal’s largest builder Mota-Engil expects Angola to settle its debt with the company by the end of the first quarter, Chief Financial Officer Luis Silva said (Reuters).

INFRA

The Angolan government asked for financial and technological support from Japan for the construction of a bridge between the provinces of Zaire and Cabinda, the National Private Investment Agency (ANIP) said (Macauhub).

The Luanda/Malanje railroad, which has been undergoing reconstruction since 2005, in the next two months will be able to operate an experimental freight train, the Deputy Transport Minister for the railway sector said (Macauhub).

BIOFUELS

Biofuels companies from the U.K. to Brazil and China are buying up large swaths of Africa including Angola, causing deforestation and diverting land from food to fuel production, the environmental group Friends of the Earth said (Bloomberg).

HOTELS

The Boavista neighbourhood of Angola’s capital, Luanda will soon have a new hotel called “Empreendimento Pestana Luanda Hotel e Suites,” with 230 rooms, 50 of which will be suites (Macauhub).